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Thread: Chronomancy

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    Default Chronomancy

    Chronomancers are mages that meddle with time. All mages can use some chronomancy; there are a few chronomancy spells in the PHB. But there are some mages who specialize in chronomancy.

    Chronomancy descriptor
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    The chronomancy descriptor is applied to spells that mess around with time.

    A list of chronomancy spells (will be added to, I am only posting what I can think of off the top of my head):
    Celerity and related spells
    Haste
    Slow
    Temporal Stasis
    Time Stop


    The Evolutionary* Subdescriptor
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    Evolutionary* spells alter a being's place in evolution and heritage. As a rule, they do not exist unless the world went through evolution. Evolutionary* spells do not affect creatures created by magic or which have not otherwise evolved.

    *If someone comes up with a better name, I'll probably change this.


    New Chronomancy Spells:
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    Age Drain
    Necromancy (Chronomancy)
    Level: Clr 1, Drd 1, Sor/Wiz 1
    Components: V, S
    Casting time: 1 round
    Range: Touch
    Target: Creature touched
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: Fort negates
    Spell Resistance: Yes
    The target ages physically 1 year, while the caster becomes 1 year younger physically.
    This spell is often used to prolong youth, as an alternative to lichdom or similar. As such, any marut within 1/2 mile immediatly knows if you have cast this spell and may well attack if it is used too much.

    Bribe the Fates
    ? [Chronomancy]
    Level: All 1
    Components: V, S, XP
    Casting time: 1 immediate action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: Instantaneous
    You give the fates a bit of your life force to reroll a single roll, made by you or someone else. You must take the result of the new roll.
    XP Cost: 50 XP if you cast this spell before knowing the results, or 100 XP if you cast it afterwards.

    Cometh The Time
    Divination (Chronomancy)
    Level: Duskblade 4, Wizard 6
    Components: V, S, M, F
    Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Caster
    Duration: 1 round/level [D]
    Saving Throw: Will Negates [for target]
    Spell Resistance: No
    You use the bubble of distorted time around your Chronomantle to throw up shadows of the motion of your opponents and use that against them. Your opponents are at a loss as to why you are so able to defeat their attacks, at least for a while.
    You gain a +5 Insight bonus on Attack rolls, AC and Saves when fighting your opponents. When the spell is cast, each opponent may make a Will save to attempt to resist this temporal effect.
    On each subsequent round, your opponents may make a further save to attempt to realise that you're reacting to what they normally do, or would have done had the situation gone normally. If they manage this, your Insight bonus against them drops to a +2.
    Material Components: Using this spell requires the expenditure of 3 Temporal Strands.
    Focus: Only characters using Chronomantles can use this spell.

    Moment of Silence (by Mulletmanalive)
    Abjuration (Chronomancy)
    Level: Wizard/Sorcerer 9
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting Time: 1 Swift Action
    Range:Personal
    Target: Caster
    Duration: 1 round/Special [D]
    Saving Throw: n/a
    Spell Resistance: n/a
    You spin out a piece of wild time to shield you from the events in the surrounding time. Everything around you interacts not with you but with a shimmering field of possibility that surrounds your body.
    While this spell is in action, no party can affect you by any means, though the effect can be dispelled. You are immune to all attacks and spells and technically cannot fall because gravity is tied to time. Note that this doesn't help overtly because you'll have no leverage if you walk over an edge into nothingness.
    Material Component: One Temporal Strand. This spell can be extended past the normal duration limit of 1 round by expending more temporal strands, each of which extends the duration by one round.


    Total Regression
    Transmution [Chronomancy {Evolutionary}]
    Level: Drd 8, Sor/Wiz 8
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Close (25 ft+5 ft/2 caster levels)
    Target: One living creature
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving throw: Fort negates
    Spell Resistance: Yes
    This spell transforms the target creature into a microscopic organism such as a bacteria or amoeba. The creature "dies" in 5d20 minutes, as it divides into two. Microscopic creatures cannot affect the world in any way; indeed, many caster belive the subject disapears.

    Time Travel
    Conjuration (Teleportation) [Chronomancy]
    Level: Sor/Wiz 9
    Components: V, S, XP
    Casting Time: 10 minutes per year traveled (see text)
    Range: Touch
    Targets: Caster and/or one willing creature per two levels
    Duration: See text
    Saving Throw: None (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: No (harmless)
    The caster and other subjects travel forward or backward in time up to 50 years per caster level.
    The duration is instantaneous; however, as with many chronomancy spells, the duration is messed up a bit (in this case, the duration could be seen as negative or positive however many years...YAH!).
    When casting, the caster may engage in minor physical activity, such as eating, reading, and resting. This is important if the time travel spell is to take them hundreds of years through time.
    This spell must be cast again to return to the caster's original time.
    See also, Time Travel (below)
    XP cost: 100 times the number of years traveled times the number of people being sent along, doubled for traveling back in time.


    Time Travel
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    When traveling back in time, remember that a character can no more change time than a pebble thrown into a river changes its flow. A man can kill his father before he was born, but someone else becomes his father. The details change, but the world stays the same.


    Chronomancers
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    A wizard may specialize in chronomancy spells. He must only choose one banned school, and can still cast chronomancy spells in that school. In addition, all chronomancy spells are treated as one level lower for the chronomancer.


    More coming! Can you help me compile existing chronomancy spells?
    Last edited by GreatWyrmGold; 2009-07-25 at 06:48 PM.
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    Default Re: Chronomancy

    The easiest way to whip up 'Chronomancy' spells is to just poach pre-existing spells and tweak the special effects.

    Examples;
    Cantrips
    Acid Splash (accelerates decay by hurling a 'bit of entropy' at something)
    Daze (causes a person to become lost in thought, exeriencing a moment of deja vu and missing out on what is happening in real time)
    Disrupt Undead (the forces of time are enhanced to affect even those normally 'immune' to their ravages)
    Touch of Fatigue (transmutation effect causes a person's body to experience a day's activity in a moment)
    Mending (reverses time briefly, causing damage to be 'undone')
    Identify (peers back through time to witness an items creation, learning the secrets of it's making)

    1st level spells
    True Strike (the world seems to slow down, allowing you to 'take 20 with a melee attack' (not really, that's just the pretty descrition!))
    Hypnotism (time slows down for those affected, causing them to stand there, moving and speaking so slowly that viewers have to squint to actually see them move)
    Sleep (accelerates the sense of time for those affected, so that they feel like they've been awake for a week or more, the sensation fades when they awaken, by whatever means)
    Burning Hands (no 'fire' appears, save on the targets, merely a 'heat ripple' like wave that causes rapid oxidation, inflicting the appropriate fire damage on those in the affected area)
    Ray of Enfeeblement (the ravages of age once again)
    Expeditious Retreat (the world slows down as the chronomancer begins to run like the wind)
    Feather Fall (again, time slows down, as the chronomancer descends slowly to the ground)

    Judicious manipulation of time could also allow a chronomancer to replicate the effects of some Clerical spells, such as Guidance, Resistance, Cure Minor Wounds, Inflict Minor Wounds, etc. The usual caveats about allowing Cure spells in the hands of arcane casters apply (i.e. WotC didn't do it, even for Necromancers, so it's probably best not to add that here).

    Note that I've picked more examples than some pre-established schools have, so you might want to pare the selection down somewhat, and it would make sense to try and come up with one unique spell for each spell level for the Chronomancer. A Cantrip that allows one to Refocus as a Free Action (or even just as a Move Action) could be neat. A 1st level spell that causes a foe to 'become disjointed in time' and treat all foes as if they had Displacement (or to behave as under a Random Action or Lesser Confusion effect) could be neat. A 2nd level spell that accelerates the attacks of an ally (or oneself) to inflict +1d6 damage on a strike (but suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls, as the recipient finds his movements to be jittery and hard to control!) might work, and it might scale at higher levels to produce less of a penalty, or add more dice of effect. Alternately, such a 'temporal buff spell' might allow the character to ignore the Dex bonus of a target, due to the preternatural speed of her sword blows (making it the ultimate Rogue buff, and perhaps even requiring some sort of built in balancer, such as allowing the targets of her attacks to make Reflex saves to attempt to react quickly enough to get their Dex bonus vs. each swing, although that would add a lot of rolls, in the case of a TWF Rogue, or one throwing a bunch of Rapid Shot daggers or something).

    Going up in levels, everything from Hold Person (I freeze you in time) to Stoneskin (my body is frozen in time, and your weapons cannot reach me, slowing and slowing until they stop, a minute distance from my skin) can be rationalized as a Chronomancy spell (as can many fire spells, by changing their special effects to a heat wave ripple of accelerated time causing extreme instantaneous oxidation. Everything burns normally.).

    I'd avoid 'real' time travel. Using Limited Wish level magic to 'skip rounds' or 'rewind a round and have a do-over' would be about as much as I would allow, and a fun higher level spell might allow a Chronomancer to Summon himself from somewhen else. Mechanically, the duplicate chronomancer would have the exact same stats as his summoner, and share the same pool of hit points, spell slots and magical items, so that if one drinks a potion or uses a wand or casts a spell or takes 4 pts of ability damage to strength, *both* suffer the same reduction. But during the brief existence of the duplicate, the chronomancer will be able to cast spells, use items (and otherwise expend resources), etc twice as fast as normal!

    For flavor, I would consider whipping up a unique familiar or two (or have higher level Chronomancers take Improved Familiar and be known to have Blink Dogs or Displacer Beasts or similar familiars that loosely fit the theme), such as a 'time elemental' or a 'quickling fey' or a 'quicksilver dragonet' or whatever.

    There was a 2E Chronomancy product, which I have buried away somewhere and isn't handy, that might have some useful inspirations, and you can also flip around in various 3E products to find spells like that Forgotten Realms initiative-modifying one (Kauper's Skittersight? I have no idea.).
    Last edited by Set; 2009-07-20 at 10:22 PM.

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    Default Re: Chronomancy

    With time travel I would choose one of two routes. One is that nothing the player does in the past can change the present. In this route time travel is basically a creative form of divination magic, allowing a player to find out something in the present by seeing it in the past.

    The other way is to have time travel be a way of changing the present. In this route the DM would have to build the campaign around time travel, because it would be so powerful.

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    Default Re: Chronomancy

    Quote Originally Posted by Strawman View Post
    With time travel I would choose one of two routes. One is that nothing the player does in the past can change the present. In this route time travel is basically a creative form of divination magic, allowing a player to find out something in the present by seeing it in the past.

    The other way is to have time travel be a way of changing the present. In this route the DM would have to build the campaign around time travel, because it would be so powerful.
    The way I did time travel was based on the Dragonlance Chronicles (or maybe Legends, whichever one Par-Salian sent Caramon back in time in). It allows PCs to go back in time but removes time paradoxes from the pictures. I even directly explained one common paradox.

    Personally, if I knew how to make it work in the campaign, I'd have had it be so that any changes you made were already made. I'll explain more; I have to go now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    When traveling back in time, remember that a character can no more change time than a pebble thrown into a river changes its flow. A man can kill his father before he was born, but someone else becomes his father. The details change, but the world stays the same.
    What it I kill myself? What if I go back to yesterday and travel a long distance to a new area? If I kill my father after I've been conceived or even born? If I alter life-changing events? If I destroy nations? If I grab some precious artifact or important person and take it/them with me?

    This seems ripe for DM head-scratching and campaign wrecking...or at least stalling. I like Strawman's first idea personally...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strawman View Post
    With time travel I would choose one of two routes. One is that nothing the player does in the past can change the present. In this route time travel is basically a creative form of divination magic, allowing a player to find out something in the present by seeing it in the past.
    Alternately, time travel spells would let the caster make any changes he wants (entirely illusory, of course) and then concentrate for a while when he returns to the present to experience what the world would be like if those changes were real. So the character could play around with the Grandfather Paradox and all that sort of thing with no danger to himself, and then once he knows what the differences are he wakes up and the world he knows is just fine.
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    Default Re: Chronomancy

    Your time travel is good. Changing history and predestination paradoxes are just confusing. Also, some (in my opinion) appropriate spells, from both the Cleric's and the Sorcerer/Wizard's List:

    0: Mending, Cure Minor Wounds, Purify Food and Drink

    1: Identify, True Strike, Erase, Feather Fall, Cure Light Wounds

    2: Blur, Cure Moderate Wounds, Delay Poison, Gentle Repose, Make Whole, Remove Paralysis, Lesser Restoration, Hold Person

    3: Dispel Magic, Displacement, Ray of Exhaustion, Haste, Slow, Cure Serious Wounds, Remove Blindness/Deafness, Remove Curse, Remove Disease

    4: Mnemonic Enhancer, Cure Critical Wounds, Restoration

    5: Break Enchantment, Blight, Waves of Fatigue, Permanency, Mass Cure Light Wounds, Hold Monster

    6: Legend Lore, Undeath to Death, Disintegrate, Mage's Lucubration, Stone to Flesh, Mass Cure Moderate Wounds, Greater Dispel Magic, Heal

    7: Vision, Waves of Exhaustion, Limited Wish, Mass Cure Serious Wounds, Destruction, Regenerate, Greater Restoration, Resurrection, Mass Hold Person

    8: Moment of Presience, Temporal Stasis, Mass Cure Critical Wounds

    9: Mage's Disjunction, Foresight, Mass Hold Monster, Time Stop, Wish, Mass Heal, True Resurrection, Time Travel

    But really, almost any spell can be "refitted" as a chronomantic spell.

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    Default Re: Chronomancy

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    When traveling back in time, remember that a character can no more change time than a pebble thrown into a river changes its flow. A man can kill his father before he was born, but someone else becomes his father. The details change, but the world stays the same.
    Really? This seems a bit of a causality cop-out to me. Surely one of the great joys of time travel stories are the paradoxes? A great tool for the DM really. It teaches the PCs to be careful. Sure, you could go back in time and kill some people, easy. But now all your gear's gone, you having inadvertently killed the guy who made the sword of mined the ore or something. Obviously, that's not the best example, but you get the point.

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    Default Re: Chronomancy

    There are a few routes when it comes to avoiding time paradoxes. You can mix and match these, all of them might apply in different circumstances within the same time travel system.

    1) Changing the past is impossible because any changes you made already happened. Therefore, if you kill your "father" before you were born it'll turn out that someone else actually was your father all along.

    2) The past resists any attempt to change it, no matter how unlikely. Anyone attempting to change the past will experience bad luck that is actually fate preventing their meddling. This may simply be your spell failing or your arrow missing, but if necessary a person could have a heart attack and die on the spot if that's the only way to keep the time stream preserved.

    3) The past can be changed, but only minor details, none of which would create time travel paradoxes.

    4) Attempting to change the past shunts the time traveler into self-contained pocket limbo dimension as the universe protectively ejects the object violating causality.

    5) There are time traveling guardians, either natural monsters or an order of chronomancers, that travel the time stream destroying anything that would alter time. Trying to change time instantly summons as many are needed to stop you. In this scenario changing time is possible, but the Guardians always notice and travel to stop you before you could do it. In fact, they might even appear to stop you before you travel in time.

    You should also figure out reasons to prevent people from going back in time and robbing banks and such. Perhaps rule that major thefts usually didn't happen, and count as changing time even if the event isn't common knowledge in the present.
    Last edited by Lysander; 2009-07-21 at 04:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Chronomancy

    Cool. Now you need Lucimancy, Neuromancy, Biomancy and possibly some mancy form of energy as a whole

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    I think I'll try and re-create my old "Somnomancy" class again. I really like the idea of this chronomancer, well done.
    Last edited by Ichneumon; 2009-07-22 at 04:08 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    What it I kill myself? What if I go back to yesterday and travel a long distance to a new area? If I kill my father after I've been conceived or even born? If I alter life-changing events? If I destroy nations? If I grab some precious artifact or important person and take it/them with me?

    This seems ripe for DM head-scratching and campaign wrecking...or at least stalling. I like Strawman's first idea personally...
    I'd take a page out of the Chronicle's first book. Well, not literally, I like it.

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    When Raistlin kills Fistandantilus in...er...the city with the kingpriest in it (the name's on the tip of my tounge, er, fingers), Raistlin takes Fistandantilus's place in history.

    Likewise, if you went back in time and killed yourself, you'd take your own place, albeit perhaps older. There are ripples in the stream of time, but overall, the river keeps going.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leeham View Post
    Really? This seems a bit of a causality cop-out to me. Surely one of the great joys of time travel stories are the paradoxes? A great tool for the DM really. It teaches the PCs to be careful. Sure, you could go back in time and kill some people, easy. But now all your gear's gone, you having inadvertently killed the guy who made the sword of mined the ore or something. Obviously, that's not the best example, but you get the point.
    Ignore it if you will. I wouldn't. What if you killed the guy with the sword he made? He couldn't have made the sword to kill him with, so you couldn't have killed him. If you didn't kill him, he made the sword. If he made the sword, you killed him. If you killed him, he didn't make the sword. If you didn't kill him, he made the sword. If he made the sword, you killed him. If you killed him, he didn't make the sword. If you didn't kill him, he made the sword. If he made the sword, you killed him. If you killed him, he didn't make the sword. If you didn't kill him, he made the sword. If he made the sword, you killed him. If you killed him, he didn't make the sword. If you didn't kill him, he made the sword. If he made the sword, you killed him. If you killed him, he didn't make the sword. If you didn't kill him, he made the sword. If he made the sword, you killed him. If you killed him, he didn't make the sword....AHH!
    Thank someone for copy/paste.
    It's just easier to get rid of time paradoxes. If you like seeing your DM's head explode, go ahead.

    And don't try to rationalise spells as chronomancy. Please.
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    I love the passion everyone has for discussing how two impossible things, magic and time travel, would work together.

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    It's more about fitting time travel in, still maintaining internal consistency, and not completely grinding games to a halt, than whether or not time travel is possible with magic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold
    When traveling back in time, remember that a character can no more change time than a pebble thrown into a river changes its flow. A man can kill his father before he was born, but someone else becomes his father. The details change, but the world stays the same.
    At anywhere near the level players will be when time travel comes up, they can kill kings. If not with impunity, at least effectively. Some of the biggest wars have been over dynastic disputes over who gets to rule. The players aren't pebbles, they are boulders into creeks, splitting the flow.
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    On those levels, however, Kings can also be resurrected. Also, only using relatively low magic, I can come up with several scenarios.

    The party travels back in time and kills King Mordegog the Cruel days after his coronation? His court mage disguises himself, disposes of the corpse and assumes control. Actually, he always was the bad guy, just couldn't find a way to kill the valiant king.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2009-07-22 at 08:37 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    On those levels, however, Kings can also be resurrected. Also, only using relatively low magic, I can come up with several scenarios.

    The party travels back in time and kills King Mordegog the Cruel days after his coronation? His court mage disguises himself, disposes of the corpse and assumes control. Actually, he always was the bad guy, just couldn't find a way to kill the valiant king.
    There's ways at those levels of killing someone in ways resurrection can't fix, like trapping the soul in various ways. There's also ways of killing lot's of people, Grand Viser Slimeball the Back Stabby, included.And destroying buildings. And even towns. The only way for things to stay the same would be Deus Machina, God of Fiat, to fix everything. And even if your little scenario holds true, a world where an scheming advisor takes the throne, even if 'only' as a regent for a young heir, would be different form one where he had to work with a virtuous, if weak willed, monarch. Just looks at Richard the Third.
    I am not suggesting that step on the bug=apocolypse, but surprisingly small details have had impacts. Henry II of france died from a lance splinter to the eye, and after his death were some major religious wars.
    Henry I of England died of food poisoning, and his death set off a civil war between the supporters Stephen of Blois and of Empress Maude.
    Now, time travel appears to be a significant DM challenge. A lot of improvisation is needed, but so is a lot of detail. Sure, the 'changes nothing' makes things easier for the DM, but it stretches disbelief, for me at least anyway. It also removes any real reason to go into the past except sight-seen.
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    Default Re: Chronomancy

    Wizards alreddy made a "teleport though time" spell, it's web original.

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    There are plenty of alternate time travel theories that take care of such issues as screwing yourself over due to a careless mistake or not recognizing someone.
    1. Time travel creates alternate timelines. As such you can't be effected by changing the future. You could kill your whole family tree, but as you come from an alternate reality where that didn't happen you'll be just fine (though you can't ever get back to your original timeline unless maybe you time travel to its future).
    2. Time travel can't rewrite major events. You can change the details, but as far as major events go, you can't cause them (all efforts will inevitable be foiled), and you can't stop the (even if you kill the people, others will end up taking their place). This doesn't however stop you from setting up things in the present. For example if you made a flaw in the armor that the BBEG would end up using so that in your fight with him you could exploit it and kill him. In the case of killing a sword smith with his own sword that he had yet to make, well, it would effect you, but just in that you would have a different equal caliber sword. Just because that specific sword wasn't there doesn't mean you wouldn't have gotten a sword. You wouldn't even have noticed its absence and would just get a different one.
    3. Time travel is required for history. This can be the hardest to pull off. In general, your timetravel is already had happened in the past. You can't have any effect on the future because your actions are what made the future. This can however be somewhat restricting to players if not careful (especially if they're dead set on trying to change things). An example might be you traveling back in time to save yourself from something. Had you not done so, you would have died and thus not been able to save yourself. You might try going back to kill the BBEG only to find out it is you who makes him what he is (or that he was actually someone pretending to be that person like in the case of an adviser impersonating the 'evil' king you killed. It was the adviser all along but he did such a good job impersonating the king no one knew).
    4. Time is subjective. This is alto like the first possibility I listed but differs in some details that I don't really feel like getting into right now. Generally though its that you can change the past, but it won't effect you, your memories, or your past. You only change things occurring after your current time, and your not there, your here in the past (along with possibly other people who came back as well). This is may be the most confusing method.


    There are, I think, more options, but I can't recall them at the moment. You could also just make up your own rules for how time travel works. The main thing though is to keep it consistent. If you keep changing how it works depending on the situation it can be annoying.

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    Last edited by Owrtho; 2009-07-22 at 12:12 PM.
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    Or one method would be to have "branches", brief periods where time can be changed. Fate normally keeps everything on a fixed course, blocking changes or sometimes just undoing them ("Yay! We changed time!" *Poof* "No we didn't!")

    But at branches, time CAN be changed, and it can radically change the next few decades. So perhaps only the two hours of a major battle would be alterable, then nothing else for decades in both directions.

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    I like the branches thing, actually: in that case, a spell to predict those points before they happen would have a pretty major impact: if you want to do something you have to be 100% sure won't be unmade, let your wizard find the most stable point in time to do it. On the other hand, if you are not sure if it will work, find a mutable point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I like the branches thing, actually: in that case, a spell to predict those points before they happen would have a pretty major impact: if you want to do something you have to be 100% sure won't be unmade, let your wizard find the most stable point in time to do it. On the other hand, if you are not sure if it will work, find a mutable point.
    The question is, do branches occur at random times throughout history, or do they center around major pivotal events only? Do those events happen because of the branches or does the branch exist because of the event? Or is it a chicken and egg thing?

    Other concerns:

    *What about the future? Is it hard to change or can people make their own destiny to avoid a visited future?
    *What would happen if your party went an extreme, say 1,000 years in the future or past? Would there be advanced technology or allies they could exploit?
    *If someone does change time so their past trip never took place, what happens to the caster? Do they stop existing? Or are there now two copies of them in existence?
    *Are there other chronomancers sharing the same time stream, including ones from the future?
    *Does a time change in one plane affect others planes as well?
    *How do deities perceive time travel? If you went back in time and killed the founder of a religion would that unmake a deity created through belief? Would a deity intervene to stop this?

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    Wow, this is controversial. It almost makes me not want to post evolution-based spells...
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    Would divination spells that tell the past/future count as chronomancy spells? If so, Foresight/Hindsight and possibly spells like Augury and Divination would be chronomancy spells as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PId6 View Post
    Would divination spells that tell the past/future count as chronomancy spells? If so, Foresight/Hindsight and possibly spells like Augury and Divination would be chronomancy spells as well.
    If I did, about half the school would be chronomancy.
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    Maybe chronomancers should commonly worship a deity involved with fate. Alternatively, a divine class could have access to chronomancy as domain spells of a fate deity.

    Character communication with a fate deity would provide quest opportunities. It would allow for a simple means of deciding what is or is not possible with time travel; whatever the fate deity decides is the word of law. This would allow for a basic setup for chronomancy, and it would still allow for widespread customization in each DM's campaign.

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    Have you considered using the 2e sourcebook of the same name for inspiration? though i must say, the "paradox" line of spells always made for some VERY long encounters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lysander View Post
    2) The past resists any attempt to change it, no matter how unlikely. Anyone attempting to change the past will experience bad luck that is actually fate preventing their meddling. This may simply be your spell failing or your arrow missing, but if necessary a person could have a heart attack and die on the spot if that's the only way to keep the time stream preserved.
    I think there's an interesting possibility for campaign development here. You could base a race/faction around creatures with purposes like Inevitables - a group dedicated to assuring that disruptions in time go unnoticed by ordinary mortals. If you go back in time and kill your father, some alien shapeshifter dude assumes his identity after you return to the future. If you steal some crucial artifact, they smuggle a forgery back in its place (or maybe even steal it back from you in the future.) There's a risk of "Time Police" cheese, but I think if you did it right and made them all cackling imps and googly-eyed madmen no one would notice. But still, I would leave a chance of success for the PCs' agendas - I definitely agree with the others that stubborn determinism and paradox negation are boring ways to approach time travel, which is otherwise a very fruitful theme.
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    This is for obvious safety reasons no doubt. Perhaps with the help of a heavy rubber mallet it can be done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seedjar View Post
    I think there's an interesting possibility for campaign development here. You could base a race/faction around creatures with purposes like Inevitables - a group dedicated to assuring that disruptions in time go unnoticed by ordinary mortals. If you go back in time and kill your father, some alien shapeshifter dude assumes his identity after you return to the future. If you steal some crucial artifact, they smuggle a forgery back in its place (or maybe even steal it back from you in the future.) There's a risk of "Time Police" cheese, but I think if you did it right and made them all cackling imps and googly-eyed madmen no one would notice. But still, I would leave a chance of success for the PCs' agendas - I definitely agree with the others that stubborn determinism and paradox negation are boring ways to approach time travel, which is otherwise a very fruitful theme.
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    In the book time travel is possible, but each moment in time is a different universe. Animals travel forward to new universes without realizing it, leaving behind empty universes that look like abandoned cities and landscapes. So you can go back in time, but it'll be empty of all life.

    These universes are eventually devoured by langoliers, which are monsters that consume everything left in the past by the present. Anyone caught in the past when the langoliers arrive is eaten along with everything else.

    In the book changing time isn't possible, because there's nothing left back there to change. Just shadows of objects.

    I could imagine a greater version of this where there are shadows of people as well, and the past looks like it is still alive, but any changes only change this shadow and soon fade back to normal. Objects brought to the present would vanish as unreal. Things left in the past would never catch up the present, they'd always be displaced back in the shadow. So you could still travel in time and have adventures, but the only thing you could do in the past is:

    A) Find out information about what happened back then
    B) Hide out in the past, or hide an object in the past
    C) Retrieve something or someone that traveled back in time
    D) Cause mayhem and destruction for fun - although the past versions of people will definitely try to stop it

    There could perhaps be some "bleed through." For example, even though something you do in the past may not actually affect anything, anyone you interact with the past shadow of at length might gain faint memory of it in the present.
    Last edited by Lysander; 2009-07-23 at 08:55 AM.

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    Ok, time for a little homebrew from the Mulletman. I ran a campaign [slightly silly admittedly] in d20 Future based on this so i might as well throw in my tuppence.

    This is effectively a full campaign model once i'm done, though I'm expecting the full force of the GMEP [Games Master Escalation Principal] to come with anything the players introduce [I use this in my games; I usually start only with the core books and maybe one or two Completes and then use anything that the Players bring into the game, making everything a double edged sword].

    Liodegnus:
    The great gear of time of Mechinus determines the flow of time for Mechinus and its plethora of connected gears determine time for the remainder of the multiverse. At the very hub of the gear of Time, is an entity known as Liodegnus, the Lord of Causality. Because it was determined by the Mediators of mechinus that there needed to be a personal point of interaction with the innevitable stream of mortals who came to petition the Gear, Liodegnus was created.

    Liodegnus is a giant head floating inside a tube of what appears to be glass. It's appearance is semi-transparent and fluctuates to appear like an elderly member of the race of the petitioner but of an incorrect colouration. This is intentional to avoid any expectation of favouritism.

    Interaction with Liodegnus is performed sinularly for the purposes of attempting to gain his assistance in altering the timeline of your world, which he ALWAYS refuses, and to gain permission to attempt such things without his assistance, which he is surprisingly tollerant of and will grant 'Periods of Interference' allowing periods of up to a month of subjective time to meddle before the point where manipulation results in the dispatch of the Quaruts.

    The actual reasons for this permissiveness are discussed later. Trying to fight Liodegnus is pointless as he has complete control over local relative time. Attempting to attack Liodegnus results in the character being aged out of existence without save, even if using a Chronomantle [see Greater Chronomancy].

    The Personal Timeline:
    Each individual in existence has a 'Personal Timeline' a chain of events that are wrapped onto a single gear within the mechanisms of Fate within Mechinus. There are certain limitations caused by a personal timeline as only one soul may occupy the timeline at any given point. A timeline is a field roughly one hundred metres wide around the individual that travels with him. In more precise terms, it is the field wherein a non-infallable individual is unable to make excuses for seeing two people who look identical.

    Were an unshielded individual to be caught within the timeline of it's earlier self, they will be instantly drawn into the single point of existence, causing a time loop. Individuals of this type die instantly [from the perception of those around them] appearing older than they should and perishing of natural causes.

    Some Chronomancy Spells are limited to influencing the individual's own timeline, some can only be used in events beyond the scope of the individual's personal timeline and at the highest levels, allow the caster to co-exist with their previous self within the same moments.

    History:
    The trouble with History, is that it's remembered or at least recorded. Mechinus and because it mediates the flow of such, Time, seem to hold this in higher regard than events to some extent.

    When characters attempt to change history, without the most powerful Chronomancy, they find that their presence was somewhat expected and that they end up amidst the myriad unrecorded details. Wherever they go, they find themselves beset by forces that are working to prevent the future they know coming to pass. The trouble is, that heroes in this circumstance tend to spin their Temporal Auguries and discover that they prefer the alternatives even less.

    History impacts only on spells from the Lesser Chronomancy but can be highly annoying. The GM plays the part of History and there will usually be something worse waiting in the wings, forcing the characters to act to prevent it rather than throwing their full attention at their original scheme.

    Next time: The spells of the Lesser Chronomancer...

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