Absolute Timing

Cost: 5 CP (1 level only)

Description: You can tell the passage of time very accurately, even over long periods and in the absence of other clues (e.g., sun, church bells).

Benefit: Your estimate will always come within 10% of the actual amount of time that has passed. In practice, this means that if an event took 10 hours, your estimate will be anywhere from 9 to 11 hours. For comparison purposes, research shows that average people are routinely off by as much as 20%, even when estimating short time frames (around 5 minutes), a margin of error that grows rapidly as the time frame being estimated increases.

Typical modifiers to Ability level:

  • Disorientation (e.g., asleep, unconscious, drunk)
  • Magical inhibitors
  • Familiarity with activity being timed

Example: Agnes has Absolute Timing at level 5. She wants to bake a cake for her friend’s wedding. The cake she is attempting requires a precise baking time. Unfortunately, Agnes has broken her timer, so she has to “wing it”. The GM decides that the difficulty of getting it right, the pressure of the moment, and the fact that Agnes has made this type of cake many times before cancel each other out. She gets no bonus or penalty, so she rolls 5 dice (TN=4) for Absolute Timing and achieves 3 Ss. Agnes’s Absolute Timing Ability has saved her friend’s wedding day.