Skipping in game time question.

  • 3 Replies
Skipping in game time question.
« on: November 15, 2016, 02:49:51 AM »
This is a general GM'ing problem for me, but it feels more acute when I MC Apocalypse World.

How do I pass time in the fictional universe without making my players feel as if I take important time from them where they can act on their motivations?

 In my experience the action is always ongoing, with no situation where I could skip hours or days of in-game time.

Re: Skipping in game time question.
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2016, 04:41:25 AM »
Personally, I skip in game time between sessions mostly, or if one of them picks up a task that's going to take a while then I just skip to the conclusion hours/days/weeks later. If you find that there's no opportunities to do that, don't worry about it. It's not an essential part of the system and it doesn't suffer without it. My most recent game had the first 3 sessions take place over a day and a half.
The only reason the MC's guide tells you to do it is so you don't feel compelled to roleplay a 2 hour long chase across the burn flats when you can just say "So you reach the far side a couple hours later"

If you're worried about your players feeling like they can't act on their motivations, then the easy way to prevent that is to ask them what they want to do off camera during the time skip and come back in during the exciting part. If one of them wants to track down Millions, the hermit, then they can do the hours of searching the ruins during the skip and you come back in when they find his mobile shack, riddled with bullets and bloodstains. I wonder what happened there? Maybe Doghead might know? Okay so another few hours later you find Doghead...

tl;dr Use the time skips to cut the boring parts of what your players want to do, if you don't have any boring parts to skip then don't don't worry about forcing it to happen.

Re: Skipping in game time question.
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2016, 02:46:09 PM »
What Dabrainbox said above but also, anyone with a workspace will be looking for regular downtime. They need time to work on a project. 2nd Ed is much more explicit about assuming that time passes between sessions. As you go on, you'll probably be able to get a feel for how to time your sessions to end at a good point for fast forwarding. In other games, I'd often time my session end on a cliffhanger to keep everyone excited for next week. You could do that, too but it would require a little modification. Each session would have to wrap the previous one's cliffhanger, then go to beginning of session moves and "ok, so it's been about a month since you guys put down the raiders. What have you been doing?"

Or you can skip the cliffhanger, try to get things resolved by the end of session then just do steps two and three.

Or you can just go whole hog. "It's been about a month since last session. Everyone did their moves and spent their barter on lifestyle? Good. Dandruff, Style, you're pinned down out in the ash wastes. Who's attacking you and why?" They'll tie it back to the things they wanted to work on for you.



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Re: Skipping in game time question.
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2016, 01:00:32 AM »
My approach is to let 'em do stuff in downtime that they don't want to deal with in the live game, kind of like a miniature version of Winter in Pendragon. If the Gunlugger wants a new funky gun from the Savvyhead, or the Cardholder wants to build a new wall around the compound, jumping ahead lets them get stuff done.  Plus relationship stuff, if somebody made a Seduce roll in the previous session, downtime lets you figure out if they're now shacking up or not. Also, give them a chance at getting some cool stuff in love letters to the PC's, players love that.