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#1 muzzyman1981

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 05:21 AM

Unfortunately it seems I am the only one willing to run a game and we have ALOT of people wanting to play...there are actually more than 8 people wanting to play but being as this is my first roleplaying game where it's MY world 8 is more than enough.

Any suggestions on making the game go as smoothly as possible with this many people?



#2 HappyDaze

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 05:44 AM

Deathwatch is one of the few games where that number of players is unlikely to be a problem.  Space Marines by their nature tend to overlap a lot, so it's less likely that you'll have too many complaints about that, and you might even avoid the special snowflakes problems that tend to appear more in large groups (as someone just has to try and stand out - usually in a bad way for the group dynamics).


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#3 muzzyman1981

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 06:15 AM

Ok cause my biggest concerns was a) people not getting enough play time cause there are just so many people at the table and b) how to make the game tough without being able to one shot even a Space Marine.



#4 KommissarK

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 06:15 AM

As HappyDaze said, this is probably one of the few systems alot of people isn't too terrible in.

Of course, there are still going to be some issues.

1. How would you rate the groups knowledge of 40k? I would assume the large interest means you got quite a few people who always wanted to play 40k rpgs, just didn't like the acolyte/rogue trader setting. Are you considered the most "knowledgeable" in the setting? My point is, it really undermines the GM when players start correcting them on minor details. So be prepared to just tell them whats what, or make use of your knowledge of the setting.

2. Combat speed. 8 players (and 1 GM) means that every time one person gets their turn, they have to wait for 8 more people to act (remember the GM does something as well), before it is their turn again. That can be a long time, especially if people are unfamiliar with the rules, or spend time trying to figure out the best course of action. I wouldn't go so far as to implement a time limit, but I would ostracize those who take too long. In combat conditions, even the best warriors in the Imperium don't have 30 minutes to figure out the optimal course of action. Encourage players to know what they are doing by the time their turn comes around. You yourself should also be prepared to describe what your hordes and NPCs are up to. If there is an argument over the rules, just roll off on it, or find some middle ground and apply that. The key is speed. You don't want players pulling out laptops and starting up <internet addiction substance here>.

3. Spotlight: this is obvious, just try to make sure everyone has something special about them, or at least are doing something. If someones just sitting there, ask them what their character is doing. part of this, is you don't want to ignore someone for 30 minutes, and then get to a point and ask "Hey, wheres Brother <generic name>us?"

4. Difficulty - 8 space marines eat danger and crap victory. If things seem easy, ramp it up. For any pre gen scenario from FFG, I would at least up the horde mag by 25%, and add more NPCs to smaller encounters. Don't be afraid to kill a character, there are 7 more. And if they recover his GS, he gets a bonus (2 if he pulls off that heroic sacrifice deal)

Other tweaks: I might consider upping their base cohesion, just to allow more players to actually activate squad mode abilities, maybe +2 or 3. Also, I would probably try to make it so that each character has a diff armour history (just for the sake of variation).



#5 muzzyman1981

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 06:23 AM

Awesome ideas, I will definately keep all this in mind.

As far as my knowledge, out of all the players maybe 2 have my level or more....most are interested in Space Marines and 40k but not to the degree myself and some others are (I'm also the local "40k expert" for TT as well =P).



#6 Lochtain

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 09:03 AM

Great tips from KommissarK.

 

Also, keep in mind that you are the GM. Any dispute, whether over fluff or rules, is your call! Don't let them boss you into anything. :)



#7 Santiago

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 11:34 AM

 Eight people can be fun, especially when playing Deathwatch...

I would have the players divide themselves into 2 fireteams, most of the team on a mission have them race towards different objects.



#8 Santiago

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 11:34 AM

Oops, double post...



#9 muzzyman1981

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 12:27 PM

You think it would be wise to do two fireteams?  Seems to me that while you are dealing with one the other team would be sitting there twiddling their thumbs.  I think having one would let things progress at a better pace than flip flopping between two IMO



#10 Kagra

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 02:15 PM

 I'd have them split into two, while working together to get things done. Things like pincer manouvers and such, or one is more for fire support and things of that nature. So, you could have two leaders, working in tandem with different tactics, and you can use pieces of paper to pass information between the groups, and between the GM and groups. So, instead of just focusing on one group at a time, you set up things in advance where you can just give them a piece of paper or give a small description of their points of view on what's going on.



#11 Ariolan

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 07:25 AM

Eight players is a lot, even apart from the "cobweb" problem the good Commissar mentioned. You will have eight people itching to activate demeanours once per session, taking, hrm, 10 minutes per man or some 90 minutes just on the roleplaying side. Any combat with more than a couple of rounds will take at least an hour (2 minutes per turn per player if everyone is reasonably knowledgeable about the rules and disciplined enough not to disagree with you, that is, 20 minutes per combat turn - Any given encounter should be good for some three turns, that's  an hour per fight).

In planning your (predesigned) adventure, you can pretty decently estimate how you will progress - at snail's pace, depending on how much time you have per session. The problem will also arise of attention decay, since you can not possibly keep eight people engaged in the action all the time, so it will be noisy and you will have to exert a lot of leverage to get everybody on track again. That's why I'd say it's an experienced person's job, and a tough one to boot. All is not lost, of course, maybe you can consider enlisting one of the (more experienced?) players as an GM's aide, helping to speed up the combat by processing fights with you - that means everybody can act at least once every ten minutes (4 per "GM"), which, IMHO, increases attention and decreases cob effect.

Personally I think roleplaying with any more than 5 or six people in a room gets sidetracked too easily, and the only realistic option is pouring in many fights - and yes, in this (WH40K) case this is might indeed be a viable option.

If for some reason, you and the players end up finding the game lacking in dynamics, remember it has all to do with time management and less with the game per se.



#12 muzzyman1981

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 10:07 AM

I agree.  I will let everyone know how it turns out =)



#13 FatPob

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 11:47 PM

8 is a lot for any RPG, and the tips above will help.

First is if you are Gen the characters, summarise talent combat abilities with options vs hordes and non hordes. This will reduce player decision time, plus stop constant reference to the book.

Don't give Req Points, simply list what is available, and have the players take what they want and distribute limited stock items amongst themselves.

Ensure the "Leader" knows the squad rules, and make sure he knows which Oath and therefore abilities they will be using.

It may be worthwhile rooting out that copy of Genesteler/SpaceHulk game and knocking together a map, some objectives and fill it with tyrinid/orks etc.  Though this takes it more BG esque, it will give a defined parameter of play, as well as allow the RP side to flow.

It will certainly give a focus, as with 8 almost always those waiting or not involved will start discussing simpsons/lost/[program/film here].



#14 ejacobs

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 12:44 AM

I say do it.

Have fun with it.

I ran a WFRP game, v2 with at one time, 11, PC's.  What a PITA that was, but the players still had fun, and I did because of it.  Play fast and loose with the rules with that many players, keep the action flowing by having the players describe what they're doing then go with it.  If it is epic, let it go without dice or with minimal dice. 

That many marines should mean huge hordes, but the epic tales of victory will be EPICALLY EPIC!

Good luck.

Let us know how it goes.

 

E



#15 muzzyman1981

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 11:52 AM

I'm planning on dice rolls but not a ton....my players did put alot of time into who their characters are but most of the time its gonna be how many wounds/magnitude rather than if they hit or not and most social things will be roleplay rather than rolls unless its a huge shift in story or a major character.



#16 Brother-Sergeant Cloten

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 11:35 AM

 Man, I'd be intimidated with that many people in one group. However, here's what I would do:

Delegate a crapload of work.

One guy gets to track Initiative in combat.

Someone else has to track Cohesion, Squad and Solo Mode abilities, and Squad Cohesion distance.

Someone else has to track enemy HP.

Another player is assigned to the Critical Charts, and has to look up all of the crits (Man, I wish these were on a GM screen).

Another player is in charge of modifiers. He looks up modifiers and gives those out, so the GM doesn't have to (but can override).

That leaves two players. One of them gets to run allies, and the other one either runs allies, or can take charge of important enemies (like a Warrior in the horde of tyranids). 

 

Your division of labor might be different, based on your needs and your player's skills and inclinations. With 8 players, there is going to be a LOT of down-time and very little spotlight time for each player. Give all of them something else to do, so that they don't drift off to the TV, mobile phone, or video game. This also off-loads a lot of GM work for you, so you can keep the ball rolling and keep things interesting.



#17 Tidomann

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 06:05 AM

I just found out that my group may be increasing from 4 to 6 players! 6 is a pretty good number- but I'm going to have to learn to tweak the adversary numbers and strength accordingly. Let me know how your game with 8 players go. Could use these tips and any others :)



#18 Meph

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 07:42 PM

I'd say; don't do it, never.

3 people is great, 4 is better, 5 is the max, 6 is possible but pushing it. Any more than  that and you're better of playing DOW2 in LAN... With 8 people it will be impossible to do any sort of decent roleplaying and it'll just turn into a boardless boardgame with lots and lots of shouting....



#19 spustard

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 06:08 AM

We did the character sheets for the game that I'm going to be GM for last week.

I stumbled across this thread and thought, "8 players? Blimey that's a lot". Then had a look at all the character sheets I had to type up and realised I've got 8 players for my game too!

I don't think all 8 will be able to make it to each session, but it's going to be fun trying to work out how to make things work. I like the idea of them, somehow, getting split into 2 groups. Might make it so that the assault/ranged teams somehow get split, then pop up some nasty melee enemy near the ranged chaps and give the assault fellas a set number of rounds to try and get to them to help them out.

I'm looking forward to the challenge to be honest



#20 muzzyman1981

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 05:41 PM

Well the game is done and it went great.  To begin though, I did not have 8 players tonight which is kind of what I expected and why I agreed to have that many people in my game.  Out of the original 8 only 4 showed up, one is sick, one had a more important obligation to a family member that he had to take care of and the other two just didn't come to the game, but I was able to get a 5th to play and I have more "in line" to take the 6th slot.

The pacing went pretty good considering most, if not all, were not completely familiar with the system or the character they played (the added 5th player used the Librarian that one of the no-shows created but made a character for the next session for himself).

All in all it went really well and I'm pleased to say that I am very pleased about the game and excited at the possiblities, although admitedly nervous on taking on creating my own missions for them as it seems to be a very deep process to get all the objectives, NPCs, worlds, etc in place and "alive" to make it an enjoyable game for my players.

I would very much like to continue to accept advice/help from anyone to help me make this the best possible game for my players that it can be.






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