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How does time work on Heroquests?


Scorus

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A question from one of my players as we prepare for their first heroquest: How does time work in the Before Time plane that they will be adventuring in? He is specifically interested in spell durations and how Extension would work, or if the spell is even possible.

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Time doesn't exist. The past, present and future can co-exist, run into each other and be exclusive. Multiple 'nows' can also exist. As a GM feel free to warp Spell durations as you see fit. Heroquests are bound by their myth and not another forces 

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1 hour ago, Scorus said:

How does time work in the Before Time plane that they will be adventuring in? He is specifically interested in spell durations and how Extension would work, or if the spell is even possible.

I play it as the following:

  • Generally, there is no Time, however, the events in your quest will occur in some "sequence" which becomes the variable timeframe of the quest.  There is no set duration, different places might have longer or shorter events, there may be no "time" going from one place to another but instead there is more of a "scene" shift.
  • Locally, within the context of a specific event, Time seems to flow as normal.  There's nothing faster or slower, no discontinuities (unless the Boggles are involved), and melee, spell casting, etc. all work as normal.
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48 minutes ago, Scorus said:

A question from one of my players as we prepare for their first heroquest: How does time work in the Before Time plane that they will be adventuring in? He is specifically interested in spell durations and how Extension would work, or if the spell is even possible.

We play that there is no time and no spell duration on HeroQuest. Players cast all of the spells before beginning the quest. BUT, casting spells once on the HeroQuest is discouraged as it attracts BAD to VERY BAD things which come to feed on the released magic points. 

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I am not totally clear on this topic

 

Imagine this example:

Hendrostos starts in Day0 (mundane) his heroquest initiation (like Argrath in prince of sartar)

One of the station is meeting the second son and obtain some knowledge(s).

Hendrostos learnt not only the Start Heart secret but some other like stormspeech, orlanth cult, ... some that others initiates will not, because they decide to continue the quest just after the Start Heart secret.

Let's say the "time" needed to learn these other knowledge is 2 seasons  if learned in the mundane world. What will happen ?

Will Hendrostos leave the heroquest on the same time than the others: Day1 (mundane) ? later ?

I

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My positions:

1. This only matters for Otherside heroquests.

2. While big-T Time doesn't exist within the Otherside, subjective time is going to feel much the same.

3. Time will pass in the mundane world, potentially a lot. Not sure how, or if it all, it maps to the time spent subjectively within the HeroQuest.

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20 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

Will Hendrostos leave the heroquest on the same time than the others: Day1 (mundane) ? later ?

Perhaps a day later.


As for spells, I'd say that any spell lasts for each whole scene of a heroquest, so no need for Extension.

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I play that time works normally on most HeroQuests, so normal rules apply.

On Other Side HeroQuests, i.e. those in GodTime, I play that a spell lasts for a Station, unless it is a spell that specifically affects multiple Stations, such as Path Watch.

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

Hendrostos learnt not only the Start Heart secret but some other like stormspeech, orlanth cult, ... some that others initiates will not, because they decide to continue the quest just after the Start Heart secret.

Let's say the "time" needed to learn these other knowledge is 2 seasons  if learned in the mundane world. What will happen ?

I treat these as abilities to be won or gifts to be gained.  There is no "training" time.  But, there are always tests - you don't gain these "for free". 

E.g. Hendrostos encounters a Thunder Brother.  They agree to a wrestling match, and each wagers a stake.  Hendrostos puts up his Dark Walk rune spell, the Thunder Brother wagers his Voice of the Storm ability.  If Hendrostos loses, his Dark Walk rune spell (probably visualized as the Sandals of Darkness) is taken by the Thunder Brother.  If he wins, he immediately gains the Voice of the Storm ability.  That could translate in several ways in the mundane world but one way would be Stormspeech at 100%.  No "training" involved.

Alternately, Hendrostos might be traveling along and encounter the Storm Herd.  He must first avoid getting trampled by them (e.g. Dodge roll vs. Trample attack - definitely an Opposed Roll).  Then he must run to catch up with them (e.g. his Movement Rune vs. their Movement Rune).  Then the Storm Herd leaps into the air, and he must leap and run in the Air with them (he could cast his Rune Magic Flight spell, or roll his Air Rune vs. their Air Rune, etc.).  At that point, if he's kept up, he can attempt a Listen roll vs. their Stormspeech.  If he succeeds with that he finds that he now understands Stormspeech at the Storm Herd's skill %.

And there are plenty of other approaches, but Time is irrelevant here. 

1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

Will Hendrostos leave the heroquest on the same time than the others: Day1 (mundane) ? later ?

It depends on what you, as the GM, wish.  Generally, I approach it by determining whether the adventurers 1) deviate from the known quest, which usually means they take on extra tasks that delay their return; or 2) fail in some tasks that result in delays in the quest, and translate to delays in the real world.

If Hendrostos decides to go running with the Storm Rams, then maybe in the real world at his temple, the onlookers see him running into the clouds above and watch as the clouds run swiftly to the east.  When Hendrostos comes out of the quest, he may find himself atop the Storm Mountains a week later than when he began the quest.

But, it does not have to have a delay.  He might simply appear out of the smoke from the ritual bonfire 10 minutes or 1 hour or 10 hours later.  It's what works for your scenario and the mythic (and mundane) stories.

 

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My default assumption: time goes from strictly chronological to narratological. Spells behave normally in the context of a focused scene that looks like chronological time (eg a detailed fight), but once you go outside of that, they start to stretch or squash. Magic might last for subjective hours, days, or weeks if it's connecting narration and appropriate to what the narration is covering. 

As for returning to normal time... when you do things properly and safely, it takes a sacramental quantity of time in the external world. 14 days to venture to the Underworld and return with the Grand Order, etc. If you messed up, you might end up like Rip van Winke or Urashima Tarou. Not that PCs would, but people they meet on the Otherside and rescue? Definitely a possibility.  

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44 minutes ago, Eff said:

As for returning to normal time... when you do things properly and safely, it takes a sacramental quantity of time in the external world. 14 days to venture to the Underworld and return with the Grand Order, etc. 

Yeah, we know the Short LBQ takes 14 days external time, right? Full LBQ takes a lot longer going by Argrath, I believe?

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My rule of thumb for heroquests is that the adventurers don’t know. If they think they know, they’re wrong. If someone tells them how it works, that’s not how it works. If they rely on what worked last time, it’s changed: You’re not in Kansas any more. Rules aren’t reliable.

This won’t suit everyone (some people demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty), but it works for me.

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There’s no Time in there. If you are following a well known and familiar path, you may return to the place you left after a reasonable time has elapsed. If you a trying an unfamiliar or broken myth, etc., you may return somewhere and sometime unpredictable. 
For example, I played a HeroQuest at a SydCon long ago where a party of 1st Age heroes went to revive a god and returned with the pseudo-cosmic egg. 😉

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21 hours ago, Scorus said:

A question from one of my players as we prepare for their first heroquest: How does time work in the Before Time plane that they will be adventuring in? He is specifically interested in spell durations and how Extension would work, or if the spell is even possible.

So you want to learn about Time.  That is learning about Gods, and that is God Learning.  But very well, Time is a god who was once a chaos horror.  If you seek to understand his secrets he will certainly drive you insane by acceding to your request in lavish detail.  Time is the god that nibbles at the world like a cosmic cancer.  Time is the creeping death of men and mountains.  Time knows all, sees all, eats all. 

You ask about how Time affects hero quests?  In the God Time, space is time, and you can step into the same river twice by rewinding the spool of the thread of your fate on the Cosmic Loom Matrix, but then you have to go forwards again in exactly the same path and repeat the same actions over and over again.  Can you cheat Time without breaking the Cosmic Compromise?  Some heroes have, but they engender terrible paradoxes that ultimately drive them mad, and destroy everything they hold dear in so doing.  Such is the hubris of God Learning.

As to extention, hero quests are generally measured in scenes/encounters, and every point of extension will allow a spell to last into the next scene, but not beyond it.  If the heroes have to travel a long way between scenes, because time is space, the extension spell will lapse under such circumstances.

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