Another major difference between role-playing games and other games is the
ultimate goal. Everyone assumes that a game must have a beginning and an end and
that the end comes when someone wins. That doesn't apply to role-playing because
no one “wins” in a role-playing game. The point of playing is not to win but
to have fun and to socialize.
An adventure usually has a goal of some sort: protect the villagers from the
monsters; rescue the lost princess; explore the ancient ruins. Typically, this
goal can be attained in a reasonable playing time: four to eight hours is
standard. This might require the players to get together for one, two, or even three
playing sessions to reach their goal and complete the adventure.
But the game doesn't end when an adventure is finished. The same characters
can go on to new adventures. Such a series of adventures is called a campaign.
Remember, the point of an adventure is not to win but to have fun while
working toward a common goal. But the length of any particular adventure need not
impose an artificial limit on the length of the game. The AD&D game embraces more
than enough adventure to keep a group of characters occupied for years.
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