Gameplay: the egg timer

15 06 2010

One of the biggest killers of a good time at the table is having to wait forever for your turn to come around.  I waited 20 minutes for my turn so that I could roll a natural 1. I am drowning in fun times. Some players are so indecisive, new to the game, or inattentive that when their turn rolls around you feel like you are watching the final round of “Who wants to be a millionaire.”

The way I deal with this is simple. When this problem starts to rear its ugly head we bust out the egg timer.  You have 2 minutes from the start of your turn until the abrupt finish. If you finish your turn in under 2 minutes you gain 2 temporary hit points. If you run over 2 minutes, but the action is still being resolved.. go ahead and finish up.  But if we hit the 2 minute mark and you are undecided… see you next time around, you are holding your action.  Is it harsh? Is it cruel? Not as cruel as forcing people to wait 20+ minutes in between turns at the table.

The upcoming game of Crimson Steam will be over loaded with PC’s, I believe the game will have the normal 5, with 3 guest players.  Pretty ambitious.  It can be hard enough to keep a group of 5 players interested and excited, but 8? Wow.  Therefore the egg timer will be in full effect, though without the +2 hp per turn clause.  Even at that rate each player will still be waiting about 15-20 minutes for each turn to come around (2 minutes x 7 other players + monster turns).  To encourage rapid fire turns any player who completes their entire turn in under one minutes gets a power chip (power chips can be cashed in for big one time dice bonuses).

In closing, if you have a group that needs more focus, faster pacing, or you have a large amount of players, I recommend using the egg timer to streamline your game.

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