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MoonHunter Sayeth 20170724

MoonHunter

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You know, The Bard was a character on Dr Who.
Time Travel

To Blog or to buy and download all the Dr Who books from the Humble Bundle now going on 0724, that is the question.

Whether 'tis nobler for my loyal following to be more enlightened,

Their slings and arrows of comments pointing out that I be a pretty sad blogger.

Should I take to typing and fight this internet of troubles.

and by opposing them, end them?
...
You can guess by what you are reading which one I chose. Still I can be blog like.

Yah. I went with Dr. Who. Been a fan since I saw Doctor when I was target audience (it was a children's show originally) and the Doctor had a bad haircut and a funny coat... Oh wait, that isn't very descriptive is it. Been there through ten regenerations now (missed number six).

Still, you can spend a lot of time with Dr. Who like gaming. You don't have to have this lovely game from Cubicle Seven (though it is fun). Time travel comes in all varieties. I like the Doctor and have played a Dr. Who game or six in my time. (I was either the troublesome companion or the teacher's pet.) Dr Who play fits solidly in one sub genre. This is the crazy people with a time/ dimension machine they can kind of control genre of temporal gaming. This makes for a scenario based situation - an easy bit for the GM. The group slides/ falls through the tunnel/ walks through the gateway/ turns the switch and finds its way through to another time and place (and sometimes dimension). The GM presents the environment where they land and foreshadows all those potential "interesting events" that the players. The players try to survive the scenario for long enough to be able to slide/ fall/ jump/ travel again. Someday they learn to control their travel some, but moslty it is random.

Even if you can control your travels, you might not actually control your travels. Something else could be dictating where you need to go. You can be Bill and Ted like for loose continity, problem solving travellers like Back to the Future, frightened butterfly steppers who keep jumping back to fix things, or just ignore it all and let it be a romp.

I did this a lot with the Waunderer's Way, which is a game setting I created which is a bit sliders, a bit more paratime, and some Dr. Who for flavor. Random people, small temporal tool that requires recharges after jumps, and a skill you would have to build up to control the tool. Players were free to just waunder around and engage the world or run from temporal hunters.

The only problem with these kinds of games are two fold. First, you don't always have something to do. You may opt not to engage the world around you or it is nothing that interests the player or character. Secondly, the character group has to be designed with the group in mind. Otherwise, the group will be highly ineffective in many situation and may not function well with each other.

However, you could go from temporal/ dimensional vagabonds to something like the Time Patrol or Paratime Police. All the fun of travelling to different times and places, but with a bit more control in your world. Still, it tends to be scenario driven. I like these kind of games because as a GM or player you can't get board of the setting and there are a lot of different crimes or troubles that you can encounter. Still some players are not equipped to be "cops" with bosses, structure, and all that.

Somewhere in between is the Time Agent ala Luther Arkwright (or maybe Jerry Cornelius). The characters might have a supporting organization, but mostly they are on their own. They see the threat and deal with it in their own sort of way. They are free to run about time and find trouble or go specifically to get it.

C0ntinuum is a game of time travelling freebootery, until you advance enough and get sucked into temporal society. You could opt not to but really it limits you.

Fringeworthy also falls in the middle. Yes, you had an organization to back you up. However once you were on the pathways, you were pretty much on your own. Yes this is a dimensional travel game, but most people stick to alternate earth history worlds.

GURPs Inifinite Worlds setting has little time travel, but a lot of dimensional travel and alternate history work. There are six or so good chronicle frameworks our of that setting that will range from strict military/police to rambling vagabonds.

I just have to mention two worlds settings. These are often like time settings, but not quite. The characters come from "somewhere" and travel to "now"/"somewhere else". Terra Nova and Time Trax were such settings (and TV shows). Outlander is another one that is popular. Sometimes you could slip back and forth, but most of the action happens on the other side. The advantage of these games is that there are only two settings to "create" and their interaction between them.

Time Games require a bit more work than your random science fiction world. If you are travelling on Earth, you have some real history to condend with. This means a bit more research than your average one shot location. If you are travelling to alternate dimensions, you need to come up with reasonable and rational dimensions.

You also need to detail out the "now" of the background that the characters are anchored to. So you need the Society behind the Patrol, The Watch, The Timelords, and so on. You will also need to work on the background for the "big villians" that will come into play every now and again. Not all the time. Don't fall into the boring villain trap, even if they are time travelling Nazis Remember - per the series Bible- The Daleks are only supposed to show up once a season. Otherwise given their popularity it would be too much Daleks too much of the time.... and they would get boring or stale. So have a one big villians and a couple "runners up for big villains" to fill in the adventures in between.

Now that you have something that requires more work, you are going to have to do a lot of it. You tend to travel to one "time/space", have an adventure/ scenario, and then leave... seldom to return. This means that the GM needs to do a lot of extra work and have a backlog of adventure ready locations (times/places).

Time Games require GMs to do a lot of world building and on a regular basis. While time games sound fun to the players, the GM has to determine if they are truly worth it.

To have a game that everyone will enjoy has the prerequisites that the GM likes to build settings/ environments, the GM knows a bit about history, and the players are willing to follow "the rules of time travel as they are going to work in the world".

Speaking of that, you need to work out the rules of time travel for the setting/ chronicle. Will you see the results of your handywork in the future? Does time erase most of the shenanigans or is taking the last Hors d'Oeuvres going to change time and require you to travel back and fix it. How much resistance to paradox are you allowing? What time/ travel tricks can you (and the enemy) do? Things to consider. Make sure the players know what they are getting into about paradox, change, and temporal/ dimensional complications.

After all that, you need to have a flexible, fairly universal system. This will allow you to adapt skill to all these new locations. It will also let the GM not have a nervous breakdown making all those NPCs.

So yes, make time for some Time Travel Campaign if you can.
 

MoonHunter

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From one of the Random off the cuff setting ideas threads

Seven Days.

Just with more people in the sphere/dodecahedron.

The rest of the staff is PC run NPCs.
Wow. I like this idea a lot. After my current game I might have to give this a good, hard look. So thanks for that..
I really like this idea too. I really want to run it, but it is not gonna happen with my current players. I do have a thing for time travel games (and their villians) and even dimensional travel games.

You know bits of Timeless might sneak in.
 
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MoonHunter

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Time Enforcement Commission (TEC)

In 2003, The U.S. government creates the Time Enforcement Commission (TEC) to combat the misuse of newly developed time travel technology. They have discovered that time travel makes crime really easy to perform and that time travel, if your technicians do all the calculations correctly, is ridiculously easy to do.

You are a TEC Agent. You capture Time Criminals before they contaminate the time stream too badly. (If things go really south, there is the Time Line Protection Unit (TPU is hyper dangerous science soldier types).

You live for the bleeper, so you and your team get rocketted to the past via a time sled with some sketching information from the Time Scanner. Nobody said time travel makes law enforcement easy.
 

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ChronoCorps

The Timewardens are an organization who are charged with protecting the time streams from infiltration from Dimension 46. The semi-organized invaders from this realm are raiding the timestream (though focusing on the modern era) for various elements and things. While they are doing this, they are destabilizing the timelines (which is actually part of their plan.. as things destabilize, they can steal chrono energy for their own nepharious purposes.

The Timewardens realize that their own forces are can not handle these beings. They need people with more chronoenergy (reality) than their own forces. They recuit heroes from various eras (after they have completed their moment in history) to protect chrononodes (like the modern era). These time torn heroes are here to save history and protect those innocents in the chrononodes. (Note: sometimes these heroes will be pulled to other times and places for fun side missions).

This game will have to invoke the Feng Shui rule. Problems with languages and cultures differences from different eras need not to limit the character (overmuch), but should be played for laughs.
 

MoonHunter

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Time Thrust

It is a little known fact that time travel actually exist. The groups that possess it are currently supressing the information (with a little government help) so they can test it, do some initial research, and so on. The process isn't perfect and probably never will be, so most people can trip through time twice, maybe three times.

Certain people, in fact those who can travel "better" (make multiple jumps with minimal issues - they get like a +8 to their survive time travel check), come out "better" on the other end, possessing unique abilities and expanded skills. (pulp era super hero level). This makes for better travellers. It also means you have exceptionally powered individuals in a historical epoc. Now normally this is not a problem, however time travel beside some physical issues.. can cause some mental ones. Thus they frequently have to send a team back in time to correct things before the reality wave reaches "now".

Imagine a game where you are archeologists, historical simulationist, various experts in certain odd areas of history or science. (Some plain normal people are grabbed because they carry T-factor and become better when they travel.) You get scooped up and shoved into a machine to send you to the past to clean up or rescue someone who screwed up. Sure you would have new characters much of the time, but after a while an entire stable of potential operatives would be there.

Stream of thoughtAnd the machine does not have to break every friggen time... and maybe you can do the alternate timeline (as the machine expands its abilities.. you can mess around on those world... and not screw up ours).... and maybe time travellers from the future are arriving "today" and they have powers... and alternate timeline people. and...


Properly ripped off from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_(novel) (Which is so much better than the movie if you are a gamer that you should read it.)
 
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The Tunnel

Two American scientists are lost in the swirling maze of past and future ages, during the first experiments on America's greatest and most secret project, the Time Tunnel. Tony Newman and Doug Phillips now tumble helplessly toward a new fantastic adventure, somewhere along the infinite corridors of time.

Or some basic variation on that.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Time_Tunnel
 

MoonHunter

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Part of the problem running a time travel game, especially those set in the past, is the amount of study and research you have to do for each scenario/ location. It can be pretty darn daunting.

Situation Framings
A requirement to "level up" past a certain point would be a situation framing. Consider it a "paragraph summary" of a cool bit of historical locations/ events/ people. This describes where, when, and who is in this frame... and why they are important/ interesting. You must include a minimum of 1-3 plot lines that could occur within this framing. If you turn in extra ones, you can earn XP.

This ensures that there will be events that you as a player are interested in. It lightens the load of the GM, because if you are not a history major or serious buff, running a time travel game can suck up soooo much time just researching locations to land.
 

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The Garage

Somewhere very suburban of moderate affluence a man in his garage discovered time projects (travel). If someone could chronicle his story, it would be your classic time travel descent into madness issue (see Butterfly Effect and Primer), as he took multiple trips into the past to do and undo his actions. He eventually ended up dead, shot by himself, in a canal outside of The City. Then he committed suicide. This would wonderful and brain bending movie.

This however, is not our story.

The device is still plugged in and on, on his workbench. It looks like just another piece of junk there. His wife is going to ignore all of that. It will be six and a half years before he is declared dead. It will be another 14 years before his wife dies. It will be 6 months before they discover the remains, as the same people turning off her power to the house for lack of payment will see her lying in the kitchen throught the window. This would not be a problem except the time projector needs to be properly booted up and shut down, much like an old windows pc, to avoid issues. The power was just shut down, then turned back on (so the police can investigate and so on), then shut down. That is The Act.

Periodically for the last 100 years, increasing in frequency six months ago, time displacement has occured. Things from today are being sent to other times. Things from other times are being brought back here. Dinosaurs are rare but happen. Things from around the last ice age occur. people from the 1950s seem to be popular as well. People from various future timelines seem to happen as well, as well as genetically advanced creatures. (Super-rat are our bane). All of these things come from alternate timelines (though alternate pasts are had to notice in most cases).

Each is accompanied by rift. A rift opens up, stays open for a time, then closes. Things can shift back and forth through them. (luckily for us, many open up underground OR high in the sky, so the shifted thing is dead or soon dead). They last for no set period of time and are of no set size. Rifts frequently mess with the weather as well.

The Rifts center around the south of the city (about where the canals are and not too far far from The Garage), though they are a world wide phenomena. The number of rifts are increasing (and propably will do so until the Act, then they will diminish in number).

The Agency deals with this. Ideally things will be caught and shoved back through their rifts. Dangerous things are neutralized (usually with prejudice), but less dangerous things are captured and taken back to The Agency for study. (A few lucky people are released, but usually they are kept in the Agency.) They also try to keep the public knowledge of the rifts to a minimum. (The world is comming to an end in about 20 years... yes that would play well to the public). They recruit some people who find out about it all. After all, if they are smart of enough to determine the truth, they are more than smart enough to solve the problem.

You are one of the few with Timesense. You might of thought yourself a bit mad or daft, or might of actually been in an institution. You can see when time is "wibble wobbly" to quote the techs. You have been recruited by "The Agency" to help deal with time displaced things. (Some PCs might not have time sense, but useful skills ... the trade off is there. You can see the "displaces" and have a feel for anything that they change.
 

MoonHunter

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What if you could use time travel to save your life?

Welcome to “LIFELINE Insurance Agency. You have been hired to become a jumper, an agent. You are here to ensure that our clients do not die. Once you are trained, you will jump forward in time to prevent the deaths of our clients.


You can never go back in time. You can't go anywhere you are currently are. Eventually you will catch up to "where you go".

In the future, there are forces that will try to stop you. In most cases, the resistance is minimal. In other cases, well there is a reason you are armed....
 
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