Candlekeep Forum
Candlekeep Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Members | Private Messages | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Forgotten Realms Journals
 Running the Realms
 Help. I think my players broke time.
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

The Silver Sage
Seeker

17 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2018 :  13:45:20  Show Profile Send The Silver Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So iíve hit a big snag for a d&d campaign iím running and I could use some other DM input.

The long and short of it is that my players have created a temporal paradox, and I was wondering exactly how it should thematically play out (AKA how should I torture them, for messing with time)?

More specifically, Iím running a campaign heavily involved around time and the apparent destruction of it throughout the universe. In our most recent session, my PCs traveled to the Elemental Plane of Fire, 30 years in the past. The former home of my fire genasi PC.

When she was very little (about 30 years ago), the PC witnessed her own mother sacrifice herself, to save the life of a mysterious stranger (which the PC now found out, was in fact, herself from the future). Despite me rendering the PC unconscious and completely devoid of agency (something I hate to do, but felt was necessary for the story), the rest of the party still managed to interfere with the natural cause of events. Honestly, I should have expected it. I feel like an idiot. But nevertheless, Iím left with an interesting opportunity and something of a temporal disaster.

I want my PCs to feel the weight of their actions, and I definitely want them to realize itís not wise to simply go around mucking up timelines (theyíre the ones who are supposed to save time after all). And, this causes several inconveniences for them. On the other hand, I did put them in the position, so I canít blame them for being the murder hobos they are.


Here's a quick rundown of how the PCs have affected time:

-They snuck into the Charcoal Palace and assassinated the previous Sultan of the Effreet.
-Planted Evidence at the crime scene to make it seem like the Fey court assassinated the Sultan.
-Someone who is not supposed to be alive is now alive (PCís mother).
-A PC now has an incurable disease which was supposed to be healed by special blood magic via the motherís death.


Hereís some rough ideas iíve been kicking around:

1.)The PCs remember two distinct timelines. One where the mother dies, and one where she is alive and well. See Berenstain bears/ mandela effect (http://mandelaeffect.com/). There is otherwise no discerning changes to their timeline.

2.) Time always corrects itself. Shortly after saving her mother , The PCís mom dies in a tragic yet unrelated way.

3.) The PC has altered the timeline to the point where she no longer is the same person. She has completely different memories and experiences. She has been considering rebuilding her character. This may be a good opportunity. Ally PCs make a charisma saving throw to try and remember the original version of her.

4.) There is a sonic ďtime boomĒ and everything gets shifted a little bit. Kind of like the DC story flash point. The Fey preoccupation with battling the efreet has led to the new ďblood war.Ē One PCís unborn child gets erased from history. By and large the universe is a much worse place now that a PCís mother is alive.

I welcome all suggestions and any ideas/input you guys have. Thanks for your help!

dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4156 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2018 :  14:14:56  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I always go with number 2. Terry pratchett did a brilliant depiction of this kind of stuff in the Night Watch.


Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions Candlekeep Archive
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 1
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 2
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 3
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 4
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 5
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 6
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 7
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 8
Forgotten Realms Alternate Dimensions: Issue 9

Alternate Realms Site
Go to Top of Page

LordofBones
Senior Scribe

833 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2018 :  15:04:45  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Your party is now the target of quaruts.

No, seriously, that's what they do: kill people who screw with time.
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31599 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2018 :  15:08:57  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Go with number 2. Time corrects itself, and those who are supposed to die are going to die.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

The Silver Sage
Seeker

17 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2018 :  16:03:15  Show Profile Send The Silver Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

Your party is now the target of quaruts.

No, seriously, that's what they do: kill people who screw with time.



Lol Its funny you mention this. I've been having a time Quarut hunt them throughout space and time. They have been ducking this guy since level one; when the "anomalies" (PCs) were at their weakest.
Go to Top of Page

xaeyruudh
Master of Realmslore

USA
1822 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2018 :  14:56:48  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree with others that 2 is the "right" way to do it, but for exactly that reason I don't like it. It's the expected, and therefore (to me) a bit on the boring side regardless of how well it's done. Fantasy roleplaying has the advantage over novels that it doesn't have to be pretty or tie up all the loose ends.

I think I'd go with one of the other options (probably 4) if it was me. Partly as a challenge to myself as DM. That's just me, of course.
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31599 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2018 :  18:19:25  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by xaeyruudh

I agree with others that 2 is the "right" way to do it, but for exactly that reason I don't like it. It's the expected, and therefore (to me) a bit on the boring side regardless of how well it's done. Fantasy roleplaying has the advantage over novels that it doesn't have to be pretty or tie up all the loose ends.

I think I'd go with one of the other options (probably 4) if it was me. Partly as a challenge to myself as DM. That's just me, of course.



I'm not a fan of 4, myself, because of the whole paradox angle. If something that affects the PCs doesn't happen, then the PC doesn't wind up in a position to alter time...

Time travel is just too much of a mess. I loved the Chronomancer supplement when it came out, but I'd not touch that, as a DM.

In fact, I had a DM kick my group something like a century into the future, and that really affected my enjoyment of the entire campaign. It lost some of its luster, after that.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 22 Mar 2018 :  23:25:28  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My own list...

1) Do this, but have the two very similar - only a couple of critical differences; see the next one...

2) The mother dies ('time always rights itself'), Buuuuut... she dies in childbirth a year later. That previously 'unborn' sibling is a bad seed, and would like nothing more than to kill its older sister. See the next one...

3) This also occurs - she has double-memories, and because she now has a sibling (who hates her) that she barely remembers, her entire life played-out differently. This brings us back to what I said above in #1...

4) The timeline is mostly the same, but watch your character's faces drop when they hear the mention of the Blue Wizards of Thay.


Explanation: Now, I know you are going to say that the above can't be true because they didn't go back far enough... but once you do something to the time river, it screws with EVERYTHING. That Quarut? he had another mission right after this one - he was supposed to stop some jerk from going back and messing with Thayd and his creation of Thay. Unfortunately, the PCs broke so much stuff, that he was forced to stay on their case, and never managed to make it back to stop those other changes from happening.

Other oddities - most not really affecting the Realms in a major way - should also keep springing up. Small things... unless you want a major change (like Azoun's son having lived). Or have the party run into people they already killed, because now, THEY DIDN'T.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 22 Mar 2018 23:27:49
Go to Top of Page

Ceranai
Acolyte

5 Posts

Posted - 14 Jun 2018 :  11:38:58  Show Profile Send Ceranai a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One possibility is that time is linear but can loop back on itself, so basically (1) where the pcs remember both loops
Go to Top of Page

TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1744 Posts

Posted - 14 Jun 2018 :  12:22:42  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In fiction time travel is used either to compensate for the writer's clumsiness by breaking continuity (making political "points" or cancelling plot knots via deus-ex-machina) or for its own sake (a bow toward Predestination, fetish or cameo/shoutout to some other story).
IMHO when you insert stuff inherently built upon fallacies into a game (which you don't control entirely, and therefore can't be certain you'll just walk around any inconvenient parts), you really shouldn't be surprised when eventually it goes "1=0, therefore dancing cabbages".

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
Go to Top of Page

The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2040 Posts

Posted - 14 Jun 2018 :  19:11:32  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There are several theories when it comes to what happens when causality is altered in this fashion.

In the first, one is capable of changing the present or future by altering events in the past. This is the problem you are considering.

In another - which I believe is most like the AD&D model of time streams - there are an infinite number of outcomes that can and do occur from every event. These are represented by streams of time branching off at the junction of an event. How can you PCs get back to their own time stream? They can travel to Temporal Prime (the demiplane of time) and find the correct time stream. Alternatively, there are spells that undo temporal paradoxes designed for chonomancers who routinely meddle with timelines.

Finally, there exists the theory that the timeline cannot be effectively altered. That time what has happened, will happen, no matter the interference. Time is immutable. So, just because they managed to interfere doesn't mean their actions had any lasting effect. They saved her mom's life, who was so grateful she did not look both ways before crossing the street and was run over by a rampaging coach and killed - for example - the sultan was resurrected the next morning and revealed that the Fey were not responsible.

The PC's disease is a consequence in the future, not the past, so I'd let that play out.
Go to Top of Page

TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1744 Posts

Posted - 17 Jun 2018 :  13:45:04  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
See also "Every time you try to give a gamers a time travel plot" in Is It Canon? comic.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
Go to Top of Page

Thraskir Skimper
Learned Scribe

195 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2018 :  18:11:53  Show Profile Send Thraskir Skimper a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Each time line is a different universe so when they get back spells don't work, Gods are not quite the same, they remember things and people who don't know them. Have fun with it. Suddenly they all get a lesson from the DM don't screw up time or time screws up you.

Thay Red
Go to Top of Page

Starshade
Learned Scribe

Norway
212 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2018 :  13:27:12  Show Profile Send Starshade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
4. Easiest way to explain my thoughts of this issue is with the butterfly effect from chaos theory. Something might happen no one could possibly anticipate.
Go to Top of Page

moonbeast
Senior Scribe

USA
483 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2018 :  19:44:32  Show Profile Send moonbeast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A curly-haired Time Lord, who lives in a box, should appear and kick their butts (for messing with time).
Go to Top of Page

Starshade
Learned Scribe

Norway
212 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2018 :  23:46:45  Show Profile Send Starshade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have thought a bit..
There is an possibility explaining time paradoxes as splintered time, one world spawn two different parallel time streams.
You could find or invent two different time gods / primordials. One is a Destroyer, killing off splintered time streams, killing them, and burn off their "thread" in the tapestry of the world. The other one is a Preserver or Creator, making whole threads of pieces of the old ones. And mends the destruction. Both counteracting each other, and balancing the other one. Something similar to gods of Fate weaving and unravelling the worlds. (the norse Norns?)

Basically some archaic strange cosmic Overgods which never have been worshipped in Toril. Basically, they would make sure immediate apocalypse won't happen, since they would either burn off a parallel world. Or reforge them to one world again. The reason I'd use two, is this would be dangerous to the players; no free meal, random which of them is fixing the timeline. The god of Destruction would possibly send minions chasing them while preparing to burn their home timeline.

Either accept fate and join the Toril of the Blue wizards of Thay, or fix their own timeline.

Edited by - Starshade on 14 Jul 2018 23:48:52
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Candlekeep Forum © 1999-2018 Candlekeep.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000