I've got 5 players - tips, tricks, or run screaming?

As things have shaken down (due to my awesomeness as a GM or whatever) word has gotten around about this Burning Empires game, and as it turns out, I’ll have 5 players finally, all said.

With that in mind, what do folks suggest? Especially as I’d like to shoot for a two-maneuver session? Two guys are FoN’s (because we’re going for Usurpation, as we finished the Infiltration Phase and the player FoN for that Phase has dropped out of the game; I had his enemy drop out too, by the way).

I’ve got two FoNs, and as the book suggests, the new players are not FoNs. But there’s five of them. How to handle that and keep the game intense?

For example, I imagine, as the book sort of suggests anyway for two-maneuver sessions, we limit ourselves to one builder scene for each player, and may an inter scene, and 1-2 conflicts for the group as a whole. I guess.

Any other tips? How to make sure not to miss Artha awards? Skill tests for advancement? Other things I’m not seeing now?

I’ve played plenty of games with five players. The danger for me was that we would slip into “everyone must have their say” mode. I want everyone to participate, but not everyone can have a scene about what’s going on in the current scene. Not everyone gets to grandstand about every little thing said. Participation is best when it’s sharp, precise.

It’s tough!

In fact, BE is a very tough game to play.

Ah, I see. So you’re saying, it’s okay if a player DOESN’T have a scene, if, say, they’ve no particular plans or whatever. At most they would get an interstitial if it happens they want to contribute or some such? Yeah, gotta be careful of that, I agree (and it is what my original plan was, which was why I was afraid of time considerations and the like). Thanks.

I was trying to say that everyone should get a chance to help and be a part of a scene, but if you don’t have anything, don’t force it. And if you do have something, be succinct.

That’s what I was saying too, and apparently, not very well. Thanks for the clarification. More questions to follow!

Oh man so true.

The biggest BE game I’ve ever run was 5 players and me – three FONs and two supporter folks. It was necessarily quite slow; we never attempted 2 sessions-in-a-night. I share Luke’s instinct to try and give everyone some time, and it’s easy to get into the habit of contriving reasons for folks to be in every scene. The competitive vibe of the game also sort of promotes this – if you can get helpers into a scene, you really really want them there. The Infection rules themselves can lead to a conflict of interest when there’s more than 3 players.

I’d try to make sure there are always at least two parallel plotlines running through the game, and work the artha and scene economies the other way. Make it easier to pursue a character’s goal-completion artha when they spend their scenes pursuing their own stuff. Maybe even make it sort of hard to do it when everyone’s following everyone around and appearing in every scene. Some of that may require a little nudging/guidance during Belief-writing. Maybe look at achievable Beliefs that are in conflict with other characters on your own side.