D&D 5E Players Only Poll: How Do You Feel About the Number of Encounters Per Session

Generally Speaking...

  • I'd like there to be more encounters per gaming session.

    Votes: 16 30.8%
  • I'd like there to be fewer encounters per gaming session.

    Votes: 6 11.5%
  • we have just the right amount of encounters per gaming session.

    Votes: 30 57.7%

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
This poll is for players only (or for Dungeon Masters like me, who also happen to be players in other DMs' games).

The question: How do you feel about the number of encounters you have in each gaming session?
  • By "encounters" I am referring to combat scenes, battles, random encounters, etc.
  • By "gaming session" I mean the block of time that you and your friends have set aside to play for the day (or night).
This poll is just a rudimentary measure of your satisfaction, as a player...I'm not trying to make any kind of statement on the intent of the rules, or the importance of combat in the game, or any of that. I'm just curious how you feel about your game. And I know that no poll has a perfect list of options, so choose the answer that best applies and add any nuance in the thread.
 

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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
In the games of my regular and casual DMs, we get as much combat as we want. In random DMs' games, I find generally that there fewer opportunities for encounters than I would prefer, mostly owing to pacing issues or plot-based adventure design with an emphasis on filler scenes. Also, shopping.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I'd like to have more, personally, but not until we can address the speed. So I voted "fewer," if only so we can do something other than combat for an evening. Hours-long combat is fun for grand finales and such, but not for every single battle.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I'd like to have more, personally, but not until we can address the speed. So I voted "fewer," if only so we can do something other than combat for an evening. Hours-long combat is fun for grand finales and such, but not for every single battle.
That’s interesting, I feel like 5e combats are pretty quick most of the time.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I'm fine with the number of encounters we have in the Pathfinder game I'm playing in, because we only have encounters when the story dictates an encounter is necessary. If we are at a point in the narrative when an encounter occurs, then it was the right time and the right amount.

Encounters for encounters sake (like random encounters) are more often than not unnecessary.
 

I voted for "just right" - we probably have mostly one, sometimes two fights in most sessions (my guess is 2/3 to 3/4 of them), and that's about the level I enjoy for D&D (and generally for the adventuring type of RPGs).
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
We usually play about 2-3 hour sessions give or take & gm or player we can only fit so much combat in a given period of time. Should this poll really be encounters per session rather than encounters per rest? The ratio of combat to RP is pretty group & GM dependent.
 
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aco175

Legend
Some times we play and are in town for most/all the night and we roleplay more than combat, and other nights we are in a dungeon and all we do is combat. I would think that they average out to be about right.
 

payn

Legend
For me its usually dialed in as the campaign, GM, and players settle in. So, it can be too few at times, or too many. Though, it always settles into the right place. Points in the campaign, character levels, etc... usually upset the balance and it has to be found again. So, its a process that will need adjustment several times. How long it takes to dial in is usually dependent on player experience, GM experience, and GM preparation. YMMV.
 

Just enough. If its a fun gaming session it doesn't matter if there are zero encounters or twenty, a good adventure does not equate to the number of encounters for me. I think what constitutes as an encounter also needs to be defined.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I really can't answer this poll. How many encounters I prefer depends entirely on in-fiction circumstances. If we are slugging our way through Undermountain, I expect and want a lot of encounters. Other nights we are in intense roleplay to maneuver plots and such with NPCs and I really don't need or want any encounters. And everything in-between. :)
 

I really can't answer this poll. How many encounters I prefer depends entirely on in-fiction circumstances. If we are slugging our way through Undermountain, I expect and want a lot of encounters. Other nights we are in intense roleplay to maneuver plots and such with NPCs and I really don't need or want any encounters. And everything in-between. :)
This.

Also depends on the DM. E.g. one DM I know is a great roleplayer and we can get really cool challenges in non-violent settings. The other one is a little awkward in roleplaying, prefers combat himself, and as a result we aren't motivated to roleplay in that campaign and our group considers violence as the preferred method for negotiations.
 

Hussar

Legend
I've been lucky enough to get into a game where I can be a player for the past month or two. Regular weekly game, about 2-3 hour session. I'm pretty content with the pace so far. It's early days yet, but, I'm pretty happy. I don't know if this is damning with faint praise, but, I'm engaged, I'm not bored and I'm paying attention, so, whatever the pace is, it seems to be fitting with me just nicely.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
The group I am in as a player does a lot of goofing around, which is fine to a point, but I feel like it wastes a lot of game time, which is typically only 3-4 hours at best.

Last night we barely got in one combat, and ended just after it was over.

Now, we have other "encounters" but IMO those really aren't the same thing. Like talking to the tavern owner or a field hand to try to get information. Those sort of encounters are important of course, but tend to "drag" out the more goofy people get.
 

My group has a variety of sessions. Some are combat heavy if we're working our way through a dungeon, and some might only have 1 (if any). This works out well, since overall we get a good overall balance.
 

aco175

Legend
I will admit that I like to have at least one fight per session even if we are in town and roleplaying. Maybe thugs hang out by the alley or a tavern brawl with temp HP.
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
My group tends to enjoy several combats per session, though to be fair we also play 5-6 hour sessions so it’s much easier to accomplish this.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Caveat: I have seen some games, especially store ones possibly rotating attendance, have that the beginning of every session is considered after a long rest. I am not discussing those games here even though I've been part of them.

I wish there were more encounters. I don't want to spend more total time per session. Okay, really what I wish would be a less resource-attrition based model so we didn't need to have more encounters, but baring that redesign I want more encounters.

So what I would quite like, but not as much as that, would be the ability to zoom out a bit - not be as granular with resolution for every task, which just takes time, in a way that gives a good approximation of resources used for battles that aren't big dramatic ones. Basically, if mechanically a combat is unlikely to have a high-stakes outcome (character death, significant campaign setback, significant campaign success, etc) then I'd rather zoom out and do it quicker. This would also reduce the need for "every battle is on-level", a very gamist conceit, if lower-level battles didn't take very long to resolve but still tracked resource usage. And truly meaningful combat encounters would still do high granularity resolution of the current system.

But I don't expect that, either. So I'm kind of stuck with wanting to speed up battles so we get more in a session without sacrificing anything else.
 

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