That moment of edition regret

Right now, it looks like my second gaming session is only going to have two people too.  If I don’t play, it’ll be two more weeks following then that we game again.  So basically, I’ll be one month behind of where I wanted to start.

The thing that chaps my hide is that I’d like to play with only two players, which is nigh well impossible with D&D 4E, but very doable with an earlier edition game like BFRPG or LL.  Why, because you can pad out an under-sized group with hirelings (or as I think of them, hit points on the hoof).  

It’s not too late for me to suddenly convert over the campaign.  It’d be a huge change in campaign tenor, but I could probably keep most of the maps, et al.


  1. I think that’s pretty typical of new campaigns, sadly. People may be incredibly excited at the idea, but once the details of scheduling, character rolling etc. take place, well, that’s when the party of 8 or what have you suddenly becomes 2. At least it’s happening early as opposed to 6 games in or something.

  2. My question is, do I plunge on bravely with two (can you even play D&D with two players?) or do I give up the ghost?
    My inclination is to play. There’s at least one other who is pretty committed to playing, but had to miss this session because he had to go meet his father’s new wife. That, thankfully, won’t happen every week. Another player is doing Mother’s Day stuff, which again is once-a-year.
    Three players are admittedly tied up with soccer, which lasts all summer, and they may be a loss at least for now.
    I think I’ll hang in there, not lose hope, and remember that playing with two beats not playing with anyone.

  3. Oy. Sorry to hear that.

    I think the other thing you’re hitting on is that, once you get older (i.e. out of college), unless you have a group that’s been getting together every week for years (I know of one group like that), it becomes a lot harder to plan and coordinate these sorts of things. My 4th ed. D&D campaign (player, not dm) was supposed to be 2x a month and has ended up being more monthly, with a couple of ‘dead’ months in there as well. So while we’ve been playing for a year, we’re ‘only’ about 5th level or so.

    As to whether you can play 4e with 2-3 players: I think it’s doable, depending on what they’re playing. 4e is a much more ‘team’ oriented game; you HAVE to support your fellow party members or you’re going to get crushed (I actually like that compared to 3.x, where it was more ‘parallel play’ than cooperative play), but depending on makeup, you can probably get away with 3, especially if those 3 have overlapping roles. For example, if the guy playing a defender is playing a Paladin, well now you have some healing as well. Likewise the Bard, despite being a leader, has some controller elements to it. Is it the same as having a party of 5 with every element covered? No, but I find most parties have overlap anyway; we’re 6 with no controller but 2 leaders, 1 defender and 3 strikers, and while it’d be real nice to have a wizard or invoker, we’re doing okay.

    It also depends on the people playing. If they can be flexible and really work together and (in game) work with the DM, I think the players can still have fun with 4e.

  4. If you are using 4E rules, your ‘hirelings’ can be minions. It will help with what happens when you are short players. Just ‘avoid’ throwing a Solo monster at them with mostly hirelings along.

  5. Well I am in the same situation as you Strange, the group I have ran with for years has all moved away or moved on with life… so now I am stuck running sessions for myself, with my 3 year old son rolling dice LOL

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