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June 3, 2012 / Wythe

Time travel rules that make sense in RPGs = no

Is there a way to make these powers work? These are what the PC Zylla discovered and used (once, so far) in our Headless Giant campaign. The first instance of chronophilia led to a big discussion about timelines, some bizarre diagrams, and an agreement not to tamper with time mechanics again for a while… aaand a PC’s death. #ShitGotReal. Here I present the time-jumping hell science powers of the Archivists, as they were presented to Zylla:

  1. Translocus [Astrogation] – moving oneself between distant points [stars]
  2. [World-] Metrics – moving [astronomically significant] quantities between distant points
  3. Chronophilia [Chronophrenia] – moving oneself [quickly/far] through time

Mechanics: Using Chronophilia allows you to move back and forth in time at a rate based on pG spend and INT dmg burned to increase scale. You can spend 1 pG to travel back 1 minute. Or burn 1 INT and spend 1 pG to travel back 1 hour. Or burn 2 INT and and spend 1 pG to travel back 1 week. Or 3 INT / 1 pG for 1 month, or 4 INT / 1 pG for 1 year. 5 INT, decade. 6 INT, century. (So 6 INT burn + 10 pG spent = travel back 1 millennium. To the First Unhuman War…)

Ability score damage heals 1 / day. And hellacious bad migraines until healed. So yes, big risk here…

Also, you can only go back. You can go forward to come back, but you can’t go future. A la Primer.

Chronophilia does not seem particularly dangerous per se. You can take yourself and a small amount of weight with you (the equation governing it is tied to mass, natch), so you could bring some stuff back, but not much.

You can stay “back” as long as you want. Coming back to connect with the chronorift you’ve opened costs the same pG, no INT burn. Making it easier to return.

You may be able to use some sort of hell science artifact to spread the damage, er, energy-suck around, using, say, six sents’ minds to generate a bigger backward-suck through the chronotropos. You don’t know, however, what such a chronovoracious engine looks like, nor where one would reside on Pala…

Oh, and, uh, the Archivist did mention something about the Others (“Demons?”) who monitor the chronotropic flux, looking for spikes, weird new entrants, trisonic convergences. (You leave —> you arrive —> you return, the path looks like a spiral cut into time, connecting back to the point of origin…)

Chronophrenia theoretically (you don’t speak Laturan and have to vouch for a dim memory of the Archivist-part-deux’s translation here) requires a) speaking Laturan, b) training in the Black Gate (by an Archivist, in Latura), and c) INT 19+. Chronophrenia theoretically allows for travel forward through time, and easier travel backward.

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