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Time is a measurement of intervals in which actions take place. In Crawl, time has multiple definitions:

  • Action Time: Every action in-game is measured in aut, or arbitrary units of time. Certain actions may be faster or slower relative to each other; you could perform 2 fast actions in the span of one slow one. This is what the "Time" counter in the status bar is measuring.
  • Turns: Every command uses up 1 turn, no matter if it was fast or slow (actions like autoexplore or resting count as multiple commands). This is used for a few game mechanics (such as stealth), is the main component in determining high scores, and the focus of a turncount speedrun. Turn count can be viewed in the % screen.
  • Clock Time: How long, in minutes and hours, a game has been running. This is recorded in-game and is measured for realtime speedruns. However, Crawl is turn-based; monsters won't move and the game won't progress no matter how much clock time passes. Clock time can also be viewed in the % screen.
  • System Time: The real life time of day, according to the computer/server you're playing on, which progresses even if the game is off. In-game, this is used for a singular cosmetic player title for Meteorae. Outside of it, system time is obviously used for discussions relating to the outside world ("when was a game played?" and such).