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How long will running a published adventure take? 
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Post Re: How long will running a published adventure take?
I always run through scenarios I am going to use with my group before I run them at cons, and time them. That seems to help a lot!

-clash

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Tue May 29, 2012 11:30 am
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Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 9:05 pm
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Post Re: How long will running a published adventure take?
Thalaba wrote:
I have actually seen doomfistmonk ply the GM of a session he was in with can after can of Red Bull before the game as a tactic to earn the players more time to think and plan during the game! True story!


Doh! Caught in the act.

clash wrote:
I always run through scenarios I am going to use with my group before I run them at cons, and time them. That seems to help a lot!


Duh. Should have put that in my list. Don't go into a con without having run your adventure at least once. Don't do that to yourself! Practicing it shows up any holes you have and helps you develop a better delivery as well.

I run a lot of one-shots and this is a subject I'm pretty passionate about, in case you couldn't tell.


Tue May 29, 2012 4:07 pm
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Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:56 am
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Post Re: How long will running a published adventure take?
I think the "three fights" rule is pretty much right on the money, and as others have said, they don't have to be fights, per se.

Boil the adventure down to its most basic plot, and then start adding in details from the module for flavor and fun until you think you've got about three meaty encounters' worth of stuff. Starting off with a bang is definitely fun. I've started several games basically in the middle of combat and it starts the session off with a real sense of momentum and hooks people into the game.

Best game I've ever played in, EVER started pretty simply: "You're in free fall. The blue waters of San Francisco Bay are getting closer very quickly...wouldn't it be nice if you had....parachutes?" The GM then flashed back to the airplane where we had been moments before, and the fight started. Fantastic stuff.


Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:38 pm
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Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 9:05 pm
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Post Re: How long will running a published adventure take?
That's a good one, Trevalon. Free fall without parachutes ... rewind ... go!

I have a pet scenario I ran at several cons several years ago in which all the characters are college-age men and women tied together by a common friend, Sampy, who recently died. (As an aside, the setting is a vague alternate future set in 1990's America with muscle cars, mutants, and low-grade magic. The game takes place in the stretch of geography from western Texas to Las Vegas. One of the characters is a smart car.) Despite the fact that the characters were mostly friends "through" as well as "with" Sampy (he was the glue that held a lot of them together), I never explain how he died. The first scene is them breaking one of their friends, a woman, out of a low-security penitentiary/workhouse for women. Later, after the second meaty encounter, I have them retroactively play out the scene of Sampy's death. I use a chip system to keep narrative contributions evenly distributed, but the characters have almost total control over the content of that scene. I just ask them questions in turn. "Where were you when Sampy died?" "What time of day was it?" "Who else was there?" "What was your first indication that something wasn't right?" Etc.

I was using Unknown Armies and the scenario revolved around Sampy, an aspiring player in the great game, who had cached pieces of himself in his friends. His particular brand of magic involved thrill-seeking. The characters each had a "thing:" drugs, stealing cars, extreme sports, sex, etc. Sampy would do those things with them to build up a charge, and then feed his spell. The characters don't know this at first though, and the culminating scene involves Sampy "coming out" of one of them at the Hoover Dam (a location fraught with potential as it is a narrow strip between deep water and a long fall with lots of tourists around). The person who gets targeted at the end is entirely dependent upon what happens in the game, and how everyone reacts is up to the characters and the system (madness stuff from Unknown Armies).

It's a scenario I'm pretty proud of, though it can go a little wonky without a lot of slick management on the part of the GM. You have to be ready to go with what players add to the story and latch onto opportunities. My favorite part though, was starting with the fight and saving the "explanation" scene for a mid-game flashback.

[Oh, and the soundtrack. I had a bitchin' soundtrack for it. In fact, I built the whole idea up from the soundtrack which was a mix of rockabilly, psychobilly, and so-cal punk.]


Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:54 am
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Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 1:39 pm
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Post Re: How long will running a published adventure take?
Thanks to all for the feedback.

I've pretty much narrowed down my 4.5 hour block of time to:

-A few minutes for a very brief explanation on how the game generally works, unless everyone at the table has played the system before.
-A few minutes for the players to select from the pre-generated characters/read their very short bio info and look at their character sheets.
-Answer any questions the players might have about their PC abilities
-Start our game with a short intro script setting the tone
-Scene one is an "in media res" adventure hook combat scene that will pull the PCs into the adventure
-Scene two is the role playing discussion done afterward
-Scene three can either be handled via roleplaying or combat, whichever approach the player's pursue
-Scene four is a mix of roleplaying (at first) and then combat
-Scene five is the largest of the combat scenes and the most critical to the PCs having success in the adventure (Climax)
-Scene six is an optional space combat scene to be added for flavor (should we be well ahead of schedule)
-Wrap up and conclusion


Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:14 pm
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Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 1:39 pm
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Post Re: How long will running a published adventure take?
In case anyone cares....

The game went fairly well with four players.

I ended up using the optional space combat at the end, which was fun.

The game ended about 35 minutes early so things worked out great as far as timing went. People liked having an extra 30 minutes for dinner before the next slot of games. :P


Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:30 pm
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