Tuesday, October 3, 2017

AS&SH Google Drive Calendar

I love campaign calendars.  The more detailed, the better.  AS&SH has a pretty unique calendar, with a 13 month, 13 year cycle with seasons spanning years and daylight ranging from complete darkness to total illumination at the extremes of the cycle.  If you're tracking weather as well, the Appendix B has a table for seasonal modifiers based on the year.  Festivals and moon cycles are also noted on the calendar.  With dual moons having very different patterns, you get the occasional night with both moons full, which begs for adventures in lycanthropy and witchcraft.
Gary Gygax wrote in the 1st edition Dungeon Master's Guide that you cannot have a meaningful campaign without keeping strict records of time.  This is obvious when you're in a dungeon where the players can turn over every stone if you aren't tracking time and checking for wandering monsters.  Outside of the dungeon time often gets abstracted in a way that ends up hurting the game.  Managing down time activities and traveling between locales becomes less meaningful without the pressures of time, and players cannot be expected to weigh their options if those time pressures get handwaved away.
The more I run games the more the importance of a good calendar becomes self-evident.  I prefer a spreadsheet to a pdf so that I may store notes on it as I go.  I can also roll up the weather for a couple weeks ahead and have that ready to go so that I don't have to choose between slowing down the gameplay or losing out on an important aspect over wilderness adventuring.  I recreated the AS&SH calendar in Google Drive for this purpose.  Hopefully others can get some use out of it as well.

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