It’s so common that it’s a joke: playing Dungeons & Dragons is great fun, but finding a schedule to get everyone at the table regularly kills all the joy.
As D&D is a game that requires regular planning and coordination between players and the Dungeon Master (DM), it’s important to have a schedule of sessions that’s frequent enough that everyone remembers where they are in the game and what they want to do next – or roll attempt to do!
That said, coordinating the schedules of several adult humans, with all the other obligations, interests, and hobbies we have… well, at some times it seems impossible. My group certainly struggles with it!
That’s why I’m sharing my top tips for D&D scheduling in this post: it’s one of the most important things my own party could improve upon, and I’m sure it’s the same for your group too. Read on for some tips to make scheduling your D&D sessions easier, and my final thoughts on the matter.
1. Set a Regular Schedule
The first tip is to at least try and set a regular schedule for your game sessions. Setting a regular schedule for your D&D sessions is essential for consistency and habit-building. When everyone knows when the game is happening, they can plan their lives around it and prioritize it as a regular activity. This also helps to build momentum and keep the game going, as everyone will be anticipating the next session.
2. Be Flexible
While having a regular schedule is important, it’s also important to be flexible when necessary. Life happens, and sometimes players may need to reschedule or cancel a session.
Make sure everyone knows that it’s okay to ask for a schedule change, but try to avoid canceling sessions at the last minute. You may also want to plan for alternative game nights or times in case someone can’t make the regular session.
3. Consider Everyone’s Availability
When scheduling your game sessions, make sure to consider everyone’s availability. This includes work schedules, family commitments, and other activities that may conflict with game sessions.
Try to find a time that works for everyone, but don’t be afraid to compromise if necessary. You may also want to consider rotating game nights to accommodate different schedules.
4. Use Online Tools
There are a variety of online tools that can help you schedule your D&D sessions. This includes scheduling apps, social media groups, and online forums. These tools can make it easier to coordinate schedules, communicate with everyone, and keep track of important information.
5. Use a Shared Calendar
A shared calendar is a great tool for scheduling D&D sessions because it allows everyone to see when the game is happening and avoid any scheduling conflicts. Simultaneously, it avoids the need for multiple emails or messages to coordinate schedules. This also makes it easy to schedule future sessions in advance, so everyone can plan around them.
If you use a platform like Google Calendar, you can even set up reminders for upcoming sessions, so no one forgets about the game. This is something I just set up for my campaign recently because we were just sending a bunch of texts and it was very frustrating to get sessions confirmed!
6. Send Reminders
As the DM, it’s important to plan ahead and give your players plenty of notice for upcoming sessions. This includes letting them know when the next session is scheduled, as well as any important information they need to know in advance. This could include the location of the session, any special rules or requirements, or any important plot points they need to be aware of.
7. Be Respectful of Time
When scheduling your game sessions, it’s important to be respectful of everyone’s time. This means starting and ending the session on time, as well as sticking to the schedule as much as possible. If you need to take a break or end the session early, make sure to communicate this with everyone in advance.
8. Communicate with Everyone
Communication is key when scheduling D&D sessions. Make sure to keep everyone in the loop and let them know about any changes or updates to the schedule. This includes reminding everyone of upcoming sessions, letting them know if there are any changes to the location or time, and checking in with everyone to make sure they’re still available.
At the end of the day, it’s at the discretion of the DM to choose a time and place to play; after all, if you don’t have a DM, you don’t have a session! But by using these D&D scheduling tips, the DM can help make the process a little easier and hopefully build a consistent schedule of sessions that build an incredible world to play in.
Have any questions about these D&D scheduling tips, or do you have others your group has learned and are willing to share? Let me know in the comments below!