This weekend saw the second session of my new D&D campaign and two new players have joined: Natasha (as tiefling warlock Zabrina) and Dusty (as human ranger Seal). That brings the number of players to six, which is close to the maximum I’ve ever had. And more people want to join.
What’s funny is that, for most of my life growing up, D&D was kind of a closeted activity. It certainly wasn’t cool. I struggled to find and have just three players a lot of the time. In high school, things opened up and that was when, for a few sessions, I found myself with seven players. Ever since then I’ve usually had four or five, which is the number I’m most comfortable with simply because it’s a lot faster to go around the table during combat with less players involved. I love having lots of players, the more the merrier, but at a certain point it gets cumbersome.
Now, I have six players, with interest from three more. I’m nervous to add more because everyone is pretty green and it takes a long time getting things done as it is. That will improve, of course, as everyone gets more familiar with the rules, and the fifth edition is the most streamlined version of the game to date. Still, I remember very well how slow-moving my game was with seven players, even though that was 25 years ago.
The other issue with more players is scheduling. Getting everyone together is very hard, no matter the size of the group, but the bigger the crew the more difficult it can be to align everyone. A possible solution would be to run two groups, but even just one is a lot of work. I am seriously considering it, though. I mean, I have plenty of setting developed and ready to go. My obstacle is a self-imposed one: I always want novelty and rarely care to revisit a campaign. Novelty demands a lot more work, though.
When did D&D become such a popular thing?