Speeding up game play?

Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion

Hi all,

I'm curious what is the total game time (set-up to clean-up) for a single scenario for your party. I understand there are several variables (number of players, experience, snacking, quest deck #, logic debates, snacking, etc.) but I'm looking for some insight and suggestions from other players as I'm sure there's something we can do to speed up our play. On average, it takes us 3 hours to complete a scenario. We just completed adventure deck #5 in RotR and there was some discussion to try and complete more scenarios per session in the future.

My current thought is to come up with a index card or some other 'cheat-sheet' to allow the players to write down their main stat's bonuses, because the further along we get the more static bonus apply. This seems to me as the quickest way to help speed up but I'm curious if anyone else has done something similar. When the games says it can be played in 90-120 minutes and we're averaging 180... yeah. Any suggestions would be appreciated.



Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I was just talking about pace of play last night with Calthaer. We were comparing two groups we play in.

The one group is 6 players. Calthaer and I own the game, the others don't. They only ever play with us. We try to get together once a month. In other words, not the most experienced and regular players. It can take 2-3 hours to complete a scenario sometimes (setup, play, cleanup).

The other group is for organized play at Bel Air Games. I think nearly every player owns the Base Sets and play regularly, so very experienced and regular players. The tables are generally 4 or smaller. Here, we often do 4 scenarios in 5 hours.

The other big difference I'll note about the groups is how much non-game related talking happens. Both groups are definitely social and talk about things other than PACG, but the Bel Air group is more focused and less likely to get sidetracked by a conversation.

In general, I'd say the biggest thing you can do to speed up the time is sharing the setup load. Everyone should be helping to build locations. Other than that, it is really a matter of how fast each person can play. How focused they are and how quickly they can make decisions about what they will do.

We play at lunchtime at work with 6 players, and we've only got 2 hours available in total. We rarely finish before 1.5hrs, but we've also only had to preserve the game state and continue later once (out of 24 sessions so far with this group). Plus maybe a couple of times that we've finished the scenario but rebuilt our decks later. We're a mix of new and experienced players. We do definitely try and hurry along though, because we are constrained.

If I play on my own at home and with a smaller party it's much faster of course. And playing on the app where it does all the work for you it only takes about half an hour :)

I wouldn't worry too much about what the box says though in general, I find with any boardgame that what's written on the box is always the optimistic time for experienced players (which means what it says seems to be about right).

Our Guild play group (4 or 5 players depending on whether we have one table or two going) gets through a game in about 2 hours.

We all shuffle locations once they're set up but only one person does location building since there's only so much room to get to the box. (If it's a busy night there might not be room for anyone else to grab cards even if they wanted to do so.) Instead, we work through card substitution (loots and other granted cards, traders, etc.) and set up our own decks while our host does the locations.

If we were to play multiple games at one time I'm sure the average time-per-game would go down. There's a bunch of time taken up in unpacking and packing up the set and our other stuff that wouldn't be duplicated.

Otherwise, well, it takes time to manipulate physical cards and dice. ::shrug::

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I will second Parody.
5 real players on a single table.
1.5 to 2 hours depending on the difficulty of the scenario.

Hawkmoon gives an excellent summary. My most common playing experience is my 4-player Organized Play group (until it disbanded, sigh). Usually we completed a scenario in 1 to 1.5 hours, with 10-15 minutes of teardown/upgrade selection after that. (Upgrading is quicker in Organized Play than in regular play because you're usually just upgrading a single card, and, even in the MM set, not doing traders.)

Setup is definitely much quicker if everyone helps. I used to set up the game for my 4-character solo runs & it took me about 20 minutes, I think. (Or maybe it just felt like it.)

I think the playtime actually grows along the complexity of the characters and scenarios. In 3 player parties, we usually need 1-1.5 hours at the start of an AP and end up with 1.5-2 hours at the end; the turn of casters usually takes twice as long as the turn of non-casters, much to the displeasure of the non-casters.

We often start the next turn while another character finishes recharging spells and his end-of-the-turn step, given that we know that nothing will affect the new turn directly.

In my 4p ultra-experienced family group, games are typically 75 minutes. Also 10 min of set-up time (I do this myself). Note: At the end of each scenario, I always set aside the locations, henchmen, loot, etc., for the next scenario - which reduces set-up.

In my 5p much-less-experienced "friend" group, games are 2 hours. With this group, set-up time is always zero - since I pre-build all locations ahead of time. As long as you know the # of players in advance you can always do this. Note: I add 5 extra blessings to the blessings deck with this group to increase our chances of winning, which adds to time but makes it more fun for everyone.

And yeah, the Mummy's Mask traders add more time, if you're in that set.

This is all at-home play, not OP.

One thing I've started going is writing down common dice pools and modifiers.

So, f'rex, I might have something written on my sheet that says:
Force Missile -d12+2d4+10

Saves at least a little bit of math. I also scratch over the skill modifier and write in the total modifier (so, if I had Wisdom +2 and Divine +1, I'd scratch out the +1 and write +3).

I'm thinking of getting a highlight marker to mark things on sheets that are easy to forget, possibly color-coding them for beginning/end of turn effects.

I have a 3 player 6 character group going, average time per scenario is 1:15 and thats with all the chit chat that goes along with hanging out with friends.

A lot is the luck of the draw, and true planning in trying to corner the villain or focusing on the objective at hand and not just mining for better gear, which tends to happen early on in each adventure.

And yes Mummies traders added a whole different time consuming monster into the mix

Also never be afraid to explore even if you only have 1 card in hand, there are other players there to take the load off you. Cant even count how many check to defeat 20+ ive taken down with d4s.

Our group of five meet once or twice per month. It takes us 9-10 hours to beat on average 4 scenarios, including dinner break (about 20 minutes). All are experienced players. During setup, Players do the same work every time. I read the Guide, second player reads Scenario rules and builds locations, third guy searches for henchmen and villains and fourth prepares blessing deck. We noticed that Mummy's Mask takes longer because of traders which adds about 15 minutes of additional time after scenario.

I played with 3 different group.

The first one, we took 2 hours initially (Group of 6). we were able to reduce that to 1 hour and half and eventually it was close to 1 hour.

Second group we were only 2, so that helps. (we were playing 2 characters each)

Initially took us 1 hour and half, and we were able to bring that down to between 30 and 45 minutes. But we agreed before the game that we would limit discussion not related to game to a minimum or at least we would try

Last group only 2 (we are playing 2 character each)

He is a lot less experience and we often have very diverging opinion on strategy to the game, so we argue a lot about how to go about, but it remains friendly. we are usually are able to play 2 games in a 5-8 hours.

Our game last about 2 hours, the rest is spent for lunch and diner. And doing talking and setting table and removing it. Last game we played we manage to lower that to 1 hour and 5 minutes. We'll see if it continues that way. It help too that each of us are starting to better understand our character. Our deck, the combo we can do, and the order to do them, to maximize efficiency.

I think in a month or 2 we will be able to bring that down to 45 minute maybe a bit less.

Tips; Personally I don't like us eating and touching the cards, risk of making them greasy, or and I really dont want any juice, beer or water spilled on my cards. Not that much of a tip, but if not eating it is one less little distraction.

Have them help you set up the table.

Depending on the group and the mood, we usually have no problem at least trying to reduce the unrelated talking for after the game is over. Never had too much problem with that since, all my groups actually were asking for ways for us to go through sceranio faster, so yeah.

Try to figure out, what you're going to do during the other players turn, or have an Idea at least, it helps when it gets to your turn. I know some people will go to their cellphone screen, as soon as their turn ends. So we added a rule no cellphone except for emergencies, until the game is over.

Also talking about what your current options are, to other players and what you are lileky to do or to try to do, during the next 2 or 3 turns, may help others, also figure out what they are going to do now or during their turn, when their turn comes. The latter is even more important if you are playing Close hand and even more true if playing with inexperience players. I know that some people myself included have played multiple session with open hands.

Personnaly I like both. Both have their ups and downs.

Have a group strategy before the game start, like we usually agree that we don't expect any of us to play their blessing to explore on the first 10 turn. After that, we are expected to take as much risk we can exploring, taking most of our blessing for that purpose.

Finally, when we are stuck, and the game starts stalling because one of the player or I is/am having difficulty choosing between 2 or more bad options, and we are not sure about which one is the less bad option, we usually roll a die.

Lone Shark Games

Arcaneumkiller wrote:
Tips; Personally I don't like us eating and touching the cards, risk of making them greasy, or and I really dont want any juice, beer or water spilled on my cards. Not that much of a tip, but if not eating it is one less little distraction.


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