I will eventually write a re-cap of last night’s game, what I can remember of it anyway. The whole night is something of a blur. I had a blast though, even if at times, I felt a little bit like drowning in awesomeness. Last night I met the limit of the number of balls I can keep juggling at once, and I would have to say that it is less than 11. And one player was missing, thus keeping us from the ultimate maximum attendance of 12. This is a good thing, though, because we found out that the table only seats 12, and that was pretty darn tight. So either the DM or the 12th player would have to sit on some one’s lap. If only I could hover above the table like a ghostly presence… (Okay that’s a bit creepy.)
The reason for this “open discussion” is to try to figure out a solution that works for everyone to the obvious problem we are facing. I pushed very hard to get such a large group together (and I want to thank every single person who plays DnD with me. Each of you makes the game a more fun experience for all involved, and for me especially.) While DMing the Encounters program I regularly DMed for a table of 7 players, and often played with 8-9. There are a number of factors that are making numbers larger than this unworkable. Table size and number of comfortable chairs are two obvious ones. The next most painfully obvious, I would surmise, would be the fact that at least 45 minutes pass between a player’s turn.
Compounded withe length between player’s turns is the fact that it leads to very long battles. Last night we went over by almost 1/2 hr and spent the entire time on 5 rounds of combat (and a few clean-up rounds at the very end.) less than 1 minute of game time passed in an entire session of play. The almost exponential increase in monsters required for this is also a factor, both in the length of time a battle takes, and in the eventual breakdown of my mental and physical abilities until I am little better than a slobbering, babbling idiot.
Blah blah, here are the two workable solutions I envision, however I would like to entertain ANY and EVERY idea to come up with the optimal solution. In my mind, the optimal solution is the one where every one of us is satisfied with the results; nothing less will suffice.
1 – Every other week. The group will be divided in half, with each half alternating, week to week. This can have interesting twists, for example, the game could be on Friday one week, Saturday the next. This would be a convenience for those who favored one day over another. The draw back is that you would only be playing every other week, and if I know one thing about DnD players it is out of sight out of mind. Your interest would wane and I would lose you and be sad.
2- Have a second DM and run two games simultaneously on Friday nights. Before we had the Table (capitalized due to its enormity) we played on the couch, using the coffee table for the maps and minis and dice and stuff. It was pretty comfortable. Closer to the fireplace in the winter, which is also a plus. Heh heh. The draw back to this method is that I dont know anyone who wants to be DM. Especially of you lot of vicious, selfish, murderous, backstabbing focus-firing strategizing brutes. Just kidding. No Im serious. Ha, joking. No really.
Each of these ideas has variations, but it basically comes down to one or the other as best I can tell. I mean if all of you said “Lets keep going with 12!” then I think I could somehow manage, and honestly, being an attention hound, I would love it, but I know, it won’t work. Even besides battles, the role playing, skill challenges, riddles, puzzles, and explorations will also suffer for having too many voices and too inept of a DM to accomodate all of them effectively.
I am hoping that everyone who is able will chime in. If nothing else, then with which day they would prefer to play, Friday or Saturday, given we go with option 1, which currently has a vote of 1, me, but only because it is the lesser of 2 bad choices.