What is your average party size?


Advice

Sovereign Court

Had a random thought pop into my head while at work today in what is the average size for most adventuring parties. What got that thought was the changes that I need to do to for an AP built for four and converting it for 6+. Reading various posts in the AP threads it sounds like the majority of groups have about 6 Pcs in any given adventure.

So the question becomes from your experience what is the average party size (PCs only)? I am thinking that it is 6 (even though I have read 5 on a different site).


In my group, we have about 4-5 on average, but I've seen 2-8. Low numbers can cause difficult gameplay and high numbers can cause players to get board. I think all the official stuff is set up for 4 PCs. In large groups like that, I would try to discourage classes that have companions or the leadership feat. A party of 6 can quickly turn into a party of 10 that way. The less a PC acts, the more likely they are to not want to play.


4-5. I like having five players because we can still play if one is unable to be there. It also helps a bit with the action economy and allows the players to have some redundancy in roles. (You can do that with fewer players, but you have to work harder at it.)

It is rare to have as many as six, and I don't think I've ever played a game with more than six players. I'm not even sure they would fit in our gaming areas.

Shadow Lodge

My first time DMing, I ended up with 7 characters in the group, partially because my players would spread the word around the workplace and other people got interested. I originally only wanted four. Problem was that there were also animal companions, familiars, and multiple cohorts (some prestige classes required the leadership feat, and I didn't have enough experience to understand the consequences of allowing it). There was an average of 10 figures on the PC's side during every combat.

The problems I discovered with this were A. Slowed down time like mad. A simple fight could take almost an hour, partially because no one planned out what they were going to do ahead of time, and B. They could handle any skill check or situation I ever threw at them-- there was never a challenge.

I prefer 4-5 now, with a rare 6th guest player.


I have 7. 8 was too many and was my breaking point. My brain just fried with each session trying to juggle that many balls. Setting an AP game for 6 seems reasonable.

Liberty's Edge

We usually have 6 PCs (rarely 7).

Lantern Lodge

It depends on what game I am running; i have had as little as 4 people to as much as 15 people. 15 people is my limit tho.


4-5 is ideal. 3 can be alot of quick and fun if someone misses the session and the DM prepares something special. 6+ gets cumbersome and I start to wonder why I'm there. Been there, done that. No thanks!


Most of the time something around 5. I think 3 is too few and 7 is too much. So 4-6 is possible.


One of my groups right now has 4 PCs and the other has 5. Much bigger than that and everything takes sooooo verrry long and you will lose the attention of the table.


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Our average party size is 5foot6. It would be 6 feet even if it weren't for that durn dwarf.


Zarzuakar wrote:

My first time DMing, I ended up with 7 characters in the group, partially because my players would spread the word around the workplace and other people got interested. I originally only wanted four. Problem was that there were also animal companions, familiars, and multiple cohorts (some prestige classes required the leadership feat, and I didn't have enough experience to understand the consequences of allowing it). There was an average of 10 figures on the PC's side during every combat.

The problems I discovered with this were A. Slowed down time like mad. A simple fight could take almost an hour, partially because no one planned out what they were going to do ahead of time, and B. They could handle any skill check or situation I ever threw at them-- there was never a challenge.

I prefer 4-5 now, with a rare 6th guest player.

I really sympathise with that. I'm having a similar problem. I started with 4 players, 2 of whom had never played before (human monk and rogue), one who'd played D&D (gnome paladin), and one who's played a few times (wild mage). My son decided he'd like to join in too (he's 20 and played loads and I figured he'd be a very useful barometer of the game so I shuffled it to accommodate his ranger). I realised that as the pacifist gnome paladin was the closest I had to a combat monster I'd need to tweak the scenarios.

Then the rogue's husband decided he'd like to play (dwarf fighter), and my son kindly invited a friend (elf fighter), and somehow we also have another player (elf druid).

So now we have a 2 hour session covering around 20 minutes of in game time, and with half a dozen hanging plot devices it's just getting very cumbersome. As it is they're all really riveted by the stories being unfolded, but I can envisage a time of them getting restless. I think I may end up setting up two different missions, splitting them into two parties and gaming separately. I'm really happy that they all want to play and don't want to discourage them, but...

Sovereign Court

Thanks all. I was curious to see how many are actually at the 4-5 group size. It does sound like on average the group size rests at 6. I do agree I prefer smaller groups as well (running 8, with an off and on player currently). it can get chaotic, but I make sure that everything runs fine.

Shadow Lodge

I play one home game with 4 PCs. I've GMed PFS scenarios with 3-5 players. I've played in PFS scenarios of 3-7 players. My preferred is 4-5 from my experience. I tend to see smart phones, laptops, and books come out the most when there are over 5 players, and the minute that happens players start to pay less attention making everything go even a little bit slower.


5 players is my ideal party size, because, as others have mentioned, it allows for some redundancy in roles and it makes it easier to go ahead with a game if one player can't show up. Also, I feel like you can make larger, more interesting encounters for 5 PCs, and I've seen some pretty cool in-combat party splits happen, where 2 or 3 PCs find themselves one or two rooms over before a fight has ended, with the additional mooks that come along with them. On the other hand, it makes fights against a sole BBEG less viable due to action economy, so minions become an essential part of most encounters.

I will rarely run for more than 6 PCs anymore - I've had some trying experiences with larger parties in the past, including one campaign that featured 11 PCs, resulting in combat rounds that took half an hour or more to resolve. As we were closing in on level 20 we had a fight against a BBEG that lasted for two entire play sessions.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

My average party size is five, although I've also run several single player campaigns.


4-5 here too. Usually 5.


I envy people who play with 4ish players regularly. I tend to end up being the 8th player, or the 2nd. I also played in a group of 12 before, GM only did that one session though.


There are some advantages to larger parties. Most weeks (well, fortnights but you know what I mean) at least one of the players can't make it through one deadline or crisis or whatever. Having more players means the rest can still play and no one feels they're ruining it for everyone else if something comes up.

Sczarni

I play in a RotRL campaign with 6 players. It was originally 5. From week to week, we average 5 out of 6 players being able to make it, which is honestly pretty good. We've even had 2 players unable to make it one week and the game was still viable for 4 players without the GM having to really modify anything. I also play a halfling cavalier, so my AC can pick up some slack if we're really low on players.


6. Though I think my RotRL PbP Game only has 4...

Lantern Lodge

3-4 is my average gaming group these days. When i was going to school though it was around 6-7.


My average party size as of late has been usually 2-3. Once in a blue moon, we have a rotating cast of players who sign on for a few sessions, but aren't invested in the whole campaign.

While that's kind of small compared to what most of my players are used to, it's nice to showcase each player and delve into their backstories. It was more difficult when my parties were 5+ and it wasn't necessarily interesting to the rest of the party. The feedback I've received thus far is that my players feel more immersed in the story.


I have run more games for a party of 2 than for any other number. Most often after that is 3. I've done 4-6 as well, and 8 once--right now I've got a party of 5.

I generally feel like the fewer players the better--it makes the game more personal and character driven.


I usually have a group of 8 PCs and I despise it. I have played with anywhere from 2-8 though and keeping it below 5 isalways my favorite, it feels right and building encounters or using premade encounters with 4 or fewer seems to work better. Before someone points out that the game was balanced for 4, I know. And really a party of a Wizard, fighter, rogue, cleric can handle intended rules really well.


Currently the two games I'm playing in are 4 and 5. Once got up to 6 but the gm asked to last two that joined to leave because it just wasn't working out. Especially when one player was unreliable and the other was very disruptive. I've played in groups up to 8 and it gets messy and feels far more like a tactical combat game when the groups get that big. Not to mention combat drags on a lot and you have a lot of redundancy.
Personally I feel 4-5 works best. Six isn't bad but everyone needs to be on top of things and pet classes tend to slow things down when there are that many people.


Right now we have 6 people playing including me(the DM) with 6PCs though one of them is simply a heal bot run by everyone in the party. We usually have 6 PCs at a time regardless of the number of players we have even if it was just 3 of us including the DM.

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