A small army of heroes

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Ad idea was set upon the water, that each player have two or three characters running at the same time. It was clarified that we the players would have the hard part; controlling multiple characters at once. I find the idea intriguing, though it would put a little more work on his part, making the combat encounters a bit more to scale.

Anyone with any experience like that?
I was in a game once where my character had a cohort and I played them both.  Really wasn't that hard though I had played D&D for years before that and was familiar enough with the rules for both my PC and the cohort that things went smoothly.  Wouldn't recommend it for new players who still aren't quite used to running one character yet, but if the players are experienced I wouldn't think it would really be that difficult.

Also as far as the DM is concerned it would really be not that much more difficult than running a game that has more players.  Example: Both the game I'm currently playing in and the one that I'm the DM have between 8 and 9 players at each session.  For large numbers of players it's better to have an experienced DM, but if he/she is experienced enough than it may actually be easier to run a game that has 3 or 4 players each with 2 or 3 characters than to run a game with 9 completely different players and their preferrences.
The only way I have seen it work with any sort of balance is if a player has a "main" character and his/her henchmen.  The henchmen are little more than specialized NPCs that help in encounters while the player's main character does all the role-playing.

Of course the last time I did anything like this was when 3e was new and the group had a lot of 2e experience.

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RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
I've has similar experiences, particularly in smallish groups. If you only hae 2-3 players, getting to run 2 pc's each is an easy way to fill a party...
FWIW [4e designer] baseline assumption was that roughly 70% of your feats would be put towards combat effectiveness, parties would coordinate, and strikers would do 20/40/60 at-will damage+novas. If your party isn't doing that... well, you are below baseline, so yes, you need to optimize slightly to meet baseline. -Alcestis