My current Friday-night group is 8, although usually 5 or 6 show up. (A couple of us have odd schedules, and one is the 14-year-old daughter of another player, and she's sometimes punished for bad grades.
) Most of us have known each other for 20 years, and three of us rotate every few months as DMs with different campaigns: My friend Kevin has doing an near-Epic level game, Dave (the current DM) just started a low-level Forgotten Realms campaign, and I occasionally run Ravenloft (but they'll get their introduction to DragonMech in '05!). Even now and then, if we're a really
small group, we'll do Cthulhu.
And as for bantering, yep, we "digress" all the time, reciting Monty Python skits, talking about TV, or pondering the singing career of William Shatner. We can't seem to get through an hour without calling upon the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch ("Three shall be the Number of the Counting...!")
Seath Darcstar wrote:
Do you find that playing with the same people for such an extended period of time allows you to predict how each person will have their character act in the game? So much so that you can almost play without them...
This was especially the case in my Boston-based group a few years back, where this one guy, Bryan, always played the "loner" type, which suited his personality, too. No matter what
we played or whether Bryan's PC was a thief or a paladin, we could always count on Bryan's character to pass a secret note to the DM, then go off and do his Batman thing. It became annoying after a while, but at least we learned to expect it!