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Sorceror Group Size

Started by Balbinus, August 31, 2001, 09:44:00 AM

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One of the interesting things with Sorceror to my mind is that the focus on the characters is so strong it is difficult to have too many of them.  What do I mean?  Quite simply that with two or three committed players the game is doable.  With five or six players, of varying ability, I'm not sure how practical it would be to run.  Has anyone tried running it with larger groups?

On a side note, it is also (IMO) particularly well suited to one-on-one play, has anyone tried that with it?
AKA max


Actually I almost exclusively play one on one games. As a player I like to be the center of attention, and as a GM I like to make the player feel he/she is the center of attention. Don't get me wrong, I do play in groups occaisonally. It's just not as much fun for me. (except games like rifts or ADnD) I've played Sorceror a few times, never with more than just me and one player and it's always been fun.


Ron Edwards


It's actually part of the rules to keep group size low, and in practice I've found three players to be ideal, at least for my style of play.

"Part of the rules" doesn't mean, of course, that one has committed some sort of sin by having lots of players. It does mean that I make no apologies for the system or premise being overwhelmed, exactly as anticipated, in that situation.

I will also state that Sorcerer is completely dismissive of the following assumptions:
- the more players involved, the better
- the longer and more indefinite the series of play sessions, the better

No one has suggested or proposed them on this thread, so I'm not making this point to refute anyone. I am raising the issue because these ARE widespread assumptions in role-playing culture, and breaking them on purpose is very jarring, to the extent that even people who've read the game sometimes can't really grasp that they are to be abandoned.



Reviewing my post I see I was a little unclear.  Sorceror is not designed for large group play, having difficulties doing so is not therefore a design flaw.  It is interesting, however, that group size is taken into account.

Sorceror is not the only game to do this.  DnD I would suggest assumes an optimal group size of around six players, the game runs into problems IMO with only two or three.

Of course, if a large group is what you have adapting Sorceror to it may be the only way to get to run/play the game.  Adapting it without destroying what you're trying to adapt is the tricky bit.

On Ron's other points, this is again part of what is interesting about Sorceror.  I agree that there is a general assumption that an open story arc (not that it's an arc if it's open) is better in some sense than a closed one.

I'm not sure that I agree there is an assumption that bigger is better.  My feeling (and it is little more than that) has always been that most games assume 4-8 players.  Very few games are designed or able to cope with more than that.

Interesting take on one-on-one play, FS.  Don't you find you lose a lot in terms of character interplay?
AKA max

Ben Morgan

On the contrary. A friend of mine ran a Vampire game with me one-on-one for almost a year, and it was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. If anyone feels like emailing me about it sometime, I'll be more than happy to ramble on and on about it, but I won't bore you all here with the details.

As a player, you are the sole focus of the GMs attention. This gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling you just can't get in the group thang (though what I've read re: Ron's GM style comes close). NPCs come alive like never before.

The only real downside to it, of course, is that it's a bit like performing a play with no audience. The two of you are the only ones who can enjoy it. In other words, there's a real cut-down on experiencing the game whilst in Audience Stance (which is something that a lot of people I know are ill-equipped to appreciate anyway).

-----[Ben Morgan]-----[]-----
"I cast a spell! I wanna cast... Magic... Missile!"  -- Galstaff, Sorcerer of Light