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  1. #1

    Starting new group first time DM

    I'm organizing a new group, and have received an interest in playing by a lot of people, more so than I require. Initially we are running The Lost Mines campaign, from there I am considering moving on to other official 5e story lines i.e. Curse of Strahd, Storm Kings Thunder, The Yawning Portal. For The Lost Mines, the adventure calls for 4-5 players, but I am considering boosting the challenges to accommodate more players. Is this prudent? Where should I set my limit? Would this be ok for my future campaigns?

  2. #2
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Personally I set my limit at 6 players. That's the level I'm able to handle/manage. Though I have seen when running one-shots or cons that this number of people occasionally gets one or two players who don't participate much. But, if it's for developing a long term group and you lay out such a concern early on then everyone is aware and over time things will work themselves out.

    You can go higher, but I think you will find that it does not work so well.

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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Personally I set my limit at 6 players. That's the level I'm able to handle/manage. Though I have seen when running one-shots or cons that this number of people occasionally gets one or two players who don't participate much. But, if it's for developing a long term group and you lay out such a concern early on then everyone is aware and over time things will work themselves out.

    You can go higher, but I think you will find that it does not work so well.
    Will it be easy enough to modify the challenges and encounters to accommodate 1 or 2 more players?

  4. #4
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpdonat View Post
    Will it be easy enough to modify the challenges and encounters to accommodate 1 or 2 more players?
    IME, yes. The first one or two I probably would not modify. You want to learn how good tactically your players are. Then after that you can do a couple of things;
    - Set the option in FG that NPCs get max hit points (this one is easy and works well for 1-2 additional players or if your group tactically excel).
    - Add a few of the support (i.e. unnamed NPCs, lower CR creatures) NPCs to each encounter. Again you will have to know your party for this, but at the low levels it would probably be +2/+4 goblins/kobolds/etc (depending on if you have 1 or 2 extra players)

    How you add this extra creatures is when you open the encounter, before you place, just unlock and change the number of NPC's. You will have place the new ones on the map, but again you can do this from the encounter before you place them on the CT.

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  5. #5

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    My suggestion to you is to limit the number of your players to 5. I am an experienced DM, I've been DMing since the 1970s, and I have found that the optimal party size is normally one higher than whatever the current edition's expected minimum party size is. For 5E that's 4 players so 4 + 1 is 5. You can certainly run more players than five, but its more work and then you start having to change the module's encounter sizes.

    My suggestion to you is if you want to run for more players than 5, then run another separate game with different players. I've run two separate groups for years and I often run them through the same adventures. That would allow you to accommodate more players while keeping individual group sizes smaller which would make things easier for you.

  6. #6
    Awesome advice. thanks so much

  7. #7
    Wazoodust's Avatar
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    Agreed on the party size, I limit mine to 6 and it seems to work out well, the play moves a bit to slowly for the players with any more, and you can easily get overwhelmed as a DM. 5 or 6 seems to be optimal for players that are attentive and eager to foul your plans as a DM.

    You can also easily add or remove NPC's to an encounter if you think it's not playing well with the party, I've done this several times or adjust the NPC hit points a bit in the tracker, so long as you don't go nuts with it it won't affect the encounters CR or XP enough to matter.
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  8. #8
    For me 5 is ideal... Any more I find players distracted by their phone etc.. I can handle 6, but for me 5 is the sweet spot!
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