Stable time loops in fiction, by definition, are impossible. You can't sent a single molecule of nitrogen back in time without creating a different state in the present-day. Time loops, then, depend on the DM handwaving the "small stuff". In campaigns where time travel is a possibility, resurrection magic shouldn't be out of reach either.
But you bring up a good point. This particular brand of nonsense isn't for every campaign (especially not campaigns without time gods). And it is difficult to pull off, and may backfire. But, then again, that's why it's called a gambit.
There is only the single lead in, because I'm not interested in developing this as a plot. Simply a tool that can be used by the DM with delusions of grandeur (and I think DMs could use a couple of delusions) and are willing to employ heavy-handed machinations to preserve their PCs.
Also, you gave me a 2. Now I have a sadness. I will try harder, next time. Go to Comment
Maybe I'm not jaded yet, but I rather like this. It's a last ditch effort, sure, but it's still a new tool for my toolbox. If my party ever does get into a certain death situation, I now have at least one thing I can try to save them (and my glorious campaign along with them!). I say well done! Go to Comment
This sounds like so much fun, I'm tempted to work an adventure around it rather than waiting for the players to get in a jam. Dr Who aside, I generally don't find time travel in games or fiction very engaging, but this is good. Maybe it's my love of messing with my players' minds.
I would probably make the fighter's injury something less horrific than the loss of an arm, simply because most players would outright refuse to pull the red lever. Especially since the punishment for not doing it is so severe. It would have to be something uncomfortable, though, just to keep the tension up. Of course, I would throw a number of false red levers in just to keep him on his toes. Go to Comment
A solid idea that is well presented. I like the logic of how these coins came to be and I especially like the bits on the rune changing. In fact, I got mildly curious as to why after usage of the coin the rune becomes "debt". Go to Comment
They are a powerful undead being lost in time, more powerful than I'd like my mindless shamblers to be. I am more intrigued by the "Time Lich" idea than the zombie, but the idea itself is fleshed out well, for certain views of time. Go to Comment
Ok. I like this. Some crazy form of a Romero movie meets The movie In Time. It's really creepy to have undead act in a way we normally wouldn't think such as have intelligence, move exceptionally fast, or shift through time. I like it it's unique to me.
I can see a pack of these however taking over and effectively beating a powerful group off players having three or four of these in a group could decimate the ranks of powerful characters which begs the question, how many do you encounter at once? If it is just one then these Time Zombies must be really powerful.
One aspect you didn't hit on was why they were created. They don't look to me as being very good guards since they have a main goal of stealing time from someone to get their life back and the fact they can teleport through time seems unstable to have them in a keep or fortification to protect an evil bad guy without having the worry of them turning on them.
Another thing I don't understand is you said it is not contagious which leads me to believe they are only created as Time Zombies, see previous remark, yet they Turn their victims into a Time Zombie taking their place. Quite quickly i might add. It seems it is inevitable once they hit you your doomed.
Not that this is bad, but it seems far to over powered. If you see one of these things it seems almost impossible to kill it because of the shifting ability and it seems it's a sure thing that it will turn someone.
If that is what you were going for than kudos. I love impossible encounters that the players can not win by might alone. Which makes me wonder if there is only one of these since they seem so damn impossible to destroy then perhaps there is only one of them.
I can see my group of players trap their companion that was infected by the zombie and await an evil bad guy to infect to transfer the condition.
Like I said I love it. It's devious and brutal, other than the few issues I noted personally, I think this is a grand zombie. Go to Comment
I think what Val is saying it seems that the zombie only has to hit you once in order to steal your life force. There are creatures in other systems that have a specialized attack that takes affect only after a series of attacks.
For instance claw, claw, bite. The zombie claws at their victim with each claw. Each successful claw is a wounding hit but is intended to sink in and grab a hold. Once both claws are successful and their victim is held they make a bite attack to drain their victim. Similar to a vampire, which is what I was thinking in the beginning but instead of blood they drink it is your "soul" or your "chi".
Doing it this way gives the victim a chance to break free with a contested strength check or some such roll. Some people may not be strong enough to break free or even fast enough to defend from the two claw attacks. Not saying you need to change it but I think that is what Val is kind of getting at. Go to Comment
I'll agree with everyone else and say that I like them. They're flexible, evocative, interesting... what's not to like?
One thing that I think could potentially be interesting would be to use these guys like an involuntary time machine. You know: they catch the PCs, infect the PCs, and the PCs wake up 100 years later when they've caught someone else.
I'm also a bit curious what happens if you kill one. Does the universe go into time debt? Or do things just kind of go back to normal? Go to Comment
I agree with Val and Mourn about the Time-Claw being a smidge too unfightable. Were I to use these, it'd probably be a multi-turn combo, not just a single successful attack.
That minor bit aside, I really like the rest of it. The Liche version seems like a standard upgrade, but I'm not too sure most groups of NPCs would survive such an encounter. One Time Zombie is dangerous enough as is; a swarm of them is likely to be short and brutal. Combined with a boss-level master controlling and backing up said swarm, you've got a TPK on your hands.
As an aside, do you envision them being killable? Or just eternally passing on their condition from one person to another? Go to Comment
In some regions, various occupations might be exclusively staffed by members of a particular race or ethnic group. As examples, a city's butchers might tradtionally have orcish blood, or all the dwarves in an area could be expected to join the miners' guild (even if they personally have nothing to do with mining). Those who violate these stereotypes may find themselves in conflict with local customs or idiosyncratic laws.