# Time & Movement

RuneQuest defines time in the following ways:

  • Real Time: Actual time spent playing, rarely referred to.

  • Narrative Time: The quick passage of time that moves the game along, passing at whatever rate the gamemaster says. Generally used when nothing important happens or when the gamemaster wishes to get to the next scene.

  • Full Turn: Five minutes or 25 melee rounds. Few combats outside of actual battle last a full turn.

  • Melee Round: About 12 seconds long, this is the basic unit of time used in combat. One complete exchange of attacks, parries, spells, and movement happens in a melee round. Described more in Combat.

  • Strike Rank: Each melee round consists of 12 strike ranks (SR), measures of how quickly actions can be attempted. Described more in Combat.

  • Skill Time: The use of abilities can also mark the passage of time. Though combat skills can be repeated melee round after melee round, skill use may take much longer. See the Skill Time Examples.

# Skill Time Examples

Duration Examples
A few seconds to one melee round Weapon skills, Dodge, First Aid (to stop bleeding), Hide, Jump, Listen, Lore, Spirit Combat, Spirit Dance, Scan.
1–5 minutes Act, Bargain, Climb, Customs, Conceal, Dance, Fast Talk, First Aid (to heal damage), Insight, Intimidate, Lore, Listen, Move Quietly, Play Instrument, Read/Write, Sing, Sleight, Speak, Spirit Lore, Spirit Travel, Swim, Treat Disease, Treat Poison.
5–30 minutes Act, Charm, Customs, Dance, Herd, Intrigue, Lore, Oratory, Peaceful Cut, Read/Write, Search, Sing, Speak, Spirit Travel.
30–60 minutes Battle, Charm, Customs, Herd, Lore, Oratory, Read/Write, Track.
1 hour to many days Battle, Charm, Farm, Herd, Lore, Manage Household, Meditate, Prepare Corpse, Read/Write, Survival, Worship.

When in doubt about how long a skill takes to perform, the gamemaster always has the final say.

# Measures and Distance

RuneQuest uses the metric system. Rough Imperial equivalents are: one meter equals roughy 1.1 yards; one kilometer equals 0.6 miles; and one kilogram equals 2.2 pounds.

# Movement

Movement is flexible, measured in Move (MOV) units. Each point of MOV in combat represents three meters, running, or when outside. An unencumbered adventurer not in combat may move up to 8 MOV (up to 24 meters) in one melee round. For each unit (three meters) of movement an unengaged adventurer makes during the melee round, add +1 to their strike rank if they wish to take any action. An adventurer engaged in melee cannot move until disengaged.

# Travel Time

The time it takes to go from one place to another depends on how hard the route traveled is and whether the travelers are mounted, on foot, or with wagons. A group can only go as fast as its slowest member, unless they are content with leaving the slowest one behind and letting them catch up when possible. When a group of adventurers are traveling together and some are mounted and some are not, the usual speed is around 5 km/hour on foot, assuming a steady pace.