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One Thousand and One Nights and One Night

a role-playing game campaign design ’zine Vol.: 1, Issue: 24, June 1, 2007
Time Travel, Too! Time Travel Games & Ideas
I figured that I’d need a Time There are a number of time travel games and
Travel issue at some point, so I supplements out there, including GURPS Time
jumped back in time to the missed Travel (Steve Jackson Games), Chronomancer
June 1st issue. I’ve got a new PC, (WotC), the out of print Dr. Who RPG (FASA)
some time travel ideas and a setting and Time and Time Again
design. Enjoy! (Timeline). Each one of
these probably would have
Quote of the Month a good number of ideas to
steal, as well as all the
“I’m Time Dyslexic. I would have various time–related
told you earlier but I don’t know movies and television
when earlier is!” – Dr. Who. shows out there, like The
Time Machine (1960,
Pulp–a Time! MGM) and (2002, Warner
A great mix with Time Bros.), Somewhere in Time
Travel is Pulp Action. That (1980, Rastar), Time after Time (1979, Orion),
led me to Spirit of the Back to the Future series (1985, Amblin), Seven
Century (Evil Hat), a cool Days TV show (1998, Paramount). Even
pulp game that I got Memento (2000, Newmarket), where the hero
recently. Those folks over at doesn’t remember anything so the clock starts
Evil Hat have done a great again every day could be viewed as a time travel
job. I love my hardback and movie. There’s lots of source material out there
have decided to make a for you to get some ideas.
character: Hieronymus
Kincade III, Time–Jumper! Time Travel Game Setting Design
Each Character has three features: Aspects I’ve got a plan to run a time travel game in the
(bold italic), Skills (bold) and Stunts future. Now, I’ve run variant time travel games,
(underline). Aspects tell about the character’s usually the kind that the PCs are dragged from
background and experiences, Skills are what here to there, with no control in the outcome,
he can do and Stunts are things that are special and usually mixing multi–verses. Do I want to
abilities, all of which I will incorporate in the change that? Yes. And this is how I’m going to
story of my PC. do it.
Hieronymus Kincade was born to a wealthy Time travel games have quite a problem–in
family (Great: Resources) in Boston order to actually be time travel, the PCs have to
(“Family is always there for you”), the jump all over the time–stream. A lot.
only son of Hieronymus Kincade II and Evelyn Otherwise, it’s simply 1756 every session (or
Tarter–Kincade. Within a decade, he’d excelled whatever time they end up in). Each session
at science and sports (Photographic Memory, needs to be in a different time period, radically
Good: Science, Academics, Endurance), different than the one before. These sessions
but found that, at times, he’d be forced to have to be prepared in some way, if only some
defend himself from bullies (“Speak softly minimal library research on the period in
but be ready with two fists!”, Fair: question, which takes time. So this requires
Fists). some serious thought, and that has led me to a
very radical concept in setting design.
At the age of sixteen, while visiting relatives in (continued on Page 2, Second Column)
(continued on Page 2, First Column)
Content © Wooden Leg Named Smith Productions 2007, 2008 published in association with the Corvis Babbage Cliological Society
Website: ’zine art is either open source or through fair use of copyrighted works
One Thousand and One Nights and One Night Page 2
a role-playing game campaign design ’zine Vol.: 1, Issue: 24, June 1, 2007
Time Travel Setting (cont.) Pulp–a Time (cont.)
First, before I’m even going to write anything England, he joined the British Science Academy
down plot–wise or adventure–wise, I’m going with his English cousin, Lord Archimedes
to sit down with my players and talk about what Kincade (Fair: Rapport). Together, they
they want in a time travel game. Some developed several new defense machines that
questions to cover would include: saved London from Zeppelin bombs (“Science
• what time periods do you want to defends the good”, Fair: Engineering)
adventure in? How far forward and back and met his future wife, his Uncle’s ward, Miss
do you want to go? Julie St. John–Smythe (pronounced Sin Gin
• would you prefer a multi–verse approach Smith) (“Julie, my love”). During that time,
or only our current world history? he and his cousin were sponsored by his Uncle
• do you want control of the time travel to join the Century Club.
method or would you prefer being dragged In his first novel, Hieronymus Kincade and the
here and there at the whim of the GM? Time–Tripping Adventure, he happily married
• what sort of adventures do you want? his love but at the wedding she was taken
Solving world mysteries? Scavenger hunt? through time by the nefarious Dr. Clock (“I
Stopping a plot from another group of time will defeat your evil!”).
travelers? With the aid of a mystical
• Will the PCs encounter famous people and Artifact (“Clio Ex Machina,
interact with them or will it be a peripheral Watch of History”, Personal
contact? Artifact: Clio Ex Machina,
• are all the PCs from different times and Great: Mystery), He fought
places or are they mostly from the same (and defeated) Dr. Clock’s
era? devilish Nod–men in Ancient
Rome, the Cambrian Era and atop the Great
Wall of China during the Tang Dynasty (Fair:
Fists, Alert, Resolve; Average: Guns,
Weapons, Might), until he snuck into Dr.
Clock’s lair (Superb: Stealth, Quick Exit,
Vanish), set behind the Norman Invasion,
where he threw his nemesis into the “Lake of
These questions are definitely not exhaustive Time.” Dr. Clock’s last act was to cast his
but they should get the ball rolling. It’s beloved Julie into the time–stream, alone and
important to note what the players say they are without any hope of return!
interested in and design to those interests. Hieronymus guest–starred in Jet Black vs. Kid
I recently asked a few friends these questions. Dinosaur! He helped Jet Black take on Kid
They wanted a scavenger hunt series of Dinosaur, using his quality business suit (“A
adventures through Rome & Carthage, WWII, 3–Piece Suit is All You Need”, Universal
the French Revolution, 10,000 BC, ancient Gadget: 3–Piece Suit) and some ready skills
Mongolia and into the aftermath of WWIV, (Average: Drive, Sleight of Hand) to end
with a series of short term opponents in each of the danger and bring the villain to justice.
the time periods and an overall time traveling He still searches for his beloved (“Time and
Big Bad who’s also after the same stuff (or Tide Wait for No Man”) and looks forward
combination of stuff) as the group, and limited to putting the beat–down on Dr. Clock when
interaction with famous persons. Now all I need they next meet. And it will be soon. Oh, so very
is a system, a library and time to run it! soon!

Content © Wooden Leg Named Smith Productions 2007, 2008 published in association with the Corvis Babbage Cliological Society
Website: ’zine art is either open source or through fair use of copyrighted works

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