I'm going to dismiss some players.

Y.O.Morales

First Post
One question to the GMF:
Does a Game Master have the obligation to accept 8 players?

[Background Info] Back in the middle of March, a fellow Game Master decided to stop his campaign and asked me to recruit his 8 players for my upcoming campaign. I got convinced by him to abandon my original plan (less players) and so I started GMing with them. But the four sessions so far have been a nightmare for me: lots of things to keep track of, more preparation of game material, more stress, etc.[/Background Info]

The question above has been drilling my brain for the last 24 hours. I think that I've no obligation to keep administering the game for the eight of them, and so I want to call only four for the next game session and the rest of the campaign. But that will hurt some people and create tension in my buddy group. That sort of moral dilemma and pressure is creating in me a conflict of whether to dismiss some players or not.

So basically I would like more opinions on what should I do.
 
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Y.O.Morales

First Post
There are, of course, many benefits for myself as a GM and for the players I choose to play with.

1. Less players means less game material I have to prepare for them (I do make a lot of rules changes, handouts, feats, etc.).
2. Less players means less things to keep track of (the fighter's ready action, the wizard's entangle, etc.; now multiply that by 8). This reduces stress for me and allow me to lend more attention and time on the players that remain.
3. Less players means faster game sessions and the remaining players can get more things done in the adventure.

In my past campaign about 2 1/2 years ago, I had 5 players at most and we covered more things in a single session. Besides, there were less off-topic conversations, less waiting for other players, and in general more attention on the adventure.
 

Jdvn1

Hanging in there. Better than the alternative.
I see how you're obligated to do anything, here. Do what you think you'd enjoy more. It's a game about fun, not obligation.
 

Nightcloak

First Post
This would seem to be a reoccurring theme with DMs. Several here in the GMF have had similar issues in that the game wasn’t working for them and a player “issue” was involved. In fact, this is what inspired the description of “leader” in my Mission Statement. DMs end up being responsible for the players individually and as a social unit in addition to being responsible for that little detail knows as THE GAME. Not very easy at times…

The best advice I can give you is to remember one fact: You are a player too. You need to enjoy the game. If you don’t, then it will eat you from the inside out until it shows up in the game and something ugly happens. Take it from someone who was the DM 90% of the time since 79 and 99% from 99 until last year (two campaigns). I have been on “vacation” since then. I know from experience how things could go if you burn out… So don’t burn yourself out.

You need to do what is best for you. The million GP question is how do we remove four players from the game without costing you any friends?

1. Be honest. It worked for me.
2. See if any of the players have DM ambitions. He/she might just take several players off of your hands (then you can send them here ;))
3. If not, then you may need to make some tough choices. Your best bet is to determine a way of taking players that removes you from the process. Seniority, for example.
4. Ask the players what they think is fair. Let them help with the tough choices. If they really want to play, then they need to take some of the responsibility also and get involved. There is no reason you need to be the bad guy here.


Hope these thoughts help you out. Good luck.
 

Y.O.Morales

First Post
Thanks NC. You're an invaluable fellow GM.

You need to enjoy the game. If you don’t, then it will eat you from the inside out until it shows up in the game and something ugly happens.

The ugly thing is precisely beginning to happen (a.k.a my desicion to reduce the group). And in fact, I'm not enjoying the game. For the past four sessions, when Sunday was about to came, I got in my mind the idea of cancelling the session or not showing up. I even ended the last two sessions with a headache (not kidding). My girlfriend has been telling the same thing as you, but I still 'walk in circles' in this dilemma.

1. Be honest. It worked for me.
2. See if any of the players have DM ambitions. He/she might just take several players off of your hands (then you can send them here )
3. If not, then you may need to make some tough choices. Your best bet is to determine a way of taking players that removes you from the process. Seniority, for example.
4. Ask the players what they think is fair. Let them help with the tough choices. If they really want to play, then they need to take some of the responsibility also and get involved. There is no reason you need to be the bad guy here.

As for suggestion #1, I'm gonna do it. I'll call the players that will be left out and tell them the reasons for why, honestly.
@ #2: One of the players is thinking of running a mini-campaign in summer. Its still a few months away, but that's all we got besides my campaign.
 

Catavarie

First Post
Well there is always the killer DM way to get rid of them :D

But in all seriousness, you could just let the dice do the talking and have each of them roll and your top 4 rollers stay, that way no one can say that your "Playing favorites" since everyone gets equal opportunity and everyone is there to witness. But of course if the problem is deeper than the group just being "too big" and its with a certain player then the best thing to do is to just tell them straight out, yeah they might get upset and start talking crap, but if thats the kind of person they are I wouldn't want them in my game either. I've been a player in groups of 8+ and it always took forever for us to do anything, a single fight where we out numbered the enemy would last for hours simply because everyone wants to do something spectacular...the Storm archer wants to split his dual attack between two mobs, while the wizards all gather around their spell lists to try some fancy new combo, I usually played a fighter so my turn was more like "I hit it" then go grab a smoke, eat a snack, watch some TV in the other room, check to see how much longer I got till my turn,"Oh the Necro wants to try and raze the dead dracnid and command him as a pet?" go take a nap while the GM and necro argue as to wheither he has the ability or not, come back an hour later, "I hit it" Lather, Rinse, Repeat
 


Nightcloak

First Post
ChaosEvoker said:
Hmm...too chaotic with dice though.

Agreed.

Wolf handled this situation well with his group (If I remember correctly, he had to let two players go). Hopefully he'll swing in to explain it all...

*Poke* *Poke*


NC, is your Wisdom like 20 or something?

Na... The 20 is for 20+ years of DMing, that’s all. Managing people in a business environment has helped.
Mostly just a lot of listening and learning my friend.
 
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I agree that rolling is a bad idea. People will get hard feelings if you just ask them to quit, but people will get really bitter if they think that they had to give up something enjoyable just because of sheer bad luck.
What I when I had this exact same problem was to split the qroup in two. I chose another groups "team captain" and we chose who was in our groups. I'd also suggest that you keep in contact with this other group. "Guest DMing" appearances would always be fun, and also a good way of finding out what the other group is doing. Also, you and the other groups DM can work together, by floating ideas past each other, pointing out problems and solutions, etc. You can even have the two groups mix it up occasionally, or have a big "get together", with the two groups both on the same mission, but either competing or helping each other. Like of a race to see which group can get to an artifact first. Have both of them go different routes, and have different obstacles to overcome, with you and the other DM joint DMing.
 

capnfro

First Post
Similar Issue

I had a similar problem a while ago. I decided to bite off a bit more than I could chew and tried to run an 8 person game. Not only was the scheduling of games a pain, since we all had real jobs and people lived in 3 different cities, but getting ready for games just stopped being fun. There was also so much downtime during the games because of people chatting and not paying attention that it just wasn't fun anymore.

I tried splitting the groups but it was still crazy trying to get games scheduled and some of the players were still being a distraction. There was one of the players who wanted to DM. We split the group and it worked out much better. I have since vowed never to run a game with over 6 players on a consistent basis ever again.
 


Mr_GrinReaper

First Post
Ouch, thats, harsh... 8 players is bad for a DM to do, but whats worse, is a little while back, (a year actually) My friend Blade of Desecration was the only educated dm in our village (town; suburb) Which was a problem, since he was one of the 10 of us that wished to play.... 9 players+one dm=chaos

Eventually, this situation sorted itself out, players quit, or we just stopped calling some of them to arrange meeting, it definitly worked, and we ended up with the Him, me and two others group.

Now, Blade was DMed a bit more, but after the huge, crazy experiance with 9 players, he was a bit fed up. Now, me, him, and the two friends all DM in turns, but unfortunatly, we dont have enough players, we need 1 or 2 more, to make it a 5-6 person party/group.

This has been another broadcast of the GMF MGR+LoD insanity
 

Mr_GrinReaper said:
Ouch, thats, harsh... 8 players is bad for a DM to do, but whats worse, is a little while back, (a year actually) My friend Blade of Desecration was the only educated dm in our village (town; suburb) Which was a problem, since he was one of the 10 of us that wished to play.... 9 players+one dm=chaos

Eventually, this situation sorted itself out, players quit, or we just stopped calling some of them to arrange meeting, it definitly worked, and we ended up with the Him, me and two others group.

Now, Blade was DMed a bit more, but after the huge, crazy experiance with 9 players, he was a bit fed up. Now, me, him, and the two friends all DM in turns, but unfortunatly, we dont have enough players, we need 1 or 2 more, to make it a 5-6 person party/group.

This has been another broadcast of the GMF MGR+LoD insanity
Yeah, that was hell. I remember that I sent an umberhulk at you guys at first level and you killed it, and only lost two people. I think you guys just sat back and shot it with arrows for a half hour, and there were too many of you guys for it too chase down. That's when I realized we had to split the groups. By the way, we'll be getting more people soon, when other people's schedules settle down.

P.S. Uhh, I'm Blade of Desecration, you seem to keep alternation between Blade and Lord.
 

DarrenGMiller

First Post
Nightcloak said:
Agreed.

Wolf handled this situation well with his group (If I remember correctly, he had to let two players go). Hopefully he'll swing in to explain it all...

*Poke* *Poke*

Ouch! Hey, that hurts! Next time, don't use a sharp stick.

Anyway, his issues seem a bit different than mine. I have had to let 3 players go most recently and about 2 years ago let 2 go and about 4 months ago let one go. I have handle it well (most recently) and horribly (2 years ago). I am a much better DM today in Nightcloak's leadership area of expertise than I was 6 months ago.

At any rate, my first 3E game was at a LGS. It was advertised heavily by the shop and through local word of mouth. I am pretty well known in the area and when I showed up the first night (mind you, I let the shop owner handle the logisitics and just figured a group of 4-8 would show), there were 17 players at the table. By the end of character generation, I was down to 12, but still too many. The shop owner insisted everybody gets to play (I should have walked then, but I was excited about the new edition and having my first regularly scheduled weekly game in about 8 years), so I was stuck. Some quite or relocated, but I was saddled with 8-12 players almost every week.

In addition, I only knew 2 of them personally (one was a colleague I invited and the other a guy I had DM'ed for back in the late 80's and early 90's) when we started, so I got the associated unexpected behaviors. I grew to hate that game. It should have been a great campaign, but with that many people at the table, it takes away from everyone's enjoyment... including mine. There were conflicting personalities, silliness, stupidity, competition, flirtation (the 2 above-mentioned players got married because of that game).

Now, if they are friends, it becomes more complicated. My SOP now (sad that I have to have one) is to explain the problem, frame it as a "you" (as DM) problem, not a "them" problem, find an alternative game for them to play in and show them you care about them (if you do) by keeping in touch and seeing how things are going occasionally.

BTW, my post-hiatus gaming is three sessions old, but they were good sessions. That is to say, not perfect sessions, but good. The first was like a first session with a new group, the second was slow because the party was testing the strengths and weaknesses of an obstacle most of the session (Font of Bones from NG's ToA) and had a new player, and the third was interesting... It was scheduled for my house, but my plumbing went haywire an hour before the session. In addition, there was road construction on the main route here and when my players arrived, we couldn't get to our second choice location due to the traffic jam. We went to a community center we have used before (and fortunately, I can usually get on short notice - connections) and had a blast. Unfortunately, one of my players argued with the party's treasure distribution methods at the end of the session and asked me to make a ruling on how they HAD TO divide treasure according to the RAW (or interpreted). I declined ro intervene and the fireworks started and lasted for 30 minutes as they argued how to divvy treasure (but that story is for another thread).

BTW, I have a letter in Dungeon's Prison Mail this month!

DM
 

ChaosEvoker

First Post
Blade of Desecration said:
Uhh, I'm Blade of Desecration, you seem to keep alternation between Blade and Lord.

Yeah well SOME of us keep accidentally callign your CotDS....not to name names or anything...*cough*Xen*cough*....
...

...

...

WHAT?

CHAOS EVOKER
 

Xen155

First Post
Well.. He may be Blade of Desecration now, but Chosen of the Dark Sun was one of the few people to make many of the switches. And CotDS is such a cool name... In fact...

@CotDS- Were you a member of the FR Boards Incarnation of the DMF?
Edit: Never Mind.
Chosen of the Dark Sun said:
In case you're still letting new people join (I'm guessing you are), I'd like to submit my very humble resume (not much of a resume actually).
Started D&D when I was 8, I'm now 13. I've been DMing for a year and a half now (I was a player in several previous campaigns), so obviously I'm relatively new to the gig. Currently I'm running two campaigns: one in my own creation world based off a story I've been writing for a while now, the other in the Forgotten Realms. I'm also starting another soon, and possibly one after that in Eberron (I like the magic-is-technology idea). Played most comp games, read most novels, and am obsessed with FR. I could use a place to get second opinions, since there are no other local DM's and I of course can't talk to the players. Drow, undead, and conspiracies are the best. Thanks.

Yours respectfully, Chosen of the Dark Sun (yeah Ceric!)

P.S.: Where are the instructions Xen115 gave for registering this thread, I can't seem to find them.

@CE- Its been so long (Half a year...) I dont even remember the people who made ALL of the switches.

@GMF- *Holds up large flask of Ale and says drunkenly* "I love you guys...." *hiccup*
 

ChaosEvoker

First Post
@Xen
[sblock]*swig* Ok ok...I got it...a bag...that you can pull animals out of....*hic*[/sblock]

yeah its been a while....feels great to know that some have survived both switches. It's a rough early history but I'm glad we finally found a good home.
 

capnfro

First Post
Aaarrgghhh!!!

I'm glad you guys have survived the rocky early history too. I am glad I found this. It has proved invaluable to me in my games.

That mushy stuff out of the way I kinda just need a place to rant a little as well as looking for a little backup/advice.

I have a player who seems to be kinda interested in this girl. Over SuperBowl weekend, since we were in her home town (we don't normally play there) she came and played with us for a little while. It was her first experience with D&D and all the rest of my players are fairly experienced. We've been gaming together for about 10 years now. I allowed her into the game with the understanding that it was a one shot type of deal for her and that my players would have to coach her through most of the stuff. It was a really last minute type of thing. (Actually kinda halfway through the marathon session but we won't go into that right now)

We are going back to play in this girl's home town again. My player who seems to have a slight crush on this woman (he's a bit of a player at times) has evidently invited her to play with us again. He has done this without consulting me. There are also a couple other players that would rather not play with her at this session for various personal reasons.

Ok... enough background junk. Bottom line is that I am not going to allow her to play at this session, mostly because my other players don't want her there. I also don't want to hand hold her through another session and am planning on starting some major overarching plot this session. I am having trouble finding a diplomatic way to tell my smitten player that his friend is not going to be able to play. Any thoughts? Am I way off base here?

We now return you to your regularly scheduled thread.
 


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