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It’s been getting to the point that I now have 8 players, happy and playing together.

The problem is, due to lots of talking and yelling between players out of character we get approximately 1/4 of the stuff we’re supposed to get done per session done. What are some good ways to regulate them to stop yelling and talking over one another besides establishing out of combat initiative or a squirt bottle?

We are playing virtually and in-person- discord is much easier to mute/unmute.

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2 Answers 2

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It depends why people are talking over each other

You mention that the players are talking out of character.

If the chatter is, itself, not aimed toward moving the game forward (e.g., out of game jokes), then reminding people not to do that when you notice it happening can be effective. It's fine every now and then in a smaller group, but with enough people (8 is a bunch) it can very quickly bog down a session.

If the chatter is different people all trying to do actions simultaneously, players in my group have often used chat to "queue up" an action or to have an in-game conversation with another character. As long as the DM is following the chat, the action will happen eventually, with the DM switching between people every so often so no one is left out. Having a way to queue the action removes the need to constantly try to butt in.

If it's one person generally overpowering things, it might be worth either talking to that person about it (preferably 1:1 so they don't feel called out) or explicitly calling on people in turn to ask them what they want to do. You probably don't need a formal initiative system as long as you can keep track of it in your head. I haven't had this particular issue in any groups, so I'm speculating a bit with this last suggestion.

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I'm in a group that used to have the same problem, I and our GM came up with a way to do this. Try any of these:

  1. At the end of the session award the player who talked over other players the least 1-3 "polite points" that add some sort of in-game benefit (we used them like inspiration points in DnD). My group used this sort of plan, and it worked really well if we gave two people points.
    • We (me and the GM) had a "crazy old man on top of a mountain" tell the players that they were too loud (and that they talk too much, and that they are too tall, and that they eat too much, and really a ton of things) and that he is casting an advanced spell on them that makes them get these points. Then my GM said that if they were talking out of turn, they would not get the point. This worked pretty well, but technically it is not official rules.
  2. Just tell them that you need them to stop! This is something that should already have been done, just speak up and tell them this isn't working. Admittedly, with 8 people there will probably still be unintentional problems.
  3. (Assuming you are the GM) create a scenario where the players must work together. We have done this, with mixed results (it requires too much planning by the GM to be totally worth it)
  4. USE CHAT! Discord RPG games are much more enjoyable if all of the players are using the chat actively, and the GM is paying attention to the chat. This tip was so helpful for us, after we started using chat, our games got si much better!

If none of the above work, sadly, It might be time to leave/end this campaign. Sometimes a group of people just can't RPG together effectively...

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, the first thing is a typo. In practice, the first one worked the best, and we tried all of the others. \$\endgroup\$
    – mteam88
    Mar 11, 2021 at 14:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener I have edited to include some of my experiences, Is this what you are looking for? Sorry, I am new to Stack-Exchange! \$\endgroup\$
    – mteam88
    Mar 11, 2021 at 14:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd be curious how you introduced the polite points to the group. I'm worried it could be taken as a jab by some players if badly introduced. \$\endgroup\$
    – 3C273
    Mar 11, 2021 at 14:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ About the experience, I'm not sure if it fits with the guidelines, but as a reader I'd like a bit more details. Things like how long did you try if it failed. Or what was the main effect if ot worked. \$\endgroup\$
    – 3C273
    Mar 11, 2021 at 14:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ We did it in what I would consider a very smart way: We (me and the GM) had a "crazy old man on top of a mountain" tell the players that they were too loud (and that they talk too much, and that they are too tall, and that they eat too much, and really a ton of things) and that he is casting an advanced spell on them that makes them get these points. Then my GM said that if they were talking out of turn, they would not get the point. This worked pretty well, but technically it is not official rules so... \$\endgroup\$
    – mteam88
    Mar 11, 2021 at 14:53

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