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I'm currently getting ready to run an Open Party/West Marches style game with a pool of about 16 players. We'll be using 5e, but my question is system-agnostic.

I of course started with Ben Robbins' "Grand Experiments: West Marches" blog posts (here: http://arsludi.lamemage.com/index.php/78/grand-experiments-west-marches/ ), but after reading those and Justin Alexander's "Open Table Manifesto" https://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/38643/roleplaying-games/open-table-manifesto I'm having a tough time finding anything else experiential. Pretty much every other resource I find references one of those two to define the playstyle, says they think it's a neat idea they'd like to try, and stops there.

I can't say I'm shocked; building a sandbox like this is a lot of work and I don't know that I'd want to go to the trouble of annotating it for strangers on the internet. It's almost shocking that it's happened twice.

That being said, I'm specifically looking for things similar to Ben's West Marches: Running Your Own http://arsludi.lamemage.com/index.php/94/west-marches-running-your-own/ where a GM who has actually run an Open Party/West March style game for some time gives experience-based advice.

Of highest import is anything that gives insight on managing in-game vs. real-world time with multiple parties.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Has anything with the west-marches tag ( we have 11 Q&As on that ) been useful in finding what you are looking for? This answer has some experiential advice \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 25, 2020 at 20:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not really. I made sure to double check the tag (and found the open-party tag) before I asked. It's my first question and I realize it's a bit open-ended, but I've been researching this since the 'unpleasantness' made scheduling so tough... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 25, 2020 at 20:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately, this has been closed as a "shopping list" question, but your closing sentence, about handling in-game vs. real-world time, could be turned into a separate question which would be very appropriate to this stack (just remember to ask how to do it, not ask for a list of other sources on the topic). If there are any other specific details about how to do it, you could probably also make good questions by asking about peoples' experience with handling those details. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 12:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Dave. It felt a bit 'shoppy' but I wasn't really sure how to narrow the focus. I guess that's one of the benefits to asking things on SE - it forces you to narrow your scope down to what you REALLY need. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 16:25

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