Time in roleplay on this server has a set ratio to real world time, but is also relative to how interactions are progressing in character. Mechanically, the Minecraft sun will rise and fall six times per IRL day, with that ratio mostly applying to broad timekeeping, the months and years of the server. Unlike the real world, every month in an in character year has the exact same number of days, twenty eight, or exactly four weeks. Some leeway in regards to exactly how fast time passes in character while you’re engaged in roleplay with someone is acceptable, to smooth over the time it takes for someone to type a response.
There are several ways to track the passage of time, both while you are on the server or just hanging out in the discord. When you are on the server, the command “/checktime” can be used to receive an exact report of the in character date. You can also use our helpful discord bot Nuwa to get the same information when not playing on the server, with the command, “Hey Nuwa what is the time?, in our bot channel. Some roleplay you engage in will be scheduled using the in character dates, but usually with an accompanying real world time, to avoid confusion. We also use countdown timers for server wide events, due to the fact we have players in all sorts of different time zones, and a countdown eliminates the need to convert between them.
Our server has a dedicated in-character calendar, which is different for either faction.. The beginning and ending of the ingame months are aligned exactly with the lunar cycle. Unlike in the real world where they are more parallel systems rather than intrinsically linked, ingame months begin with a waning full moon, and end with a waxing full moon.
Certain server events and holidays are linked to IRL holidays, and as such function on a six year cycle ingame, for example:
- Cau Haf Calan Gaeaf or, more commonly Calan Gaeaf is an Entente festival marked by the passage of a comet every six years. It is a time where particularly maligned spirits are believed to walk the earth once more. This spooktastic event occurs around Halloween every real world year.
- Flaxfall is a holiday of the Wildchoir, which originated as a way to avoid the sexennially emerging Flaxtail Cicada, who’s explosive mating habits required everyone to band together and clean it up. In Nebelloren, there are no Flaxtails, so this holiday now serves as an opportunity to connect and have a nice evening indoors, singing traditional songs, and remembering homes across the sea. Unlike Calan Gaeaf, Flaxfall does not have a direct real world analog date, but it occurs around mid-January.
- Gwynmas, a holiday unique to Nebelloren, is named after its progenitor Gwyn, former Viceroy of Parravon, who started the tradition years ago by giving gifts to all the townsfolk. Gwyn mysteriously has some very personal, or sometimes dangerous gifts. This festive holiday coincides with the winter season, not precisely with Christmas, but during the general holiday season.
- Eggfest is another holiday unique to the strange lands of Nebelloren. Once every six years, a strange creature arrives in town and poses a challenge to the population, finding their eggs, which they've hidden all across the isles. Each egg has a corresponding clue, which is typically a reference or joke about something that occured during roleplay over the past IRL year. This Egg-tastic event occurs each year on Easter Sunday, but the eggs linger year round, so the hunt continues as long as you have the resolve!
There are also some incharacter holidays celebrated once every ingame year, for example the New Year occurs every Granite/Winterwane 1, though such holidays are not always celebrated, due to the fact that celebrating the same holiday every two months could be rather dull.
Now, depending on your lifestyle, you likely won’t be spending twenty four hours a day, seven days a week on a Minecraft server, so that leads to the obvious question of, “What is my character doing with all this time?”. Generally, that's for you to decide, but here are a few ideas:
- Sleep Our characters lead busy lives, and they sure do need their beauty sleep!
- Tidying Up Like all of us, our characters have household chores they have to take care of. Now, if these chores are something that requires actually moving items about in Minecraft, you have to do that yourself unfortunately. But “dusting” or “making your bed” are certainly things not analogous with Minecraft, and such are perfect things to say your character was doing in their downtime.
- Work How we all hate it. However, on a minecraft roleplay server, you'll often find yourself doing something that could be called work. Cutting down trees or hunting some of our custom mods. If taken literally, your character moves at inhuman speeds and can carry 64 bear hides on their back. This can be incongruent with reality. That is why sometimes downtime is used to explain how they carried all the large packs of hides back and forth from the game shack, or how they cut down that massive redwood; some of the work was done during downtime
- Whatever In truth, what your character does in their downtime is your decision, they are your character after all. Maybe they were painting during downtime while you made that pretty map-art. Maybe they meditated on a tough problem and have made a decision. You don’t really need an explanation for what your character does in their downtime, but doing so causes you to think about your character's hobbies and interests, which increases your understanding of them!
Downtime is a very useful concept for player immersion, but there are also some very clear don'ts, in addition to the dos you've seen already.
- Things you could do while not in downtime If there is something you can do in character, it is encouraged to do so, rather than just saying your character did it during their downtime.
- Things that have long lasting effects You can say your character made an important decision during their downtime, but you have to be the one to actually execute it on the server. If everything could be done during downtime, no one would ever come online!
What's important to remember about downtime is this, it's a roleplaying tool. It helps player immersion and makes the world feel more full, even when you aren't online. It is not a method for doing something difficult that you'd rather avoid.