Optimal number of players?

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Optimal number of players?
« on: July 18, 2017, 05:29:31 PM »
I am getting ready to run a AW game and I am wondering what people's experience has been with group size?
I usually prefer to run 4 players plus a GM/MC, but I find that most games have a sweet spot.
Thoughts?

Re: Optimal number of players?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2017, 05:53:05 PM »
I think MC+3 is the best, personally.

MC+2 or MC+4 works, too, of course, but for me MC+3 is the sweet spot.

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Ebok

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Re: Optimal number of players?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2017, 11:33:26 PM »
Agreed.

The only downside to MC+3 is that if you have people missing out during weeks, you're left with the MC+2 option, which isn't as dynamic. MC+4 tends to start to put strain on all the things happening at once, and it can be difficult for some people to keep the correct balance of screen-time. I've done MC+5 before. It's a different kind of game at that point, and has it's own kinds of rules of thumb to keep working.

These can be very dependent on the players too. 

Re: Optimal number of players?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2017, 12:23:23 AM »
(All very true!)

Re: Optimal number of players?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2017, 01:34:35 PM »
MC+2 or MC+4 works, too, of course, but for me MC+3 is the sweet spot.

I find MC+3 doesn't give quite enough social complexity and tension. MC+4 seems ideal to me.

Re: Optimal number of players?
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2017, 11:11:39 PM »
My experience has been that MC+4 starts to get challenging in terms of screentime and scene framing (easy to leave a player just sitting there for an hour at a time, if you're not careful!).

I also like the relationship map complexity that comes of so many players at one table, but it starts to become a balancing act. If you run a game where the characters are at odds with one another, or pointed at each other ("PvP"), and the MC can largely sit back and just let them do things with/against each other, then it can work really nicely.

Re: Optimal number of players?
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2017, 12:53:16 PM »
Thank you.
GM+4 is what I run in just about anything else, but was not sure. AW plays differently then most anything else I have run.

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Munin

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Re: Optimal number of players?
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2017, 04:52:30 PM »
My regular game is GM+5. That's about as big as I want to go, and is predicated almost entirely on my players being universally awesome.