Dungeons & Dragons Online

How do I present threats and stakes whilr having them resolved when I only have a two-hour window for a session?

I'm looking for ideas and new ways of looking at managing sessions and game prep. My group has fallen apart several times over the last few years. Here's what I mean: We used to play regularly several years ago, but about 3-4 years ago we haven't been able to play consistently at all, and it's led to several games started that never had an end.

The break in consistency isn't anyone's fault, life just won't allow for a regular meeting anymore. Due to medical issues, divorce, increased work responsibilities… Life, honestly… We just are unable to meet with regularity. We've always tried forcing regularity, but it's just led to games that never had an ending.

Obviously this has led to many in the group feeling jaded, myself included. So we took a year hiatus. Now many of us want to try again, we miss the game so damn much! Our best idea so far is to accept that gaming can't be regular for us right now, and even if there's a month or more between sessions, that it can be ok. But the other complication is that we would only have time for a 2-hour session when we do get one, which on its own can seem like an impossible task.

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If you had only a two hour session at a time, and you had no guarantee that you'd be able to meet together in the next month, what would you do to make the most of those short games?

Our group desperately wants an ongoing campaign, and I think I can do that if I still treat each session like a one-shot, similar to an episode of a TV series. After all, if a month goes by I know no one will remember where we left off or what their characters wanted or anything. But running a one-shot in two hours will be extremely challenging, so I'm open to any ideas.

What I don't want here is, "Face the music dude, this isn't possible and you need to accept that." Frankly, that's totally in the back of my mind already, but we've spent the last year not playing and everyone in the group is sick of that. I know it's a tight spot, so I just want to consider what options there may be to make it work. If after all that it still doesn't seem possible, then I'd accept that.

So I ask all of you, how could I make the most of a two hour session when I need that session to present stakes and threats and have those all resolved within a two-hour window?

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