What do Game Masters really want? They want a group of good size but not to small nor to large. They want people to roleplay but to move the adventure along and not bog down. They want a group tohave some internal conflict but not to lose it cohesion They would like thier adventures to be deadly but not to be a killer DM they want thier players to have power but not to much that they have a cake walk They want to have prep time but love to fly by the seat of thier pants.
As a Game master I found that the best way to handle this is to concentrate on just having fun when you game. give everyone a chance and just concentrate on fun factor. Relaxing and just giving the PC's enough to do but not to over load them make sure they take notes to help remind them of the tasks they are working on and important NPC's and information. I alwaysed look at running a gane like a movie very few movies are over two to three hours so gaming sessions should be set toio have a break at a good plot time for food and restroom breaks.
If using minis allow them to help set the scene our group played at a small table so it was decided to forgo the mini and leave the snakes in the middle. It requiredthat I develop a more verbal GM style for combat and give it a more even flow. We also movevd to 10 secound per round six rounds per combat turnwith intative added largest roll going first with a NASA style countdown to one and then a restart on the next round. PC could then occupy themselves with other things until their action was needed.
More updates and rants to follow.