D&D General Time Pressure and Adventures

Your DM says that tonight's adventure has a time limit. What's your first reaction?

  • Personally offended ("Okay first of all, how dare you?")

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Negative ("Ugh, boring. Nobody wants to watch their resources so closely.")

    Votes: 1 1.7%
  • Completely uninterested ("Gosh, look at the time, I forgot I had to go to a thing. See ya'll next w

    Votes: 2 3.4%
  • Combative (Argument after argument, hoping to wear the DM down and force them to change their mind

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Inflexible ("Whatever, we do what we want. If we fail, it's the DM's fault for imposing a time limi

    Votes: 1 1.7%
  • Indifferent ("Sounds good. I'll go load up on potions and coffee, and meet back here.")

    Votes: 13 22.0%
  • Positive ("It's a puzzle! So first, we need to prioritize stealth and save resources. If we...")

    Votes: 24 40.7%
  • Enthusiastic ("HECK YEAH! Right to the point, no dilly-dallying around! Let's move, team!!!")

    Votes: 15 25.4%
  • Other (allow me to explain)

    Votes: 3 5.1%

Oofta

Legend
I was keeping it simple for the purpose of brevity. Things are a'happening within context (for instance on the last excursion the group found that their exit was sealed off by the residents. I was simply alluding to the fact that there's no baked in plot-based ticking clock.

Time passage is a thing, naturally, as are the responses to player actions.
I didn't mean to pick on you or your post, but there have been other people stating that 5E is easy because the group always goes into the dungeon, retreats to safety and then head back down the next day. That, or going into a rope trick for an hour or hiding in a hut for a long rest.

I'm just saying that in many cases you don't need a ticking clock, you just need the opposing forces react to the actions of the PCs. The PCs stopping after the enemy knows you're there (or should logically know) frequently will not be a good idea in my campaigns.
 

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Mort

Legend
Supporter
I didn't mean to pick on you or your post, but there have been other people stating that 5E is easy because the group always goes into the dungeon, retreats to safety and then head back down the next day. That, or going into a rope trick for an hour or hiding in a hut for a long rest.

I'm just saying that in many cases you don't need a ticking clock, you just need the opposing forces react to the actions of the PCs. The PCs stopping after the enemy knows you're there (or should logically know) frequently will not be a good idea in my campaigns.

I agree. Except that what you propose IS also a ticking clock. If the group retreats into a tiny hut (or rope trick, or out of the dungeon or whatever) AFTER confronting but not dealing with a group of baddies? Every moment they are inaccessible is a moment the baddies can prepare for when you become accessible!

Ticking clock doesn't have to be a literal countdown timer, it just has to mean that time matters.
 
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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Yeah, I mean, any dungeon or adventuring area is a living environment. Players come in and kill Bob and Gob the guards and go hide in a pocket dimension somewhere, the place is quickly going to be on high alert with patrols, prepared ambushes, and countermeasures active. That's why you should move faster, no clock required.
 

Musing Mage

Pondering D&D stuff
I didn't mean to pick on you or your post, but there have been other people stating that 5E is easy because the group always goes into the dungeon, retreats to safety and then head back down the next day. That, or going into a rope trick for an hour or hiding in a hut for a long rest.

I'm just saying that in many cases you don't need a ticking clock, you just need the opposing forces react to the actions of the PCs. The PCs stopping after the enemy knows you're there (or should logically know) frequently will not be a good idea in my campaigns.

All good! I didn't feel picked on, it's a discussion after all. :)

I hear you 100%. From an overall perspective, yes, there are natural time-pressures that aren't necessarily spelled out, but they are there. In responding to the thread my mind simply went to the notion of a plot-induced ticking clock... which I don't think is necessary for an exciting game... but at the same time it's fun to have from time to time.
 

Dausuul

Legend
It depends on whether I think the DM has thought through this plan. Specifically:
  • Is the time limit meaningful? Are there clear consequences if we fail to meet it, and is the DM prepared to impose those consequences?
  • Does the DM understand that you can't just keep combat difficulty cranked up to its "one encounter per day" setting if you're going to have multiple encounters under time pressure?
  • What level is the party? (Low-level PCs have far less endurance.)
  • Who in the party is playing a spellcaster? (Some players are better at conserving spell slots than others.)
If the DM and my fellow players understand what they're getting into, however, I am a fan of time pressure. D&D was designed to have time be a factor, and a whole lot of systems work better when that is in place. It also adds focus to the game and challenging decisions about priorities.
 

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