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5 Added dnd-4e back in to derp's edit, as question asks about combat screen time for NPCs, to which system is *extremely* relevant.
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4 These tags seem more fitting to me – this system-agnostic and not asking for a game recommendation.
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3 more accurate title; copyedit
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How can I well handle recurrent friendly Will using NPCs as allies overshadow my PCs?

As I was working on my DnDD&D 4e campaign, I created a few NPCs to connect with my players, some of them intended as travelling companions of the PCs. Their backstories and knowledge connect inhook into the story, and they are meant to enablelet me to includeintroduce new plot hooks whereas I wantwish, and to expose my PCs to recurrent characters that they might care about, in order to enrich the story. My intention is to make some of them my PC's traveling companions.

But I am unsure of how to balance NPCs and PCs in a party. I don't plan to ever gethave more than two NPCs travelling with the PCs, but even then I fear to be stretching it. I don't want the NPCs to take the game away fromovershadow the PCs.

How do I best handle recurrent friendly NPCs?

Edit: I'm not looking for actual mechanics or rules, but rather for 'soft' advice on the integration of NPCs. My My question is based onmotivated by two main worries:

1: Do I risk to take the game from my PCs by introducing plot hooks mainly through their NPC companions?

2: If I have more than one NPC travelling with the PCs, will it be taking away too much 'screen time' from the players (in combat and roleplay).

  1. Do I risk overshadowing my PCs by introducing plot hooks mainly through their NPC companions?

  2. If I have more than one NPC travelling with the PCs, will it be taking away too much 'screen time' from the players (in combat and roleplay)?

Those two are the two main issues that I would like to see addressed in an answer. I would like to know if my concerns overabout such possibilities are founded, and if so how I can best deal with them.

How can I well handle recurrent friendly NPCs?

As I was working on my DnD 4e campaign, I created a few NPCs to connect with my players. Their backstories and knowledge connect in the story, and are meant to enable me to include new plot hooks where I want, and expose my PCs to recurrent characters that they might care about, in order to enrich the story. My intention is to make some of them my PC's traveling companions.

But I am unsure of how to balance NPCs and PCs in a party. I don't plan to ever get more than two NPCs travelling with the PCs, but even then I fear to be stretching it. I don't want the NPCs to take the game away from the PCs.

How do I best handle recurrent friendly NPCs?

Edit: I'm not looking for actual mechanics or rules, but rather for 'soft' advice on the integration of NPCs. My question is based on two main worries:

1: Do I risk to take the game from my PCs by introducing plot hooks mainly through their NPC companions?

2: If I have more than one NPC travelling with the PCs, will it be taking away too much 'screen time' from the players (in combat and roleplay).

Those two are the main issues that I would like to see addressed in an answer. I would like to know if my concerns over such possibilities are founded, and if so how I can best deal with them.

Will using NPCs as allies overshadow my PCs?

As I was working on my D&D 4e campaign, I created a few NPCs to connect with my players, some of them intended as travelling companions of the PCs. Their backstories and knowledge hook into the story, and they are meant to let me introduce new plot hooks as I wish, and to expose my PCs to recurrent characters that they might care about, in order to enrich the story.

But I am unsure of how to balance NPCs and PCs in a party. I don't plan to ever have more than two NPCs travelling with the PCs, but even then I fear stretching it. I don't want the NPCs overshadow the PCs.

I'm not looking for actual mechanics or rules, but rather for 'soft' advice on the integration of NPCs. My question is motivated by two main worries:

  1. Do I risk overshadowing my PCs by introducing plot hooks mainly through their NPC companions?

  2. If I have more than one NPC travelling with the PCs, will it be taking away too much 'screen time' from the players (in combat and roleplay)?

Those are the two main issues that I would like to see addressed in an answer. I would like to know if my concerns about such possibilities are founded, and if so how I can best deal with them.

2 clsrifications; added 4 characters in body
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