what do you do when you group too big.

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areafiftyonegames
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what do you do when you group too big.

Unread post by areafiftyonegames »

so i run a library program in Denison Texas. and I moved the program from Dungeon and Dragons to palladium books fantasy and heroes unlimited crossover adventure. but my numbers went to 18 players. I can not get books in fast enough to teach another game master and I do not want to loose the numbers. so I have split the groups into three groups of 6 members and set games for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I write this to see if we have any one near our area to want to help, or suggestions on how to fast track a game master.
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zerombr
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Re: what do you do when you group too big.

Unread post by zerombr »

first off, good for you for running so many games. I hope you run the same game for each group to make it easier on you. As for what to do, yeah, all you can really do is find help I think. Until then, get players to assist you in things. Have one keep track of initiative at the very least.
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Mr. Jays
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Re: what do you do when you group too big.

Unread post by Mr. Jays »

I recommend buying table tents. (Those things at restaurants used to mark what table it is). Use them after you determine initiative. It will make your job so much easier.
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Jack Burton
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Re: what do you do when you group too big.

Unread post by Jack Burton »

Mr. Jays wrote:I recommend buying table tents. (Those things at restaurants used to mark what table it is). Use them after you determine initiative. It will make your job so much easier.

I've played in a few of Mr. Jays' games and it's crazy how such a small detail improves the flow. These are an example of what he's talking about:
https://www.citygrafx.com/table-numbers-table-markers
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Warshield73
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Re: what do you do when you group too big.

Unread post by Warshield73 »

Wow, that is a big group. The largest I've ever run at a con was I think 14 and the largest long term group was one with 12 or 13 but I don't think any more than 8 or 9 showed up for most games. A few things I have done with groups of all size that might help.

Name Plates. Take a piece of paper fold it into thirds so it sets as a tent on the table. Listed on this I put the following from left to right and written in different color sharpie:
- Letter designation for the character A - whatever. I really only use this when I have large groups, 8 or more, but it is a nice shorthand for keeping track of characters. I have used initials of either player names or OCC's like "JS" for John Shepard or "LW" for Ley-Line Walker but a simple letter really is easiest and I assign the letter after players sit so A is at my left and go around the table to G or H or whatever the last letter is.
- Character name, nice and big with OCC written under it.
- At the far right I have two numbers, on top is the number of attacks and underneath that is the bonus to initiative.

Initiative counter. This is a small piece of scratch paper (1X3 2 3X3) the only requirement is that all pieces are the exact same size. Each piece has all the information listed for the name plates. In small groups I simply use these behind my GM screen and as the players tell me their initiative I put them in order so that as I go through combat I just pull the next paper and call for their action.

When I am running large groups the players keep the counter and hand me the paper as I call out initiatives. So I say "any above 20" and players with 21 or up hand them to me in order and then I countdown "20", "19", etc. and players hand them to me when I get to their initiative roll.

Now this allows for time savings as well. For every NPC that the players might run into I create two things. One is a 1/4 sheet stat sheet so it has basic MDC, bonuses and weapons whatever I need in combat. The other is the initiative counter with everything that I have for the PCs but it also has four pre-rolled initiative rolls. Most combat runs less than two rounds so four is enough but I take them in order as rolled with bonuses already added in. This way the layers are not waiting for me to roll for all the bad guys.

Hope this helps and again this is really good of you to run such a large group.
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Re: what do you do when you group too big.

Unread post by zerombr »

warshield have you ever GMed at Gencon? I'm curious if I've met you there
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Warshield73
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Re: what do you do when you group too big.

Unread post by Warshield73 »

zerombr wrote:warshield have you ever GMed at Gencon? I'm curious if I've met you there

Always possible.

In 2011 I GMd a Phase World and what was supposed to be HU but ending up being Phase World because I left the characters in the air port in Houston.

In 2014 I ran 2 Phase World, 1 Robotech Shadow Chronicles, and what was supposed to be 1 Macross game but I ended up running a 2nd Macross when a GM for another game was a no show.

I am hoping to go back in 2020 or 2022, I can't really do POH and Gen Con in the same year.
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Re: what do you do when you group too big.

Unread post by Lord123 »

The best way to fast-track a game master is to ask someone who already knows the game system you are using. If there are no experienced game masters in the area, you could try reaching out to the game's publisher or joining an online or real-world gaming community that specializes in the game system. You could also offer to pay experienced players to teach the game to new players in exchange for running a game for them.

Another option is to look for experienced players who may be willing to volunteer their time. You could reach out to local gaming stores or gaming clubs and advertise the need for a game master. You could also post ads on social media or gaming forums and websites.

Finally, you could consider running the game yourself. There are many resources available to help new game masters learn the ins and outs of running a game. You could start with a simplified version of the system and gradually add more complexity as you become more comfortable with the game.


Good luck!
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