So, Tavernites, I come to you for aid!
tl;dr: My group is 7 players of wildly varying class power levels, making it difficult to balance “encounters”.
Firstly, I’m aware that 7 players is probably too many for a DW game. I’d run with 6 previously, and I still felt that my attention was stretched around, so I was apprehensive about taking 7. At the time, I was trying to simplify things for other groups by taking on extra players myself… mea culpa. I find that there are enough people that, no matter how highly statted the monster, someone will barely have a chance to react to it before it dies. Last session they took down a 12 foot tall lumbering golem of solid iron – one player took three damage. That’s it.
Secondly, my class distribution is all over the place. After using the (frankly brilliant) Funnel World rules, I left players to choose from my rather extensive collection of classes. As a result, we ended with a Fighter (Peerless version), a Survivor, a Muscle, a Thief (City version), a Dashing Hero, a Channeler and a Skirmisher. You may be able to see where the problem lies – the first three classes are hard-as-nails god-men, and the others are mostly normal people. The only magic user is running off a low stat, meaning his impact is also low. Ideally I’d like to divide the party into two and give them different opponents in the same fight, but I don’t want to remove their autonomy.
Thirdly, I’ve always not liked making moves “when given a golden opportunity”. It ALWAYS seems cheap to me to say “take some damage” or “drop your sword” when there’s no input from the players at all. Does anyone else feel like this? EDIT: This obviously makes it difficult to artificially increase difficulty of encounters on the fly.
To summarize, is there any advise anyone can give to remedy this? My players seem to be enjoying themselves for now, but I’m constantly GMing at full speed just to keep up with them.