Jumping back in time? in Gamemasters Corner, Adventures & Plots
Turco Mar 2 2019, 23:30 Group: Heroes, Level 2 Quote Post
Hi friends,

It's been almost ten years since my first and only post here. Might be just as long since my sexond-last game of Alternity. Yikes.

Anyway, looking for some advice: I started a Dark*Matter campaign set in 2019. At the end of the campaign they might be going back in time three years (for a very specific reason).

However, I'm thinking that it might be better if they went back to 1999 or 2000 or so, because I'm a touch nostalgic for those days and I think that it'd be cool if that the next time we start a campaign, the characters today can have had an impact on the future (eg, the future PCs can look back on the events the past PCs did).

Is there an elegant way to teleport them back in time that much? The mechanics are such that 1) it's magic and 2) the time will have passed for them but no one else, so they'll have aged 3 years (which isn't really a detectable amount of timr for an adult.) If they go back 19 years, well, it seems like it might be a bit janky. I'm not looking for tech, more for a way to explain how they went so far back in time without say, their friends or family noticing they're 19 years older.

Any thoughts? Anything I can clear up?
uncle_jimbo Mar 3 2019, 00:17 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin Quote Post
As a half-formed thought that might not solve your problem, perhaps the timeline has also shifted, such that historical events (which might depend on your campaign) that they remember occurring in Trump's presidency, their family and acquaintances of younger times experienced in Bush Junior's tenure.

If their physical appearance (and fitness, very nice) also shifted, could characters in their late thirties remember to behave appropriately for age 20, in a cultural era that they might at least vaguely remember? They'd very likely have to hold back if attending university, dealing with digital technology or in a number of other fields.
Turco Mar 3 2019, 00:46 Group: Heroes, Level 2 Quote Post
That helps a bit. I've created an alternate timeline from 2016, so when they go back they're back on prime earth (or at least our timeline, which, if we're lucky, isn't prime earth either maybe).

When they jump back, they're still their ages (I think late 20s), even though they were three years younger at that time. The change from say 29-26 is somewhat negligible, and friends and family might notice them looking *a little older* but for the most part I'm sure they'd chalk it up as misremembering or whatever. I'm somewhat considering that their entire personal histories just get pushed back 19 years.

I do want to teleport them all the way back, though... shifting all the events in the way you describe is an option. The technology of 1999/2000 feels so retro now, it'd be cool to have to deal with that.

Of course, my main hope and goal is that future characters note the efforts of the past characters. By setting the campaign in 2016, I probably won't start another campaign for another 10 years, so the timeline will naturally shift forward.

As an aside, I was rereading the D*M book, wherein the Bilderberg section they talk about a group seeking to destabilise the world economy (sounds a little like the 2008 financial crisis IMO).
DrShocter Mar 6 2019, 02:04 Group: Heroes, Level 8 Quote Post
I have no idea how to help with your time travel question. This is a cool idea! Is it important that they live their past 1999 lives, or can they be mistaken by those who know them as complete strangers? I like this idea. I ran a Dark Matter game around 2012 that was set in 2002, it was fun to see people look back 10 years, going back 20 or so should be a lot of fun.
Turco Mar 7 2019, 01:16 Group: Heroes, Level 2 Quote Post
Author (DrShocter @ Mar 6 2019, 02:04)
I have no idea how to help with your time travel question. This is a cool idea! Is it important that they live their past 1999 lives, or can they be mistaken by those who know them as complete strangers? I like this idea. I ran a Dark Matter game around 2012 that was set in 2002, it was fun to see people look back 10 years, going back 20 or so should be a lot of fun.

I was thinking it wasn't too important necessarily. Two of them begin the game as Hoffman agents, and traveling back in time three years would make them recruits, which I was thinking was interesting. A character born in say, 1989, transported back into 2016 would have a negligible appearance in age and everything, so it's also interesting in that the character couldn't necessarily be certain that they'd actually gone back three years and not have imagined the three years they thought they had. Or something.

Going back twenty years would be neat. It would allow me to sort of world build a bit, as well as introduce some retro-tech ("iPhone? nope, you're getting a Nokia 3110 and you'll like it!"); I think it'd be a fun gimmick. But I'm thinking maybe it wasn't meant to be, unless I do, as you suggest, make them strangers and maybe their actual 2001 selves are walking around doing cool stuff... but then time paradoxes, etc.

Thanks for the thoughts. I think I'm gonna wind up sticking with just going back three years. We're gaming monthly, so by the time an in-game year passes, it'll be 2029 anyway, so it'll be like they went back in time.

SanChristo Mar 13 2019, 02:18 Group: Heroes, Level 11 Quote Post
Have you considered having them just send their consciousness back in time? They could send it back into other people--like Netflix's Travellers--or into themselves--like Days of Future Past's Wolverine.
TerroX Mar 24 2019, 01:05 Group: A.Net Staff, Admin of Doom Quote Post
I was going to suggest what SanChristo said. Maybe the limit is that you can only travel back to your own brain. And also you can only go backwards and doing so rewinds the WHOLE timeline (of the universe!) but the machine/method somehow can transfer some consciousnesses backwards otherwise no one would even notice (just déjà vu), going forwards creates logic bombs.

So going back to a time before you were born... we have no data on that, try it and find out.

As for forking timelines... well that is a can of worms. Does activating a time machine create a fork? does it create forks for the whole universe or just Earth (why? are aliens making forks too?), can you jump forks and how do you get back and why is one better than another?, are there infinite forks, does anything matter?
SanChristo Mar 24 2019, 02:27 Group: Heroes, Level 11 Quote Post
Author (TerroX @ Mar 24 2019, 01:05)
does anything matter?

That is the big question.


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