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Length of game
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MikeSands



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:30 pm    Post subject: Length of game Reply with quote

From Mash's other thread...

The game length thing is pretty variable. My group - we play every fortnight, which means at most 26 games a year, but realistically 20-22 is more likely.

Mostly we play short run stuff. One-offs, or up to 3 or 4 sessions.

Every now and again we find something that really works and play a long game. Recently that was In A Wicked Age, which we would have played maybe 15 sessions of (making it not even count as long by many people's standards, including mine 15 years ago). Before that it was Rohan's Godlike game, running from 1938 to 1944 in game and taking maybe two and a half years in real time (as I recall).

There are two big things that I'd say push us to keep switching games. These are basically things that push me, as I'm the one in the group mainly driving the game we play (usually running, finding new things to try, etc).
1. Getting bored with what we are doing. This comes from everyone - if anyone is dissatisfied with a game, we tend to drop it pretty quick. Our reasons for dropping games have included:
- System too complex
- System too simple
- System too easily gamed (for Stef in particular this can really make it un-fun for him)
- Losing interest in ongoing story, often a problem with the bi-weekly game when we have multiple cancellations for general life reasons.
- Related to the previous one, games which absolutely require everyone to be present every session don't work so well for us.

2. There is something new that I really want to try out.

Anyhow, just noting that this is very different to what a lot of other people consider long. I'd be interested to hear what other people thought of as 'long' and 'short' and why you pick some games to keep going with and others to drop.
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MattCowens



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in a gaming hiatus at the moment, playing only the occasional one-off.

When I have more time I'm inclined to keep to 'short-run' games for the most part, where short-run is anything from 1 to 6 sessions.

I played in two of Luke's recent games (last few years):

Orpheus - 30 sessions
Exalted - 22 sessions

Both of which I would describe as long-term games. Luke's breaking up of games into seasons of about 12 sessions was a good way for our regular group to play longer term games but still have the option to play one-offs between seasons and alternate games if we felt like it Smile
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Luke
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:16 am    Post subject: Re: Length of game Reply with quote

MikeSands wrote:
Anyhow, just noting that this is very different to what a lot of other people consider long. I'd be interested to hear what other people thought of as 'long' and 'short' and why you pick some games to keep going with and others to drop.


I generally use comic series lengths to categorise my RPGs Smile

So:

- 1 to 6 sessions is short mini series
- 7 to 15 sessions is a mid length maxi series
- 16 to 40 is a long term campaign
- more than 40 is an ongoing, never ending campaign Smile

I like to change games at least after every 20 sessions or so to keep myself fresh as a GM (and as a player). However, provided this is done, I actually prefer longer campaigns that are broken down into these smaller arcs.

I also like to keep a variety of shorter 6 ro 12 session games and one offs to try new stuff and explore certain ideas.

Ideally, I like to have two streams of gaming going at the same time: a campaign of 12+ sessions and another of smaller games.
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thad



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the D&D game I'm in, we're at 17 sessions.

In the Heroic Cthulhu game I'm in... it's been going on for about a year and a half now, although the modern version of the campaign is only just over a year. (They play 20 hours every weekend, of which I'm in for 7+ hours depending...)
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Luke
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thad wrote:
(They play 20 hours every weekend, of which I'm in for 7+ hours depending...)


Yoicks!
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thad



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luke wrote:
thad wrote:
(They play 20 hours every weekend, of which I'm in for 7+ hours depending...)


Yoicks!


It's all podcasted too!
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Luke
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thad wrote:
It's all podcasted too!


Double yoicks!

Even in my heyday, I don't think I could have pulled off a regular 20 hours a weekend game. That GM must be a machine Smile
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Mashugenah
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember one fight I had in a brief DQ experiment where we started playing at 10am, finished at 6 or 7 and the fight was still going, so we picked it up the following week. Smile Gaming like that it's not too hard to write 20 hours of material per week. Very Happy
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MikeSands



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thad wrote:
(They play 20 hours every weekend, of which I'm in for 7+ hours depending...)


That's not just Heroic, it's Elite Epic!
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Dan



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From across the ditch... something from Mikes post caught my eye

Quote:
My group - we play every fortnight, which means at most 26 games a year, but realistically 20-22 is more likely.


It seems here in Canberra that the most common play frequency is once a month - meaning that games will go on average 12 sessions over the year and that is considered a long term campaign over here...

But the question I have is, Is a long term game determined by the number of sessions of the game overall? or by the length of time that game has been running in "real time"? How does the "real time" length of the campaign effect your perception of definition as a long term game or a short term game?
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MikeSands



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan,

I think both number of sessions and time passed factor into the perceived length of a game, but not in a simple way. Not sure if I can say more at this point, it's not a well-articulated thought, just a feeling.
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Luke
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MikeSands wrote:
Dan,

I think both number of sessions and time passed factor into the perceived length of a game, but not in a simple way. Not sure if I can say more at this point, it's not a well-articulated thought, just a feeling.


Good point Dan. My WFRP game has been going for over 2 years, but has had only 20 or sessions. It feels more long term than campaigns with more sessions that ran weekly as a result.
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MikeSands



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that intensity of the sessions can factor in separately as well - probably less intense sessions contribute to a feeling that a campaign is a longer running one, although that is probably not an invariable relationship.
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sophmelc



Joined: 10 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:

But the question I have is, Is a long term game determined by the number of sessions of the game overall? or by the length of time that game has been running in "real time"? How does the "real time" length of the campaign effect your perception of definition as a long term game or a short term game?


For me the longest running game I've been invloved in was the first campaign I ever played in. The GM had been running games for 15 odd years, all in the same setting for an ever evolving cast of people and characters. I think he converted it from DnD first ed through to 3.5. That seems to not be the norm though.

I've run an almost 2.5 year game, every week (almost) and that eventually ended due to burn out. On my part and the players.

Both of these games are what I'd consider long term, though they're long term due to the commitment of the players. I've played in a game that lasted 3 or 4 sessions but 20 odd year passed "in game". Which isn't overly long term.

Slightly rambly, but I think I had a point in there somewhere...
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Mikeythorn



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We play once a week, for around 4 hours. Our longest campaign lastest 73 sessions over 18 months, but the majority of our campaigns seem to last for 6 months or so - with the odd one-off jaunt to spice things up every now and then.
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