Understanding Time and History in the APs - Help?


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion


Hey, folks -

I have one of those problem players who wants to know precisely where every single day of in-game action fits in the BIG HISTORY OF EVERYTHING GOLARION.

What year is it.
What season is it.
Has X event happened yet.

To make matters worse, he's playing an Iconic character (Ezren) who has a pretty well-developed backstory, so he expects it all to jigsaw together.

And I've tried searching Paizo and Pathfinder Wiki and d20pfsrdqzztop and every other site I could think of, but maybe I'm searching wrong and maybe the information just doesn't exist.

I've known other GM's to completely make something up to throw at him, or just tell him to keep track of it himself, but if I do that, he'll know I'm lying, and give me a ration of s%@@ for being a rookie GM who doesn't know what she's doing.

And, yes, this is my first campaign as a GM. And, yes, he's been GMing for over thirty years. But I'd rather not call him unprintable names in front of our children, for whom I am running the blasted campaign in the first place.

Advice? Help? Please?


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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Not clear exactly what you're asking for but a few thoughts:

- Tracking time in the campaign is easy enough. Pick a start date and use the calendar from the Inner Sea World Guide (or the PF Wiki) to track from there. I tend to use the publication date of the module / book 1 of the AP as a start date (eg. August 2011 = Arodus 4711 and so on).

- If he's asking about events in other APs then it's your call if they've happened off screen or not. My personal preference is that an AP / module doesn't happen unless the group has played it thereby maintaining a single continuity for my own personal Golarion but I'm a bit OCD like that.

- Historical events outside APs and modules should happen when their time rolls around although Paizo rightly keeps these to a minimum to ensure PCs are driving the setting chronology forward.

Hope that helps but if there is specific advice that's missing then shout.


Yes. Pathfinder keeps these to a minimum.
And he wants "We are six in-game days into book to of Legacy of Fire, which begins precisely one year to the day that book one left off, and therefore it is Market-day, the twenty-fourth of Secondus, the month of the Summer Snows, in the Year of the Residual Luncheon Basket.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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lisamarlene wrote:

Yes. Pathfinder keeps these to a minimum.

And he wants "We are six in-game days into book to of Legacy of Fire, which begins precisely one year to the day that book one left off, and therefore it is Market-day, the twenty-fourth of Secondus, the month of the Summer Snows, in the Year of the Residual Luncheon Basket.

We generally don't set those dates in stone, since no two groups will play at identical rates or in the same order.

So, the answer to those questions is pretty much square on the shoulders of the GM.


Thank you, that's helpful.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

@lisamarlene - You could always pick a starting date based on when the AP was published (2010=4710, etc.), point him here, and let him track it for you.


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Tusk the Half-Orc wrote:
@lisamarlene - You could always pick a starting date based on when the AP was published (2010=4710, etc.), point him here, and let him track it for you.

YES! Now that is EXACTLY what I needed. I'll just use the publication date of Howl of the Carrion King as a starting point and let him go from there.

THANK YOU!

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Great! I'm glad that helps - I came across it a while ago when one of my players (about 12 years old) asked me about dates in our Runelords campaign and I realized I had no idea what to tell him.

Shadow Lodge

Wow, that calendar is going to be really helpful with my campaign journals! So will that Harrowing spreadsheet. I already gave my PCs a Harrowing I planned out to be crammed full of foreshadowing, but this'll be handy for if they ever want another.

Scarab Sages

That calendar is fantastic! Thanks for the link!


lisamarlene wrote:

Hey, folks -

I have one of those problem players who wants to know precisely where every single day of in-game action fits in the BIG HISTORY OF EVERYTHING GOLARION.

What year is it.
What season is it.
Has X event happened yet.

To make matters worse, he's playing an Iconic character (Ezren) who has a pretty well-developed backstory, so he expects it all to jigsaw together.

And I've tried searching Paizo and Pathfinder Wiki and d20pfsrdqzztop and every other site I could think of, but maybe I'm searching wrong and maybe the information just doesn't exist.

I've known other GM's to completely make something up to throw at him, or just tell him to keep track of it himself, but if I do that, he'll know I'm lying, and give me a ration of s~~$ for being a rookie GM who doesn't know what she's doing.

And, yes, this is my first campaign as a GM. And, yes, he's been GMing for over thirty years. But I'd rather not call him unprintable names in front of our children, for whom I am running the blasted campaign in the first place.

Advice? Help? Please?

Once you start playing your game that game is your canon - the rest of it is irrelevant. Tell your player that. His Ezren is not the same Ezren appearing in other sources. You, as GM, decide how much and how little of any other published work has or has not happened.

It would be nearly impossible to tie everything up perfectly, and it would remove player agency - how would your player like it if you turn around and say something like "you are not able to join in today, you are busy resolving the 'Mising Heirs of Nubbuleth' in this module I picked up yesterday. See you next week?" or "Sure it would be great for you to keep that staff of power, but as seen in 'A random tale I have never read' that happens in 4 days he doesn't have that, so you can't keep it".


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I do think there is a lot of value in keeping a calendar with things like holidays, weekends (when shops may be closed), weather events, PC birthdays, etc. It's some extra bookkeeping on the GM's part, but it's one of those things that helps make the world seem "real" to a lot of players.


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The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
So will that Harrowing spreadsheet. I already gave my PCs a Harrowing I planned out to be crammed full of foreshadowing, but this'll be handy for if they ever want another.

Let me know if you have any issues with it. I created it because my character does occasional Harrowings in our current campaign, and I find the whole process goes a lot smoother when you don't have to make everyone stop and wait for 10 minutes while you interpret the cards. :P


^Where is this Harrowing spreadsheet? I love the idea of Harrowing, but know that I'd be terrible at it (at least, unless I did it a lot).

Scarab Sages

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UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Where is this Harrowing spreadsheet? I love the idea of Harrowing, but know that I'd be terrible at it (at least, unless I did it a lot).

There's a second row of links right below the blue bar at the top of the page. "Harrow" is third from the left after "Calendar" and "Golarion Geography".


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Where is this Harrowing spreadsheet? I love the idea of Harrowing, but know that I'd be terrible at it (at least, unless I did it a lot).

Direct link. Available as a Google sheet (you'll have to make a copy of the sheet for it to work) and Excel spreadsheet (works best).


Thanks -- I was confused because I couldn't find any links in this thread, so I had no clue of what site to go to.

Actually, I see the home page URL in your profile, but it is partly covered up by the right column of your profile (Paizo STILL hasn't fixed that bug after the web site upgrades -- my profile has the same problem, except no URL to cover up).


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lisamarlene wrote:

And, yes, this is my first campaign as a GM. And, yes, he's been GMing for over thirty years. But I'd rather not call him unprintable names in front of our children, for whom I am running the blasted campaign in the first place.

Advice? Help? Please?

Send them out for icecream.


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lisamarlene wrote:

Yes. Pathfinder keeps these to a minimum.

And he wants "We are six in-game days into book to of Legacy of Fire, which begins precisely one year to the day that book one left off, and therefore it is Market-day, the twenty-fourth of Secondus, the month of the Summer Snows, in the Year of the Residual Luncheon Basket.

Your trump card will be telling him what time the sun rises and sets each day.

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