WISH 79 asks:
What do you think is the best cast size for the games you’ve played? What are the factors that go into your answer: genre, play group, gaming system, etc.?
Well, once upon a time I would have said “three, maybe four.” But the Unknown USA campaign had, what, six regular players and worked like a charm. Not all of ‘em showed up every time, of course.
Hm. Let me take cast size as meaning “the number of people who show up, on average,” and I’ll answer “three or four” with some confidence. I’m kind of a spotlight hog, so I like three players. More deadly combat oriented games sort of need four people. D&D works way better with four people; three PCs are riding the ragged line of survivability. Champions can be the same way — it’s less deadly, but you don’t want the heros getting knocked out all the time.
Interestingly, both of those games have combat systems in which PCs get knocked out of the fight but come back on a fairly regular basis. In D&D, it’s healing spells; in Champions, it’s Recovery.