Average game session?

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Okay, So I found out its my friends Birthday today(thank you fb)
and He always brings up DnD when we hang out So I figured I'd Push myself tomorrow non-stop to have a DnD game ready when he comes over to hang out (with the rest of our friends)

however, I'm kinda wondering on average how long our game sessions? Just So i can make sure I don't come short in general,
or how many quests/encounters etc do you put them through in a session?
I think you'll find some varying responses.  My group schedules 5 hours for a session, and we usually stick to that plus or minus 30 minutes.  Some people are more hardcore and do 8+ hours; while some games are played in hour-long bits on lunch breaks.

What you do in that time can vary even more. We get 2-4 encounters done per 5 hour session, with the odd skill challenge thrown in and some time spent out of combat roleplaying.

I'd say plan for 4-5 hours.  If you've got new players and have to roll up characters, that's probably enough time to do two encounters and some roleplay as long as some of you have played before.
Standard LFR adventures are designed to run in 4 hours. They normally have 2-3 combats a small amount of RP.
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We currently run about 3.5hrs/week with roughly the first 30mins wasted in chit chat. But in our full 3hr run time we usually get 2-3 encounters and some skill stuff along with puzzles, traps, and treasures.
Start ~ noon (but can be as late as 1)
Finish anywhere from 5:30 to 10. Usually ~7.
We run anywhere from 2 to 6 encounters (skill challenges usually go by faster, even when they're the horribly written Scales of War ones).

 If you're just running a one-shot thing for his birthday, unless everyone's agreed to make it the central event of the day you should keep it relatively short - under two hours or so.

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We normally play from a little after 1pm until 6pm, with a break somewhere in the middle. We're lucky if we get two fights in, on average, but it does vary -- you can do more fights against easy foes.

I've tried a lot of things to speed it up, but the core issue is the mechanics: D&D 4e monsters have too many hitpoints. My players tend to want more story and fewer protracted fights (I don't blame them), so we do a lot of things to try to short-circuit fights where the outcome is clear, etc.
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Less than the whole?
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E: in seriousness?  The shortest I've seen a mod run is around 3 hours - but that's a whole adventure, reather than a one-shot short thing.  You could probably pull it down to 1 and a half hours, maybe 2.  But that gets longer if not everyone knows how to play.  If you want a party delving game for people who haven't played before, there are definitely better ones.
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6 hour minimum, up to 10 hours; 7-8 hours is our normal.

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I'm kinda wondering on average how long our game sessions? Just So i can make sure I don't come short in general,
or how many quests/encounters etc do you put them through in a session?

Based on LFR, an average 4e session is 4 hours long and might include:
At Heroic tier: 3 combats (one hour each) and 2 skill challenges.
At Paragon/Epic: 2 combats (90 minutes each) and 2 skill challenges.

These times are not relevant though for the OP's situation (i.e. new group just starting out).
Paragon Tier, if there are no interruption, 40 minute encounter, maybe 1 or 2 per session of 4-5 hours.
7:30PM-2AM. On rare occasions we run a little past (never more than 30 min or so). 1/2 weeks.  Typically that involves a combat or two.  We have had sessions with 5 combats, 1 combat that took the entire session (last session) and 2+ sessions in a row with no combat at all.  It all depends on the story.

(If curious I am starting to upload audio from my games in case anyone wants to know.  The first session had 0 combat.)
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
7:30PM-2AM. On rare occasions we run a little past (never more than 30 min or so). 1/2 weeks.  Typically that involves a combat or two.  We have had sessions with 5 combats, 1 combat that took the entire session (last session) and 2+ sessions in a row with no combat at all.  It all depends on the story.

(If curious I am starting to upload audio from my games in case anyone wants to know.  The first session had 0 combat.)



I'd be interested in hearing those audio games.  Will they be available as podcasts?  If so, where?
7:30PM-2AM. On rare occasions we run a little past (never more than 30 min or so). 1/2 weeks.  Typically that involves a combat or two.  We have had sessions with 5 combats, 1 combat that took the entire session (last session) and 2+ sessions in a row with no combat at all.  It all depends on the story.

(If curious I am starting to upload audio from my games in case anyone wants to know.  The first session had 0 combat.)



I'd be interested in hearing those audio games.  Will they be available as podcasts?  If so, where?



The podcast is in my sig.  It is called "Every Grain of Sand in the Sandbox".  Currently only the first episode is up, but now that I have time to work on it I will be editing and putting the next 4 episodes up. 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
I've found this thread evry interesting. I have been running 3-3.5 hour sessions but over the internest using Sykpe and Roll20. Persoanlly the fact that I'm wearing headphones and looking at a screen for that time means that is enough for me. If I was sat around a table I'd probably cope a lot better for a longer session.

Does anyone else find that the onlin session tend to be shorter?