An Epiphany of Time (or Does Gregory Know When the Prophecy Will be Fulfilled?)

On this the Twelfth Day of Christmas, I want to talk about my attempts at cosmology and calendar keeping.  Before I get to that, I would like you, dear reader, to drop over to Falling Toward Mythopoesis and check out Sarah McCabe’s commentary on Christmas and time keeping.

When I started creating Rilmorn, I decided that Rillmorn had two suns, three moons, and twenty-six hour days.  I did this mostly to be difficult, but soon those features of my game.  My Players and I soon began discussing what would the effect of three moons be upon lycanthropes.  I told my players that Rillorrn was at the apex of triangle formed by the two suns and Rillmorrn and that they all orbited around a central point and that led to all sort of questions concerning the three body problem and how the axial tilt of the world affected the apparent positions of the suns based on the seasons.  I gave the three moons orbital cycles of 4, 9, and 38 days and using those numbers, I created a three-year perpetual calendar that covered the times each moon was full.  While my Players and I often forgot what day it was supposed to be in the campaign, I often got to use those 36 pages to set up important ceremonies and planar openings in game based on which moons were full and were they fell in the seasons.  Over time I added a wandering star that appeared ever 26 years, “God’s Eye,” a comet with a 27 year cycle named the “Dragon’s Tear,” and Mondham, a city that appears for a year once every 7 years.  I never successfully added those cosmological events into my calculations.

Given all this information, I should be able to pinpoint the date of Llywelyn’s Return, but after the Cataclysm that precipitated transition from 2E to 3E, the suns named Mercy and Justice were no longer in synchronous orbit with Rillmorn.  With that, I have too many variables to track.  Fortunately, my friend Thom made me a website that can.  Using this calendar and the information that I created to fit the Prophecy, I know that Llywelyn is prophesied to return 1 Aris 2029 Age of Wyrms.  This stuff makes it much easier to work out prophecies and track celebrations and holy days.  Do any of you have similarly complex calendar/cosmologies?

Game On!

5 thoughts on “An Epiphany of Time (or Does Gregory Know When the Prophecy Will be Fulfilled?)

  1. ROFL! If I seem to recall, I originally had a world with two or three suns and nine moons – but found the calculations equally as a onerous. Over time I’ve become less focused on that and instead ended up having to reconcile the various different calendars – the Church of the Lords of Light uses a solar calendar, the Old Faith uses a lunar calendar, there is an old Kistathian calendar that is based roughly on seasonal variations – plus there is an old Atlantean celestial calendar that nobody uses. All have, of course, different Year 0’s – and different empires have also maintained different, concurrent methods for tracking the years.

    Somewhere I have a excel file that has all the yearly calendars side-by-side so that I can always figure out which day is which for different religions.


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    • Hey, D. Given your knowledge of ancient cultures, why do your calendar system’s start from year 0 instead of year 1 like the Venerable Bede’s Christian calendar? Also, do your Players have a sense of “true time” in your games; do they actually know or care about the date in-game? Thanks for reading.

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      • ROFL! To many years playing Traveller? In all truth, I should probably do a mix – some of those cultures were pretty sophisticated, some far less so…

        Aside from when they are trying to figure out some puzzle with a date attached, I think it really depends upon the player. Most could care less, others get really caught up in the immersive properties of game details – thus the huge post on numismatics!

        It also depends on the campaign. When I’ve run a domain-style game, that sort of detail is important, in other games it can be less of an issue. In general I like to be able to talk about the passage of time – and I “build in” down time for characters in the game called “winter” (when nobody in their right mind travels).



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  2. Wow, damn fine idea for alternate worlds. I’ve played with binary suns and stuff, but I really like the multiple moons lycanthropy twist. Mind if I “borrow” this idea for a future cult Pathfinder setting?

    Liked by 1 person

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