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

I dont 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.

I agree. Though certainly there's such a thing as running an adventure too slowly, far more detrimental generally is a breakneck speed that pushes to get through an adventure as quickly as possible.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The specific adventure is not so important to what I am posting about (since this while on the high end of average of how many sessions an adventure takes is still typical), but rather that while 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) I am still amazed not that it takes so long for my group to get through adventures, but that other groups (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.
This is what I think.

A lot of DMs like to describe every detail of the room/area and then the groups love to explore those details, looking around for things. That takes a lot of time. Other DMs just want to describe it enough to get the gist across to the group and have players who are like, "I look around. What do I find?" "Roll the die." "21" "You find X, Y and Z" "Cool, we head out the door to the north." That takes very little time.

And there's room in-between.
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?
My group is odd. It's an in-between. Sometimes they love to sit in a room, exploring that one room for an hour or more of game time. Other times they want to rush through. I can never tell which rooms will grab them and which won't. As a result, sometimes we go through most of a dungeon in one night, and other times it's one room and a fight for the same 4 hour session. 🤷‍♂️
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
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.
In another group, we did that campaign in 7 months, one 3-hour session per week (so roughly 28 sessions?) We ended at level 10
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
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.
this is exactly how I grew up playing, and my Yoon-Suin campaign (2018 ish) had the same structure.
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
32 page adventures for the win!
Those 300 page mega modules we have now definitely outstay their welcome, get thematically boring, become convoluted and too complex to run without spreadsheets, etc.
They are hard to do well, absolutely

Buuuuut I've been having a grand time with Dungeons of Drakkenheim. The authors clearly saw the organization, railroading and weak hooks problems of many of the 5e big adventures, and it's really stellar. But ... yeah, a lot of these huge campaigns are not great.
 

Hussar

Legend
Today I am going to run the 6th session involving the PCs undertaking the adventure "The Isle of the Abbey" from Ghosts of Saltmarsh. My guess is that it will take 7 or 8 sessions total.
I've played this one, although only online through Fantasy Grounds, which does tend to be a bit slower than face to face. Also, like you I'm playing 3 hour sessions. How in the heck did you take 8 sessions for this? There's only like, what, 15 encounters for the entire adventure? And many of those are pretty simple and quick. I'd need to go back and check my notes, but, 8 sessions seems really long for what is a very short, and pretty low level adventure.

AIR, 1-2 session getting to the island, getting through the beach and into the dungeon. 2-3 sessions getting through the dungeon.

And I thought we were pretty slow actually.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
How in the heck did you take 8 sessions for this?
  1. One session arranging to get passage to the island, arriving and making their way through the beach.
  2. One session meeting two surviving pirates (one of which is newly introduced PC) and making their way across the island, searching the surface ruins and going down to the dungeon level and encountering the cultist survivors
  3. One session in a protracted negotiation with the death cultists to convince them to leave peacefully that eventually breaks out into a harrowing fight.
  4. Next session, harrowing fight continues and takes most of the session.
    Between sessions, searching the rooms the cultists occupied using discord and finding the secret passage
  5. Next session - a contested long rest dealing with surviving cultists who try to escape potentially interrupting the rest - searching the Winding Way and discovering the Jade Statue.
  6. Last session (as described above)

    That is six sessions (plus) and at least one more session to go.

 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
  1. One session arranging to get passage to the island, arriving and making their way through the beach.
  2. One session meeting two surviving pirates (one of which is newly introduced PC) and making their way across the island, searching the surface ruins and going down to the dungeon level and encountering the cultist survivors
  3. One session in a protracted negotiation with the death cultists to convince them to leave peacefully that eventually breaks out into a harrowing fight.
  4. Next session, harrowing fight continues and takes most of the session.
    Between sessions, searching the rooms the cultists occupied using discord and finding the secret passage
  5. Next session - a contested long rest dealing with surviving cultists who try to escape potentially interrupting the rest - searching the Winding Way and discovering the Jade Statue.
  6. Last session (as described above)

    That is six sessions (plus) and at least one more session to go.
Are you running this online or in person?
 


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