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How do I avoid a bunch of high-level teenagers?


Advice

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I just came to the realization the other day that at the pace my campaign is going the PCs in-game ages will not advance at anywhere near the rate they're going to gain levels. So I need to introduce some downtime into the game so their characters can age but that presents a problem: What do the PCs do during their downtime? Or more to the point, how do I convincingly contrive of situations in which the PCs actually take downtime instead of going off to adventure?


What are the PC's motivations? Assuming they are not all insane, they want something more from life than nearly getting killed/eaten/turned undead every day.

Your answer with "what do my PC's do when I'm not throwing scenarios at them" really has to start with the players.


You can always force downtime. Establish your campaign as a series of adventures in a world rather than just one long singular campaign (which is why I don't do canned adventures.)

i.e. After slaying the evil monster your have 6 months to spend your riches/level/train etc. This gives those who took item creation feats time to use their feats, wizards to learn spells, establish followers, etc too.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Chobemaster wrote:

What are the PC's motivations? Assuming they are not all insane, they want something more from life than nearly getting killed/eaten/turned undead every day.

Your answer with "what do my PC's do when I'm not throwing scenarios at them" really has to start with the players.

Hmmm... Well, right now the PCs are performing some tasks for the local baron in exchange for him going against a royal decree by sending a regiment of troops to defend a village [three of the PCs are from] from a goblin threat. The other three PCs are just tagging along, although one of them has his own mission that he's been assigned by his clan. So I think motivations are still being established at this point.


I normally add in a couple months of down time between each 'mission' to allow for crafting or backstory. I about to start running a followup game which takes place 3 years after the original. This allows me to pace a passage of time, but also for events to unfold in the world around them that the party must react too.

I call my downtime R&R, but being that my PC's are merc's it makes sense for them to take time to spend their riches or relax following adventure. Also I use this time as mourning should a fellow PC die.


In rules terms, you could try using the slow advancement track. Or you could build a custom experience track that takes more XP at the higher end. This would limit the amount of downtime you need, but could cause issues if you're running an AP.

Sovereign Court

You can put the PC on goverment seats after they rescue the village. e.g. a local wizard, governor, captain of the guard and head priest. PCs can grow attached to their new community and will have more reasons to defend it especially if some of them have families there. If you want to move your campaign a little bit sometimes opening a business can lead to a big downtime.


This sort of pacing needs to planned for before the game begins. If you slap it in later, it'll feel odd that it now takes years to accomplish what once took days.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
HappyDaze wrote:
This sort of pacing needs to planned for before the game begins. If you slap it in later, it'll feel odd that it now takes years to accomplish what once took days.

Which is why I'm trying to nip it in the bud now. I've only held two sessions and the PCs are level 2, so I'm trying to account for how I'm going to integrate some downtime into the campaign now so it goes with the flow of the campaign instead of being forced. At first I was really concerned because the backdrop of my campaign is a war amongst several of the northern kingdoms that I intend the PCs to eventually get involved and become major players; I was concerned because I forsaw many of those scenarios to be time-sensitive but I can probably stretch them out without issue. So I've just got to figure out the best times in the campaign in which to insert downtime periods.


I think you could do it once or twice, and just be honest OOC as to why. Too long of too often will feel artificial, unless your game is, as Grandmikus stated, about citybuilding.

On a slightly related note: I've never played in an 'All Teenage Party' before. Every group I played with considered age as fluff.
Which makes for nice incentives for roleplay in my opinion: my character is in his 30's and is travelling with an 18-year old, who has come to see him as the father he never had. Beautiful roleplay, that I would have missed if the campaign had just been Teens Gone Wild.
Is this uncommon?


Not just what they are currently doing, but what are the life-goals of the PCs? It could be governing/defending this village, for sure, but that may not be it, it's a question you may need to pose to the players. Ideally, from a role-playing perspective, the players have already thought about why they entered PC classes, why they are adventuring at all rather than staying at their temple/lord's keep/army garrison/master's tower/guild/druid circle/pirate ship/whatever, and what they hope to get out of it.

Even if you throw in 6 month "fast forwards" here-and-there, you aren't really going to meaningfully change their age brackets. You can, of course, insert a 5 year "fast forward" if you want, similar to what's done in Dragon Age 2, if you've seen that. You need to discuss w/ the players first, though, because you're nerfing their free will for 5 years.

A war background scenario can easily call for fast pace, if you're considering modern warfare where huge nation-states keep throwing men and material into the conflict. But it could also be similar to the Saxon-Dane wars or the Hundred Years' war...a few battles, someone loses the advantage and withdraws to nurse wounds, one side or the other builds up "excess" men again and sees an advantage, so he attacks again after an alliance shifts or a king dies.

Then the PC's "answer the call" as the conflicts flare up, then otherwise are running their village, training the king's army, drinking on the beach, or whatever they want to be doing.


I hear you, OP. In my homebrew campaign the PC's went from level 1 to 9 in the in-game span of 3 months' time. They went from veritable nobodies to being some of the more powerful individuals in the River Kingdoms. But that's why they're at the center of the story we're telling I guess.

My game is on hiatus while we play Carrion Crown at present, but I think we'll see similar situations arise when playing the AP. I don't know the span of time the AP covers (and no spoilers, please), but I can't imagine it takes up more than 1 calendar year. If it tops out around 15th level then we will have risen through the ranks very quickly indeed.

What does that mean in the end? It totally depends on the campaign. For us, we will become (presumably) legendary heroes of Ustalav who will go on in the following years to do even more grand and heroic deeds. While our rise may be quick, our legends and exploits will continue on into the indeterminate future.

Sovereign Court

One thing to note. You have to remember about the age bonuses and penalties. Epic for spellcasters but a drag for militant classes although a great RP experiance to roleplay aching back.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dosgamer wrote:


My game is on hiatus while we play Carrion Crown at present, but I think we'll see similar situations arise when playing the AP. I don't know the span of time the AP covers (and no spoilers, please), but I can't imagine it takes up more than 1 calendar year. If it tops out around 15th level then we will have risen through the ranks very quickly indeed.

Book 1-3 timeframe with no plot spoilers

spoilery:

Spoiler:
Its between 45-60 days for books 1-3 depending on how you gauge travel time. This will see the party at level 8 or so.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Chobemaster wrote:
But it could also be similar to the Saxon-Dane wars or the Hundred Years' war...a few battles, someone loses the advantage and withdraws to nurse wounds, one side or the other builds up "excess" men again and sees an advantage, so he attacks again after an alliance shifts or a king dies.

I didn't plan for the war to stretch out for that length of time, but I can certainly make it feasible within the scope of my campaign to stretch it out over many years, which is what I think I'll end up doing. Since I haven't mentioned the war at all in my campaign except for a few comments by the local baron (even though the war is a direct catalyst to what's going on in the campaign right now). I'll just back the war's timeline up from the middle to the initial stages.

Dosgamer wrote:

I hear you, OP. In my homebrew campaign the PC's went from level 1 to 9 in the in-game span of 3 months' time. They went from veritable nobodies to being some of the more powerful individuals in the River Kingdoms. But that's why they're at the center of the story we're telling I guess.

My game is on hiatus while we play Carrion Crown at present, but I think we'll see similar situations arise when playing the AP. I don't know the span of time the AP covers (and no spoilers, please), but I can't imagine it takes up more than 1 calendar year. If it tops out around 15th level then we will have risen through the ranks very quickly indeed.

What does that mean in the end? It totally depends on the campaign. For us, we will become (presumably) legendary heroes of Ustalav who will go on in the following years to do even more grand and heroic deeds. While our rise may be quick, our legends and exploits will continue on into the indeterminate future.

Now that I think about it it's not the idea of a quick ascension to power that bothers me - look what Alexander the Great accomplished in the span of several years - but the age at which it's accomplished. Several of the PCs are still in their teens - the barbarian is 16, the witch 17, and the inqusitor 18 - and frankly it probably wouldn't be as big of deal to me if they were at least in their early to mid twenties. I just gotta figure out how to get them there before the campaign is over.


Grandmikus wrote:
One thing to note. You have to remember about the age bonuses and penalties. Epic for spellcasters but a drag for militant classes although a great RP experiance to roleplay aching back.

The thing is: you don't *have* to remember bonuses and penalties at all. You can just ignore them and see age as fluff. Then you can avoid having to play an all-teen party if that feels unnatural to you.


The rules for randomized starting ages result in teens to early twenties at most.

The middle age penalties for human start at 35.

Level 1 and older than normal usually indicates a more laid back pre-adventuring lifestyle, which then leads to needing even more back story to explain them into the life. Teenagers are expected to do stupid and risky things, and dedicated/psychotic/genius folk tend to get started young, so the standard starting ages are usually much easier to work with.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I don't really see a problem. The prime adventuring career is really that of the young. It's that time of life where you make your metoric ascend to the plateau you'll occupy in middle age.

Sovereign Court

LazarX wrote:
I don't really see a problem. The prime adventuring career is really that of the young. It's that time of life where you make your metoric ascend to the plateau you'll occupy in middle age.

Ezren would not agree with you. 40 year old 1st level Wizard at your service sir.

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You might consider the idea of training requirements for leveling. Maybe even every odd level, to keep consistant with what has happened so far.

A lot of milestones are hit at odd levels (new spell levels for non-spontaneous casters, feats, etc.) You could say that the even levels represent honing the skills taught during the training periods to a sharper point, and that to progress further, additional training is required.

You can keep this linear (the same amount of time for each training period), or ramp it up as the levels progress, indicating the increased difficulty of "advanced" skills.


Xexyz wrote:
I just came to the realization the other day that at the pace my campaign is going the PCs in-game ages will not advance at anywhere near the rate they're going to gain levels. So I need to introduce some downtime into the game so their characters can age but that presents a problem: What do the PCs do during their downtime? Or more to the point, how do I convincingly contrive of situations in which the PCs actually take downtime instead of going off to adventure?

When I make a game they will level. Levelling with be the result of weeks, months or years of training not a day of whacking Orcs.

They will have lives and go on adventures when needed rather than being the delightfully named "murder hobo's". :D

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Grandmikus wrote:
LazarX wrote:
I don't really see a problem. The prime adventuring career is really that of the young. It's that time of life where you make your metoric ascend to the plateau you'll occupy in middle age.
Ezren would not agree with you. 40 year old 1st level Wizard at your service sir.

He's the exception not the rule. By age 40, Einstein had made all the innovations he was ever going to make. Most of his best work was done during his 20's.... as a postal clerk.

One might also argue the point that for his age, Ezren is an underacheiver. Most other Wizards of his age would have established themselves and left the adventuring part of their careers behind them by now.


Well I for one require training time to attain higher levels. I haven't 100% decided exactly how long it will take (nor how much it will cost to hire a trainer), but that should serve to slow down level progression. Furthermore, winter time is by default downtime.

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Along the "training required every odd level" progressive requirement line I suggested above, you could make it "the level you're becoming in months"; to train to become 3rd level takes 3 months, 5th level takes 5 months, 7th level takes 7 months, etc.


Just be careful with the months/years of training requirements. Nothing wrong with it, if that's the game you want to run, but it does make it a lot harder to deal with any adventures/missions/quests that last longer than 1 level.

Jumping up 10+ levels in the course of a few months breaks suspension of disbelief, but so does taking a few months off from your quest to stop the BBEG from destroying the world.

Contributor

I don't see a problem with having high-level teenagers. It fits with a lot of the fantasy fiction and legendry--Merlin and Achilles were both kick-ass as young men. One went on to become the classic grey-bearded mentor, the other died a young death, but Merlin the old geezer was not significantly more powerful than Merlin the teen prodigy.

Add in the possibility of Reincarnation spells where the high level adventurers, whatever their age at death, will be coming back in new young bodies, you'll be finding a whole lot of high-level teens.


Only teenagers are foolhardy enough.


I have nothing against Powerteens either (must...not...respond...by...posting...Power...Ranger...intro...), but to me it seemed like the OP didn't like it all that much.
And as said, there are RP advantages to have more diversity in age within a party.


Mix event-based adventures in with your site-based adventures and have the events in question occur several months apart. Alternatively set the story arcs of your campaign a couple of years apart. Create situations where the PCs' actions with have an impact and then must wait to see the outcomes of those actions. If the group is okay with training time as a method of character development while leveling, use that with a standard of X days/weeks/months per level gained (season to taste with self teaching or being tutored by a mentor, though I would avoid charging a fee in most situations). Ask your group and see if they mind the rapid character progression, or if they have any idea that they would enjoy implementing to make downtime a more exiting proposition for them.


Cult of Vorg wrote:

The rules for randomized starting ages result in teens to early twenties at most.

The middle age penalties for human start at 35.

Level 1 and older than normal usually indicates a more laid back pre-adventuring lifestyle, which then leads to needing even more back story to explain them into the life. Teenagers are expected to do stupid and risky things, and dedicated/psychotic/genius folk tend to get started young, so the standard starting ages are usually much easier to work with.

Much of this also depends on what kind of game you want to run and what the characters are like. If the characters are "adventurers" who take on random not necessarily related adventuring jobs, then yes, a lot of these arguments apply.

If the characters are more regular people, if skilled and talented people, who get caught up in an adventure, even if it's a long and complex one, then there are more options for starting at different ages and possibly, depending on how the adventure is structured, long breaks between parts of it.

Modules tend to assume the first approach. APs and most fantasy fiction tend to take something more like the second. It's my preference as well. I've very rarely played characters who thought of themselves as "adventurers".

From what little the OP said, the setup of working for the local baron as the war heats up has good potential for a more drawn out approach. They go on "adventures" when the boss needs them to and tend to more mundane duties the rest of the time. As they grow more powerful they may work for more powerful lords or gain titles and lands of their own. The war will have hot and cold periods. Giving them mundane things to do in the downtime will help, if they're interested in that. Beyond crafting and such. Brainstorm with them to find out what they're interested in.


My wife's oracle in the CC AP is a 17-year-old human female. Chances are good she will reach 15th level before she turns 18 years old, making her one of the most powerful casters in the land at a ripe young age.

Then again, Harry Potter killed Voldemort when he was 17 (right?), so maybe there is a precedent there. *grin*


I agree with everything thejeff's posted except rarely playing "adventurers" and including APs as assuming non-adventurers.

The ones I've been involved with assume idle young adventurers being chartered by local government; any other concept took extra work.
They all have included the long chunks of downtime to age out the characters as they level, though, so that's been cool.


Cheat.

Show 'em a ghost.

Bam. Twentysomethings.

[I realize this doesn't actually address your issue, OP...]

On a more serious, considered note.

Have you considered providing each PC with a more-experienced, older mentor? Someone who can (a) handle training for levels, at least during low-level adventuring and (b) can provide a reasonable excuse for downtime?
"Come hike the Worldspine Mountains with me." (Ranger, druid, barbarian.)
"Help me organize my library." (Wizard, even sorcerer, possibly cleric.)
"Come see my training program for my new recruits." (Fighter, rogue.)
"I'm taking a pilgrimage to [x] holy temple, you should come along." (Paladin, cleric.) Etc., etc., et. al.

And, frankly, there isn't anything WRONG with handwaving the occasional downtime as "There really isn't much happening... you're a little bored, but the villagers are delighted you're hanging around during the Harvest Festival."


One thing to consider is the nature of your campaign world. Maybe adventuring challenges for high level adventurers are rare? If that is so, then you can introduce ever increasing amounts of down time as the party gets to higher levels and the opportunities for them to undertake level appropriate adventures get fewer and fewer.

However, I would suggest that you keep the time frame short enough that characters who depend heavily on their physical stats don't reach middle age too soon.


Give the PCs free magic item creation feats and access to lots of gold.

Seriously, most of my higher level PCs got there in a hurry. My level 14 illusionist in 2e was 18 years old. Was never a problem.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Give the PCs free magic item creation feats and access to lots of gold.

Seriously, most of my higher level PCs got there in a hurry. My level 14 illusionist in 2e was 18 years old. Was never a problem.

For some, this sort of thing damages the verisimilitude of the game world. It's like watching an action movie and finding out a colonel is only in his mid-20s.


HappyDaze wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Give the PCs free magic item creation feats and access to lots of gold.

Seriously, most of my higher level PCs got there in a hurry. My level 14 illusionist in 2e was 18 years old. Was never a problem.

For some, this sort of thing damages the verisimilitude of the game world. It's like watching an action movie and finding out a colonel is only in his mid-20s.

Heh, I'm usually the verisimilitude cop....

Here's the deal. If you look up history you'll find that virtually every genius in history did most of their most brilliant work well before they hit 30, and if you look up sports you'll find that virtually every athlete in history peaked in their mid-20s.

A bunch of middle-aged adventurers hobbling around with hip joint problems and menopause issues is a much worse verisimilitude problem for me.

In a world that actually ran according to PF rules, the world would be run by a bunch of super-powered 20 year olds. That's what it would be.

Star Voter 2013

In real life, people need a rest. After a week of beating up orcs, slogging through the wilderness, bending reality, eating dry trail food and muddy stream water, and otherwise having a lousy time, your PCs will want to take a couple of weeks off. Their wounds might be healed in a hp sense, but they'll still ache and itch. They'll need to get their clothes washed and mended. Heck, they'll need to get themselves washed.

Ale, whores, food. Festivals. Bad weather that makes the roads impassable. Flu. Romantic interludes that take up a bit of off-screen time and maybe build a bit of character backstory. Getting your horse shod and your armour polished. A sunny day at the beach. Arguments over tax. Spell research. Routine prayer and temple duties.

Slow down the availability of equipment. Yes, there is a +1 Frost Greatsword in that city, but it'll take a couple of weeks to find it and negotiate a decent price. Even if you make your own equipment, you need time to find the ingredients. You don't make a wand of CLW out of gold pieces, after all; you make it out of unicorn bone and comfrey flowers (or something). The alchemist is fresh out of unicorn and comfrey isn't in season until summer.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:


In a world that actually ran according to PF rules, the world would be run by a bunch of super-powered 20 year olds. That's what it would be.

The world would still be ruled by the middle-aged. They were the youngsters SMART enough to last that long. They last even longer by getting the super-teens to do their work for them.


LazarX wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:


In a world that actually ran according to PF rules, the world would be run by a bunch of super-powered 20 year olds. That's what it would be.

The world would still be ruled by the middle-aged. They were the youngsters SMART enough to last that long. They last even longer by getting the super-teens to do their work for them.

Heh, OK, but then the ones adventuring would be the teenies and tweenies...

I just don't see it as a problem. If you earn it, you earn it. Age doesn't matter.


LazarX wrote:
I don't really see a problem. The prime adventuring career is really that of the young. It's that time of life where you make your metoric ascend to the plateau you'll occupy in middle age.

Agreed. Many heroes of literature and mythology were young adults. Many Olympic athletes are in their teens.

Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Xexyz wrote:
So I've just got to figure out the best times in the campaign in which to insert downtime periods.

Since it seems you're running a "military" type of campaign (not in the sense that the PCs are members of an army, but in that militaries are important) Enforce realistic travel times and have the logistics of running a war on both sides do the job for you. Getting a thousand men, horses, supplies, and so on around the continent is a lot harder and more time consuming than doing it with a small number of adventurers. And make it so most armies aren't made up of "career soldiers" but farmers who have to return to their lands in time for harvest.

The end result is that, in practical terms, the campaign has huge downtime periods built right in. The war essentially starts up in late Spring, and ends late in summer just before the big harvesting seasons start. You can have some minor intrigues going on the other eight months of the year, but the action won't start up again in earnest until after the next melt.


Just fyi, Alexander the Great conquered more than half his world by the age of 19.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Institute training times. You know when the Wizard or Rogue or someone takes another skill point in Linguistics and gains a new language they do not just automatically learn a new language in seconds. Same goes for weapon specialization or many many other things in game, they are not automatic. The Wizard gets two free spells per level, he stills need to hunt down someone to teach him the spell or take the time to do the research himself.

Most of the stuff is handwaved for simplicity in game. It is easy to just add a touch of realism to your game to balance things out.

And yes realism in Pathfinder and other roleplaying games is a good thing.And Fireballs and Dragons can be played in a realistic way that is plausible.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

@Reckless: While I like the idea of training in theory, in practice it presents problems. First and foremost as thejeff mentioned, there's the problem when you get enough XP to gain a level but the circumstances of the campaign don't allow for downtime to level. More than that though if you have to have some separate training to gain a level what exactly do experience points represent? Having both an xp and training requirement seems redundant and somewhat illogical to me.

thejeff wrote:
From what little the OP said, the setup of working for the local baron as the war heats up has good potential for a more drawn out approach. They go on "adventures" when the boss needs them to and tend to more mundane duties the rest of the time. As they grow more powerful they may work for more powerful lords or gain titles and lands of their own. The war will have hot and cold periods. Giving them mundane things to do in the downtime will help, if they're interested in that. Beyond crafting and such. Brainstorm with them to find out what they're interested in.

Actually the whole "working for the baron" thing is a one time deal that they're doing in exchange for the regiment. Once they've finished with his tasks they will be free to do as they wish (with some adventuring hooks dangling in front of them) for the time being; eventually they will probably be called to service again. I'll probably have a downtime period somewhere during this part of the campaign. As far as becoming established as lords and such that's not a possibility at this point because eventually once they're several levels higher I intend for them to travel north to where the war is taking place to become more personally involved.

Alitan wrote:

Have you considered providing each PC with a more-experienced, older mentor? Someone who can (a) handle training for levels, at least during low-level adventuring and (b) can provide a reasonable excuse for downtime?

"Come hike the Worldspine Mountains with me." (Ranger, druid, barbarian.)
"Help me organize my library." (Wizard, even sorcerer, possibly cleric.)
"Come see my training program for my new recruits." (Fighter, rogue.)
"I'm taking a pilgrimage to [x] holy temple, you should come along." (Paladin, cleric.) Etc., etc., et. al.

Interesting, I didn't really consider this. Now that I think about it though it's something I could probably incorporate into the campaign pretty smoothly: The inquisitor & cleric could be called back to perform some duties for their respctives churches, and the ranger already has the start of a relationship with a higher level NPC ranger. The magus is a nominal member of the same church as the inquisitor so I could use that angle or perhaps have him get called back to his homeland (he's an elf) which is on the other side of the continent. Not as sure for the barbarian or witch, although the I suppose the barbarian could return to his village (which is the same village the witch and inquisitor are from) and help out on his family's farm.

The witch's background lends itself into some interesting story hooks indeed, although I'm hesitant to really explore them because I don't want him to get horribly murdered by the inquisitor - or for that matter the multitude of other individuals in the world who would kill him and his family.

Lantern Lodge

So here's another thought on how you handle leveling as a suggestion: if a PC gains a level they get all the basic "stat" changes: +hp, +hit, +saves, but must wait until after an adventure to TRAIN their new skills, feats, etc... That way you don't penalize them on the long string of adventures and yet you have the balance of downtime to "learn" the skills that should realistically have some time associated with gaining.

Steve

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Just fyi, Alexander the Great conquered more than half his world by the age of 19.

And was dead by the time he turned 20.

The James Dean of the Empire Building crowd.


Others have brought out some of these but here is a list of ideas.

1) Winter: depending on climate 2-3 months of not being able to travel can hack off 1/3 of the year. Other weather conditions can limit travel even futher throught the year. No sailing during the Monsoon season. Floods, etc...

2)Travel Time: You can run a horse full run for a week. Even on horseback or by boat travel without magical assistance takes time. Even with current real world technology driving across stats can take days and that's with eating in the car, taking shifts driving. Travel in PF doesnt have these conveniences. Others cant sleep while while you ride. You have to stop and hunt for food, you can carry some rations but they may not last all the way to the other side of a mountain range. Breaking and setting up camp. Thinking about it I would give at most 8-10 hour of actual travel time per day. (8 hours rest, an hour to set camp and an hour to break camp (breakfast and supper), 1 hour to prepare spells, frequent stops for bathroom breaks, stop for lunch, etc... On foot the average person walks at what 3 miles an hour. My home town is 60 miles from the town I live in. To walk there would take me about 20hours NONSTOP!. Two days if I walked 10 hours a day. If I spent the weekend there and then came back there is a almost a week of time just to visit my family. Horses can go faster for long distance but still can't be pushed forever. Even sailing vessels can take months to cross large oceans and back.

3) Cultural Issues: There are various cultures that will actually pause all major events even wars for religious or cultural celebrations. Furthermore family obligations may require characters to not only travel long distances but also spend time participating in these events. For example if there is a Clan feast that all clan memembers are supposed to attend to honor the ancestors the party members may have to spend a week or two traveling to the characters homeland. A week at the WEEK LONG FEAST and then a week or two traveling back. Nothing has to occur during this time (Descriptive narrative and maybe some roleplaying), but no experience gain for the most part.

4) Red Tape: Red tape can eat up a ton of time. You have to travel to a local duchey to speak to the duke (Travel time) and once you get there find that he has traveled with his family to his summer home and should not be disturbed. Disturbing him before his return could lead to him not assisting the PCs, etc... Or...The party seeks a shaman that holds the ancient stories the PCs need to figure out what ever mystery they are trying to "Scooby Doo". However the Shaman has gone on her vision quest and is catatonic in her spirit lodge for 10 days.

5) R&R: As others have mentioned. If we didnt take weekend off from work how many of us would actually be able to handle the pressure of work and family life? People need downtime. Even if it is only a day or two a month. Two days a month of R&R knocks almost a month of the year.

6) Communication (similar to Red Tape): There are no phones or even mail system. People actually have to travel from place to place to deliver information. Sure there may be a few "Wizard Teleporting Messengers" but not enough to rely upon. Often army units and political descisions are on hold for days as a messenger travels from one region to the other asking X Noble Y question.
So looking at it this way. We can add up how much time is spend on these things throughout the year.

Time devoted in Months
Dead of Winter and weather: 2.5
Travel Time: 2.5
Red Tape: .5
R&R: 1
Cultural Issues: 1

Total time not Adventuring: 7.5 Months.

That leaves only 4.5 months left in the year. Only about 10 hours a day can actually be spent grinding exp.

basically what I trying to say is Nickle and Dime them to Death. It all adds up.

Keep a scratch pad at the table and everytime a day passes in game, make a tic mark. they only have 365 and its their Birthdays.


Am I the only one who read the title and thought, "uh-oh, high level bullies trying to bully the OP"? ;)

Expeditious retreat! Expeditious retreat!


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

When I play casters I usually spend years each campaign crafting magic items.

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