Have You Ever Tried To Run A "Calendar Game" ?


In the PF2 Sales Rank thread Parmandur made a comment about a high fantasy setting needing an "elevator pitch" . It made me think: one of the the thing that the Lost Omens does a bit differently than most settings is that it is explicitly tied to the real world calendar: a day in the real world corresponds to the calendar being advanced a day in Golarion. And while this may not be strictly a selling point for the setting (at least for the vast majority of people I imagine) it did make me think: could you run a campaign where you actually tied your gaming sessions to the passage of time? Could you run a game where a day in the real world equaled a day in the campaign?

I do not think it would work if you were super draconian about it: you might end up playing more than one "game day" of time in a session. But you could iron out that time when you were not playing - if you played once a week, and played three days of time in a session, the next time you get together an extra four days have passed in world. This would, of course, require a substantial rethink of what sort of "goals" your adventurers are supposed to accomplish. I am not sure how many APs would support this style of play due to how much passage of time they have or how much needs to happen on any given day. But if you could build a campaign where sessions were essentially a whole series of one-shots maybe it could work. And especially with PF2 where every character explicitly has at least one downtime skill any time away from the game would still feel like your character is "doing something" .

It might be an interesting way to see if you could make a game and game world feel more "alive" . It might be interesting to see how it changes your perspective on the game world. It might be a huge pain in the ass for the DM, :D . But it could be a lot of fun if done right.


There is some nod towards this style in the 1e DMG.

I did something similar a few decades ago at university, but it quickly fell apart when assignments/exams hit and suddenly I was telling the players "Sorry, but real life comes first. We can't run for the next few days ."


I played in a long running 1e game that tracked time in the game seriously. The game had started years before I joined in the campaign year 20,000 AC, (After Chaos) and was already part way through 20,010 when I started playing. It had its own calendar with a ten day week and a week long lunar cycle so you could even easily figure out the phase of the moon for any given night.

I've been a fan of the Golarion calendar advancement along with the real world one in their adventure paths, it makes some timeline calculations easier than if there were three different campaign current dates after soft reboots that do not tie into anything else.


A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I like to use downtime. I don't want to wait weeks or months between adventure activity. So no, haven't tried it. Don't think that I would like it.