Sunday, March 13, 2011

What is the Ideal Group Size For a VTT Run RPG?

Sooner or later I'll be getting my Tunnels & Trolls game off the ground via Fantasy Grounds.  I figure the ideal party size is about 4, but how large should he group (pool) be?

It's hard enough getting all your players to show up for face to face gaming, but with a VTT and people spread out all about the world, it's more common then not to have less then the full group show.

I think I  can scale T&T off the cuff for a smaller / larger party then expected for a certain session, just wondering how large a group I should hope to recruit.  Then again, it is Tunnels &  Trolls... I may have to fall back upon Swords & Wizardry if I want to recruit a full group ;)


  1. That's a loaded question Tenkar. I don't feel qualified to answer on the VTT size, my gut tells me you are probably right as to people not showing up as often virtually versus person to person at a table. I believe most people have the mind set of finding it easier to blow off someone they only know virtually. Heck, I have a face-to-face table player that it is a shake of the dice every week as to if he will show up or not. We utilize a yahoo group mailing list. We game on Tuesdays, so Monday I send out a message on the email list, and this particular player, I make it a point to text him the next day to remind him. Even with two reminders, it is still a 50/50 shot if he will show up or not, and 9 times out of 10, if he does show up, it is 20 to 30 minutes late.

    The other part of your question I find interesting, is your idea of switching to Swords & Wizardry. I think you would have better luck switching to Pathfinder as it is more heavily played, or even (shudder) D&D4. When I was active duty military and moved every couple of years, I would always, upon reaching my new home, start a game of D&D in whatever version it was most popular in at the time. I always found it easier to find D&D fans versus Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play or T&T fans, or any other game I was into at the time. After hooking players and reeling them in, I would then try to talk them into other systems.

    Now days, with D&D in a three way schism - Retro versions versus Pathfinder versus D&D4 -- it is even more complicated.

    I'm not trying to sound defeatist, but I must say "good luck with that". I do believe you will find a group on line, but it will take time with several false starts. That has been my experience putting together face-to-face groups and I imagine it will be more difficult in a VTT format.

    Short answer to your question: I've always shot for 7 (including the DM/GM) and settled for 4 or 5 (again, including the DM/GM).

    Good news, I've been wanting to try out a VTT format and I'd be willing to give it a go, but I come with a few faults of my own. Contact me at kilsern71(at)gmail and I'd love to chat with you more.

  2. Tenkar I wouldn't say any more than 4 or5 also unless you've got some very discipline players and who wants to GM them. We've been using Fantasy Grounds with Skype. Works great, but you get into situations where people start talking over each other.

  3. I find from our C&C sessions that 7+ is not a problem because we are not using voice chat. Players think about what they are going to do then type. It is not a problem if 3-4 players type at once, though sometimes I have to type the same thing twice to get the GMs attention. Now if you are going to use voice chat I think you want to keep down to 3-4 players.

  4. @tegeus - when was the last time we had 7 players show up? but yes, voice chat does make things a slower pace and easier to juggle extras

    decisions, decisions... ;)


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