I was over at Valley of Blue Snails (Great work btw, go check it out if you haven't yet.) and noticed a posting about calendars. This is a topic that has always sort of bothered me.
I agree that saying February 23rd in game is always a bit of a disconnect. But on the other hand, I also loathe some of these convoluted creations that are used instead. They're completely confusing and are a pain to deal with. It seems to me that the effort one takes in creating a "calendar" system might better be spent elsewhere. I don't honestly think that I can remember a time when any of my players were specifically interested in the date. Maybe that's just a result of my play style. I don't know.
What I do know is that seasons make a LOT more sense in terms of in-game time keeping. Terms like: Approximately two moons left in the rainy season... The end of the grain harvest... Dead of winter... seem to ring more true to me than some made up date. After all, the majority of the populace in the middle ages had absolutely no way of knowing the date, nor did they give a hoot.
Maybe clergy members might care about the date. I could see wizards being interested in some arcane system of dating via astronomy and the study of entrails, in order to keep track of important events "elsewhere" (distant planes and such...). But for the common everyday adventurer, how is "The 23rd day of Plestance, in the 5th age of the Great Wyrm" going to make any difference in play?
Sure, this might be nit picking, but I've always run my games using weather and seasons as markers of time, and it's yet to fail me. I even had a case of the PCs traveling to a different plane where time ran at a slower pace. When they returned it was still high summer, but two years later. They figured it out via NPC reactions to their return and odd comments about dogs that had passed away of old age, of a failed harvest due to early snows, and things like that. No mention of time, just events. They caught on pretty quickly.
That's just my Wednesday $.02.
7 hours ago