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DarkSolstice

ideas for time travel

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Hello guys! i would be intrested to read your ideas about time travel in 40k. i am currently running a senario involving ordo chronos. As a classic movie my players failled an important mission that had desastrous effect on the sector and as means to fix things again they have to time travel back. i am a bit stuck though on how should i run the time travel. i was thinking about what limitations i should have on what my players can change in the past. 

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You have three options. The first is to try and have the time travel make sense. Which means that nothing in the past can be altered, because as soon as something is altered you run into the grandfather paradox. Even something as minor as having one character who remembers the original timeline doesn't make sense because events were altered so that the original timeline never existed, so the original timeline could never have created those memories. So you're going to have to make a lot of use of the past not being what the PCs thought it was (false memories, incomplete record keeping, etc) or players being the ones tasked with making sure nobody else alterers the timeline. For an example of time travel where the past was not altered, look to the Futurama episode where they go back in time to Roswell. The one where Fry makes a very significant discovery about his own ancestry. Causal loops, where the chain of cause and effect loops back on itself, are fine because they are consistent with themselves. Though this makes it even more important than normal that you can prevent players from derailing the plot.

 

The second option is it's not really time travel. Parallel universes, hallucinations, simulations, etc. The characters aren't going back into their own past (though they might think that they are) so it doesn't matter what they change, as there is no way they can cause a paradox. The downside is that these campaigns can be unsatisfying, because it's hard to keep the players caring about the results of what they do.

 

The third is to stop caring about the time travel making sense. Admit that time travel doesn't make sense and roll with it. For example, in one Ork codex there is a short blurb about an Ork that gets so lost in the warp that his waagh goes back in time and runs into itself. The warboss then kills his younger self so he can get a second copy of his favourite gun. After doing so the rest of the Orks are so confused that the waagh disperses.

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I was thinking a mix of some. players would go back and with their actions they would really make the normal timeline happen as it was. a demonhost of tzeench is helping so the time lapse can happen so in his plotting players will not actually alter the past rather they will get tips for the future. kinda showing that altering the past is futile. thanks for your ideas!

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Learning that it's impossible to alter the past might be something the PCs are happy to learn. Because it means that the Enemies Of Man can't use it against them.

 

 

 

Something I know I would't be able to resist doing is set up a situation where they go back in time so far that they are a time and place where The Emperor is active. Unfortunately, due to other circumstances the PCs will think that won't have much chance to survive if He ever spots them. So they have to run and hide from Him. 

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the information that the past cant be altered its gonna be hard won by the players. no one is gonna tell them! I was thinking that the deamon is not willing to share the power of actual time travel but rather a time bubble that has minor or even no effect at all in the real timeline but feels like time travel. kinda like the inevitability of fate scenario. he will give hints or visions for the future but only after he plays a bit with their sanity making clear that you must give so much more to make this kind of deal with a deamon. 

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Time travel is kinda easy in 40k. Since time and space don't truly exist in the warp it is possible to end up in the future and possibly in the past. Of course using this method you have almost no control on where you'd end up.

 

Unless the players stumble acrross a Flux capacitator STC... ;)

 

One of the HH novels has a chaos ritual that allows people to slice a rift into reality with wich they can travel (a bit randomly) across the universe. They end up on primordial Terra along the trip.

 

Of course I'll bet that given the chance to end up in pre heresy days, the players will probably try to kill Horus (or Lorgar).

 

Also: time travel doesn't make sense. Just have fun with it.

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Simple.

Time travel should be narrative, and if players asks for rules... well, they don't know that rules.

 

P.S. Also - are you sure Tzeentch Daemon showing that altering anything, not matter what, is futile, is a good idea?

 

Wouldn't a Tzeentchian daemon want things to be altered? Because, you know; Change?

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Wouldn't a Tzeentchian daemon want things to be altered? Because, you know; Change?

 

Yeah, my thought exactly. If I need a daemon who shows that altering something is fuitile, I'd take Nurgle brood.

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Simple.

Time travel should be narrative, and if players asks for rules... well, they don't know that rules.

 

P.S. Also - are you sure Tzeentch Daemon showing that altering anything, not matter what, is futile, is a good idea?

 

Wouldn't a Tzeentchian daemon want things to be altered? Because, you know; Change?

 

yes he would but he would still want to plot and change things in his own terms....after all he plots just for the ploting!   :P

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Simple.

Time travel should be narrative, and if players asks for rules... well, they don't know that rules.

 

P.S. Also - are you sure Tzeentch Daemon showing that altering anything, not matter what, is futile, is a good idea?

 

Wouldn't a Tzeentchian daemon want things to be altered? Because, you know; Change?

 

yes he would but he would still want to plot and change things in his own terms....after all he plots just for the ploting!   :P

 

 

Plots for the plot god! :D

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i wouldnt like to delve too deep in time travel though...i think players get the feeling afterwards that ok whatever goes wrong i just time jump and fix it...i want to make them feel that its only due to the circumstances that they have a chance. playing with time has consequences... a bit insanity here a bit of corruption there...all in all i think you guys gave me the ideas i wanted. 

 

some info about the story if you like to read...

 

i am using ideas from the story of the Inquisitor: death of an angel. my party has Scarn as their inquisitor. he was responsible for safekeeping the angel(an ancient artifact weapon rumored to have been wielded by the emperor himself!). the angel was corrupted and couldnt be used. the players and him got tricked and lost the artifact by the magister anakwanar sek from the sabbat worlds chaos forces.he is planning to release the weapon on the imperium and win the war. inquisitor Scarn used his ally inquisitor Mercutio from the ordo chronos to send back his acolytes to reverse the situation. mercutio is a psycher so becoming a deamon host was not an option for him. scarn volunteered knowing well the ramification of his decision. now the players have to travel back in time to reverse the corruption on the artifact. i assumed for the purposes of my campaign that the angel is a sword that takes an avatar form upon summoning. the sword has 4 runes on the blade and an inscription "i am wrath i am steel i am martyr i am the emperor's angel.(taken from the space hulk intro video!!) its rune represents something the players must do to reverse the corruption. each time they succeed cleansing one, the sword sends thme back and they have to try it again in a diffrent time. To cleanse the wrath rune they have to kill an enemy of the emperor. For the steel rune they have to perform a ritual using holy oil. For the martyr they will fight themselves the moment they are tricked in giving the sword to the magister. (they where being controlled by him through volitor implants). In the end they ll return in normal time and as a last mission they will have to infiltrate the magister ranks  and call upon the angel so it can break the corruption of the last rune. they will have to use their deception skills to reach close enough to the magister. they can claim to be hunted by the imperium after betraying their inquisitor. releasing the angel will take down elite forces of the archon's army finally giving the advantage to the imperial guard. in the years to come the imperium forces will turn the tide and various commanders will boast about their military excellence but my players will have to keep their contribution secret because no one can learn all things they did.....(am i too cruel :P )

Edited by DarkSolstice

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I've got some questions for you to consider:

How astropath soul bonding should work for a player that traveled to 31M. Fluff and rule wise...

 

Same goes for Imperial Tarot, that was introduced long after HH era.

 

And what about faith powers-they already existed in HH era. Does it imply that Gods Emperor power stretch through space and time and as such his Ascendance was imminent...and he knew about it?

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i dont really understand what you mean by soul bonding. As for imperial tarrot i have to say that all these little things are nice ways to reward players for creativity. For example i would make a player roll a psyniscience test or in another case imperial creed when attempting to "bless" the group or take courage from the word of the emperor. all these things are nice ways to give small hints or small buffs or even penalties if someone fails horibly. make your players to try to find more ways of gainning something than just killing the enemy. moreover its fairly easy to stop them from abusing this by puting a reasonable limit. trying to read the tarrot cards again might give them results that confuses them and of course the emperor can only bless you so much with his divine power....after that you are on your own!

 

Edited by DarkSolstice

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