Dungeons & Dragons Online

How to encourage players to keep the party small?

Content of the article: "How to encourage players to keep the party small?"

I DM for my fiancée and step-daughter, and this is their first experience with D&D. Because there are only two of them, I created some cool NPCs they could recruit to fill out the party. I created more than they needed, to give them options and in case a party member left or died.

The problem is that they have recruited everyone they've met, along with a couple of other randoms. They now have a seven-person party, and I have no doubt it would continue to grow if they met any of the other party members I was planning to introduce. (To clarify, I don't just let them recruit anyone they meet. I only let it get to this size because I felt sure they'd soon work out who their favourites were and who to keep on permanently. I didn't expect it to be all of them.) This would be fine in most games, but when there's only two players it ends up being me playing D&D with myself most of the time and it gets extremely unmanageable.

I've tried mentioning that a bigger party means less XP, and less for them to do in combat since I play most of the party. They're beginning to get bored and frustrated with a lot of combat encounters because the amount of people involved bogs things down so much and drags it out. Despite all this, they don't want to get rid of anyone because they've become attached to and invested in each of them in various ways, and are also stuck on the idea of "Bigger Party = Stronger Party".

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I don't want to just have party members leave ("I have to go now. My planet needs me." "Note: Poochie died on the way back to his home planet."), because it would be extremely unsatisfying for both them and me and leave a lot of loose ends.

The PCs are currently working on transforming Tresendar Manor into a party stronghold. I've suggested a few times that they could leave some party members there and switch them out as wanted/needed, but they didn't really see a need for this. So I'm looking for ways to encourage them to keep their party small, preferably while keeping excess party members around and available.

TL;DR: 2-player group has grown their mostly-NPC party to an unmanageable size. Need to convince them to leave some at home.

Source: reddit.com

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