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


Uncomfortably diegetic
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.
Yea, interesting comparison.

To toss in more anecdotes, my groups very rarely do published adventures, but we did do Curse of Strahd. It took us about 30 sessions to finish, each session being roughly 3-4 hours.

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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 like both. But I wish we would see some short official adventures as well. The starter sets at least have smaller adventures, but that's not quite the same.

Adventurer's League seems to fit the bill better, but again, that's not quite the same. PDF-only releases don't have the same feeling for me as, say, a Village of Hommlet or Isle of Dread.

Li Shenron

I've seen a fair range of speeds over the years, but generally most of the games I played or run were probably more on the slow side. IMXP the slowing factors have been at different times very careful approach to exploration, very tactical combat, micromanagement of resources, or simple lack of focus on the main quest, but not so much heavy dialogues (for some reason, that mostly happened to me in session 1 of any campaign, always to decrease afterwards).

It all depends on what the players enjoy more, of course. Some people love indulging in the details, whether it means to think hard about the best next action in combat, or about what food and drink to order in each tavern (a staple of the groups I've been with, apparently).

But it also depends on the type of game: if you run one-shots, you are probably more likely to
encountered some who will only see the quest and want to breeze through it.


5ever, or until 2024

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.

We would probably take 18-24 sessions of the same length. So you are almost as twice as fast as me, and as far as I can tell, I am almost twice as fast as el-remmen. That is some serious variation.


I don
t see fast play as a good thing in all cases. There are things that are good to spend time on, and things you want to run smoothly and quickly. In general, mechanical elements should be quick, while player actions that are not rule interactions can be allowed to take time.

We've been playing Curse of Stradh since 2018. The Pandemic put things on hold for two years but now we're in Castle Ravenloft. I figure we've been playing for over 100 hours.


Dusty Dragon
I am currently running Dungeons of Drakkenheim. We've been playing every 2 weeks since mid January 2022. Each session is 3 hours, we've had about 35 sessions, and I estimate we are about halfway through the campaign


I can attribute some of our speed to minimizing role-playing. That's to match the players' interest.
You introduce a character to talk to them, and there's dumbfounded silence. They push past flavor text searching for monsters to kill.
Of course, these are teenagers, so perhaps that's part of it.
The other group I ran through Curse of Strahd, they were all online, so most sessions were focused on VTT battlemaps.


Not your screen monkey (he/him)
When I'm running the Thursday night game (currently on summer break to play some Shadowrun), I run on alternate weeks for a 3 hour session. And I have up to 11 players (usually not all of them can make it), so going is sometimes slow. They're also all 15th level now so they have a lot of options. So I'm trying to do what I can to tailor the experience by cutting out less important combats and diversionary encounters and making sure that I'm putting a significant emphasis on the non-combat events and mysteries of the campaign (Age of Worms). They've just reached Alhaster and so combat is de-emphasized for this particular chapter in favor of interaction with NPCs, so that should be interesting.

The other game I run is currently Call of Cthulhu on alternate Saturdays for 4 hours a session. That one has fewer players and tends to be a bit more productive.


...And then with hard core fast knowledgeable gamers we can zip through games by not having any slow spots. We still game a ton, and role play a ton. But the players will never even slow down even if "they are not sure of what to do" or such. Most often they will do a "standard move", even if they are not sure of what to do, to keep the game moving.
I admire the fact you were able to cull the wheat from the chaff to arrive at a group of like-minded players who were all willing and able to keep up with the standards you wanted to have for your game. I know I would have been tossed out on my ass from your group probably about 10 minutes in, LOL... but kudos for getting yourself to a place you wanted your game to be.

I know a lot of people probably might read your post and think or say "Jeez... that's like really harsh!" and try and denigrate you for doing what you do... but to me, I think what you do is exactly what more people should. More people should really work that hard to get the game they want with the people they want and the rules that they want. Rather than what it seem like too many others do... which is suffer through games that have rules or players they don't like but are unwilling to fix... and instead they just keep hoping/wishing/demanding WotC fix it for them instead. As a result they just get saltier and saltier and saltier.

Screw that! If there's an issue with the game, fix it! Even if (general) you have to be harsh. Better to do that and then arrive at a game and table you are happy with than to be miserable and then constantly bemoaning that WotC isn't changing or making D&D the way you need so that all (general) your issue magical disappear.

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