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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default What Do I Feed My Players?

    I'm a DM for a D&D group with a player group of 9 - 11 people depending on whether or not everyone can show up at a session. Because of the large group size, our sessions tend to run between 8 and 12 hours long, usually late into the night. I enjoy cooking as well as DMing, and I like to feed my players when I can afford to (seeing as I'm a near-broke college student), but I'm running into problems of what to feed them.

    Everyone likes a bowl of candy or sugary snacks, but I run into the problem of the sugar high crashing after a while, and having some slightly grumpy or unfocused players for the next hour or so. I tried feeding them spaghetti, which everyone liked, but then ran into the problem of everyone wanting to fall asleep about a half an hour later. Chips and things work okay short-term, but people get hungry pretty quickly afterward.

    So, any thoughts on a (cheap) way to feed my players that won't have them crashing midway through the game?
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Chrono22's Avatar

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Make it a pitch-in. If people want to eat, they need to bring something. It doesn't have to be elaborate- either some snacks they can share, or sandwiches, or a salad.
    Chances are, if the person that is bringing food likes that food, others in the group will too.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    Jallorn's Avatar

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Have everyone pitch in for pizza.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Pasta is usually fairly cheap and can be made in large quantities. Soups, stews, and chillis could be an option too. Usually you only need a few ingredients, and if you happen to have a slow-cooker, you can leave it cooking while you play. Those generally take only a few ingredients, you can make a lot of it, and if there are left overs, they freeze pretty well too.

    Those are just a few ideas off the top of my head. Hope they help.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    dsmiles's Avatar

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Other players?

    Seriously, I have a small group, and we usually just order pizza.
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    Titan in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    A big pot of soup or stew can be great - hearty, giving long-term energy, and can be dipped into as desired throughout the session. Combine with bread or buns for starchy long-term fun. Plus, can be made hours or days in advance, so you're not stuck multi-tasking. Everybody pitches in a few bucks for the raw materials.

    By the way, you are fantastic for even thinking about this problem!
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    AslanCross's Avatar

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    I agree on having them pitch in. That's what we do. Sometimes I treat them (well, my grandmother does) to homemade spaghetti, but most of the time we just pitch in to order pizza or burgers. I think the idea is to keep them fed but not to bloat them, which tends to make them feel sleepy, especially after lunch. (Our games run from around 11 am to 4:30 pm)


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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Attilargh's Avatar

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    In general, you don't want to make the players a straight-up meal, because that'll lead to them wanting to take a nap soon afterwards. Instead, a continuous stream of sandwiches or wraps should be alright. Just prepare a few platters, store them in the fridge and bring them out as needed. Some sort of salad is also a possibility. For the snacks, try fruit, veggies or maybe jerky or meatballs, possibly with some kind of salsa dip.

    And now I'm really hungry. Thanks a bunch.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Hazkali's Avatar

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    In general, I second Chrono22's suggestion. Feeding 11 people regularly will quickly become expensive, and whilst it may go against traditional etiquette, I think you're within your rights to ask them to pitch in 'in kind'.

    Another problem might be the size of your group. If it works for you, then all's good, but 10-12 participants is an awful lot, and 8-12 hours is a long time for someone to concentrate on anything. I would really suggest splitting the group into two, and running two four-hour sessions.

    However, I appreciate that doesn't answer your question! Ideally you want something simple and scalable- chilli or stir-fry might be a good idea, as both can be bulked-out with rice if needs be, and are simple, all-in-one-pan affairs.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Pizza is the traditional venue for gaming at my table. Then again, Little Ceaser's has cheap pizzas (like 6 bucks for a Large, either cheese or pepperoni, and instantly ready).

    One of the guys I know who GM's have 'GM Points'. You gain a GM point if you bring food for the group, or several other things you do outside actual gaming to help the group.

    GM Points can be used for the following:

    * XP equal to 10% of what is necessary to go from your current level to your next level

    * If your character is killed, you may spend a point to make it 'merely a flesh wound', with the character stabilized at -9

    * Used in advance to declare the result of a single die roll

    * Used after a roll to gain a re-roll, taking the more favorable result

    * Used to gain approval for material on the 'maybe list' (the GM triaged splatbook material into 'no problem', 'maybe', and 'hell no')

    * With pre-approval of the GM, may be used for Divine Intervention of some sort within the campaign.

    * May be redeemed for a magic item whose value shall not exceed 1/8th of the WBL of your current level. Will require an additional point if this item is also on the 'maybe list'.

    However, for it to count as a GM point, it has to feed the group, not just you.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    I go with pasta; usually like five boxes of the angelhair boxed stuff and some frozen breadsticks. Then I cook it in intermission and we eat during the later part of the game.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dada's Avatar

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drenn View Post
    I tried feeding them spaghetti, which everyone liked, but then ran into the problem of everyone wanting to fall asleep about a half an hour later.
    I find thats a general problem whenever people eat a 'real' meal. If you eat until you're full, then tiredness will follow.

    A pitch-in is a good idea. Apart from that, sandwiches usually work quite well to keep the hunger away for an hour or two, and they don't have to interrupt the game. Don't make them fancy, something simple will do just fine. Be sure to use wholegrain bread or something like that. Plain white toast won't sate the hunger for long. Also, serve only one or two sandwiches to each player at a time, to avoid tiredness. They will also last longer that way.

    For dinner or lunch, some soups are easy and cheap to make in large potions, if you have a suitable sauce pot. You can leave it simmering for extended periods of time (e.g. while playing) and it is lighter compared to other meals, thus causing less drowsiness. Be sure to serve bread too, though.
    English is not my first language, but feel free to correct me.

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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Escheton's Avatar

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Fondue? Everyone brings a big honk of cheese and a loaf of bread.

    Some bring assorted fruits, then let the rogue play around with a knife, making salade. Blend the remains for energyrich drinks.

    Trailmix and jerky works well, as do wine/waterskins. Also helps getting char a bit as that is mostly what trailrations are.

    Random snacks work well, ya know, fingerfoods. But more cheeseplates and meatplates and assorted toast then chips and dips help in the longrun.

    Food is good but having fruitdrinks and light alcoholic drinks such as mead on top of the soda's and powerdrinks help a lot too.


    Having everyone chip in is crucial though.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Quote Originally Posted by Attilargh View Post
    In general, you don't want to make the players a straight-up meal, because that'll lead to them wanting to take a nap soon afterwards. Instead, a continuous stream of sandwiches or wraps should be alright. Just prepare a few platters, store them in the fridge and bring them out as needed. Some sort of salad is also a possibility. For the snacks, try fruit, veggies or maybe jerky or meatballs, possibly with some kind of salsa dip.

    And now I'm really hungry. Thanks a bunch.
    Ah. Good point. I forgot to mention. Several of my players categorically refuse to eat anything involving anything with vegetables or greens of any sort. The tomato sauce on pizza is pushing it some times.
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  15. - Top - End - #15
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    No, no, the right question is : What do I feed my players to ?
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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Starbuck_II's Avatar

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drenn View Post
    I'm a DM for a D&D group with a player group of 9 - 11 people depending on whether or not everyone can show up at a session. Because of the large group size, our sessions tend to run between 8 and 12 hours long, usually late into the night. I enjoy cooking as well as DMing, and I like to feed my players when I can afford to (seeing as I'm a near-broke college student), but I'm running into problems of what to feed them.
    You feed your players? Wow, I wish I had a DM like that.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dada's Avatar

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drenn View Post
    Ah. Good point. I forgot to mention. Several of my players categorically refuse to eat anything involving anything with vegetables or greens of any sort. The tomato sauce on pizza is pushing it some times.
    Then you might be out of luck. Meat is expensive compared to other foods, and tend to be both very filling and the kind of food people will eat not just until they are full, but until they are bloated.

    My best advice would be not making a regular meal, but just keep a steady stream of different snacks coming as needed, like the sandwiches and wraps mentioned above. Also, bacon is delicious when crispy (but probably not cheap).
    English is not my first language, but feel free to correct me.

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  18. - Top - End - #18
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazkali View Post
    In general, I second Chrono22's suggestion. Feeding 11 people regularly will quickly become expensive, and whilst it may go against traditional etiquette, I think you're within your rights to ask them to pitch in 'in kind'.

    Another problem might be the size of your group. If it works for you, then all's good, but 10-12 participants is an awful lot, and 8-12 hours is a long time for someone to concentrate on anything. I would really suggest splitting the group into two, and running two four-hour sessions.

    However, I appreciate that doesn't answer your question! Ideally you want something simple and scalable- chilli or stir-fry might be a good idea, as both can be bulked-out with rice if needs be, and are simple, all-in-one-pan affairs.
    I've asked people to pitch in, in the past, but typically, it hasn't ever really panned out. I have one player that consistently brings sodas for everyone, which I really appreciate, but that's the extent of it.

    Yeah, 10 to 12 is a ridiculous size, but we actually make it work, more or less. I have a co-DM to help me out, especially when the party decides to split up, and the players are fairly well trained by now to keep combat situations moving at a good clip. I've thought about splitting it into two groups before, but my problem is that the game has become a central enough part of the social circle, that everyone wants to be in the same session to see each other, as much as to play. They're also the ones that request the 12 hours games; I'm usually done at 6 hours.
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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    No, no, the right question is : What do I feed my players to ?
    The answer is the DM, of course.

    I'll give another + on Mr. Pizza. Everyone throws in 3-5 bucks and you can have pizzas delivered. With a group that large, I don't think anyone would blame you if you said "I not only have to run a campaign, but I also have to feed you jerks?!" If some people don't like pizza, they could always throw in some more cash to pay for a sub if you order from a place that offers such a thing.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Attilargh's Avatar

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drenn View Post
    I forgot to mention. Several of my players categorically refuse to eat anything involving anything with vegetables or greens of any sort.
    In that case, you could try making the sandwiches out of meatbread.

    In preparation for the inevitable cardiac arrest, ensure the paramedics can enter without hindrance before the game. In fact, try asking some to play with you, so you don't have to waste time calling the ambulance.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    No, no, the right question is : What do I feed my players to ?
    LOL. I suppose I could solve the problem by killing off the characters one by one (in epic manners, of course) and slowly whittling the party down that way.
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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Honestly if out of 12 players, only one bothers to bring anything at all regularly, I'd tell them to go **** themselves.

    It's not too much to ask for everyone to chip in 5 bucks each to order some pizza or grab some snacks. If they can't do that much, let them go hungry.

    Better yet, start getting snacks but only let those who contribute have any. Give them a weeks heads up to be ready to contribute some, and if they don't then they're SOL.


    They'll either deal with it, start contributing, or leave your group.

    All 3 of those scenarios I'd call a win when you're dealing with a group that big.



    As an aside, I'd recommend a cracker/pepporoni/cheese tray as something to munch on that's generally pretty cheap, and not something that will cause people to overstuff themselves on.
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  23. - Top - End - #23
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Quote Originally Posted by Attilargh View Post
    In that case, you could try making the sandwiches out of meatbread.

    In preparation for the inevitable cardiac arrest, ensure the paramedics can enter without hindrance before the game. In fact, try asking some to play with you, so you don't have to waste time calling the ambulance.
    *jaw drops* I've never heard of such a thing, but it sounds AWESOME. Yeah, they would definitely eat that if I could find the time to cook it. Hmmmm......
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Quote Originally Posted by Attilargh View Post
    In that case, you could try making the sandwiches out of meatbread.

    In preparation for the inevitable cardiac arrest, ensure the paramedics can enter without hindrance before the game. In fact, try asking some to play with you, so you don't have to waste time calling the ambulance.
    What has been seen cannot be unseen.

    I'm currently writing stats for an animated meatbread with a death attack...
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  25. - Top - End - #25
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Quote Originally Posted by Safety Sword View Post
    What has been seen cannot be unseen.

    I'm currently writing stats for an animated meatbread with a death attack...
    =). Food can actually be incorporated into the game itself in some really fun ways. I once ran an adventure where the party was in a house that they suspected had some sort of enchantment at work, and found food on one of the tables. Normally, they would have disregarded the food (and the flavor text about how good it smelled) entirely, but I made a plate of cookies right before the game, and put it out on the table as a prop. Only players whose characters were actually eating the food could have a cookie. It was really fun to watch them wrestle with it on a new level.
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  26. - Top - End - #26
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    bokodasu's Avatar

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Carrots. Um, not to feed them, to get them to contribute. My dm gives out an xp bonus for healthy snacks only, so we usually have a nice mix of fruits, crackers and hummus, veggies and dips, nuts, granola, trail mix, etc.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Pizza is the traditional venue for gaming at my table. Then again, Little Ceaser's has cheap pizzas (like 6 bucks for a Large, either cheese or pepperoni, and instantly ready).

    One of the guys I know who GM's have 'GM Points'. You gain a GM point if you bring food for the group, or several other things you do outside actual gaming to help the group.

    GM Points can be used for the following:

    * XP equal to 10% of what is necessary to go from your current level to your next level

    * If your character is killed, you may spend a point to make it 'merely a flesh wound', with the character stabilized at -9

    * Used in advance to declare the result of a single die roll

    * Used after a roll to gain a re-roll, taking the more favorable result

    * Used to gain approval for material on the 'maybe list' (the GM triaged splatbook material into 'no problem', 'maybe', and 'hell no')

    * With pre-approval of the GM, may be used for Divine Intervention of some sort within the campaign.

    * May be redeemed for a magic item whose value shall not exceed 1/8th of the WBL of your current level. Will require an additional point if this item is also on the 'maybe list'.

    However, for it to count as a GM point, it has to feed the group, not just you.
    Hmmm. Something like this might work. Players will do *anything* for exp.
    I wrote a cyberpunk book you can read for free right here: http://www.glitchlogs.com/
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Quote Originally Posted by Attilargh View Post
    In that case, you could try making the sandwiches out of meatbread.
    I am sooooo making this for Christmas.

    @bokodasu: mmmmmmm...hummus...
    Last edited by dsmiles; 2010-12-05 at 07:38 PM.
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    Tengu_temp's Avatar

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    They'll either deal with it, start contributing, or leave your group.

    All 3 of those scenarios I'd call a win when you're dealing with a group that big.
    I don't see how antagonizing some players in what seems to be a perfectly functioning group counts as a win.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: What Do I Feed My Players?

    Looks like pasta and chili has been covered. How about sandwiches? I know they're not glamorous, but you can grab a loaf of Wonderbread and some peanut butter for like $5. Okay, that's really underwhelming. How about pulled pork (or chicken)? Just get some pork shoulder (aka, the cheapest cut), toss it in the crock pot for 6 hours with a cup of cider vinegar, and then pull it apart with a fork. Serve on buns with BBQ sauce.
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