Remembering Rounds and Segments

Some talk lately about keeping track of the passage of time in games reminded me of a simple thing we did during battles while playing D&D 2e in the 90s. Rounds 1-10 were written on one line of squares on the wet-erase battle mat, and segments 1-20 were written on the line underneath. We'd just use a dice to mark our place on each line. After turn 10 we'd get fatigued. Luckily fights didn't normally last that long. Any initiative after segment 20 all went off at the same time.

I've tried to use similar timekeeping strategies since then. I've had little picture representations of the characters to put on the segment numbers representing their initiative for the round. That took a little more time to swap around each round, but the pictures were cool. In all, however, nothing beat our original strategy. The player just had to keep track of the current segment and when they were going next, which kept them paying attention to the game.

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