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 Post subject: How do you handle large groups in 5' wide hallways?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 9:22 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:17 pm
Posts: 35
I'm planning to run a trial DCC game and using the module in the core rulebook. I noticed there were hallways only 5' wide. How do I organize such a tight fit? Will the PC's just line up shoulder to shoulder 3 wide and 5 deep , so that those in front can shield and allow those in back to survive?

With a recommended 15 PC's, I'm a bit worried because I only have 3 players right now so that means 5 PC's per player. Are these PC's all one big happy family or is each player running a faction of the village, like the Dead Rabbits vs the Bowery Boys vs the Short Tails?

For those that have DMed such sessions, any advice?

thanks

Alex


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 Post subject: Re: How do you handle large groups in 5' wide hallways?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:36 am
Posts: 525
The only piece of advice I give when space concerns are brought up: Measure a hallway in your house.

It's much less than 5' wide.

The only thing that makes a map of 5' squares seem "small" is that many RPGs give use rules that limit man-sized creatures to being 1 to a 5' x 5' space... giving us a 10' x 10' room that only 4 adult humans can stand in... precisely the size of my office, which contains two large desks with chairs and a bookshelf, and yet I can have my entire group of players (6 of them, plus me for 7 total people) come gather around and watch a youtube video... all while they stand comfortably.

RPG rules frequently toss out realism in favor of simplicity, this is one of those times... and all it actually does is result in taverns with ale rooms large enough to fit my 3 bedroom, 2 bath house into just so that a reasonably realistic number of patrons and staff can be shown on a map at 1 person per square.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you handle large groups in 5' wide hallways?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 10:33 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:44 am
Posts: 341
Blustar wrote:
I'm planning to run a trial DCC game and using the module in the core rulebook. I noticed there were hallways only 5' wide. How do I organize such a tight fit? Will the PC's just line up shoulder to shoulder 3 wide and 5 deep , so that those in front can shield and allow those in back to survive?


Combat in a narrow hallway is always brutal, here's how I do it:
(5ft hall) only the character in front has any room to fight, but they can retreat to let someone else move forward.
(less than 5ft hall, crawl-spaces, and chutes, etc.) only the character in front has any room to fight and they either win or die trying; what happens after that is always good for a few minutes of interesting Role Play as they survivors deal with the monster and the dead body in their way...

Quote:
With a recommended 15 PC's, I'm a bit worried because I only have 3 players right now so that means 5 PC's per player. Are these PC's all one big happy family or is each player running a faction of the village, like the Dead Rabbits vs the Bowery Boys vs the Short Tails?

For those that have DMed such sessions, any advice?

thanks

Alex


This is where player/DM creativity comes into action... the real answer is: what ever motivates them. The rival factions idea sounds fun, but considering that the funnel is supposed to be heavy on the body-count... Giving the players a reason to attack/hinder the other characters will up the carnage factor to new, and possibly even artistic heights. (or depths, depending on your perspective) :twisted:

(This is the generic motivator that I plan to use whenever I can't come up with anything else)
Considering that in the dark-ages and for much of human history, the peasantry has been considered less valuable to the Nobility than cattle and other livestock. If a Lord discovers that there is an old burial mound/tomb/etc. on their lands that is rumored to hold treasure; then they wouldn't hesitate to round up a bunch of the locals and force them to investigate...

Hope this helps

TheNobleDrake wrote:
The only thing that makes a map of 5' squares seem "small" is that many RPGs give use rules that limit man-sized creatures to being 1 to a 5' x 5' space... giving us a 10' x 10' room that only 4 adult humans can stand in... precisely the size of my office, which contains two large desks with chairs and a bookshelf, and yet I can have my entire group of players (6 of them, plus me for 7 total people) come gather around and watch a youtube video... all while they stand comfortably.


True, but give even one of those folks a broom handle to swing around, and several of the others are going to the hospital. There is the need to account for the space to maneuver and apply their weapon skills. Sure, four highly trained Roman legionaries could fight in a 5ft space (2 crouched with shields, the others with shield and sword/spear; but they train for a long time to be able to pull that off. :D


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 Post subject: Re: How do you handle large groups in 5' wide hallways?
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 6:38 am 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 2:41 pm
Posts: 2695
Location: San Jose, CA
Good advice above -- there are multiple ways to do it. Short answer is, you can be a stickler for realism or just run it "fast and loose." I usually allow 3 characters to fight in the front ranks, no more, but that's just me.

Also, don't forget about Luck scores when you're running masses of low-level characters. When the mindless monster charges, you don't have to figure out the battle map or do anything complicated to figure out who is targeted. Lowest Luck = the target for the monster's attack. When the trap springs and launches a flurry of six spears, who gets targeted? The six characters with the lowest Luck! And so on. Luck is designed in part to help the judge make decisions between characters.

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Joseph Goodman
Goodman Games
www.goodman-games.com


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 Post subject: Re: How do you handle large groups in 5' wide hallways?
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 8:57 am 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:46 am
Posts: 122
goodmangames wrote:
Also, don't forget about Luck scores when you're running masses of low-level characters. When the mindless monster charges, you don't have to figure out the battle map or do anything complicated to figure out who is targeted. Lowest Luck = the target for the monster's attack. When the trap springs and launches a flurry of six spears, who gets targeted? The six characters with the lowest Luck! And so on. Luck is designed in part to help the judge make decisions between characters.


A side effect of this approach is that the PCs with the highest luck tend to survive a funnel. New players often fuss about getting a low Luck score and an interesting effect on the birth augur table. Using Joseph's method above weeds out those characters anyway, and leaves players with characters with characters with luck to spare and spend in a pinch later.

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...unless the judge rules otherwise.

Steven Thivierge
Playtester and additional design for:DCC RPG.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you handle large groups in 5' wide hallways?
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 12:28 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:22 am
Posts: 21
When I ran my trial using the back of the book material, I made each player pick one of their characters to be a "front liner". Those that survive have the added benefit of also getting first dibs on the loot they find. Though the wealthy tax collector did take the loot that should have gone to his indentured servant...

Then as the rooms open up I make them pick more characters to occupy the now available spaces. spreading around the numbers (and thus the risk) more evenly.

I think this sort of method will become even more valuable as players learn the system and start trying to rig the game so their "power" character survives the 0-lvl adventure. Nothing says team work like staying in the back.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you handle large groups in 5' wide hallways?
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 12:59 am 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 2:41 pm
Posts: 2695
Location: San Jose, CA
Good idea. Random tip: when I'm playing with lots of PCs, I have each player arrange their character sheets to indicate party rank. Characters at the front of the party (like what you're describing) have their character sheet placed close to the center of the table (basically arm's reach from the player), while other character sheets are left closer to the players to indicate placement near the back of the party. It makes it easier to handle 15-20 characters -- the front ranks are visually the character sheets closest to the center of the table.

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Joseph Goodman
Goodman Games
www.goodman-games.com


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