How do I handle a time travelling patron/servant of a deity?

Discover the Legend RPG, Mongoose's fantasy game.
Hopeless
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1157
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 3:14 pm
Location: UK

How do I handle a time travelling patron/servant of a deity?

Postby Hopeless » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:54 pm

After reading up on the Sorcery is Divine Magic thread, I was wondering about having a contact referred to as the Lightbringer Courier hiding the fact she's actually a blood descendant of the founder of the Lightbringer faith who possesses the ability to travel to and from the distant past delivering supplies, knowledge or other help to allies in the present of my Legend campaign world.

Its set about 1500 years from now and a cataclysm has devastated the world as we know it now, but there has been a serious attempt at rebuilding but its still in the bronze age and whilst there is a theocracy present I'm trying for a Dark Age style.

There are a number of monasteries that had served as a base for the Lightbringer Order intended to help provide aid and support to the barely surviving communities including people brought from the past to rebuild their lives trying to pass on their knowledge that has been all but lost in the intervening centuries.

However there is a number of organisations who'd rather be the sole recipients of those benefits and a number of monasteries have been razed or taken over in an attempt to build an empire for those responsible however not knowing the true source of this supply line most if not almost all of those able to travel to and from the past were either killed or remained quiet out of fear of what would be done to them if this was discovered.

That changed with the appearance of the Lightbringer Courier whose help at the PCs village drew the attention of Tarmsen's Theocratic leadership, their attempt to secure her is where my game started.

I'm hoping to get back to it eventually but I wanted to discuss both the ramifications of someone from the present being able to travel to and from this setting and what advice you can give since I really need to make sure I haven't missed anything?

Thanks in advance any advice would be welcome!
Bifford
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:55 pm
Location: Wiltshire, UK
Contact:

Re: How do I handle a time travelling patron/servant of a de

Postby Bifford » Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:36 am

Well the biggest and most important thing is to only take forward a person/item that has done everything of import in their own timestream.

The last thing you want to do is take a Scientist from the Now to the Then, a year or two before they discover the vaccine to some plague that would otherwise wipe out a civilisation.
Hopeless
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1157
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 3:14 pm
Location: UK

Re: How do I handle a time travelling patron/servant of a de

Postby Hopeless » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:33 am

Still working on where, what and how but in essence an artefact was found in the present that allowed travel to another point in time.

Exactly where was still being worked out when news of their discovery was leaked and the artefact was stolen leaving the team stuck in the future.

They eventually discovered evidence of another artefact and made the trip to what was left of the UK and a couple survived the trip back to their own time unaware they now possessed the means to travel to and from that time.

When this was discovered they tried to help those left behind but found helping anyone else to the future effectively stranded them so they would have to understand its a one way trip for them whilst those who stole the original artefact would spend years before realising the US of the future was an extremely volcanic uninhabitable mess.

The surviving team members once identified would be targetted since noone knows how they made it back given they had to keep the location of the second artefact a secret to prevent that being stolen (and timey wimey headaches insue!)

I'm thinking that they moved their families to the future for their safety but since the ability to travel was inherited they chose where they wanted to live with those going back in time eventually dying along with most of civilisation but the others would never be plentiful given their inherited duties with going back in time for supplies and information let alone the occasional passenger which I'm thinking about revealing some were forcibly removed from the past to keep their secret from those that would threaten their supply line...
Hopeless
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1157
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 3:14 pm
Location: UK

Re: How do I handle a time travelling patron/servant of a de

Postby Hopeless » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:22 am

So the artefacts consist of a massive 10m tall by 15m wide obsidian slab originally located in Scandinavia before it was stolen and secured in a facility somewhere in Central United States, the second is roughly half that in size and hidden the only known details on its location is its somewhere near Stonehenge.

Using one allows two way travel to a point roughly a millennia or so from now although it was originally thought to be either another world or the distant past.

The Lightbringers are the only group that knows it actually allows travel to the future and when the original artefact was stolen the passage in the future immediately disappeared and even though that leaves the question of why they didn't just appear where its currently located instead the expedition team was left stranded in Scandinavia.

The team sent up a drone that made contact with one of a dwindling number of satellites in orbit which revealed where they were and eventually identified the location of the second artefact due to its resonating with the primary artefact now located somewhere within the caldera of a massive volcano that was all that was left of the United States and some of both Mexico and Canada.

The trip to the shattered remains of the UK was both hazardous and length given they had no air capability and what ground vehicles they brought lacked sufficient fuel for the journey.

But after five years they reach the UK and eventually discovered the artefact was actually a quartet of coloured obsidian stones being used as a power source by the Tarmsen Empire a theocracy that effectively ruled the Northern UK.

The presence of the Lightbringers and their fifth element courtesy of the artefact they travelled through led to them being hunted by the Tarmsen Theocracy and the eventual conflict resulted in the downfall of the Tarmsen Empire and the loss of three of their obsidian stones once of which was used by the surviving leader of the Lightbringers to return to her own time albeit she was accompanied but the stones were being held in a submerged vault in the past and she and her surviving team barely escaped although they secured the stones to insure they didn't end up stolen like the original artefact.

Attempts to recover the original artefact failed as the US Government refused to admit the incident nor the presence of the stolen artefact forcing her to begin the task of building a series of survival shelters in particular Tarmsen splitting the obsidian stones between them to keep them safe.

Eventually the Lightbringer survivors figured out how to travel to and from that time without the need for the obsidian stones but agreed to keep this a secret as they began a lengthy scheme to help rebuild the future managing to establish a number of monastic orders dedicated to restoring the lost knowledge and hopefully inspiring a new future.

Unfortunately the Lightbringer leader named the Silver Dragon to hide her true identity was murdered along with most of her family with her shelters' taken over by the Government unaware of the reasons for their construction but they would eagerly use them when the cataclysm occurred and later remain ignorant when she would return centuries later and defeat their machinations and seal away all but one of their obsidian artefacts effectively ending their empire.

The monasteries eventually drew the attention of various forces both good and bad and most fell to deprivation or corruption until the last located near the hamlet of Raintree served as the first meeting place between the residents of that hamlet and the mysterious Lightbringer Courier named Nia who would frequent that place delivering supplies and occasionally leaving parcels to be picked up.

I think thats far enough for now!
Hopeless
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1157
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 3:14 pm
Location: UK

Re: How do I handle a time travelling patron/servant of a de

Postby Hopeless » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:53 am

Bifford wrote:Well the biggest and most important thing is to only take forward a person/item that has done everything of import in their own timestream.

The last thing you want to do is take a Scientist from the Now to the Then, a year or two before they discover the vaccine to some plague that would otherwise wipe out a civilisation.
But what if that future is now plagued by dieases and ailments we can cure readily today?

My idea works around the United States being cataclysmically destroyed and the aftermath wrecked the rest of the world albeit most of the population actually dying when they chose to head to the mainland instead of staying isolated so they could escape the subsequent bouts of plagues and ailments the result of having neither the resources nor the means to resolve them as civilisation collapses to barbarism.

Still working on this.
Lord High Munchkin
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1292
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:12 am
Location: Vancouver, where the rainbow ends/Oxford, occasionally, in an ivory tower

Re: How do I handle a time travelling patron/servant of a de

Postby Lord High Munchkin » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:17 pm

If people insist on abusing time-travel to leave their own light-cone, the dominant ETI in the universe sends a 500 mile diameter asteroid, at near lightspeed, into their planet on a high elliptical....

Can't have folks messing with time... it might lead them to head back in time to stop the ETI from achieving ascendance.
The desire for a "definitive, ultimate answer" is, in fact, classified by modern psychiatric medicine as a mental illness.
Hopeless
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1157
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 3:14 pm
Location: UK

Re: How do I handle a time travelling patron/servant of a de

Postby Hopeless » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:27 am

What would sound better?

1) A one off time travel event ie: an expedition sent through the artefact thats subsequently stranded with absolutely no way home as a result of the artefact being stolen in the present,

2) As above but they were able to establish contact with the remaining satellites in earth orbit and discover a second artefact and a few of them manage to return home.
They eventually recover the second artefact and keep it hidden whilst trying to recover the original artefact and can use the second artefact to travel to and from the future but know they're running out of time because whatever happened over in the US will cause the collapse of civilisation and when it does they won't be able to keep using the artefacts since they know where they will have to be relocated so they can recover them in the future...

or

3) Using both sets of artefacts grants those who used them and any kids they have following this event becoming unstuck in time being able to traverse to both points but if the future location is now located up to a mile below the waves they need to be prepared to hold their breath and swim if they want to survive the experience! :twisted:

So any suggestions?
Hopeless
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1157
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 3:14 pm
Location: UK

Re: How do I handle a time travelling patron/servant of a de

Postby Hopeless » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:48 am

So technology wise I was thinking of limiting the equipment side to the Arms of Legend but throw in a few twists such as army trenchcoats, use plot devices such as covert black helicopters but allow for zeppelins/airships and trains although these will be most common near the most civilised areas.

I was thinking of turning the Channel Tunnel as a possible route through to the mainland via the isolated Southern Rhitian Island and use the Record of Loss War opening scene where they're travelling through an underground passage built by the dwarves as a way of describing the trip through the long abandoned Channel Tunnel.

Make the trains more like Eberron's lightning rail in the way they're viewed something magical rather than how we perceive it today, zeppelins will be even more extraordinary whilst the helicopters will never be seen in the light of day not unless where they're housed has been located and broken into by the PCs since they're supposed to be enormously feared since anyone actually witnessing them never survives their encounter.

Also plan on several underground shelters used to survive the cataclysm to be turned into either the equivalent of dungeon delves or abandoned underground citadels long forgotten by those who live above ground.

How would someone feel entering a long abandoned bomb shelter such as the government one say a millennia from now whereupon this is rediscovered and nothing remains to explain why its there, who built it or why it was abandoned?

What stories could be told about that?

Sorry figured I'd expand the original discussion since its getting that the stated time traveller could easily be turned into an Elminster or some unkempt sage or patron without being overpowered or overwhelmingly so who sends the PCs on quests to uncover what happened to sites they now only know about?

Might be worth adapting this to avoid the players trying to kill such a character by making them more valuable or better yet an occasional contact whose worth more to them alive than dead not that would stop some players! :shock:
Olaus Petrus
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 208
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:48 pm

Re: How do I handle a time travelling patron/servant of a de

Postby Olaus Petrus » Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:46 pm

Lord High Munchkin wrote:If people insist on abusing time-travel to leave their own light-cone, the dominant ETI in the universe sends a 500 mile diameter asteroid, at near lightspeed, into their planet on a high elliptical....

Can't have folks messing with time... it might lead them to head back in time to stop the ETI from achieving ascendance.
When I have used time travel in my own campaign I have used few ground rules. Party shouldn't meet themselves, because that is dangerous. Also they shouldn't know too much about their own future and dimensional traveler, who had met them in their future timeline, refused to reveal their future (or inevitable fate) to them (Knowing the future has both dramatic and gameplay consequences, which I wanted to avoid). Also there are fixed points in history which they can't change, although the details might change i. e. players can't travel back in time and stop cataclysmic doom from happening (but if it fits to narrative their own actions in the past can make it actually happen.) However they can affect to minor things and for example save few people who would have died otherwise, but even in these cases history has ways of correcting itself if that action would change timeline too dramatically.
Hopeless
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1157
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 3:14 pm
Location: UK

Re: How do I handle a time travelling patron/servant of a de

Postby Hopeless » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:59 pm

Olaus Petrus wrote:When I have used time travel in my own campaign I have used few ground rules. Party shouldn't meet themselves, because that is dangerous. Also they shouldn't know too much about their own future and dimensional traveler, who had met them in their future timeline, refused to reveal their future (or inevitable fate) to them (Knowing the future has both dramatic and gameplay consequences, which I wanted to avoid). Also there are fixed points in history which they can't change, although the details might change i. e. players can't travel back in time and stop cataclysmic doom from happening (but if it fits to narrative their own actions in the past can make it actually happen.) However they can affect to minor things and for example save few people who would have died otherwise, but even in these cases history has ways of correcting itself if that action would change timeline too dramatically.
I was thinking of using something like the rules regarding the victims of the Weeping Angels in Doctor Who back in the Blink episode.
The difference is that no matter how hard they try they cannot return to a time before they left and even if they promptly return to the future at the very least a similar amount of time will have passed during their trip back.

However I was thinking that it is possible to spend several decades in the future and return a few minutes after they left so they could literally spend their life in the future and return to the present having used up their life and spend their last few days, months or even years with those that knew them back then shocked that they've aged so rapidly since they saw them last.

So that leaves another question how do you handle multiple generations of the same family say they were born in the future and brought back so they can be officially registered as having been born and failing that how do they cope in a world where they officially don't exist?

Supposing you had three or more generations who have been registered but how do you handle the above rule regarding time travel... can they co-exist in the same time since they're separate people or can they only exist within their own time frame?
Hopeless
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1157
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 3:14 pm
Location: UK

Re: How do I handle a time travelling patron/servant of a de

Postby Hopeless » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:35 am

What I'd like to ask is your view on what would happen in certain countries or worldwide if the following happens;

London and a large part of the South of England collapses causing the Thames to flood the immediate area causing a death toll in thousands perhaps more as the capital itself is now estimated to lie a mile underwater with most of its government gone the rest of the country is struggling to recover from this disaster.

At the same time Yellowstone erupts the resulting explosion turns Yellowstone into a supervolcano that renders most of the United States uninhabitable for an as yet unknown length of time.

The death toll has yet to be even estimated but survivors are fleeing both to the North as well as deep into the South as even Mexico hasn't survived this event unscathed.

The mid-atlantic rift has slammed shut the only possible summation as the atlantic shrinks in size as a huge island is formed in the wake of the closure of the rift leaving everyone stumped well those who aren't more concerned with the double tragedy thats effecting the world's economies.

The sudden influx of water due to the Thames effectively becoming an ocean in its own right swamps the european coast as Netherlands becomes the latest casualty in this seemingly rogue act of nature gone riot.


What I'd like you to discuss is what would be the ramifications if these events actually happened and in this thread how you'd handle how civilisation collapsed as a result of this.
Hopeless
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1157
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 3:14 pm
Location: UK

Re: How do I handle a time travelling patron/servant of a de

Postby Hopeless » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:38 am

Assuming you're using Mongoose Publishing's own Legend game system what kind of character would you try running using the thread's mentioned setting?
Hopeless
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1157
Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 3:14 pm
Location: UK

Re: How do I handle a time travelling patron/servant of a de

Postby Hopeless » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:01 pm

Been thinking about the Southern Rhitian Island and its link to the mainland via the long forgotten Euro Channel Tunnel.

Picture the place now firmly under the control of a Pirate group making travel across the channel almost impossible let alone the dangers of crossing anywhere near the area reputed to lie above the sunken city of London...

Definitely going to have to pick up that supplement now! :twisted:

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests