Our AoW Campaign
The Age of Worms is only our second campaign using 3rd edition rules, but our group had been struggling to work together as a team in our last campaign and we were taking for-freakin-ever to finish anything. To help solve this, I came up with the idea of setting a time limit on each encounter and offering extra rewards for completing them on time. We'll let you know as we get further into AoW if it is helping our teamwork, but for now if you want to know how we are doing this read on for a more detailed explanation of our timed-event rules.
I wanted something to help our group out with speeding up our gameplay and helping us to work more as a group. It was supposed to be just something to do for a game session or two, but we had so much fun the first time we ran it that I think we'll keep trying it for awhile longer.
First, I divide each adventure into ten parts. Next, I assign some ridiculously difficult time-limit to each part. I give a bunch of challenge points to each section, too, and I call that "par time" and "par points". If the players can finish the section within a minute of the given time period, then they get all of the challenge points listed for that part of the adventure. For every minute over the "par time", I subtract 100 challenge points from the total for that part, and for every minute they finish under "par" I award them an extra 100 challenge points for that section. Of course, if they take too long in a section they can end up with zero points for that section.
I also pick one or more "bonus challenges" for each part of the adventure with an arbitrary amount of bonus challenge points given for each one completed.
I give each player a printout of the adventure parts (cryptically named, of course), the par times, the par challenge points and how many bonuses are in each part. The players have no idea when the next adventure part begins and only the vaguest of ideas of when it ends (the only clue to this is the cryptic name given to each section), all they know is that they have to move fast. They know they can come back to rooms or encounters at a later time if they want to after the section is completed, but they have no idea if things they skip are actually the end of the section or one of the bonuses associated with the section. It really makes the players think and work together as a team. They have to be decisive and quick to act. It does have the negative impact of reducing role-play opportunities and my ability to provide super-detailed descriptions, but we can always do that in another campaign.
Now, here's the kicker, when they finish the adventure they get to add up all of their challenge points and they can "spend" them on a treasure list that I give them at the start of each adventure. I've listed each item on the list with a price in challenge points. Its up to the party how they spend their points.
Link Description Example DM Challenge Sheet Here's an example of my (the DM's) Challenge Sheet for our first adventure (The Final Resting Place).
Example Player Challenge Sheet Here's the sheet I gave to each player with all the good stuff taken out. Example Treasure List Here's a copy of the Treasure List that they could spend their challenge points on after the adventure was finished. How they Scored Here's how the party scored and what they bought with their points.