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've tended to play with 4-6 players. My campaign I'm in right now averages about 6 players.

But there tend to be many more characters along for the adventure in henchmen, hirelings, and various other hangers-on. We probably average 10 or 11.

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Victoria Rules
I thought 4E was balanced for 4 PCs?
3e was designed around 4 players each running one character.

I *think* 4e was designed around 5 players, again with each running one character.

Quite different than 1e which was designed around an uncertain number of players running a party of at least 6-8 characters and often more.

Lan-"for comparison, the Fellowship of the Ring was a party of 9"-efan

Jan van Leyden

2-3 players is great for Call of Chtulhu: there's security in numbers and you don't want the players secure.

4-5 is great for D&D 3+: I prefer my five-player-group and run the show with one player missing as well. It's easy enough to accommodate.

6-7 is good for D&D 2-, but only if all the players are comparably competent. Otherwise sessions tend to be lopsided with several players basking in the light and others falling back into an observer role.

Generally the lighter the game, the more players I can keep busy without my head starting to give off smoke.


I've got 9 players in my 1E game (rare to get more than 7 to show up at once, though). There are often as many as 15 PCs, however...

Lord Zardoz

My typical group is 5 players. The game works nicely with that number.
I however want the game to work with a single or two players too.

4e actually does this quite well. But 4e runs quite bad in groups of 3 or 4, as you don´t usually cover all roles and enemies can now fokus on a single character.

And 3 or 4 people is a common size if I want to play a one shot, so this needs to be adressed. And from the design and development threads, it seems that at least the striker role will be killed and its stuff taken by the other classes. Which means, that 3 and 4 should work much better. And 1 and 2 member parties most probably too.

With 4th edition, I have not had too many problems with running with 3 players. I think there are two things you need to be careful with when you only have 3 plaeyrs.

- Any attack that will stun or daze is magnified. At 5 players, you lose 20% of combat effectivness of the group. At 3 players you lose 30 %. If you daze 2 players for more than 2 rounds in a row, the wheels can come off pretty fast.
- Be very wary of encounters with monsters that are more then 2 levels above the players level. The increase in HP and AC will magnify the preceived grind effect.
- You either need a Leader, or at least some access to multi-classed leader power if you want to avoid a big TPK risk.

Beyond that, I have found that 3 players is very managable.



I prefer having 6 or 7 people in the party, it allows for Life *tm* to happen and a couple of players missing a session.

I have run campaigns in 2nd, 3rd and 4th ed with 11 players, a bit chaotic but fun and it works once you all settle into the groove.

Voidrunner's Codex

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