Since virtually every RPG ever written can be played in a two hour session, let’s talk about the ones that excel at or before the 120 minute mark. Let’s also assume that the “RPG” requirement is generous and expansive!
I’m going to generate hate mail on this, but I’m gonna say one of my best sub-two-hour RPG experiences was Fall of Magic. I say hate mail because this game was designed in and for a much different play community than mine: Oly(mpia).
It’s good sport to make fun of the Oly players and their mellow, melancholic stretches of description and mood-setting. Hopefully they’re not offended by that characterization! The Oly players I’ve met all agree. I think it’s a thing.
Well so we speed-ran Fall of Magic when I got it because we’re not Oly-style players. We’ve gotten good, through other GMless/ful games, at digging out the melodrama, at going for punchy and fast. I’ve even experimented with manipulating the pace when I GM sometimes. They quickly check out.
Fall of Magic I thought provided a pretty good platform for a play style in direct contrast with its origins. But there’s not a lot there, either, so if you do decide to introduce hot, punchy prompts (as I stare into the water, I think about how I’m going to kill the magus at the end of this journey or whatever), yeah, you move around the map fast. We made it to the end at about the two hour mark and it felt good. The quantity of prompts felt like it fit inside a two hour window very nicely.
It’s a little mind-boggling to me to hear about games of Fall that take multiple sessions. I have no idea what everyone’s talking about during that time. I can sort of guess. Pretty sure I’d also be a bull in a china shop should I ever visit that scene.