When creating our camp cycle system, we did so with three goals in mind.
First, we designed Camp Cycle for downtime and exploration management. The structure, therefore, includes rules for resource harvesting, navigation, getting lost, and finding your way again. A Camp Cycle’s structure is around having its players constantly making new discoveries (even in places they have been before) as they traverse the world.
Second, building on that, the Eternity Engine attempts to turn overland travel into a minigame to keep both players and Game Master from getting off track. The purpose is to allow for the passage of time, without the players becoming wrapped up into the details of their character sheet, which often contains rules that only affect daily adventure.
Thirdly, to support all these goals (hidden hexes, exploration, reusable material) we want to introduce uncertainty into whether the keyed content of a particular hex would even be experienced by the group in question (instead of the group automatically triggering the content when the hex is entered). Our hope is that with Camp Cycle rules, more of our games will find themselves nearing the finish line intact, still piloted by their original cast members.
So, we present to you Camp Cycle, a system for generating encounters (to both create content and to replace the ephemeral hex keys), keeping what happens between each delve as dynamic as the rest of the adventure.
Our system for generating encounters (to both create content and to replace the ephemeral hex keys), keeps what happens between each delve as dynamic as the rest of the adventure. Many aspects of an adventure take place not in a dungeon or a combat against uncalculatable foes, but among your companions, hirelings, workers, and beasts of burden. By centering the core of the Eternity Engine’s gameplay to a back and forth between the mission and the journey, we have found what we believe to be a healthy medium in order to tell any story the players and GM desire.
Between each adventure scene, players must engage in a Camp Cycle. The time required to complete a cycle is not set in stone, and the actions players choose will determine how long until the group is ready to move on. During the cycle, players must make decisions about how their character will spend time & resources while recuperating from their previous challenges and/or conflicts. Of course, this is represented through applicable skill checks. Note the following:
Each character is granted an Active action, which is the primary focus of their attention and requires the majority of their time. As well as a Passive action, which is a simple task that they can perform during travel, or in-between their other tasks, such as Whittling.
Active & Passive actions can only be used during the Camp Cycle for which they originate and will not carry over.
Every action, whether passive or active, requires one hour at minimum. However, depending on terrain and the complexity of the action chosen, additional time may be required as shown in the table below.
The basic action of camping includes finding a suitable location, pitching of tents, or erecting a suitable shelter from the surrounding plant life. Without a Camp, players in the wilderness cannot utilize a Camp Cycle to regain spent resources, heal wounds or recover from injuries.
The action of building permanent structures or siege equipment. Requires materials and time and may also require hired workers depending on the size of the structure. Construction projects are difficult processes that take weeks to complete. Results vary based on difficulty.
The action of creating items both mundane and majik. Requires materials and Time and may also require a proper structure depending on the type of objects that you are crafting.
The action of gearing up and entering a dungeon, ruin, city, fortress, or any other similar structure where the Action moves to the individual and a grid map is placed in front of the players.
The action of searching for edible plants and animals. It is also the action used when searching for herbs for alchemy. Foraging is a simple task that takes a minimum of 1 hour.
The action taken to extract usable materials from Huge animals, veins of metal, or gathering wood or stone to construct with. This process is identical to Foraging, but the location is obvious or already known (Prospected).
Harvesting is a difficult action, requiring 1 week + 1 additional week per material Rarity to harvest. Harvested material is referenced in "units" as material has varying weight.
The action allows players to hire workers or mercenaries to join their cause. Requires a city, town, or village. Hiring takes anywhere from a few hours to a few months as the Player's reputation comes into factor.
The action of approaching a new city, town, or village- this is the time when Buskers or Minstrels would shine the most- Determines whether the location is available for the players to Delve, Hire, or Forage within its walls.
The action of searching for metals, or the refinement thereof. The process is identical to Foraging.
The action of experimenting, searching, collaborating, or purchasing information on a specific subject or practice. Generally used in cities or towns that have libraries or private collections of books.
The action of searching adjacent tiles to know what Travel actions are available in the new tile. Your GM will have the information on Map Tiles and how they are populated. The Scout action takes nothing but Time. This action is where and when most 'Random Encounters' would and should occur to your players because they are traveling into the unknown with the intention of looking for possibilities.
If players send NPC's to scout, it is encouraged that the GM simply have the Players take command of the NPC's and run the random encounter as their hirelings.
The action of bartering, buying, and selling of goods both mundane and majik. This action means there is a shop present. Official locations on Mani'Erin will have preset shops to choose from, but feel free to alter, adapt, or create your own shop and inventory. Below you will find a "General Store" which can be used as a template for GM's to create their own inventory and setup for whatever location their players may meet.
The action of learning new Skills, Traits, or Specialization levels for you or your hirelings. The first step can be skipped if a suitable Trainer (1 Tier higher than the trainee) is already known to the players. For instance, if you wanted to train your hirelings into guards, you would need a Veteran or better. But since one of the player characters is a T2 Warrior, they have no need to search.
Players who discover that some skills, talents, or deviations they chose are no longer useful or relevant to the Tale they are participating in may choose to ‘retrain’ those options during Camp Cycle. To do so, first they must take the Research Time to forget the previous feature before they may learn a new one.
The action of moving from one tile to another. Each tile is called a Hex. Many of these Hexes contain no forms of civilization but are rich in resources just waiting to be claimed. Others contain villages, towns, and sprawling cities. A Hex is roughly 12 miles, the size of an average county district.