When we talk about good adventures (and heck, even good characters), we often refer to “resource management.” A good “difficult” encounter forces players to expend many of their resources in the form of spells, potions, hit points, gold, and other “tricks” that don’t renew until a long rest (think Bardic Inspiration or Rage). A good group of characters makes optimum use of their resources, possibly saving that big trick for later, instead of just using it at the first opportunity.
I think we can all agree that, in that list of “resources” characters have, time should be included. The problem with time as a resource is that time is sort of abstract, especially in an RPG. Much like weather and seasons, there is often no tracking of time within the game unless there is a compelling reason to do so. By and large, I think that’s a good thing. Often time of day is a bit of minutiae that is ok to forget about. But other times, we need something concrete for players to help them visualize the amount of time they have available to them in order to complete a task. Otherwise, you have the problem of the “five minute workday.” Continue reading