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RPGaDay 2017 – Day 8

08/08/2017
Ubiquity

What is a good RPG to play for sessions of 2 hours or less?

Short Answer: Ubiquity games – Hollow Earth Expedition, All For One: Regime Diabolique, Leagues of Adventure, etc.

Long Answer: It’s not just the style of games using the Ubiquity rules that lend themselves to shorter sessions, but the materials required. All you really, absolutely need to play are the GM’s notes, some character sheets, and the relevant rulebook. And you can get all three in a digital format.

But what about dice? True, the Ubiquity system does play better with a random element, but remember that ubiquity is a binary system. All you need is something capable of generating either a success or failure and you’re good to go. You could play the game with a single coin you flip to generate results if you really wanted.

This mechanic makes the game ideal for quick games, especially if the GM is excellent at thinking on their feet and adapting to the actions of the players. In fact, there are even a bunch of short adventures created for the Ubiquity games. They’re designed as two-hour sessions for convention games, but work just as well if you’re down the pub with your friends, or on a road trip, or waiting for a bite while fishing.

If the GM structures things right, you could make an entire campaign out of short sessions. It might seem an odd choice, but try thinking of the games as half hour episodes of a TV series. Can’t fit the plot into a single session? Throw in a cliffhanger and spread it across two sessions. This format served Doctor Who very well for decades.

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