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Number of players per DM event (on one server) - a fun poll

Moderators: Nighthawk4, Dungeon Masters

How many people should be in on DM event at a time?

5 or less. I like my DM events intimate.
21
32%
6-8
25
38%
9-10
8
12%
10-15
5
8%
15-20
1
2%
20-25
0
No votes
25-30
0
No votes
30 or more - Bring it on!
6
9%
 
Total votes : 66

Re: Number of players per DM event (on one server) - a fun poll

PostAuthor: Stravento » Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:56 pm

There are situations in which large numbers are not bad:

1) in army events where the officers issue orders and the others follow I love large groups. In general for groups with a strong leadership numbers are not an issue. But the rp of such event is limited by the army roles.

2) In desperate chaotic events like the defense of Elysia again the large number and the engine problems actually add chaos and the effect is more realistic.

3) When there is no time constraint and we have a guild discussion or a conference or a research meeting is fun to have as many people as possible. Most of these situation are actually not dm monitored, so they do not really count in the poll.

4) When there is a performance and a bunch of spectators, from bardic thing, to the duels, to a ritual in which a small group does the ritual and the rest defends them/watches them.

In general I don't think the dm is the constraint, as spool mentioned careful planning and maybe the collaboration of multiple dms using teamspeak and the like can easily overcome that.

The major limit is the decision-making process of large groups. Till you have 5-6 people consensus and an anarchic approach works fine, when the number grows the coordination cost grows exponentially. In situation where the leadership is not clear, and there is not a final decision maker that listens for 5 minutes to the proposals and then makes a choice you spend hours passing information around, explaining, reexplaining. That for me is the major source of frustration of large groups.

Did any guild tried to use team-speak to improve player coordination in large groups?
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Re: Number of players per DM event (on one server) - a fun poll

PostAuthor: Isadora » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:59 pm

Obviously 6 or less is ideal for character development and interaction, and it SHOULD be this way in guild events (a few more members for bigger guilds obviously), but with anything else you can get all kinds of things like "Oohh favoritism.." or "Plotwhore slots.." and while those may be more or less true accusations, I've been on both sides of the fence, and I know anyone else here is lying to say they WOULDN'T prefer a small intimate DM event. What should the number of players in a DM event be vs. What number do you WANT.

I voted with the following circumstances in mind:
Only one DM in this event?
This is an actual plot event, where NPC dialogues and questions need to be solved?
Is there travel involved?

I'm stretching it to say 10 players. In events like these where much of interaction is mental and text-based there will probably only be a handful of "leaders," the people who are either chosen or intuitively step up to the plate to make decisions, discuss and ask questions and direct the group. Anyone else almost instantly becomes useless, unless they have a supar sekret special purpose.

Any more than 10 people and not only is there too much useless dialogue spam, you'll get a LOT of people who are smart enough to realize "Okay those people in the front are handling it, I don't need to fight anything, I don't have anything to say or contribute, wtf am I here for, cookies and loot? That's so cheap... why did I come.. aaaaaggggghhhh". The travel part sucks even more, because that's a lot of multitasking for the DM, and the more people in the event probably means the more you'll be standing/running around waiting for a Green Light.

Along with all of the above, does this PLOT event involve quite a BIT of action, fighting, looting, etc.? (still with one DM)

No more than 12-15 people. Have you ever tried to scroll through the party list and constantly keep tabs on who needs to be healed AND fight at the same time? And keep in mind that often times with just one DM, after you finish one action they may not always tell you right away where exactly to go and what exactly to do next, so then you get the leaders separated and the group split up and everyone all confused... people disagreeing... it SUCKS. The more people, the more they turn into autopilot sheep waiting for the loot and cookies, the more it will suck.

Is it a GIANT, CITY-SHAKING (e.g Elf Gate) event with tons of action, travel, and puzzles to solve?
Is there more than one DM?

Have as many people there as possible! Hell yeah!

Overall, from my experience with DMs and their events, unless they're a superhuman like Spool, Bel, Pleth... I think both the players and the DM would have a much easier time with 12 people or less. I also have to say that some people might not have much of a clue how the DM client really works (testing it in NwN OC isn't a good example). Avlis has a lot more custom systems for DMing that, depending upon the situation can make it easier or harder to handle a certain sized group. And, yeah, not every DM is up to tackle a 20+ PC chunk of meat like Spool. 8-)
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Re: Number of players per DM event (on one server) - a fun poll

PostAuthor: Plethora » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:45 am

I really dont mind.. i love doing one PCs events to 20+ events.

Once I get over 20 though, i dont really worry to much about technically storylines, although i have found
OOC calling for storytime works well, and make folks listen to me wax on for awhile so they get a feel for whats happening before we start killing stuff.

Something else i love to do for Huge events, is just to emote the surrounding, smells, noises and generally feel of the area, adn major PC moves. I will either stand in the middle of the group, or use shout if everyone is spread out. I like to think, that the feel, or the intigrity of what is happening is still capture in this way.

Smaller groups are cool to though, but I actually find the larger ones easier to manage, maybe thats just me though.

As a player i have been in events from just me, to huge kick-off 20+ ones, and have enjoyed them all equally for different reasons.

Maybe I just love DMing, and am grateful to be DMed.. dunno.. i think its all good! oo8)
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Re: Number of players per DM event (on one server) - a fun poll

PostAuthor: Aramithran » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:08 am

Nothing more exquisite than one on one. A delicacy of course.
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Re: Number of players per DM event (on one server) - a fun poll

PostAuthor: Gorgon » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:47 am

Plethora wrote:I really dont mind.. i love doing one PCs events to 20+ events.

Once I get over 20 though, i dont really worry to much about technically storylines, although i have found
OOC calling for storytime works well, and make folks listen to me wax on for awhile so they get a feel for whats happening before we start killing stuff.

http://www.avlis.org/viewtopic.php?p=1251644#p1251644
Works quite well :wink:

Isadora pretty much covered everything for me. Small parties are better for a nice personal event, but the big, multi-dm, clusterwhatsits are also fun. "Where" also matters quite a bit too. Tunnel clearing events with huge parties get a bit boring when the only way you know what the front line is killing is by examining any corpses that haven't been cleaned up. DM's are pretty good at hitting the rear folks with stuff in those cases too, but it can be hard in a single DM event. The easiest solution is obviously to mistake party members for bad guys, and thin things out, especially since most folks only see "x was killed by someone" :P .
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Re: Number of players per DM event (on one server) - a fun poll

PostAuthor: Nighthawk4 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:50 am

Moredo wrote:I take what I can get. :D

That said, I prefer smaller groups over larger, and story (talking) over action.



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Re: Number of players per DM event (on one server) - a fun poll

PostAuthor: ScottG » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:47 am

I honestly don't think any DM, no matter how good, how great the tools are, or how planned out an event they have, can actually juggle more than 12 people. It just doesn't work well... and that doesn't even go into the lag issues.
First of all there's just too many issues with group dynamics where half the people don't feel like they are doing anything and then there's the issue of communication, transpiration, etc...

When I used to DM, on a different server with, I'm guessing, fairly similar tools to Avlis, I could juggle about 3 groups of people at a time assuming they were small groups 2-5 people each and were characters I knew. Even then that was exceptionally hard to jump around, try and time it so different groups were in transition while interacting with another or having multiple listeners around and tagged characters to be able to talk back to the multiple groups from one location. When it would be a big group it was just hard to keep up with all the chatter that was going on and figure out who was talking and when.

I also did mage tests (Krynn world) where it was almost one on one and sometimes there'd actually be a few DMs since those tended to be fun social occassions for the DMs to torture a new mage. Obviously these were some of the best interactions you could have as a player and DM since it was so intimate and really focused on that player's character. This isn't something that's very possible due to the ratio of players to DMs but I do feel the lower the ratio the better the interactions end up being.
Though Nob was having that small group of mages starting out and I'm sure that's going to be a rockin time for whoever does it.

That said and being on both sides of the fence, I'd always opt for smaller groups and have no problem with being kicked out of a DMed event if the DM feels its too full or if I"m of the wrong level. I understand the "favoritism" calls and know about all that drama and I just tend to ignore it.
Needless to say I also found that random small interactions by DMs were more rewarding than cookies, but I'll leave that to another poll.

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Re: Number of players per DM event (on one server) - a fun poll

PostAuthor: othotbail » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:44 pm

I have read all the posts here and most everything has been said but a few important things I'd like to add.

Like Moredo said I take what I can get and do my best to enjoy it. For the most part all we players can do is roleplay along and try an make it fun for all. I think one of the reasons I prefer the smaller group outings myself is the same reason you want to be in a smaller class at school. Sure a teacher can teach a big class but your going to get more individual attention and learn more with a smaller class the majority of the time. It seems to flow along better with a smaller group no matter what.
Secondly is time. With a smaller group the DM can accomplish his or her objectives in say a 2 hour time frame as opposed to having to stretch it into 4 or 5 hours as the group size goes up. I always want to see the end of the story and often RL calls me before I get a chance to. Hopefully it won't always be that way in the future, but these days spending 4 or 5 hours sitting at my computer without having RL need me for something is a rare occurance.
Lastly as the number of players rise at some point it turns from a group to a mob where everyone is running around and getting farther and farther spread out. I often feel like we all should be carrying pitchforks and torches in larger groups.
As I said earlier I take what I can get and am happy for whatever it is though.
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Re: Number of players per DM event (on one server) - a fun poll

PostAuthor: Li'll Divvil » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:08 pm

I prefer small groups as a DM and player both. It allows me to actively use skill rolls without getting swamped by who rolls what. The bane of any single DM is when parties split up which tends to happen if they are large.

For larger events things tend to boil down to walk from A-B smash & kill things, walk to C repeat, walk to D defeat Boss monster.

However, with multiple DM's things change as it is possible to split the group and have individual DM's take care of small parts with great detail and full attention. The fall of Elysia was a prime example of a large team of DM's working together to keep the story rolling, get things set up on the fly and control spawns/npc's so everything seems genuine.

But it is a very very hard thing to coordinate
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