Using long passage of time successfully...examples? - Page 4
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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmadsen View Post
    Here's what I said in the other thread:

    For a D&D winter phase, you would need to compose your own "random encounter" tables for adventurers' non-adventuring lives.
    Yeah, i read your quote from the other thread earlier and didn't entirely get it, particularly what you call the "perform solo" phase.

    So the mechanic of time passage - from a Pendragon perspective - is rolling on random encounter tables, essentially? And, I'm guessing here, each player spending 10 minutes going around rolling and resolving on said tables in "initiative order" (rather than simultaneously).

    So, say its Jason's turn. I as the GM ask Jason what his PC is doing during solo phase. He says "border patrol" of his newly acquired keep. He rolls on a corresponding table or makes a corresponding check, which, when resolved, determines the outcome of his border patrolling - this is all narrated in the abstract not actually played out (hence in a system like D&D with copious combat abilities, any fighting is necessarily abstracted in the sake of not boring other players who aren't involved in Jason's winter phase). POSSIBLY, if the choosen action is discussed in the rule book, the p.ayer rolls on a random encounter table. This would then be followed by several rolls, some of them involving tables (which don't really have a D&D translation). Then next player. Once all the players finish their winter phase, the GM offers a quick narrative of what has happened in the main storylines to kick off the next adventure.

    Is that an accurate summary of how it would actually play out at the table?

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Quickleaf View Post
    So the mechanic of time passage - from a Pendragon perspective - is rolling on random encounter tables, essentially? And, I'm guessing here, each player spending 10 minutes going around rolling and resolving on said tables in "initiative order" (rather than simultaneously).
    I would say that the key notion is that time passes between adventures; the characters don't go directly from adventure to adventure.

    So, in addition to calculating experience, leveling up, picking feats and spells, etc., between adventurers, you also age a year, see how your domain has performed, consider marriage prospects or see if your marriage has produced children, see how your stable of horses has done, see how your children have done, and so on. The family scandal roll is perhaps the most amusing.

    All of this can be done one-on-one, without the whole group together -- including solo adventurers.

  3. #33
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    I once ran a campaign designed to play out in five acts, each with an advance of five years in between the act. Also, because the game was set in a dream (The Dream), I played around a bit with memory, especially with such long periods of time elapsing. Regrettably the group fell apart during the third act (and the story hour didn't even get that far), due to ongoing player commitment issues--a problem I routinely had back when the group was primarily made up of college kids (myself included).

    I ran a later campaign with a (mostly) different group that has spanned two editions (and is still ongoing), but when 4e came out, my players begged me to switch, so we advanced the timeline by 10 years and the players played a new generation (one of whom had been rescued as a child by the original party from becoming fuel for a negative-energy generator). This campaign's story hour is, as yet, forthcoming.

    There's another little game that I was running along the side (and still am, in theory--though we haven't gotten together for it in a while). This one is set up as a series of fables, with each adventure being separated by an undefined period of time--but each understood to be weeks or months apart.

  4. #34
    Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)

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    Block Evilhalfling

    well between campaigns... all of my 4e games have taken place on a single world. The world is divided into ages, with each of the six gods ruling for 200 years.

    1. Thunderspire labyrinth campaign took place 15 years into the rule of the god of Fire and Magic. They reached lvl 8
    2. The next campaign started 24 years later, but ended 238 years before it started. (time travel accident) They reached level 6
    3. Started 103 years into the rule of the god of fire.
    this game lasted 4 years, including 6 months of training time to enter the Paragon Tier. Level 14
    4. Started in the last year of the God of Fire's rule. Its now July, Year 1 of the rule of the God of Steel, and War. Level 8 and counting

    Just telling the players up front: It will take six months of training to enter the paragon Tier, and start your Paragon Paths. Worked really well. Not much happened, but each player talked about where he had gone for training and, some of the NPCs they added during this time came up later.

    At the end of the campaign, each character was given a Tarot reading, and we jointly made up a story about their fate after the campaign, based on the cards, and their PCs goals. This worked really well, I still have the Tarot App. and I will use it again for ending campaigns.

  5. #35
    I do this all the time and I don't see anything unusual about it, like getting player buy-in. Nor do I think there needs to be anything special.

    After characters successfully save the villiage or whatever, they go back to their ordinary lives, raising families... growing grapes, working the farm... or just spending money and relaxing with a group of adoring followers. When we start the next session, I say, "its been a long time since your last grand adventures. [X] years have passed, and you are starting to feel the itch for adventure. During this time, the following events have transpired {describe some events}, none of which needed your attention, but lately you've been hearing rumors of {give them the next plot hook or hooks}.

    I frankly don't like the idea of adventurers always rushing about saving the world, and I think giving them a few months or years off between adventures seems very reasonable.

    Also, when I've done some calculations and the average lifespan of a character in my campaign is 11 sessions. While playing "Banewarrens", the lifespan of a character was only 3 sessions. (we averaged more than one character death per session).

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Quickleaf View Post
    Well, there is a certain player type who balks at anything resembling DM fiat, particularly when they perceive their control over their character is being taken away. Most of my players don't fall into this category, but I've gamed with several who do.

    I wasn't thinking so much travel, which is easy to explain, but more along the lines of "the PCs overwinter at the lord's keep during the harshest snow months and resume adventuring when spring returns."

    I'm concerned a player might go,"Wait, what? We never stopped adventuring!"
    Why would a player say this though? What would they think they are missing out on? I could see it if there was something really urgent that was left undone at the end of an adventure but that is the whole point of having this downtime - the adventure is over and the PCs are at loose ends.

    I guess I'm just on a different wavelength than those players though.

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