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Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Lumign] #718155
26/10/20 10:02 PM
26/10/20 10:02 PM
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Emulate Offline
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The game turns can already take 3-5 minutes with a party of 4 in the spider cave... A party of 6 would not be realistic with the current turnbased mechanics they would have to go back to BG non turn based mechanics which I'm not completely opposed to.

Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Lumign] #718168
26/10/20 10:38 PM
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Well, it's not supposed to be realistic, it's supposed to be fantastic. If the combat is too slow, they can just make the computers faster. You want good, fun action? You'll need six partymembers. Anything below that, junk it, it's not for you.

Listen, Divnity had 4 party members set at the time, because everyone's graphics cards were really slow and they couldn't handle 2 more characters, it's ok, those were the 2000s. But now we got really good gaming rigs, the studio got enough budget to make an entire animation movie for hollywood, we can afford now 2 more partymembers.


Now renting trucks in a place near you! Yeah yeah yeah!
Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Lumign] #718199
26/10/20 11:24 PM
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We get NPC helpers throughout the first act? Three Ogres and Glut... Imagine we will get NPC characters like that throughout the game. Drizzt and Minsc?

good enough...

Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Alodar] #718490
27/10/20 08:51 AM
27/10/20 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Alodar

Seems the master of the fantasy genre, J. R. R. Tolkein, learned the very important lesson that parties greater than 4 are just too big and slow down combat too much.


Just look at Helm's deep or Minas Tirith?

Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Ben Thunder] #718895
27/10/20 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ben Thunder
Well, it's not supposed to be realistic, it's supposed to be fantastic. If the combat is too slow, they can just make the computers faster. You want good, fun action? You'll need six partymembers. Anything below that, junk it, it's not for you.

Listen, Divnity had 4 party members set at the time, because everyone's graphics cards were really slow and they couldn't handle 2 more characters, it's ok, those were the 2000s. But now we got really good gaming rigs, the studio got enough budget to make an entire animation movie for hollywood, we can afford now 2 more partymembers.


Length of combat was probably the deciding factor in party size, both here and in the DOS series. Larian has a certain type of turn-based combat they want to use, and people are already complaining about how long combat takes with just a party of 4.

Every screen you see is designed for that party and enemy group size, not for a larger group. All that carefully crafted scenery would have to be redesigned to allow larger combat areas for a bigger party and more enemies.

Originally Posted by frequentic
Just look at Helm's deep or Minas Tirith?


How many days worth of free time do you have for playing those with turn-based combat? smile



Last edited by Frumpkis; 27/10/20 03:24 PM.
Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Frumpkis] #718956
27/10/20 03:57 PM
27/10/20 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Frumpkis
Originally Posted by Ben Thunder
Well, it's not supposed to be realistic, it's supposed to be fantastic. If the combat is too slow, they can just make the computers faster. You want good, fun action? You'll need six partymembers. Anything below that, junk it, it's not for you.

Listen, Divnity had 4 party members set at the time, because everyone's graphics cards were really slow and they couldn't handle 2 more characters, it's ok, those were the 2000s. But now we got really good gaming rigs, the studio got enough budget to make an entire animation movie for hollywood, we can afford now 2 more partymembers.


Length of combat was probably the deciding factor in party size, both here and in the DOS series. Larian has a certain type of turn-based combat they want to use, and people are already complaining about how long combat takes with just a party of 4.

Every screen you see is designed for that party and enemy group size, not for a larger group. All that carefully crafted scenery would have to be redesigned to allow larger combat areas for a bigger party and more enemies.




Well, again, these hypotheses can be tested. The engine is already set up for a six person party -- you only need to change a single variable to run six . The code is already part of the engine complete with party formation, place on the UI for the additional NPCs, three NPC banters ect

I found 6 party combat to be more fun because I do more things in combat and I was able to win without DOS tactics. Leave those barrels where they belong -- in Rivelon.

Yes, sometimes the toons did not have a place to stand right away and this led to some comic dances but this really underscores an issue people want to be fixed anyway -- problems with party management. Yes, 6 members made the flaws of the party management system more noticeable. But fixing that would be good for everyone.

The only times I've felt that combat was too long with either 4 or 6 person parties was when the AI took forever to have enemies "plotting their next move". And, again, combat was actually over quicker with a 6 person party.

Try it yourself and see which seems more fun. For me 6 is closer to BG feel.

Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Lumign] #718986
27/10/20 04:09 PM
27/10/20 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Well, again, these hypotheses can be tested. The engine is already set up for a six person party -- you only need to change a single variable to run six . The code is already part of the engine complete with party formation, place on the UI for the additional NPCs, three NPC banters ect

I found 6 party combat to be more fun because I do more things in combat and I was able to win without DOS tactics. Leave those barrels where they belong -- in Rivelon.

Yes, sometimes the toons did not have a place to stand right away and this led to some comic dances but this really underscores an issue people want to be fixed anyway -- problems with party management. Yes, 6 members made the flaws of the party management system more noticeable. But fixing that would be good for everyone.

The only times I've felt that combat was too long with either 4 or 6 person parties was when the AI took forever to have enemies "plotting their next move". And, again, combat was actually over quicker with a 6 person party.

Try it yourself and see which seems more fun. For me 6 is closer to BG feel.

Does this 6 person mod also increase the number of enemies in encounters???

I could see combat happening faster with a 6 person party ONLY if the encounter enemies are made individually tougher. If you just get 50% more enemies, then I'm skeptical it will significantly speed things up.

Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: mrfuji3] #719067
27/10/20 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Does this 6 person mod also increase the number of enemies in encounters???

I could see combat happening faster with a 6 person party ONLY if the encounter enemies are made individually tougher. If you just get 50% more enemies, then I'm skeptical it will significantly speed things up.


Right, that's related to the point I was making about how the scenery is designed for the current party size AND number of enemies.

If you want to roflstomp the current number of enemies with their current HP and armor with a party of six, you can do it with a mod. But keeping the same challenge we have now with an increased party size, means either giving the current enemies ridiculous HP so we're fighting bullet sponges all the time, or else increasing the number of enemies. More enemies won't fit into the current scenery, and I can't see Larian doing a total scenery redesign just to cram them in.

Another unintended effect would be that more enemies would mean more AI calculations per turn. That is already an issue with how long combat takes.

Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Frumpkis] #719099
27/10/20 05:20 PM
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Right, you are right current scenery is designed for 5 people (try it, the dance only happens with 6) my point is as long as they had PoE / IE type party formations that would no longer be a problem. And better party controls would be better for everyone. No need to change the scenery, just party management.

On AI processing power I monitor my GPUs and CPU while playing and the 'plotting' hang is a bug not processing demand. My CPU stays cool and relatively unused during plotting hangs. I think it takes too long to give up when a path can't be found. Same goes for GPUs.

Again, try and see if you think its a roflstomp smile I think it makes up for the HP bloat which, as we know, if the most disliked of the homebrew rules. At present I barrel the Hobgoblin because I can't deal with the hang.

I'm not fully in the the "this is DOS3" camp but it's hard to deny that this feels like a DOS / BG hybrid. 6 party members shifts the balance towards BG both in term of banters and party tactics. 4 worked in DOS which didn't have a class system and where you could respec before every big fight (Necromancer to defeat Dallis, Pyro-Geo for doctor) but it doesn't work in BG which has always been based on 6 party members.

Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Lumign] #719387
27/10/20 07:50 PM
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Recent trend in RPG design is around an assumption 2 to 4 players with 5 or 6 being large. This includes D&D as all the official published campaigns have been balanced around a 4 person party (if you have 5 or 6, the published challenges are significantly easier than they are planned to be.)

My suspicion is that this is due to the average age of roleplayers has been getting older, with a lot of players in their late 20s and early 30s, and many players getting up in their 50s, 60s, and even 70s. My theory is that this makes scheduling larger groups difficult and the effective length of sessions tend to be shorter, to account for next day work or fatigue from earlier, and thus have to be more efficient, which, again is easier to do with smaller numbers.

This player range has also been common with a lot of console games due to practical tech limits, especially console games. I think BG3 is a PC exclusive release so that might not be a huge factor, but it plays to the experience of a lot of video game designers. A lot of single player games with multiplayer co-op options tend toward 2 to 4 players similarly.

I expect BG3 can be stretched to a 6 player base, but that will mean larger enemy counts, larger in general battles, longer battles and other such things. I don't mind any of this, as I'm content with long battles and quite enjoy them. But several people on these forums have already complained about the fights being as long as they are.

I am up for 6 person party, because I like the companions I've seen and would like to keep up with more of the existing NPCs than we currently will be able to, but I doubt we'll see it. That feels like the sort of thing that's outside the scope of probable changes we'll see at these stages.

Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Lumign] #719558
27/10/20 09:45 PM
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4 is too big!

Where's my Lone Wolf people? wink

Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Lumign] #719599
27/10/20 10:19 PM
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As far as recent trends --

1) To the degree it's true it's bad trend. We shouldn't settle for trends, this EA and we've been invited to advocate for what we want. I want moar.
1a) That trend only works with classless systems

2) It's not true of D&D. Critical role -- 8 people. Force Grey -- 5. The guild (lol) 6. I'm looking through the modules. Avernus -- 4 to 6. Waterdeep, no mention . . . Only one I can find that says 4 is Hoard of the Dragon Queen and it says you can increase the enemies for larger parties. So one module says 4 or more and others say 4-6.

***

Otherwise,I'm with you on the longer battles. I'm thinking this "longer battles is" excuse making. I don't see that many people upset by the length of the battles. Long battles are only boring with boring encounters. (and again with mod they are shorter and truer to DnD) The longest battle is the spider matriarch and that's crazy difficult but also fun.

I remember when NWN told us that they took out verticality because fly allowed people to skip parts of dungeons. It was marketing BS and everyone knew it. "Battles are too long" seems a similar narrative.

Besides, any disagreement can be resolved by saying "Tolkien" -- Fact.

Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Lumign] #719675
27/10/20 11:26 PM
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Admittedly, D&D is an exception because it holds tight to classic class designs and it is heavily focused around teamwork and filling roles. I could see reducing down to three relatively easily, but going down to two leaves a lot of holes in capability and means adapting a bit from standard D&D adventure design. Which is why I think they've settled on 4 being the default party size as compared to many other games. Matt Mercer being able to handle 7 to 8 players at any given time is a marker of how great a GM he is more than it is a statement as to what D&D performs with.

You can see it a lot of the 5e art too. 3.X had a lot of party art with 5 or 6 members. But in 5e the group pictures tend towards groups of 4.

I will also admit that there are things I disagree with about some of the way the current design of D&D towards 4 players. I suspect that is part of why a lot of monsters out of the book feel a bit too easy for my liking with 6 party members. Action economy is just so heavily against any big monster at that point, even with Legendary actions. Matt Mercer also heavily modifies his monsters I think because of this reason.

As to whether it's a trend.

Monster of the Week has two sample parties, one of 2 players, one of 3, it starts to over-burden at 5. Fantasy AGE has a sample party of 3. Scion average party size seen played online is around 4, judging by fiction, and the list of pre-gen characters, 4 seems to be what they're aiming for as well, though they already have discussions on how to do 1 player campaigns. City of Mist sample party is 3 people. Savage Worlds, average party size is about 4 from what I've seen. Fate Core, example party is 3. Hero System still leans towards 4-6 but its system hasn't changed substantially since the 80s and it can also handle groups of 2 or even single player. The Fellowship feels a bit lacking at 2, but seems to find its pace at 3 or 4 and feels a bit overburdened at 5. Storyteller, also averages around a 4 person group, which may just be a social limits thing because game design points to 5 what with their 5 X by 5 Y type design format in Chronicles of Darkness. Masks runs well at 2 to 4, it starts getting overburdened at 5 too. Sentinels Comics (to be released) also has a sample party of 4. Call of Cthulhu seems to assume 3 to 4 judging by play examples.

Granted, some of those are PbtA games and one thing about PbtA is that each character adds significant chunks to the worldbuilding and lore and at around 5 people you're starting to see a very busy world setting for a single campaign. But this, again, seems to be toward a general design environment where I suspect a lot of designers have been developing in an environment of scheduling conflicts, short sessions, and small group sizes and so they designed around what they have. Hence the increasing number of games where the example party size is 2-4 people and the first big signs of breakdown occur around 5.

I cannot say that this either a good trend or a bad trend. I just think it is a trend and that it is based on the average age of players being older, the average player having more responsibilities, and other such things. I enjoy large group games and have been in them quite often, but small group games have their own appeals as well, and I've been in campaigns ranging in size from one-on-one to one GM and 13 players and even 5 GMs and 30 players.

As a side note, group sizes above 4 is where you start to really see efficiency break down. I believe I heard that's why the base US military team is a 3 person fire-team, with a squad being 3 teams, and a platoon being 3 squads, and on up...sometimes with 3 + leader or 3 units + command unit....this I have only indirect experience with though (3 of my siblings were military and this topic came up someetime in the past). Outside the military, into my personal experience, this is why I get a little antsy setting groups of students larger than 4 because you start to get a lot more off-topic behavior once that happens. Three person teams are best, four person teams are what I usually ended up seeing while I was teaching. I think mostly because it resulted in fewer groups.

People who know each other very well and work together very well deal with this and so a 7 person group (GM + 6 players) is easily doable when you're comfortable with each other.


Last edited by Thrythlind; 27/10/20 11:26 PM.
Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Lumign] #719685
27/10/20 11:40 PM
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I was one of the people rallying to have 6 party members. After playing, I found that I enjoy just playing with my PC and Asterion on our own. 6 may actually be too much, mostly for banter and conversation responses since instead of letting everyone comment it only selects one person to comment.

Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Divine Star] #719704
27/10/20 11:54 PM
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Come to think of it, the other major game I could see where 4 is a minimum is probably Shadowrun and mostly for the same reasons as D&D: it's a game that heavily favors characters being built toward specialty roles rather than self-sufficiency. You need a decker, a magic person, a sammie, and a face. You could probably go down to 3 and spread some responsibility, but 2 leaves too many holes. Same with D&D, you need support, utility, damage, and tank, and you can maybe go down to 3 and spread one of those roles out, but at 2 things become inconvenient.

Edit: I have been asked to point out that the Monster Manual says flat out that all Challenge Ratings are based on a party size of 4 characters.

Last edited by Thrythlind; 28/10/20 12:09 AM.
Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Lumign] #719717
28/10/20 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Lumign
Members of the fellowship of the Ring :

1. Gandalf
2. Aragorn
3. Legolas
4. Gimli
5. Boromir
6.1 Frodo (*)
6.2 Sam
6.3 Merry
6.4 Pippin

*Since Hobbits are a quarter of a man, so 4 Hobbits = 1 man.

Party of 4 is heresy to fantasy genre. Fix it!



4 p m is an optimal and logical number that also has to do with balance, 5 will be OP.


Last edited by Zarangek; 28/10/20 01:02 AM.
Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Thrythlind] #719728
28/10/20 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Thrythlind
*snip*Edit: I have been asked to point out that the Monster Manual says flat out that all Challenge Ratings are based on a party size of 4 characters.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the 5e encounter creation guidelines specify that encounters are made for 4-5 characters? If you have 6-8(ish) characters, you need to add more monsters to make an encounter of the same difficulty. If you have 3 characters, you need to remove monsters. But encounter difficulties are calculated as default CR for 4-5 PCs..

Last edited by mrfuji3; 28/10/20 12:20 AM.
Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Zarangek] #719745
28/10/20 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Zarangek
Originally Posted by Lumign
Members of the fellowship of the Ring :

1. Gandalf
2. Aragorn
3. Legolas
4. Gimli
5. Boromir
6.1 Frodo (*)
6.2 Sam
6.3 Merry
6.4 Pippin

*Since Hobbits are a quarter of a man, so 4 Hobbits = 1 man.

Party of 4 is heresy to fantasy genre. Fix it!



4 p m is an optimal and logical number that also has to do with balance, 5 will be OP.
https://youtu.be/63OZGWGewGI?t=4




Actually, now that I think of it, Lord of the Rings:

Travel from Bag End to Woodhall, 3-4 characters (pick up Merry near the end of this leg, can't remember if Fatty Bolger was on the road with them or if it was just Pippin).
Travel from Woodhall to Bree, 4 characters
Travel from Bree to Rivendell, 4-5 characters (pick up Glorfindel near the end)
Travel from Rivendell to Lothlorien, 8-9 characters (lose Gandalf in the mines)
Travel from Lothlorien to Rauros, 8 characters)
Rauros to Isengard, 2 characters
Rauros to Helm's Deep, 3-4 characters (pick up Gandalf in Fangorn, lose him after Edoras)
Rauros to Minas Morgul, 2-3 characters (pick up Smeagol early on)
Edoras to Minas Tirith early, 2 characters
Edoras to Minas Tirith by way of Dunharrow, 3 characters
Edoras to Minas Tirith with troops, 2 characters
Minas Morgul to Mount Doom, 2 characters
Minas Tirith to the Moranon, 5 characters

The bulk of the story focuses on 2-4 character parties. The main difference is in the bits right out of Rivendell. Assuming Gandalf is an NPC, call that 7-8 characters.

It sort of feels like a GM running multiple campaigns in the same world ran a short crossover segment and then went back to smaller party sizes.

Last edited by Thrythlind; 28/10/20 12:35 AM.
Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Lumign] #721991
29/10/20 06:12 PM
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4 is the optimal number to be cheap. No changes from DOS,no need to bother,just copy paste like most of this game anyway. Terrible dissapointment as BG3-great DoS 3 game thou .

Re: According to Sir Tolkien, a party size is 6. [Re: Lumign] #721995
29/10/20 06:14 PM
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I prefer 3 or 4 party members. 5 or 6 is too many.

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