It’s been years since I’ve player a really long session. sure i’ve tried to plan a few in recent years, all day play-tests of new systems or one off games to try and enjoy a particular adventure but it never seems to work, real life always get in the way now. Such is the curse of growing up.
Back when I was at uni, and before, long sessions were the norm for me, usually starting in the morning and heading long into the night. No-one had anything more important to do and everyone just wanted to enjoy the game.
Two sessions in particular spring to mind when i’m thinking of the longest sessions I’ve been involved in. One I played, one I ran, both D&D.
The first was when I was around 15 or 16 and it was a 3 man party back in 2nd ed AD&D. The game was very freeform, with the DM letting us make up very imaginative characters that stretched the rules somewhat. This was the same DM that ran Stormbringer and in the first session we stormed the planes, killed a god and became demi-gods so you get the idea as to how free form this was.
This particular DM liked evil characters and so we played an evil party, a dark Cleric, a sadistic Harlequin and an Anti-Paladin, which was me. I don’t remember the exact plot of the game, it doesn’t really matter anymore as the campaign wasn’t that memorable but what stood out was the length of the first session and a particular encounter.
That first session lasted hours, probably 18+ and i know we went from 1st to 9th level during it, pretty legitimately, despite the fact that were were a little overpowered. During the game we had one encounter when we were around level 4. We came upon a procession of good clerics and, being very very evil, we decided that they needed to die. We set up a pretty elaborate ambush and managed to drop a couple in the first round, determining that they were around level 7, before things started getting tough.
The combat lasted a little while and wound up with the leader of the clerics surrounded by a wall of holy fire, summoning elementals against us. I couldn’t breach the wall of flame, but I could fight off the elementals easily enough. We devised a plan that involved the Harlequin taking a run up, flipping off me, up into a tree, over the wall and down onto the cleric. This involved a pretty impressive set of tumbling rolls to accomplish but we tried nonetheless and the dice were rolled, a 20 for my throw, a 20 to flip into the tree, another 20 over the wall and a final 20 for the attack. I don’t recall the damage roll, it doesn’t matter, after that streak the DM ruled and instant decapitation and evil won the day.
The second game is a much shorter story. It was while I was at uni, during the 1st-22nd level campaign. It was early on in the campaign, still on my home-brew world though I don’t recall the actual adventure. My players had bugged me the day before, after finishing a session, to play again and I was happy to acquiesce.
We started in the morning, around 11am after everyone had woken up and played until early evening. At that point a couple of my players has a gig they had tickets to and so went out, the rest of us carried on. Sometime later those players came back, surprised we were still playing and sat back at the table, carrying on while others went to bed to, ‘sleep’. Again rest of us carried on and those players joined us again a while later. To this day I couldn’t guess what time we finished playing but I know the sun was coming up, so probably around 6am.