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Tracking time and random encounters?

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:14 am
by RabidWookie
The DCC rule book doesn't really cover tracking time and introducing random encounters, which I've always found to be an important part of dungeon crawling to keep the players conscious of how long they're taking in a dangerous place. Is DCC not intended to track this, or is this one of those things we're supposed to add on ourselves?

Re: Tracking time and random encounters?

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:06 pm
by Zargon
If necessary I use a separate print-out to track time, and provide my players with torch and lantern cards, to track the amount of time remaining on the use of those items. For random encounters I decide a base chance, such as 1 in 6 on a d6 for every 10 minutes while underground, unless the characters perform in a manner which would likely change the odds of an encounter.

Re: Tracking time and random encounters?

Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:11 am
by GnomeBoy
RabidWookie wrote:-- or is this one of those things we're supposed to add on ourselves?
The beauty of the design is you can easily bolt-on any sub-systems you want to introduce.

Re: Tracking time and random encounters?

Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:06 am
by bighara

Re: Tracking time and random encounters?

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:01 pm
by RabidWookie
Was DCC not intended to track time as a way to speed up play/stay true to literature, or is time tracking one of those things like treasure that we're supposed to port over from other games?

Re: Tracking time and random encounters?

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:52 pm
by GnomeBoy
RabidWookie wrote:Was DCC not intended to track time as a way to speed up play/stay true to literature...
Seeing that, I'm suddenly unsure what it meant here by "tracking time"...

I usually think of it as just paying attention, and having torches run out (instead of burn for days), or make sure people either stop to eat and rest (or face the consequences).

How this speeds up the game (or not), or how it stays true (or not) to the literature, I'm uncertain.

Re: Tracking time and random encounters?

Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:08 pm
by RabidWookie
GnomeBoy wrote:
RabidWookie wrote:Was DCC not intended to track time as a way to speed up play/stay true to literature...
Seeing that, I'm suddenly unsure what it meant here by "tracking time"...

I usually think of it as just paying attention, and having torches run out (instead of burn for days), or make sure people either stop to eat and rest (or face the consequences).

How this speeds up the game (or not), or how it stays true (or not) to the literature, I'm uncertain.

That's what I mean, tracking turns and rounds for random encounters and supplies/torches running out. DCC makes no mention of this.

Re: Tracking time and random encounters?

Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:45 am
by bighara
DCC doesn't seem to be as detailed about resource management as games like D&D/LL, but part of that –I assume– is deliberate to leave things up to individual GMs. The note about tracking encumbrance seems to follow this vein.
A character who carries too much weight is slowed down. Use common sense. Players must explain how they are carrying their equipment: which hand holds which weapon, which sack or backpack contains which objects, and so on.
If tracking each turn or round for things like torches is how you want to run your game, then feel free to do so. I like PCs to need to worry about torches or rations running out because I feel that those sorts of considerations should matter. That's why I created teh Turntracker for my BX/LL games. Not every GM wants to sweat the book-keeping, though.

Re: Tracking time and random encounters?

Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:48 am
by Stretch
Time Keeping is mentioned on page 76 of the main book. The basics - a round is 10 seconds. Exploration outside of combat is in turns. Each turn is approximately 10 minutes. All combats are rounded up to 1 turn, with additional time spent mending wounds, repairing armor, praying to the Gods to grant you your next spell request, etc.

As to when to roll for random monsters, torches, etc. I don't recall any place it is mentioned but you can take any old school way of doing it and adapt it over. There is nothing magical to the DCC system that prevents that. The Time tracker linked above is a good resource to keep track of time at the table. Or you can just wing it.

I personally am not a fan of making monster checks by a rote procedure. Every ten minutes make em roll, that just gets tedious to me. So I let the mood of the table determine how often I check. Land travel over three days will most likely get one check and if failed will get an encounter sometime during those days. If the area is particularly dangerous I will do more but often I want the players to drive the story and rolling a check three times a day and three times a night for several days really just feels like rolling until you fail. I would rather a planned encounter occur then have to go through all that. But I am an older gamer and time is always a constraint so I look at it a little different than I did when I was younger.

So short answer....do it however you want. It's not going to be wrong.

And one last thing, I don't make them roll checks on just a d6. As a player I hate failing a check and knowing I failed a check and having to pretend I'm not on edge just because I know how the die came out. So I write down on my pad what die I am consulting (the d7) and then I make them roll a d6, d7 and d8. Unless we get all ones (and I might take that as a sign to toughen up the encounter) then they will not know which one failed. Alternatively sometimes I will just set a DC for the area and have them make a luck check. Since they don't know the DC they won't know they failed it until something happens. Again, ones will alert themselves to this, but it does it's best to obfuscate and keep them guessing.

Re: Tracking time and random encounters?

Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:06 am
by RabidWookie
bighara wrote:DCC doesn't seem to be as detailed about resource management as games like D&D/LL, but part of that –I assume– is deliberate to leave things up to individual GMs. The note about tracking encumbrance seems to follow this vein.
A character who carries too much weight is slowed down. Use common sense. Players must explain how they are carrying their equipment: which hand holds which weapon, which sack or backpack contains which objects, and so on.
If tracking each turn or round for things like torches is how you want to run your game, then feel free to do so. I like PCs to need to worry about torches or rations running out because I feel that those sorts of considerations should matter. That's why I created teh Turntracker for my BX/LL games. Not every GM wants to sweat the book-keeping, though.
The problem with the encumbrance rule is that the book doesn't list the weight of anything!

Re: Tracking time and random encounters?

Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:19 am
by Stretch
RabidWookie wrote:
bighara wrote:DCC doesn't seem to be as detailed about resource management as games like D&D/LL, but part of that –I assume– is deliberate to leave things up to individual GMs. The note about tracking encumbrance seems to follow this vein.
A character who carries too much weight is slowed down. Use common sense. Players must explain how they are carrying their equipment: which hand holds which weapon, which sack or backpack contains which objects, and so on.
If tracking each turn or round for things like torches is how you want to run your game, then feel free to do so. I like PCs to need to worry about torches or rations running out because I feel that those sorts of considerations should matter. That's why I created teh Turntracker for my BX/LL games. Not every GM wants to sweat the book-keeping, though.
The problem with the encumbrance rule is that the book doesn't list the weight of anything!
Almost every game you have has a book that has weight listed. A spear isn't going to change from this system to the next. Nor a sword. Throw a weight to it and go with it. Or don't depending on how you want to handle encumbrance. You have to think of this system as being very DIY. The basics are there and it's up to you to add the fiddly bits. Or not.

Re: Tracking time and random encounters?

Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:17 am
by GnomeBoy
Stretch wrote:...sometimes I will just set a DC for the area and have them make a luck check. Since they don't know the DC they won't know they failed it until something happens....
That's a golden use of Luck, right there.

And I like how easy it is to make different areas different.