Friday, September 16, 2016

[Discussion] Do You Track Time?

Simple question for today. In your games, do you track the passing of time? Do you count years and age characters? Track seasons and bring appropriate  weather to the fore? Or do you leave it alone, having the adventures all take place in a sort of nebulous time where days, weeks, months, and even years can pass but no one really ages?

I track time in my games. L5R has enough politics in it that tracking years is good. I also like the idea of characters growing older and being able to look back on their past, see the next generation coming up behind them, and feel like they've made an impact on a world that is growing. However, it is a lot of work and doesn't always pay off.

What about you?


  1. Depends on the needs of the campaign, as you say, season and advancement of time is important to L5R so it I track it there. In my 1960s super game, events were (loosely) tied to historical ones, so tracked it there too. Pattern Seekers, not so much, same in Shadowrun where it is more a background element, though time does definitely pass.

  2. We basically have two campaigns running side by side (one DMed by me, another by the other DM) where there is some overlap in NPC's and/or locations they visit. This makes timekeeping quite important for both groups, to make sure one group won't lag behind too much on the other group. We mostly track using the seasons (seeing the involvement of the Winter and Summer Courts of the Fae), so it doesn't really matter if there's a gap of a month or two, but more gives a lot of headaches.
    PC's and NPC's do age, which is especially noticeable with the younger NPC's. A few players ended up having quite a shock when they realized the little street urchin they pulled off the street a few years back (in and out of game) had grown up and is now on the fast track to become a young James Bond-type of character. I had fun.

  3. Yes. I find adding seasonally elements give me random elements to work with when creating an arch. Its for mood, tone. I want players to have the feeling that there is a passage of time.