I’m caught up! Day nine of #RPGaDay asks what a good RPG to play for 10 sessions is. As with the last question, my answer is “All of them?”

When you consider that a four to six hour adventure in an RPG has usually got roughly the same meat as a two-ish hour movie, ten sessions of three or four hours means you are planning a movie trilogy of sorts, or roughly the same story and character development of a short novel. This gives you enough time to come to grips with a world — even if it’s just a small piece of it — and allow characters to develop or be explored over the course of a short arc, or three distinct stories.

I’ve got a copy of The End of the World: Alien Invasion on my coffee table, right now. I haven’t perused it, yet, but lets use that as an example:

Session 1-2: Introduce the characters and the main plot — aliens have (or in the course of those sessions d) invade. The characters are hard pressed to transition from normal life to life being hunted by highly advanced creatures. Maybe you jump in in media res and the invasion has already happened.

Session 3-4: Finding a “resistance” cell or some kind of temporary sanctuary that seems to take the pressure off, but it’s just temporary. Maybe you are getting ready to “strike back, and strike back hard!” and there should be a good set of action sequences toward the end of this chapter of your game. The should also fail, and have the pressure turned up on them.

Session 6-7: Regroup, rethink, or find out new information about the invaders. They should have some kind of victory that helps them find this info or confirm it. This is where they get hope they can succeed.

Session 8-9: Planning and launching their final desperate attack on the mothership/main base/whatever. Session 9 should see them fully in the thick and it should be a desperate!

Session 10: The finale. Loads of action, the possibility of failure, and either grand success (Independence Day) or some pyrrhic victory (ala They Live! where Nada has destroyed the transmitter, but will it really matter?), something more ambiguous (The Thing), or a dour failure (Invasion of the Body Snatchers.)

You could compress that framework to three to four sessions for a “trilogy”, say a James Bond-like spy game where they go after a bad guy for three sessions, but find a bigger fish for the next adventure.

What’s the best game for 10 sessions? Whatever one you want!

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