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  1. #1

    DM/GMs. How do you handle time in game?

    Good morning all,

    There's one simple thing about being a DM i constantly try to get a better grip on...the passage of time in my games.

    Do you just wing it and say "6 hrs pass, its night....its the next day etc" thats what I'm mostly doing...

    But i wonder if any dms have a system like "roughly 1 hr real time equates to 2 hrs game time"....or am i just over thinking this too much even?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Trenloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mytherus View Post
    Do you just wing it and say "6 hrs pass, its night....its the next day etc" thats what I'm mostly doing...
    This is what I do - based off what the party are doing, and any relevant rules in the RPG system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mytherus View Post
    But i wonder if any dms have a system like "roughly 1 hr real time equates to 2 hrs game time"....or am i just over thinking this too much even?
    I don't think you can do this. Some combat encounters may take over an hour of real time to run (longer in some systems), but would take a matter of a couple of minutes in-game time. But if the players spend 30 minutes role-playing in a tavern, then that probably took roughly 30 minutes in-game also.

    I would recommend making calls based off what the party are doing (travelling, fighting, exploring, drinking/eating, etc.) and just advance time based around that. If there's a specific need to track time in more detail (e.g. there are 4 hours before the volcano erupts) then your options may depend on the RPG system being ran, as some provide details on how long certain activities take, whereas others may be less detailed. If the system being played doesn't have relevant details, and there is a time limit the players need to do something by, then my recommendation would be to tell them how long things will take before they do it (so there's no arguments later).

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  3. #3
    Thank you . What you said makes sense, i dont know why ive been thinking so much on it lately. I guess it would be difficult to try to make a calculation system to track it.

  4. #4
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Wing it. I roughly assume that role playing and planning take real-time. Everything else I have to estimate.

  5. #5
    I've tried many things related to time tracking, eventually I decided it was more work then the value it provides. So I don't worry about it.

  6. #6
    I generally do what the first person to reply said: have time fluctuate based on what's happening at the moment. However, the one area in which this becomes a bit difficult to manage for me is in the dungeons and dragons 5e system where some spells have durations that could extend for 10 minutes ... or an hour ... or 8 hours ... or a day ... or 7 days ... or a day and a year ...

    The combat tracker (where duration is typically tracked for things like spells and other effects) does not interact with the calendar system at all in FG so it will only track duration in terms of turns, making it really only useful for tracking durations that won't go longer than a combat encounter.

    I'd really like to see a feature added to the game that makes the calendar time and the combat tracker duration clock talk to one another when you're dealing with durations of longer intervals than rounds.

  7. #7
    Blahness98's Avatar
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    Snarky answer (and extension jfg1984 might want to look at): Time Manager or Clock Adjuster

    Non-snarky answer: winging it usually works. I mostly play and run PF1, so there are tables to assist in a lot of the downtime activities and travel. Otherwise it is your call on how much time something takes. For example, skinning a smaller creature, probably 30 minutes to do it well, 10 if you rush. Skinning a dragon, see you in a few days or maybe a week depending on what size of dragon you downed. Most systems are flexible enough to allow you to determine the time on the fly.
    Last edited by Blahness98; January 18th, 2021 at 17:53.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Blahness98 View Post
    Snarky answer (and extension jfg1984 might want to look at): Time Manager or Clock Adjuster

    Non-snarky answer: winging it usually works. I mostly play and run PF1, so there are tables to assist in a lot of the downtime activities and travel. Otherwise it is your call on how much time something takes. For example, skinning a smaller creature, probably 30 minutes to do it well, 10 if you rush. Skinning a dragon, see you in a few days or maybe a week depending on what size of dragon you downed. Most systems are flexible enough to allow you to determine the time on the fly.
    Not snarky at all. Helpful, in fact!

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  10. #10
    I faced with similar issue, I can play for hours

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