How long are your sessions on average?

Scuba Steve

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Curious to see how long everyone's sessions are on average. I've only ever been an "Online" GM, so I've had to deal with managing time-zones. I used to do 5 hour sessions, but I found trying to co-ordinate sessions that long between people who could be in GMT+1 all the way to GMT-9, it got a little difficult. These days I only do 3 hour sessions, and it works well to some degree, though I do wish we could play a little longer, but then I've had folks who start to doze off just from sheer exhaustion of being awake for as long as they have.

Additionally, what do you think is the most optimal length for a session?
 

TristramEvans

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about 5 hours I'd say?

Usually we get dinner beforehand or during a large break in the middle
 

Dumarest

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2 ½ to 4 hours at most. I have other responsibilities so very long sessions are not an option, plus players' attention spans aren't really that long so I'd rather err on the side of a shorter session ending in a cliffhanger and leave them wanting more than peter out because the guy who works two jobs is falling asleep at the table and the gal who didn't eat lunch is hungry.
 

Nick J

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5+ hours is about the point where my mouth gets tired of talking, and my brain gets a little mushy, any less than 3 feels too compressed or rushed for me. Anything between always feels about right.
 

Spellslinging Sellsword

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Past two years sessions were about 5 hours every other weekend. With the pandemic I've been running sessions for my wife and kids weekly in the 2-3 hour range. I prefer not to game longer than 4 hours at a time.
 

ffilz

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My sessions are 2 hours these days. That's because I can't reliably start before 8:30 PM and 10:30 PM is the latest it's reasonable to go. As the kids get older, it may be feasible to push sessions to 3 hours.
 

Voros

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2-3 hours online, in person we can take a break so it can be longer 4-5 hours, including socializing/eating.
 

Simlasa

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I'm in a few groups... the average is about 5 hours.
I personally prefer sessions be about 4 hours with an option to go longer if things are still hopping.
I used to play in a F2F group that went for 6 hours and that was just tooooo long for me, but I find that online games of that length are easier for me to stick with. Maybe because I'm at home feel more comfortable, IDK.
 

Certified

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Having run con games for years about 3.5 hours. This is generally long enough to get through a one shot story or a solid chunky bit in campaign play. In our home game we typically plan for 4 hours, but there is about a half hour of BS up front.
 

Scuba Steve

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I'm in a few groups... the average is about 5 hours.
I personally prefer sessions be about 4 hours with an option to go longer if things are still hopping.
I used to play in a F2F group that went for 6 hours and that was just tooooo long for me, but I find that online games of that length are easier for me to stick with. Maybe because I'm at home feel more comfortable, IDK.
I'm not familiar with the term F2F, what does it mean?
 

Trippy

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2-3 hours really. A bit longer if we play on weekends.
 

dbm

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Our f2f schedule was to play a ten-hour session every third Sunday. When you average out the maths that is the same kind of gaming other folks are putting in but concentrated as our group have family commitments meaning it has been difficult to schedule a more frequent game. We recently added a second group to run every other Thursday evening, playing for about four hours.

The ten-hour stint works well for us, we get a lot of ‘stuff’ into that time, and have a pizza break about six hours in (we play noon to 10pm).

Having moved online we are now playing three hour sessions on Fantasy Grounds, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. We’re also playing every week, meaning that the ‘main’ game is getting about the same amount of table-time and the secondary game is actually getting more!

This new schedule only works because people’s day-time commitments have changed radically during the pandemic. Even those of us still working, like me, have cut out business travel / commuting. And of the seven of us across the two groups only two of us are actually working a normal amount; the others are on furlough or short hours.

It will be interesting to see what the longer term impact on our game schedule will be once lockdown is over.
 

Moracai

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Rarely more than 5 hours and rarely less than 3. Usually some people bring some takeout food which they eat before we begin. Or then we start by having some coffee. Snacks are at the table the whole time.
 

Winterblight

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My group meets every other weekend. Including a half hour break for food, we game for 6 hours.
 

Baeraad

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2-3 hours. That's usually all I can get everyone to make time for... and my ability to concentrate tends to run out pretty quickly, too.
 

CRKrueger

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Usually starting at 5-6 Pacific (GMT-8) until 11-1 Pacific (GMT-8) with one online player in Mountain (GMT-7).
So 5-8 hours, more 5 hours than 8.

Usually once a year we’d rent a cabin over a long weekend and just BBQ and game until we couldn’t stay awake, get up and do it again.
 

Vidgrip

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Online: 3 hours, and I can't go any longer in this format, either as GM or player.
FTF: 3-4 hours, during week nights. I have not been able to get a group to play on weekends since we were all kids. Back then we played all-day, but I'm not sure I could sustain that now even if I had the opportunity.
 

Ragr

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I'm purely running online these days and we have three formats; a 2 hour session on a Sunday, 2 1/2 hour weekday evenings and a 4 hour (with 15 minute break) once a month on a Saturday.

Every now and then we'll have a weekend game spread over three days with Friday 7-10/Saturday & Sunday 10-6, with breaks for lunch.

I don't think I'd go longer than those times as online play can be intense but I certainly wish we could do more often.
 

Black Leaf

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3-4 hours. Partly because we're used to playing in a pub and that timescale has stayed when we shifted to online.
 

carpocratian

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I have been running a 5e game (with heavy OSR sensibilities) for a local group for about a year and a half now. This is a face-to-face game (I'm not much into online gaming). Most of the players want to do 6 hour sessions, but I prefer 4 hour ones. We usually end up doing somewhere between 4 and 6, depending on what they choose to do that week. I run a very sandboxy campaign, so we have to figure out good stopping points on the fly.
 

AsenRG

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Curious to see how long everyone's sessions are on average. I've only ever been an "Online" GM, so I've had to deal with managing time-zones. I used to do 5 hour sessions, but I found trying to co-ordinate sessions that long between people who could be in GMT+1 all the way to GMT-9, it got a little difficult. These days I only do 3 hour sessions, and it works well to some degree, though I do wish we could play a little longer, but then I've had folks who start to doze off just from sheer exhaustion of being awake for as long as they have.

Additionally, what do you think is the most optimal length for a session?
The most optimal length is the one that works for the group:thumbsup:.
Screw everything else, and double-screw any internet "pundit" that tells you that there are requirements (not a reference to Pundit, just anyone who believes his preferences should be universal:shade:).

My sessions have been anything between 3 and 24+ hours long, depending on the group, though obviously it's unwise to just pick an average, here:grin:!
 

EmperorNorton

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2-3 hours online. 3-5 offline.

I mostly play online right now (not pandemic related, all my players moved away related, so we've been doing it for a while), and honestly I have some issues with anxiety with talking to people without seeing facial expressions (and cams are a no go in general for us). So after about 3 hours I need to detox my brain.

(Basically, I read facial expressions well, but have issues with reading tone of voice, so I tend to have issues telling how people are feeling without seeing faces. It's a weird issue I know).
 

Savage Schemer

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Three to four hours, in general. If a game is going to run longer than three hours (which is decided at about the 2.5 hour mark), there's generally a 20-30 minute break in there. So total game time is 3 to 3.5 hours on average.
 

The Mad Hatter

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In my group, which is on hold do to corona, we play every sunday. We start at 1 PM and end somewhere between 9 PM and 10 PM. Basically at 9PM we start to look for a good place to stop. Also, some people have commuting time home. It takes an hour for me to get home for instance.

In the middle we have a dinner break, so depending on how long that takes about 6-6,5 hours of gaming time.
 
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Certified

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Rona took out your gaming group? Any chance of spinning up a virtual session on Discord or Roll20?
 

Rob Necronomicon

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Because they are now online around 2.5 to 3.5 hrs.

Face 2 face could be as much as 5-6 hrs.
 

3rik

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3-4 hours, including breaks. We'll have some banter in advance.
 

KrakaJak

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2-3 hours. Been that way for a long time.

When I was in high school we had a 6-7 hour sessions of D&D 3.
 

Tulpa Girl

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Four hours, give or take a half hour here and there.
 

Brock Savage

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We aim for 6 hours a session, face to face or online. I'm wiped out by the end as I try pack as much as I can into each session. If we played more frequently than once a month I'd consider pruning it to 3-4 hours.
 
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