I recently had a bit of difficulty with 6 players in a Shadowrun hack that I am working on. This also with 6+ players on keeping it flowing and providing some equal treatment for the players, so I developed this: (I welcome critique/refining)
Spotlight System for Dungeon World/ Shadow*World
This is a system that I am developing for larger games, generally over 4-5. Up to 8 should be able to use this system fine. I encountered a little difficulty in keeping things flowing and keeping track of who hasn’t gone recently in a large group, basically 6 or more players. So I have come up with the Spotlight terminology. This requires a bit of set up:
Set up tools
· Center Stage Bowl: Large Bowl for holding the Token, this will be called the Center Stage Bowl. When the GM places a player on the spot they are taking center stage and must place their Spotlight Token in the Center Stage Bowl.
· Spotlight Token: This is a coin or token labeled Spotlight. Each player should have only 1. When the GM passes you the Center Stage Bowl and puts the player on the spot, he is center stage and must place his Spotlight Token in the bowl.
· Shared Spotlight Token: This is a secondary token that is given to the players. It is placed volentarily into the bowl when another player has the Center Stage Bowl.
Process of the Game
1. The Game Master describes the scene and then turns to a Player and gives them a Soft Move, asking “What do you do?”, that player is the Spotlighted Character.
2. The Game Master passes the Center Stage Bowl to the Player and they are on the spot with a conflict to be resolved.
3. The Spotlighted Player is the person that is in the Spotlight at this moment. It is his conflict to take care of. So he places his Spotlight Token in the bowl.
4. The Player can ask for a re-iteration of the scene, maybe some details but if he asks much more than that he is using his Spotlight moment to fully examine the scene. Often this is ignoring the action at hand and giving the GM a Golden Opportunity to use a Hard Move or bring a Soft Move into play that could affect another player or affect the Spotlighted Player directly. It is also the Game Master’s opportunity to describe what is going on and have things happen that the player may be unable to stop or need to jump in on.
5. If any other Player is near enough or is a part of the same scene they may toss their Shared Spotlight Token in the Stage Bowl as well. This gives the other player an opportunity to describe how it goes along with the action at hand. Or even defend or help out if the main character that is on the Spotlight. If the other player doesn’t have a Shared Spotlight Token they may put in their Spotlight Token instead and if the Spotlighted Player does not do anything active about the question then the other player takes over the Stage.
6. Once the conflict is resolved, the GM, empties the Center Stage Bowl and will use the narrative to flow to the next logical person, describe more of the action on a personal basis and make another person the Spotlighted Character, passing them the Center Stage Bowl. If they do not have their Spotlight Token they may use their Shared Spotlight Token. If they have neither then the Center Stage may be passed to someone that does and they are taking over.
7. Once all of the Spotlight Tokens from each player are collected they and any Shared Spotlight Tokens are passed back to the players.
8. If a player doesn’t spend their Shared Spotlight Token then they still have it, if they have the retrieve it back at the same time the Spotlight Tokens are passed back.
9. Once all the tokens are back, start back up with one, most likely choosing another person to start, following the narrative but attempting to give everyone a starting Center Stage.