How big is your group?

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LVSUBARU
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How big is your group?

Post by LVSUBARU » Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:02 pm

I am curious to know how many people are in everybody's gaming group. And what size of a group do you prefer.
I play with 4 guys total, 3 PC's and 1 DM. It's a small group, but we are all really good friends and enjoy a smaller group.

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Post by Seath Darcstar » Mon Sep 06, 2004 10:03 pm

I have three groups I play with.

The first is one I have run/played with constantly for the last 4+ years. In this group we have had as little as 3 players +1 DM to as many as 7 +1.

The second one I have played in for the last 2 years and consist of 4 + DM. It is one of the most exciting games I have played in and I think that comes from the fact we are small enough so that everyone can have “Face Time”.

The third one I joined about a month ago and has 8 + DM. It is unreasonably hard to get any face time in unless you force yourself on others and this causes some of the passive players to be even more passive as three of the “big” personalities fight for time. (I would quit this game but for the fact that it has 6 players of the feminine persuasion and I am absolutely digging on the bragging rights of playing in this game with only one other guy (not counting the male DM)).

I found that the best range was the one you had mentioned in your post. 4 is probably the best (from my point of view) as everyone gets a moment to shine and cross talk is at a minimum.

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Post by Reese » Tue Sep 07, 2004 1:14 am

the group i usually play with is 1 DM (we play at his house in his campaign when we get enough players together) and 4 to 8 players, myself included

in general, we usually have teh DM and five players around the table, since not everyone can show up every game

we only really play the one campaign, since we hardly ever meet (once a week if we're lucky, usually we end up skipping weeks when we can't get enough people together)

once in a while we get together on other days for other people's campaigns, but generally we don't have the time, since most of our players are adults an have full time jobs and other responsibilities

(actually, i'm constructing my own campaign, i hope to get enough people that can play it so i can run it in the weeks where our regular DM is unavailable)
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Post by goodmangames » Thu Sep 09, 2004 8:01 pm

6 players plus the DM (me)... all but one of us went to high school together, so it's lots of fun. There's lots of bantering and joking, sometimes too much -- more than the actual gaming on occasion. :)
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Post by Seath Darcstar » Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:16 pm

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...

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Post by walrusjester » Fri Sep 10, 2004 7:51 am

Wildly variable, since my group has rarely agreed to a regular game night (largely my fault). The core group is 3-4 players plus one GM, which is a great size. Once people started moving away and/or having kids, it got whittled down to just 3 regulars. Two players is actually a really good size for compact storytelling, as long as you remember to keep the antagonists balanced. On the other end, I once played a Marvel Super Heroes session with 12 players and 2 GMs. We never tried it a second time.
goodmangames wrote:6 players plus the DM (me)... all but one of us went to high school together, so it's lots of fun. There's lots of bantering and joking, sometimes too much -- more than the actual gaming on occasion. :)
*grin* Can you have too much bantering? I love roleplaying, but it's also a big social event for my group. That's when we see each other and catch up on life. Most of my regular players come from high school or college, and we're all old men of ~30 now, so there's stuff to talk about.


And I can't predict most of them, even after 15 years of playing together. We go to great lengths to surprise each other, except the one guy who likes playing quiet loners that nonetheless stick with the group despite any overt motivation. It's probably good that we have someone like that.
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Post by Ken Hart » Fri Sep 10, 2004 8:54 am

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. :wink: ) 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...
Hell yeah! :) 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!

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Post by Seath Darcstar » Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:00 pm

The D&D loner could be a whole topic unto itself. I’m sure everyone has at least one in their group (or in a group in the past.) The person who must go off and do things alone or the guy who just sits quietly at the table all night until its time to through some dice.

Which brings up a question…
More annoying: The loner who eats up game time because he must go do something on his own. Or, the guy who cannot separate in game knowledge from out of game knowledge and must think up long convoluted excuses as to why he is acting on something he should not know… (Or perhaps that third annoying guy, the one who looks for reason to attack PC’s, you know the type I’m talking about.)

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Post by LVSUBARU » Sat Sep 11, 2004 1:09 pm

Seath Darcstar wrote:The D&D loner could be a whole topic unto itself. I’m sure everyone has at least one in their group (or in a group in the past.) The person who must go off and do things alone or the guy who just sits quietly at the table all night until its time to through some dice.

Which brings up a question…
More annoying: The loner who eats up game time because he must go do something on his own. Or, the guy who cannot separate in game knowledge from out of game knowledge and must think up long convoluted excuses as to why he is acting on something he should not know… (Or perhaps that third annoying guy, the one who looks for reason to attack PC’s, you know the type I’m talking about.)
That's why I like my small group. No really annoying guys! 8)

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Post by RSKennan » Sun Sep 19, 2004 7:37 pm

Currently, my group is 4 guys. In High school I was pretty much the only game in town for a while so I had my pick of over 30 players. During that time, a pastor's son was in my group, and we once tried having me run a game for about 19 people in the church's meeting room. Needless to say, it didn't work out very well. I threw a bunch of undead at them as the first encounter. By the time most people had fallen asleep, the combat was almost over (It was an all-nighter).

The best campaigns I've ever run were for 1 player, on two separate occaisons. My old habit was to start with one, and add. The first player was the "main character" and everyone else was supporting cast. This worked out better than you might think, since most of my players were theater geeks, and very familiar with casting.
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Post by iceberg » Sun Oct 10, 2004 5:45 am

Seath Darcstar wrote: Or, the guy who cannot separate in game knowledge from out of game knowledge and must think up long convoluted excuses as to why he is acting on something he should not know…
Oh I hate these guys... There's one and sometimes two in my current group of 5 (including DM) This is just one of his annoying habits. He's one of those people who give gamers a bad name.
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Post by kenwig » Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:17 am

I DM a motley crew of about a dozen players, and I'm lucky to get 4-6 to show up at any one session. I think we had 10 once, and that was crazy!

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Post by HackNslash » Mon Dec 06, 2004 7:22 pm

I have to agree with the small group. thing. I have never played in a group with more than 4 PC's and a DM..The current group I playin has 4+ the DM...I tried starting an online campaign but only had 2 pc's(3 one night :lol: ) who made it. This slowed the play down as they had to handle multiple characters. This game is currently on hold until I can find a larger group that can play consistantly.

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Post by Quetzi » Sat Aug 27, 2005 3:42 am

goodmangames wrote:6 players plus the DM (me)... all but one of us went to high school together, so it's lots of fun. There's lots of bantering and joking, sometimes too much -- more than the actual gaming on occasion. :)
Practically the exact same here, except we run two seperate games, me and the other DM switching back and forth halfway through the session. It's rare that everyone makes it though. Which is kinda good, because I prefer running games with only 3 or 4 players.
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Post by Jengenritz » Tue Sep 06, 2005 9:26 am

The group I run out here in Jersey has four players. Since I'm still kinda new to running D&D games (DCC tournaments notwithstanding) I thought it would be a good size to start with. In the course of a 3-4 hour game session with four players, each player has an opportunity to get some significant "screen time", and it also allows the party to follow up on various leads or side issues.

Most of the time, I've found that when the size of the party exceeds five, the game suffers for it. Six is the absolute limit, and requires a lot of cooperation and focus to accomplish what needs to be done for the adventure.

I don't mind the "loner" guy so much as the "Player/PC Knowledge" guys...they drive me nuts. For that reason, my home game has a "no stock monsters" clause...the players know up-front that no critters they encounter will be direct from the MM. It's a lot of extra work, but at least I understand how to apply templates and deconstruct/retrofit monsters.
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Post by Ken Hart » Wed Sep 07, 2005 5:30 am

Yeah, there are some good templates out there. For instance, Privateer Press' Monsternomicon has "quickplates" that you can easily slap onto existing monsters. And S&SS's Van Richten's Guide to the Walking Dead, though designed for Ravenloft, has great ways to customize your zombies, ghouls, and ghasts and throw the "been there, done that" players for a loop.

And (ahem) of course there's the excellent Book of Templates, now available from Goodman Games. :)
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Post by superfan » Tue Oct 11, 2005 7:58 pm

Superfan here,

Our Twin Cities group has 5 players, and one GM. We rotate the GM duties, and game once a week. Occasionally someone can't make it, and then the GM usually runs the PC....weakly.

Still, after hearing the podcast of Dragon's Landing, and their poll on listeners that said that most weren't gaming at all, I feel lucky.

Game on!

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Post by Charke » Sun Nov 27, 2005 4:52 pm

I have a large gaming group that has, in the past, ranged from 4 to 12 players. We have about 6 "fringe" members who float around and sometimes come to games. We have a core group of about 6 people but political in-fighting means certain people won't show up if a certain person is DMing. Its a bit of a zoo really. A lot of people are far too intimidated by the in-fighting to DM and others have quit over it. However we are all bitter vetran gamers and drag ourselves to the table week after week to endure just about whatever occurs - the out-of-game events are almost as classic as the in-game events and maybe that is what keeps us together.

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Post by evchild » Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:44 pm

When I run (which is usually all the time) I try to keep it at 4 regular players with 2 extra floater spots for the occassional friend, husband/wife or potential new addition. I try to think of it as actors on a TV show. main cast and the guest stars. Schedules changes and maybe a guest star becomes main cast.
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Post by Jengenritz » Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:25 pm

^ that's a good way to think about it, I think!
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Post by PeelSeel2 » Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:36 pm

5-8 players, 1 DM (me).

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Post by grodog » Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:33 am

I've played in groups that have ranged in size from 2 other players (+1 DM), to much larger. The largest groups I've played in have had about 10, 14, and 20 regular players, respectively: when I was playing in grade school, we would host sleepovers and play into the night (usually about 10 folks, running two modules in a night, sometimes [we weren't terribly thorough in those days!]); in college @ PSU we had a very large group, that maxed out around 14 folks (though some people ran more than 1 PC, so there were probably more like 18 PCs and NPCs in play); the 20-player-group is the extended "Wrath of Con" group that tacojohn's the leader of (this are the folks who were divided into two teams/parties to playtest DCC 12.5 and Rob Kuntz's Tower of Blood modules).
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Post by Maliki » Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:47 pm

My group is 7 right now, three cousins, two friends, and my cousins son, plus me.
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Post by Cardinal » Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:58 am

number of players in the groups I GM:

D&D3.5 - Wilderlands: 5
D&D3.5 - Áereth: 6
GURPS4e - Cabal: 3
GURPS4e - homebrew (fantasy pirates): 6
GURPS4e - Old West / Call of Cthulhu: 5

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Post by Eryx » Sat Jan 27, 2007 3:16 am

I have 5 players in my gaming group (not counting myself). I prefer 4-5 players but no higher than that.
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