Basic mechanics

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In MazeWorld, you are in control of your Player Character (PC) from the moment you begin your adventure until the very end; whatever that end may be. As a game focused on combat, fighting, and survival, you are responsible for every action necessary to keep your PC alive; fighting, using items, doing jobs, but also eating and drinking, resting, training, and if you have any, healing injuries and fixing problems.

This means that at any given moment, you have a certain range of actions and abilities at your disposal. Unless the story demands it or your character is no longer conscious, control of your character should never be taken away from you.

Often, you will need to roll the dice to resolve certain actions and determine whether you succeed or fail. As explained in the Basic concepts page, you will usually make use of d6s, d8s, and d100s, with the expectation that you might have to roll any and all kinds of dice at any moment.

In and out of combat

When playing MazeWorld, there are two major 'modes' of play; being out of combat and being in combat (known as Combat mode). The actions available to you differ depending on whether or not you are in combat, though it is possible to shift in and out of combat in an instant.

Out of combat is the default mode of play. In this mode, the situation is assumed to be relatively safe and more relaxed, and there is generally no need to keep track of character positioning, time or turns passing, unless specific situations or conditions warrant the need to do so. Normal is the closest there is to freeform roleplaying, and greater leeway and flexibility should be granted to Game Masters (GMs) and players.

When in combat, certain information becomes very important: character and item positioning, turns passing, and who does what in which order. Each of these may have an influence on the outcome of the fight. All of the specifics to fighting can be found on the Combat mode page.

Declaring actions

In order to make things happen, characters must do clearly declared actions.

Every action you wish your character to make must be declared. That means clearly telling the GM what you intend to do, with as many details as required. It is not strictly necessary to be always in-character when declaring actions, but it is considered good form to weave your intentions into your roleplaying, even if it's just a few words.

Depending on what actions you are declaring, the GM may ask you to roll dice, make choices, or confirm decisions; as necessary and when appropriate.

There are three kinds of actions in MazeWorld: Combat actions, Non-combat actions, and Free actions. Combat and Non-combat actions generally cost at least one turn to perform, whereas Free actions cost nothing to perform.

  • Combat actions are every type of action related to using a weapon or an offensive ability of some sort.
  • Non-combat actions are every type of action related to using any items or abilities that do not fall into the category of combat actions.
  • Free actions are relatively non-consequential actions which can be done freely and at no cost.


  • Combat action example: Attacking an enemy ; Private Bowens intends to attack the giant ant by shooting it three times, in semi-auto, with her AK-101.
  • Non-combat action example: Using an item ; Johnny pulls out a syringe of morphine from his leg rig, and injecting it into his arm.
  • Free-action example: Talking ; Noriko screaming "I'm going to rip your eyeballs out and make you eat them!" at her opponents on the other side of the room.

When outside of combat, most of what your character will do are non-combat and free actions. Combat actions can, in certain circumstances, be performed outside of combat, but generally speaking, if you need to use a weapon of some sort, you're probably fighting or about to fight.

Any combat or non-combat action takes 1 turn to perform. If multiple turns are required, then it takes as many actions as turns required.


"Time" redirects here. For an in-universe explanation on the way people in the Mazes keep track of periods of time, see: Calendar.

A typical MazeWorld session focuses on one or more player characters, living moment to moment, room to room, throughout their adventures. It is not strictly necessary to keep track of the in-game clock down to the exact hours and minutes; the only important elements of time are what day it is and what the current day period is. Most shops and businesses in the Mazes are open 24/7, and all of the elements of the game that do rely on time will use day periods instead of precise hour and minute counts.

The GM can, of course, surmise and make up an exact hour/minute time corresponding to the current day period (e.g., if the current day period is Dusk, the GM can say something along the lines of "You see the clock on the wall reads 5:30 in the afternoon"), but it should be for flavor purposes only.

Just like in the real world, one day is made up of 24 hours, one hour is 60 minutes, and one minute is 60 seconds. But since it is a world that is for the most part 'inside', inhabitants of the Mazes regard terms like "sunrise" and "sunset" as unusual and archaic.

Days are divided into six periods of 4 hours each, as follows:

Hours Day period name
8 AM to 11:59 AM Morning
12:00 PM to 3:59 PM Afternoon
4:00 PM to 7:59 PM Dusk
8 PM to 11:59 PM Evening
12:00 AM to 3:59 AM Late night
4:00 AM to 7:59 AM Dawn
  • Day periods in orange are collectively referred to as daytime, whereas day periods in blue are in the nighttime.
  • The start of the morning, and therefore of daytime, is 08:00 AM and is referred to as the daybreak. The start of the evening, and thus of nighttime, is 08:00 PM and is referred to as the eventide.
  • Certain places and businesses in the Mazes with concepts of a "day shift" and a "night shift" use these hours as points of reference for when these shifts begin and end; for example, if you're visiting the local diner at 2:30 in the afternoon, you're going to see the employees work the day shift, but if you come back later at 1 AM, you will see the night shift employees instead.
  • Certain areas are referred to as Outside areas, affected by a day/night cycle just like in the real world depending on the current day period.

The passage of time is important for Inebriation mechanics as well, as eliminating inebriation depends on the number of day periods that have passed since the last drink.

Daily Reset

The most important element of time is the amount of days that have passed in the game, and more specifically the moment at which the character enters into a new day. This point is known as the Daily Reset. Two important statistics, Nutrition and Hydration, rely on the Daily Reset for their significance. Every day, your character will lose a certain amount of nutrition and hydration, roughly corresponding to a day's worth of food and water. The exact amount of Nutrition and Hydration lost depends on two factors: your character's Base Limb Health value and constitution.

The daily reset occurs at midnight, at the start of the Night period.

The exact amount of nutrition and hydration lost every day is calculated as follows:

  • Nutrition lost on Daily Reset = 30 x Base Limb Health value
  • Hydration lost on Daily Reset = 10 x Base Limb Health value

In addition, your character may heal some Pain (if not 0%) and Blood (if not at maximum levels and if there are no Wounds) during Daily Reset. This is referred to as natural healing; however this healing is not free and will burn extra Nutrition as well as some Fatigue.

  • Pain healed on Daily Reset: Up to -40%. Healing Pain through Daily Reset is subject to the Pain healing effect.
  • Blood healed on Daily Reset: Up to +1.0 unit. Healing Blood through Daily Reset is subject to the Blood healing effect.

Additional considerations:

  • If you have skill levels in Healing, you will receive bonuses to natural healing, which are applied before the normal effects of natural healing. See this section for more details.
  • If your character is addicted to one or more substances before Daily Reset, all active addictions will advance by one level, unless already at level 3.
  • If your character possesses the Blood Knight trait, the character heals 1.0% Stress per point on the Blood Knight counter. The counter is then reset.


"Turn" and "Turns" redirect here.

The turn is the smallest individual unit of time. Although it corresponds to roughly five or six seconds, turns are intended to be abstract short moments. It is highly recommended not to consider turns to have any relevance to the clock, even if you're choosing to track time down to the individual minutes.

Most actions cost one or several turns to complete, and are very important to Combat mode, but a little less important outside of combat.

Generally speaking, unless the player characters are in combat, or there is some other situation during which the counting of turns would become important, it's not strictly necessary to count down the exact amount of turns that would pass for completing an action. The significance of turns depends on how much changes over each turn, particularly if any effects that work over time are active; virtually all such effects work on a per-turn basis, and all temporary effects last an amount of time expressed in turns.

  • Example: During a fight against a nasty creature, Sarah has taken hits and sustained three Wounds, and is now bleeding. In order to access the bandages inside of her backpack, Sarah needs to spend a turn to drop her backpack on the ground and make the items accessible. Normally, this would be trivial, but every turn Sarah spends with at least one wound, means she is losing Blood. It will require one turn to drop the backpack, and one turn for every bandage required (one per Wound) in order for her to stop bleeding.

GMs are, however, encouraged to expedite such processes for the sake of keeping the pace going, especially outside of combat and if players do have the resources on their characters to fix these issues, unless you absolutely want to run an intense, beat-by-beat, every-moment-counts session, it is usually better to simply let player characters heal themselves "for free". GMs and players may discuss about it and decide together how intense, detailed and granular their sessions should be.

  • Example: Normally, if Sarah were still in combat and had to heal 3 Wounds using bandages, she would have to spend the first turn dropping the Backpack (-0.3 Blood), use turn 2 to heal the first wound with a bandage (-0.2 Blood), then turn 3 for healing wound 2 (-0.1 Blood), then turn 4 for healing wound 3 (all wounds patched), losing a total of 0.6 Blood and 4 turns. However, the GM decides to let Sarah patch herself up without losing 0.6 Blood because she's no longer in combat, and there's no reason to waste time.

Movement and traveling

The importance of your character's position in the world (and in turn, what you are allowed to do to move your character) depends on whether or not you are in combat, and on whether you are inside the Uncivilized Area or a Civilized Area. This section will discuss what you can do outside of combat. For movement when in combat, see Combat mode.

Civilized Areas

When outside of combat and in a Civilized Area such as a town or an intersection, you can travel to nearly any specific room, street, shop, business, or point of interest, simply by declaring an intent to travel to that location, so long as you have access to it. Towns and intersections generally have maps listing the places of interest available, and the preferred method of declaring movement is to simply say something along the lines of, "I'm going to the gun shop" or "Next, I'm going to visit the hospital".

You can specify a particular room or area if you know exactly where you're going. You can also request to the GM your precise location, or the current town or intersection map, whenever you desire.

In order to leave a Civilized Area, your character must be at a location where it is possible to transition into the UA.

  • Towns have a room called the Gap corridor, which represents the very edge of the town. This is where you can choose your next destination. You can only travel to a town or an intersection that is linked to the current town, though you can plot a specific itinerary if you so desire.
  • Intersections do not have gap corridors. Instead, as intersections are plus sign-shaped (+), 2 to 4 of its outermost rooms may be connected to the UA, each corresponding to a single destination.

Uncivilized Area

When in the Uncivilized Area, your character will be traveling through a series of randomly generated rooms, going from a starting point to a destination of your choosing, and reaching the next destination only after a set amount of UA rooms have been passed.

When you are in a Civilized Area and ready to transition into the UA, your GM will give you the available destinations, and ask you to choose where you intend to go (unless there is only one available destination, of course).

Once you have selected your destination, you will be asked to pick a traveling style. There are four traveling styles: Fast, Safe, Deep, and Skip. Your chosen style will influence the amount of UA rooms you need to go through to reach the next destination, and the chances of finding loot, monsters, and special areas. Skip is special - it is essentially fast travel. When Skip traveling, your character will travel an amount of rooms equivalent to a Safe travel, but will encounter zero enemies and zero items, essentially trading dangers and loot for saving time and convenience.

  • NOTE: Skip traveling may not always be possible, particularly during certain jobs. The GM can also disallow Skip traveling for any reason they deem necessary.

When traveling in the UA, the three important counters are the amount of UA rooms passed, the amount of UA rooms required to reach the next destination, and what your current destination is. You can also choose to reverse course and begin traveling back to your original starting point; at which point the amount of UA rooms already passed becomes your amount of rooms to pass to reach the next destination. Note that if you have begun reversing course, you shouldn't reverse back again; instead, return to your original starting point, and select a new destination.

Whenever you are ready to move into a new UA room, such as when you are finished visiting, looting, or fighting in the current room, you may "request the next rooms" or "the next doors" to the GM, who will proceed to randomly generate three rooms, and if applicable, extra possibilities. The description of each room follows the same nomenclature:

  • (Left, Front or Right), (If applicable: Shortcut or Detour value) (Roomstyle), (Decay level), (Code)
    • Left, Front or Right is flavor, and simply represents your first, second, and third choice.
    • Shortcut or Detour value indicates the amount of UA rooms you will lose or gain if you take this door. Usually written Shortcut -x or Detour +x, where x represents the amount of rooms skipped (Shortcuts) or gained (Detours).
      • Shortcuts decrease the amount of UA rooms needed to reach the next destination, and should be used to shorten the trip.
      • Detours increase the amount of UA rooms needed to reach the next destination, and should be used if you want to look for more loot (or creatures to fight).
    • Roomstyle is simply the type and style of room that is ahead. The roomstyle determines the presence and type of furniture inside.
    • Decay level indicates the age, level of decay, and damage that the room has sustained over time. Low decay levels generally increase the chances of finding extra loot. High decay levels generally increase the chances of finding mushrooms.
    • The Code is either a letter or a number written between parentheses:
      • If the code is a number, it is a number representing the room's decay level. Decay level numbers range from 0 to 5.
      • If the code is a letter, it may either be (S) for Shortcut, or (D) for Detour. In both cases, the shortcut or detour will be available in the next room, at the front door.
Decay level Code Chances of finding extra loot Chances of finding mushrooms
Deserted (0) 75% 0%
Abandoned (1) 25% 0%
Dark (2) 50% 50%
Disaffected (3) 10% 0%
Forsaken (4) 5% 15%
Overgrown (5) 5% 35%
  • In a room with a decay level of Dark, the lights are broken, plunging the room in total darkness.
  • In rooms with a decay level of at least 2, all electrically-powered furniture (televisions, radios...) will be non-functional.

Example: [Next rooms] Left: Empty bar, abandoned (1) // Front: (Shortcut -2) Empty workshop, disaffected (3) // Right: Featureless room (D)

  • The left door leads to an abandoned empty bar, the front door leads to a disaffected empty workshop, and the right door leads to a featureless room with a detour inside.
  • Taking the front door would make the player character go through a shortcut, and remove 2 rooms on the amount needed to reach the next destination.
  • Taking the right door would not make the player go through a detour, but it would lead to a room where the front door is a detour.

In short

When transitioning from CA to UA, the process is as follows:

  • Select destination
  • Select traveling style
  • Pick your first door
  • Enter your first UA room

When traveling in the UA:

  • Enter UA room
  • Deal with any items, furniture, creatures, or happenstances as you need
  • Request the next doors
  • Pick your next door
  • Enter next room

Rinse and repeat until you reach the last UA room, in which case, all of the next doors will lead to your destination. After reaching your destination, time advances to the next day period.