Post by dmslythytoves on Jan 21, 2023 22:38:33 GMT
Okay, hardcore, I like it. Your best option is draft another DM!
I once tackled a group of 10 middle schoolers (not physically tackled, that's frowned upon) who had never played. I had to walk them through character creation and we only got through two rooms of goblins, but they all loved it! Here's what I did:
I split them into two "parties," letting friends play with each other, and also making suggestions for slightly more balanced parties. I then walked both parties through the same scenario: I told each group to plan their next round (they're new, I'm not opposed to a bit of meta gaming to begin with), then I bounced back and forth for a round. They also were listening and learning from each other when they weren't playing. Sure, we didn't get far, and it wouldn't really work for much RP, but it got the ball rolling until I found an older student who could run the other group.
The dynamic is fun though, because when someone lands a critical hit, the whole room explodes! Keep us updated!
I agree with dmslythytoves that a second DM is likely the best bet. Even with two DMs that is still a fairly large table to run given the age range.
The other option would be to break the group into general groups of players. Fighters, ranged, healers, etc.
I'm not sure the limitations of the current set up, but having two groups that are on alternate days is another way to potentially go.
Barring all of those things I think having as much as possible done beforehand would be helpful. Having a bank of rolls you have already made, using standard damage for both sides of the screens, keeping things as on the rails as possible, etc.