View Full Version : Time passes

2011-08-16, 11:46 PM
So, for my upcoming campaign, I've decided to do a bit of an experiment and try running the game in real time, but only between sessions. That is, after the players kill the dragon or whatever, they let me know what they'll be working on, and I send them emails or update a google document to give them regular updates.

Since I'll be running one session every two weeks, this allows for plenty out of time for more mundane events that are either not important enough to mention during a fight, or simply happen over a slower period of time. The well going dry, the construction of a building, the loss of a war, the research of a new spell- These things are all clunky to do when you're working in six second intervals. They either happen instantly, because the DM says "And then you nap for six months until the plot can move on" or not at all.

Players can say "I want to research demons" and instead of saying "Roll knowledge" "Fifteen" "You know a bit but not a lot." I can stop, and think about it, and then give them something more interesting, like: Your studies into the unholy have lead you into dark places indeed. You successfully summoned a lesser demon, intent on interrogating it, but during the ceremony, something broke the circle, and it vanished. Now, of late, you've been waking up to find your door covered in deep gouges and burn marks, and your apprentice has gone missing. The more superstitious commoners have begun to avoid you, making the Sign against evil as they pass.

Admittedly, it does have the downside that every session has to end at a stopping point, but on the whole, I feel like it should do wonders for improving the flavor and pacing of my game, since I'm not fast enough or my players patient enough to produce or enjoy long paragraphs of description like that while sitting around the table. In weekly update format, though, I know they'll love it. I've talked to them about the idea and they're all in favor.

I just wanted your input, and also to throw it out there as something you might try.

2011-08-17, 12:17 AM
I've been doing this for 9 months now. It's nice to give people time to do stuff. It also allows me as DM to give people info that I only want them knowing so no OOC knowledge is brought in from other people. From what I've gathered my group likes it. I started with one person(my group consisted of mostly people who never played so i used one that had as a guinea pig) Though if a session doesn't stop at a stopping point then I would stop time. Though most of the time I have up to an hour extra time to make sure I find a good stopping point. This has been my two cents.

2011-08-17, 04:55 AM
I just wanted your input, and also to throw it out there as something you might try.

Currently I'm not DMing, but I did something similar in a Cyberpunk campaign. During the week I sent to my players fictional spam, commercials (of items they could buy, of course), news, rumors, personal messages from NPCs they knew and so on. And they in response mailed me saying what they characters would do with that. It worked with a sandbox game with just a loose plot on the background.

I liked it mostly because deepened the roleplaying. At the gaming table you have little time pursuing personal interests and forcing them into the game most of the times rob the spotlight from other players.

E.g., in one of my last session as a player my character tried to befriend Dr. Armitage (it's a Trail of Cthulhu game and my character is a law student). Unfortunately I had to play with just the DM, because the other players were uninterested in doing that. But with a system like the one you posted I could do that during the downtime between session.