Scheduling Game Time
We all love to play roleplaying games, so getting together with your friends whenever the itch to play arises is simple and always stress-free. Right?
Well if it is, count yourself lucky. But if not, here are a few suggestions to make finding time for your gaming more fun.
The questions you need to answer are:
For how long?
This can often be a stumbling block when you have a group of gamers with busy lives. School, work, and family are oh so important, but they can all play havoc with your game time.
One tool that makes it easier is doodle.com. You can set up all the times you can play, and then everyone else can say which of those times they can play.
Not everyone can make every game
Unless everyone has very similar schedules, even with doodle, you might find there is no time when everyone can make it. You may have to find a time when most can make it. You’ll just have to get used to it, because the next game someone else might not be able to make it.
I recommend flexibility here. If someone can make most of the games, that’s good enough for me. If you insist on near perfect attendance, you may be missing out on some great players, and might find your gaming group becomes a group of one. You don’t want that.
I use private Facebook events to send out invites and see who is coming. Email, Meetup, and text messages work too. I have a threshold (usually 3) for the number of players who should come. Otherwise we cancel (and sometimes play a board game).
Typical gaming groups meet once a week, every other week, or once a month. Ask your players what they want. If some want to play more often than others, most groups go for less often, unless it’s one or two that can’t make every game at a more frequent schedule but could make most.
Consistent Game Times
You don’t want to go through the scheduling process every game, you want to give everyone a day and time they can depend on. That way they clear their schedules for gaming, their families and friends get used that schedule, and you have a great default. Just send out your invites and see who is coming.
For How Long?
Once folks are out of school, I find most games run 3 – 4 hours. Before graduation, games can go on very long indeed. Keep the coffee flowing.
I propose an end time and see what the reaction is. If one person must leave early, the rest of the party can continue. Sometimes I go over, sometimes I cut it short, all depending on what’s going on in the game now. About to start something big that requires time and concentration? Best not start it when folks are getting sleepy. In the middle of a major scene and everyone is engaged? Keep on keeping on.
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