October 14

How to use time to build suspense in your RPG

Hey Storytellers,

So many times the party moves at the pace of the wizard in medium levels. I know that DnD 5 helped with this problem from earlier additions, but still, there is a way to bring in suspense and terror (if that is what you want) in your game.

What if the party cannot rest? What if they just cannot stop safely or they are interrupted just at the moments that they need to do to refill their spells? Whether that is praying to their god at sunset or sunrise, or uninterrupted rest for a long period of time.

One of the best cinematic shows for this was an episode of the new Battlestar Galactica (as opposed to the one from about the time I was born). It is called 33 and you need to know anything about the story. Every 33 minutes the enemy jumps to their location and they have to scramble fighters until the fleet can charge their faster than light drives, which is like 45 minutes. The issue is the thing chasing these poor people are robots. After days of this, humans are physically falling apart, because drugs can only do so much. They only have so many fighters and fighter pilots. They are making mistakes. Time is killing them. The suspense is crazy.

You can do this in your game and I will show you how - take a listen. 



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