about 15 minutes
Maybe 30 minutes or so
Could be an hour, maybe slightly more
90 minutes solid
2 hours of action packed inch counting!
3 hours! Sometimes we have to break for lunch AND dinner during 1 combat!
i voted for an hour. this is a guesstimate based on taking how long our combats usually last, and doing the math. in game time i think our record combat is three rounds. that's because the challenging encouter conisted of the party rolling crits and the dm rolling some ones. it would have been challenging... except for the dice. ^^ and my thri-kreen dervish weilding 4 scimitars of ginsu mastery. can we say, 'hasted dervish dance,' everyone?
our typical combat is about 10-15 rounds. and that's pushing it. however. that doesn't show the other side of it. we are typically hiding in a rope trick or other means of concealment and we send out our rouge to scout with him being buffed up as much as possible. once he gets back, we plan our assults-commando style.
so a good chunk of the hours of play consists of us sneaking around and gathering information, then making plans, and then finally doing a series of lightning strikes. sometimes we'll even wait a day (whenever possible) so that we can tweak the spell loadouts for our expected tasks. heward's bedrolls=our friend.
I voted 30 minutes. I would have voted 45 minutes if the option had been available. That's about as long as I'd like any scene, combat or otherwise to take.
A combat that lasted 10 minutes of in game time would likely involve a chase or some such in addition to the fighty stuff.
hmmm, looking around (outside of the direct arc of fire) is a move action, as our dm enforces, so we frequently have sub-optimal choices for our characters in combat. the thri-kreen dervish and the gnomish giant slayer have a constant friendly ongoing arguement about who's turn it was to slay the last giant.
this looking around being a move action sometimes lengthens our combat time, as we move about inefficently after the targets we can see, rather than spend a possibly precious move action updating on everything around us.
My vote was for 30 minutes, which more often than not is correct, however, we have finished combat in less and at times as much as an hour. Generally I plan four combat encounters for a four to eight hour game. The players have learned that some monsters are better to avoid and some situations are better to think their way out of. Funny how having a few fellow player characters die in front of them will do that. (insert evil laughter)
Last edited by mrken; 03-11-2008 at 03:00 PM. Reason: misspelled word :(
Saturday I had a 17th level Magician go down in two rounds. Good planing and a suprise round on the BBEG and it was all over.
Slam the door open, hold, hold, feeblemind and tingling limb. The holds failed, the TL is a ranged touch and the feeblemind worked. They grappled and tied him up.
In D&D, I voted for the 90 minutes because of the time that players are using to decide what their character is going to do.
ah, quite so. actually planning time-takes forever. actual combat time once we've decided what we're going to do, maybe 30 mins. ^^
I'm thinking in tabletop game terms when I replied to the poll, mostly DnD. LARP I remember taking FOREVER. It seems to depend if you have that one guy who wants to pull Matrix-like manuevers and argue with the GM over every inch of movement. Some combat scenes would last the entire 4 hour session and it was basically 10 minutes worth of action. I took a blanket to one LARP and they had to wake me up for my turn in combat.
Thunderbolt is a good example of realistic combat. The game is WWII air combat. Dave has done such a good job on his game that if you know nothing about the game, and simply follow good flying tactics, you will win. His hit tables render damage that is uncannily like the after action reports of the bombers over Germany.
No, a miniatures war game is not a D&D session. I expect it will be combat from start to finish. But that is what I play war games for. D&D combat is not even close to a simulation. It is designed to frankly keep the PCs alive. However being that I am not playing D&D for a combat simulation, I don't let it worry me.
Likewise Pirates of the Spanish Main has the ships behaving like motorboats. For a sailing simulation Wooden Ships & Iron Men is much better, but "pirates" can be played in an hour or so, beer and pretzels gaming, WS&IM is anything but.
i use a "panic" rule when i DM. i'll let players diddle-daddle the first round, but after that, if you dont know what you want to do, your character doesnt, and he's "panicked". people freeze in combat irl, so why not in d&d? it definitely makes combats go faster.
i do make exceptions for people just learning to play, of course, but anyone claiming to be an "experienced" gamer gets no mercy.
example in the fouth round of combat:
me: maxitolius, the shaman charges you, shouting a battle cry in orcish, his battle axe held high...
max: uh...um...ah...i...um (lots of character sheet rustling...)
me: ok, jaques, maxitolius freezes, you are unengaged, adjacent to max, and see the shaman charging...
facebook.com/houstonderek"well, g'night! dont let the flesh eating demon bed babies bite!!"