F-Yeah D&D Gnome
The Icewind Dale

While DM’ing the party traveled to the Ice Wind Dale and no thought to bring winter gear.

The Pit

 

and fail (reapeatly)

sorry for the hiatus

I had a lot of stuff going on in my personal life that prevented me from doing this on a regular basis. It’ll still be an on-and-off thing(Submissions help me out a lot guys, just got a few of em a couple days ago that I’m putting on the the queue) but I’ll update as often as I can think of these things as well.

Also: I’m part of a dragonlance game and during the game I doodle scenes from that game, so my question to you guys is: would it be alright if I posted those doodles on this blog? This would also mean that I would be open to accepting submissions of campaign doodles of your own if you were so willing- but I figure I should ask before  I did it since you guys DID follow this blog for the DnD Gnome.

I'm looking for advice on running a campaign with an awfully large group. I have 10-11 people who all want to play, and play together. Splitting the group would be considered the last option. I'm comfortable at around a maximum of 8, but 11 seems like a lot. Any advice on how I can handle such a large party? It's a homebrew swords and sorcery campaign with some steampunk elements thrown in.

Publishing this in case anyone else has this issue or if they have more input into the subject.

Outside of that being a lot of people to handle, you also run into the issue of “who’s the hero”. In most campaigns, your PCs will be the “Heroes of Destiny” who are very important to the events that happen within the campaign. The problem with having that many people is that the DM is tasked with making all of them feel special/significant in their own way without neglecting any of the others.

With a group that size, I’d recommend that you make all of the members part of an established group say, just for example, a band of mercenaries. This would make them feel important on the individual level because the unit’s success depends on each of them performing at their peak. Something that would work well in such a setting is have them cooperate with party members whose character’s personalities clash. In this way, you get some really good RP and it helps establish a bond between all of the characters.

My advice is to make sure that their characters are encouraged to interact, not just with NPCs and storylines, but with each other. If the PCs develop personality dynamics with other PCs, then the campaign will really be much more entertaining because, as said before, they would be acting as a group and all the interpersonal relationships being in such a group implies.

Again, mercenaries was just an example. It could easily be a class of students, an exploration team hired by someone, anything that a group that size would realistically be a part of.

Something also that I find important- if one player doesn’t make too much of an effort to kind of stand out and play within their character, thus creating a disruption in the party dynamic, try to encourage them indirectly to participate. Say an NPC is trying to make a decision that will effect how the campaign will go. Have the NPC ask the quiet one what they think. If there isn’t a logical reason behind why they would pick that character to give them advice, you can simply say “your opinion is just as good as anyone elses- and I like the cut of your jib”. By encouraging each party member to be more active in the party dynamic, you’ll end up with great banter and overall great sessions.

But as a DM, do yourself a favor and write down everyone’s names with their character’s names next to them. Forgetting a character’s name really discourages that player from participating because it might make him think his character is irrelevant.

If it turns out you can’t handle a party that size, bring it up to them. It isn’t fair for either side if you try to bite off something more than you can chew. It isn’t fair to them because they’ll be getting a DM who’s struggling to keep up with everyone and it’s unfair to you because no one should expect so much from one person. So the best thing you can do is to bring it up to someone.

Perhaps you could invite someone to Co-DM with you so they can pick up your slack when the workload becomes too much. Assign duties like “encounter creator” or “inventory management” and “campaign coordinator”. If you’re faced with an immense task, the tried and true way to approach it is Divide and Conquer.

I really hope this helps you out. Feel free to ask any follow-up questions.

What should I do?
Anonymous

Hell if I know. What’s your level, class, and party size?

What tabletop RPGs have you played besides D&D?

Outside of 3.5 and 4th ed DnD, I’ve played this one Final Fantasy d6 game that was pretty interesting a couple times. Then there was Pokemon Tabletop Adventures which, while I appreciate all the effort put into it, the damage mechanics are a bit borked. There was also this persona tabletop game that was really well done, but we could never get the group together consistently. I’ve expressed interest in a Call of Cthulhu game, but I’ve yet to find a DM amazing enough to make me wet myself while describing deep ones. So yeah, most of them have been d20 systems that the fans made up, but they’re still just as fun. Oh, and if anyone manages to find d20 rules for a Jojo’s bizarre adventure tabletop game, if you could send that to me that would make my day. I found this one set of rules once but I can’t find them.

are you male or female?
Anonymous

Male, but I’d appreciate it if you guys would keep personal questions to a minimum. This isn’t a personal blog; I already have on of those. If you could keep things as DnD/RolePlay related as much as possible, that would be nice.

pretty sure that's (not) legit. for real though?
Anonymous

Alright, alright, here you go:

what do you look like?
Anonymous

My retainer gives me +5 spellcaster levels for charm spells and my wrist band gives me a +3 to all Dexterity rolls B)

(not really, I just love this picture)

Yeah so I maybe did this once to save our Psion. I’m still pissed at myself for doing it.

Yeah so I maybe did this once to save our Psion. I’m still pissed at myself for doing it.