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D&D General How do people play so quickly? (# of sessions per adventure?)

We try to play 4-hour sessions every other week. However, we often miss several sessions over the holidays in November and December. I would estimate we play about 40 hours per year. We started the Curse of the Crimson Throne in February of 2012 and ended it in June of 2017. We probably had about 4 months of playing other games, so I reckon we played about 200 hours for the full adventure path. We progressed from level 1 to 17.

I currently run a game for middle schoolers for weekly 2-hour sessions. We play 30 sessions each school year, so 60 hours per year.* I run an open, player-driven game with the kids; however, I use my vast collection of modules to power the game. I would estimate that we play one module every three months or 20 hours.

Now, 20 hours for a module is comparable to the way I see modules being run at conventions, in that they often run for three 4-hour slots, but the experience is very tight and focused.

So, in summary:
  • 200 hours for an adventure path
  • 20 hours for a module
  • 12 hours for a tightly focused module
And, maybe 120 hours for a tightly focused adventure path.

* Son of bitch! I play more with the kids than I do with my personal gaming group, and the kids get the summer off! I'm just realizing this now.

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I think just about most posters here run faster-paced games than our table.
I think we will only finish our first level 1-level 20 multi-party campaign (+/-10 years) sometime next year, hopefully.

My group is currently attempting to schedule session 87 of our Storm King's Thunder campaign. We're level 11, and sessions generally run for 4 hours, give or take half an hour or so.


B/X Known World
(based on the anecdotal evidence of these boards and social media) seem to blast through adventures and advance so quickly. I just can't imagine going much faster without losing something of the experience.
Comparing yourself (and your group) to anything you read online or from social media is a great way to feel incredibly bad about whatever it is you're doing. Ignore social media. Do whatever works for you and yours. As long as you're all having fun, it doesn't matter what other people are doing.
my sessions for this campaign tend to be significantly shorter than I'd like (3 hours rather than 5 hours for my in-person group)

we only get to play about once a month (sometimes twice)

We even use discord to cover as much between session stuff as we can - esp. logistics that might eat up session time if we didn't.
Yeah, those first two will kill your progress dead. The third is a great time saver. Some players in my main D&D group was talking about cutting down the session length to 2-3 hours once a month. The rest of the players basically felt there was no point trying to play that little that infrequently. Better to get together as friends and go see a movie or play cards or something else instead.
So how long does it take your group to get through adventures (accounting for session length and frequency)? How do you account for that amount of time?
We started Dragon Heist at 1st level in January 2019, hit 2nd level around April, 3rd level around June, 4th level around August, and 5th level around September. We played once a month for 5-6 hours a session. Dragon Heist is a 224-page module that takes the PCs from 1st to 5th. We did all the things. Combat, investigation, chases, roleplaying with each other, roleplaying with NPCs, faction play, setting up a bar, etc. Given that most of us have been playing together for almost 40 years and are mostly family, there's also a lot of catching up, complaining, and general hanging out when we play together. Some of the players love to dig into scenes and roleplay everything, other players also insist on planning things out in excruciating detail. So once a month for a year and going from 1st to 5th was on par for us, but likely molasses slow for others...or Ludicrous Speed for you and yours. The group is eight people, one referee and seven players.


At the moment we have 1-hour sessions almost weekly. That means that things are really stripped down to basics, and it still takes us forever to get through anything. :)

My preference would definitely be for longer sessions - I think 3-4 hours is probably the best that I've found. And I'd also like to turn that "almost weekly" into simply "weekly". But the days of me having the time for that are half a decade in the past. :(

Golden Bee

I just can’t play slow combat systems anymore. Saps my focus.

I run weekly games* with whoever shows up, so we have a few recurring players but almost always someone new or who hasn’t played in a while. 4 hours a week with two breaks, ~three set pieces.
Adventure of the Week is a great format for this, and Fate is a great system for pacing. Compelling aspects is a great way to adjust on the fly how long a scenario takes; compelling someone overzealous can end a planning session, compelling someone noble can mean a conflict when normally sneakiness could prevail.

I played Abbey at a game store with a five-person party, some teenagers, some adults, and I don’t think it took more than a session and a half, so probably 6 to 7 hours? The druid turned into a seagull and that’s always useful for infiltration.
I’m amused by the person in this thread who gives people three seconds to act in a round, considering a round is six seconds. I imagine it'd be stressful to run every combat like it’s the last 10 seconds of an NBA game with no timeouts. Maybe I’m a victim of Poe’s Law.

*Pulp summaries start 80% down the page

For my groups, a campaign-length module takes about 1.5-2 years to run. For shorter 20-30 page adventures (like old TSR or DCC RPG ones), it's generally 1-3 sessions, depending on length. And the times I've run them in a single session, I've generally regretted not taking more time with them.

For my groups, a campaign-length module takes about 1.5-2 years to run. For shorter 20-30 page adventures (like old TSR or DCC RPG ones), it's generally 1-3 sessions, depending on length. And the times I've run them in a single session, I've generally regretted not taking more time with them.
I wish those 20-30 page adventures were still a thing. That's my foundational experience, so it's how it's "supposed to be" for me. A campaign is years of play with approximately the same players and characters where you mix a combination of homebrew material with drop in adventures of an approximately appropriate level range for your party.

This current model where an adventure is either a whole campaign length beast, or a 2 hour side trek, has no appeal to me.


I have a feeling that my groups go quicker than average.

Currently, we play weekly for about 3.5 hours. We complete around one hardcover chapter per session. We're currently playing Curse of Strahd. We have played about 7 sessions. I am assuming 1-2 sessions before they're ready to go to the Castle. Will probably spend around 4 sessions in the Castle.

That means Curse of Strahd will have taken us about 12 sessions to complete. The previous time I ran it, it took 6 months of 2 hour sessions - so I think that's about the same.

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