TimeTravel Camp using D20/OGL


I have been toying with an idea of starting up a campaign I use to run, using the GURPS system, in which the players are a collection of characters nabbed from accross time, and thrown together to save the dominant time stream. The problem I have been having is balance. I know nearly all the D20 / OGL rules are interchangable, which would make character generation easy. But would a standard D20 Fighter, be able to keep up with a Cybernet Soldier, or a Modern Tech Mage.

Ideas? Thoughts?

You have a couple of possabilities:

1 - use an "Amber" like multi-verse rule so that as well as travellin gin the time-stream, they are also travleiing between different universes with differing physical laws. In some places, guns won't work, and electronics might be dead or simply unreliable. Its places like these that the fighter will shine.

2) Include plenty of enemies that can only be hurt by certain things. If (eg) you have zombies that needs to be hacked apart with slashing damage rather than shot at, with the bullets passing harmlessly through their rotten flesh, the sword will rule over he gun.

You can do the same with technology - a bad0guy might have some form of shield that stops high velocity items like bullets, but can still be penetrated by a sword (cf Dune), or even an EMP device that temporary disables electronic devices.

3) You could even rule that the changes to the time stream being caused by the bad-guys affect the technology from further up the time line. The heroes might need to repair that damage to get access to their own high tech devices, simply because the damage to the time-stream had previously prevented it from being invented.

4) Batteries and bullets. Where are you going to re-charge your cybernetic arm in 1066? Who will sell you explosive bullets in 1492? Make sure your characters know these things might be in limited supply.

Or, all of the above, of course. The trick will be to use these tactics just enough to give all of your players an equla chance to shine.
Hopefully the characters will be trying to minimise damege to the timeline, therefore anachronistic weapons should not be used.

If they are working for some kind of temporal agency then this should be part of the regulations.

Of course their weapons might be seen as magic and get them burned as witches.

If not, then have their use cause some kind of knock-on effect. ie a clever guy sees their use of an SMG at Agincourt and sets out to invent something similar hundreds of years early, therefore disrupting history.
Good Ideas . . . several ways to limit tech, as well as make the players think. Course I will have to let them go on spree's every once and a while, like on the Titanic, Hendenburg, etc. . .

Heck, could almost make a camp based on world tragedies. :)

You have multiple choices, of course.

If you let your PCs go back in time to try and prevent tragedies (cf Quantum Leap) you open yourself up to a whole world of hurt, since you can find yourself having to adjudicate the effects of pretty major changes to the time-line.

I prefer teh "guardians of the timeline" approach - which works on the premise that however unsavoury it may be, the past is sacrosant and should be protected.

It gives you some seriously interesting scope - if your PCs goal is the protection of the existing timeline then you can give them some tasks in which they are effectively helping the historical badguys without being the badguys themselves.

EG: I sketched out a plot once in which the PCs as time travellers had to prevent another time traveller from preventing Lincoln's assasination.


Something you might consider is an idea I used (borrowing bits and peices from all kinds of sources) in which only the PCs "spirit" is transported - you can include physical stats, if you like (again, cf Quantum Leap) so that they effectively end up possesing an actual person in teh time stream.

This lets you off the hook as far as technology and equipment are concerned - your far future guy doesn't get to bring his anti-matter rifle with him - whilst still allowing you to give each player the spotlight in a given timezone - if you send them to the far future, you fuuture guy will at least be able to use the weaponry from the era without penalty, wheras the medieval swordsman won't have a clue.

THis is quite a fun way to go, as the persons they end up possesing can have a big impact on the game. I started one game with the PCs finding themselves in the bodies of some San-fransico bank robbers half-way through a bank job. They were caught and, put into police cells - but they escaped when the San Fransisco Earthquake knocked dow the police station, letting them get back to their mission...
Or there is always the Terminator approach - only living objects can be transported in time. The PCs will have to start every game naked! :)