GM Advice Desperately Needed (I'm In Way Over My Head)

What was I thinking?

I just had 14 people sign up to play a game I've never run, in a system I'm not familiar with, in a setting we just made up over the weekend. And Cthulhu help me, I think I'm going to go ahead with it.

It's a play by email game it not like I'm going to have 28 eyes staring at me. But it's still a lot of stuff over track of, and it will be impossible to keep everyone engaged with something to do. And because we'll be waiting for so many people to respond, we could be waiting ages between posts. So why am I considering going through with this?

Am I nuts, agreeing to do this? Should I have just cut the group off at 5, 6 or 7? I'm so bad at saying no...

I'm considering splitting it into 2 parties, which will make it more manageable, but then I will basically be running two games. Even if I run them through identical, mirrored scenarios and reuse as much material as I can, in a setting like this they're going to quickly wander off into their own directions, so I'm going to have two groups no matter what I do.

Any other advice from anyone who's run a group this big? Especially a play-by-post type of game? I'm feeling kind of overwhelmed at the moment.

For reference, this the game we're trying to play.
Art by DarkMatteria


  1. I would split them into 2 groups and then try to run them through the same adventure. If the 2 groups head in different directions then reskin the work for 1 for the other. I doubt they would notice. Also as its a PBeM then you've got some in built breathing time to help you.

    The other thing you could do is ask some of the players for help doing some player doable GM work.

    1. I've gotten a lot of suggestions about splitting the group and running them either against each other or side by side toward the same goal. I kinda like that, and it saves the tediousness of doing the same thing twice.

      If it picks up I hope I can convince someone to help out with the GM duties. It would definitely help keep the game going long term.

  2. It's PBEM so I think you can manage. You don't have to track anything in real time, so it allows you to figure out the rules as you go. I think the hardest thing to do will be keeping track of interactions, and their effect on the setting, with that many people playing.

    1. So many interactions... So many people to engage. I think I can juggle it, but it will just be so much time... I just don't know I'll have the time, I might have to out strict lim

    2. Any chance you have to play a game, rather than write shit about games, always play a game.

  3. I really like C.D. Gallant-King's idea of splitting into two and running them parallel. Starting a modified "Age of Worms" right now and the rival party in it drives my players nuts.

    Even if they end up going different directions, that gives you more area of your world that gets developed. I fully subscribe to "create only what you need to", and having more to create could really get your creative juices flowing.

    Even hundreds of miles apart the things one group does can have effects on the other. One accidentally releases a marauding beast that heads towards the second group. The other group gets involved in politics and gets involved in a war between their patron and a neighboring power, one which the first group is in.

    1. Yeah, I'm really curious about how they can interact with and affect each other. I love the idea of them being in opposition, but even if they're not actively trying to kill each other, they may be at odds trying to complete the same goal. With so many personalities, there are bound to be some contrary opinions and outlooks (at least in character).


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