I’m using Google Calendar as the in-game calendar for my Riddleport Pathfinder campaign. It started as an experiment, but it’s worked so well I’m making it a permanent addition to how I run the campaign. Perhaps you can do this too.
Riddleport is set in Paizo’s world of Golarion, and the calendar in that world is so close to Earth’s Gregorian calendar that I opted to change a few bits of the Golarion calendar. That lets me use modern calendaring tools without any conversion headaches. I also switched my campaign year to 4710 AR and declared that it synched to our 2010 calendar for even easier tracking.
In Google Calendar I just created a new calendar and called it Riddleport. Done.
Use the calendar to track sessions
I make a new event entry on the in-game day each session starts and ends. This lets me know the current date, how much game time has passed for any given session and for the whole campaign, and gives me a place to put session notes (in Event Details) if I choose.
It’s easy now managing future events. I make an entry in Google Calendar and it’s there, waiting to show up as the campaign date progresses.
- Crafting and future deliveries of goods and services (players in my game tend to commission magic items, special services like taxidermy of cool critters killed, and specialized equipment).
- Meetings. We book a lot of future meetings with NPCs and factions.
- PC birthdays. I’ll explain a little birthday boon system I cooked up in a future blog post. Whether you give birthday bonuses or not, it’s fun tracking these special days for the characters.
- Holidays and festivals. Golarion has its fair share of holidays. Riddleport does too. Plotting these into the calendar as annual repeating events makes tracking these a snap. Write up descriptions in the Event Details section to save time in-game.
- Events. Do you have things that will happen regardless of PC actions? Place those in your calendar. Even events whose timelines are contingent on other events are easy to move via drag and drop in the calendar. Don’t want that event to trigger today? Drag it forward a week.
Customising for Golarion
I do not have the month and day names memorized yet. To help me out, I created repeat events so the names would be displayed for easy reference.
- Create a new event
- Name it as your Golarion month name
- Set the range for the start and end days of the equivalent Earth month
- Check the All day box if you prefer, as I do, to have the months appear as solid bars in your calendar
- Set the event to repeat annually
- Do this 12 times, once for each month
- Create a new event
- Name it as your Golarion weekday name
- Set the date as the same Earth weekday
- Check the All day box to have the days appear as solid bars in your calendar
- Set the event to repeat weekly
- Do this 7 times, once for each day
That’s it. A couple other perks, like custom background and sharing make Google Calendar a sweet tool.
We also use PBWiki for tracking the players’ side of the campaign. Google Calendar can be embedded in PBWiki, so we have the campaign calendar right there, in our notes and campaign wiki.
If you are using Golarion, or if you can mirror your game calendar to Earth’s Gregorian structure, then I highly recommend Google Calendar and its features.