We have quite a few questions about running a large party (How do I run a game for a larger group?, Balancing undead encounters against large party with a cleric, How do I scale an encounter to a larger party?), which cause both balance problems in most D&D and similar game systems (due to action economy and other factors) and pace problems, due to too many players taking turns and thus having longer waiting times.

We also have some questions on the other side of the spectrum - small parties usually lead to other kind of balance problem: There aren't enough characters to fill everything a party is usually supposed to handle, which leads to uses of DMPCs (Should I use a GMPC to help a small party?), nightwatch problems for resting (How do long rests work for small parties?), etc.

Either way, we recently had a question which involves having a small party (Is this wolf DMPC overpowered or underpowered?), and I wanted to link possible alternative solutions for the asker. It would be really helpful if we had a [small-party] tag, for example. I think both tags (big or small party) are quite descriptive about the kind of problem we will be facing, help a lot with finding similar problems and generally fulfill the purpose of a good tag.

Can we has them?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I can think of reasons for and against saying that [group-scaling] already covers this. Is that tag insufficient (or sufficiently obscure) to not do the job? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 15, 2018 at 22:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I... actually forgot that one. First, I think it's not intuitive enough (I wouldn't think of searching "group-scaling" for a problem involving a big party, for example, and I even used that tag already LOL). The most broad and canonical (for me) question for large groups (rpg.stackexchange.com/q/124/43856) does not even use it, so I guess there is some underlying problem here? \$\endgroup\$
    – HellSaint
    Nov 15, 2018 at 22:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HellSaint: I've solved that problem now ;) But perhaps [group-scaling] could use some synonyms (e.g. "[party-size]") to make it more obvious that it exists. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Nov 15, 2018 at 23:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ I seem to recall it was originally [scaling]. But yes, it's not obvious, is it? If it needs synonyms, [large-party] and [small-party] aren't bad ideas as well as V2Blast's suggestion. That is, assuming of course, that it's not more sensible to have separate tags for large and small, as you're proposing. (I'm not sure myself what's ideal!) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 16, 2018 at 0:58

1 Answer 1


My general preference is that "rules" get in the way of site management by privileged Stackizens as little as possible. To this end we typically describe tagging as an emergent folksonomy and pretty rarely step in to say "no, let's not tag that way" before some problem emerges. (Though here's such a discussion, arguing in the end against tagging individual spells.)

You had the thought that (too-)small parties and (too-)large parties generally present qualitatively-different problems and answers, and I think you're right. And unlike the spell example, it's easy to imagine that a search term like "two players" or "too many players" would miss a lot of similarly-situated posts, and a poor browser would be out of luck.

So I suggest:


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