I’m getting ready to run a 6-player one-shot this weekend.

I’m getting ready to run a 6-player one-shot this weekend.

I’m getting ready to run a 6-player one-shot this weekend. Half of my players have played Dungeon World with me before, but the other half are pretty much brand new to tabletops.

I’m pretty confident about getting everyone on the same page about how to play, but does anyone have any advice on how best to make sure everyone gets a chance to shine in the spotlight and/or doesn’t feel left out?

Asking pointed questions is obviously the way to go, but I was wondering if anyone else had any tips for running a large group one-shot. Thanks!

9 thoughts on “I’m getting ready to run a 6-player one-shot this weekend.”

  1. Talk to the experienced players, ask for their help. Discuss ahead of time what each of you feel “engagement” is, so everyone’s on the same page. Remember, it’s everyone’s responsibility to make the game fun, you’re just organizing the effort

  2. Big groups are a tough one for me. The biggest thing i can think of off the cuff would be to ask the experienced players to help manage spot light by always engaging another player in their actions.

    “I rush forward toward the goblin and slam my staff on the ground, preparing to cast a spell… magic missile! I feel kind of exposed out here…. The Fighter, can you cover me?”

    Get them to prompt the others to action in some way, to keep the moves snowballing, and to keep the action of lulling.

    And then acknowledge that behavior – “Wizard, cool! Roll + INT to cast those missiles. And Fighter, i’m curious… as soon as we resolve that cast, i’m gonna want to see what you do!”

    In a big group, the more one person talks, the less everyone else does. the goal is to minimize how much the GM is required to talk to keep momentum going. You should ideally frame the scene, voice NPCs, and adjudicate moves. Other than that, let the players do most of the heavy lifting pushing through the scenery.

  3. Along the lines of what Andrew Fish said, but in that case I’d actually get the Fighter to commit to a course of action now, before rolling the Wizard’s spell. If the Fighter ends up doing something that triggers a move (and they probably will, even if it’s just Aid), then roll both moves at once and resolve them in conjunction.

    I actually try to do this a lot, when there’s a “beat” in the action. Quick recap the scene and the momentum, then ask everyone involved what they do, lock in their actions, have everyone who’s rolling roll at once. Narrate the results in whatever order makes sense. Sometimes we’ll end up triggering a follow-up move (and resolving it) even before we narrate the results of someone else’s move.

  4. As someone who has run 6-player DW games several times, don’t do it. Spotlight for that many players is pretty tough. DW shines with 3-4 players. 5 max. I’d suggest splitting your game into two 3-player sessions

  5. I know people have run 6-player DW games and reported success, but I’m not one of them. I’d try to make smaller games too, especially since you’re concerned about spotlight allocation, which gets harder and harder the bigger the group gets.

    HOWEVER!  In my limited experience, one thing that larps do way way better than tabletop is keep everyone engaged, because interaction is typically player-to-player instead of player-to-GM. If I were going to try 6-player DW, I’d take that as my inspiration and try to design for maximum player-player interaction.

    As for how exactly to do that, I’ve got no idea. Maybe split the players into two factions who are at cross purposes but not in a fighty way.  Then when they encounter each other, shut up and let the players take the lead so that you’ve got that more inclusive player-player interaction.

  6. Like a lot of commenters I prefer to play with a maximum of four other players. That doesn’t really help you though.

    So what about some sort of physical spotlight prop? Like give each player a poker chip, or something else that’s small but visible. Have each player place it on the table where you can see it.

    After a player gets the spotlight for a bit, take the token from them (or have them hand it over) and move on to someone else. When everyone has handed over their token, give them all back out again and repeat the process.

    That way you’ll be able to quickly see who has and hasn’t had spotlight time yet.

  7. Thanks everyone for the comments!

    I really like these suggestions suggestions, getting my experienced players in on making sure the newbies get focus is fantastic; I brought it up to them and they’re on board with it.

    Also the token idea is great. I will do something similar by keeping a running tally of the players in my DM notebook and marking their names whenever I call on them or they speak up (just like a high school teacher lol).

Comments are closed.