View Full Version : Passage of Time

12 February 2002, 02:50 PM
How does everyone else handle the passage of time in the game? I am running a campaign right now and things are moving along rather quickly. From the time all characters had zero experience point until they made second level was 19 standard days. The only reason it took that long was because there was seven days' travel to and another seven days from another system. Total adventuring days is five.

Normally I wouldn't care, except I don't see an end in sight. As things are moving now, and as I've structured the campaign, it probably won't slow down any time soon.

I know it's well within the rules (d20 at least) but I would hate to have useless Padawans end up becoming Jedi masters inside a standard year. You figure 1000 XP in five days is an average of 200 XP per day. 20th Level is at 190,000 which is 950 days. But that's at the slow (1st level) rate of 200 per day. I should think when they start going after bigger and badder bad-guys that rate will increase.

Is this pace completely out of line with others' campaigns, or is this somewhat typical?

12 February 2002, 04:20 PM
Taking this from a d20 point of view:

Progression at the beginning is always quick. Though it matters on how many players you got as well. After like level 3 or 4 its gets a bit slow.

I think they way points are assigned is by taking the average level of all the characters in your game and multiplying by 1000 for a quick mission, 2000 for a medium .. and i think 3 000 for long. You would then divide this as equally as possible amongst the players. Any remainder points can go to the person who most deserved it.

Progression will start to take a while as time goes on though. For me, if the mission last 1 week (game time .. not real life) .. then its a quick mission, 2 weeks is medium and 3 weeks is long.

The only reason I have made it this way now is because we have 7 PCs who are all on level 4 now.

GM discretion can always be taken when assigning experience points though .. you could basically say "Ok, you guys have spent too long on level 4 so I am going to say you all have xxxx points now so you can be level 5". The reason why you would want to do this would be to have your players start becoming a bit more challenging .. so you can bring in deadlier enemies without risking killing off a PC (though this might happen purely as a result of the actions of the PC ... you can at least try and make your PCs be somewhat of a challenge).

12 February 2002, 06:04 PM
I'd keep an eye on it, but don't worry about it too much.

Low levels come pretty quickly.
Mid levels come a bit more slowly.
Higher levels just take time.

It'll work out.

12 February 2002, 07:22 PM
I understand.
Some adventures my party manages to finish in a matter of HOURS (game time).

You insert time, otherwise your characters die of adrenelan overdoese!

Seriously, between adventures, during adventures what ever.
Some of my adventures have no down time, others weeks or months.

It is up to you. Also, you can tell them it just takes time to learn, train, and reflect.

I run a smuggling campaign, so the down time descritption goes like this...

"ok, for the last month you have been making a credit here and there, with a lot of random cargo on the rim. This next job however, might get a little complicated...."
enter next adventure.


12 February 2002, 09:07 PM
In case you're looking to stretch the galactic calendar a bit, here are a list of things that take up game time: Travel
Gathering information
Shopping (how long's the wait for that custom blaster, again?)
Waiting for contacts to arrive
Waiting for a cargo to arrive so you can take it someplace else
Did I mention travel? Put 'em on a primitive planet and no speeders. Walk everywhere (maybe ride local animals, or something). That'll suck up time
Waiting for next assignment
Waiting for trial (after they've been captured... heh)
Sitting just outside the system until that Imperial ship goes by
Missing an appointment, or hoverbus, or shuttle (when's the next one leave?)
All depends on what you want. The possibilities are endless.

13 February 2002, 03:40 AM
Thanks for the tips. The problem is I really can't insert any time between adventures because they all hinge around finding and eliminating or capturing a small criminal organization on Coruscant (Old Republic). And I suppose they may even level up one more time before they manage to eliminate the immediate threat but then there could be some rest time involved after that.

13 February 2002, 04:52 AM
Another way to handle time passing is when you reach a point where the action is in a lull, you're about to start a new sub-plot. Just tell your players that six or seven uneventful months have passed. If you feel the need, give out a few XP just for the time passing. Life is never one action-filled event after another.

As GM you need to remember that YOU are running the show.

Rule #1: A GM makes the rules.

Rule #2: Cheat anyway.

13 February 2002, 06:08 AM
is the eventual goal of the campaign to find and defeat the criminal organization, or is it a subplot or minor story piece?

If it is the main goal (currently) of the campaign, then have contcts with information conveniently turn up dead or missing, start targetting friends and families of the characters (these are criminals afterall, not boyscouts, unless they are criminal boyscouts...). this could add days or weeks to play while the characters start getting friendly with new contacts and try to find/rescue/pay ransom for their captured friends and family. a good rule of thumb is to figure out who knows a crucial piece of information and then think about how many people know that the informant (we'll call him alice) knows anything at all. then decide who is willing to go to lengths to stop alice from spilling his guts. figure out what they would do to get alice to stop talking.

also, coruscant is a BIG place with LOTS of places to hide and never be found again. there shouldn't be any reason that informants (especially the ones you pay) can't be wrong or lie to the characters, sending them on wild goose (or is it criminal?) hunts that literally waste days.

just something to think about. stalling can be an effective way of dragging things out, especially when there is a lot to distract the characters.

ultimately though, decide how long you want the characters to take finding these criminals. then throw everything but the kitchen sink at them to stay on your schedule. the trick is to make it look like they are taking a long time and you're not stalling them.

just my two credits worth (though with this new exchange rate, that doesn't amount to much...)

13 February 2002, 07:38 AM
also, give em personal lives... insert some NPC drinking buddies etc.

have a few sessions where they waste the bulk of it just not doing much but figureing out their chars more... ROLE play... it can really be great fun, so long as you don't over do it.

13 February 2002, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by blitzkreig
is the eventual goal of the campaign to find and defeat the criminal organization, or is it a subplot or minor story piece?

For right now it's the main piece. The true plot is that there's a Dark Jedi behind the entire thing, and this criminal organization is simply a tool for the Dark Jedi to use to control part of the situation on Coruscant.

They're in no position to confront the Jedi now. They don't even know that the Dark Jedi exists yet anyway. Their entire contact with their nemisis is this criminal organization.

If it is the main goal (currently) of the campaign, then have contcts with information conveniently turn up dead or missing, start targetting friends and families of the characters (these are criminals afterall, not boyscouts, unless they are criminal boyscouts...).

That's part of what's driving this. Loose ends (for the bad guys) / contacts (for the good guys) are quickly turning up dead, so the heat is on to solve this puzzle before all their leads are killed off and the trail grows cold. That's why every day there's something else to do.

I think as soon as they can eliminate this organization, or at least get some concrete evidence that they can use to tail the organization once all their contacts have been killed, then things can settle down a little bit. So I think everyone is right in that things are moving very quickly now, but that the pace won't (can't) keep up forever.