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Playing with 6 players + GM


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#1 Teppe

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 10:19 PM

 Hello there, 

our group (consisting out of 7 people in total) has played WFRP 1 and 2 for which we have all the background material. I did buy the base game box of WFRP3 some years ago but never really played it. We have been playing some Call of Cthulhu in the meanwhile but with advent of TEW for WFRP3 we are motivated to start the adventure in 3rd edition. 

My question for this forum however is whether somebody has played the game with 6 players? Is this doable in v3? And which extensions do I ideally need (player vault or GM vault?) or should I just use the fan-based software to create duplicates of the most interesting cards? And which ones would that be? 

Thanks in advance, 

Teppe



#2 nephtys

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 10:28 PM

i currently have a group of up to 8 players, most of the times there are between 5 and 7 players present at any given session. i must say it get hard to manage more than 5 players at a time as combat gets really slow, especially when you only have one set of dice. i do have like 5 or 6 additional dice sets on hand, which gathered from all over the globe, whereever available.

it is generally a good idea to make copies of the most wanted cards, depending on your gorup. with the core set i think you might have a pretty limited array of cards.
which characters will the gorup consist of? then it is easier to determine which set might be a must have. the GM vault is only nice because of the GM screen, but you can use any other with the fan material for GM screens, which is alot better than the actual one.

i think the player's vault has some dice coming with it, so it is definitely worth a shot, you you might wanna double check on that.

to do away with all those basic actions any character gets, just use Gitzman's advanced character sheet, it has all the info you need to play on it, doing away with carreer card, basic actions and so forth.

 

generally it might be difficult to master such a big group, but if you have done it before with other games your only problem might be the missing dice. maybe you create stickers of the symbols on the dice and put them over your normal dice, that also creates you custom dice. that's how we did it when no other were available.

so, if you have a more clear idea and what your players will play we can say more i think



#3 Yepesnopes

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 11:49 PM

 I am not as enthusiastic as nephtys, but this is a matter of personal experience and what do you expect from a rpg.

We are 9, I am the GM of a group of 8 players. From my experience the game mechanics are clearly developed to play with 3 - 4 players and maybe 5, but hardly more. Let me list a few issues that will arise in your "big" party of PCs.

-In combats you will likely have to redefine /limit the concept of engagement.

-Since monsters of the same type share dice pools and action card recharge rates, your encounters with groups of NPCs will be less challenging respectively to those faced by groups of 3 - 4 PCs, unless you also tweak this rule.

-The game has a little number of skills as compared to other games and they have a broad field application (the good thing of this is that all the skills are very useful). This fact together with the fact that in 3rd edition PCs start at a very high level of proficiency and they evolve extremely fast, means that your party will find little or no challenge at all outside combat encounters once they reach 10 xp or so (that is 10 sessions of gaming). The only way you have to change this within the games mechanics is either to have a non-balanced party (i.e. a combat oriented party) or to rise the challenge levels systematically (which will "damage" the world consistency).

-As a side effect of the above point, you will have characters which overlapping proficiency fields. The following archetype of PCs are likely to overlap in some areas: the wizard and the scout, the archer and the rogue, or the priest and the charlatan /noble. If this is not a problem for your party, pay no attention to it, but in my group it has created some unhappiness /frustration in between my players.

-Cards should not be a big problem if you have Strange Eons or a Scanner and a printer. But be prepare because there are some action cards which are comparatively better than others and many of your PCs will like to have them, you will need to do copies of them.

…I know I am missing something but now I cannot remember. If it comes to my head I will post it.

One last thing, if you have players which tend to play rpgs in a "munchkin" style, hold your pants because wfrpg is munchkins paradise. Even if your players are not typically "munchkins", it is difficult no to use some of the small bugs the game have in the form of talents, action cards or fortune dice.

Well, after all this "negative" things about the game, let me tell you also that we do enjoy the game! but in my opinion it requieres some tweaks.


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#4 Emirikol

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:45 AM

Teppe said:

our group (consisting out of 7 people in total) has played WFRP 1 and 2 for which we have all the background material. I did buy the base game box of WFRP3 some years ago but never really played it. We have been playing some Call of Cthulhu in the meanwhile but with advent of TEW for WFRP3 we are motivated to start the adventure in 3rd edition. 

My question for this forum however is whether somebody has played the game with 6 players? Is this doable in v3? And which extensions do I ideally need (player vault or GM vault?) or should I just use the fan-based software to create duplicates of the most interesting cards? And which ones would that be? 

,

Teppe,

I've run it for 6, at a game convention, with all n00bs.  Here are the crucial issues regarding running with 6:

*  It works best if you reduce the clutter on the table first:

1) have players write their talent sockets on their character sheet and remove the career card and sheet from the table if you want more room.

2) Give each player a print out of the basic action sheet (from FFG wfrp downloads).

 

* Extra dice are almost mandatory.  If you have people with smart phones, they can get the handy dandy dice app for a couple bucks.

 

*  Make sure each player is familiar with how to put dice pools together QUICKLY.

* get each player a handout of 1) the dice symbol meanings, 2) list of maneuvers

 

jh

 

 

..



#5 Teppe

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 06:55 AM

Thanks for the input everyone. So the major issues would be:

- Too few dice ==> buy some extra. I will see if I can find some. 

- Too much clutter ==> go for Gitzmans character sheet.

- Increases too fast ==> I will check what I can do. 

- Overlap of abilities ==> could be handy as on some evenings there are quite some people missing so it won't break the game.  

- Missing cards ==> strange eons. 

This seems doable, only the increases will be difficult I'm afraid. 

Depending on the career/race choices of the players some extensions might be needed. And no real need to buy extra boxes, only extra dice are interesting so it seems.

Thanks a lot everyone



#6 Emirikol

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:24 AM

Here's one tip that will save you a lot of headaches:  Get the PDF or hardcover of the Player's Guide.

 

Your players will thank you.  They can then work on their characters OUTSIDE of your house :)

 

jh



#7 Amehdaus

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 01:28 PM

Great tips all-around.  As my play sessions have hit 12 players, I think I might chime in here. A few tricks I've used, lately:

Parallel plot structure. Let the players split evenly (at 12, mine are split between 2 party cards) to investigate and explore. If a combat breaks out due to one sub-groups actions, fate will find the other group in a combat at well, with every player on the same initiative. Ultimately both groups should be working towards the same goal, but different specializations allow different routes. A simple tracker with 2 (or more) tokens can show the players how far along their subgroup is on that aspect of the plot.

Encourage competition. Encourage players to have personal goals aside from the obvious plot. This can be a headache for the GM, but it can also be an opportunity for players to interact with each other in-character while they are not the focus of the play. This sort of personal goal also allows you to place another player, not affected by the exchange, to be put in a charge of an NPC with a list of desires/information/characteristics and lets the two go off and still play, while not the focus. Just have the NPC player for scene check off what information they gave away so you can keep track of what players know. This requires book keeping between games, but allows players to stay entertained in-session.

DM Aid. In many cases, it helps to have a player as a DM aid for a social encounter. Usually, a player you speak of the game with outside of table hours. If they are willing to set their own character aside for a night or even just a scene it both removes the scale of the players and gives you a helping hand organizing. Most players love to have an idea of what's happening behind the screen. Be ready to compromise with this, however. The DM Aid needs be comfortable with what he says and not always look to you. When you can, make sure all players know that the DM Aid has all the power and say of the DM for purposes of that scene -- and make sure the Aid is comfortable/trustworthy not to derail anything.

Dice Roller App. There's a dice roller app. While I hate the idea of digital dice -- they're just not as visceral and satisfying as real dice -- they free up dice at the table and are available on any smart phone. This also has the downside of people having their phones out during a session, but overall it has benefitted my group.

Turns Outside Combat. Keep a table handy with all the character names. Choose a player to lead a scene and his character will take spotlight. He may invite other characters into the spotlight to participate and fully resolve a scene/sequence. Check them off for the "round." Find another player and do the same, ensuring every player has at least had the opportunity to be engaged in a scene before coming back around.  It really helps to think of the WFRP timing system as "how long the camera is focused on your character before cutting away to another scene." Ensuing scenes acted out can be concurrent or sequential as the leading player desires.

Note Companions. In a large group, some players will group together more consistently than others. You can account for this during preparation, pre-empting how the group will split for discussions and small tasks.

1-Minute Hourglass. I got mine from a Yahtzee game. I keep it handy during combat, flipping it at the start of a player's turn. If the time runs out before they have acted at all, their turn in last. If it runs out after they've started, it costs them a maneuver. It helps keep combat moving and provides a visual queue to act rather than ponder.

In-fighting. I like it, but not every table does. I discourage directly killing within the party, but sharing misleading information is enjoyed. Keeping cards at 1 copy per playgroup helps encourage diversity of characters and also encourages in-fighting. After all, that thief has *all* the cool attacks and should he not be informed the museum is guarded by vicious dogs, there's a chance those cool cards will be freed up, soon.

Keywords. Be aware of all the characters' 4 keywords. Overlapping keywords quickly show you where the party specializes. A lot of Military means there should be more combat encounters to show off skills. A lot of Noble and Academic careers had best shun combat and shouldn't be forced into one.

Beware. One player's action can greatly affect the whole direction of the plot -- i.e. lighting Ascaffenberg's manor on fire. This is always a concern, but moreso with more players. It is one thing to derail a party of 4 and have 3 angry glares. It is another to anger 7 other players who each had a careful plan of action that will never be. Make sure you have a plan for plot derailment to ensure everyone can enjoy the session even with a radical change. If your players have communicated their upcoming goals, try to work in a way that they can still be accomplished with a few alterations.

Physical Props. These haven't been provided as well as they might in the books. But, having an illiterate character find a written note, and having to pass it to another PC to read aloud is a great way to add some immersion at the table and listening to the player-provided information is a nice way to engage everyone at the table, especially as they discuss the ramifications.

Finally, Seating. With a lot of players, I feel seating is an important aspect of ensuring a smooth session. Players who tend to be more involved in the game should be seated further away from the GM. If they are close to the GM, it becomes to easy for a discussion to happen that leaves out all the players at the table. Such exchanges are usually the best to keep a plot on track and won't have to be repeated after. Make sure to scatter system-knowledgable players so that when a question arises, a player can turn left or right to resolve an issue more quickly and without affected the flow of the session.  Try to place any quiet players closer to remind you they are there. I find in the heat of a night, it's quite easy to skip over a player who is more timid and that's less fun for everyone involved.






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