Monday, June 6, 2011

How many encounters per game?

Actually got to PLAY in a "mini" game of Gamma World on Saturday (I'll cover that later). The game was about 4.5 hours long (it went about 90 minutes over it's planned time) with six players, plus the GM. However, we didn't finish one of the encounters.

In fact, we only had two total (GW on the 4E engine is pretty high on the crunch. Surprise!). Both were rather long--one wilderness, the other indoor. Anyway, it got me wondering what everyone else considers a "good number" of encounters in gaming.

Now I know this is casting a wide net based on individual experience, game preference, and gameplay style, BUT here goes:

How many encounters do you typically, uh, encounter per gaming session? What do you consider ideal? 

To the comments!


  1. I run a Mutant Future Game for my Kids ages 6 to 13 and if I didn't squeeze in at least 3 encounter per hour of play I would lose then quickly.

    I can say that I'm not of the same mindset as my kids nor is my adult group, were we may only have one encounter in a 4 hour period, playing any number of games.

    I really think it may be all about attitudes, rule sets and table management in the long run. As much as folks poo poo 4e I've had just as long encounters with Pathfinder. And even my 1e game can get a little over board at times, when handling hirelings and followers for higher level games.

    But like I said I really think it may be a matter of Table Management at times.


  2. For me, it's often system dependent...for example, in a typical 4-5 hour Champions game, it's rare to get in more than one combat simply because of the mechanics involved.

    But in my Mutant Future game last weekend (write-up coming soon!), there were two combats, one combat-that-wasn't-because-they-RP'd-out-of-it, and one combat-that-wasn't-because-they-ran-away.

    No matter what game I'm GMing, I try to include at least one big combat in even my most talky, role-playing-iest sessions. Keeps things hopping.