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26

As Marshall said, you need to find out why John takes so long to choose an action. There are several possible reasons, and each calls for slightly different handling. 1. John is nervous, shy, or otherwise has trouble speaking unless prompted. In this case, the best thing you can do is to have a set of verbal prompts to help him convey his actions quickly. ...


20

In Pathfinder, you take actions on your turn. Normally, everyone gets a turn in each round. So in a one-on-one situation, you will take a turn, and your opponent will take a turn, and both together make up a single round. You will get ten turns before the spell expires, one in each round. You’d get the same ten turns in the ten-man brawl; everyone gets one ...


17

Game time calendar Our group solves the exact problem you are describing using a game time calendar. This is essentially exactly what it sounds like: a table listing dates in a column, with checkboxes next to them on which we can mark the passing of days. We also left some space for short notes. We used this extensively in a very long sandbox like fantasy ...


13

You don't have to spend much time at all in order to make travel matter. Two major ways: Yes, use the random monsters. They represent a pressure that means the PCs must always consider the danger of the places they travel through, and prepare for it (or not, and occasionally suffer for it). They can also be springboards for new, unplanned adventures, which ...


9

Counters are a really useful tool. You give each player a (for example) red counter per ration they have, or other limited resource they need to spend every set amount of time. The DM gets 23 black counters that are each 1 hour, 5 blue counters that are each 10 mins, 9 green counters that are 1 minute each, and so on. Then when time passes you move a counter ...


8

Gantt Charts I've been spending a lot of time solving the problem of "what ELSE is happening?", and settled on the Gantt chart method. I can map out what is happening in parallel timeframes, dependencies, sequences, and triggers. During the game, I get access to the master chart (PDF copy, for instance) and simply make manual updates in pencil mid-game. ...


8

To add to fgysin's answer, if your campaign takes place over longer scales, with travel taking e.g. weeks, quad paper becomes useful: In this case you'd use either a separate sheet, the other side of the paper or the right half for notes. Cross over days that go past with nothing significant happening, but use a number for notes if something is important: ...


8

The problem with introducing a real world timer, in my opinion, is that the characters most likely know more about how to handle such situations than the your players do (well, unless your players are professional negotiators and/or SWAT people.) In my experience it's quite natural for players to discuss strategy and tactics, especially in critical ...


8

Yes, I do this kind of thing all the time in my supers games. I usually go with the first option; decide how long they have, then convert that into a game-measurable limit (the system I use calls them "panels"), but then if my players start getting bogged down in tactics I cut them off and say "Uh, guys? Clock's ticking, here." It helps that they rarely ...


7

Different flows of time can effectively happen in your D&D game, across a portal between two planes or across the surface of a Planar Shepard character's bubble. What really happens at the boundary is never specified by the rules. The most common interpretation you can find on forums is that a creature can either be at one side or the other, because ...


6

Presuming a single "canonical" timeline, with alterations to that timeline always having had been true, the language you're looking for can be found in the Continuum role playing game. You can get a sample glossary, sans philosophy, at the Continuum glossary. Of particular import are the concepts of "up/down." and "age/yet". Therefore, "Down [in the ...


6

Addressing this as a "What should I do?" instead of as "round limit or real-time limit", I think you might be looking at this the wrong way. Consider what SWAT teams (and other such organizations) do during a hostage situation. The essential problem with hostage situations is that its assumed that under ordinary breach circumstances the hostage takers (HTs) ...


5

This may seem counterintuitive, but one thing I did that was both simple and efficient was to avoid getting too detailed about it when detail didn't really matter. If the scenario doesn't demand meticulous tracking of time, a ballpark figure will often work quite well and will save time and effort that you can put into more interesting parts of the game. ...


4

You need to go back and read the basic rules in The Combat Round and Actions In Combat. How time and actions work in Pathfinder isn't simple enough to fully explain in a RPG.SE answer. The key is to divorce talk of "actions" - specific things your character does - from "rounds" and "turns." You can take multiple actions on your turn (like a standard and a ...


4

There are a number of disciplines that use timelines, not just RPGs. As a result, there are a number of tools for tracking them. While I was already aware of Aeon Timeline, it is OSX-only as well as commercial software. While we are used to investing in our hobby, I thought I should see if I could find some more options. This blog post brought a number of ...


4

Don't let him think so long The suggestions to figure out why he is taking so long are absolutely great; there might be some underlying problem (my money is on analysis paralysis, possibly combined with distracedness). But personally I'm also of the opinion that you simply shouldn't let him take that much time. If he doesn't do anything, his character ...


4

If it is an issue for you and the other players, you certainly can introduce a mechanic to force the players to play on a certain time constraint. He is impersonating a character under pressure, it might be positive for role-play to feel the pressure himself. When players take too long to act, or I feel they are stalling, I usually give them in-game clues ...


3

I'd try to learn what makes him take that long. Is he introverted or not enough self confident? If so, I wouldn't bet pressing on him will do any better. I'd encourage him to speak out what alternatives he might be considering and help him make a decision. But, if you know he's just considering the billion possible outcomes, I'd first try something like ...


3

Talk to the DM The limits of what other tasks can be undertaken while crafting mundane items is unstated, therefore dependent on the DM. Guidance for the DM's house rules, however, can be gleaned from the magic items crafting rules here: The creator also needs a fairly quiet, comfortable, and well-lit place in which to work. Any place suitable for ...


3

I once had a similar issue, and I used an egg timer. It had the desired effect, and I was able to disguise it. I don't think the problem player even had a clue that s/he was the reason for the timer being inmplementd. I presented it to the players as a tool to make combat more realistic. Since each round was 6 seconds long in the system we were using, I ...


3

My brother has a very similar issue, and in trying to get him involved in games, we've had to come up with strategies to help him respond faster. While I will try to keep this system agnostic, some of these will work better in certain systems, or rely on certain features of systems. Take what will work for your table. Note: My brother's main reason for such ...


3

Use time Wilderness is anything but static. As hours pass, the sun continues its course. Some creatures go to sleep, others awaken. The sounds change. The air chills or heats, wind picks up. Nightfall makes travel different (Will they stop to camp ? Continue with torches or lanterns and risk attracting beasts ?). Also consider fatigue. "Realistically", not ...


3

There is also some question of how the journey itself proceeds. Are the characters traveling to this dungeon for the first time? Are they journeying overland or is there a road to the destination? If there isn't an established route to the dungeon, then make the party actually navigate through the wilderness. Maybe they get lost. Maybe instead of walking up ...


3

Travel time can be hard to make interesting. I'd say that you have two basic options: fill it with interim encounters or simply narrate the travel. Encounters on the road: the party could run a bunch into monsters like you mentioned. This is of course a valid option and a decent opportunity if you need filler combat, but remember that encounters don't ...


2

How I've always handled it: New player--you help them out. Experienced player--when it's their turn I expect an action or else a request for clarification of the situation. After answering a clarification I'll give them a little time to think. If they don't say what they're going to do in a few seconds they're delaying (including the change to the ...


2

From your description, it sounds like John is a new player since he doesn't know the possible consequences of his actions. If so, in addition to the above suggestions, I would speak to him outside of the game to see if you can help him. Maybe give him a tutorial about the game and possible consequences of actions (e.g., firing into melee or attacking a ...


1

I find one simple techneque, that alone is not enough to solve all your problems, but may be getting the "Low Hanging Fruits" is: Keep a file in a common group accessible place. I like facebook, but there are plenty of others In this file write down: A session title Eg "A Unexpected Guest" This acts to jog your and everyone elses memory Player XP ...


1

Why not both? I'd go with a hybrid of your two ideas for this scenario. The PCs only have so many rounds to complete their mission. The players are only allowed so many minutes per round to discuss strategy. This way you still get the sense of immediacy that you are looking for in game, while also preventing the game from getting too bogged down. ...



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