Wednesday, July 16, 2014

An egg timer?

I came across a mention of Dungeons & Dragons in an old issue of the science fiction/fantasy comic anthology published by Marvel Comics in the 1980s called Epic Illustrated.  The description of D&D is in a column called Gameview by Steven Grant that is sort of an overview of fantasy and sci-fi gaming, and I have to quote part of it for you:

"The game [Dungeons & Dragons] is played with a rule book, an egg timer, an unusual pair of dice, and the imagination of the players."

Egg timer?  The rest of the review is pretty spot-on, talking about how "survivors of one game simply take their characters on to a new level."  The game was still relatively obscure when this issue came out in June 1981, so the author might not be familiar with how D&D is played, but where the hell did the egg timer come from?

6 comments:

Stu Rat said...

Could be the DM of whatever game he saw/played used an egg timer to speed up the decision making of the platers, especially for combat. And the author thought that was the norm.

Ski said...

And the award for Best Use of a Kitchen Implement in a Drama or Comedy goes to... That guy with the egg timer!

Seriously though, I like the idea of putting players "on the clock" when it comes to making decisions.

biomckill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
biomckill said...

I think Stu Rat has a point there. Not the first DM I see that lose his patience with reluctant players. Probably the egg timer was used to set a time limit...

edowarsblog said...

I recall that in the Paranoia RPG players were under a strict time constraint to declare their actions. If the player is indecisive, the character is indecisive, and you do nothing for the round.

That could be an interesting way to approach D&D; an egg-timer would be excellent prop for such a game.

-Ed

HoldFast said...

Perhaps the timer is used when players fall into certain traps, like a room that slowly fills with sand and all the doors are locked. The timer reminds the players that they can't sit in the room and discuss how they will get out and forces immediate action.