Anyone have experience running multiple groups? And has anyone been able to GM for more than 4 people?

Anyone have experience running multiple groups? And has anyone been able to GM for more than 4 people?

Anyone have experience running multiple groups? And has anyone been able to GM for more than 4 people?

Since I started GMing, our group has grown to a sizeable number, to the point where people fight to be in the games. How can I allow for more people to play without destroying the dynamic that comes from a small group?

And I wouldn’t mind running multiple groups, but that’s a lot more prep for me. Any advice on streamlining prep, or re-using material? Any good supplements to recommend?

12 thoughts on “Anyone have experience running multiple groups? And has anyone been able to GM for more than 4 people?”

  1. I know it might be a little more prep for you, but the wonderful part of DW is the ‘play to find out’ rule.  If you don’t mind running smaller groups, have your players kind of meet ‘In a tavern’ ducks

    Of course, do this after the current thread has resolved and your group comes back to town for downtime.  Let them discuss, as their characters, what they are going to do.  You probably have a couple of fronts already.  Perhaps one group wants to go after front #1 and the other is willing to investigate front #2.  Of course, you’ll be taking possible adventure fronts and creating campaigns fronts for each of them, but that’s fun as well.  In fact, after your first session with the new groups, you might come up with something else in your world that will be fun as an all encompassing front.  (shades of Doctor Who, here…. arcs within arcs within arcs….)

    On top of everything, you don’t have to have each front be exclusive to one party.  What happens with one group affects the whole world, right?  So, what happens when the big bad that one group fights is thought to be defeated, only to rear its head in the area where group 2 is…..

    Honestly, I’m not sure if this is helpful in the slightest.  I’m just brainstorming here for ya. ^_^  Good luck!

  2. James Kinnard  yeah, but that only works once. When one group decides to sack the town and head off into the forest, and the other decides to start a vigilante group and defend the town from dragons, then I’m stuck.

  3. Dungeon World is designed to play as a conversation…and a conversation with 7 participants is very challenging.

    First and foremost, with that many players explain to them that “This game is meant to be a conversation. There isn’t a structured initiative system, but instead help me make sure everyone is getting the spotlight.”

    In combat particularly, I usually like to keep the focus on a character by asking them a question (i.e. the Orcs are screaming and charging at you. What do you do?), let the player trigger a move and follow up with another question and triggered move.  Then I cut away to another character somewhere else in the action.

    If the players jump in, I let them, especially if it builds on one of the other characters moves.

    As for adventures, I would look to some of the old TSR adventures, perhaps the Slaver Series (A1 to A4). Those were tournament modules and meant to be played with quite a few people.

  4. I’m subbing for now. I didn’t read the comments (I’m in an hurry right now) but can’t see the problem: I used to run two different DW campaigns, three players in the first one, four players in the second one (not counting me, the GM). Different worlds, different PCs, different histories. It wasn’t a lot of work, you basically make up fronts taking inspirations from the answers your players gave you, so different groups mean different fronts and different world.

  5. Peter Johansen Whoa Pete, this is EXACTLY what I was looking for. very awesome. I was planning on using something like this with Planarch Codex. Any advice on organization or prep?

  6. I run multiple groups, always have. It was overwhelming with D&D and the amount of prep. I do very little prep work, jot odd notes when inspiration hits is about all. I run the games a lot more player facing than some might feel comfortable with. Meaning I take a lot of player input into what they want to do. One of our players likes to pretend I do more prep, but the rest are really enjoying the dynamic “let’s see what happens” environment. 

  7. David: As always, communication is key. Go to Obsidian Portal and build a wiki if you want to do this. Make a Google+ group so you can always be in communication. This way, people will know when they are available, who’s got an adventure idea, and when they can schedule things.

  8. I run 2 or more groups constantly. What I do is run the gmae with the least experienced group first, and work out the kinks with them because they dont really notice any problems then I run it again with the more experienced group.

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