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    Orc in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Maybe-functional time travel: The Time Walker (Class Prototype Design)

    Right. This is a bug that bit me late the night before last, and the only way to get it out of my head is by posting it. Given that I have midterms, this is necessary. Formatting will be poor. Several dead levels will remain. No class table. Comments on abilities would be appreciated.

    Update:
    Reduced Frag increase over time. While it still adds a sense of urgency, it isn't 1-minute levels of urgency.
    Being overloaded with paradox is no longer instantly lethal.
    Alter The Past is less nasty now if you overuse it.


    Time Walker

    Requirements:
    Perform(Dance): 4 ranks (1 in Pathfinder)
    Autohypnosis: 7 ranks (or the Psychic Sensitivity feat in Pathfinder and 7 ranks in Perception)
    Feats: Paradox Cut

    Hit Die: d8
    Skills: 4 + Int. Unsure of class skills.
    Proficiencies: Nothing new.
    Chassis: Average BAB. Good Reflex and Will. Poor Fortitude.

    Class abilities:
    Paradox and Frag: Several of the Time Walker's abilities generate paradoxes- unfulfilled time loops with a promise to reach into the past and resolve them. However, a single Time Walker can sustain only so much paradox at once- each Paradox has a Frag value, and a Time Walker can only maintain Paradoxes with a total Frag of no more than her level. Furthermore, unfulfilled Paradoxes increase in size over time:
    Time Elapsed Bonus Frag
    1 hour 1
    1 day 2
    Should a Time Walker have Frag greater than their level, they find the timeline beginning to rebel against them, rolling twice on all d20 rolls and taking the lower value. Furthermore, a Time Walker cannot create a Paradox while above their maximum Frag.

    Forsee: At 1st level, a Time Walker can attempt to gain a small assistance from their own memories of a fight. As a swift or immediate action, they can reroll an attack they make or an attack made against them that they are aware of. This generates a Paradox of 1 Frag, which can be resolved as a move action, by sending their memories of the relevant attack backwards in time.

    Receive: At 2nd level, a Time Walker grows in power, to the degree that physical, inanimate objects can be sent back in time. When you do, choose a specific item or specific type of item to be received; you may choose for it to appear wherever you like. This generates a Paradox of 1 Frag. It can be resolved by sending a different item which meets all specifications that you know of of the actual item that you received back in time; this takes a full-round action and an appropriate item, while standing in the same space for the item to arrive.

    Aid From The Future: At 3rd level, a Time Walker finally works out the difficult and thorny issues behind travelling through time. As a standard action, you can summon a copy of yourself in any square you can see. You may have the copy arrive with any additional equipment you desire, with changes you can specify as under the First Law of Time. The copy takes its turn immediately after you, but only has a move action on the first round it acts. This produces a Paradox of 3 Frag, which can only be resolved by standing in the same square it arrived in and taking a full-round action to travel back in time. When you do, you must be in indistinguishable condition to the clone of yourself (as per the First Law of Time).

    You may only create Time Clones a number of times per day equal to your Time Walker level. Only the youngest instance of yourself can use Time Walker abilities that generate paradoxes, but any of them can resolve them, provided that doing so does not create a loop with no beginning or end.

    Paradox Action: At 4th level, when you use Paradox Cut, you may take any standard action instead of making an attack.

    Alter the Past: At 5th level, you gain the ability to alter what has already happened, rather than passively preparing the present for the future to alter. As a full-round action, you disappear, traveling up to 24 hours back in time. You may then do whatever you like. Anything you do that distinguishably conflicts with your memories of the original event immediately creates a Paradox of 5 Frag, which can only be restored by ensuring that your past-self's memories of the event are indistinguishable from what originally happened. Furthermore, if this kind of paradox occurs regularly, you may find yourself experiencing bizarre and inexplicable events, generating a Paradox of 2 Frag which can only be resolved by self-fulfilling the event.

    Paradox: None unless you change the past distinguishably, in which case one of 5 Frag.

    Pre-planned preemtive post-event travel: At 6th level, at any time, you may dictate that your future self traveled back in time to perform some set of actions, altering the world around you. Immediately describe how your future self acted to aid you; any changes you make must be indistinguishable from what has already happened. This creates a Paradox of 5 Frag, which can be resolved by going back in time as per Alter the Past to perform those actions.
    Spoiler
    Show
    For example, suppose you wanted to meet with someone, but had no appointment. As you speak to the receptionist, you realize that you can just go back in time to make the appointment. You use this ability, at which point you and the DM play out a short encounter in which you attempt to make the appointment. You then return to the present, where you inform the receptionist that you have an appointment. You get in.

    Had the receptionist said something along the lines of "I don't have an appointment for (your name) on the list" before you used this ability, you would have had to adjust how you make the appointment in order to prevent conflicting with what already occured; perhaps the appointment was made under an alternate name,
    for example.



    Laws of Time:
    1st law: No meaningful information can be extracted from a time loop. Should you arrange or attempt to receive a message from your future self, the attempt is bound to generate only meaningless or utterly simplistic information. As the Frag from such an event can only be resolved by sending an identically meaningless message, attempting to do so is useless. Broader emotional information and information in which the Time Walker has little to no control over can be sent. As the Time Walker creates a loop, they may choose to leave information specifically undefined. So long as that information never becomes relevant, they may resolve that loop using any possible values for the information.
    2nd law: Timelines lock. Any attempt to change the past must change it so that the traveler's memories remain accurate to what happened. Anything not in line with this law will not resolve the Paradox generated by the time travel. Memory manipulation is a valid method of resolving this type of paradox.
    3rd law: Everything must have a defined age. No sending items back in time to become themselves.


    Paradox Cut(Combat)
    Requirements: BAB +5
    Benefit: You may make attacks on a different round from the one you take the action to use them. This functions in two ways:
    -At any time, you may make a single attack as a free action. If you do, you lose your standard action on your next turn as you attack into the past.
    -You may take a standard action to attack into the future. If you do, as a free action, you can make a single attack at any time before your next turn.
    No matter what you do, you may only make a single free attack per turn cycle with this feat.


    Any ideas and thoughts would be welcome, though I can't promise that I'll respond quickly.
    Last edited by aimlessPolymath; 2017-11-13 at 12:26 AM.
    My one piece of homebrew: The Shaman. A Druid replacement with more powerlevel control.
    The bargain bin- malfunctioning, missing, and broken magic items.
    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Maybe-functional time travel: The Time Walker (Class Prototype Design)

    Very interesting... Have no idea if its balanced or how to go about balancing it if it isn't, but I love the concept

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    Amechra's Avatar

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    Default Re: Maybe-functional time travel: The Time Walker (Class Prototype Design)

    First off, "Pre-planned preemtive post-event travel" is not the right term for that - you're looking for either "Slipshank" or "San Dumas Shuffle". I mean seriously .

    Secondly, you've got some issues with "fun" here, I think. Frag is much too harsh - at the level you get it, Alter The Past is hilariously likely to kill you with no chance of resurrection. After all, you are probably going back in time to, you know, change things.
    Quote Originally Posted by segtrfyhtfgj View Post
    door is a fake exterior wall
    I finally broke down and got a homebrewer's signature.

    This signature is currently so far out of date that it will loop around to being in date... never.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Maybe-functional time travel: The Time Walker (Class Prototype Design)

    Yes, CoNTINUUM was in fact one of my inspirations, as was All Night Laundry.

    Hm. Maybe you just can't create paradoxes while your Frag is above your maximum? There's less of an issue with suddenly dying out of nowhere, but my worry is that this makes it a hilariously good 3-level dip- you just use Aid From The Future and never resolve the paradox, which seems... wrong.

    Maybe you incur Doom, which works as an unluck spell?

    The whole point of Alter The Past is that you can't create changes that change the known past, because that would lead to incredibly complicated and frustrating work for the DM, and even more especially avoiding Grandfather paradoxes- suppose you had a difficult fight which resulted in one of your party members dying, so you went back in time with Alter the Past to cast bestow curse on your enemy so they would live... or maybe just a minor curse, or poisoning them, or whatever. Setting aside the gametime issue of running the same encounter twice, this brings up issues like the fact that since you're playing through the encounter again, so all the rolls are made again- so there's all sorts of divergence just from traveling into the past and interacting in any way with the past, which runs into issues of what counts as a distinguishable change, &etc. What if they only took 2 points of Dex damage from the poison? It's entirely possible that no rolls hit instead of miss from the damage, but because you're rerolling everything, they missed instead of critical hitting once, your ally survives this time.

    This is a lot of words to say that no, you won't change the past using this class.

    I suspect I'm going to cut the Frag increase at the 1 minute mark, which should also help with the "randomly dying out of nowhere" issue, though.
    My one piece of homebrew: The Shaman. A Druid replacement with more powerlevel control.
    The bargain bin- malfunctioning, missing, and broken magic items.
    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

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    Amechra's Avatar

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    Default Re: Maybe-functional time travel: The Time Walker (Class Prototype Design)

    The problem with Alter The Past not actually letting you change the past is that that's probably what a player who actually takes this class would want.

    The problem with time travel is that you either need to have the entire game built around it (like Continuum) or you need something to defray the cognitive costs (i.e., it needs to be in a lighter game than 3.5, preferably one where the GM's duties are spread out.)

    There's... pretty much isn't a way that you can get Alter The Past (or a similar ability) to work in D&D without it either being disappointing or a massive headache for everyone involved.

    On top of that... Aid From The Future is annoyingly fiddly. If you make a time clone, say, and then get petrified, then you're screwed unless the party has someone with Flesh To Stone prepared. There's a reason that Continuum gives you a much larger time span to work with (and doesn't have paradoxes get gradually worse.)
    Quote Originally Posted by segtrfyhtfgj View Post
    door is a fake exterior wall
    I finally broke down and got a homebrewer's signature.

    This signature is currently so far out of date that it will loop around to being in date... never.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Maybe-functional time travel: The Time Walker (Class Prototype Design)

    Yeah, I cut the growth for paradoxes a bit and changed it from "you die, forever" to "everything you do fails". I might remove the growth completely at some point, depending on how costs work out- I'd like to avoid the case where someone takes a 3-level dip in order to have a permanent clone of themselves running around all the time.

    The inability to change the past is mostly taken from All Night Laundry, where at one point, the characters have to sneak around to avoid being seen by their past selves in order to save one person's life and swap their body with a dummy. ("Past is bad. Future is worse. Timelines lock.") Added memory alteration as a valid method of resolving this.

    I've chosen to err on the side of "disappointing" for reasons of bookkeeping and ability to (theoretically) handle it in a real game without the DM exploding- note that in Continuum you are generally fighting against other time travelers.


    Stuff I'd like to add for the "complete time travel experience":
    -A better definition of "distinguishably change" the past
    -The ability to destroy paradoxes by saying that the person you summoned is from an alternate, doomed timeline.
    -The ability to rewind your turn, for the Groundhog Day experience.
    My one piece of homebrew: The Shaman. A Druid replacement with more powerlevel control.
    The bargain bin- malfunctioning, missing, and broken magic items.
    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Maybe-functional time travel: The Time Walker (Class Prototype Design)

    What if the character also started generating a resource that they could use to defray Frag? Something that would let them "pay off" an un-accounted-for visit from the future or minor change to the timeline?

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Maybe-functional time travel: The Time Walker (Class Prototype Design)

    The issue with letting them "pay off" time-debt is basically that visits to the future don't end. The time clone stays around until you decide to go back in time to become the clone. Paying off the paradox and not going back is equivalent to cloning yourself. Paying off the paradox of Recieve is equivalent to getting an item out of nowhere.
    Whatever the cost reduction method is, it needs to destroy whatever you got out of the time travel in some fashion, whether it's the clone dying, the item falling apart, or whatever.


    Note to self:
    Need to be able to bring others back in time.
    Last edited by aimlessPolymath; 2017-11-12 at 09:40 PM.
    My one piece of homebrew: The Shaman. A Druid replacement with more powerlevel control.
    The bargain bin- malfunctioning, missing, and broken magic items.
    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Maybe-functional time travel: The Time Walker (Class Prototype Design)

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    The problem with Alter The Past not actually letting you change the past is that that's probably what a player who actually takes this class would want.-SNIP-
    Actually experiencing going to the past w/o the ability to change anything is boring and pointless, but if the restriction is against visible changes to the timeline, that just becomes a challenge...
    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    -SNIP-The inability to change the past is mostly taken from All Night Laundry, where at one point, the characters have to sneak around to avoid being seen by their past selves in order to save one person's life and swap their body with a dummy. ("Past is bad. Future is worse. Timelines lock.") Added memory alteration as a valid method of resolving this.
    See this is good (as are multiple ways of resolving if you goof)
    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    Stuff I'd like to add for the "complete time travel experience":
    -A better definition of "distinguishably change" the past
    -The ability to destroy paradoxes by saying that the person you summoned is from an alternate, doomed timeline.
    -The ability to rewind your turn, for the Groundhog Day experience.
    Another suggestion - ability for Time Walkers to interact with each other using their powers... such as the guy who closes his grandfather's paradox (NOT Grandfather Paradox, mind you - that's different) 150 years later, or the woman who was banished from the kingdom before she could send an item back, so she has her friend go send it back for her.

    Also, a closed loop items aren't necessarily a bad thing for a story:
    Spoiler: Babylon 5 Spoilers
    Show
    (i.e. Valen brought the Triluminary with him from the future; it becomes a sacred relic of Valen passed down through the Menbari generations; Delenn gives the Triluminary to Sinclair, who then took it into the past. it was only after he left that everyone else realized he was Valen... Sinclair found out that he was Valen earlier that day when he received a sealed note he had/would write to himself 1000 years earlier.
    This example has both a closed loop person (Valen via Minbari reincarnation) and a closed loop item (the Triluminary)... Personally I wouldn't let a PC be a closed loop person (you're special, but not THAT special), but if the DM wants to have them interact with a closed loop relic, that could be a fun plot point - of course the DM would need to decide if/how such an item gets introduced, but for someone receiving such an item. closing the loop might actually be a matter of founding an organization or organizations that will ensure that the item is eventually sent back.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Maybe-functional time travel: The Time Walker (Class Prototype Design)

    Huh! Letting people close each other's time loops is something that could be done, yeah.

    Creating an object out of nowhere and sending itself back to become itself is right out, though. I didn't clarify it explicitly, but it's for the same reason as the 1st law- you're getting something out of nothing with no ties to the real world (what factors distinguish a world in which the item suddenly appears from one which it doesn't?).

    Created a 3rd Time Law to clarify that you can't do that, though.
    Last edited by aimlessPolymath; 2017-11-13 at 12:49 AM.
    My one piece of homebrew: The Shaman. A Druid replacement with more powerlevel control.
    The bargain bin- malfunctioning, missing, and broken magic items.
    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Maybe-functional time travel: The Time Walker (Class Prototype Design)

    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    Huh! Letting people close each other's time loops is something that could be done, yeah.
    Yippy!!
    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    Creating an object out of nowhere and sending itself back to become itself is right out, though. I didn't clarify it explicitly, but it's for the same reason as the 1st law- you're getting something out of nothing with no ties to the real world (what factors distinguish a world in which the item suddenly appears from one which it doesn't?).

    Created a 3rd Time Law to clarify that you can't do that, though.
    Spoilsport... (I totally agree that it would need extreme restrictions, and an outright ban is the simplest extreme restriction )
    In case you're interested:
    Spoiler: How I would restrict closed loop items...
    Show
    • Only A DM can create one
    • Item must be unique (an artifact or similar)
    • The loop must stay open for at least 1000 years
    • Whoever initially receives the item must create (an) organization(s) to insure the loop closes
    • Whoever initially receives the item must be trying to receive a relatively mundane item whose purpose is among the uses of the closed loop item

    Thus the Players have no control over the introduction of these items. They're sole purpose is to mark major transition points between phases in the campaign
    Last edited by Ranged Ranger; 2017-11-13 at 01:44 AM.

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