Size: The ideal size of a group is between 6 and 8 characters—large enough to confront the challenges of the adventure, while not so large as to be disorganised. If not enough PCs are present, the players may wish to hire retainers (see Retainers).
Classes: It is wise for a party to consist of a mix of characters of different adventuring classes. Combat-focused characters are essential for protecting the group from danger, while other classes each have magic or other special abilities which are useful for handling different situations that may arise in an adventure.
Level: As new PCs join play, the experience levels of the characters in the party may diverge. It is recommended that characters more than four levels apart should adventure separately, as challenges and rewards suitable to characters of greatly different experience levels do not match.
Before starting an adventure, the players should determine the normal arrangement of their PCs when exploring. This is known as the party’s marching order. For example, players may decide to move in a two-column formation, with well-armoured characters in front, weaker characters in the middle, and a rear guard. The group may define different standard marching orders for common situations (e.g. standard exploration, combat, opening doors, searching, etc.).
If the players wish to, they may nominate one of their number as the spokesperson of the group, known as the caller. This player is responsible for informing the referee about the actions and movements of the party as a whole. Delegating this role to one player—rather than having each player informing the referee about their PC’s individual actions—can speed up play.
The caller’s character usually takes on the role of party leader and should thus have a high Charisma score and be located near to the front of the party.
One player should create a map of the areas being explored, based on the referee’s descriptions. Details such as monsters or traps encountered, clues to puzzles, or possibly interesting unexplored areas may be noted on the map as it is drawn.
The spoils of an adventure may be divided between surviving characters in whatever way the players agree on.
Non-magical treasure: Is typically divided evenly between player characters.
Magic items: The players must decide which character keeps each item. One method for doing this is for each player to roll a die and compare the results. The highest rolling player gets to pick a magic item first, the second highest rolling player gets the next pick, and so on.