88

A "campaign" isn't what it used to be... Early campaigns often had multiple groups running within the same campaign. That is, the group of {Alice, Bob, Charlene, Dave, Edith, Francis, Ginny, Hal, Iris, and Jake} and the group of {Adam, Betty, Chip, Delilah, Edwin, Frances, Garth, Harriet, Isaac, and Jessica} and the group {Alice, Adam, Karen, and Luke} ...


48

A couple things that hopefully add insight: One: Note that this comment is about "any single campaign" (with more verbiage in that regard in the answer to which you've linked). Those players may or may not be a single game session, i.e., all at the table at one time. My understanding of Gygax's early games is that he had an "open sandbox" style in which he ...


39

Ask your players how they feel about it It's possible they don't feel any slowing down (or are ok with it). Maybe a big group isn't a problem for them. If they want to stay as one group, ask them to help you to make the game flow better. That include: Knowing the rules. Not necessary all the rules, but enough so that they know what to roll most of the ...


29

The DMG doesn't mention scaling DCs for party size. If you find yourself wondering "how high should I set the DC so that this group of \$N\$ characters with modifiers \$m_1, m_2, \dots, m_N\$ will succeed with probability \$p\$?"... ...then you've missed the point. Only call for a roll if there is a meaningful consequence for failure. When deciding ...


21

OD&D was really quick to play Once the party was stuck into a fight, a player's turn could be done in seconds. There were no feats, few magic items, one attack per round, the whole party on the same initiative, and no long-winded descriptions of moves and blows. It could be as short as: "Joe." (d20 roll.) "Rolled 14, plus 2, 16 to hit as a third level ...


19

There are a number of alternatives you have, let's talk about scaling encounters first: Budgeted XP and encounters A good way to adjust the difficulty of an encounter is to look at the budgeted XP for an encounter as intended by the published module and adjust it to your party-size. The guidelines for this is in page 82 of the DMG. This involves ...


17

Talk to your DM about re-running Session Zero The good news is that you all understand more what you want out of the game, the bad news is that there are some differences causing issues. The best thing to do at this point is to try and all get on the same page. Talk to the DM about your concerns and recommend running a session zero. Make sure everyone is ...


16

Beginners to 5e rules are well served starting at first level First off, since everyone is brand new, I would advise against starting at anything beyond level 1. The Dungeon Master’s Guide advises: “When the new player is complete unfamiliar with the D&D game…have that player start with a 1st-level character.” (DM Guide, New Players, p. 236) D&D 5e ...


16

First, a caveat. There are no rules, per se, to tell you how to do what you want to do. You mention the DMG, which does have section on customizing monsters, including ideas like what I suggest here. (It also has a section on building encounters.) However, the systems in the DMG take time and thought, and you're asking for a quicker, dirtier method. So ...


15

The adventure will take care of itself. I've run some of the other (DDEN) published materials with larger-than-recommended groups and didn't bother making many modifications. The effect is that the party breezes through some of the early stuff* but, because of dividing XP by 7 rather than 4 or 5, they level a little "slower" along the story arc. These ...


15

I've been running the same starter set group with 7 players for the last 2 years and we're almost finished the last cave. It was also the first time many of us had ever played - I'd certainly never ran a game before. Here goes. It's going to be a long one... Basically think in terms of action economy. If there's only a few goblins, add a few more (though ...


14

It's probably okay to leave the encounter as it is There's a couple of ways to approach this question, I'll start with a crude estimation and then dial in from there. In terms of CR Goblins are CR ¼ creatures, worth 25XP each. Four of them add together to 100XP total, which we then multiply using the guide in the Dungeon Master's Guide (pages 82-83) by ...


13

Change the game D&D 5e isn't built to support 8 players (or 7, if that includes the DM). You can shoehorn it for a session here or there, but getting a consensus on how to play is going to be nigh impossible, and even if everyone agrees, it's very likely that someone's expectations aren't going to be met. In my experience: 4-5 players is the sweet ...


12

Seems to me you have two areas where you want to optimise; I've run large games before (8 players in a Rolemaster campaign, I must have been mad!) and keeping all the players involved is tough, here's what I learnt from it. Combat Preparation; I don't know about AD&D 4e but I do know about complicated systems and preparation can save you loads of time. ...


12

The XP thresholds for 1st level are 25/50/75/100 for Easy/Medium/Hard/Deadly. Given that you've calculated it at 250XP for 5 PCs, that puts it at 50XP/person. That's barely a medium encounter. Remove just one of those guys and it's now an easy encounter. Try adding in another 4 guys and see how it goes. The centaur, while CR 2, is only 450 XP, which is ...


11

Kobold Fight Club is an excellent tool for scaling encounters on the fly, and I use it constantly. The main trick in your arsenal is to add and remove enemies, rather than changing the stat blocks. For example, if I set KFC to account for 4 level 5 PCs, it tells me that 5 gargoyles are an appropriate challenge for such a party, just barely a Deadly ...


9

I find 8 or 10 players for one DM to be especially challenging to work with, particularly as you are trying to gauge if everyone is having fun, and I can't imagine how this many people would be a practical or satisfying experience. I suspect one aspect is that the referee wasn’t worrying about gauging whether anyone is having fun. Especially in the cases ...


9

The Basic Rules are a place for you to start. The Dungeon Master's D&D Basic Rules has a section on encounter building and modifying encounters (p.165-167) which will get you the same advice @Marius referenced in the DMG--at zero cost. Pay particular attention to "Party Size" on p. 166. (The adventure contained in the Starter Set--The Lost Mine of ...


9

You've indicated that most of the problem comes from players arguing over what to do next. I have a technique I use for this: I ask them to vote. We do one round around the table and let everyone say what they think the group should do, and then we do a second round around the table and I ask everyone to vote. If there's a tie, I break the tie myself. ...


8

If you are not a Pro subscriber on Roll20, I would heavily recommend it as a solution to large group management. Pro gives you a wealth of automation options that are not available at the free or Plus level including: Group rolling of initiative and automatic sorting Automated saves for large groups, including applying damage Automated token numbering for ...


8

Ideas to not massacre a small party. Without knowing the full details (such as if the players will change between sessions) there are a few options: As the DM you can give opponents a "handicap" for their attack and damages, or scale the numbers of opponents, to make things a bit easier until the characters are a bit more skilled or others join the party. ...


7

As a GM who was in your exact situation (except I had closer to 9 players at the table) I speak from experience when I say: Rooms can get cramped. It is probably a good idea to add a few five feet to either side of a room. Leave hallways and doors alone, though, those are excellent ways to funnel your players so that their numbers aren't very overwhelming. ...


7

From my reading the Storm King's Thunder, it seems not all of the encounters can be solved by brute force. Giants themselves are meant to be formidable and difficult to take down foes. And multiple encounters actually encourage the PCs to run away. While you can adjust the difficulty of encounters in a number of ways (reducing the number of foes, ...


6

Encounter scaling can happen in many ways. I'll try to cover as much as I can, but I'm sure I'll be missing some. Upgrade the Party's Gear: Simply upping their damage output might not be enough, along with weapons, give them upgraded armors, and other misc items that boost defenses and offensive potential. (The Dungeon Master Guide will help you here) ...


6

In most cases, allowing multiple attempts is a poor idea. If you'd let every character try disarming that trap, why would you not let one member in a party of five try it five times? In other cases, you can allow multiple attempts regardless of the amount of people, such as breaking down a door. In some cases, like attempting to discern someone lying, a ...


6

There are two aspects that become more problematic the more players there are: Roleplaying and Combat Roleplaying If the only meaningful interactions are with the DM, players can easily get bored, when they character is not directly affected by what's going on: For example when a NPC is talking with a PC. To avoid that becoming a problem you should put ...


6

Recruit an assistant DM This can work if you both are good at Roll20, and both decide on how to labor share. You'll need to do some prep to ensure that your assistant DM has the material needed for reference during the adventure. Experience (at table): We did this in some of the 1e games that got really big back in the day. I was Co-DM for an OD&D ...


6

A more concise attempt at my previous answer, now that my thought are more organised: It can get rowdy. Try to make sure everybody has a voice. You'll find the same 2 or 3 loud ones will drown out the quieter few if you let them. Try not to make combats too big, your players may get bored - unless that's what they enjoy? Get a feel for what they like. If ...


6

While not stated explicitly, the norm still appears to be 5 players. However there are useful suggestions on the internet for balancing the module for different numbers of players. One such example is by a reddit poster who seems to have prepared explicit adjustments for various encounters. With two players, you can also consider letting each player run a ...


6

There are a few techniques that I've tried myself which have been effective for scaling combat challenges up or down, and they should apply to series of encounters just as well. 1. Adjust the number of enemies in combat The action economy is a big deal, especially when enemy groups mix types of enemy to allow more possible combinations of actions the enemy ...


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