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Size of Super Teams


  

43 members have voted

  1. 1. What is the right number of players?

    • 1-2
      0
    • 3
      1
    • 4
      13
    • 5
      19
    • 6
      7
    • 7
      2
    • 8+
      1


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This has more to do with a group I am working on for a book.  I have 5 written up and almost done, debating on adding an atlanteen (Which is a bit of an odd character for the mix, but would be useful and adds a lot of world flavor to the team)

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For gaming, I prefer 5 players (plus the GM).  I currently run 7, and it feels like 1-2 of them are somewhat left out of the bulk of the game play.

 

Story-wise, I think 5-6 is a good number of main characters. 

 

In both cases, too many members = someone getting the short shift as far as attention is concerned.  In addition to the number of main protagonists, consider the number of antagonists as well as support characters.  If you have, say 7 heroes, plus 7 villains, plus a half-dozen major NPCs, that's 20 people for the reader to keep track of. 

 

You may wish to consider concentrating on the 5 early in the book, and then adding the atlanteen later on (once the reader is comfortable with the others).

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In terms of comics, seven seemed to be the optimum number for the team books I've most enjoyed, like the iconic Justice League lineup, the New X-Men, and Byrne's Avengers in the late 70s. Enough for a variety of powers/concepts and interesting interpersonal dynamics, but not so many that anyone gets lost in the shuffle.

 

As for tabletop RPGs, 4 or 5 players seems to be the sweet spot.

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For me it would depend on narration style as well.  

 

First person can actually get away with fairly large casts as you interact with them through your protagonist so don't really need to worry about what the others are off doing with their part of the story since their results will be reported to and through your narrator:  "I looked up as Green Lantern returned to the Hall.  I could tell from the look on Hal's face that he hadn't managed to locate the Parademon base.  Hopefully one of the others had more luck."

 

The narrator could have a variation on those lines for twenty more returning heroes without any expectation on the reader's part to be witness to Hal or any of the others exploring the desert looking for Apokolips energy signatures - even if GL's in most scenes with the protagonist normally.

 

3rd person though? 3 to 5 unless you're planning  multiple thousand page books ... though you can squeeze in a few (hundred) more if they don't remotely evenly share time as viewpoints (So... no Perrin or Matt again this book, Mr Jordan? Oh, but the maid got three chapters...).

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For me it would depend on narration style as well.  

 

First person can actually get away with fairly large casts as you interact with them through your protagonist so don't really need to worry about what the others are off doing with their part of the story since their results will be reported to and through your narrator:  "I looked up as Green Lantern returned to the Hall.  I could tell from the look on Hal's face that he hadn't managed to locate the Parademon base.  Hopefully one of the others had more luck."

 

The narrator could have a variation on those lines for twenty more returning heroes without any expectation on the reader's part to be witness to Hal or any of the others exploring the desert looking for Apokolips energy signatures - even if GL's in most scenes with the protagonist normally.

 

3rd person though? 3 to 5 unless you're planning  multiple thousand page books ... though you can squeeze in a few (hundred) more if they don't remotely evenly share time as viewpoints (So... no Perrin or Matt again this book, Mr Jordan? Oh, but the maid got three chapters...).

It is a gaming supplement, so not really a narrative...

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