[CFMS] Scale of Time

Yesterday I tackled issues that deal with the scale of size in the Chronica Feudalis Manor System. Today, let’s get into the issue of time.

How do you match the hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute urgency of adventure stories with the long time-frames needed to see results come from your manor? Ploughing and planting fields will take up a full season. Then it takes almost a year (from the autumn planting season) before those crops are ready to be harvested. Building something like a church could take a few years. Building a castle or a cathedral takes decades.

The solution here, if you really want to engage with the manor system, is to let the manor system frame your adventures (and fortunately games like Pendragon have paved the way for this option). You’ll start play using the manor system and end play using the manor system. In the meantime, you will have periodic and distinct adventures. What I mean by distinct is that no urgent plot threads are left dangling. Are you really going to let five more years go by if your spouse is still held hostage by your rival?

So, how can adventures be inspired by the manor system? Well, we talked about hardships the other day: these are temporary aspects that can be compelled whereby you turn whatever obstacle your people are facing into a problem to be solved. Also, the GM can always compel the lord’s aspects. To be a lord, you either have to be a noble (which implies some obligations that might be the impetus of a compel), be a knight loyal to a noble (which has its own compel-worthy obligations), or hold some high office in the clergy (which again is full of obligations).

But another source of inspiration is having a rival manor run by the GM. What happens when the rival needs a resource that the player manor has? Or vice versa? Are deals made? Are raids planned? Do the two factions go to war? Conflict breeds stories, and conflict on the manor level can instigate adventure after adventure.

  1. [CFMS] Scale of Play « JeremyKeller.com - pingback on November 26, 2009 at 10:54 am

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