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Sometimes players play TTRPGs in ways that are boring and annoying but optimal: they rest after every encoutner, they spend minutes searching every part of every room for traps, etc. When they fall into this sort of behavior, it's usually because these strategies are optimal because the only tradeoff they have is in-game time, and players don't conceptualize time as a meaningful and tangible resource.

Even when wasting time has consequences like random encounters, games don't make it easy for players to establish a meaningful mental connection between the action of wasting time and its consequences. 

My proposed solution is The Time Tower Method:

This is just a raw, unrefined mechanic I came up with, which in theory should be applicable to a wide variety of TTRPGs: every time your players commit to doing something that has in-game time as its only tradeoff, tell them to add one die to a dice tower you're all building. When the tower topples over, somethign bad happens as a consequence of the time they've spent in the dungeon. Maybe the torch they're using burns out. Maybe there's a random encoutner. Maybe their pressence gets discovered.

The PDF document (which is based on a Tumblr post I made, but heavily edited for clarity) goes a bit more in-depth into my thought proccess for the problem, the solution, and what the benefits of using this solution are.

If you like the mechanic I present here, feel free to use it, edit it, modify it or reference it however you want, even in commercial projects. 


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

The Time Tower Method.pdf 180 kB


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Looks like the body font isn’t embedded in the PDF, it’s quite hard to read!

Oh no! How do I fix that? I just wrote it with Microsof Word and exported it as a PDF, idk how to embed the font