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Author Topic: [Dust Devils] How many players?  (Read 3664 times)
Moreno R.
Member

Posts: 389


« on: June 03, 2008, 11:54:03 PM »

Hi!

I know some people who would like to try "Dust Devils". They told me so a few hours ago. I have the book and I wanted to play it for months, but with my usual group there is a very long waiting list for games to try. So I jumped to this chance and said that I would have gladly GM'd it for them.

I have some doubt about the number of players, though: only two. (plus the GM, me). We could find a third player, I think, but I am not sure. I checked the book but I didn't find the answer there. What is a "good" number of players for Dust Devils?

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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
Hans
Member

Posts: 576


« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2008, 09:25:23 AM »

Hi:

I've played with two players and myself as Dealer and had no problem.  The game often is a bit more "traditional" in feel than a game with more players, in that it is liable to me more "players vs. dealer" than "player vs. player" type story telling.  But the system works fine, and the stories don't seem to suffer for it. 

Hans
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Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2008, 09:34:35 AM »

I prefer Dust Devils with two + Dealer, actually. My favourite number. Three + Dealer is also good. Four is, frankly, a bit too many. I would choose another game, such as the Mountain Witch, if I had six people.
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Hans
Member

Posts: 576


« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2008, 10:21:44 AM »

I've ran it with as many as five + dealer and enjoyed it tremendously.  The only caveats with four or more players I would add are:

* make sure that the set up is almost entirely driven by interplayer conflict, not player/dealer conflict.  That way there is rarely a scene where only one of five players is involved.  Dealer vs. player with four or more players = at least one player being bored at any one time.
* be ready for monster uber-conflicts as you approach the climax of the game with 5 (or more) hands being compared.  In my experience it still works well, but it takes some experience to do it quickly and keep the story flowing.  Careful attention to who opposes who is crucial.
* play with two decks shuffled together because you WILL run out of cards with one deck in those monster uber-conflicts with only one deck.  I keep one deck for small conflicts (three or less participants) and two different colored decks shuffled together for larger conflicts (with one color designated as beating the other color to preclude ties) to save on shuffling.

Four + Dealer is my sweet spot, with three + Dealer a close second.
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2008, 12:34:12 PM »

I've played a game with 7. It was a bit goofy, but it did work. We had to stretch cards pretty far to make it work, in some cases requiring no one take Draw cards.

I tend to prefer game with 3-4 players and the dealer.

2 players + dealer is totally workable. The games will tend to be quick and deadly, I'm guessing. I've only run a game that small one time.

-Matt
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Moreno R.
Member

Posts: 389


« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2008, 09:05:12 PM »

I would like to thank everybody for their answers. I confirmed to the players that we will play. I am thinking of using "the Last trail" from the Dust Devils manual as the setup for the game: do you have any specific advice about running it as a one-shot?

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Ciao,
Moreno.

(Excuse my errors, English is not my native language. I'm Italian.)
Matt Snyder
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2008, 07:02:50 AM »

Hi, Moreno --

I have two pieces of advice for running The Last Trail.

First, you may consider simply letting the players portray the characters in the book, rather than having those characters as "supporting" characters. If you do, note that the two patriarchs (Harry McDougal and John Hobson) have more Scores than a typical player. You may want to tone those down. If memory serves, both have Scores of 15, rather than the usual 13.

Second, if you do run the game with original characters, make sure that players don't feel like supporting characters in the family feud situation. They need to get invested as protagonists having to choose between families in some way. Make it about THEM, rather than about the families.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
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