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Eric Anderson
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We always have a theoretical start time, for the event of game night, not the game itself, of 6:30 pm. Which means in actual practice, everyone has typically arrived by about 7:10 pm. We always have dinner before we play, so there's a fair bit of chitchat during dinner.

We do not have a hard start time for the actual game, but if it gets to be 8:00 pm or so and we still haven't started, I'll typically say something along the lines of "So, are we gonna play this game or what?" and shortly after that we start playing.
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Brian M
United States
Thornton
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Yes, I have a very hard time beginning to actually start playing.

Oh, wait...that's not what the question meant.

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Roger Hobden
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Montreal
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Caroline Berg
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Washington
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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Usually we start a half-hour from when the calendar says our start time is, which also allows for getting stuck in traffic, etc... If we've missed a few sessions, then the chatting tends to go a bit longer at the start of the next session to make up for not seeing each other during that time. But I do try to keep it under 45 minutes!
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Tom B
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There's usually chitchat. How long depends on if we're waiting on some of the more distant players to arrive, and if I need to do some last minute prepping before the game starts. If everyone is there, and I'm ready to go on time...I'll let the chatter go for about 15 minutes or so. Then I'll start playing the theme music I've picked for the game. Seems more subtle than telling everyone to shut up and let's get started...
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