The tales of a DM with 9 players


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Hello all, i started a campaign today with 9 players, it is hectic, only 3 of them had played before. so we did something simple, go into crypt and kill things. we made it about halfway through before i had to call time, we will continue the game 2 thursdays from now


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I would never sit down to a table with a total of 9 players.


The most I have ever run for is 12 players, and I won't do it again. Our group has 6 players and that is the maximum I would prefer to run for. If you have 9 players my suggestion would be to break them into 2 groups. Good luck with your adventures!


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9 players can be done if they know what to do. When the Fighter's turn takes over one minute because he didn't write down any of the bonuses he gets to damage or to hit, the game gets BORING.

Combat is super hectic, random battle movement can easily get someone killed if you present an actual challenge or your party breezes through every encounter without half the people getting to act.

I've played with 5 total including me and a DM. Two players were new, one was old, and one was new but hard a firm grip on things and except for some finer details like just the encyclopedic knowledge needed for the game he look like he had been playing for a year.

Even when the two noobies knew what to do, combat was slogged down to a crawl. I loaded up mobile games to past the time between my turns.


Ya I agree after even 6 pc's I find turns start to drag. I did have a game once where people kept inviting people without checking with the group and we ended up going from 4 pc's to 8... I ran it for a couple sessions and it was painful, so I told the guy who invited all these people (it was one player) that he should GM for those guys and we split into 2 groups again, as Dosgamer suggested. Ended up being way more fun. We even still hosted in the same place and set the campaign in the same work (just 2 different tables). The parties never met but it was kind of fun having shennanigans from one party indirectly affect other the other party


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WE did this once with like 16 players we had 2 DMs it worked okay.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As a general rule, more players = less face-time. I mean, it's kind of indisputable, really, but what ends up happening is that the characters end up being either non-existent personalities (Keanu Reeves syndrome) or all of their character exists as player headcanon. Combats also tend to devolve rapidly as people aren't engaged between their turns as much as you need them to be to keep things moving.

As with others, I would recommend splitting the table. Otherwise, you're just going to be waiting out attrition until you have a more manageable table size.


alot of you suggest to split the group and as much as i'd like to we do this after school for a club ran by a teacher of mine, so i cant really split them up. and i cant wait to tell y'all of how it goes next session


For combat maybe do simplified system on melee and just make sure the casters know there spells. I've played with 12 the RPing was slow in the beginning but once we got a feel for characters, and each other's motivations it got faster.

The Exchange

Sounds like the PF version of The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit.


I run a game with 8 players occasionally, and really don't have that much trouble keeping things in motion, but they're all veteran players with well over 25 years apiece in gaming. The largest group I ever DM'd for was 16. Never again.


Dox of the ParaDox twins wrote:
Hello all, i started a campaign today with 9 players, it is hectic, only 3 of them had played before. so we did something simple, go into crypt and kill things. we made it about halfway through before i had to call time, we will continue the game 2 thursdays from now

9 players is an awfully big group even when everyone knows exactly what they're doing so the DM can concentrate on the game, not the mechanics.


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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I run a game with 8 players occasionally, and really don't have that much trouble keeping things in motion, but they're all veteran players with well over 25 years apiece in gaming. The largest group I ever DM'd for was 16. Never again.

You were a madman! Biggest group I ever DMed was six, and that was still two too many.


LOL we had a big cookout. Made a whole day of it. I'll never do it again, but it was fun.


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Hope everyone has fun. If it seems like it's a little out of hand, with 9 players, you might find one willing to switch from 'player' to 'co-GM/minion wrangler', who could help run some of your monsters in combat. It also brings the ratio from an unusual 9-1 to the usual 4-2.

You might already realize, but one of the problems with groups like that is that to challenge them you need to either throw more monsters than usual at them, which can bog down combat even more, or send extra-powerful monsters at them. The problem with the extra-powerful is that while the group combined may take them down, the monster is strong enough to disable or flat out kill whichever character it goes after fairly effortlessly.

Of course, you could most of the time just not bump the difficulty much or at all, and let the characters basically stomp all over their opposition except on rare occasions. It's not the usual modern game model, but if everyone (including you) is having fun, there's nothing wrong with it. (Maybe save the super big combats for special weekend games or something?)

Hooray for running games!

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