Why did Wizards allow only 3 to 7 players for their legal limits and why cannot we as DMs be flexible?

I know there are valid reasons such as preventing cheating to get more DM rewards, or putting too much strain on the DMs, and time was lost during gameplay.

As I've experienced, most problems with too many players can be overcome with effort and some help from your players if they are up to really playing the game and want things to go well on their personal time off.

During an AL game, my table suffered from organizer silence and I lost some good people from not being able to answer this question properly.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi duster. Welcome to site. Consider taking the tour as it's a useful introduction to how things work around here. We can understand that you're frustrated about the situation but the question as it's written kind of, almost seems like more of a rant disguised as a question. Is there any way you could cut back the frustration a little to describe the actual problem, what steps you've taken to solving the problem, and why the answers you've gotten so far are unsatisfactory (especially if they're coming from actual AL organizers)? \$\endgroup\$ – Purple Monkey May 27 '17 at 11:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think this looks OK at present -- it's a constructive question we can handle and provide answers for. It may have (or have had) a rant element to it, but I'm hopeful we can navigate past that to handle the question effectively, and the frustration is unavoidably tied in with the reasonable problem that necessitates this question. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 27 '17 at 12:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ To start, for a time I was having to run tables of 8 or more due to no one else agreeing to run a AL rules only game. Some DM's tried to do AL to the letter and then left their tables. The players left knew each other and the game ran fine at my table of then total 10 people. Given the size a DDEP adventure was being considered but then the organizer went huh? After 10 event organizers, they all differ to the FAQ as doctrine. D&D customer service was called but on the question of table size there was more worry about general AL rules not the group size vs the organizers worry about group size \$\endgroup\$ – The duster May 27 '17 at 13:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi @Theduster, it seems like you had a heck of a situation on your hands, and I'm sorry stuff went badly and fell through for you. We can't answer everything around it though -- for example we can't tell you if it's too hard to organise (that'll depend on the person). We could potentially answer the question about the player limit for you if someone has the relevant expertise, but I suggest you find a way to relax and rest a little for the answers to arrive. If you want to engage in discussion, I would recommend a forum. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 27 '17 at 14:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you had more than 7 players at the table, you didn't run an "AL rules only game". It means that the players who participated do not have AL-legal characters, and they are not portable to other AL-based games. If a mistake is made in AL play, the guidance suggests making the smallest possible change to bring the character back into compliance. As AL functions on the honor system, they could lie about it, but the right thing to do would be to discard the entire log entry from the out-of-specification table. Unfortunately, that's the smallest possible change to correct the situation. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. May 30 '17 at 17:55

D&D and the Adventurers League are made to be played with 5 players, that's the ideal number that Wizards of the Coast recommends in all of the D&D Adventurers League adventures. Playing with too many more (or less) player than the recommended number can lead to diminished fun for the players and DMs. Here are a few examples:

1) Too many players leads to each player having less time in the spotlight. Imagine a 2 hour adventure with 9 other players plus the DM, each player would speak on average only 12 minutes in the 2 hours and that doesn't count the DM talking more than a given player, which they probably do.

2) Combat starts to take quite a bit longer, since having more player characters means you'd need to adjust the combats by adding XP, thus more monsters causing more DM overhead to manage the combat. Each round is now taking longer and some decisions will take longer.

3) Having more players means people are going to want to be heard and decisions in game are going to take more time, again taking longer.

4) Many AL games are played at stores or conventions with strict time slots. 7 players was the threshold that was chosen to still be able to run the game in the given time period. Even 7 is pushing it for most tables.

Maybe as a DM you can manage all of these things, but it ultimately makes for a sub-optimal experience and it's not something the D&D Adventurers League wants to promote, especially if there are new players.

Telling someone there's no room is hard, but when I do that, I do it for my own sanity as well as the enjoyment of the other players at the table.

Source: I am the community manager of the D&D Adventurers League, Robert Adducci

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    \$\begingroup\$ Can't get much more authoritative than that. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. May 30 '17 at 17:35

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