16 thoughts on “How does DW handle large groups of players?”

  1. I have ran for 7 before. It’s not terribly difficult you just have to make sure you manage the spotlight a bit more so everyone gets their time. Otherwise it’s no different than a 4 player game.

  2. I’d allow things like different races of the same class or multiple clerics of different faiths. If some are temp players in the game for some sessions, give them a slightly more detailed hireling to play. Also many other classes are cheap on places like drivethrurpg too.

    Another thing is to split the groups to keep them <6 so people can play plus not get lost in the crowd.

  3. As a player, I have found that more than 4 is irritating, more than 5 pretty much means there are going to be people left out of the story, and more than 6… I just give up and don’t want to play.

    As a GM, you might think you can juggle 6+ on a table, but if you were one of the players, you would see the problem very, very clearly.

  4. I think 4 is the sweet spot, but we have successfully run DW with up to 8. It certainly requires more work on the GM’s part and players need to have some patience, but I think it is one of the most scalable of the PbtA games.

  5. I perfer 3-4 for campaign play at home but I always run for 6 at conventions. To run for a large group you need to really keep the players busy, make sure the action is fast and keep people engaged. 

    I do a couple of things to for large groups:

    I only prep a brief intro and enough questions for each player to answer one (no open-ended questions, multiple choice instead).

    I try to ensure that I address each player directly once every 5 minutes, minimum.

    I eliminate things that pull me away from engaging the players; I “eyeball” hit points (instead of taking time to track them), I don’t take notes (if it’s a one-shot), I don’t use any material I’ll need to reference during the game. You might not think about it but GM’s spend a tremendous amout of time “behind the screen”. Even if it’s only a minute or two it really adds up and breaks the momentum. With a large group you have to keep the momentum up.

    Another thing that helps is to keep the players focused by forcing them to react to things all the time (What do you do?). This is obviously a key element for any Dungeon World game but really important with large groups. It’s much eaiser to wrangle a herd of players when they are responding to a similar circumstance than when they are left to their own devices.

    Hope some of this is useful.

  6. We have not had any issues running a campaign with a larger group.  Based on all the feedback, I guess it will depend on the group and your play style.

  7. Matt Smith hit the nail on the head; fine for one-shots but for a truly great campaign experience 3 or 4 seems to be the sweet spot.

  8. Ended up with 6 players. Keeping in mind this was the first time any of us played it, it went very smoothly. So smooth that everyone agreed it was some of the best combat in any game we’ve played to date. I had no problem keeping everyone engaged and no one waited more than a few minutes for the spot light.

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