This time I’m mostly looking for opinions and what-would-you-dos. The situation: my players just made a foray into a dungeon. (Well, cave system, really, but it’s full of draconids and orcs and there’s treasure inside. It’s a dungeon.) They got in, killed some draconids, got a small bit of loot, and ducked back out to town. Now it sounds like they’re not going back in right away, but instead going to run some errands around the countryside; the magician just hit level 5 so he wants to go see his mentor and learn a new second-circle spell, and they’ve had an outstanding delivery job at the Halls of Jundul which they haven’t completed yet and they’re getting tired of lugging 2 slots’ worth of crap in their inventory. All told, it sounds like at least two visits to as many towns before they’ll return, so we’re talking at least a couple weeks - certainly enough time for the dungeon to evolve and change and such since their previous visit. On the other hand, they only got like 15-20% of the way through the dungeon before backing out; it’s nowhere near complete.
Assuming they do go run errands for a couple Town phases, would you call this a “full adventure” as per p. 101, meaning that Winter is one step closer? I’m leaning towards yes, but the word “full” makes me wonder if clearing the first couple rooms/areas of a dungeon counts. (In case it isn’t obvious, if they were just heading back to town to rest/recover and were heading back into the dungeon, I don’t think I’d call the adventure complete for the purposes of counting toward Winter.)
I’d lean toward no. Running errands and completing side quests can be part of an adventure. Also keep in mind that each “full adventure” is basically a season or 3 full months. Running errands for a few weeks is part of that season of adventuring, but I would try to find a way to put a cap on the adventure in some way before saying it’s a new season and a new adventure. If they leave the lead untied and start on some other major quest-line, then yeah, that might be a different story. However, that said, with my recent track record the next post will probably be luke contradicting everything I just said
Until official word comes down, I’m inclined to say that an “adventure” is all of the phases between town phases (possibly with the caveat of having to actually delve someplace). That eliminates the ambiguity.
Possible cons: The PCs might try to fast-forward to new Wises, new Traits and practice.
Mitigating factors: Town phases suck. Skipping ahead to them without significant new loot is probably bad. Winter phase sucks double. Characters age a year.
What do you players think? Would they prefer to have it be an adventure and let winter come? Go with it. It’s really their choice to wait for winter anyway, if they are so inclined. But if they want to squeeze another adventure AND those errands in before winter - go for it! You have some neat twists loaded up for the adventure to pressure them with; temperature dropping, a bad storm or even the first snow…
To me, this depends how easy the errands are. Assuming they’re travelling to a couple of towns, encountering some obstacles and camping along the way, I don’t see why it couldn’t be an adventure. But if they rip through it quickly and without complications, maybe not.
Winter could last half the year. “If you undertake a winter adventure, do not play out the winter phase. Winter lasts for one to three adventures.” (p102)
That means a “full adventure” could be much less than a season. It could translate to 1 month in the wilds followed by 1 month recovering in town, wilds and town, wilds and town, wilds and BAM winter comes early and lasts half the year.
Of course, when an adventure’s done is purposefully vague and depends on judging what makes sense; considering things like how far apart town and adventure are, what twists the characters get hit with, etc.
I can agree with most of that. I was sort of assuming they were more errands than quest lines, and that they would most likely go fairly smoothly, or at least not lead to more than a few extra tests. If that’s not the case and this turns into something bigger, then yeah, at that point count it as a new “adventure”. If they’re just pausing to hit a couple towns and rest up before diving back into the same dungeon, I’d consider that part of the same adventure. Definitely you can keep things fuzzy though, let them know that the seasons are a changing but I don’t think you have to be rigid about where the lines between adventures are or necessarily how soon winter is coming… as long as they know… winter is coming.