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D&D General Am I the only one who plays D&D with more than 1 character per player???

jasper

Rotten DM
I used to allow multi pcs per player per session, but around 3E the game changed so the encounters were 4 to 5 pcs versus the encounter. So it was not longer needed. But with Tasha's and other builds I have seen multiple "hirelings" per pc.
 

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jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
I ran games this way for a couple of years when I only had two players. They'd play two characters apiece. When we got more players, though, we dropped down to one character per player.
 

nogray

Adventurer
I currently play in a 5e campaign where the other player and I each run two characters (and have had a couple other mini-campaigns that ran the same way). I also currently DM a 4e epic campaign where each of the (two) players are playing two characters. It's not just you.

(historical note)
Back in the 2e days, the Dark Sun campaign setting had "character trees" (I think that's what they were called) where you had four characters, actively ran one per adventure, but had a stable of three in the background. I think there was an advancement scheme for the background characters, though I don't recall the precise details. (I think it was along the lines of "when the active character levels up, choose one of the inactive characters to also level up. There may have been restrictions about not levelling a background character to a higher level than the currently active one.)
 

Bupp

Explorer
I've played and run games with multiple characters per player.

2 characters per player is the norm at my table, though I usually only have 2-3 players. One character seems to be the "main" and the other ends up being a glorified stat block.

I was ran a one on one game where the player played an entire party of characters. A party made up of one of each of AD&D's elf races.

The game I'm currently playing on Roll20 we have a sidekick, Droop the Goblin from LMoP. I run the character sheet on Roll20, and make a bunch of the combat choices for Droop. The DM does most of the role playing, and occasionally in combat will take the reins to do something offbeat with him.

Each of the other players have roleplayed Droop at times. Always in a "goblin voice". We explain this as that Droop is crazy, and these are all different voices that are in his head. Or that they are actually different entities that are influencing Droop. Yet to be seen.
 

Gadget

Adventurer
I have not seen 1 player running more than 1 character (other than the rare aberration) since the old school days of having parties of multiple hirelings and henchmen and such. In late 2e and certainly 3e, the game became very complex and "analysis paralysis" became an issue, along with speeding up game play.

In campaigns where there have only been one or two players, I've more often seen the DM just adjust the game to accommodate.
 

Jack Daniel

Engines & Empires
Players having multiple characters is a different matter entirely from players having henchmen and followers. I do allow both, but I'll only permit a player to run one player character at a time during a given adventure. So if, for example, Bob the player happens to have a 5th level fighter, a 4th level magic-user, and a 2nd/3rd magic-user/thief in his stable of player characters, only one of them ever gets to be run during a given game session. (And the stipulations given in AD&D against players with multiple characters sharing magical items between then are strictly observed: that way, Bob can't just heap three characters' worth of magical items on whichever one character is going on the adventure that week.) Each separate player character, too, can have their own separate stable of henchmen and hirelings, and those followers will be loyal to that specific character.
 

aco175

Legend
Anyone ever do 2 players for 1 character? Now that would be something.
We have had players only show up regularly and then stop for a week or two each month for whatever reason. We ended up having another player take over the PC on the off weeks. Not ideal, but it worked out fine.

I tried a campaign with the players each having a few PCs and then picking one for the week. I had a table where there was 3 every week players and 2 here and there players so generally 4 players showed each week. I pictured an adventurers guild where each week would be a complete mission and the players could take different PCs to round out the party for each mission. Worked ok for two weeks and eventually became the same group of players using the same PCs since they were leveling up at the same rate and the other PCs were still 1st level. After a month or so, it became more a normal campaign with longer sessions.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Players having multiple characters is a different matter entirely from players having henchmen and followers. I do allow both, but I'll only permit a player to run one player character at a time during a given adventure. So if, for example, Bob the player happens to have a 5th level fighter, a 4th level magic-user, and a 2nd/3rd magic-user/thief in his stable of player characters, only one of them ever gets to be run during a given game session. (And the stipulations given in AD&D against players with multiple characters sharing magical items between then are strictly observed: that way, Bob can't just heap three characters' worth of magical items on whichever one character is going on the adventure that week.)
That hardly seems necessary in 5e to me thanks to the attunement mechanic.
 

My advice to play with two PCs simultaneously is at least one of both with some power of telepatic contact to explan the reason because one knows what the other is doing.
 



I have also done a variant of this. In big naval battles, I handed out small cardboard cards for every allied ship, to the players. I let them control the movements of their entire fleet this way, and let them roll attacks for those allied ships.

I didn't want my players to wait very long between turns, so I figured, why not give them more turns as they also play out the actions of other ships? No one wants to wait for the DM to roll dozens of dice as he fights with himself.
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
If I'm the only player running more than one character (as GM), then I'm the only player who's allowed/expected to portray one-dimensional characters. Since no one at my table is a professional actor.

Also, two or more characters per PC means twice the misery when the TPK hits. :devilish:

In late 2e and certainly 3e, the game became very complex and "analysis paralysis" became an issue, along with speeding up game play.
This (is the issue). Most D&D groups in which I've played take a - reasonable - amount of time to pass a combat round. More brains per PC means more computing power.
 

We do it, along with having a DMPC, because of having only three newish players and needing 5 PCs to avoid regular death. They are high enough of a level now, though, that if my PC dies, we will try without adding a new one and see how it goes, possibly also with my player that is running 2 PCs.
 

ccs

41st lv DM
I will say that on occasions where I've played more than one character, I tend to not "inhabit" either character very deeply. The roleplaying tends to be pretty sparse.
That's why in both my PF games where I've done this I've made two completely different characters.

In one of the games the two characters weren't even allies, let alone friends. PC2, being a legally convicted criminal was legally enslaved to PC1 (well, his order anyways), had zero love for #1, and (until late in the campaign) had zero choice about being involved in the events. PC1 was only concerned with #2 in that she was a useful tool to be used in pursuit of the goals.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I have not seen 1 player running more than 1 character (other than the rare aberration) since the old school days of having parties of multiple hirelings and henchmen and such. In late 2e and certainly 3e, the game became very complex and "analysis paralysis" became an issue, along with speeding up game play.
Not to pick on you specifically as I've seen similar sentiments given by several other posters, but:

Wouldn't this analysis-paralysis suggest there's an argument to be made for generally simplifying characters down by quite a bit, both in generation and in play?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
(And the stipulations given in AD&D against players with multiple characters sharing magical items between then are strictly observed: that way, Bob can't just heap three characters' worth of magical items on whichever one character is going on the adventure that week.)
This is vital.

That said, sometimes PCs of different players share items around e.g. Bob's Fighter Falstaffe isn't going into the field this trip but Joanne's Ranger Arilan is, so Falstaffe loans Arilan a +2 shield on the basis of "You'll get more use out of it out there than I will sitting here. Bring it back in one piece, if you don't you'll owe me; and may Artemis smile on your ventures.", so it's not the end of the world if PCs of the same player do this at about the same frequency.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I have also done a variant of this. In big naval battles, I handed out small cardboard cards for every allied ship, to the players. I let them control the movements of their entire fleet this way, and let them roll attacks for those allied ships.
If I may ask, was this in D&D and if so, what rules or system did you use for said naval combats? (I've tried designing a homebrew system for this and I'm not sure it's the least bit any good, so I'm always on the lookout for ideas)
 

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