We had this in my game. I was totally open to time travel/time control. Here is why its problematic.
You have a situation or fight and you spend 30 minutes playing it out, and the player can go back and undo it all, possibly needing to replay out things but in a different way.
Its extremely hard to have final events for villains in this way.
I like immutable time, in this way, watch the new Time Machine. You can go forward in time and alter things, but if you go back and change something you can change it but (and its a big Butt) the event will correct itself. The character in the movie's wife died from a shooting during a mugging. He goes back after developing time travel (ie why he developed it), and he goes back I can't remember he either replaces his old self but with the knowledge of the future so he is not 'two self's in the same time-space or he waits till his other self leaves and then talks to her getting her not to go where the mugging takes place.
Either way she lives and the mugging doesn't happen. Yes now that I think about it he replaces himself. When he goes back in time his consciousness replaces his own body so to speak.
But here is the point: she lives and then they go shopping and have a fun day, everything is fine, later on she goes out during shopping for a second and you hear an accident. She is run over by a car.
Remember the movies about Death and it had a pattern and the kids somehow 'cheated death' and its pattern but then the pattern must come back and repeat itself. Same type of idea. The universe will correct any thing you undo, not in detail but in function.
That means if you save someones life, they will die eventually but not necessarily in the manner they origiinal died. The final result or function of time is they will die.
So you stop the bomb as Super-Dave. Great job. Something else will happen, perhaps the faulty wiring on that building will start a chain reaction and the Gas Line under the building goes Boom at some odd time.
It should be stated that in the time machine movie at the end of the movie he kills one of the morlock leaders by going back in time. In otherwords by traveling in time you can do original actions. Your not stopping something that already happened, you are introducing new action. So you could go back in time place a bomb and kill someone, steal something, etc. But you could not stop the president from being assassinated, if you did, he'd die of cancer or something shortly thereafter or somesuch thing.
Wotch both these movies they are great for giving you a way to approach this.
Also the Lanoleers (or however you spell it) by steven king has the idea that the past is eaten up 15-20 minutes after it happened so you can go back in time but only that far.
Another time travel idea is Time Cop. One reason you can't screw with time is you have a time cop police who will come afteryou.
Another time travel idea is Harry Potter, this is one where you can meet your former self, much like in the time cop movie. Yet there are rules and you can't or best not break them or 'dire consequendes will befall the wizard or witch that breaks them'.
In Harry Potter you can potentially interact with the world, undo stuff, but its sorta like playing Mage or Vampire you can't be seen by anyone and you can't create a Paradox.
So you tell players you can mess with time but you CANNOT create a paradox. Or should I say you don't want to create paradox. Watch Harry Potter in the third movie and you'll see what I mean.
You could create a paradox only that like Mage, it will come back and bite you in the ass. So its a universal feedback thing and sorta like if you stick your hand in water that is electrified, you'll get shocked.
This is one of the best choices as if paradox sucks hard for a player he will police his own actions, then like Mage or remember Back to the Future when Marty McFly had to go back in the third movie and Doc says 'don't be seen by your other self, and he had to skulk around in that movie'. He could be seen but what then? remember what Doc said: the consequences could be catestrophic. Also those consequences need not only personally effect the character, perhaps others are affected, or even the 'whole universe is destroyed'. Who knows, but its hould be nasty, evil, and not something players like.
Basically players love time travel, but your job is to complicate it, make it not as much fun or easy to do. I don't mean make the game less fun, but don't make it seem like a snap to time travel, and remember its a world where consequences can and will happen. It would be like living in a world with no sexual consequences, no disease, no pregnancy, free sex. If you make time travel like that, players, just like sex, will want it all the time. Nature or God thought sex needed some consquences, so sex is complicated.
Ok time is like that, complicate it, but need nto be immutable. This WILL make the game more fun. Plus you don't have all the mental angst of doing a major battle or major scene for roleplaying and then flush it down the toilet cuz some player undoes it, it will annoy the other players too I bet evetually.
And the player who time travels will say 'but your character doesn't know that as the event is undone, so......'. No this will cause your group of players friction.
Last edited by HG
on Sat Jul 30, 2005 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.