I am currently running a West Marches style game. In my world there is a particularly troublesome dungeon which certain players are extremely determined to explore. As they are still low level, they have expressed an interest in attempting to take a very large party into the dungeon (they talk of up to 10 players). So far, I have always capped the number of players at 6, but I would quite like to attempt a game with more players to see how it goes.

B/X D&D was written with the understanding that the ideal group size was 6-8 players. It therefore seems logical that it should have been written to accommodate larger groups than we are used to today. The game was also written to cater (almost?) exclusively for dungeon crawl style play - perfect for the sort of game I am hoping to run.

The obvious things to import are the role of the caller and the exploration turn (10 minutes). However, although I do own the red basic rules book, I have no experience running or playing B/X D&D, so I would appreciate some advice from someone who has experience both with B/X and 5e D&D.


What else might I steal from B/X D&D to improve the handling of a large group in a dungeon crawl? What problems might I run into if I do import such ideas? How might I have to adapt them?

N.B. I am not looking for general advice about how to run a game for larger groups. That can be found in this question.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ As currently phrased, this seems a bit too broad. "What else might I steal from B/X D&D to improve my 5th edition session?" - the answer could be literally anything. And then it asks 3 other different questions: how to "steal" those rules, the problems importing those rules might cause, and how you can adapt imported rules to avoid such problems. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 21:21
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast The question was always intended to be aimed specifically at elements of B/X that improve the handling of a large party. Perhaps that is not clear enough. It doesn't seem to me that B/X could include so many provisions for the handling of a large group that writing a comprehensive answer would be impossible. The questions I do ask are simply to attempt to focus attention on the implementation of such provisions, rather than a simple list of them (which, if anything, would probably be too short). Getting advice about any and all beneficial aspects of B/X was never my intention. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ladifas
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 0:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ What changes are you willing to make as a dungeon master in order to make this work? The B/X larger party style wasn't too far removed from the OD&D large party style (caller a feature of both) but I mostly ran the latter, not the former. (I was mostly AD&D 1e DMing, much less B/Xing/BECMIing). I am not sure that "what's in a given book" is where the answer is going to come from ... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 13:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I want to keep the mechanics of 5e basically intact, so I'm not going to start fiddling statistics etc. I'm more looking for higher level changes: how combats are run (turn order), how the players communicate with the DM (through a caller? how exactly does that work?), how exploration is handled (how does splitting it up into 10 minute 'turns' work?). \$\endgroup\$
    – Ladifas
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 13:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ The large party “mechanics” in B/X are nearly non-existent; instead the features of the game embedded throughout are what make large parties work, down to core and diverse things like PC and monster hit point totals, the scarcity of special abilities, and nearly non-existent combat options, among many other details. This is really far too broad: the potential answers are everything about B/X that’s different from 5e. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 13:15


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