#RPGaDay 2017: Day 8

Question 8 for this fourth year of #RPGaDay. and the first question of the second week of the event, asks us about games that support shorter sessions well. Whether that be desirable as a matter of preference, a side-effect of online play via something like Hangouts and the interplay of time zones, or just as a result of a busy schedule, the hope for more regular play sometimes comes with requirement for sessions of two hours or less rather than more.

I like longer sessions, but I find that when I game via a video chat service, that the feedback is diminished. As a result, the effort required for each session is greater, and that leads to shorter sessions. Time zone differences of the sort I normally have to deal with certainly do not help.

While my preferred games do not interfere with running sessions of any length, and some are fast enough to allow for quite a lot to be done and resolved within a short time-frame, they do not use time as a feature as they are not built to employ the passage of time as a part of the mechanics.

I was not sure that I would have a good and tested answer for this question by the time that #RPGaDay actually rolled around, and I was tempted to salt it away for later in the month – just in case a little more investigation time was needed. Once I found a few, I needed time to review them to see if any delivered an experience that I enjoyed and would recommend to others. My interests do not tend to lead me toward games specifically designed for short run times, so this was an area where oddly I needed more time to explore things which have a premise of using less time.

Life is funny that way.

Ultimately, the game that I settled on as an answer for tcthis question is a fairly recent one (2015), but it has already caused a big stir, so I expect to see it show up in a lot more responses than mine as Day 8 spreads around the world. It is the fantastic ‘Ten Candles’ by Cavalry Games.

The game, an atmospheric horror RPG focused not on survival but on tragedy, harmonizes its mechanics with its setting, and very clearly lays out its fundamental premise so that many of the barriers to such play can be easily overcome prior to starting a session. While not designed in the least for long-form campaign play, recurring sessions can readily occur making the setting the enduring touchstone of play, much like it always was in the lethal games of exploration and/or treasure hunting we played at the birth of the hobby.

I was going to make a video explaining the mechanics, but found one done by the author which was far better than what I would have put together. You can watch it >>here>>

Question 9: What is an RPG that is good to play for about 10 sessions?

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