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5E Streams or podcasts where the groups complete a "standard adventuring day" in a 4 hour session?

I'd like to have everyone ready on their turn in combat, but I think I'll wait until we do a short theme adventure to try that out, and if it works maybe we can bring it back to the main campaign.

But I think combat is only part of the story. My guess is also that there is a fundamental difference in overall play control needed to get things moving that fast. For instance, I generally have player/PC directed sessions. Once in a blue moon I'm ask the party if they are good if I jump ahead to <fill in the blank> but in general they tell me what they are doing and I present the world accordingly.

@iserith, what's your approach for overall play control? From things you've said before I expect you take a more active hand. Do you present scenes with clear multiple choice options for the next scene during non-combat times, or something like that?
 

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Most turns are resolved in seconds.

2 minutes is enough time to resolve entire rounds.
It absolutely depends. Some players will go into elaborate descriptions of their characters combat moves. Some will make witty asides, etc.

It is certainly possible to resolve a round in a few minutes or less, but if that happens or not depends on the players.
 

The average person says 3 words a second, or so.

Even if a player is keeping it to the USA today version of DnD their turn will involve a declaration of action, a roll, the result of that roll, possibly another sequence for bonus action, maybe movement, maybe an opportunity attack against them, and maybe something they say.

This abbreviated description would take nearly a minute if executed without any questions and interruptions.
Most turns are resolved in seconds.

2 minutes is enough time to resolve entire rounds.
 

The average person says 3 words a second, or so.

Even if a player is keeping it to the USA today version of DnD their turn will involve a declaration of action, a roll, the result of that roll, possibly another sequence for bonus action, maybe movement, maybe an opportunity attack against them, and maybe something they say.

This abbreviated description would take nearly a minute if executed without any questions and interruptions.
DM: Ok Fighter/ Rogue/ Barbarian/ Ranger/ Paladin - it's your turn.
Player: I attack the Orc Warlord
  • (Rolls a 7). I miss; or
  • (Rolls a 15) I hit. Rolls damage.

DM: OK Wizard/ Warlock/ Sorcerer/ Cleric/ Druid - it's your turn.
Player: I cast (spell) at the Orc Warlord
  • DM/ Player makes attack roll and fails or save and fails, or
  • DM/ Player hit with attack roll or creature fails save - rolls damage/ applies effect.

That literally accounts for 50 percent of actions at your average table. A miss/ successful save takes 3-5 seconds. A hit/ failed save takes 20 or so.

The delay in actions comes from Players deciding what to do. IMG I have the players on a strict 6 second timer from the moment I say 'It's now your Turn'. If they havent commenced declaring what they are doing, and targets etc by the end of that 6 seconds, they take the Dodge action, and their turn ends.
 

DM: Ok Fighter/ Rogue/ Barbarian/ Ranger/ Paladin - it's your turn.
Player: I attack the Orc Warlord
  • (Rolls a 7). I miss; or
  • (Rolls a 15) I hit. Rolls damage.

DM: OK Wizard/ Warlock/ Sorcerer/ Cleric/ Druid - it's your turn.
Player: I cast (spell) at the Orc Warlord
  • DM/ Player makes attack roll and fails or save and fails, or
  • DM/ Player hit with attack roll or creature fails save - rolls damage/ applies effect.

That literally accounts for 50 percent of actions at your average table. A miss/ successful save takes 3-5 seconds. A hit/ failed save takes 20 or so.

The delay in actions comes from Players deciding what to do. IMG I have the players on a strict 6 second timer from the moment I say 'It's now your Turn'. If they havent commenced declaring what they are doing, and targets etc by the end of that 6 seconds, they take the Dodge action, and their turn ends.
That would be a very dull game.
 


Scott Christian

Adventurer
Most turns are resolved in seconds.

2 minutes is enough time to resolve entire rounds.
Flamestrike, would you film just one combat of yours and place it on here. That is what the OP is asking. I think many of us would appreciate it. For me personally, there is more to it than declaring an action. At the tables I play on there are:
  • deciding which action to take (they may have thought about it prior, but the table changed)
  • declaring the action (our bard sings his vicious mockery, our rogue talks to the dice, etc...)
  • waiting for the dm to declare the results
  • sometimes at higher level seeing if there is something that can help such as "lucky" to hit on a miss
  • gathering the dice for damage (which includes, "Oh, I have sneak attack or am using the flame on my sword, etc.)
  • rolling the dice for damage
  • adding the dice up for damage (especially at higher levels)
  • If it is a spell, making sure the table understands what happened (Evard's, wall of ice, certain creatures making saving throws to see if they are prone, etc.)
  • If it is a spell knocking it off your list or lowering the number you have for the day
This does not include high fives for great results, the players or DM describing killing blows, the DM describing a change to the environment or the opponent's faces, actions, etc. This is why most of us have combat that lasts a half hour for some road bandits. I would appreciate learning from your style of play.
 

Flamestrike, would you film just one combat of yours and place it on here.
For sure mate. Gimme a week or so and I'll do what I can.


deciding which action to take (they may have thought about it prior, but the table changed)
Again, they get a few seconds to declare their action after I tell the player 'it's now your turn' or they take the Dodge action and their turn ends.

I like to keep my combats fast, chaotic and snappy. It has the added benefit of keeping players focused on the action when it's not their turns.

This does not include high fives for great results, the players or DM describing killing blows, the DM describing a change to the environment or the opponent's faces, actions, etc. This is why most of us have combat that lasts a half hour for some road bandits.
A major set piece battle would last around 30 minutes in my games.

A small skirmish against some Orcs, Bandits or whatnot would be over inside around 5 minutes or so.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
@iserith, what's your approach for overall play control? From things you've said before I expect you take a more active hand. Do you present scenes with clear multiple choice options for the next scene during non-combat times, or something like that?
I don't generally like event-based adventures, preferring location-based. To that end, the players decide what they want to do. So my role in this is to encourage the players to get on the same page quickly with their next course of action and move forward with little or no debate. Here is what our table rules say about that:

Keep Things Moving. We do this by saying "Yes, and..." to our fellow players. When a reasonable idea is proposed, we accept it ("Yes...") and add to it ("and..."). We don't shut down other people's ideas or try to tell other people how to play their characters unless they ask for help. It's discouraging to others and slows the game down.

Occasionally, they'll get into a situation where ideas are proposed but nobody is pushing them forward. So I might say something like, "Okay, I hear a lot of ideas, but no execution. What do you DO?" That prods them to get moving.
 

SuperTD

Explorer
Keep Things Moving. We do this by saying "Yes, and..." to our fellow players. When a reasonable idea is proposed, we accept it ("Yes...") and add to it ("and..."). We don't shut down other people's ideas or try to tell other people how to play their characters unless they ask for help. It's discouraging to others and slows the game down.
How do your groups typically determine what constitutes a "reasonable" plan? No plan is ever perfect, and any plan can have flaws pointed out in it. I've been in groups which end up going back and forth on plans for way too long, as each time something is suggested another player will point out a flaw. Where do you drawn the line between a fundamentally broken plan, and a functional plan if everyone has a different threshold in mind where a plan's possible failings become an acceptable risk?
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
How do your groups typically determine what constitutes a "reasonable" plan? No plan is ever perfect, and any plan can have flaws pointed out in it. I've been in groups which end up going back and forth on plans for way too long, as each time something is suggested another player will point out a flaw. Where do you drawn the line between a fundamentally broken plan, and a functional plan if everyone has a different threshold in mind where a plan's possible failings become an acceptable risk?
That's up to the players to work out. But the idea here is that by adding to the plan, you make it a little better, mitigate some inherent risk, or prepare for a contingency. What you don't do is say "No" directly or indirectly by proposing some other idea in opposition to it. That just creates a situation where players have to defend their ideas and debate things with very little incentive to compromise. This tool allows the group to latch onto a plan early and make it better with everyone's ideas. Then once everyone has had their say, they execute.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
How do your groups typically determine what constitutes a "reasonable" plan? No plan is ever perfect, and any plan can have flaws pointed out in it. I've been in groups which end up going back and forth on plans for way too long, as each time something is suggested another player will point out a flaw. Where do you drawn the line between a fundamentally broken plan, and a functional plan if everyone has a different threshold in mind where a plan's possible failings become an acceptable risk?
I’m pretty sure the whole point of that table rule of Iserith’s is to prevent this exact problem. Rather than poking holes in a plan and shutting it down, you accept the plan, and if you perceive a weakness in it, add to it to help cover that weakness. A plan is only unreasonable if it obviously has little to no chance of success, and generally if it’s obviously bad enough to qualify as unreasonable, the other player wouldn’t have suggested it in the first place,
 

Scott Christian

Adventurer
Again, they get a few seconds to declare their action after I tell the player 'it's now your turn' or they take the Dodge action and their turn ends.

I like to keep my combats fast, chaotic and snappy. It has the added benefit of keeping players focused on the action when it's not their turns.
I really like this, and have applied it at times. But for every combat it got tedious. This was especially true for newer players or players playing a new class. But I like it and will start reimplementing it again once I see your take. I'll try to imitate.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I have found that appealing to self-interest is the best way to get players onboard with acting on their turn in an expedient manner. I ask them if they like it when their turn comes around faster. "Yes" is always the answer. So I tell them that the way to do this is to act immediately on their turn and resolve quickly with the understanding that everyone else, equally motivated by self-interest, will be doing the same.

The other thing we suggest to players is that if their turn does come around and they're paralyzed with indecision, they ask what they should do and take the first suggestion that comes up on the assumption that nobody's going to give them a suggestion so bad that it ultimately hurts the team and that taking this suggestion is better than delaying the game further.
 

Azuresun

Explorer
So can anyone point to any games I can watch that actually get through a recommended standard adventuring day (6-8 encounters, plus all three pillars) in a single session of around 4 hours?
Just a note that's not what the DMG says, though it's often what it gets simplified down to on the internet.
 


Just a note that's not what the DMG says, though it's often what it gets simplified down to on the internet.
True. But there is a close correlation between how many typical adventuring days worth of experience you would need to level and how many play sessions we are told you would need to level, and I think the four hour standard for a session has been expressed by the designers at some point. In other words, yes you have to string some things together, but the math does more or less add up and accord with what the folks who wrote the core rulebooks intended.
 

Galandris

Adventurer
I'd love to see a fast-flowing combat. My group usually has 4h sessions (real game sessions, we socialize/eat before we start). Let's say 3h and a half to be sure. We have an average of one violent encounter per session (sometimes two, very rarely three or it's just very short fight that could be narrated away like a group of PCs overpowering a sentinel) and sometimes (10-15% of the time) none. Social encounters, planning and theorizing can fill an evening (and my players aren't throwing dice at me, so I guess I am doing well...). Sometimes I would like a faster face (like when I expect the session to end with a fight but it's too late to start one...) because fights take much longer than they should (theater of the mind only). Sometimes it's because we add flourish and description, sometimes it's just because my players are wondering what they will do in the round (let's flip my spellbook... I hate that but I don't think they would tolerate the "ok, you take a Dodge action while assessing the situation" solution that was proposed in the thread above, despite it being very good) but I can't seem to end a fight in less than one hour...
 


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