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Time Travel in yourgame?

So if/when that happens....the Mercenary could kill the Fighter. So each of them is the other’s killer. It’s the kind of whacky concept that can only come up when time travel is involved.
Sure, but what if that doesn't happen? One of the issues with attempted foreshadowing is that you, as the DM, have no idea whether something will actually happen in the future. Time travel is just one more avenue by which someone might learn the outcome of events which have not happened yet.

I guess you'll have to wait and see, but there are many more ways for this to go wrong than for it to go right.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Now we need several trips back, not a 'time-lock'.

In Timeless, that's not possible. You cannot travel to a time in which you already exist. The results are gross and messy and fatal. That's why he went back to try to try to make sure the killer wasn't born - because he wasn't born yet either, so it was the best opportunity he could find.

Waiting for years to send a child back has its flaws. Specifically, if you aren't at peace, and the bad guys have a time machine too, while you are waiting years to pass, the bad guys could win. And, you're living in misery because your love was killed, and all that. Love does not admit to much patience, you know :)
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Sure, but what if that doesn't happen? One of the issues with attempted foreshadowing is that you, as the DM, have no idea whether something will actually happen in the future. Time travel is just one more avenue by which someone might learn the outcome of events which have not happened yet.

Yes, this one can be tricky.

It would be wise to set up several ways this statement could be true. One is "we kill each other". Another is, "you spared my life (or I owed you some other great debt) and this is when that comes due".

Okay, time for another very fun bit of time-travel shenanigans. The PCs find a tome of great age, written in a tongue that they can barely decypher (or, if translation magics are used, the resulting phrasing is awkward and archaic, because it is a dead tongue nobody living speaks, giving the magic little to work with). It describes a group of adventurers and their exploits. Except... the adventurers are clearly... the party! No given names are used, but the descriptions are clear - The dwarven paladin of <god>, the wielder of wild magics, the priestess of the Moon, and so on. They have found prophecy about themselves! They go about using the information to inform their adventures....

In reality, the book is a history. The book is about distant ancestors of the PCs, who before they retired worked magics to bring their descendants together if a time of great need arose.

(Yes, it is time travel shenanigans - it is just that the only time travel is forward at the rate of one year per year :p )
 

Sure, but what if that doesn't happen? One of the issues with attempted foreshadowing is that you, as the DM, have no idea whether something will actually happen in the future. Time travel is just one more avenue by which someone might learn the outcome of events which have not happened yet.

I guess you'll have to wait and see, but there are many more ways for this to go wrong than for it to go right.

Yeah, we’ll have to see. The confrontation seems very likely, but that could change. And even if that confrontation does happen, I wouldn’t force that outcome. Especially not in the case of something like a PC’s death.

So if it doesn’t actually come to pass...I don’t think anything’s actually “gone wrong”. The Mercenary’s cryptic last words will remain cryptic. Or perhaps there’s some other way to apply them.

The idea just seemed too interesting to not throw it out there.
 

the Jester

Legend
I've done it extensively over the years, but carefully. Generally, time travel involves journeys into eras from the distant, distant past- there's no "let's go back and stop the bad guy who outsmarted us when we were 3rd level" kind of stuff. Also, time is fragile, has defenders, and isn't completely understood by scholars, much less pcs.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
You cannot travel to a time in which you already exist. The results are gross and messy and fatal.
Buying that 30-year-old house right after I moved out on my own seemed like a really neat idea. I had no idea that, when I moved some stuff into Deep Storage in the attic, I would find a box of letters stashed in the back corner. All the letters had "Open me on" dates on the envelopes … and were in my own handwriting. :confused:
The ones I've read so far were full of good advice...
 


Yaztromo

Explorer
I think that, while for sure a complex issue, time travelling can be limited in scope by the technology required and by its availability.
For example, Falcon gamebooks (https://gamebooks.org/Series/146) allow time travelling, but there are only a few times and places in the universe where you can go, as timetravelling needs to exploit some "singularities" in the fabric of space-time, and there are just a dozen or so time machines offically registered.
 

Yes and not. The PCs are allowed to travel to the time spheres, something like the hollow earth from Mystara setting. This allow traveling to the past, but without changing the true present and avoiding time paradoxes.

Sometimes if the changes by the chrononauts or time-travellers are too big, then a new time timeline is created, or little details are changed but not changed, like Schrodinger's cat. If there are too many timelines, then there is a cosmic conflict, and the "loser" timeline are really destroyed, but become a special demiplane, a dream or nightmare kingdom. It isn't so bad but power by fay lord are higher and there are more rifts to the far realm, and this is bad, because appear a lot of no-welcome visitors. Some time spheres are really prisons of great powers with altered memories and they believe they are only ordinary people living normal lives (something like a softer version of the rpg Kult: lost divinity).
 

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