What is the typical party size in practice?

What is your typical number of Players at the table per game session?

  • 2 players / PC's

    Votes: 2 1.8%
  • 3 players / PC's

    Votes: 15 13.2%
  • 4 players / PC's

    Votes: 41 36.0%
  • 5 players / PC's

    Votes: 32 28.1%
  • 6 players / PC's

    Votes: 20 17.5%
  • 42 players / PC's

    Votes: 4 3.5%


I would prefer the game be built to assume 4 players.

I would really prefer it if they took into mind while designing that it should operate from 1-6 players without ludicrous adjustments. At least addressing these issues in the DMG woul dbe nice.

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I've run the kids in groups of two or three sometimes playing multiple characters, especially in old school Basic. For the grown ups it's typically from 4 to 8.


Victoria Rules
You need a bigger poll, one that splits out number of players from number of characters and that has bigger numbers in it that are not 42. :)

Typical for me in a party (both as DM and player) is 3-6 players running a party of 7-12 characters including party NPCs, henches, etc.



I chose six because that's a typical size for my Pathfinder/D&D games. I usually try to get a group of six to eight, with the expectation that we'll be missing a player or two every week.

I'll run with as few as three, but I really prefer five. If we have three or fewer, we usually play something else or do something else instead of playing--it can sometimes be a bit much to catch up the party in media res.

I'm used to big tables. The most that I'm comfortable with is eight, although I've ran tables up to eleven before.


Typical party size

My largest parties have included more than 20 role-players. I briefly ran AD&D1 for my entire dorm floor in my freshman year of college, and I ran a longer-term AD&D2 campaign with my students when I was teaching. Most of my groups, however, have under a dozen members.

When my later groups reached 15 people or more, they typically spun off into other groups based on geography and the preferences of other Game Masters. For example, I live near Boston, and for D&D3.0 in the early 2000s, gamers commuted from an hour's drive away -- as far as Worcester, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. Several eventually found or started games closer to home.

I'm currently running three smaller groups of six people each on alternating weeks rather than one large adventuring party, since there's only so much room in my basement. Other G.M.s run parallel groups in different genres and rules systems. When my weekly telecom game has dropped below four, we've had trouble getting quorum, so I think five or six is my ideal number.


In 30 years I've played with 4 players / 1 DM more than any other configuration.

My current group is five players, and I admit that I enjoy it a bit more than four players (six becomes unwieldy, three is a bit lacking)

Lord Zardoz

I actually like the way the game plays in 4th edition with 5 players, but I have found that if I limit my games to only happening when everyone can show up, it means my games only happen about once every 6 weeks on average, hence the rule of 3.

I think 5th Edition should make a habit of publishing adventures with notes on how to adjust the encounters upward or downward for typical numbers of players. I can use the encounter guidelines to either remove or level down monsters to fit the party, but it is a bit imperfect.



Well, from personal experience:
  • Two can work well or suck
  • Three, four, five and six all seem to work fairly well
  • Unwieldiness starts to be noticeable at seven, and is appreciably worse at eight. It's also hard to make combats challenging at that size - merely adding opponents doesn't do the job.
  • Fourteen is clearly far too many.
  • What edition you're playing affects this a lot less than you probably think.
My single most common size over the years has been six, I think, followed closely by seven. My current groups are four and six.
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First Post
I don't think I've ever played with fewer than four, except for partial sessions where someone had to leave.

Five is optimal for my level of DM skills. 6 and 7 can be managed easily. 8-10 I've tried, but it didn't work well.

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