Hey!  I’ve drafted a Time Traveler class and would love some feedback.

Hey!  I’ve drafted a Time Traveler class and would love some feedback.

Hey!  I’ve drafted a Time Traveler class and would love some feedback. It’s inspired by Doc Who, but the mechanics of time travel are very different.


10 thoughts on “Hey!  I’ve drafted a Time Traveler class and would love some feedback.”

  1. I’ll have more feedback later and I like the idea, but a first glance makes me think it has a lot of problems. As Daniel Kellett said, the time travel moves are giant PC spotlight hogs; they trample all over the other players agency and force the GM to split time between the Time Traveler and everyone else. Bottom line, this class does not play well with others. I think most move need to be rewritten so that they take the rest of the group into account.

  2. Agreed; it doesn’t seem to mesh well with a party. Aside from that, I’m not sure what half of the moves even do. Does a 10+ on Undermine just make the conflict completely vanish? I can’t really grok the Travel Diary, but it sounds like you’re implicitly including d20-style DCs essentially, which is pretty much a bad idea.

    Largest initial feedback, though: the Travel Guide mechanic essentially makes you an NPC. I would go back and rework that, especially.

  3. I did not intend to stomp all over your idea, A. Wrighter. Honest feedback is the best kind in my opinion. There are good ideas here, but they need to be rethought.

    Names are OK, but they need to be genericized in my opinion.

    Aspirations are OK.

    Origin is weird. You’re arleady determining if you come from the past, present, or future when you pick your name, so asking the player to determine when they come from again here seems strange. Also, choosing an item to be your Travel Guide has nothing to do with your origin, so I don’t know why it is here, as opposed to being a Starting Move.

    A lot of the Bonds trample on player agency. The first, second, and third Bonds dictate another player’s character’s attitudes or actions towards the Time Traveler. Saying that another character must fall in love with the Time Traveler is a big no no in my book. The fifth Bond is good because it says “I believe” meaning the TT could be wrong and maintains the other player’s free will.

    Undermine has a lot of problems. It does not explain what happens on a 10+, though I assume the TT travels back in time with no problems. The move also does not explain if the entire party travels back in time or if only the TT does, but I assume that it is only the TT, otherwise I don’t see how an enemy could be defeated (triggering the TT’s return if they chose the second of the 7-9 options) if everyone gets sent back.

    This move is problematic because every time the TT encounters a hostile enemy, they’ll try to jump back in time. If they succeed, that means the GM will have to do a side bar with just the TT (while the other players at the table sit and do nothing) to figure out what happened in the past. The present situation, where all the other PCs are, can’t continue until the past (and its effects) has been sorted out.

    Even if the TT gets a 7-9, they still jump into the past (with all the problems mentioned above) but the time spent in the past is even longer (as things went wrong). That means either the TT player or the rest of the group will be out of the game for a long time, as the GM deals with the other party. This is what I mean when I say the class does not play well with others.

    Instead of actually time jumping (and splitting the party) time travel moves need to give the TT useful knowledge about the current situation or give them just the right tool at the right time. The idea being that they’ve been here before and left help for their future selves to find. You could represent this with hold that the TT can spend to have “something we need right here, right now”.

  4. I think the Chronomancer has a similar level of problems (no rolling for plenty of things, bad explanations of some rolls, forcing people to replay scenes that you already know the outcome of, and so on).

    Spending hold to create opportunities or leave yourself helpful bits of gear or whatnot via actions that take place off-screen (key point) is a great way of handling things, and it’s exactly what I would suggest. The Continuum RPG calls this excellent trick “slipshanking;” if you want an actually pretty solid example of this in play, check Bill and Ted here: Bill and Ted Bend Time and Space to their Will

    Note that they never actually spend any screen time on the trip they refer to. The time manipulation effects happen, and there is technically a causal explanation for it all, but within the fiction it’s generally treated like, say, a wizard or cleric casting a spell. I would only ever worry about the mechanics behind it when it’s dramatic, the fiction demands it, and when it doesn’t throw off the spotlight balance. And at any rate, keep the other players involved rather than playing essentially two separate games.

  5. That’s… very messy, for a variety of reasons. I would suggest you start a new thread to discuss it instead of hijacking Wrighter’s topic, and probably make an editable google doc out of it since that’s easier to format nicely. I’ll save any further remarks for if and when that happens.

  6. James Etheridge sorry. You are right. I should have just made a link but it was less trouble to just paste it here. I’ll remove it. It was definitely not meant as a highjack.

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