Friday, March 15, 2013

How Long Do You Game?

I'm excited as all get-out that our new campaign is starting tomorrow. While writing the first adventure I tried my best to keep time in mind. I have a reputation for starting every game with "Ok guys, this is going to e a short one, I swear!" To which everyone responds, "Yeah, right. You said that last time!"

I think the reply is more in jest than a complaint... at least I hope it is!

I have been thinking though, how long is your average game? Over the years, our games have declined in frequency to about once or twice a month. There's a lot of factors involved - mostly scheduling. We're adults now and we can just drop everything  for an afternoon of dice rolling!

As a side effect though, the games we do play have become significantly longer. It's not unusual for a game to last eight or ten hours. Heck, we've done twelve hour games on more than one occasion! These all day events evolve each session, changing the flow of the game. We used to order takeout and eat at the table. Later, we started taking a dinner break and later still, Beck began preparing meals to avoid having to order out. Ordering food is not only expensive, but it breaks up the game twice; once to figure out the food and order; then again to eat it when it arrives.

There's also something to be said about the evolution of our gaming habits and where we play. If we play at my house for instance, odds are we'll have home cooked food. If we play at Jim's we'll most likely have something from the pizza place or Chinese/sushi. (It's also nearly guaranteed that Jim's wife Erica will bake us cookies or brownies or something awesome!)

Uh oh, getting off topic. Sorry!

Now I know a few GMs and bloggers out there who play almost once a week and all I can think is "Where do they find the time!?" Fellow GM and player Noah M. plays in my game, occasionally runs his own and plays in another game online - that's a lot of gaming!

How long do your sessions normally run and how often do you play? Also what's your ideal playing time and schedule? I'm just curious to see how other folks handle their gaming.

Until next time, happy gaming!

1 comment:

  1. Most of our gaming group is teenagers, and there are definite challenges with wrangling with the schedules of teenagers. We've settled on regular gaming for the most part, meeting weekly for a 3 to 4 hour block. Most people can reserve a 3 or 4 hour block once a week without too much trouble. 3 or 4 hour blocks are also important for us because the FLGSs where we play often close earlier than we'd like.

    Of course, there are always going to be problems with people needing to be out. We counter this two ways: first everyone emails in advance if they can't make it, so if too many people are out, we can cancel. Second, we play with a larger group, so one person being out is less of a problem for game mechanics. A group of 6 players works well for me, where if everyone was always in attendance, I'd prefer a player group of
    4.

    The other problem is keeping the game play smooth. I usually take a picture of the battlemap so we can easily recreate it for the next session if break in the middle of combat. I also give a summary play-by-play of the action every week on my blog, so if someone is out, they can catch up.

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