View Full Version : How often do you play?

2013-12-15, 05:09 PM
I'm a little miffed because I love DnD but life just keeps getting in the way. I wish I could play weekly and am lucky to play bi weekly!

I so rarely get to actually play I feel lees motivated to read the vast amount of books available to me, or the modules for running my own group. I'm miffed about how few sessions a month or year I can get in. As a player I started my current champaign (rune lords) in 2010. My champaign is older than my new cousin, I've seen a whole new edition come out, hell rune lords was republished in the time it's taken us to get to level 7! Now I've been playing an upgraded 3.5 cleric before channel existed (love Channel). I've been one class so long that I I'm wanting to try the new classes. Not that I'll role over and let my cleric die. I now get spell casting, a prospect that used to scare me because of the book keeping. And we are only level 7. Two maybe three modules in. Life has happened to most of my group and now only myself and a one friend of the original group are still here, the other three bowing out.

As a DM I maybe get two sessions in a month and it took me a year to get trough a 30 page module (river into darkness). I'm afraid it will take this long to do another module! Then my party asks why we don't start a champaign! It would basically be a marage contract it would take so long to get through 5 modules and 20 levels!

I love DnD but it's in an awkward space I feel. Video games are always available and online multiplayer always has someone available somewhere. It make playing online more tempting than reading textbook sized rule books for 6-8 hours of gaming a month.

How many sessions do you guys get in routinely? How many modules and/or champaignes have you completed? Any of you share my strife about not getting enough game time?

2013-12-15, 05:25 PM
The easiest way to play a lot is to have multiple groups or find a friend who shares your passion and do a lot of solo campaigns. Sure they're different but it beats playing computer games every day, ya?

The more people that has to get together the harder it becomes. A group I am GMing meets about 3 times out of 4 weeks on average, but I personally can play about 4 days a week if everything works out perfectly. :smallsmile:

2013-12-15, 05:31 PM
The problem I have is that players keep losing interest and quiting. Although we now have a stable group of 5 players.

Have you tried playing online? We use roll20 in combination with google hangout. It may work to bring the players together more often. How much time does one session usually take, because you might want to consider extending them for an hour or so.

2013-12-15, 05:50 PM
I think it works out to once every week or two (average to 0.8 times per week?). We pretty much always play on weekends (We're college kids. That's when we have time for it). Since people have work and classes, we usually have sessions of 4-8 hours. Since most of our players are new, that slows things down somewhat.

We typically do roll20 (and using skype for audio) during breaks/vacation, but some players don't feel like trying that, and it's hard to audit players' sheets when you can't just pick them up and read them (I know about online sheets but there are cognitive costs associated with figuring that out). When everyone knows the rules (or at least thinks they do), things run much more smoothly.

My brother once tried to run an online game (with internet strangers of course) through skype/roll20. It could theoretically work if you get people with similar availability (i.e. similar timezones), and might be more fulfilling than Play-By-Post. Conference calls and online character sheets would further enable this. Such a format would, of course, make it easier to deliver "exclusive"/secret information like the results of a Knowledge check without other players overhearing. It is, however, difficult to get people to commit to that.

2013-12-15, 06:58 PM
I play quite often. My regular group consists of my family, as we all happen to be rather dedicated gamers, and so we typically end up playing one of our two games anywhere from twice a week to every day of the week depending on scheduling and how much we feel like playing that week.

Aside from that, I'm lucky to find any games at all, so I'm doubly glad to have those games. I had for a while a group that met once a month and another that met every other week, but those have both dried up, and now it's more of another game every now and again, which has been trending more towards a few times a year.

As for the number of modules and campaigns, I've completely lost count. Quite a few. Less modules, since typically we don't use modules; probably only ten or so of those. I'd say somewhere around sixty campaigns as a ballpark estimate -- most of them D&D, somewhat over a quarter MERP, and a few miscellaneous other over the years.

Despite that, there are three things that I'd been really wanting to get a group together for and play, and haven't managed to: Traveller, a Planescape game, and a more regular 1st edition AD&D game (I usually only get to break it out for Tomb of Horrors and such every now and again). I've had occasional claims of interest for each of these, but no luck so far in actually getting a game going.

2013-12-15, 07:55 PM
How many sessions do you guys get in routinely? How many modules and/or champaignes have you completed? Any of you share my strife about not getting enough game time?

My minimum is two regular real life games a week as ''campaigns''. Plus one or two sometimes games. Plus I game online in PBP.

It is not so hard to fit RPG's into a life. Nuggets I have learned:

1. All of your ''free alone and not with the family and or wife'' time counts equally. You can't hang out at a bar three nights a week for six hours or so, bowl one night for four hours, go fishing one day for six hours or more and then try and say ''oh I want six hours to Game''. Just add up all the hours, and notice how close it is to 40 hours. That is a lot of time. So step one is you need to switch some other free time for game time. You need to pick what you really, really want to do. If you really, really want to ''hang out at the bar'' for six hours and ''do nothing'', then do that and just forget RPG's exist. Or...don't go to the bar and game.

2. Schedule family time and wife time(each). Yea it is ''hard''...whatever, just do it. Everyone is different, but work everyone in. And try and avoid ''we sat and watched TV for five hours''....that does not count.

3. Avoid wasted time. You get home from work at 5pm and go to bed at 11pm. So what did you do for them six hours? Absolutely nothing?! You did like a chore or two and just watched TV or played on the computer? What a huge waste of time. You could have been doing more.

For example, my two regular games, one is away and one is at home. Often my wife will use the home game to go out with her girl friends while I ''watch'' the kids. I just about never watch TV, so I never spend time doing that.

Then you just need to find players. And they often have the same problems. And often you just need to look and look and look. But you will find some. And then you can game.

2013-12-15, 09:41 PM
Anywhere from three nights a week to once a month. More frequent times usually involve having to run split groups due to busy schedules. Holiday times or school breaks mess with the parents' schedules and sometimes makes it hard to get together.

In this setting we're on the ninth campaign. At least a few dozen before that.

I try to run a fairly lethal game since we often run levels 1-20 and it's nice to have the options of rez or creating a new character concept.

2013-12-15, 10:33 PM
Then you just need to find players. And they often have the same problems. And often you just need to look and look and look. But you will find some. And then you can game.

I think you also need to remember that some people are introverts. That means they need their alone time. I wouldn't WANT to do things with people every night. Even if they were people I like and things I enjoy.

Of course, I also only game once a week.

And, of course, the other joy is scheduling. Having a group is easy. Finding a time slot that six adult people with jobs and lives all have open is another.

"What about Tuesday night?" "No, that's David's Aikido lessons." "Wednesdays? Matt has a date to watch Game of Thrones with his girlfriend every Wednesday." "Thursday?" "Sorry, that's my soccer night." "Friday?" "Sorry, no, my wife has HER game that night, so I have to stay home and watch the dog." etc. (Yes, in the last case, people could all meet at that house, I know. Been there, done that.)

Scheduling is hard.

2013-12-15, 10:59 PM
In college, I played anywhere from once a week to three times a week. After that was usually once or twice a week. Biweekly games because popular when we had less time to prep. Since becoming a dad two years ago, I've been in exactly one game session. Our second kid is due in about a month, so at this rate I'm probably going into the negatives. Does that mean monthly fatal sessions?

2013-12-15, 11:17 PM
I have one roll20 game that meets each Tuesday, and am now in four PBP games that all update at various paces.

(4/5 of those games are Pokemon Tabletop United.)

2013-12-15, 11:37 PM
Right now it's weekly, but that followed a fairly long spurt of no gaming. I'm not the biggest fan of no gaming, particularly when part of the reason for it turned out to be a mistaken assumption (someone had no fun playing their first RPG, and I assumed that RPGs weren't for them instead of it being a problem with a particular style of RPG), but once a week is plenty for me.

RPGs are also nowhere near my favorite hobby. They're basically a type of board game I particularly like, where board games are ranked well below spear fencing. As such, I'm probably particularly nonrepresentative.

2013-12-15, 11:50 PM
RPGs are also nowhere near my favorite hobby. They're basically a type of board game I particularly like, where board games are ranked well below spear fencing. As such, I'm probably particularly nonrepresentative.

To be fair though, spear fencing is much more manly/awesome than RPGs :smalltongue:

2013-12-16, 02:13 AM
For a regular camapaign, I like to play one or two times per month. Then we usually play 5 to 7 hours.

2013-12-16, 02:20 AM
For this year, convention play only. So whopping 20 hours total, spread between three events. (I am constantly involved in play-by-post freeform roleplay here, but I don't count that as the same thing.)

For the last campaign, we had pretty even once per one-and-half weeks, and that was pretty good. Unlikely to get back to that at the moment, due to lack of available players.

2013-12-16, 03:10 AM
Okay, other than Roll20 and longer sessions, I'd recommend dropping random encounters. That includes the filler stuff that doesn't have anything to do with the story.

Why? Because you simply don't have the time to do that. You'll advance the story that much quicker if you just skip the nonsense.

Edit: Eh, duhuh. You're playing Pathfinder. If you'd switch over to a lighter system you could have more encounters in one session.

I've got some questions though,
- How many sessions did you have so far?
- When did you start?
- How many levels did you gain?

2013-12-17, 03:19 AM
I've got some questions though,
- How many sessions did you have so far?
- When did you start?
- How many levels did you gain?

We play twice a month (I'm still with the the same DM)
We started in 2011. Started at level 1 and now at level 7.

My DM cuts no fluff and Christ we rarely get more than one encounter in a four hour session! Mind you these encounters are always like CR+5 of us.

I'm thinking when I settle on my players and pick a champaign to run, I'll have to keep is bare bones (no fluff). Right now I'm just running modules to orientate my new players to pathfinder and 2 of them to D&d.

Rolling with a new group is an idea I thought of but hadn't considered. I attended a DnD day a club and didn't like how crunch it was. I could understand the need of an impersonal dungeon crawl with a one off group but it soured hobby shops for me.

I appropriate there is not time for everything. People schedules are also a huge headake. My friends are only available on weekends and I work every second weekend. My main group which is mostly 40+ army vets with kids are only free on Thursday IF the stars align. If I'm lucky I get four sessions in a month. 2 as DM and 2 as player. Then you throw in one hitch and BOOM it's been a moth since last we rolled. To our credit when we do game it's like for 4-8 hours at a time. So 20-30 hours a month :D. I think we need to cut the fluff though. Or soften the encounters so more can be done a session.

Black Jester
2013-12-17, 04:26 AM
Ideally, I would play twice a week in a regular, face to face group, but due to scheduling, life, and so on, these two groups meet only every other week. Additionally, there is one online group every Sunday afternoon (and that has been rather consistent so far and three groups that meet once every two or three months.
To avoid scheduling conflicts too much, the best thing you can do (and pretty much prerequisite I have for new players) is a fixed gaming night and that this date is kept free, if possible. It doesn't work all the time, but it is a lot more reliable and a good criterium for the selection of players: Anyone who isn't dedicated enough to the game to move other activities and responsibilities around such a fixed date, is probably not dedicated and reliable enough to contribute to the game, and I have no time to waste on casual gamers and other intelectual parasites.

2013-12-17, 05:18 AM
Something like 1.2 times a week. Back in middle school we played several times a week. Now I have a couple of different groups. One for a few hours of light-hearted dungeon/wilderness crawling that is pretty good at meeting every week, a more serious big epic quest of rediscovery and rebuilding ancient glory that is lucky iwe we meet once a month. Then we have a few other games which rarely get played more than a few times a year.

2013-12-17, 07:33 AM
Okay, so let's say 2 sessions a month for about 2 and a half years. That's about 60 sessions. You should be done by now, I think. You're gaining one level every 10 sessions. That's very slow. You should be on fast progression for Rise of the Runelords. If you aren't, talk to your GM.

2013-12-17, 07:42 AM
Once a week on average though if enough people have RL conflicts that only two players can make it we cancel.

2013-12-17, 08:59 AM
We're scheduled for one weekly session, though if anyone can't make it we cancel. We average 2-3 sessions a month due to illness or unforseen events (I'm a parent and so are two of the other players).

They also play in another weekly game which is more variable due to the GM's availability.

2013-12-17, 09:02 AM
I play every day <^,^> ... but only online via play-by-post, because getting enough decent folk together once a week in person is pretty rough imo. That and I find online roleplay is a bit higher quality than offline, as it doesn't have the distractions that offline RP has. (That said it's also wayyyyyyy slower. So that's a big downside.)

2013-12-17, 10:03 AM
in Play by Post: everyday as a player
as a DM my players stopped posting in the IC thread and kept saying 'i still want to play' in the OOC thread even after me repeatedly telling them "this game cannot continue unless you guys actually DO SOMETHING IC"

Table Top: Not at all ( I usually DM). I lost my gaming group becuase one guy doesn't want to play D&D for some reason (he has never said) but a couple of others want to but won't unless he does. also I live in franklin NC and telling people you play D&D will get you burnt at the stake beacuse "BLAH'

Really wish I could find a new D&D group idc if i am the DM or player.

Jay R
2013-12-17, 10:20 AM
Our group is mostly SCA folk, and the SCA event schedule takes precedence over the game.

We play when we can. While we've had three sessions in the last five weeks, we've averaged about once a month over the last three years.

2013-12-17, 02:28 PM
I used to play weekly with my old group for 15 years, but real life got in the way of fantasy and half stopped playing, the est went our own ways.

Since then it's been an odd game here and there. Unfortunately in my area it is very difficult to find a long running game besides D&D or Pathfinder. d20 fantasy tends to bore me quickly, I've only done it for 25+ years.

I was doing some Pathfinder Society but the problem there is that just anyone plays. I had rarely encountered bad or obnoxious players before then, jeeze I didn't realize how bad it cold get.

I did pick up with a group about 6 months ago playing Pathfinder RotRL, but only once a month. Thankfully everyone playing and the GM are great to be with so it makes playing in a d20 fantasy module bearable.

2013-12-17, 02:38 PM
When I master two campaigns, it's usually closer to once a week than once a fortnight. When I don't master, I'm happy to play once every three weeks. But once a month is more like it.

Figgin of Chaos
2013-12-19, 02:15 AM
Once a week. If I'm free enough, and enough friends are, sometimes I'll play twice a week. What I'd like to do is be a PC in one game, and be a GM in another game, each once a week.

2013-12-19, 08:33 AM
irregularly, very irregularly.
i'm involved in 2 groups, in one group i am the DM, the other group has 2 campaigns going on with me being a player in both (actually that group has 3 campaigns, but that 3th one is related to one of the others and is on hold until we reach a certain point in that campaign).
The group where i DM consist out of childhood friends. A number of us have moved away from our hometowns to different parts of the country, so we can only play in the weekends when we all return to the hometowns. Even then, 1 of the players work schedule is very irregular, often including weekend days, and other one often has nightshift during weekends, so with that group it really isn't "play every [something]day", but at the end of every session "When can we meet next?"
The group where i am a player we used to all live i the same town, yet 2 guys have jobs that require them to be out of the country for often. We used to put about 3 session per 2 weeks if all where not travelling. But yes, i said used to because one of the players moved away 3 months ago. That player is me (i graduated, the town i speak of is my college town and i got a job somewhere else). I sometimes have to still go to that town for my job, and if possible i try to schedule those visit to coincide with plausible session dates, + i often just go there by train and back again the next day for a session, but still, it's less often as last year (the 2 guys being out of country still applies).

So, to sum up, my answer to 'how often do you play' is 'not nearly as often as i would like to'

Also, for those interested:
the country i speak of is Belgium, the hometown is Meeuwen-Gruitrode, the college town is Leuven, the town i live now is Gent.

Firest Kathon
2013-12-19, 08:52 AM
I have multiple groups that meet at different schedules:

Two groups with colleagues from the company, where we meet every two weeks after work for about4 hours.
A group with friends from the area, we meet every two weeks on Sunday
A group with friends from high school. Since we have since spread around, it's harder to find a common time, so it amounts to about once a month, sometimes less. We meet on the weekend for longer sessions (9-10 hours).
If I can make it, I also play Pathfinder Society sessions in the area, but that is very irregular.

One would expect that this leads to a fairly regular schedule, but somehow it mostly bunches up, so one week I have only one game, the next week it's four games in a row. Works for me though.

2013-12-24, 09:14 AM
Okay, so let's say 2 sessions a month for about 2 and a half years. That's about 60 sessions. You should be done by now, I think. You're gaining one level every 10 sessions. That's very slow. You should be on fast progression for Rise of the Runelords. If you aren't, talk to your GM.

I know for a fact we are on slow progression. DM wanted the wiggle room for extra encounters.