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Gralamin
2010-02-26, 05:24 PM
I tend to DM a lot of games. This means that I'm constantly thinking of new and interesting campaign ideas to try to use, and new systems to explore. With this in mind comes my latest idea of a Time Travel based game (in similar spirit to Chrono Trigger). However, I have no idea which system to use. So, If you were running a Time Travel based game, which system would you use and why?.

Character wise, I imagine the characters already start a cut above, but at the end are hugely above the average power level.

"Time periods" I wish to be able to represent:

-Extremely low technology level (Cave men)
-Medieval Fantasy
-Steampunk
-Space Age
-Dystopian Future


Systems I know (And I'm open to using):
D&D (4E, 3.5)
M&M
Shadowrun
Iron Heroes
d20 Modern
BESM 3rd edition
Various nWoD stuff (But dislike using)
Edit: Star Wars Saga Edition

I can learn another system easily though.

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The other idea I've heard is to do System Swapping as you go to different times. This is an intriguing Idea, and something I'll consider, but I won't try unless someone has a great idea of how to do it.

Mark Hall
2010-02-26, 06:00 PM
I'd use Transdimensional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but that's about 15 years out of print. No matter what you use, I suggest against system swapping... getting characters "right" between systems is a pain.

Probably, given what you have, I'd look at d20 modern or maybe Shadowrun.

Raum
2010-02-26, 06:02 PM
What do you want the system to be able to do? What do you want it to encourage? Discourage?

Over the Edge seems like a good 'lite' system with mechanics easily portable from one setting to another. Savage Worlds is a moderate crunch system with settings for all of the genres you've listed. GURPS also supports all the settings and has even more crunch. If you want a less traditional style of game you might look at Wushu (lite), FATE (moderate), or Burning Wheel (heavy). It all depends on what you want the system to do for you...

oxybe
2010-02-26, 06:03 PM
GURPS or any other generic system.

i would not recommend using a system that tries to emulate a genre by default, for example D&D follows the pulp/action sword & magic genre by default and that requires houseruling to start emulating another genre.

those genre games are usually very focused in their domain and require heavy working to get out of it. however, if you do want the "change worlds, change the game", i would say this is the best way to do so. otherwise if you want one single, coherent set of rules, go GURPS or another generic system.

Amphetryon
2010-02-26, 06:22 PM
Of those listed, M&M is probably the *easiest* to make a Time Travel game.

AshDesert
2010-02-26, 06:24 PM
I'd recommend a very generic system like GURPS (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/) or Fudge (www.fudgerpg.com) that are made so you can run any genre with it. Note that GURPS takes longer to learn, while Fudge is more like an RPG creating kit (also Fudge is free and much more rules-lite than GURPS).

Grynning
2010-02-26, 06:29 PM
Of those mentioned above, I would go with M&M or Savage Worlds. M&M requires much more detailed character creation, but is probably the most adaptable set of rules out there, and the combat is smooth and fast (as I'm sure you know if you've played it). Savage World's rules aren't quite as well done and have a few hang ups (autofire guns and vehicles are the two things I remember as being kind of wonky) but it's generally very easy to learn and play and is a bit more traditional feeling than M&M.

If you want it to be a d20 type game (or the players do), you could easily do a mash-up of d20 Modern and SWSE. If you wanted to do the "system swapping" thing and your players are familiar with D&D 3rd you could even switch to D&D 3.5 rules for combat and magic and whatnot in the "past" fantasy setting (with much stronger spells, etc).

Lawless III
2010-02-26, 07:01 PM
You're quite lucky. I suggested the idea for a Chrono Trigger inspired campaign once and all I got was a long explanation of why it was both a terrible idea and impossible to run. So... I did it anyway of course:smallbiggrin:

GURPS will do exactly what you're looking for and do it quite well, but it's a bit hard to learn. (Or it was for me at least.) I'd still definitely recommend it though.

Drolyt
2010-02-26, 07:04 PM
Personally, the only time I ever tried anything like this I used system swapping (which the other replies don't seem to like). I used Dungeons and Dragons 3rd edition + Oriental Adventures alongside D20 Modern and Future. I houseruled a lot of stuff though, the d20 Modern and Future class system was just ignored in favor of D&D classes, so the only changes from different time periods were gear, skills, and occasionally feats. That game got cut short by real life though, maybe I should try that again...
Edit: It was a shifting worlds setting as described at the end of Unearthed Arcana (the 3.5 Unearthed Arcana). The PCs were the only ones who remembered their past lives and realized the world kept changing, and their goal was to find out why it was changing.
Edit #2: By the way it seemed to work, and using my house rules there was very little conversion between settings.

Gralamin
2010-02-26, 07:07 PM
Of those mentioned above, I would go with M&M or Savage Worlds. M&M requires much more detailed character creation, but is probably the most adaptable set of rules out there, and the combat is smooth and fast (as I'm sure you know if you've played it). Savage World's rules aren't quite as well done and have a few hang ups (autofire guns and vehicles are the two things I remember as being kind of wonky) but it's generally very easy to learn and play and is a bit more traditional feeling than M&M.

I've played some some Savage Worlds, but haven't run it. Also, my main problem with M&M for these purposes is I'd rather have an HP system (For the players sanity, and for my own reasons) and I've yet to find a good way to convert M&M to HP Based.

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Otherwise, a popular suggestion seems to be GURPS or Fudge. I'll definitely look into the two.

Devils_Advocate
2010-02-27, 02:49 AM
Continuum (http://www.yamara.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=85#85).