Turn Time can be one of the more foreign concepts to new gamers. However, it is important to understand what it is and why it is in the Atomic RPG System.
Turn Time is the transition between story telling and battle. Or can be though of as the middle ground between the two different states of playing.
It is very important as in Turn Time some rules are modified. Players cannot necessarily talk as much as they want or plot and scheme. Now is the time for action. Specifically using their skills to accomplish some goal.
Turn Time is also specifically designed so that all players are involved. Even if not “skill focuses” all characters in the game must participate in a Turn Time Skill Challenge. This keeps everyone involved in the game which is more immersive and fun for everyone!
Game Master Job in Turn Time
The Game Master’s job during Turn Time is to first determine when Turn Time should be used. This is easily done because Turn Time should be used whenever the players need to take turns acting using their Skill to accomplish a goal. Then the Game Master establishes an order depending on the actions taken or Reaction rolls. Once that is done the Game Master then moves the game through Turn time by calling out each person in turn from highest Reaction to lowest.
Sometimes a Game Master will not even have non player characters to control during Turn Time. When this is the case the Game Master’s job will be to set the difficulty of the challenges the party faces.
Most Turn Time Encounters consist of 3-5 Rounds of Skill Checks. Each round 1 goal is chosen. The GM sets the difficulty of the round and what Skills can be used. The GM then tracks what the players roll. At the end of the Turn Time Encounter the GM counts up all success and failed rolls. If there are more successes, the party gets a bonus for the next encounter. If there are more failures, the party gets a penalty to the next encounter.
Examples of Turn Time Encounters
Here are some examples of Turn Time in the Atomic RPG System where order is needed in the game but no combat rolls are being made.
Rules of Turn Time
Turn Time is a bit more structured than Real Time. This is to keep order and fairness in the Atomic game. This way each player and the Game Master will get equal opportunities to take actions.
In Turn Time Reactions will be established. Reaction is generally based off the character who acts first, not a die roll. So if one player starts the conversation, they are also first in the Reaction order. Should two players want to go at the same time have them roll Reaction checks against each other. The player with the higher roll will go first. If players are not set on an order then the Game Master can call for a Reaction roll from everyone and then place them in order from highest to lowest.
Turn Time can have the time scale of Real Time or that of Battle Time and anywhere in between. It’s impossible to say for sure as your Game Master will determine the pace when the game enters Turn Time.
If the player group is in negotiations with a non-player character then game time might move as fast as the actual time that passes. If the players are evading pirates that following them many hours might pass. If the players are making checks to climb a cliff then only a minute or two may pass.
Only non-damaging Powers can be used during Turn Time without changing to Battle Time. Powers that only modify skills, help, or heal allies can be used and still remain in Turn Time. The Game Master should allow players to use Powers that lower opponents Skills. But there is a chance that the action will provoke the opponents to attack. Any use of a Power does that does Damage instantly changes the game mode to Battle Time.
Setting the Difficulty of Checks
Skill Difficulty Numbers are Automatically Calculated in all Online Tools
Example: Medium Turn Time Challenge Round Skill Difficulty for a Level 9 Character is 9 + 3 + 15 = 27.
Use the Skill Check page to set specific Skill difficulties. Or use the below table to set general Skill difficulties. The formula used is Level + Character Tier + Challenge.
However, feel free to click below to see the Skill Difficulty Chart.
|Level||Minor (5)||Major (15)||Superior (25)|
Player Character’s Turn
In every turn during Turn Time, each player character and non-player character will be able to have the following actions on their turn; take an Action, Assist Another, Move, and Speak.
What a player character can do in Turn Time is restricted. Events happen quickly but everyone wants to get their turn in, so it is important to keep strict order in Atomic Turn Time to keep the game flowing.
Player Cooperation - Aid Another
Multiple characters can work together to figure something out. This is called Aiding Another.
To successfully Aid Another character the character helping must make the same check the as the one rolling the Skill Check. If they succeed then the player rolling the Skill Check can add their Character Tier to their roll.
However, if the character helping fails in the check, the player will get a penalty to the roll of their Character Tier. Only one player may Aid another at a time.
Don’t Forget to Roleplay Characters
Even though Turn Time is designed to let characters take turns using Skills to overcome challenges that doesn’t mean that roleplaying a character should be left out.
In fact roleplay during Turn Time can really help your party make decisions. It helps each player know what the other characters are thinking. It can make a huge difference in the outcome of Turn Time as well as make it a lot more fun!
Players should remember to remain in character. Act, speak, and otherwise be their characters while they are taking actions and using their Skills. This will only enhance and strengthen your Atomic RPG System group.
There can be a very wide variety of Turn Time Encounters results. It all depends on the situation the party is in and what they are trying to accomplish. It is up to the Game Master to judge what would be most fair considering the character’s performance.
That is an overview of what Turn Time is and how it should be played. For a step by step example read the summary of Atomic game play.
It might be tempting to go from Real Time to Battle Time. However, Atomic RPG System games that end up doing this frequently miss out on a fun opportunity to explore both players and characters ability to handle a wide variety of situations. It adds a depth to a game that is important to have in a well rounded game. Good Game Masters will try to get at least one Turn Time event into every Atomic RPG System game.
How to Create a Turn Time Encounter
Turn Time Encounters are a vital piece of any Atomic RPG System Game.
They bridge situations, drive the story forward, and most importantly make the group work as a team to accomplished a shared goal.
Here is how to create a Turn Time Encounter for any situation.
Already Know the Steps? Skip right to the Generator
Steps to create a Turn Time Encounter
When creating a Turn Time Encounter think of the situations the party is coming from and where you want them to end up. These are important transitional situations that not only build the story and suspense. But also give the group a chance to get a bonus for the next Encounter.
Time to Build the Turn Time Encounter
The Atomic RPG Encounter Generator does a lot of the work for you. But to understand just how it works and how you want to add things to it we will go through creating the Turn Time manually.
The 5 W's
What are the characters going to do in this Turn Time Encounter and why?
How long will this Encounter be?
This is a important part of the campaign, part of it’s central A storyline. They are dealing with the main villain as they try to smuggle important things out of the city.
Skills the Party use and how difficult the Checks
As a long Encounter we can go through all the Skills. We really want the PC’s to get into this one so we want to detail out and describe in as much detail as we can the basic requirements listed below.
Keep in mind that individually rolled successful or fail checks does not automatically fail or disrupt the Encounter. They are just moments in the overall Encounter which should help to roleplay out each small piece. The GM can also take notes to use later, like if the PC accidently leaves a clue behind.
Conclusion of the Turn Time Encounter
This is just one simple example of the nearly limitless possibilities that comes with Turn Time. Use it as a bridge, structured story teller, and a place that your players can shine. A strong and well though out and played Turn Time Encounter will likely add all kinds of interesting depth to the game.
Running a Turn Time Encounter
In many Encounters the players will dictate the order in which they want to go. Their Reactions won’t really matter. However, there may be cases where the party is “surprised” and has to rely on Reactions. Maybe some local law enforcement spots them and they have to loose them through the city streets.
Once you have the order, step through the players and have them roleplay and make the appropriate Skill Checks on their turn. In the majority of Skill Challenges it is unlikely that the GM has NPCs that are rolling or taking turns. The difficulties often represent the NPCs and how easy or hard it is to be successful in a task against them. This leaves the GM open to roleplay them when appropriate and not have to wait for their turn.
As the players roll Skill Checks the GM should keep track of successes and failures. It’s easiest to just keep tallies of each or keep a score. With a success, they get a +1. With a failure a -1.
Here are a couple rules to keep in mind as you are running a Turn Time Encounter
Whether the party is successful or not doesn’t mean that the Turn Time Encounter is wasted. It is always an important step in the game and one the GM should acknowledge and use.
Had enough reading about Turn Time Encounters? Click the button below to start building your own now! Or search the database to see what has already been created.