Average Setup And Preparation Time

by Hawke Robinson published 2017/06/13 12:10:00 GMT-7, last modified 2022-11-12T09:26:22-07:00
A great question on the Facebook RPG Connection group page: "All right dungeon Masters listen up let us know what you do to prepare for a game and how long does it usually take you." Here is my lengthy response for a wide range of variables...

Original FB posting link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/372637609602703/?multi_permalinks=645324165667378&ref=notif&notif_t=group_activity&notif_id=1496609836154118

Tabletop RPG (RPG / TRPG)

As far as just setting up the room/table, with video & audio recording of sessions, whiteboard, battlemats/tiles, miniatures, dice, pencils, markers, rulebooks, GM screen, character sheets ready, PC roster ready, adventure notes, lighting, background acoustics, etc.,

At my house in one of several game rooms:

About 30-60 minutes to prepare.

DSC 2553


RPG Trailer:

If using the mobile gaming facility trailer, and assuming it is "ready to go", as above, _plus_ takes about 5 more minutes to prepare the trailer if no participants in wheelchairs, else about 10 minutes if participants in wheelchairs.

RPG Trailer Retreat 1

Standard Campaign Prep:

If an existing non-therapeutic/education ongoing campaign meeting weekly, about 30-60 minutes.

Brand New Campaign Prep:

If a new campaign/adventure/group, many scores of hours.

Bran New Convention Adventure, a la Tolkien Moot:

If writing a new module from scratch, for example for Tolkien Moot each year, anywhere from 60 to 120 hours.

Other Variants for RPG:

If an ongoing therapeutic or education campaign with specific measurable goals for participants to achieve, using existing modules I've created for that population in the past, about 1-2 hours of intake paperwork and initial assessments of participants per group, then about 1 hour of prep per participant initially, and then about 15-30 minutes preparation and progress assessment per session.

If creating an entire new program for a new population, anywhere from 20 to 200+ hours.

For Live-Action Role-Playing (LARP)

Hawke's Backyard, Tolkien Moot LARP

If using a published LARP, not creating my own from scratch, for smaller non-costume / non-boffer LARPS, and with a new adventure, about 2-8 hours.

For Costume or boffer LARPs that I provide the garb, innumerable hours, if they provide their own garb, for one-shots that I've run before, about 30 minutes preparation.

For ongoing LARP campaigns, about 45-90 minutes prep per session.

For Computer-based RPG (CRPG)

For computer-based group RPG (CRPG) sessions, if at my house and the computers are already up and running and up to date, then about 20-40 minutes.

If setting up in mobile facility for CRPG a few hours to move systems from home/office to trailer, and then setup for participants, and making sure all networking working correctly, server access working, etc.

If DMing a CRPG, for example with NeverWinterNights (oldie but a goodie), about 4 to 12 hours of scripting per 4 hours of gaming, the first time around, after that, very little preparation time necessary.

Solo Adventure Books/Modules (SAB/M):

For guided Solo Adventure Books/Modules, about 10-15 minutes setup.

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