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Is it practical to run a weekly lunch-hour game of D&D with my coworkers?

Other than don't use the system what advice do you guys have for playing Dungeons and Dragons in one hour episodes? (I don't care which system is required to do this 4e, 3.5, 2e & AD&D. You can even include comments about D&D Next since that is the impetus for this question.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ I would use Dungeon World instead: fast character and party creation, snappy gameplay, light on GM prep. \$\endgroup\$
    – okeefe
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 16:52
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Don't. Unless you can guarantee your players will always be on the ball and in-character/participating, one hour is just long enough for everyone to arrive, chit chat for fifteen minutes, settle down and get into character, recap from last game, and then have maybe 15-20 minutes before getting derailed by table chatter, and then packing up and leaving. In my experience, if you can't run at least 3 hours don't bother running DnD. \$\endgroup\$
    – Phill.Zitt
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 17:05

2 Answers 2


I play AD&D 2e at lunch sometimes, and my main advice is:

Stay in character. If a player is talking about the football results, you've lost about 5% of your playing time from him starting talking to you shutting him up and the game continuing.

Don't use minis or a battlemap. Setting this up again uses up a lot of time, and preparing for a battle is also very time-consuming.

Play quick and easy. Don't have many encounters planned that will drain the party utterly. If the battle lasts longer than the rest of the session, by next time everyone will have forgotten what's going on, whose turn it is, etc.

Make either a linear quest or completely open sandbox. If the players want a story, make it fairly linear. You don't have the luxury of time to waste wandering off in the wrong direction. If they want a bit of freedom, set up a (mega-)dungeon with regular exits so they can leave quickly, and let them wander around a little hitting things.

This is what I use, and I've been fairly successful. I'm sure there are other options and many other tips, but this is what I've tested personally


Play without a map. Managing a battle map is a huge time sink. When you have 6 hours to play, it's a worthwhile investment of your time. It'll take some extra trust on behalf of your players. Instead of them lining up fireballs with total precision, you'll be telling them the fireball can hit two bad guys or three bad guys and an ally. They have to be okay with you determining the options in this manner.


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