Six players: What to expect.

My RPG group wants to start up a Mouseguard game, and I’d really like to run it. The only issue is that there’s seven of us, which means that our patrol would be six strong. I know that it’s recommended to have 2-4 players in this game, will everything be okay?
I did a one-off mission with five players once and that worked fine, the only real foreseeable problem would be that things could take longer (conflict’s in particular).
What might I be missing? What do I need to watch out for?

I find the game runs really smooth with a GM and 3 players. Best advice, if you think your up for the challenge, depending on length of potential campaign. Two groups of 3 players each. Run them alongside each other in the same world. seperate patrols, with seperate missions, every few sessions they see the effects the other patrol has had in the universe. This forum would be a great place to get ideas and also conspire with other GMs for campaign ideas. I did something similar to this when 2 players in my group often bailed shortly before game time. Created a contingency campaign for the other two. Same world, new mice, new patrol. Great way to follow up on old NPCs, tease future big ones, also have the main campaign feel drastically changed by the actions of the other patrol without even meeting them, or even really knowing anything about them

You’ll have 2 teams in the party most of the time, and you’ll sometimes have 3 or even 4.

You should plan 3-4 encounters per session (that’s 1-2 more than suggested for 3p), with an extra 2-4 prepped for twists. You’ll need to structure so that everyone gets an opportunity to earn a check each session.

You need to keep in mind that, when they work as a single team, its skill+5D… but no one gets more than one action per two turns. Discourage this, but don’t disallow it; it allows some bigger challenges (like foxes and eagles).

The general guide for a single opponent is Nature = team’s key skill +2; this is still valid, but encourage two teams and use key skill +3 for the nature. Or use Nature +2, but use two and script them independently as separate teams. For team opponents like weasels, key skills should be balanced just like the team’s, but the numbers should be two teams, or one team of one skill better.

Sessions will be longer. conflicts will be more intense and more rules heavy, since you’ll often be using the multiple teams rules.

The biggest problems are (in my experience with a 4+ month 6p game)
[ul][li]temptation to speed things up by not requiring narration for help or combat actions
[/li][li]some players not earning checks in play because the encounters were handled by others.
[/li][li]some players not getting a chance to solve an encounter in a session and feeling left out
[/li][li]scripting resolution is trickier with multiple teams
[/li][li]snowballing opponents when one side or the other first loses a team
[/li][li]longer sessions (about 70% longer)
[/li][li]WWAM is less effective; I tend to go Wx, 2Wi, 2A, M, and 2 spare for a 6p game, and “plan” 4 of them, brief about two of them semi-accurately, and the rest are twist.
[/li][li]Dice passing may result in thrown dice…[/ul]
The game DOES work quite well with this size group. Just differently from a 3p group. It’s quite surprisingly robust there.

Sorry, you lost me here. Care to fill me in on what “WWAM” is exactly?

Weather, Wilderness, Animal, Mouse - the four basic types of encounters. And the level to which a “normal” 3p session is planed: 1 of each, of which 2 are planned to be used, and 2 are planned twists.

Great suggestion Sithquatch, but our game group is pretty tight and that wouldn’t really be the best option. But certainly something to keep in mind for the future :slight_smile:

Thanks for the advice Aramis, I hadn’t realized how insane some diepools might get. I’m going to be planning alot of complex obstacles that involve several simultaneous tests, that way the patrol has to divide the labor rather than pooling into one supergroup.

For example, as a twist I might send a guardmouse careening down a mudslide right into a goosenest. Some of the patrol will have to find a way to distract papa goose while the rest manage to rescue the unlucky sop.

I’ll definitly use your guidelines and plan a few extra twists, since tests will inevitably occur more frequently.

To sumarize:
-I’ll need to plan four or so hazards per mission, and have two or more in the back pocket.
-I should expect Conflicts to take a good deal of time, so make sure that they’re well-written and not just a “here’s our conflict quota for the session”.
-Be prepared to spend more prep time devoted to finding a way for every player to earn a check. (I might allow some players to earn checks merely through the roleplay of their traits getting in their way, but this would only happen if they’ve really earned it.)
-Because of the large group size i’ll get to experiment with crazier and more dangerous hazards, but sessions will take a bit longer and if we’re not careful certain things can become a grind.

Aside from the number of twists to have ready, yeah. Have at least 3 twists…

And be prepared for longer sessions than advertised on the cover. A good group of 3 can crank out a good session in 2-3 hours. A 6p group is looking at 3-5 hours… if you’re running long, don’t hesitate to move the player turn to next session.

You’re the man Aramis.
We’re making characters next week and then starting the week after. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Good luck, and remember to remind them of every chance to earn those checks by self-nerfing and tie-losing.

No! Don’t ever do this! This is a bad idea. Earning a check has to have a mechanical part to it.

All the rest of the stuff you said sounds fine.

Never give a check for free. Just make certain that every player has some unique skill and that there’s an opportunity to use it.