How long should a gaming session be?

How long is your ideal session? (you can select more than one option)

  • 1 hour

    Votes: 2 2.1%
  • 2 hours

    Votes: 16 17.0%
  • 3 hours

    Votes: 46 48.9%
  • 4 hours

    Votes: 56 59.6%
  • 5 hours

    Votes: 22 23.4%
  • 6 hours

    Votes: 15 16.0%
  • More than 6 hours

    Votes: 10 10.6%


For me, I feel like 3-4 hours is necessary for any meaningful story progress to be made. However I know that for some people (especially those with ADHD) that can be too long, so I try to compensate by having 5-10 minute breaks every hour or so.

I've had some games last 5-6 hours, especially when the players really wanted to continue or when there was a climactic fight, but the energy really drops towards the end.

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I say four hours, but that's because it's how long I set aside (typical convention slot length as well). But in reality perhaps about 3 hours is ever spent actually playing, what with get stuff out, setting up, chatting about your week, latest Netflix series, having a mid session break, packing away, etc.

Still depending on what's going on I'd happily play all day.


1.5-2 hours seems good for my 14yo and their friends. I think 3 or so is good for me (plus time for eating if that is part of it).


We tend to play just under 2 each week. I would prefer 3 myself, but we have to work in the morning and I'm not 20 anymore. I saw a slot at the convention coming up where you could play the whole Phandelvar Obelisks campaign if you start Friday, play Saturday and finish Sunday, playing 12 hours each day but with just 4 on Sunday. Hope you like the other players at the table.


Back in the day we'd play a 4-hour session in the afternoon, break for pizza then do another 4-hour session in the evening. We were young and enthusiastic. These days a 4-5 hour sessions is still pretty great on a Saturday and we keep the pizza and beer routine after. :D


I think 4 hours is perfect. The first, and last half hour of the game tends to be slow, and you're either getting into the groove, rehashing what happened last session, or you're winding down at the end of the session and tying up loose ends or setting the stage for the next session.

The the middle of those two half hours is the primo, 3 hour real session.

I remember the days of 18 hour gaming sessions back during summer break in High School.
Nowadays though, I find 3 is for the best. With 4+ hours you really have to take a meal break, and if you take a meal break everyone is going to be down for an extended period to digest, which basically cuts an hour out of the game anyway.
I am really nostalgic for this time of my life. Playing for a whole day, and stopping the session at 1AM, but staying up until 3 or 4AM standing around in the kitchen talking about how cool the session was.. Then getting back together at noon the next day to play some more.


Mod Squad
Staff member
I typically get three-hour sessions these days.
I expect I'd prefer four.
I suspect that I really wouldn't mind occasionally making a production out of it (a well-planned session, breaks and food and such) taking it up to six or more. "Well planned" in this case means "not all dungeon crawling" - it needs to have a variety of activities in it to work well.

I occasionally play weekend-long larps, where play runs something like 8pm to midnight Friday, 9 AM to midnight Saturday, and 10 AM to 2PM Sunday. These games have meal breaks, sometimes in-character.

the Jester

Depends on the group and life in general. Usually we play about four hours these days, but on a day when we can get together early enough, if nobody has to work too soon, in a situation where we can have food and drink on hand, I love longer sessions.

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