Do You Prefer 4 Or More Players (+ DM) When RPGing?

Do You Prefer 4 Or More Players (+ DM) When RPGing?

  • Yes

    Votes: 242 79.1%
  • No

    Votes: 64 20.9%

log in or register to remove this ad


Some games, it doesn't matter if there are fewer than 4 players, so long as it's more than 1 and the GM. I have also made the mistake of trying to GM for groups that were too large (more than 8 players).


I've had the experience of DMing many 3 or fewer groups (due to nongaming reasons, people leaving the city, graduating, etc).

It can be fun for a little while, especially in RP heavy adventurers. But I find it boring fast. Its just more fun with more people, there's more energy, more people to talk to.

And if one person can't make it for a week, you pretty much cancel the game.

I find 5 to be my favorite number.


I like 5 to 6. It allows characters to expand character concepts a little bit and still have the fighter, thief, cleric, mage bases covered but at the same time people arn't sitting around bored for half an hour waiting for their turn to come up during combat.


I find that for me 6 is perfect number. less (down to 4) is fine but not quite as much energy as 6. Over 6 gets very unwieldly without the right players. Under 4 can be fun but you need to taylor your adventures better and it requires more work.


First Post
I voted yes to four or more players, but only because my current campaign I'm running has six players, and it's turning out to be the best campaign I've ever had the pleasure to run. In the old 1st and 2nd edition days, I usually only DM'ed for two other people in my campaign world, each of whom ran 2, sometimes even 3 characters per adventure.

I got used to it and never thought I could handle DM'ing for more than a few people. With the right group chemistry, and good management, having 5 or 6 players is great!


Mod Squad
Staff member
In general, yes. But for particular applications, I've found that to be too many. I find good suspense/tension/mystery (X-Files-ish stuff) works better with fewer players.


As to the poll: 4-6 people is what I shoot for with D&D. I find that is the range that you have the most diversity a single GM can cater to without loosing people in the mix. Any more than that and the players begin to pull off into cliques around the table, which will inevitably mean one or more people getting the short end of the gaming stick.

As an aside: I find that the number of people I feel comfortable DMing for is directly linked to how well I knew the rules and how comfortable I felt with the system; any system. When I started D&D with 1st edition, I liked no more than 3 people. I simply couldn't keep up with more incoming requests than that, and I had not really gotten a hold of how the "job" of DMing was done. As I became more knowledgeable and comfortable, my prime number expanded.

To wit, in those 1st edition days I tried running for 8+ people once and got demolished. Nothing made sense, a few of the players ended up doing things blatantly against the rules at the time and were very selfish. Half of the people hardly got to do anything because I was only able to respond to the loudest or most annoying voice at the table. Now-a-days I have run for up to 10 people and keep it going well. It just takes too much brain power from me, and frankly it's more work than I care to do anymore. ;)

That being said, some systems are simply better with a specific number of people and some people are more comfortable with X number of people in a room, no matter whether you're playing D&D or having a party. For instance, I find 6-8 being great for super hero games. :)


First Post
No. Four players is my max. But if someone really really really wanted to play, I'd take on a fifth.

Anymore than five players (plus DM, so six at the table) though and we're playing Arguments & "I'm bored, whens it my turn"s

Ycore Rixle

First Post
ChefOrc said:
I am the most confortable with 3-5 players. I once had to DM 10 high school kids, and it just drove me crazy ...

I just DM'd for five 14 year-olds yesterday. It was 2/3 of our usual group of six from school in NYC plus a great kid from New Zealand whom we met here. (We're at the FPS Internationals in Fort Collins, Colorado right now; anyone else here?) I find that six is my maximum no matter what age. Any more than that and it's just too much.

Interestingly, it seems to me that six is feasible with young or inexperienced players just as well as it is with old or experienced players. The young or inexperienced players are often so awed with the game and having fun figuring out what their characters can and can't do that they don't care about the slightly diminished "spotlight" time. The old and experienced players are either patient enough or adept at teamwork enough so that the slightly diminished spotlight time is acceptable.

That said, I think that six is definitely harder than four or five. 3-5 players is my perfect range.

Gold Roger

First Post
I've DMed about everything from 2 to 7. I'd say seven is the maximum, but everything thereunder is fair game, though I prefer if everyone can shine regularly, which can get troublesome at 6+ already.


As many have said, 5 is my favorite number. I've found fewer than that is too limiting in character types available; people either have to run more characters or major adjustments have to be made to the types of adventure run.

More than five and the game gets too slow and unweildy. I've handled as many as 12 back in 2nd edition days, but I would never do that again...

Six would be my upper limit for anything more than a one-shot game.


An Advertisement