Familiars. Henchmen. Animal companions. Hirelings, cohorts, followers, monstrous mounts, and orphans who just won’t stop following you around. There are a million and one ways to pick up hangers-on, and if you’re not careful, you’ll wind up with a million and one of them. That’s all well and good if you’re running a megadungeon. You just park your countless admirers back in town and bring a select few: Alright. We’re fighting demons today, so I’ll take Sister Mary-Channel and Sir. Smitesby. The rest of you guys are on the bench. If you’re running a globetrotting campaign, however, you’re suddenly left wondering what to do with your roster of dudes when it comes time to stealthily infiltrate Castle Evildark.

Here’s the thing though: You want to give all these cool characters a little screen time. You want them to have lives away from licking the PCs’ boots, and when you do fully develop an NPC it can be very rewarding. But how the crap can you do that when the story is about the “main cast” of PCs?

My advice is to pick and choose. Wait to see who the party gloms onto. Which of this veritable cast of thousands is actually a fan favorite? For example, the unicorn Lumberjack Explosion has been hanging around this comic since Page 1. On the other hand, Laurel had to remind me that Goldie was a thing. The same thinking applies in campaigns. Some characters come to the fore, and others recede into the background. The key is in reading your players and figuring out which should be which. (So if you guys are dying for more Scabby comics, let me know.)

So how about the rest of you guys? Have you ever found yourself with too many extra bodies in the party? How did you handle it?