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How big a group is too big?
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Liam (Gunman) Kissane
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:04 pm    Post subject: How big a group is too big? Reply with quote

How big a player group is too big, and what tricks do you use to handle a large group of players?

My absolute limit is 6 players, but I prefer no more than 5.

I use a Initiative/Action sheet to help me keep track of things in combat.
A small notepad helps all the time for general notes.
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Lancil
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I would say 5 is the limit. Now if you have a significant amount of people that want to play (say 7 to 10) then I suggest running two groups. For example one group this week and the other group next week. Lots of work and playing for you if you are up to it 8)
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laztheinfamous
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. I think the largest group I ever ran was 28 with 16 showing up on average. That was two big. It worked, but it was hard. Most successful large group was about 18 with three separate GMs each playing in the other's campaigns and all the campaigns interconnected with characters jumping from one group to another.

However, when it boils down, I think I prefer a group of 6. That's enough that they can still accomplish things if one or two of them aren't able to make the session.
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Esoomian
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Six or so is quite managable although it really depends on the type of players.

If you have a group with three or more people that demand a lot of limelight then six may well be too much.

I've seen groups of around ten work before although in almost all instances there were at least two GMs working together.
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Praxian
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

depends on the experiences of the player-base.

as was mentioned if you have 3 glory-hounds in a 6-man group, then 6 people are gonna be too much.

Also, if you get all new gamers that don't know what they're doing, more than 3 or 4 is too much.

just depends on the attitude of the players as well as how well they work together.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:21 pm    Post subject: 6 Reply with quote

In my time as a Star Wars GM, I've ran anywhere from 1 to 13 players for individual adventures. The one adventure with 13 players was probably my only time I've ran over 10 players. Part of my senior year in high school I ran 3 separate groups of 4-7 players each. I'd run 1 adventure for each group every 1-2 weeks. But the 3 campaigns all took place in alternate universes so I could re-use some of the same adventures for each group.

As far as tricks, yeah I use sheets to keep track of things. And I used to even pre-roll and record a bunch of rolls for gamemaster characters, and during play just go down each die-level column in order and mark of the result as I used it. But most of groups in the past decade have been smaller so I haven't bothered with that in a while.

As a GM, I think 4-5 players is ideal, and 6 is my current upper limit. 3 players is really as low as I'd like to go, but on occasion I've been known to run 2 players or even solo adventures if I really wanted to play and no one else could.
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Anakin
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:31 am    Post subject: Re: How big a group is too big? Reply with quote

Liam (Gunman) Kissane wrote:
How big a player group is too big, and what tricks do you use to handle a large group of players?

My absolute limit is 6 players, but I prefer no more than 5.

I use a Initiative/Action sheet to help me keep track of things in combat.
A small notepad helps all the time for general notes.


I agree. Optimal is like three, but if the players are experienced and organized, up to six works fine. I once GMd 12 players. That was too much...
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Riij Skootu
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in a large group, and from the standpoint of the gamer 6 or more I felt like I had to do something impressive to get any game time.
It seemed there was one or two chars (that the GM knew well) that only got the limelight.
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Alcon
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've GMed for groups anywhere from 5 to 13 people. I think 6 or 7 is just about right for me. Plenty of players, so lots of diversity in the characters. I usually just sit back and let the players play off each other a lot, which works quite well with a group that size. But it might have been the groups I've GMed for. Mostly experienced players and none that were particularly grabby of the limelight.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At con games i limit myself to 7 max, 3 min. I have seen many gms in our Sparks group go up to 9, or 10 even, with little lost.
IMO a lot depends on the gm themselves, and how easy they can track things/control people.
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ZzaphodD
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I usually want 5 players as I think this gives a good dynamic in the group. 4 is ok but I dont whant to have more than 6 players.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lets see. if we put it as "roles"..

Gun bunny
Pilot/ship operator
Face man
Techie
Intelligence guy

That gives us 5 slots to fill. 6 if you add in "force user".
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

4 if your face man and your intelligence guy are the same person.

For me, I generally prefer 3-4 players. When the group gets too big, it takes too long to get anything done. I ran once for 7 or 8 players and a small combat of equal sized forces took 2 hours to finish. This was just going through the initiative steps and only 3 or 4 rounds of combat.
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Esoomian
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garhkal's breakdown seems to be based on the primary attributes.

Dex guy
Mechanical guy
Perception guy
Technical guy
Knowledges guy

With optional Force guy.

I agree you'd often get some crossovers especially in a long running campaign when people have been forced to branch out of their comfort zones when the specialist has been unable to help.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At some of the Cons, i have had combats of 8 rounds for the 7 person table take a solid 50 mins or so. BUT 2 hrs for just 8 players over 4 rounds? WOW!
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