End The Turn – Episode 6 – RPG Length

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RPG Length – A no rapping zone.

In this episode we cover –

  • RPG Game Session Length
  • Story Arcs
  • Campaign Length

We both tend to use a 4 hour “slot” but actual gaming is 2-3 hours per session – faff level pre/during/post session

Sessions which are 2 hour / 12 hour / 24 hour “slots” are unusual and a different experience.

Story Arcs – split over 5 “sessions” on average. Campaigns are built from multiple Story Arcs with a story line going through each arc.

Story / Campaign building should have an element of structure / framework using the arcs to introduce and re-introduce plot hooks and characters. Arcs sustain momentum in a campaign.

Dave mentions Kilranthia again! Having to choose between the lesser of two evils over the campaign and the story arcs drove the direction the player’s decisions would take them towards the end game. Gave the players an element of control but demonstrated that there was a bigger storyline going on that whilst they were involved in it, there was an end game that would happen with or without their involvement. Sustaining player involvement even when they become “passive” in their attendance through outside of session discussions.

Liz mentions Of Darkness And Light, one of her favourite RPG experiences ever, where at the end of the story her character died to save another. Emotions!!!

One off / One shots are a different beast. They need to be something that can both be flexible but also need a bit more framework to handle the random elements.

Games that Dave and Liz think work better as oneshots over campaigns.

Dave’s never managed to get Superhero games to work as a campaign. WHY!?!?! After all they’re episodic by their very nature…

Campaign tangents / “player led choices” are a key part of any campaign. As a GM you need to be open to those tangents and avoid an overly prescriptive plan to ensure that everyone at the table enjoys the game.

  • What do you think of One Offs and Campaigns?
  • How long are your game sessions / story arcs / campaigns?
  • Are you a forward planner or do you “stumble” into campaign games?

Liz does the outros and gets a gold star!

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