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Thread: Time Travel

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Ranis's Avatar

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    Default Time Travel

    I'm about to take my 3.5 game into the future to show the PC's what is in store for the world should they not act. However, in D&D there has to be a continual reward process that keeps the players' gear at the same wavelength as their level, and it doesn't make much sense for them to keep gear that simply doesn't exist yet when they go back into the past.

    How would you handle players getting gear in a time travel game in 3.5, and what else would you suggest for handling things during a time travel?
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    Default Re: Time Travel

    Wands with only a handful of charges that they'll have to expend, consumables, things they can't use in the past because they're the wrong alignment/whatever, gear summoned by Call Weapon or useful only because of Greater Magic Weapon and Keen Edge the casters put on them.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Time Travel

    Depends how far in the future? Are they going to be going back and forth a lot? Or just one trip then back to the present? Lots of potential options either way I 'spose.

    It might be interesting to tell them that they can only bring back what they originally brought but can bring enchantments back with them (since magic exists in all times or something....). Would make them be forced to upgrade existing items rather than buying new ones and force them to spend all their cash (except what they brought with them) before they left.

    If they are going to be bouncing back and forth could try something like Chrono Trigger where you go to an "end of time" place and have to leave items there and get new ones when they travel to a different time period or something.

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    Default Re: Time Travel

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranis View Post
    I'm about to take my 3.5 game into the future to show the PC's what is in store for the world should they not act. However, in D&D there has to be a continual reward process that keeps the players' gear at the same wavelength as their level, and it doesn't make much sense for them to keep gear that simply doesn't exist yet when they go back into the past.

    How would you handle players getting gear in a time travel game in 3.5, and what else would you suggest for handling things during a time travel?
    Determine what level they will be in the future. Then figure out how much money the average character has with that money. Ask the players to create a wish list based on spending that amount of money (but do not tell them what it is for). Check the lists to make sure you are ok with all the items. Give the players back their lists when they get to the future. Allow them to travel with no objects except for themselves.
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    Default Re: Time Travel

    I wanted it to be a one-time small adventure spanning one or two levels at most. They are level 9, about to be level 10. I'm going to have an immense cataclysm ending their time in the future so I can rule that the items they get cease to exist when the cataclysm does, so I'm not really worried about making their new items poof away. I'm worried about the gap in gear and level that will result.

    Maybe I can make preconstructed characters for them to play while they are in the future, and when they wake up from the future that's why they won't have that gear? Arrgh, confusing. Regardless, I know I need to go about it very delicately.
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    Default Re: Time Travel

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranis View Post
    I wanted it to be a one-time small adventure spanning one or two levels at most. They are level 9, about to be level 10. I'm going to have an immense cataclysm ending their time in the future so I can rule that the items they get cease to exist when the cataclysm does, so I'm not really worried about making their new items poof away. I'm worried about the gap in gear and level that will result.

    Maybe I can make preconstructed characters for them to play while they are in the future, and when they wake up from the future that's why they won't have that gear? Arrgh, confusing. Regardless, I know I need to go about it very delicately.
    So if I'm reading it then you want to have all their newfound gear dissapear at the end of the future time travel event? But you want them to not have nerfed items when they come back right?

    So maybe have some kind of epic wizard pull them out of the cataclysm and offer to re-equip them in return for a favor? Dunno what to suggest without knowing more about the campain.

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    Default Re: Time Travel

    Well basically I'm ending a 9-level long story arc with a trip to the future, and the cataclysm that will ensue if their adventuring ends with the story arc, to basically make sure they are motivated to continue past level 10.

    They are going to stumble upon an item in the tomb of a great ancient wizard and accidentally activate his prized created item, a disc that allows travel through time. I plan on them being there for some time, showing the degeneration of the world in only 10 years in the future.

    This is also to show them that the group they were tracking down for 9 levels were only pawns to something much, much darker and substantially more powerful. I would really like them to play their own characters, so that I can have NPC's in towns react to them: "get out of my bar, you drunkard! I just finished rebuilding this one and I don't need you destroying another!!" and "because you exposed our 'evil' king, things just got so much worse! now we have famine in addition to our high taxes!" One reason for this is subtley hint at things to come while keeping them guessing, and another reason is that they are all some form of Good, and it would be interesting for them to see how their characters would degenerate in the tough times. Basically the perfect foreshadowing.
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    Default Re: Time Travel

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranis View Post
    it doesn't make much sense for them to keep gear that simply doesn't exist yet when they go back into the past.
    How does gear time-traveling backwards make less sense than the characters time-traveling forwards?

    Correct me if I'm having trouble following you, but as I understand it, you're worried that you'll leave the party without enough wealth when you take away some of their gear.

    Obvious solution: Don't do that.
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    Default Re: Time Travel

    Have people put there items in a time capsule thing or some thing like that and when they return have them dig it up.
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    Default Re: Time Travel

    If you allow them to time travel and have any effect on the time-line, taking back objects doesn't seem like much of a paradox to me.

    If they don't affect the time-line at all, it's pretty much "all a dream", and you can restore everything as it was before.
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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Time Travel

    I generally handle things in accordance to the simple 5d time travel model (if a "paradox" happens, the "new" and "old" future split with the causer of the paradox in the new future but originating in the old one. In future, I mostly give them equipment that's futuristic and doesn't have ammunition/fuel in the past leaving them useless outside the future arc even if they take it back with them. But I place no actual limitation on what they can take back (although I usually make the portal happen randomally so they can't prepare for it).
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Time Travel

    This whole thing kinda confused me...but what the heck, I'll give some advice anyway.

    So...the characters activate the time thing and are transported to the future without their gear. Without anything at all, even clothing. Which can make for some pretttty awkward situations.

    However, they awoke in the military supply room for the person you planned to be their enemy. They have to sneak out with the guards on their tails. Then they have added reason to attack the enemy if they were attacked.

    When they get back to the past/present/whatever, the townspeople constructed a tomb for them, and it has not only all of their old gear, but some new stuff that admiring/gratefull kings/merchants/peasants/whatever gave to them.

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    Default Re: Time Travel

    Quote Originally Posted by Olo Demonsbane View Post
    This whole thing kinda confused me...but what the heck, I'll give some advice anyway.

    So...the characters activate the time thing and are transported to the future without their gear. Without anything at all, even clothing. Which can make for some pretttty awkward situations.

    However, they awoke in the military supply room for the person you planned to be their enemy. They have to sneak out with the guards on their tails. Then they have added reason to attack the enemy if they were attacked.

    When they get back to the past/present/whatever, the townspeople constructed a tomb for them, and it has not only all of their old gear, but some new stuff that admiring/gratefull kings/merchants/peasants/whatever gave to them.
    I really, really like this idea. A lot. thanks a bunch.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Time Travel

    I'm confused by what you're attempting here: You talk about when the PCs "wake up from the future".

    Are the PCs travelling bodily into the future, either through some sort of Magic Time-Portal or with a Magic Teleport-To-The-Future Device (now with Sparkly Lights Special Effect!)?
    Or are they being granted some sort of vision of the future, in a dream/trance/hallucination or by peering into a crystal ball/magic mirror/sacred pool?

    In the former case, I don't see why the PCs would be able to take all their hard-earned shiny-things back with them via the same method they'll use to transport themselves and their old gear back to the past/present.

    In this case, the future is just treated like a special type of dungeon: the PC goes in sword in hand; comes back out with a better sword, pcokets full of gold, some xp and (last but not least) the valuable nuggets of plot-information that they went in there to find.


    In the latter case, I don't see why you'd even expect that the PCs would get to keep the magic items that their future-selves had.
    When Bob the Fighter stares into the Magic Birdbath of Galadriel and sees what Bob the Slightly-Older-Fighter will be doing in 10 years time, he doesn't get Bob the Slightly-Older-Fighter's magic sword. He will have to find that for himself, some time between now and when he becomes Bob the Slightly-Older-Fighter.

    In this case, if you want to give the PCs xp for roleplaying their characters' future selves in the vision (a good idea IMHO) when the vision ends then you really should let them find some loot to keep up with the WBL... but there's no reason why it should come out of vision. It just has to be easily obtained after the vision ends.
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    Default Re: Time Travel

    You could also do a Quantum Leap kind of thing. The magic lets the young idealistic heroes temporarily 'ride' the bodies (and therefore the equipment, possibly levels and feats) of their older, reality-ravished selves, without any memory of the intervening years. They find out how shabby their lives are now, and have to investigate what already went wrong. Maybe they are not even a group anymore. So they regroup, investigate, learn something, and then they can end the time-effect by revisiting the wizard tomb where the whole thing started. Breaking the time-effect obviously returns their minds to the past, so there is no equipment transfer.

    If you want them to be split up in the future, the best way to do this would be to find one or more actions the PCs have already taken, by the players' choices, that can somehow be extrapolated into hurting the dynamic and cohesion of the group as they are compounded by future events.

    The biggest hazard you may have is that the players may not want to regress to their level 10 versions after playing their level 15 versions. You may need to establish a set limit, or an exhaustable power supply, that ends the effect even if they do not visit the tomb. Maybe someone 'advises' them that returning to the tomb should supply their lost memories, but it does not.

    As they leave, the cleric realizes the tomb doubles as a temple to [invent god/goddess of 'Regret' here]. This dead wizard had a life of personal tragedy, all set in motion by his own foolish choices.
    Last edited by Fitz10019; 2009-07-04 at 09:01 AM.

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    Default Re: Time Travel

    Alternative: they lose their stuff when time-travelling, find stuff in the future, etc etc., and when they return an arcane scholar approaches them and plies them with goodies if they will tell him everything they can about the time travel.

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