I have a deep love for time manipulation type spells, but I feel like anything that is truly awesome (like undoing…

I have a deep love for time manipulation type spells, but I feel like anything that is truly awesome (like undoing…

I have a deep love for time manipulation type spells, but I feel like anything that is truly awesome (like undoing events completely) is almost having too much power, especially if an add-on to a wizard-type class that can just cast the spell without too much over head.

The “Chronographer” class is my first attempt to make what is essentially a time wizard, but hopefully with some mechanics to balance out the power that time manipulation affords. This is a first draft, and hasn’t been play tested, so I welcome all comments/suggestions.

10 thoughts on “I have a deep love for time manipulation type spells, but I feel like anything that is truly awesome (like undoing…”

  1. Let’s say i use Accelerate Attack and just take -1 moment. Then nothing happens in the fiction. Is the attack accelerated? How? 

    Is there a general fictional advantage to beeing accelerated? Yes or no? 

  2. but there should be something more easy to track the negative effects of the moments. -3 HP is neither really interesting nor easy to track (since the mod changes too). However i don’t have a good idea how to change that…

  3. The -1d4 damage on Time Spear is weird. What counts as unknown biology? Why the change? Why a damage move anyway? 

    Time Javelin needs to be more clear on what it is talking about. The intent is clear but it’s not templated correctly i think. 

    Racial Tides should be a 2-5 move. 

    Why is there an (ongoing) descriptor on Time Bubble?

  4. One last thing: A lot of the time i feel people would just move their moments in the other direction if they have the chance to do so in a move. This is not really fictionally interesting and just fiddly. A few of the options on moves should maybe hook a bit more into the fiction.

    However i really like the idea of the class. Would need to read again tomorrow to check more for general feel. I just looked at the move mechanics and wording right now. 

  5. You are correct…people could pick moves that balance out the moments and just swap back and forth. I had originally had the notion that moves had two “costs” for moments, and which one was applied depended on whether the total moments held by the character was positive or negative. This allowed me to make it harder to have characters swing things back to center, but it was overly cumbersome and difficult to describe so I switched back to the more simple system that is in the draft now.

    I really like the idea of time being a balance: if you speed time up, you have to slow down time down again at some point. Holding the flow of time out of balance should incur some sort of cost the farther it is from center, and juggling that balance should (hopefully) lead to interesting situations. The question is how do you support this mechanically? Is there some way to change the moves to encourage players to rack up more moments (and thus making it more dangerous for them) in order to get better effects from their moves?

  6. Answering some questions:

    Accelerate Attack: Fictionally I imagined that allowing the attacker to move through time more quickly (and thus they perceive what they are attacking as moving more slowly) gives them a bonus to the attack. You could think of this as either them being able to target a more vulnerable area or something else. An alternative would be that an Accelerated Attack could never be a 6-, as moving through time like that gives the attacker a distinct advantage.


    The picture that I had in my mind was that holding time out of balance required a great deal of physical/mental exertion, and I wanted that to be reflected somehow so that the character needed to be aware of it. My initial thought was that the more time was out of alignment, the weaker the character became and thus was more frail. Another option that could work would be to have the character take damage (ignoring armor) equal to the moments held whenever they are attacked. This would have roughly the same effect as reducing the total HP and would be easier to track.

    Time Spear: I think the -1d4 made more sense when I had a description on time spear. In my mind the time spear essentially was targeting certain portions of the enemies body and disrupting things by slowing time in those areas, such as slowing blood flow, the heart, etc. Thus if you encountered a creature you didn’t know much about then you would be less effective as you couldn’t target those areas. This move was also throwing the class a bone since it was gearing up to be mostly a support class.

    Time Bubble: This has an ongoing tag as it is a spell that continues to persist until the player releases it. Not sure if there is a convention I’m breaking/missing by using that tag.

  7. Time Bubble: this was more a clearity/confusion thing. Nothing else on the sheet deals with ongoing effects or spellcasting so it comes kind of out of nowhere. A player looking over this and unfamiliar with the spellcasting rules could be confused by this. 

  8. If you want people to go to the extremes more often, reward it. Maybe the more powerful moves require you to hold a certain number of moments to even use them, while others aren’t usable under those circumstances.

  9. After reviewing the comments I’ve made a few tweaks:

    Moment Mechanic:

    I’ve switched this up so that it no longer messes with the constitution stat. Instead when the player takes damage then take additional damage based on the moments they hold. The more the hold the more dangerous it becomes.

    I’ve also added an additional starting move to help prevent characters from just swinging their moments back and forth. Anytime you swing the balance in the other direction over a certain amount you immediately take damage proportional to the amount you shift things. This means that small moves are free, but more expensive ones come at a cost. This also lets me add some additional leveling moves that allow the players to decrease this effect.

    Motivating Players to use Moments:

    I’ve some of the moves to allow players to gain moments in addition to the base cost. Taking additional moments adds risk, but further enhances the power or effect of the move.

    Accelerate Attack/Time Hast:

    I’ve combined these into a single move that revolves around giving a roll bonus to any physical action that a companion performs that involves a roll. I feel this makes it more useful and interesting.

    General: Clarified some of the moves, or removed some items that seemed to be unclear. Changed a move name or two.

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