Pace and Progress in your game.


Mod Squad
Staff member
It's called Story Now gaming. Perfectly normal. (/mild snark)

Can we not, with the snark, please? It will tend to get in the way of actually being helpful. That's not a mod voice thing - just a request form a fellow poster.

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Mod Squad
Staff member
How do people like to add pace into their campaigns?

Well, having 8 people in an online game will make it hard to have decent pacing. I can usually manage that many in person. I wouldn't usually try it online.

Other ways to set pace would be to give this whole thing something like a progress bar - an indication that you are, in fact, making headway to the goal.

That said, the GM behavior you are seeing may have something like a good reason behind it, even if the results aren't enthralling. It could pay to ask if there is a particular reason you are grinding through combat after combat.

Thomas Shey

A lot of it has depended on the campaign, and to some extent the genre.

Most of my superhero games have been punctuated-equilibrium sorts of things where there's probably a problem that needs to be addressed (of various magnitude and duration) but then, once that's handled, something else will come along.

Some fantasy games have been, while not sandboxes, fundamentally episodic. My current 13th Age game looks like that's what it is currently, though there's an underlying theme (whether I've got my arms around the pace on that properly can be in question) that will progressively emerge over time, but I don't expect it to get really visible until 12 or so sessions in (we're on session five tomorrow).

I've had a few games that were very much "you're out to get X done" and everything was either about that, or unavoidable distractions about that.

Pace--is a complicated question, especially, when has not been uncommon, I'm dealing with a game that's natural capability progression is different than I'm expecting. I had a serious problem when D&D3e came out and I tried to run it because I'd hopped from OD&D to it, and the pacing was very, very different (which, to be fair, it kind of told you it was, but I hadn't internalized properly what that meant and had to course-correct across the campaign. The fact the system turned out to be, effectively, unrunnable to me above level 13 meant that it ended up being more or less aborted).


5ever, or until 2024
One guess: The DM does think they are ready for the “main” part of the campaign yet. So they keep the trip going.

A lack of preparation and confidence, sometimes combined with grand intent, explains a lot of DM issues I have encountered over the years.

aramis erak

Is this normal? Do your homebrew campaigns end up being random encounter and random combat centered? If they aren’t, what do you do to create pace and momentum in your game so your players feel like they are getting shiz done.
Only certain ones... Twilight: 2000, The Fantasy Trip, D&D, Traveller.
Others, no. The timing may be randomized, but the encounter is previously prepared for or is winged on the fly.

Pacing for online play is slower than FTF, in my experience. My online group played much faster FTF, and they were a FTF group first, then I had to relocate.


I have never player online, but it seems that style of play leans towards a pace of play that wanders. I have seen some play by post and it seems that it is mostly roleplay heavy. I could be wildly wrong in my opinion though.

Is there any threat or hooks that lead to some sort of action? Do you know who the BBEG is or some minor bad guy? Is there rising action like bringing the one ring to Bree or droids showing up at your moisture farm?


I don't believe in the no-win scenario
That's absolutely true on a session basis, but it doesn't necessarily explain why the progress of the campaign would be slow.
It’s the biggest red flag to me. Though yes there are likely things the GM is doing that makes it slow too. Just don’t have those details.

I know some folks love large groups but they have never worked out for me.


I’m enjoying the game, but it is totally alien to the AP/campaign style gaming I normally run and play in.

I think this is the key bit here. It may be different than you expect, but you’re enjoying it.

I’d say stick with it simply as a different experience. As long as it’s enjoyable, at least. You’re bound to learn something from playing in a game that’s so different from yours.

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