Making some standard actions "out of world"

I get nervous messing with standard actions and rulebooks.

I’d like to make examining [something] and look actions “free”, or “out of world” so the world clock doesn’t tick forward.

Is there a basic way to change those actions?


It’s pretty easy to do – here’s what I’ve used for this in the past:

Examining something is acting fast. Looking is acting fast.  Taking inventory is acting fast.

The take visual actions out of world rule is listed before the every turn stage rule in the turn sequence rules.

This is the take visual actions out of world rule: if acting fast, rule succeeds.

Hopefully that’s self-explanatory – basically, the “rule succeeds” in the last line is called at the beginning of the turn sequence rules and therefore doesn’t run them. If you want other actions to not increment the turn count, just declare them as also “acting fast”.

From a design perspective, I would caution that this is something to be careful about – if you have a timer that isn’t incremented by looking, different players might have very different experiences of the sequence depending on whether they like to look at everything, then try stuff, or mess around with things one at a time. And if the point of the timer is to add urgency, this would have the effect of sapping that urgency. I actually wound up removing this feature from my first game in a post-Comp release since it made what was supposed to be a farcical scene of escalating tension and hijinks kind of flabby (I tried to compensate for the player-unfriendliness by flagging that saving at the beginning of the sequence might be a good idea).


I think the way Mike posted, the game cuts off the entire end-of-turn sequence. This includes “turns since” as well as every-turn rules and timed events. Depending on how you’ve set things up, this may or may not make sense.

For that matter, you might want to only skip some every-turn rules.


Might be worth looking at Variable Time Control by Eric Eve.


Thank you, all. This gives me plenty to work with.

It’s something I’ve gone back and forth on. I may end up just altering look and not examine something. For me as a player, I often use look as sort of a “I forget what was in this room.” action.

I have a couple situations that require player urgency, but I want that urgency to come from actually doing stuff, not from the player trying to understand what it is they’re looking at. Hopefully playtesting will tell me if I’ve messed up.

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