Optimal Size of a RPG party
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July 20th, 2010, 02:47
Everyone loves Aerie.
The absolutely ancient Wizard's Crown, IIRC had 8 or 10 to a party, all player-created (can't remember, this has been many years since I've played that). But, the tradition generally runs 4 or 6 characters, sometimes with slots for NPCs to join later.
In a game like you've been describing yours to be, a few dedicated slots for such NPCs may be a must. Also, consider if your mages/casters have access to permanent summoning spells (like in Bard's Tale).
Interesting question, one I haven't considered much since I knew I'd go with tradition on this one. Still, you can't go wrong with offering 10 slots total; a few to account for NPCs that are required to join at various times (probably 2 will be fine, but whatever may be needed) and the rest player-made. Of course, if the entire party is NPCs, like in BG, save the main character, then 6 or 8 may be fine there. Though, if you have a lot of options for character classes, then offering room to employ more of them at once may be good.
It's kind of a hard question, as we don't know exactly how in depth the battles might become. Only you, and a few others, can really answer that. A huge party may be necessary if you have battles in the scope of Age of Wonders, which would have upwards of 56 units in a single battle. If it's more like many of the fights in say, Treasures of the Savage Frontier or Ultima 6, then smaller parties should work fine.
Oh that? It's just the cat sir.
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