Managing My Expectations? (+)

Retreater

Legend
One thing to consider is a smaller group. How many do you normally play with? I’ve found that attention span can be inversely proportional to the size of the group as they have to give other people more air time, can rely on other people carrying them, and have to wait for more action resolution.

I think my idea group size is 3. Any less than that and they tend to get squishy. 4 can be good too.
Four is the standard, unless we have to forge ahead with a missing player, then it's three.
 

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Retreater

Legend
Last night I did run an in-person game with my wife and a couple of her friends. It's a simple, super casual game designed to show them what D&D is. They loved it and couldn't wait to come back. Completely off the seat of my pants - everyone engaged, thrilled, giving high-fives, cursing bad rolls, etc. Just a simple exploration of a trapped room and trying to navigate a perilous descent into a cavern - didn't even have a combat.
It's uplifting to get that kind of positive feedback in a game. It reminds me that I can be a good DM. I don't know if it's the players, the time of day, the online format, the stress of presenting a "campaign," the shackles I put on myself running published content, but I'll tell ya, last night's game felt more like how D&D should feel to me than anything I've run in months.
 

Retreater

Legend
Maybe run with three and see if it works better?
It's a delicate situation to determine who to cut. The players are all co-workers and have connections outside the game. (I'm the only one who doesn't work with them - so I guess I could boot myself from the group without consequence. Haha.)
 

TheSword

Legend
Last night I did run an in-person game with my wife and a couple of her friends. It's a simple, super casual game designed to show them what D&D is. They loved it and couldn't wait to come back. Completely off the seat of my pants - everyone engaged, thrilled, giving high-fives, cursing bad rolls, etc. Just a simple exploration of a trapped room and trying to navigate a perilous descent into a cavern - didn't even have a combat.
It's uplifting to get that kind of positive feedback in a game. It reminds me that I can be a good DM. I don't know if it's the players, the time of day, the online format, the stress of presenting a "campaign," the shackles I put on myself running published content, but I'll tell ya, last night's game felt more like how D&D should feel to me than anything I've run in months.
That’s great news. I doubt it’s the online format that’s different though maybe online doesn’t suit your other group. From your descriptions about bickering about the price of stables it sounds like they’re just not that fun to DM.
It's a delicate situation to determine who to cut. The players are all co-workers and have connections outside the game. (I'm the only one who doesn't work with them - so I guess I could boot myself from the group without consequence. Haha.)
Boot away. No gaming is better than bad gaming.
 

payn

Legend
This group and I did have an in-person board game day a couple months ago (it's difficult for us to meet in person regularly). I brought my copy of the new HeroQuest. We had a blast.
And if HeroQuest were set up to play online, I'd certainly suggest that - at least to take the occasional break from RPG campaigns.
(I know it's on Tabletop Simulator, but I find that unwieldy to use.)
I've got good news?
 

Retreater

Legend
Unless it's been changed significantly, I physically can't operate it on Tabletop Simulator unfortunately. The controls are too flighty - everything getting knocked around as you try to place pieces on the board; movement is awkward - landing in "half squares;" setup takes forever too.
I was trying to put it on Roll 20, where at least you could snap to the grid and preload scenes using fog of war, but it's just not designed to be played that way.
Hasbro is leaving a small fortune on the table not making a video game version of this.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Last night I did run an in-person game with my wife and a couple of her friends. It's a simple, super casual game designed to show them what D&D is. They loved it and couldn't wait to come back. Completely off the seat of my pants - everyone engaged, thrilled, giving high-fives, cursing bad rolls, etc. Just a simple exploration of a trapped room and trying to navigate a perilous descent into a cavern - didn't even have a combat.
It's uplifting to get that kind of positive feedback in a game. It reminds me that I can be a good DM. I don't know if it's the players, the time of day, the online format, the stress of presenting a "campaign," the shackles I put on myself running published content, but I'll tell ya, last night's game felt more like how D&D should feel to me than anything I've run in months.
Nothing like DMing a game for new players and kids to bring back the excitement!
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
It's a delicate situation to determine who to cut. The players are all co-workers and have connections outside the game. (I'm the only one who doesn't work with them - so I guess I could boot myself from the group without consequence. Haha.)
Yes, I'm loathe to boot a player until the majority of the players are asking for that. In your case, it sounds like an issue with the group as a whole. I'd worry that booting one of them in favor of a smaller game to increase engagement from the remaining would not solve the issue and would likely raise new issues that are not limited to the game.

It would be better to either switch to boardgames or stop the campaign and let everyone take a break.
 

aramis erak

Legend
It's a delicate situation to determine who to cut. The players are all co-workers and have connections outside the game. (I'm the only one who doesn't work with them - so I guess I could boot myself from the group without consequence. Haha.)
It's always a tricky situation. There is a huge possibility of seriously hurt feelings.

Still, it may be a discussion to have with them; you need to let them know that the online group isn't working for you. See if the same is true for them.
 

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