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Half-hour play

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:23 am
by madunkieg
So, I've decided to create an RPG for the daughter of a couple of friends. She's in her middle teens, and the theme she requested was mercenary companies and their finances. No problem there. Well, not no problem, but no insurmountable problems, except...

She wants to be able to play during her school's lunch breaks. Assuming that people spend 15 minutes sitting down and setting up, that leaves only 30 minutes for play. Not every session will be so short, but the majority of them will be. Has anyone heard of a RPG that runs that quickly?

Re: Half-hour play

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:14 am
by kylesgames
30 minutes is just a short time in general, but I'd imagine there are a couple things you could do to help:

• Make handling rules a secondary concern to starting into the narrative: perhaps via scene-based rolls.
• Any mechanics need to be lightning fast; abstract almost everything into the core mechanic.
• Minimize the need for reference and look-up; anything that people need to know should be available on their character record sheets.
• Speaking of which, consider making rules module cards, so that the GM and players who use certain rules heavily can have an instant reference for the things they do.

Re: Half-hour play

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:28 am
by Evil Scientist
There has to be some kind of a clear set goal if you want to be able to finish a game in 30 mins.

OR

The game can have a system of "episodes", maybe like a TV show? It would allow to pick up the following day...


We used to play common RPGs during lunch breaks at school, we usually play through a small fight at best, sometimes a longish conversation.

Re: Half-hour play

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:12 pm
by Onix
Evil Scientist wrote:The game can have a system of "episodes", maybe like a TV show? It would allow to pick up the following day...

We used to play common RPGs during lunch breaks at school, we usually play through a small fight at best, sometimes a longish conversation.

This is my suggestion too. Trying to jam a single game into a half hour is just too short. I can usually fit a decent encounter with build up and exposition into an hour. There's nothing to say that has to be a contiguous hour.

On the other hand, you could play Kayfabe games. Most role players recoil in horror at this idea, but I've done it a few times and it's been really interesting. My players always say, they prefer the traditional long format game, but my contention is that if you can't play a full game, some game is better than no game.

Re: Half-hour play

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:52 am
by madunkieg
A lot of good ideas can be found here. I'm already trying to do some of them (e.g. super-simple core mechanics that are secondary to the narrative), but others I hadn't considered, such as kayfabe and scenario cards.

Thanks, and I'm always open to more suggestions, should you think of any.