I have recently been thinking a lot about the differences and difficulties I encounter when I compare my particular style of GMing to those of other GMs.
Now since the pick-nitty nitpickers live to pick apart any statement made, I will try to clarify. When I say compare I may not be using precisely the right word. I am not comparing as in which one is better than the other. Rather, I am noting how a lot of people use approach A, a smaller group uses approach B and myself and a few others use C for example.
This has lead me to create a series of questions that, hopefully, will enable me to better understand my fellow gamer. These questions will only pop up from time to time so I can get on with other things. Consider them an irregular regular feature.
The first is A Question of Time...
I noted in another post how many people seem to focus their sessions on one or perhaps two elements. For example, 'this is a combat heavy session' or 'we mostly role played last adventure'.
Now as I understand it, and correct me if I am wrong, most gaming groups today have sessions lasting roughly 4 hours or so. If this is true it goes part of the way toward answering my questions about time and time management but not quite all the way.
OK, so assuming you have a party of 3-6 PCs, a total of 3-5 NPCs and 4 hours in which to participate in an adventure, how many battles can you expect to have? Note that I mean separate battles with separate initiative, a new series of rounds, etc.
Assuming the same criteria, how many rooms of a dungeon would you see explored by PCs on average (regardless of combat encounters and such).
If the session is sort of focused on one thing, as in the aforementioned examples of a combat heavy session, a role play heavy session, an investigative session, etc., is it planned out that way by the GM or does it just end up happening?
In a way, all this boils down to a bigger question of 'How much gets done' or 'How much stuff happens' in a single session. I am very curious about this. I have watched other GMs do their thing, obviously played in a number of adventures and campaigns by different GMs (though granted not many) and read through numerous session recaps. I'm trying to get a better sense of how the hobby uses this most precious resource...time.
I will save my own opinions on the subject for after I have received some responses.