[RPG] Keeping track of in-game time, and multiple timed events



As newbies to RPGs, 4 friends and myself have decided to play Bunnies and Burrows, 2nd ed. It looked like it would be, and certainly has been a blast thus far (we played one session today). However, the time management for the game is entirely based on in-game minutes, and most often, involves multiple "timers" that I need to keep an eye on constantly, including in-game time/day/month. I worked out a quick and very dirty way of doing this, but it was a headache.


  • Eating takes 1min or 10min depending on food.
  • Mites can be attached to a rabbit, have a chance to be detected every 10min, and do 1 dmg/mite/hour. Variations of this exist for other pests/diseases
  • Every 10min/20min/1hr/6hr there is a chance of a wandering encounter depending on each rabbits current location and visibility
  • 1hr/day can be spent learning a language
  • Being at less than 0 energy causes 1 dmg/point of energy less than 0/hour
  • There is a character who is decidedly addicted to dandelions, has a chance of withdrawal kicking in after 1hr
  • Medicinal/poision effects can last 10min/30min/1hr/1day

My current method was to just tick off things as each minute passes creating a huge mess of pencil and eraser marks across multiple pages of notes. I can, and did, wing a lot of the timekeeping and keep loose track the counters, otherwise I found myself spending a lot of time keeping track of everything. However, the nature of the game is deeply rooted in these counters.

What can I do to make this easier to keep track of for myself? Is there a program or application that exists to keep track of arbitrary amounts of counters like this? Is there a well organized paper and pencil method of keeping track of this?

EDIT: Unfortunately I never had time to put in to an application to handle this, I started it but other projects took priority. And, the paper and pencil method of time keeping notes in the comments below only helped a little bit, keeping track of all of the elements of play got to be very stressful.

I've tried to play the game to exactly the rules stated in the manual, and I've tried playing fast and loose and only implementing things when I see fit. However both still had a lot of things to keep track of. I have since looked in to the GURPS edition of Bunnies and Burrows, and am currently planning a reboot of our session using that since right now we are at a good changeover point. Initial read through suggests that there is a lot more standardization of things (like fighting, no giant lookup tables to sift through for EVERY attack), and some elements cleaned up for ease of play.

It looks like this question might be dead at this point.

Best Answer

A simple time tracker may be what you need. I use this method in my Dungeons & Dragons games and it helps immensely. Basically, you take a sheet of grid paper and make a list of the different time intervals that you use within the game. For D&D (v3.5) it is ROUNDS, MINUTES, TURNS (this is a holdover from earlier editions that I use, but is not included in the Rules as Written; a TURN lasts 10 minutes), HOURS, DAYS, WEEKS, & MONTHS.

Beside each time unit entry I put a collection of boxes. Since there are 10 ROUNDS to 1 MINUTE, I put 10 boxes beside ROUNDS. Since there are 10 MINUTES to 1 TURN, I put 10 boxes beside MINUTES. 6 TURNS to 1 HOUR will require 6 boxes beside TURNS and so on. It looks something like this:

ROUNDS [][][][][] [][][][][]
MINUTES [][][][][] [][][][][]
TURNS [][][] [][][]

Every time one of these increments occurs, I check off 1 box. When one line is full, I tick off 1 box on the next line and erase the full line and start over. For instance, if we had just gone through a 10 ROUND combat, I would check off 1 MINUTE box and then reset the line for ROUNDS. After 10 MINUTES had elapsed, I would check off the box for 1 TURN.

You don't have to keep track of everything in 1 ROUND increments, though. If it takes twenty minutes to go from point A to point B, you simply check off two TURNS. I hope this is helpful to you.