They Do Time Travel Wrong

The place to discuss using and abusing the first edition Mutants & Masterminds rules. Rules questions, rules interpretations, house rules, and more rules.
Grendal
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Re: Paradox

Postby Grendal » Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:19 pm

Rivalsan wrote:Rightyo. Thats called a paradox.

Person A sees an event happen, so travels back in time to prevent said event from happening.

Now.. Jee. Who went back in time to keep it from happening?


Person A. What, weren't you paying attention? Says right there "Person A sees an event happen, so travels back in time to prevent said event." What's unclear about that? The main problem is nothing so silly and abstract as a time paradox. It's an excess of Person A. So it might be a good idea to either ban travelling back to a time when you already exist, except via plot device, or to have the first or second iteration just conveniently disappear to preserve conservation of identity. Or since it's a comic book reality, if you don't travel back monsters appear and try to eat everything until you behave. On the whole though I think I'd forbid time travelling to a time where you already exist to everyone except via plot device or in the form of Temporal Fugue. For everyone else it is simply impossible.

Rivalsan wrote:Thats why immutable history makes sense.


Until you actually try to play with it and player characters who can travel through time under their own power. Then you begin to learn how it doesn't make sense when dealing with characters who actually possess free will. More importantly of course, changing history is far more entertaining than not changing history, even if the changes last only as long as it takes to trounce the villain responsible. Remember, this is a game. More entertaining is always better than less entertaining.

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Fah!

Postby Rivalsan » Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:45 pm

To be clear:

Super Dave is flying over City City, and sees a bomb go off, making a building collapse on a group of innocents.

Super Dave travels 5 minutes back in time, removes the bomb, and throws it into the ocean.

Now, Super Davis is flying over City City, and sees a sudden geyser in the ocean, and flies over to investigate. He does not go back in time.

SO... Now, Super Dave, having no longer gone back in time, has no longer removed said bomb and thrown it.

Thats what I mean by paradox. To perform the act of going back in time, you must have the stimulus that caused that act. If in the past, you remove that stimulus, you now have removed the reason you went back in time in the first place - Hence, you would not have gone back in time, hence you did not remove the stimulus, hence you went back in time.. Etc, etc..

Paradox. Not to be confused with Vril Dox, who ran L.E.G.I.O.N. :)
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Re: Fah!

Postby Grendal » Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:35 pm

[quote="Rivalsan"]To be clear:

Super Dave is flying over City City, and sees a bomb go off, making a building collapse on a group of innocents.

Super Dave travels 5 minutes back in time, removes the bomb, and throws it into the ocean.

Now, Super Davis is flying over City City, and sees a sudden geyser in the ocean, and flies over to investigate. He does not go back in time.

SO... Now, Super Dave, having no longer gone back in time, has no longer removed said bomb and thrown it.

[/quote]

I'm perfectly clear on the concept. I merely reject it. Super Dave 1 did go back in time. Super Dave 2 didn't. That's all there is to it. The problem is not that Super Dave 2 doesn't go back in time. The problem is that we now have a Super Dave surplus.

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Re: Fah!

Postby Greyman » Sat Jul 30, 2005 6:49 am

Grendal wrote:I'm perfectly clear on the concept. I merely reject it. Super Dave 1 did go back in time. Super Dave 2 didn't. That's all there is to it. The problem is not that Super Dave 2 doesn't go back in time. The problem is that we now have a Super Dave surplus.
Both the apparent paradox and the excess are usually resolved by Super Dave 1 telling Super Dave 2 to go back in time, thus creating a third iteration where in Super Dave 2 tells Super Dave 3 to go back in time, et cetera. When properly managed by an experienced time traveler, the difference between successive iterations becomes so slight that the result becomes indistinguishable from immutable history.

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Postby HG » Sat Jul 30, 2005 8:34 am

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.

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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.
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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.

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Postby farik » Sat Jul 30, 2005 8:44 am

I always like the time travel model from Transdimensional TMNT it was easier to make bigger jumps in history than smaller jumps but the big jumps always took you to the same relative spot. So you could go back exactly 100 years and change something but if you came back and realized you did something wrong when you went back you'd arrive exactly 100 years from where you left (the second time) so you still couldn't change what you changed the first time. It had a nice expanding corkscrew model of time that hit all of the th really classic time travel eras.

It even had interesting ideas for why some people could notice when history was changed while nobody else did.
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Oh, and by the way, I don't use drawbacks in my game, just complications.

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Oh god.

Postby Rivalsan » Sat Jul 30, 2005 10:46 am

Did someone just reference TimeCop?

Steve, throw him off the boards!!! ;)
Hello, my name is Rivalsan, and I'm a MinMaxaholic. Twelve step programs don't work for us. We keep trying to find a way to do it in ten steps. Or less.. I bet I could squeeze it down to.. *sigh* (Crowd: Hi, Rivalsan)


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