What is your "ideal" amount of party members in a standard RPG?

15098D

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jun 20, 2014
Messages
37
Reaction score
11
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I'm gonna be honest I've always been a fan of the 4 party members in battle at a time system. I think it gives enough variety in the characters you can use while also not tipping balance too much in favor of the party. Too many party members at once can make the game a lot easier simply because the player can throw out more each turn
 

Bernkastelwitch

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
99
Reaction score
30
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
One reason I prefer to have a set party of characters instead of choosing from a large roster is because I never really find myself switching out my main party unless I absolutely have to in games that offer the choice.
From a developer perspective, it's also the fact my combat eventing tends to become really long already with a small number of characters, with combat effects interacting with each actor. I can't imagine having to go through that for 20 or more characters.

That is understandable there. It's all a matter of personal taste here. Some people like smaller rosters and some people like bigger rosters.

For me one of my favorite things when working on RPG Maker and whatnot is building characters. Both in a writing and a gameplay perspective. It's probably why I don't have too much issue making a lot of characters. I usually prioritize them by plot importance or availability, though.

I don't have a personal issue making a lot of characters but I can understand why even in a developer point of view, they'd do it. Everyone has different standards here but that's what makes working on RPG Maker unique: People have different ideas for different RPGs in mind and it makes it diverse.
 

LightBorneX

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Dec 20, 2020
Messages
35
Reaction score
22
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Other
You know this means someone has to make an rpg now where there are a TON of characters that could join the party- just for kicks and giggles. Random drunk guy at the bar? Sure! Little kid with just a stick? Why not. Divorcee who was tired of her rich annoying husband and wanted to get revenge by blowing everything up? Let's do it! We'll even take the stray dog peeing on the side of the inn when we first walk into town. And, of course, you never know who will add to the story, who might have their own full storyline, or who might end up a backstabbing traitor. Let the fun begin.
 

Meowsticks

Just a person
Veteran
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
99
Reaction score
130
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
You know this means someone has to make an rpg now where there are a TON of characters that could join the party- just for kicks and giggles. Random drunk guy at the bar? Sure! Little kid with just a stick? Why not. Divorcee who was tired of her rich annoying husband and wanted to get revenge by blowing everything up? Let's do it! We'll even take the stray dog peeing on the side of the inn when we first walk into town. And, of course, you never know who will add to the story, who might have their own full storyline, or who might end up a backstabbing traitor. Let the fun begin.
I've never played it myself, but Chrono Cross apparently has 45 playable characters which is absurd for an RPG, especially when the max amount in battle is only three. :guffaw: I bet people could go even higher if they wanted.
 

Htlaets

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Messages
241
Reaction score
120
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
I like when an RPG focuses on the battle-limit number of characters at any given time and no more. Something like Trails in the Sky where there are a lot of members that join the party but you separate and rejoin with different characters as the story progresses so you're rarely choosing between bringing one character of another is nice.
 

kirbwarrior

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
852
Reaction score
600
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
You know this means someone has to make an rpg now where there are a TON of characters that could join the party- just for kicks and giggles. Random drunk guy at the bar? Sure! Little kid with just a stick? Why not. Divorcee who was tired of her rich annoying husband and wanted to get revenge by blowing everything up? Let's do it! We'll even take the stray dog peeing on the side of the inn when we first walk into town. And, of course, you never know who will add to the story, who might have their own full storyline, or who might end up a backstabbing traitor. Let the fun begin.
I've thrown around the idea with other makers of 'you can recruit any npc', even in this thread. Putting in the effort to flesh them all out would definitely make the experience worth it.
 

Mike-Turtle

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
42
Reaction score
82
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
'Shining Force 2' had 30 I think! And as that's the standard by which I hold all party games to, I would have to say 30. The more the merrier really, especially when you can choose which ones you play with.
 

kirbwarrior

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
852
Reaction score
600
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
'Shining Force 2' had 30 I think! And as that's the standard by which I hold all party games to, I would have to say 30. The more the merrier really, especially when you can choose which ones you play with.
IIRC Shining Force 2 was a trpg, which definitely need far more party members. As another example, I can't imagine Fire Emblem working with less than 30 characters just because of how the game is set up (and with permadeath...)
 

OtherDarkZero

Villager
Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
IMO, my ideal is 3-4 that way I have a set group of characters and don't have to worry about developing all of them.
 

Beewo

Villager
Member
Joined
May 6, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
8
First Language
Swedish
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
For party members I'm a fan of at least 8 party members so I can swap and try some combinations. Especially like it if some members got synergy skills (tex tank can use a flaming sword attack if mage is in the fighting party). Not to say this is a super hard rule for me, plenty of excellent games with less. But at a first glance its always a bonus for me, for combos and lore/story interactions between different fighters as you travel.
 

tiabuni

Villager
Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
2
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
Two, like in Paper Mario. With a very small number of party members available, too. The less characters, the better the odds they will be well developed, and the writer won't lose themself trying to write a proper, cohesive story.
 

Kokoro Hane

Overly Ambitious
Veteran
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
268
Reaction score
232
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Normally I like 4 in a group at a time. Yes, how many can be in battle does have something to do with it, but that's also so I don't have to always swap out before battles 'cause then a poor party member may be underdeveloped. This is why I usually do this in my own projects, and if a new person joins, someone else leaves (albeit it temporarily) in their place. However, if there is more than the standard 4, I think 6 is a nice sweet spot so you can generally keep their levels pretty even and play around with different skills. It's easier to swap them around.

I would love to play around with making a larger party someday, though.
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVX
Trouble with a large cast is having some characters fall behind with XP when you don't bring them with you. Unless your XP system allows them to rapidly catch up by awarding high XP when they participate in fighting monsters that are above their level, or something.


On the other hand, with a super large cast, it's more about which team you will pick for your team. Perhaps each play through is different depending which ones you left out.
 

Aslanemperor

Mad Scientist
Veteran
Joined
Oct 14, 2019
Messages
108
Reaction score
83
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
By standard RPG I mean series like Final Fantasy and Tales, and not single-character parties or tactical RPGs with tons of characters. I also don't mean the amount that partakes in battle, I'm strictly speaking of how many total party members you have (though feel free to discuss the amount in battle as well if you want).

I've always loved party-based RPG games, and enjoy seeing which characters I'm going to come across next that will join the group and add a whole new dynamic. I much prefer this to games like FF5 or Bravely Default where the party is basically set at the beginning and it is the classes that change. But when dealing with party members, it begs a question: What is a good amount of party members?

A fairly common amount is between 6-8. My favorite Tales game, Berseria, has only 6 members. my favorite RPG, FFX, has 7. And in my experience it's not often to come across a game with more than 8 total party members (but it happens).

In my personal opinion, I feel like 8 party members is the ideal amount. Six members to me has always felt like too little, even though it would allow them to be more unique with less chance of overlap between them. I also like 8 members because it's a decent amount that can allow the party to split up into different group dynamics, while still retaining a complete party feel.

But what about you all? What's your idea for a perfect amount of party members?
I really feel like this strongly depends on the game. Some games center around large groups of members being a goal (Like Chrono Cross). That being said, the ideal comes when you reach a limit of valid roles in the party. Each character should have a unique part to play in various strategies. This, actually, is my biggest gripe against FF7, because the only unique thing about any given character is the limit break.
But if you make sure that each character has a specific function, not only do you get to feel like the choice of which ones to include in the main party matters, you set up the chance to make battles where certain characters are just better suited. Fighting against a horde of smaller enemies? The tank who can draw attacks and the crowd control spell caster are pivotal! Fighting against that one boss, characters who focus on high damage on single targets and buffing your other characters are pivotal. The number needs to stop, however, when you find yourself making duplicates with slightly different flavor (This mage can cast fireball and hit all enemies, but this one is different because she can cast BLIZZARD to hit all enemies!).
 

Frostorm

[]D[][]V[][]D aka "Staf00"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
1,919
Reaction score
1,651
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
IIRC Shining Force 2 was a trpg, which definitely need far more party members. As another example, I can't imagine Fire Emblem working with less than 30 characters just because of how the game is set up (and with permadeath...)
That's an interesting perspective... I'm aware most TRPGs lean towards larger rosters, but I've been asking myself if it's truly necessary. If it's due to permadeath like in Fire Emblem, then I wholeheartedly agree with you. 1 example I can think of where a TRPG pulls off a small/normal party size (4) is the mobile game Fire Emblem Heroes, but then again it is a mobile game lol. What is it about TRPGs that necessitates large rosters? I would love to find an example of a TRPG that features a party size of ~3 but haven't found such a game yet...

In regards to most RPGs in general...are we specifically talking about in-combat party size or total party members (i.e. the roster)?
 
Last edited:

kirbwarrior

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
852
Reaction score
600
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
What is it about TRPGs that necessitates large rosters? I would love to find an example of a TRPG that features a party size of ~3 but haven't found such a game yet...
The 'middle point' in Final Fantasy Tactics has between 4 and 6 members per battle (based on things like guest characters and other factors, but normally 5). I think part of it is how big the battle maps are. FFT has fairly small maps designed for regular jrpg-sized parties, most trpgs I've seen have sprawling maps and the big parties can often feel still too little. I think another part is the enemy size; FFT usually has similar size parties you fight against (maybe on average +1 to yours) with a hard-coded max of 11, but FE usually has double to triple your party size and only grows as the game goes on (with some maps hitting the unit max of 50).

I think another reason FFT sticks out is that battles are largely unit-focused like other FFs, but things like FE more have units that are very simple in usage but combined are what the army does, if that makes sense.
 

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

Come, join Move That Box! DISCORD!
Feel free to check out our "Touch the Stars" gamejam submission, "Starlight, Starbright!"
just finished playing one shot. im kinda disappointed with return the sun ending ngl. i was hoping there would be some after credits scene that would play with my emotions
So apparently the surprise Google Search page browser game saves your progress when you close the browser.

This really makes me miss the golden age of Flash gaming.
ohh man im ending oneshot now (im doing the last stepping puzzle rn) and the music is so...sad...like...ive been thinking recently about how fast moments pass and...my anxious thoughts combined with that music and nostalgia...like...im comfortably sad...and want to cry internally

Forum statistics

Threads
113,559
Messages
1,075,825
Members
147,553
Latest member
furbinski
Top