Wednesday, 19 December 2018

16 month Calendar and other time keeping

I saw a youtube video about the Human Calculator, and his 13th month Calendar and I thought.. Hmm, I wonder If I've mentioned it in my blog? my Calendar that is..

16 Month Calendar

Earth has a strange calendar, You can google hundreds of articles and videos about it, how to calculate it, ways to fix it, etc etc. I do like the idea of the 13 month calendar and how people in power have crushed all attempts to have it through history.. makes you wonder.. 

So I looked at my world(s) and thought.. Hmm, How many days/weeks/months etc would I have..How would people measure it?

Earth has 4 seasons, hot, warm but getting colder, cold, and cold but getting warmer, depending on where you are in the world. Unless you could think of anything else in such a binary system, It'll stay.

Then there is the moon cycle. Travels around the world, gives you a sense of when things should happen next.. 4rd moon this year? must be time to plant crops, 7th moon, animals will begin to breed. So there's that to consider too.

Moon cycles were divided into four, to make the week, giving us 7 days a week, luckily, would be havoc if it was 27 day cycles, we'd have some messed up calendars.. maybe that's why many civilizations don't get space travel, their clocks are so confusing, their lives so disordered, they can't get anything done efficiently, and why should they, the universe is obviously not consistent, so why should we?

So, that's Earth.

The Coyn.

Well At first it was earth like, and later I thought.. that's wrong, because of many reasons. So I had to do some math, lots of math, and figure out all the angles.

A brief reminder: The Coyn is a flat, disc shaped world, it has a sun, smaller than the disc (for reasons) which rises and sets on the same side of the world, but moves around it, 1 full rotation of the sun is a year, and takes, now, 515 days. Actually its 515.25258.. but more on that later

There are many ways to divide up 515, not. You have 5 and 103. So would the civilisations choose 5 months of 103 days each, or 103 weeks of 5 days? 103 doesn't divide easy, so, yay!

So, Ancient Civilizations might have 5 seasons, areas that are usually cold, might have, "the Great cold" as a season.. Russian Winter! Then a season for getting warmer, but its still cold, getting warmer and its nice, getting colder but its still nice and getting colder but its already cold, each season is 103 days long? 

Does it have to? We have leap years, where we add in an extra day every 4 years, so why not leap months? Maybe as time went by, they looked at the 103 days and figured.. you know, we could break it up into 51 days x 2 and a spare day... or 25 days and 3 spare days, or 3 sets of 26 days and 1 set of 25 days. Then 25 days can break into 5 days each, since 5 seems to be a dominant number here..

Viola.. its got some logic, but is broken, so I gave it to the Orc Tribes in the mountains (since they'd be watching the sun and figuring this stuff out), but broken enough to be a little chaotic, unruly and cause fights. 

"Midsday, the 3rd week of Forthmonth of old winter, I was reminded by my mother that there would be no end of month day celebration as it is the end of old winter and the next day would be Firstmonth of wintergone, war is coming as does the sun"

Of course races with a bit more aesthetic, would be insistent on declaring some days as seperate celebratory days, and having a nice clean set of numbers to work with. Humans, arriving at the world, remembering their earth calendar would be putting together a 30/31 day a month calendar, resulting in 17 months, 12 with 30 days, 5 with 31 days. But an offshoot of people would try to force a 12 month calendar of 43 days each, with 1 less day each year, except leap years.. 

What about leap years?

So, Earth, has 365 days, but we also have .24, so every 4 years we add a day (leap year), but thats .25, so that little..01 means that every 100 years we don't have a leap year, BUT theres a teeny tiny bit, so if the 100 year is also divisible by 4, then it is a leap year, except a miniscule little leftover, we'll add a day in the year 4909.. got that?

So, If I allow for leap years, every 4 years you add a day, and every 40 years you add an extra day and every 160 years you don't add either of those extra days.. thats the .25258 part.. 

So now, our offshoot humans have 43 days a month for 12 months, for 1 year, and then the other 3 years, December has 42 days (better to have 1 less day of winter, than 1 less day of summer)

The Elves

The Elven Homeworld is an eight sided octohedron, six gigantic mountain ranges that seperate the eight lifestyles of the elves. The aesthetic of the number 8 permiates their existance, and relates to their innate usage of magic. They quickly recognised that the world was not right and have attempted many times to get it right by speeding up the sun, slowing down one of the moons, their long term impression is that once its 'back to normal' the internal machine of the world will start back up and set things right. Their clocks have 80 second minutes and 80 minute hours, broken into four 8 hour chunks of the day for 32 hours, so it stands to reason they're try to force their calendars to a 8, and then when they realised they couldn't, force the world to conform to their system.. 

The Dwarves

The Dwarves are based on a 4 and 6 structure, 24 hours, broken into 4 sets of 6, 60 minutes, 60 seconds. All very logical, so their calendar too tries to split into 24 months, but that makes 21 days per month.. not very 24 like.. but 21/4 gives 5 days a week (one for each finger on the hand) for 4 weeks, and a day off at the end of the month.. very dwarf like.. very agreeable. oh and 11 days at the end of the year for a festival.

Of course, this is all for the major civilisations, all the minor groups have their own, and their neighbors influence, and then it all gets messed up by the spire.

The Spire

In the middle of the Coyn is a gigantic spire of ice, at its base, its 100km wide, rises 60 something km high, above the clouds of the clouds of the cloud cities, The very nature of a gigantic structure, causing a shadow across the land for miles and miles, the sub being blotted out for days or even weeks, will affect the psychology of the people and the weather of the area.. As a result, a sub-section of the calendar might also come up.

In my Dark Moscow campaign, there was 10 days of utter darkness in the winter where the sun was behind the spire, it was called Deep Winter, and was not recorded on calendars at all, for fear that acknowledging it would bring out demons, vice versa, during summer, autumn and spring, a few days of extreme warmth from the reflected rays of extra sunlight, caused a Mid Spring Summer, a mid Autumn Summer and a Very Hot Summer for a few days, So for them, there were almost 8 types of weather, the equinox of winter and summer marked by days of extreme cold and heat.

In roleplay, this happens for a few sessions, players are reminded of the natural course of events that their characters are fully aware of, and the players are always fascinated by. Before, I might explain it each time, later I had hand-outs and now.. I can reference this blog.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

DD12 Cataclyzm Playtest Diary

I've been playtesting Cataclyzm to get a feel for how the game flows well, as its not a traditional roleplay and has moments where even I as GM get fazed and left wondering if I'm making a fun game or forcing an idea. So I decided to blog my thoughts..

DD12 Cataclyzm Playtest Diary #1

Related image
A Typical Afternoon in Cataclyzm.
Cataclyzm has alot of great ideas, but alot of crummy ones too, so I've decided to play test them out, and see what works and what sucks.

First Characteristics: Most games start with long sessions to create characters, but the draw back is, long character creation = far less desire for players to lose their character. Also, rolling vs choosing, both have their draw backs, but what about situational voting?

So what we do in Cataclyzm is give the group the choice.. Here is the situation.. who is going to volunteer to solve it, why are you volunteering, because you're the best at it, group votes if they should be "the best" or "just good", if they are "the best" they should also choose something their 'not so good at' to balance..

i.e. The Players awoke in darkness, tore the membrane/cloth that covered their face and looked around, the first thing they saw was some insane crossbred horse/turtle with a mouth of teeth. The first to get up and go towards it, would likely be the most courageous, the group votes him "most" courageous, a 21 is assigned as his courage score, and he steps forward to the beast.

As play progresses, We discover who our archer/ranger is because one of them decides he wants to throw a rock, and he wants to be good at it. We discover who our warriors are, because the grab rocks and start stabbing at the thing, one is a fast warrior, the other strong.. again, because the group voted yes to each of them being 'good' at it.

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Imagine its dark, that head is twice as large and 7 ft tall!
When One of the group got bitten, the question was.. Do you have enough health to survive this? why? do you have any skills that might mitigate this situation?

As the turtles neck spun around in his direction, our warrior quickly turned his body away at an angle, the bite was harsh, but escaped being deadly as his bones halted the crushing jaws of the beast, just long enough for him to pull free.. a gaping wound, but one that could be survived.

Of course, We can't all be heroes in all ways possible. eventually most players had 3 defining stats of 21, 19 and 17, with 3 counter stats of 4, 5 and 6, while other players had more averaged 18, 16 and 14, with a 6, 7 and 8, the rest of the numbers were in the 10-11 range..

Play testing, I had allowed players to 'spend' the spare points to round out their characters, but they of course min-maxed a few stats, for the future I'll ensure the rule is 'average' out the remaining points.


At first I was all "Oh you can be anything you want, are you a medieval peasant, or a caveman or a guy from present day earth or someone from star wars or warhammer 40k", the caveat is, they have to take skills relevant to their character, not the situation.. Also, their characters all have amnesia to begin with, "who am I" so their skill list is empty.. the problem is, they take skills as they need them anyway, not skills that are character relevant, but situationally useless, I'm going to have to bring in some kind of lists and have them roll or something, players could later invent their own lists and hand them to the GM.. they know what skills they 'might' get, but not when they will 'remember', or they could even not remember anything and just learn their skills from the GM never really knowing who they are until weeks into the campaign.

Again, this is to get the game flowing fast, decisions in character creation slow people down, take away the choice and direct their agency into interpreting the situation, gives players creative freedom with creative barriers, often best used when you're not sure whats best.

As the character settled down for the night, lost as to their place in the universe, the pondered their existence. They chewed on their uncooked turtle-horse leg meat, tended their acid wounds, and kept watch.. for the endless night sky and vague silhouettes in the lichen-glow suggested any manner of nasties, ready to devour them.

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Ok, so lose the trees, the sunset, the glowing tents, pretty much all light.. so.. nothing like this photo.