Role playing in large groups.

edited October 2010 in Play Advice
Seeking advice and ideas,

Our gaming group has increased from 8 to 10. The games we play have a GM and players a bunch of rules, Die based D&D, Wod, V6 Engine generaly turn based stuff.
When gaming
A We have moments of players role playing off one another.
B GM directed roleplaying moments NPC with players or GM dialogue setting the scene.
C Turn based moments to sort combat or other event encounter.

These are the general three moments that get out of hand.
Players have a great laugh but with lots of simultaneous conversations time is lost and the direction of the story flags.
These moments have to interrupt A or get lost in interruptions from A
These turn based moments can be great fun but take up time and disagreements can break out about who's where and rule type queries.

My question........Is it the size of the group or do these type games require table rules to control play?

What are your table rules..


  • edited October 2010
    Large groups definitely require some table rules to smooth things out.

    Honestly, I wouldn't run most RPGs with this many folks if I was trying to fit into a 3-5 hour time-slot. It's just going to be hard to get enough done.

    Some thoughts for table rules that would help:

    - for turn based games, have one player keep track of turn order, use a magnetic board if this can change during a single conflict. Have that player announce whose turn it is, and who is on deck. The on-deck player should be getting ready for his turn. If the conflict resolution is simple enough (old school D&D for example), consider having players roll their dice (to-hit AND damage) before their turn is called.

    - stress the need to refrain from chit-chat during the game. If players are really not involved in the current scene and need to release some energy, step into the kitchen or something to chat, or be helpful and bring the next round of drinks and snacks. However, if at all possible, try and make it interesting for non-involved players to pay attention.

    - don't allow rules debates during the game. Make a call and stick to it, or at most, allow the player raising an issue to state his case, and look to one or two other players who are known to have a good grasp of the rules for their thoughts. Don't get into a free-for-all with 10 folks trying to argue their position on a rule... This is probably a good rule for any size group. Other folks can weigh in with nods and shakes of their head, or if they must, say one or two words...

    I have run games a few times with 10+ players, Mostly I decided that was way too many. I had 8 for Arcana Unearthed (variant of D&D 3.0) and that was way too many.

  • Can you elaborate on the playstyle? Is there the possibility of having 2 GMs, and PCs moving between 2 "squads"
  • Hi Ry, playstyle is in character play 80% of the time. Roleplay in character, seems more important than discussion about a situation, encounter. This is why I think story games dont seem to hit off in our group. Narrating a scene as in a story doesn't appeal.

    We are trying two GMs,s at mo to reduce numbers. This seems to be working, helping to reduce turn based scenes and roleplaying.

    Moving between two squads was talked about. If I'm understanding you right two GM's running side by side.
    This was dropped because cross over noise would have been a problem.

    I was interested if any other groups had found solutions or games for large group roleplaying.

    Also cheers ffilz for suggestions hearing this from someone else helps to make the decision to reduce group size.
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