Play Phases - Encounters and Downtime
Encounters are situations that Hunters will find themselves running into throughout their adventure time and time again. The bulk of the gameplay occurs during Encounter phases. An encounter is when a Hunter or a group of Hunters are faced with a challenge – either a dangerous adversity like a Beast, or when there is a test of skill like crossing a fast-flowing river. Encounters require Hunters to use their skills to complete a task, or perhaps even fail depending on how competent they are.
There are two types of encounters that can take place. Non-combat encounters use the Hunter’s expertise and experience in order to determine whether a Hunter is successful in their abilities or not. Combat encounters use teamwork and individual physical abilities of the characters to resolve the combat situation. Combat encounters occur when there is a hostile enemy that is fighting the Hunters. Both types of encounters can have positive and negative outcomes, and can wildly swing depending on how the Hunters choose to act, and how lucky they are.
On the other hand, downtime and rests are when Hunters are not pushed to their physical peak and can take a break. These occur between sets of Encounters. A Hunter may enter the Outlands, face many days to weeks of gruelling challenges, only sleeping to maintain their livelihood. When they return, Hunters deserve a long rest. These long rest periods, or downtime can last from a couple days to months and usually happen when Hunters have an extended period of relaxation when they are not on a contract. During these times, Hunters can commit to their hobbies, learn new skills and train old ones.
In an Encounter, the players may require precise measurements of distances. Other times, there is an abstract description of the playing field. When precise measurements are needed, an Encounter Grid is drawn up.
An Encounter Grid is an infinite plane of hexagonal boxes that tessellate. Each hexagon has a radius of 1 metre, meaning each hexagon has a diameter of 2 metres. Due to this, a hex or hexagon is equivalent to 2 metres. Encounter Grids are used to show absolute positions of entities on the field during an Encounter. Some Encounters, particularly Combat Encounters may require players to know the exact position of Hunters such that they can make strategic and tactical decisions. In non-combat encounters, the players may sometimes be forced to pass through an obstacle or challenge and this may require the need to know relative positioning such that the players can cooperate.
In other instances, Encounter Grids are not drawn up, but instead entities are described as relative positions. Descriptions are used to visualise the playing area, rather than drawn on an Encounter Grid.