1 GM and 6 players. Yes, this is what happens when friends from all over the country come to visit you on the same weekend… Now, we’re looking for a game that can be played as a one shot (~4-5 hours) with seven friends around the table. Suggestions anyone?
The Final Girl is a beloved staple of The Gauntlet, and it totally works at this player count, if your group is into slasher films.
Also along the horror vein, I’ve seen Dread work very well here.
I have experience in running convention games of V5 for seven players.
I ran games covering one hour up to four hours. The most important thing to do so, is to either offer the players ready-made characters or have them bring their characters to the table.
Does it have to be tabletop? There are lots of larps that work in that range and time frame.
If it does have to be tabletop, that sounds like a good excuse for some light-hearted nostalgia-fueled dungeon crawling. Break out your Moldvay Basic D&D and roll up some fighters, elves and wizards.
To me, six is the practical upper bound of any PBTA game, but how satisfying it will be with six players is sort of up to your group dynamics. The Warren feels like a good choice in this space - people can drift in and out, rabbits come and go.
Montsegur 1244 is a wonderful one shot but only scales as written to six with no GM. You could have two players share a pair of protagonists and it would work fine.
If you manage to get the cards from the boxed edition of Montsegur, it will handle 7 players
I made an extra character for Witch: The Road to Lindisfarne which makes that game capable of supporting 7.
I once ran a session of Lady Blackbird with a thrown-together 6th player character; for that run, it was Count Carlowe, who probably is the best candidate among the listed characters. (Other options: Captain Hollas, who gets kidnapped rather a lot in games I run, and possibly Uriah Flint if you like your love triangles to be played out right from the start.)
Perhaps @Jmstar is too modest to mention it, but a six PC table of Night Witches means all the roles in the section will be filled by PCs
Thank you all for your good recommendations! Final Girl is indeed a very good game for larger groups! Why haven’t I thought of this earlier?! Thanks, @Curubethion!
I’m not sure, if the group is really into V5. Although I guess what you’re suggesting, @Teylen, could easily be applied to other “more traditional” games like The Dark Eye and DnD.
LARP is something I haven’t considered, yet. So, thanks a lot for bringing this up, @Jmstar! Also, The Warren has been sitting on my list for quite some time! So has Montsegur 1244, of which I recently purchased the German translation.
I’d be very interested in that seventh character for Witch, @AviatrixCat! And adding Count Carlowe to a game of Lady Blackbird sounds like a fascinating idea!
Thank you all so much: This is a great place!
Have at it! There’s a link to the pdf in the post. I wrote the absolution scene at Dexcon 2017, I believe, and had to run downstairs and show it to @scareaphina right away
Finally Brother Armond got company. Thanks, Cat!
Whoah! Whoah! Playable Count Carlowe in Lady Blackbird! That’s blowing my mind.
I ran a game where Carlowe turned up and was a super creepy ghostblood had to fight off after he ambushed The Owl. What was he like as a player character? Did he somehow start out in the brig along with the other PCs?
I stuck him on the Hand of Sorrow, he was calling on Captain Hollas (who was a one eyed stunning older woman in this run) to see if anything had turned up, and got nabbed when the Owl broke out. I think I grabbed Vance’s extra sheet at the back of the module, crossed out a few tags, wrote in a few new ones, and gave him the Secret of the Vow
My go-to would be my game The Daughters of Verona. It’s a Montsegur 1244 hack where you play comedies. It says on the box that it is for 4 to 6 players, but I’ve played it in groups as large as ten without any problems whatsoever. You can find it on Lulu and DriveThruRPG.
Otherwise, Witch Quest - a game where you play fourteen year old witches and their cats is fine with 6 players plus GM. The players split into pairs where one plays the witch and one her cat. By game design magic that effectively halves the group size for most purposes. Fun game. You can find the English translation as a free download, ask Google.
Playing basic D&D or one of the more light weight OSR clones would work fine with a party of six plus DM.
If they’re fans of Starship Troopers, Aliens, and similar, then Gregor Hutton’s 3:16 is a pretty great GMed one-shot that can handle big squads.
At some point @shanel will be along to recommend Cheat Your Own Adventure, so I won’t mention it for now. He’ll tell you how you’ll probably be able to get 2-3 games of it in with drop-in and -out in that time frame.
+1 for The Warren being a solid choice here (I’m less familiar with most of the other games mentioned). I think the main challenge with GM + 6 PCs is making sure everyone gets time in the spotlight, and to that end you’d maybe want to run a pretty deadly version of the game so people can have cool death sequences and then make space for others (and then come back as new rabbits or take over NPC rabbits as the mood strikes you).
Similarly, +1 for Dread if you can find a scenario for it you’re excited about.
For The Queen is also a great choice. I just played a bunch of games of it with 6 at GenCon, and I heard from others that it holds together just fine at 7. It’s a little quicker (maybe you can play it twice, or pair it with a short larp!). If you go with it, I’d also put the “the queen is under attack” card pretty near the bottom of the deck to make sure everyone gets enough cards to really flesh out their character since the game end is tied to total cards and not cards answered / player.
If you could be convinced to check out a larp, I’d highly recommend it. I’ve had really good experiences dipping my toes into larp the past year, especially with larger numbers. I’ve found larps allow you to separate into groups during gameplay in a way that tabletop games don’t really support. Sign and We Are Roommates Now are both great larps that’d work very well with 7.
Since @JimLikesGames invoked me: yes, Cheat Your Own Adventure works splendidly with that number of people. You of course can come up with your own scenarios, but there are a few in Codex. I highly recommend those contained in Codex: Blood 2 in Dia De Los Muertos. It helps you to tell a great story and set up and use callbacks as you go.
My usual for Quarrel & Fable is six, though I’ve maxxed it out at twelve for a nuts boss battle at the school I’m at. It’s got a unified resolution mechanic (2d6>=9), 2m chargen, an open-ended specialisation system, and a mechanism by which the players memorise the spells
Do you like Star Trek?
Do you want a game that creates equality in your friend group?
Do you have more people than Fiasco can handle?
Then you’re in luck: Jay Treat wrote a LARP called Strange Gravity, available at Drive Thru and wherever esoteric RPGs are sold: www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202647/Strange-Gravity-BUNDLE
In Strange Gravity, everybody gets a role, which defines both their characters role on the ship and the narrative authority that player has.
So, for ex: The XO (Riker!) also sets the scene – where it is, whose there.
The Counselor (Troi!) also says what relationships people have - whose in love, whose related, who just wants to bang.
The Pilot (Wesley? It’s not clear to me right now) also moves along the plot - keeps things moving and fast paced.
Can it be played as a freeform tabletop game, or does it require getting up and moving around?
6 is the natural number of players for Best Friends. +1 optional facilitator/GM.
The game highly encourages movement, as do the lots and lots of warm up exercises.
I’ve seen people go from having never played a larp before and being all anxious about it, to being thrilled and into it.