Thursday, May 22, 2014

Do the Time Warp (Again)

With X-Men: Days of Future Past about to drop this weekend, I was thinking about alternate futures. They're a staple of comics and have made appearances in movies and TV. Outside of the superhero genre, they probably don't show up much in gaming--and I 'm specifically excluding settings that may technically be alternate futures, but have no interact with a different present. I mean an alternate future of a current campaign world.

It's not a stock fantasy concept, admittedly, but since when has that ever stopped anyone, particularly in the old school crowd? There are so many ways it could be utilized. The old Dark Shadows show had a parlor room that led to a parallel time line; there's no reason a whole dungeon couldn't have links to an alternate future. Like on Star Trek: Enterprise, maybe the Big Bads behind--well, something or another--are from an alternate future, perhaps different alternate futures.

The PCs could interact with alternate future versions of themselves  traveling to the past for some reason (usual to cause/prevent their future occurring). For extra fun, the big bads could actually be one or more of the PCs.

Anybody ever done something like this in a non-supers game?

Meeting one's alternate future self always means getting to see one's snazzy alt-future duds


Jay Dugger said...

See, in order, the following RPGs.

1) Continuum
2) Narcissist
3) Delta Green Eyes Only Volume 2, Project Rainbow
4) Ex Tempore

Of these, Continuum relies upon meeting your future self in order to preserve a single timeline by eliminating paradox. Narcissist, from the same publisher, focuses on quantum immortality (look it up) by introducing temporal paradox and so forking the timeline. I've written about these games at length on the Delta Green Mailing List and in the Exlipse Phase forums.

DGEOv2, follows the Delta Green model of combining a conspiracy theory with a HPL story. It mashes the Philadelphia Experiment with "From Beyond." It takes a big Tillinghast resonator to make a ship vanish, and only the presence of MJ-12 agents sent back to stop it kept the worst from happening. It took 30 or 40 years for MAJESTIC to learn what they had to do, and they still have another 10 or 20 years to figure out how.

Ex Tempore, from Anders Sandberg, has among much more interesting things, the US Government of the 2000s sending back information to prevent 9/11. It keeps failing, but actually forks timelines. They keep trying, until they send one to the CIA of 1971, under the Nixon Administration.

Trey said...

Thanks for the info, Jay!