• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is coming! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

How long on average are your game sessions?

How long, on average, from the time players arrive until they leave, are your TTRPG game sessions?

  • Under one hour

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2-3 hours

    Votes: 24 40.7%
  • 4 hours

    Votes: 21 35.6%
  • 4-6 hours

    Votes: 12 20.3%
  • 7-8 hours

    Votes: 1 1.7%
  • Over 8 hours

    Votes: 1 1.7%


A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I based my choices on the game sessions that I have typically seen discussed, as well as convention slots, and on-line find-a-game platforms.

For purposes of this poll, a game session starts when the players arrive and until they leave. It can include banter and discussion before or after the game starts. Part of the discussion that interests me is how much time in long game sessions is spent actually playing the game versus just hanging out, having lunch, etc.

log in or register to remove this ad


A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I answered over 8 hours. While I try to fit in a one-shot now and then as a player on find-a-game platforms, the vast majority of my game sessions are the ones I run for my 5e campaign. I run a monthly 8-hour game, scheduled from 10 am to 6 pm my players time (currently 6pm to 2am my time). This was true when I ran the game in person from my home and remains the same now that I run the game online overseas. It has been this way since I started running games again when 5e was first released.

I find short game sessions unfulfilling and would rather play board games for any slot under 4 hours, but 6-8 hours is the sweet spot for me. I prefer board games for "game nights" and TTRPGs for "game days".

Perhaps surprisingly, most of the time is spent actually playing the game. When I ran games in person there was often 20 minutes or so spent on players arriving, getting situated, banter, etc. And we would take a break to go get lunch (on sessions we didn't do potluck), but generally the lunch break was 30 minutes at most to go get take out and we generally played while eating. Online even less time is spent on breaks. There will generally be a couple of 10-15 minute breaks, sometimes more or longer, depending. In an 8-hour session a good 7 to 7.5 hours are spent focused on the game.

In long sessions, I find, the players spend more time planning and roleplaying among themselves. We will occasionally spend some of the session on leveling up and downtime activity, but most of that takes place over e-mail between sessions.

8 hours has proven to be the right amount of time in my campaign, with my group, to complete a specific objective. We rarely have to end a game in the middle of a fight or mission. The game is set up so that people can drop in or miss a session without affecting the group or story negatively. Also, with a longer session, we are better able to end the session at a natural end point. So I have ended sessions early when a satisfactory end point is reached, but it is rare that we don't go for the entire 8 hours and more come to go a bit over 8 hours.

Also for us, it is much easier to schedule an 8-hour session than it is to commit to shorter weekly sessions. We schedule the next session at the end of each session. We've rarely had to skip a month and we occasionally play twice in a month. We try to ensure that the core four players can make every sessions, with four other players on the mail list who join when they can. But if one of the core players can't make a session, we'll often still play, but they'll focus on a minor objective, or I'll run a side quest.

I find that my family and friends who are not into TTRPGs find this crazy. But then again, when I was young I used to play war games that would last all weekend. An 8-hour game is nothing to a wargamer. :)

I exclusively play online these days, so sessions have become shorter - we typically target 3 hours, but often there's a bit of smalltalk in the beginning, so effective play time is more like 2.5 hours. Back when I still played at the table, it was typically 4 to 6 hours (total time to effective game time ratio was about the same, since we had a "food break" in the middle of the session).


I play exclusively online as well and have found that 3 hours is too much of a drain. I end up with something more like 2 1/2, maybe. I had always wondered why then when the pandemic hit, and people were working remotely. I heard and read about how draining zoom calls were, and it helped me explain why I just can't do more than about 2, 2 1/2 hours.

aramis erak

Not voting, since the categories are bad...
My sunday game runs 1900-0030 - 3½ hours
My wed game runs 1730 or 1800 to 2130 or 2200 hours and rarely to 2400 = 3½ to 4½ hours...bimodal at 4 and 4½
Sat game runs 1730-1800 through to 2230-2400 for 4½ to 6½. But this game doesn't happen half the time.

If you average my sessions total 4 hours works since I moved south; before that, the average was 6½, not counting the half hour break for dinner, but with a multi-modal at 3 and 7 hours, which is far more representative than the 6 to 6½ mean.


When i was younger and Single we played from 5pm to 11 PM.

Today its more 18:30 until 21:30 with nearly the same people. I choose 2-3h
Due to short sessions, normally only 10 minutes privat Chat in the beginning.
Seldom extended upto 22:00 to get to a proper cliffhanger.


Guest 7034872

By consensus we generally go three hours. When we manage all to be in the same house together, though, we'll have a marathon session.

Roughly 4 hours. Our virtual sessions start around 8:30 pm EST with everyone logging onto the team's Discord channel. We chat a bit while waiting for everyone to log on, and then we move over to the VTT for the session. Some of our sessions have lasted to 1 am EST. :p

Remove ads