48 hour gaming session - need some input.


Homebrew and House Rules


Okay, my group has a good friend returning for a power gaming session over the weekend. I'm trying my best to think of what we could do that would have a beginning and end during that time frame. The longest we have ever ran a game was 27 hours. I GMed while the players slept in shifts and played. Good Times!! Although, I'm much older now, but the desire is probably a lot stronger to do it again.

I was thinking of starting at level 6 with possible level ups to 7th and ending at 8th. That's a pretty sweet spot to play. I have potentially 6 players.

I guess I am asking if there is a decent AP, box set, extended game idea, or anything else that might fit. I at first thought about having them form a group to over throw a king, high priest, evil cult, etc. Leaving it open ended, but complicated enough to take longer than the usual gaming session.

I'm open to anything good that might be possible. Thanks for any input. Of course, this is all wishful thinking. After 10 hours, we might just crash and take it as is. LOL.

Oh, this wont be happening until July, so I have time to prepare.


I think the first question you need to answer is how far you expect them to advance in levels during this time. That way you can set the end-goal at, say, 8th level from 1st, and you can build everything in between or find an AP to get you there.

It's also important, I think, to be flexible with exactly when certain things can happen, and be able to adjust CRs. If it takes them several hours to do something you thought would only take them 1, it could throw things off, and you don't want to have to end the game before they get to face the BBEG, or have him be too powerful.

I would come up with something specific but far off (such as the evil priest/dragon/wizard) and say that they can go to face him at any time, but they are not strong enough now, and you can do X, Y, and Z to try and get an edge on him.

So then they'll as much time as they feel they need getting items and information, or taking out minions until they're strong enough for the BBEG.


I was thinking that starting them off at 6th level then maybe midpoint would level them to 7th with a possible 8th level Maybe about 75% of the way to the BBEG. 8th level being imo a pretty nice spit to be playing a character.

That should help with the CR flexibility. Plus if they go about it in an odd sort of way, I could wing it if I kept the concept simple enough.

Just needed an end goal in mind. I could build from scratch, but I was hoping to find some inspiration to twist the normal game style I usually play with. I figured an AP, box ser, or something to that sort might get the creative juices running. Guess I'm getting bored of my normal ideas. Make sense?


My input is that you're crazy.

Liberty's Edge

You are planning to run the game for 48 hours straight? Wow.

Are you a natural insomniac? If you aren't, best to have lots of strong coffee handy...and maybe a handful of 5 hour energy clones...if you have a good heart, that is. :p

When I was younger, I would occasionally log in something like 40 hours over a weekend (gaming, working, or whatever), but a straight 48 is PAINFUL. Best of luck.


I don't think we'll do 48 hour straight. I hope not. LOL. Nah, I'm hoping that within 48 hours including sleep, eat, beer drink, etc.. We will cram in as much of gaming as we can. I would be brainless after 24 I think. 27 hours and I was getting pretty much spacey. So, we don't do these often, but a good friend is coming to town, and we have a weekend to cram in as much as we can.

sorry should have clarified on the specifics of it. I wonder if that would be a record of something.

Of course, we are older now and 10 hours might just be all we get, but hopefully it would be a solid 10 hours of fun and such.

Liberty's Edge

Aristin76 wrote:

I don't think we'll do 48 hour straight. I hope not. LOL. Nah, I'm hoping that within 48 hours including sleep, eat, beer drink, etc.. We will cram in as much of gaming as we can. I would be brainless after 24 I think. 27 hours and I was getting pretty much spacey. So, we don't do these often, but a good friend is coming to town, and we have a weekend to cram in as much as we can.

sorry should have clarified on the specifics of it. I wonder if that would be a record of something.

Of course, we are older now and 10 hours might just be all we get, but hopefully it would be a solid 10 hours of fun and such.

Two 10 hour sessions would kick butt pretty hard, actually...I am an insomniac...I've done too many 20+ hour weekends...

It sounds like a blast. You could probably ramp it up to two 12 hour sessions or more, if you have good longevity, and take an hour or two for a dinner break both times.

Hmmm...not sure what path would be best...or module...at any rate, I'd just plan one one good one...and that might well be a challenge unto itself. The APs do about 2-3 levels each book...if you were ready to roll as you got to the table...and gamed hard...one might work.

Got any flavor in particular in mind?


Hmm. That actually sounds pretty doable. I might set that up for an agenda so to speak. Might then allow people to get RL stuff done and get back to gaming when they are free. 2 10hours is probably a bit more realistic. 12 would be nice though.

I really need some inspiration on what I could put together for that time allotment. 10 hours and then 10 hours. I would have characters done way beforehand to alleviate character build. Doing that also helps me to add detail in the adventure to tie players in the game.

Liberty's Edge

Aristin76 wrote:

Hmm. That actually sounds pretty doable. I might set that up for an agenda so to speak. Might then allow people to get RL stuff done and get back to gaming when they are free. 2 10hours is probably a bit more realistic. 12 would be nice though.

I really need some inspiration on what I could put together for that time allotment. 10 hours and then 10 hours. I would have characters done way beforehand to alleviate character build. Doing that also helps me to add detail in the adventure to tie players in the game.

Yeah, you absolutely need to be prepared. I'd also advise getting backstory to everyone well in advance, so they're ready for their roles as soon as they sit down...

If you want to use an AP module...they all have their own flavor. Kingmaker is the pretty much impossible one, being too much of a sandbox, when you really need something quite pointed. If you don't want a trip to the orient, rule out Jade Regent. Council of Thieves, IIRC, is mostly in one city. Carrion Crown is gothic horror...cool if that's your bag, but YMMV. Rise of the Runelords is a great AP, if you like classic stuff. I hear Serpent's Skull isn't all that great at that level, but then, the claim was that it was very railroady. That might be what you need, actually. Skull and Shackles is pirates. If you all love pirates, that's it. I'm not as sure about the others...Curse of the Crimson Throne might actually be more like the kind of thing you mentioned...the throne definitely seems corrupt enough...

I'm not as sure about the rest...

Scarab Sages

The longest I ran in one sitting was 24 hours, as a sponsored challenge. so it meant I had to have witnesses swear that we hadn't goofed off, and agreed to minimum breaks for food and toilets.

I found I overestimated the progress the PCs would make. I ran 'Shadows of Yog-Sothoth', which I believed I could fit into one day, if everyone got their act together.

Call of Cthulhu is a relatively straightforward system, with a unified mechanic, and all the players were familiar with it. I also had a stack of replacement characters, in case a PC went mad or died (cos this was CoC, after all), and these replacement PCs were mostly the allied NPCs from the scenarios, so there'd be no need for long introductions.

Well, it seems the long time window went to the players' heads, and they took forever over the first scenario (of seven). They showed no curiosity about the 'Inner Members Only' areas of their fraternity building, and were happy to tootle about making small talk.
When I asked them about this, during a snack run, they said they couldn't possibly insult their hosts rules, since they were being so friendly.

I had to jumpstart them into action, by having an NPC investigate the forbidden rooms, get himself kidnapped, and get their family to ask the PCs for help. It then went according to the writer's assumptions, but we'd gone hours over schedule, and never quite got it back.

We still completed the majority of the campaign, but I found that once it started becoming clear that time was short, the players slowed down for the last chapters, making it a self-fulfilling cycle.

I do believe the whole campaign was doable, IF the players had played in the style they normally played, with a pro-active disregard for breaking, entering and liberating other people's stuff.
Who knew, that the first time we had an actual time limit, they'd all play responsible citizens, with deep respect for stranger's property?

Liberty's Edge

Snorter wrote:

The longest I ran in one sitting was 24 hours, as a sponsored challenge. so it meant I had to have witnesses swear that we hadn't goofed off, and agreed to minimum breaks for food and toilets.

I found I overestimated the progress the PCs would make. I ran 'Shadows of Yog-Sothoth', which I believed I could fit into one day, if everyone got their act together.

Call of Cthulhu is a relatively straightforward system, with a unified mechanic, and all the players were familiar with it. I also had a stack of replacement characters, in case a PC went mad or died (cos this was CoC, after all), and these replacement PCs were mostly the allied NPCs from the scenarios, so there'd be no need for long introductions.

Well, it seems the long time window went to the players' heads, and they took forever over the first scenario (of seven). They showed no curiosity about the 'Inner Members Only' areas of their fraternity building, and were happy to tootle about making small talk.
When I asked them about this, during a snack run, they said they couldn't possibly insult their hosts rules, since they were being so friendly.

I had to jumpstart them into action, by having an NPC investigate the forbidden rooms, get himself kidnapped, and get their family to ask the PCs for help. It then went according to the writer's assumptions, but we'd gone hours over schedule, and never quite got it back.

We still completed the majority of the campaign, but I found that once it started becoming clear that time was short, the players slowed down for the last chapters, making it a self-fulfilling cycle.

I do believe the whole campaign was doable, IF the players had played in the style they normally played, with a pro-active disregard for breaking, entering and liberating other people's stuff.
Who knew, that the first time we had an actual time limit, they'd all play responsible citizens, with deep respect for stranger's property?

LOL...I LOVE CoC...I've done some marathons of that. The shortest actual CoC game I ever pulled was 4 hours, at a meet-up...and I had to rush it. :(


A few years back dungeon had a 3 issue minicampaign set in the world of Greyhawk. You might want to look at if you have them or I'm pretty sure you can still get PDFs. It was a few levels higher (I think 10 or 12) than your thinking about. But as three written adventures you would have some good stopping points that would still give the PCs some sense of accomplishment. I wish I remembered what issues they were in. I remember it had to do with Drow and Giants in one of the war-torn western countries. I am sure someone will remember which ones they were in.

Scarab Sages

You mean Issues 117 to 119.

"Istivin: City of Shadows."


Hmm. I'll keep in mind the City of Shadows mini campaign. We are playing a Giant game in Lands of Linnorms with drow in it, so I'm not sure if they would want a change or not. But, that's definitely what I'm looking for in the thought of inspiration.

I haven't played CoC, but I have heard of games being quite memorable. My group tends to be a bit slowish in learning new systems. Plus, I'm not sure if they would even get into CoC. They are pretty typical in Fantasy. I wish they would break out a bit more, but what can ya say.

Ya, I'm really hoping to make the goal obtainable with in the timeframe. I don't want to railroad, but I might have to put a waiver in game that might happen due to the circumstances. But, I would think everyone would be cool with that as long as they accomplished something and kick some BBEG butt to put it in laymen's terms.


EldonG wrote:
Aristin76 wrote:

Hmm. That actually sounds pretty doable. I might set that up for an agenda so to speak. Might then allow people to get RL stuff done and get back to gaming when they are free. 2 10hours is probably a bit more realistic. 12 would be nice though.

I really need some inspiration on what I could put together for that time allotment. 10 hours and then 10 hours. I would have characters done way beforehand to alleviate character build. Doing that also helps me to add detail in the adventure to tie players in the game.

Yeah, you absolutely need to be prepared. I'd also advise getting backstory to everyone well in advance, so they're ready for their roles as soon as they sit down...

If you want to use an AP module...they all have their own flavor. Kingmaker is the pretty much impossible one, being too much of a sandbox, when you really need something quite pointed. If you don't want a trip to the orient, rule out Jade Regent. Council of Thieves, IIRC, is mostly in one city. Carrion Crown is gothic horror...cool if that's your bag, but YMMV. Rise of the Runelords is a great AP, if you like classic stuff. I hear Serpent's Skull isn't all that great at that level, but then, the claim was that it was very railroady. That might be what you need, actually. Skull and Shackles is pirates. If you all love pirates, that's it. I'm not as sure about the others...Curse of the Crimson Throne might actually be more like the kind of thing you mentioned...the throne definitely seems corrupt enough...

I'm not as sure about the rest...

Oh good stuff. Thanks for doing that quick run down. I've wanted to try an AP, but haven't yet. Not sure who well they are put together. My player's don't like being "Railroaded" and a lot of them think the APs are geared towards that. I would think if you were well read into the AP and understood the concept of the AP, you should be able to deviate a bit to accommodate the outside of the box thinking that frequently happens in my group. I guess this might be a good time to test one out possibly.

Liberty's Edge

Aristin76 wrote:
EldonG wrote:
Aristin76 wrote:

Hmm. That actually sounds pretty doable. I might set that up for an agenda so to speak. Might then allow people to get RL stuff done and get back to gaming when they are free. 2 10hours is probably a bit more realistic. 12 would be nice though.

I really need some inspiration on what I could put together for that time allotment. 10 hours and then 10 hours. I would have characters done way beforehand to alleviate character build. Doing that also helps me to add detail in the adventure to tie players in the game.

Yeah, you absolutely need to be prepared. I'd also advise getting backstory to everyone well in advance, so they're ready for their roles as soon as they sit down...

If you want to use an AP module...they all have their own flavor. Kingmaker is the pretty much impossible one, being too much of a sandbox, when you really need something quite pointed. If you don't want a trip to the orient, rule out Jade Regent. Council of Thieves, IIRC, is mostly in one city. Carrion Crown is gothic horror...cool if that's your bag, but YMMV. Rise of the Runelords is a great AP, if you like classic stuff. I hear Serpent's Skull isn't all that great at that level, but then, the claim was that it was very railroady. That might be what you need, actually. Skull and Shackles is pirates. If you all love pirates, that's it. I'm not as sure about the others...Curse of the Crimson Throne might actually be more like the kind of thing you mentioned...the throne definitely seems corrupt enough...

I'm not as sure about the rest...

Oh good stuff. Thanks for doing that quick run down. I've wanted to try an AP, but haven't yet. Not sure who well they are put together. My player's don't like being "Railroaded" and a lot of them think the APs are geared towards that. I would think if you were well read into the AP and understood the concept of the AP, you should be able to deviate a bit to accommodate the outside of the box thinking that frequently...

An AP is really designed to be played through, start to finish, though you can use parts for a stand-alone. If you already have something going, though...maybe designing something yourself might be the best option? You know your players better than Paizo does, no matter how good they might be at writing adventures...I'd be happy to assist with ideas...or by mutating some of your own...


The longest I have run over a weekend is 2 sessions of 14 hours each. 5 hours of sleep between them. No prep, heck it was the first time I ever GM'ed. I was just running with the ideas that I had in my head, and filled in the rest with random stuff that I rolled for. The players in that formed the core of my current party (though all but one has left the area, they still are what got my group started).

I don't think I could do what I did again, at least not with the same group. I haven't repeated any story elements or encounters ever, but if I ran that long unprepared I would fall back on stuff I've already done.

Heck last night I GM'ed for 6 hours without advanced warning for the store owners 3 kids. It went pretty well till the anti paladin decided to channel negative energy in a room with 5 wolverines (thus triggering all of the rage effects). 1 round later he was bleeding out from 3 full attacks and 2 charges. Good times.

Liberty's Edge

notabot wrote:

The longest I have run over a weekend is 2 sessions of 14 hours each. 5 hours of sleep between them. No prep, heck it was the first time I ever GM'ed. I was just running with the ideas that I had in my head, and filled in the rest with random stuff that I rolled for. The players in that formed the core of my current party (though all but one has left the area, they still are what got my group started).

I don't think I could do what I did again, at least not with the same group. I haven't repeated any story elements or encounters ever, but if I ran that long unprepared I would fall back on stuff I've already done.

Heck last night I GM'ed for 6 hours without advanced warning for the store owners 3 kids. It went pretty well till the anti paladin decided to channel negative energy in a room with 5 wolverines (thus triggering all of the rage effects). 1 round later he was bleeding out from 3 full attacks and 2 charges. Good times.

28 hours out of 33 for a first time? Quite the trial by fire. :)

I'm glad that's not required. ;)


I would string together 2 or 3 modules. It takes my tabletop group 6 to 8 hours to level so that would work for us.


wraithstrike wrote:
I would string together 2 or 3 modules. It takes my tabletop group 6 to 8 hours to level so that would work for us.

Any favorites or particular ones with an interesting subject to build upon?

Anyone play the PF module: Carrion Hill? That looked interesting.

Silver Crusade

Aristin76 wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I would string together 2 or 3 modules. It takes my tabletop group 6 to 8 hours to level so that would work for us.
Any favorites or particular ones with an interesting subject to build upon?

Not sure it's your style, but I'd check out Carrion Hill. (1) It's a crazy-difficult and fun module. But (2) you might check it out at least for the modular structure. A set beginning encounter and a set end encounter, but the interim bits can be run however you like (IIRC). Even if you don't use the particular module, something like that structure might help guide your mini-campaign if you go a bit more homebrew.

Like this: Break your 2 10-hour sessions down into 4 4-5 hour episodes. Each episode has something like 3 required encounters and 2 optional encounters, and ends with a big finale. After an initial encounter that sets up the mystery or central conflict of the campaign, players get a hint of the general structure (simplest take: destroy the 3 Unholy Idols before taking down the Cult of Evilness) and then have to decide how to take care of business. They can do the first three episodes in any order, so they're not totally on rails, but you'll have a sense of structure to help keep track of time and maintain a sense of momentum for the game. Prepare each of the episodes at a couple different levels of difficulty, and adapt on the fly by varying difficulty and including or leaving out optional encounters.

(So you can have Episode I be fixed—PCs find themselves in trouble and just when they think they're out of it they learn that it's even worse than they thought!—, Episodes II-III can be taken in any order, and Episode IV is fixed. Or you can have a fixed first encounter and then three interchangeable Episodes, but leave Episode IV fixed.)

Maybe split up the episodes by geographical location so they don't interfere with each other. This also gives you an excuse for dramatically changing the flavor (mechanical and otherwise) between episodes (the Quest for Perfection series of PFS adventures is a pretty good example of distinct flavor for three connected adventures, I think: climb the mountain to find an ancient artifact in an abandoned monastery, navigate a boat down a dangerous river, defend a village from raiding bandits).

Silver Crusade

Aristin76 wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I would string together 2 or 3 modules. It takes my tabletop group 6 to 8 hours to level so that would work for us.

Any favorites or particular ones with an interesting subject to build upon?

Anyone play the PF module: Carrion Hill? That looked interesting.

Yes! Carrion Hill is a great module. It would also be easy to expand (that damn ghoul is just asking to be hunted down), can be taken on in any order, and has some great encounters. Be warned, though. The final encounter is INSANELY (haha, Lovecraft) difficult. IF they survive, your players should have a great time.

Liberty's Edge

Aristin76 wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I would string together 2 or 3 modules. It takes my tabletop group 6 to 8 hours to level so that would work for us.

Any favorites or particular ones with an interesting subject to build upon?

Anyone play the PF module: Carrion Hill? That looked interesting.

I haven't played or run it, but I have it, and it's very much my style of adventure. Creepy. :)

If you want to run it, make sure to read The Dunwitch Horror. That was the inspiration.

http://www.dagonbytes.com/thelibrary/lovecraft/thedunwichhorror.htm


Very nice Gents. Thanks Joe and EldonG. I'll take a look at it. Just downloaded it. Definitely sounds like what I am looking for to get some new insight. I like the layout of the adventure. I might have to add some filler, but it sounds like its doable. 3 of my players will gobble up the challenge if it's hardcore. They are pretty creative and enjoy a solid challenge. Once I read through it, I might post some non spoiler comments about it.

Breaking it down in mini episodes would probably be the best way to knock that out. I'd rather be short on stuff then leave them hanging.

Liberty's Edge

Aristin76 wrote:

Very nice Gents. Thanks Joe and EldonG. I'll take a look at it. Just downloaded it. Definitely sounds like what I am looking for to get some new insight. I like the layout of the adventure. I might have to add some filler, but it sounds like its doable. 3 of my players will gobble up the challenge if it's hardcore. They are pretty creative and enjoy a solid challenge. Once I read through it, I might post some non spoiler comments about it.

If you're actually interested in CoC, this is like the Pathfinderized version. ;)

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