Some independent variables to consider

by Hawke Robinson published 2011/05/05 11:45:00 GMT-7, last modified 2022-11-12T09:27:18-07:00
Just some thoughts on some of the independent variables to modify and then observe the different results (if any)...

Break down RPG session into different segments and lengths of time.



Have one style with participants allowed to meet and chat for 5-15 minutes before beginning gaming.

Have another style with short introduction, 3-4 minutes, then immediately begin play.

Have another total rigid, hand characters, and begin playing within 60 seconds.

Have another not begin for 30 minutes.



Session Duration

Limit game time to different segments

30 minute session (without breaks)

1 hour session (without breaks)

2 hour (with and without breaks)

4 hour (with and without breaks)

6 hour (with breaks)

8 hour (with breaks)


12 hour (with breaks)

16 hours (with breaks)




Different periods of testing.

Always base line before they participate, then

Test immediately after participation.

1 week later

1 month later

6 months later

1 year later.

2 years later

5 yeares later

10 years later



Different durations between repetition

Daily for 5 days per week

Daily for 7 days per week

Every other day

once per week

Every other week

Once per month.


Different quantity of session repetition

Only played once.

Play twice









Different Game ethics:


Rescue someone

Retrieve an item for a good cause


Neutral (selfish but not “Evil)





Magic enhancement

Physical enhancement



Kill hero(s)

Kill innocents (raid villages, etc.)

Steal important item from “good” for evil cause



Here is a good list of ideas.


Initially, just compare 1 from each category, heoric, neutral, and evil. Probably the simplest ones to try to reduce the variables and ambiguities, pick the most archetypal.

Where should the setting/campaigns be? Tolkien-based? Or completely made up?

Maybe compare studies between using “known” settings such as Ancient greece/zeus, biblical, robin hood, tolkien, etc. Versus “unknown” like Dragonlance, or my own made up.

From legal perspective probably made up would be safest, but may have a number of bugs and nuances.


Maybe have some play testing by experienced and newer gamers to debug the adventures, before putting complete novices through.


Which game system?


Simplest system possible. Maybe using my super-basic-ea-rpg 1 d6 system would keep the variables simple. This won't hold up for campaigns lasting too long, but will work fine for most?

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