forum i need help putting togeather a dating system
Started by @Purple-Cat location_cityThe Worldbuilder

people_alt 54 followers

@Purple-Cat location_cityThe Worldbuilder

i can't figure out how to date my world, its existed for a long time and it gets kinda confusing. so far to only way i've come up with is day/month/amount of years monarch has been in power/number of rulers up to the current one, so it would be something like 2/3/5000/900, and once a new ruler is crowned the 5000 would have to go back down to 0 and start all over again and i'm not really sure how the people living in the world would handle such a sudden change

@Katastrophic group

The way I read dates is just kinda skipping over tbh, especially if there are a ton of numbers right in a row. what I usually see in writing is day#, written month, then year #. Maybe you could do day/month/year of _ where _ is the name of the ruler. So a random one would be 12/May/1800 of Smith. I think anything to reduce the amount of straight numbers definitely helps, as names are much easier to remember than numbers when it comes to plot stuff.


ahh so I've been procrastinating on getting this sorted for a long time, so thanks for finally forcing me to sit down and look into it lol

general things I've found:

  • first thing to think about is whether or not science is the same in this world as in ours! our current system of 365 days a year plus leap years is the way it is because we follow a solar calendar (the Gregorian one, in the West, which was developed off of the Julian one). but lunar calendars are also a thing! or there could be several moons, or several suns, or the seasons could be different, etc. figuring out the science behind the calendar first can be a really important way to make sure it all checks out.
  • second thing - once you have the science down, you figure out where the people making the calendar live and how that would affect their choices (like how many hours in a day, how many days in a week, how many weeks in a month, how many months in a year, and why).
    for example, Ethiopia uses a different time system and calendar than the West. It's 2012 there right now, they have 13 months (close to the equator so the seasons check out differently), and they start counting hours at sunrise (so what's 6 o'clock for us is 1 o'clock for them) because sunrise is way more consistent. people will make choices like this depending on what's most convenient for them. the point of calendars is to be able to do things consistently, like festivals or holidays or work hours or whatever, so the most fixed points in their environment will probably be the basis of these kinds of choices.
  • third thing - figuring out what to call it. like you mentioned, some countries go by rulers (North Korea's calendar starts in the birth year of Kim Il-Sung, which was 1912 for the rest of us) or important historical events (the French Revolution technically tried to change the calendar so that it's the year 227 there now, but that's kinda faded because it's a pain) or significant religious points (AD, the year of our Lord, which some Pope just decided and which is probably not accurate lol). stuff like this depends on how global your world is? if people have a lot of contact internationally, it would be a pain for them to keep converting times and dates and they'd probably set some kind of standard. if they're insular or travel is hard and they're only really in the same Empire or whatever, then they could hyperfocus on that.

idk, hope some of that was helpful. unfortunately now that I've researched it I have even less of a reason not to be working mine out yikes