Keeping track of Dates?

Hey Team!

Just wondering how people measure time in Star Wars. Is there a central galactic set of days to a week, weeks to a month, months to a year style thing? ABY and BBY are a good start for picking a year, anything else more concise?

Thanks in advance!

Honest

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I believe there are 5 days to a week, and the calender is based off of Coruscanti time. There are 12 months if I remember correctly and they all sound stupid.

When I started my Campaign, I was planning on tracking days of the week and months. Boy did I scrap that idea fast. Now I just keep a general idea of the time-frame in my head as the party progresses, they started early 16BBY, now they are roughly mid to late 16BBY.

If they ask, that’s what I will tell them. But they haven’t yet in almost 2 years, so it doesn’t seem overly important in the scheme of things. Have an idea of when in the timeline/period you are and unless you’re sessions are revolving around a really specific and crucial time-period (something that happens during a specific canoncial happening on a specific day/week/month of a year) then you might find it better to hand-wave it.

Imo, of course.

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For me it all depends on the planet; in this case yes its 7BBY in our game which is soon to start, but depending entirely on the planet 7BBY could be a really long year, or a really short one, I try to have planets similar timekeeping {Coruscant has 24 standard hours, 12 hours darkness, 12 hours daylght wityh an hour of transion between night and day twice a day}

So trying to keep other planets to similar timekeeping is easy provided the planet has similar hour keeping

Speaking of hour keeping, what do you call it ? Me I call them cycles 1 Stanadrd Cycle = 60 minutes, a half a cycle is 30 minutes, etc

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I’ve honestly always wondered if ABY and BBY were in Universe eras. Like, here we use before Christ, and Anno Domini to separate our eras. In modern days, it’s mostly just because that’s the way it’s always been. Was the battle of Yavin momentous enough to justify starting again at year zero? What was used in Universe before the battle of yavin?

I could see the Emperor implementing new eras to further distance the Empire from the Republic. Like, NE New Empire and BE before empire.

ANYWAY! RAMBLING ASIDE!
“as much time as is necessary to accomplish x or y” is how I handle it. Like, “You’ve all had enough time since the last mission to repair your ship, and hit a reasonably populated system for some shopping if there’s anything y’all would like to purchase before we start the session in earnest.”

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I quickly scrapped the idea of 5-day weeks, because it wasn’t a natural way for me to quickly comprehend passage of time. I kept a little calendar for the game I GM’d, and while we often would jump forward chunks of time in between sessions, I did keep track of how long different episodes took. We had some time-sensitive issues, and some characters who required regular maintenance, so knowing how many days something took was relevant at times. And it led to some things like anniversaries and birthdays cropping up un-planned during episodes, which added some nice flavor.

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In-universe, they have multiple calendars and time-keeping systems. It’s actually something they complain about in-universe. Luke complains in one of the Thrawn books about how every new regime has their own dating system, which makes it difficult to research historical events.

For my purposes, I actually write up a (hopefully) accurate in-universe calendar for both BBY and GRS (Great ReSynchronization). We’re in the Clone Wars/just before Yavin timelines in the two games for which I use calendars.

The galactic standard time is based off of Coruscant, so it’s standard across all planets. Local times and calendars would differ from world-to-world.
It’s 5 day weeks, but the number of months and days in a month actually vary depending on which timekeeping system you use.
Here’s a calendar I wrote up for one of my games: Kandosii Beroya'se Calendar: 20 BBY and 19 BBY (player copy) - Google Sheets
It has both BBY and GRS. BBY for the benefit of the players as it’s a more familiar system, GRS because it’s the current in-universe calendar.

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The Galactic standard calendar system is mentioned in the homebrew Operational Cost on the ship consumables sheet (Homebrew) and goes as 5 days in a week, 7 weeks in a month, 10 months+3 holidays +3 festival weeks in a year resulting in a 368 day year. These holidays fall in the calendar between months with the year starting with the New Year festival week, a Holiday between the 2nd and 3rd month, the Festival of Stars between the 3rd and 4th, another holiday after the 5th, The Festival of Life between the 6th and 7th, and the last holiday between the 8th and 9th month.

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The only time word (such as minute, or hour) that they change would be day/rotation. But they still use day. Rotation would likely be more common when talking about a planet with a rotational period that’s significantly different than the galactic standard.

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Thanks all!

I really appreciate the advice. We’re playing this Sunday again, we’ll have a whole new calendar to work with!

Honest

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This is not exactly about dates and calendars, but more about how to make time flow naturally in rpg’s, so I’m sharing my thoughts and experiences here.

I have noticed that my players (and me) tend to rush the PCs from one adventure to another. There’s always something to do and several leads to follow. That tends to make the time to crawl in-game and there’s always a feeling of rush and hurry. Several years of IRL game time might only cover few months in-game time, as the characters are always up to something and barely take time to rest and recover as they fear they will lose the leads.

Due to this, I plan to do some phasing in my next campaign: There’s an Adventure Phase and Downtime phase. During Adventure Phase the character run around adventuring as per normal game play and accumulate XP. The catch is that they are not allowed to spend the gained XP yet.

When the characters think they need some rest, enter the Downtime. During that the characters have ample time to heal, do shopping, repair ships and plan their next moves and spend their hard earned XP. The players may also tell small stories what their characters are up to during the down time, and maybe take some abstracted skill checks on how their private endeavors work out. The GM tells news and rumors from the world around the characters and moves the world events forwards by a significant amount.

I’m then dividing an in-game year in to a number of downtimes. Say, at the end of 5th downtime one year has passed in game. This way the in-game time flows naturally forward and there’s clear phasing for the campaign. It’s also easy for players to feel the passage of time.

This also ties into our current play style, where players often have an option to determine their next adventure: During the downtime, the GM asks the players if there is something the characters want to tackle next. If there is, the players then describe in broad strokes what it is that they want to accomplish and how they are about to do it. The GM then prepares the next adventure according to that. Downtime may also be used to do some abstracted rolls on how the preparations of the PC’s next adventure come out.

My players have enjoyed this structure in another game a lot and I’m waiting to get my next SW campaign going and trying this out.

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Gosh dang it! In my calendar, I forgot to shift days of the week properly. If a month ends on the fourth day, the next month should begin on the fifth!
Hmph. Now I have to go fix it.

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When I started one campaign, I used the dates presented in The Essential Atlas as a baseline, backtracking a bit before the events of the first movie (which TEA says began on 35:3:3 using its dating convention). Along with that, in small campaign guides that I gave the players, I included a calendar that I found online that lined up with how the dates were presented in TEA. But, really, the only place the specific dates have applied were on world-building fluff handouts in those campaign guides that included each character’s “contract” with the ship’s owner laying out their responsibilities with the group and the percentage of each job’s payout they were entitled to. As the campaign has gone on, if they ask when it’s taking place, it’s always OOC, and they’re wanting to know where the game is at in relation to the movies, so that’s how I answer, and always with a rough, “You’re X months/years after Yavin.”

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And here’s the portion of that campaign guide that dealt with the calendar.Calendar & Dating Conventions.pdf (313.8 KB)