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What's the Point of a Timeline?

Adam

Posthuman
Validated User
Does any GM actually share timelines with players, or suggest that they look at them?
Unless a book specifies otherwise, I assume that all the setting information in a core book is stuff that the average character in a setting could access/learn, and thus, the players should read it -- if not before the campaign, at least once it's been going a few sessions.
 

Bankuei

Master of Folding Chair
Validated User
I generally use timelines in one of two ways, but in both cases it's about tying things to immediate play.

Context for Current Play

"It's only been 3 years since the first AI went rogue? So basically people are still coming to terms with it. Think pieces, thinktanks, no one has a 100% solid tested protocol yet. That's important to know."

"The war was only 15 years ago? You still have veterans walking around, people who saw it all happen, and people with crimes to cover up."

"No one has seen a true witch for 100 years. That means we're looking at pure hearsay and mythmaking now, with the vaguest of reality behind it, and maybe some projected motivations on top of everything."

So. Context. Useful for characters, situations, and the society.

Setting a campaign in the "past" of the timeline

Maybe there's a different period or situation that is more appealing to me - a timeline is useful to know what the context is of that time and what things HAVEN'T happened yet. ("Oh, wait, no one has united the East Island. It's all warring tribes. And no one has fire magic yet. Everyone still thinks dragons are extinct. Wow, that's going to look pretty different.")

- Chris
 

Delgarde

Registered User
Validated User
Unless a book specifies otherwise, I assume that all the setting information in a core book is stuff that the average character in a setting could access/learn, and thus, the players should read it -- if not before the campaign, at least once it's been going a few sessions.
And even if the book *does* specify otherwise, you still can't assume that the players haven't read it. Not because they're trying to cheat, but because they have their own copy of the book, and read it cover-to-cover long before you volunteered to try running it.
 
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