034 Handling Time in Roleplaying Games

Listener email leads us to the topic of handling time in roleplaying games. Do you track time? How? Do you have it effect the aging of player characters? Lets talk about it.

Episode 34 Outline


Sponsored by DarkTheatre.net


Sean’s Forge Midwest experience.

Random Encounter – emails, voice mails, social media from listeners

Thank you serenity10101 for itunes review. If you have left a review for us and you’re not in the US, let us know!

Comment from guestbook

Hey guys! I just stumbled upon an episode of your show on YouTube when searching for videos about homebrew settings, and absolutely loved your episode on it! Now I just need to start from the bottom and work my way up.

Lookin’ forward to hearing more; keep up the good work.



G+ Post – Moe T. RE: Ep 032

Finally catching up on some podcasts. Just finished ep. 32.

Good as always.

As for why I haven’t played that one (or should that be one hundred) RPGs in my collection, it comes down to only one thing:


Either mine or other peoples. I currently have one RPG group, we meet every Monday. If everyone is there we play Warhammer 3rd Edition If someone can’t make it we play board games.

It’s been I think 6 months since we’ve played. Maybe longer. We never have a full group. It’s gotten so bad that we started a campaign of Imperial Assault with the four players who do usually make it.  We are having a great time playing that, so it’s not like we aren’t gaming or aren’t having fun but it would be nice to play some RPGs again.

Time is the thing that has me playing way more board games than any RPGs. I can get a group together to play a board game pretty much any night of the week. There’s no prep time and there’s no commitment. I just put a shout out “looking for X players for Y” game and I’ll get them. Pretty much anyone can commit to a couple hours here and there. The problem is finding someone who can show up week after week (or even month after month) for a regular game.

Comment from G+ RE: ep 32

aaron sugg

Listening to your espionage episode, Brett mentioned not being sure if he’d intentionally played espionage. It reminded me of a campaign I ran for my group during the final playtest pack of D&D Next.

We were playing in a custom setting that on the surface, appeared to be a very typical fantasy setting. I was also trying to be very sandboxy, so I used the character’s individual motivations to craft the beginning of the story, combining them with a few absolutes that I knew about my setting. It started with a young wizard stumbling across a mysterious addition to a book he was researching. It spoke cryptically of a golden relic of forbidden knowledge. The book was unable to be lent to him from his temple/school’s library, due to clerical error, and when he returned to find the book he found it was no longer in the library.

I’ll spare you the fine details, but the players found themselves unknowingly thrown into an espionage tale. They were on the tail of a rival group of elite guards from the central kingdom (powerful government syndicate), engaged with dangerous free-agents that stood in their way (rival super spies) including a vampire informant (who was forced to kill and turn the group’s paladin), stole powerful information from kingdom guards (con/heist), were caught and forced to pull a jail break and sneak out of town by making underground contacts, and finally one of their rivals came to their aid (double agent).

In the end, the location of the golden relic was close at hand… in the underground lair of a powerful, benevolent Flumph and his worshiping cult. They stood guard over the relic for centuries and the Flumph revealed the strange, gold disc and projected it’s information into the PC’s minds.

I walked over to my computer and hit play on itunes. “Greetings from the people of earth…” And the Voyager record played on. Campaign over.



Greyedout Productions. Buy a dicebag and use promo code GAMINGANDBS to receive 10% off your order.

Topic of Discussion Time in RPGs

Brad Hazzard sent us the following email:

Hey Fellas,

How do you handle time in your games?  Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, etc. How does your PCs age?

Most D&D games assume PCs are young, early to mid 20s but by the end of an adventure campaign at 20th lvl, they are ready to retire from life on the edge. How about when they have only so long to accomplish a task or prevent something from corrupting their world? How about effects like spells, and rest, etc?

This can get monotonous and tedious when determining spell timing, just like encumbrance. Players get offended real fast when you get so close to control of their character.

Travel is really an enormous time evolved process back in the day. Traveling more than 20 miles a day on a weeks journey is huge. Not to mention life changing. A 500+ mile journey would not even be considered by most let alone unchartered, untraveled, unguided romps through, swamps and back country.

How do you decide when time really matters without being inconsistent to the rules or true to life?

Time is so important but rarely used to enhance the feel of the game  outside of anticipation, hesitation and revelation.

Die Roll – 2-4 miscellaneous points of gaming or geekery we want to share with you.


  1. The Last Witch Hunter (Vin Diesel) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQaYwtJTIhk
  2. Dragon+ from WotC http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/news/dragonplus
  3. My youngest son almost kicked my ass at The Duke


  1. Man looks to 3d print all monsters in 5e monster manual and has his plans available for download http://toybox.io9.com/one-man-is-3d-printing-models-of-every-creature-in-d-ds-1697740405
  2. 13th Age has its own organized play. http://pelgranepress.com/site/?p=12301 ,


About the Author
The 'S' of Gaming and BS podcast. Besides producing and hosting the show, Sean enjoys long walks on the beach, running rpg's, and killing player...characters.