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Cutting down a group...

Started by Buddha Nature, May 04, 2002, 02:35:13 AM

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Buddha Nature

So this isn't so much of an Actual Play question as a Soon-to-be Actual Play question:

My group of gaming buddies is about eight strong.  We usually game with 5-6.  I am planning on running a Sorcerer game, which almost everyone says maxes out at 4 and is really only managable at 3.  I am planning on running it Narrativist style (which is its default really).  For the most part gaming is a social thing for us, but if I run Sorcerer I want it to be roleplaying and not just an excuse to joke around.

So here's my question: How do I cut the group down to three players w/o making people feel left out?

I have a couple people I think would be best suited for the game, but how to go about it?  Do I so it on the down-low and just talk to them individually and game in secret?  Do I say to everyone "hey I have a game I want to run, but I can only run it with three people and it is going to focus on roleplaying and not roll-playing."  Or should I set it up such that I would run the small group of Sorcerer and everyone (who wanted to) could play in some other game (hopefully using something like The Framework to parcel out the work)?

-Shane

Daredevil

Heya,

I hear you. I have basically the same problem and it took a long time to figure out how to fix this. At least IMHO, the way to do it is to run a few different games. Especially with a more narrativist approach you can cut down on the work of the GM and actually manage them both/all.

Fabrice G.

Hi Shane,

I really think it fundamentally depends upon your realationship with your friends...but, i'll still propose you something.

IMO, one thing that may work is simply talking about Sorcerer and telling them that it's not really suited to play with more than 3-4 players, but be sure to explain them why.
This way, the players will know:
1) what is the game about, and you'll already have discussed the narativist persepctive with them.
2) that the choice is really a playability matter, and not another way to skrew some of them.

The ultimate solution...8 players, huh ! make two gaming groups !!! ;)

Fabrice.

Blake Hutchins

There ain't no silver bullet here, friend.  I can relate (boy howdy, can I), but this is one throwdown where you're gonna have to make your choice:  run two games with your group split between 'em, run one bloated and likely doomed game with all eight, or (my pick) tap the three friends who most likely make up the best fit for Sorcerer, then run the game you WANT to run.

On a more practical note, you might take the following approach with the non-picked friends: you're trying something different that requires smaller numbers, and that it's a kind of experiment that you think they wouldn't care for.  If they-the-unpicked protest, show them Sorcerer, maybe let 'em watch, and see if they'd like to run their own game.

Best,

Blake

Ron Edwards

Hi Shane,

Blake is right, but I think I shall articulate his point more in my own fashion.

We can't do this for you. "How do I cut the group down to three players w/o making people feel left out?" This is unanswerable. We have no control over how people are going to feel.

And you know what? Neither do you. You can do X, you can do Y, you can stand on your head, you can send them singing telegrams ... and they're gonna feel how they're gonna feel about whatever it is.

So I say Bag It. Act according to your own standards of courtesy and fairness, set up the game with the people you want to play with, and let them sort out their feelings as they will.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. People who'd get all bent out of shape regarding friendship when the issue is inclusion in a recreational activity are not your friends in the first place.

Best,
Ron

Buddha Nature

I wasn't looking for The Answer (tm), mostly I was just looking for suggestions and "this is how I did it" ideas.

What I am thinking is that I will tap the three players for Sorcerer and (although I don't own it yet) run Inspectres for the bigger group (which in all honesty rarely bloats to its eight person size) since AFAIK has low overhead in the GM-prep department but is still fun for everyone involved.

-Shane

PS: Ron I am currently reading/relationship mapping The Galton Case.

Paganini

Quote from: Buddha Nature
What I am thinking is that I will tap the three players for Sorcerer and (although I don't own it yet) run Inspectres for the bigger group (which in all honesty rarely bloats to its eight person size) since AFAIK has low overhead in the GM-prep department but is still fun for everyone involved.

One possibility, depending on how often your game runs, is to just do the Sorcerer game as an extra session. If your group usually meets on Thursdays, go ahead and have your Thursday game, and run Sorcerer on Saturday. (Or whatever)

That way, your regular players won't feel like they're being ejected. You could even explain your gameplay issues and invite them to watch the Sorcerer game. They might be more suited to that playstyle than you think, and if they are you could have them play in the next game.

Of course, these are just suggestions. You'd have to tailor them to fit your specific needs, but I think that this is how I'd do it.

Buddha Nature

Yeah this was kinda my thinking for a bit...  The group is currently playing a GURPS game which I was a part of very briefly until life interfered and as such I have not played for about 14 weeks (of a weekly game).  I am unsure how long the GM is going to keep it up so what I was thinking was starting the Sorcerer game, as you suggested, on the side with the three people (if they can spend the time) on another night/weekend.  Then when the GM (who would be one of my players actually) was done with his run I could see where the Sorcerer game was and maybe just run Inspectres as mentioned above...

-Shane