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The current phase of the Moon is slightly important in a werewolf game, how do you keep track of it in your game? this seems more problematic for me because I mostly haven't cared much about how much time has passed overall.

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It keeps somehow removing the radio collars, so we've moved to subcutaneous beacons implanted during a lunar catch-and-release. –  SevenSidedDie Aug 20 at 4:29
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Note that this question really doesn't need, nor benefit from, the system tag, as lunar tracking is important in a wide variety of games. –  aramis Aug 20 at 7:22
    
Don't you need to also care of the weather? For example if there are so much clouds in the sky that you can't see the full moon (might even be raining or snowing)... –  Epeedefeu Aug 20 at 8:46
    
@Epeedefeu afaik, that doesn't affect Werewolves in the forsaken, the ability to see Luna's face isn't that relevant, but your ability to change reflexively depends on your auspice an the current phase of the moon. –  xenoterracide Aug 20 at 12:57

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In the past, I used one of several methods for moon phases. I've almost always tracked time in play, at least to the day.

Method 1: Tide Table Books

I would pick up (usually for free) leftover out of date tide table booklets picked up at the end of fishing season. I then used that, despite being the wrong year, as the "official" tide and moon phases for that game.

I used this in my VTM games.

Method 2: Randomize.

I used a d8 to pick which phase it was in.
1: New (3 day)
2: Waxing crescent (4 day)
3: Waxing quarter (4 day)
4: Waxing gibbous (4 day)
5: Full (3 day)
6: Waning gibbous (4 day)
7: Waning quarter (4 Day)
8: Waning crescent (4 day)

I then rolled for day within each, using a d3 or d4 as appropriate. Note that this is actually just under half a day long. To correct that, on odd moons of the year, knock a day out of the new moon (for only 2 such days); on even moons, leave it at 3 days.

Note that this is a 30 day cycle. One can also use a d30.
Days Phase
01-03: New (3 day) 04-07: Waxing crescent (4 day)
08-11: Waxing quarter (4 day)
12-15: Waxing gibbous (4 day)
16-18: Full (3 day)
19-22: Waning gibbous (4 day)
23-26: Waning quarter (4 Day)
27-30: Waning crescent (4 day)

Method 3: Let the players pick at the start of the adventure

Sometimes, I'd just have players agree to what the lunar phase was. Then I went into the adventure.

Note that this was something I did running Dragonlance, so there were 3 moons to track... and I just advanced from there. I used a chart from the DragonLance Adventures hardback, and it was 20+ years ago...

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Method 4: If moon phase is relevant to some events in your story, simply pick what suits better to it. For instance, you may wan to start 3 days before a Full Moon congregation. –  Flamma Aug 20 at 7:45
    
Since one GM I play with constantly starts EVERY campaign with "You all are in the town of X for the festival of Y." If you do something like this, then just say that a certain day of the festival is the phase of the moon you want it to be. AKA Method 4 from @Flamma. –  Red_Shadow Aug 20 at 16:51
    
@flamma you need to turn that comment into a separate answer, since (1) I don't feel it's a valid answer, and (2) I don't use it, and (3) I won't use it, thus making it not a suitable addition to my answer. –  aramis Aug 20 at 17:39
    
It's ok, I tought it would be a good addition, but is not as good as a standalone answer. Maybe the answer could be completed with why you think that's a bad idea (or maybe not). –  Flamma Aug 20 at 18:34
    
Another thing now that I'm rereading your answer: why a 30 days lunar cycle instead of the real 28 days? Maybe the maths are simpler, but I see it as a unnecessary deviance from real world (specially in World of Darkness and other close to our world settings). –  Flamma Aug 20 at 18:37

One solution we used was to pick the date our campaign was set in and use a moon phase website (e.g., stardate.org) to keep track of what the phase was for any given day. As time passed in game, we could just look up the phase when we needed it.

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An I'm sure there must be tons of moon phase mobile apps. –  Flamma Aug 20 at 7:46

I GM'ed a game of Scion and one of the PCs had the power to watch a scene from aerial perspective IF the moon already rose. So I searched the web and finally found
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/moonrise.html
The only thing you have to do is keep track of the date.

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This is probably not suitable for the setting you play in, but for those who start a new campaign and make their setting for scratch, or play in a setting where this is possible (I'm sure the question title will attract some of them): make your calendar lunar based. That's what I do in my campaign: I take account of the date, it's not so difficult (how many days each session took and how much time passed between sessions; I have some notes for that). Originaly it was just a handy detail that new month = new moon, but soon the party got a werewolf henchman and it became important. Then two werewolf PCs joined the game and I'm extremely glad for this system.

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