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August 26, 2007, 5:21 pm

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WWMWBI - If Time Travel Were Possible?

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The stream of time can suddenly be breached. What happens now?

Time. The ever-onward, eternally turning wheel. Often in games the branch of Time Magic is given a level of power unequaled by any of the other branches of magic. Time magic is one of the only schools of magic that most GMs outright ban within their games. And rightfully so, as messing with time can produce horrifying results, both in terms of the game world and gamemastering.

Once the players can manipulate time, what’s to prevent them from eliminating your prized super villain, reducing your carefully crafted campaign to a single cold-hearted adventure of time-hopping genocide? Kill the baby before he threatens the world. Better yet, kill the mother too, just in case she produces another child that turns into the Antichrist. Pretty soon your characters are starring in their own remake of Terminator, except they don’t have an Austrian accent going for them.

Plenty of games have portrayed the results of time travel, as well as a number of movies and a few t.v. shows. The common theme is the same in all of them, however: time must not be changed, or the world and future will suffer in unimaginable ways.

So, keeping in mind such wonderful movies like Terminator and The Time Machine, and video games such as Chrono Trigger and World of Warcraft, what would the general result of time travel be within your game world? Who would be able to travel the streams of time? What would they do? Would a time-watcher organization pop up to manage things?

What would your world be if time travel were possible?



Additional Ideas (2)

Time Travel in Aterrizar
Chronomancy is possible in my homebrew setting, but it is completely non-existant in the game setting. The reason behind this has to do with the machinations of the gods, and the demon-gods that they usurped and replaced. Linear time is the door and lock on the prison that was made to hold the elder gods, and the use of time travel would break those bars, releasing the elder gods from their millenial imprisonment.

The first thing that would happen would be the physical destruction of Dimmault, a world roughly half the size of the host planet of Aterrizar, Ae. With the prison broken, the elder gods and their hosts of misshapen demons and devils would range outwards from that dying shell. The Celestial City would be laid to waste as the elder gods exacted their revenge from their usurping offspring. They would than turn their attention to the main planet, cross the astral sea like a black cloud, would unleash horrors not even matched by the nightmare war.

It would not be the end of the world, but a new beginning as the demons and devils replaced the mortal races, and the elder gods recast the Celestial City in their new twisted images. It would be the beginning of a new age of fire, ash, and darkness.
0xp

2007-08-26 08:00 PM » Link: [4240#29592|text]

Time Travel in Coldforged

Throughout the lands of the Coldforged setting, time travel is a relatively unknown phenomenon, rarely heard of and rarely practiced. Magic itself is rare, but also sometimes powerful, as is the case with chronomancy, the art of manipulating the flow of time. Chronomancy is a carefully guarded secret, known only by the Secterii Cabal of Silmar, and by the Grand Wizard of the Steamwork City, also known as the Chronomage. Jealously these men and women protect the ancient secrets of time manipulation, though their manners of control are vastly different. While the Chronomage uses steam machinery and magic, with thin coils hooked into the body of the time traveler, the Cabal uses potent enchanted circles, tattooing the traveler and surrounding him with exotic items and minerals imbued with special properties. Albeit the methods used to achieve time travel are different, the outcome is pretty much the same: 1) Travel to the past Only the spirit can travel to the past, or rather to the echoes of what once was, for the past is no more. There is only the present. Still, those few who know how to do so often travel to the past as a time ghost, if only to witness important events, or to glean some insight into secrets buried by the sands of time. GM Note: While traveling to the past the traveler is in all senses and regards a ghost. The persons in the past might sense something strange, like someone is watching, but only the most powerful of mages can truly detect the presence of a watcher (and might in turn banish the presence). Traveling like this is primarily used to study ancient rituals, secrets and historically important events. 2) Travel to the future When traveling to the future, the body of the traveler will follow along, for this is a purely one way trip. The traveler simply ceases to exist in the present and will pop out in the future, when the present catches up with the future. This type of chronomancy is seldomly employed, save for some notorious warlocks of old that escaped persecution in this manner.
0xp

2007-08-28 12:01 PM » Link: [4240#29616|text]
Hmmm.... *tastes the word "Chronomage"*

Yuck. Must find a replacement.
0xp

2007-09-26 03:23 PM » Link: [4240#30652|text]
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Comments ( 16 )
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epsilon
August 27, 2007, 1:11
0xp
The famous professor Lirekfen Kcabreist in his his book "Beyond Yesterdays Humbug" Made note that, no one had ever claimed time travel because once you exit the present, you no longer exist in that time line and as such can not return to it. When I say return I mean interact. You therefore are unable to boast and claim time travel.

Lets take a person known as Jim, ourselves and our perspective on the three separations of time.
A denotes past.
B denotes Jim's Present
C denotes future.
(A)
Jim stumbles across a time machine and travels back in time. Even tho he lands perfectly at 1820 he cannot interact with it in anyway. He is like a ghost, unseen, unheard and definitely unable to change. Because what he is seeing has already happened you see. Even tho from his perspective he is at the moment. That moment has already happened.
The girl gets run over by the milkman, its already happened. Jim is powerless to change something that has already transpired. We know its transpired because of the numerous happenings that can be traced back to that event. Even tho he has traveled back from the (B) to (A) he cant change (A) from our perspective, because to us (A) has already transpired. The dog is chasing its tail.
He can of course observe (A).

(B)
Poor Jim can now however no longer return to (B) as (B) from his perspective and ours has moved on. He wasn't there when his boss burst into the room to catch him red handed at the scotch bottle, instead of doing his work. Jim was also,unable to breath out, in the split second after he time jumped and thus did not pass on the flu virus, to the tea lady who was just about to enter and offer him afternoon tea. So Jims future from our perspecitve is changed dramatically, in that same way as if Jim has suffered a fatal heart attack. Those who's time lines are connected to his are changed.

(C)
Jim cannot find a stable lock on the future, because it hasn't transpired yet. That is, the intricate and chaotic events, from which the time fabric is weaved, can at any one moment produce zillions of future outcomes. Because that trigger event has not yet transpired, one cannot jump to the next event or end result of the string of events. That future stone may not exist at all or be anywhere from a few milliseconds to hours from a predicted path.

Jim is lost in time, to time. He has no way of reconnecting himself back to a timeline that we can observe.

Lirekfen also goes on to observe and dispel, the possible link or theory that haunted houses and ghost n such are simply lost time travelers. Lirekfen was reported to have rebuked a student at one of his lectures once with.

"Did you not listen! At point (A) you can not interact with anything from that time. If for example you saw a ghost, you may stop, or scream. Those events however trivial would change the course of events. But we the observers know the course of events, we have history, we have evidence. Now sit down, before I really show you how to create ghosts. And next time, think of A and B before you mutter and create a C that shouldn't exist."
epsilon
August 27, 2007, 19:54
0xp
mm maybe I was too subtle in my above text. I was eluding too this thought. It might be of interest for a bunch of characters to end up together in this "outsidetime". A plot, a location, a world, in itself, fighting off whatever falls in with them and desperately trying to find themselves a "timehome".
Siren no Orakio
August 27, 2007, 6:50
0xp
Well, gentlemen, let me tell you what happened the last time I time traveled in a game.

As several particularly powerful, and ambitious parties existed at the time, only one of which was a party of PCs, thank goodness, we spent several months rearranging and counter-rearranging the time stream to best advantage. In time, we all got very sick of this, including the GM. Therefore, we decided to end time travel. We did this by traveling back in time. To the Beginning, or, at least as soon as we could fit. There, we found the elder gods being born, killed them before they came into their power, and took their stuff, better known as Everything(tm). We then spent several minutes fending off the wave of other adventurers trying to stop us, until such time as our chronomancer managed to finish seizing control of the laws of causality and thus ending the problem, and giving us a new universe to adventure in later.

Never again.
Wulfhere
August 27, 2007, 11:11
0xp
In an essay on time travel, the science-ficton author Larry Niven postulated that in any universe where time travel was possible, it would never be developed. His reasoning was that in such a universe, people would travel in time until they intervened in the timestream in such a way as to catastrophically interfere with their culture's ability to travel in time. Once time travel became an impossibility, the timeline would no longer change.
valadaar
August 27, 2007, 11:13
0xp
This is a good discussion on why time travel cannot/should not exist, but that was not the question/point of this sub. It is asking what your world would be like if it DID.

So we are in the realms of pure fantasy, as Time Travel is out of the pale for Hard Sci fi for the reasons already posted.

Obviously the accepted effects of time travel cannot happen otherwise it would not fit the premise that Time Travel does exist.

To avoid this, you need to consider time travel as a powerful Plot device and by no means allow unretricted access to this to the PCs. If you want the PCs to go back in time to kill dinosaurs, why not? The dinosaurs all die eventually and few make any real contribution to the future, except perhaps as fossil fuel and curiosities for scientists.

So what would keep it from being rampant?

1. Time is a river - a few stones dropped in will not affect it's course. There may be a few ripples but over time these work themselves out.

2. The Gods. Being by some accounts outside of time, they can easily reach in and make things right. Perhaps the gods are so detached generally because they are cleaning up the mess timetravellers cause.

3. Inertia of destiny. If you kill the great Baddies great grandfather, some other person very similar is born who fills the exact same place in destiny.

4. Active Defense. Any timeframe with magic-using beings is likely to employ seers of various types. They can, by seeing the future, act as warning devices aganist magical intrusion. They may not know (or care) that they come from the past, present or future. It is the affects of their intervention that the powers that be will likely seek to prevent. Those who stand to benefit might not take action, but those on the loosing side will definately take action.

5. Self Preservation. PCs will need to know that if they change too much, their own time might change radically. In short, it is in their best interest to be very subtle.
Voted valadaar
August 28, 2007, 4:40
0xp
I think this is a good discussion...
Ancient Gamer
August 28, 2007, 12:05
0xp
I think you guys are too quick to judge. Time travel is cool and possible, you just need to pull in the reins somewhat.
Voted Ancient Gamer
August 28, 2007, 13:54
Only voted
Voted Cheka Man
August 29, 2007, 12:56
Only voted
Barbarian Horde
August 30, 2007, 11:02
0xp
ahhh, the ol' complicated, controversial, and cringe-inducing time travel debate.

Some of the comments seem to focus on time travel in general , as opposed to focusing on what the scroll is asking. What would your world be like IF time travel were possible.

Anyhoo, I like the scroll format, so we can see how different citadelians handle time travel in their respective campaign worlds.
valadaar
August 30, 2007, 11:24
0xp
Who was that masked Hordester?
Murometz
August 30, 2007, 16:16
0xp
me, I've been timing out a lot lately
Chaosmark
August 30, 2007, 16:44
0xp
Strangely enough, so have I. What's up with that?
Voted Scrasamax
August 30, 2007, 12:30
0xp
I am guilty of my own pet peeve, adding to a scroll and not voting or commenting! I think this is a mixed success, it got alot of discussion stirred up about the topic, but with a few exceptions no one added to the scroll.
Chaosmark
August 30, 2007, 15:33
0xp
Yeah. I'm working on my own entry to it, but it probably won't get done within the next few days, simply due to various factors that like to run interference with the Citadel (school, church, food, head injuries, etc.)

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