Let’s Make a Date! | Gnome Stew

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1 of the challenges in developing and operating a campaign is maintaining track of dates. To do this, you have to have to generate a calendar that fits in with your campaign. Not each planet will have a 24-hour day or 365 days in a year but it is vital to make these options somewhat early in your campaign. Not only does a calendar assistance track any seasonal modifications (if any) but it will help you in developing your living planet.

What use is a calendar?

The calendar assists the game master in a quantity of vital strategies. It encourages proactive pondering about your campaign setting. Are there holy days that have to have to be accounted for? Are there civic (or other) events that happen on a standard day? Is there a popular day of rest – religious or otherwise? Are there “truce days” when fighting is forbidden?

This also aids with the activity of character ageing, as pointed out in the Gnome Stew post “Character Birthdays and Sophisticated Ageing” by J.T. Evans, due to the fact it enables the game master (or the players) to opt for a “birthday” for the characters. Creating a calendar can also be a constructive “Session Zero” activity.

A calendar can assistance establish some basic guidance to present context for your campaign setting. For instance, the old Roman or Julian calendar (on which our existing calendar is commonly-primarily based) had market place days set each nine days and specific days every single month have been thought of fortunate or unlucky (but not Friday the 13th). The ancient Greeks divided the year into 10 months. There might be diverse calendars by race (Tolkien wrote that the Elven “long year”, for instance, is 144 human years), religion or area.

If you are operating a space-primarily based campaign, exactly where there are worlds with diverse each day rotations and diverse orbits about their star, you could possibly have to contemplate the regional calendar as effectively as the “Interstellar Standard” (if any).

Customize your Calendar

You can also determine the quantity of days in a week or month, or dispense with the notion of weeks and months totally.

 You determine the quantity of days in a week or a month, or dispense with weeks and months totally. 

In my personal campaign, I have decided to generate a calendar of 364 days. I divided the year into 4 quarters (Spring, Summer season, Fall and Winter) of 90 days every single with a separate day amongst these quarters for the equinox or solstice, which is celebrated in diverse strategies about my planet. There are a selection of web websites that present diverse names for the months, such as these designed by Tolkien or utilised in other components of our planet.

In ancient Rome, the numbering of years began with the founding of the city 753 years BCE. In mediaeval instances, the years of reign by a sitting monarch (the third year of Type Edward, for instance) was utilised to date edicts, contracts and so on, which created calculating the general passage of years complicated.

It might be that, as in George R. R. Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice, your planet has irregular seasonal modifications. An annual calendar is nonetheless expected, if only to regulate the collection of taxes, the dating of contracts and marking the passage of time.

Calendars reflect your living planet

If your planet does have seasonal modifications, a calendar assists the Game Master in how the seasons operate and the influence of these seasons on each day climate. As in components of our planet, there might be only two seasons (rainy season and dry season), or diverse seasonal variations, such as a 3-season Mediterranean/California-variety climate. All of these would have a diverse influence on each day climate (or your each day climate manage for sophisticated sci-fi worlds).

Pondering about the calendar aids the Game Master in the act of planet-creation. It also assists in developing a far more immersive planet for the player characters. Do the characters have to have to prepare for winter? How does the climate influence the way characters dress? Plate mail, for instance, would be really uncomfortable in either higher summer time or deep winter. Would 3 days of rain influence the capability of massed troops to move? Would drought have implications for your adventuring celebration?

In any case, developing a calendar for your campaign (or planet) is a valuable tool. You have to have not have every little thing nailed down at the commence but it will help each the Game Master and the players in undertaking their forward-arranging. Make a date (or dates) nowadays!

 

This post is brought to you by our fantastic patron Jeromy French, supporting us given that November 2016! Thanks for assisting us maintain the stew fires going!

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