Macro Time in StoryHammer

Units of time in StoryHammer are somewhat abstract. Rather than measuring time by seconds or minutes, time is based off of events. These measurements are like containers that can stretch and shrink to fit the number or mass of the events within. A story contains one or more acts. An act contains one or more scene(s).

The Scene

The base unit for measuring time is the scene. A scene serves as a container for one or more continuous events within the story and has a distinct setup and resolution. Scenes are sequential and form the building blocks of the game. There are several types of scenes and each can vary in length or size but each scene tends to have a description, setting, and a resolution. In game terms, conflict (including combat) will happen within a scene.

The Act

An act is a unit of time that contains one or more scenes. Acts vary in size but their purpose is to resolve one movement or objective of the story. In game terms, an act should take one gaming session to complete (or 2 – 3 hours).

The Story

In CQ StoryHammer, a story refers to the adventure that the players are trying to complete.

Traits of a story:

  • Has a beginning and an end
  • Has an overarching theme
  • May have multiple objectives
  • May take multiple game sessions in order to finish
  • Is made up of one or more acts.
  • The protagonists seldom change throughout the story.

Stories are referred to as “campaigns” in other role-playing game systems.