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Time Travel in the SW RPG
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Fallon Kell
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've actually considered accidental time travelers from the future as a possible story foundation in the future. I think you could do it with a powerful hyperdrive and a (supermassive?) black hole.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aegisflashfire wrote:
Why use the time travel angle at all? I've seen a great Alternate history RPG game (Saga edition) that postulated alternate endings to the duels in Episode III: Vader defeats Obi-Wan, but Yoda defeats the Emperor.

But there was no time travel, it wasn't necessary. Just a story told from another angle.

There's also the Star Wars Infinities comics, which do something similar. What if Luke missed at the Battle of Yavin? What if Han didn't reach Luke in time on Hoth?

But there are no time-travel elements needed.

True, but this thread's subject is time travel. You're talking about parallel universes/alternate realities which can but doesn't have to involve time travel. I think those can be a lot of fun. Most of my campaign universes have deviated from film canon.

When looking at it from a time-linear perspective, the above campaign actually took place almost entirely in an "Infinity" because the Alliance lost the Battle of Endor, and the Sith Lords did not die during the Battle of Endor. That was actually the original timeline all the way until 3 of the 4 PCs left the future to go back in time. When they came back to the past only a few months after they had left, that was the alteration to the original timeline (in which they had been gone for 15 years). There was another full campaign and a few other side adventures played that took place in this new alternate timeline created by the time travel adventure. TESB did end up occurring as in canon but the last adventure taking place in this campaign world took place before the events of RotJ, so it remained unknown whether RotJ would happen as in film canon or if the Alliance would even win the Battle of Endor as the 3 PCs were hoping.

There wasn't actually any "destiny" in that time travel adventure. Since the players were disappointed the Black Squad campaign was ending (in-universe over a year before RotJ would take place), I intentionally designed the adventure counting on player meta-knowledge to provide some epic heroic motivation to their PCs. It worked for the most part. All the PCs got to severely cripple a Death Star II-scale Death Star, flying away from massive explosions ( la Lando in the climax of RotJ) thus saving that future Alliance. Then 3 of the PCs go back in time with a mission to prevent that future by trying to make sure the Alliance can win the future Battle of Endor and preventing the Imperials from being able to alter the timeline themselves. The PCs' free will to change the outcome to what the players felt was "supposed" to happen (that canon RotJ is destiny). But the Alliance loss at the Battle of Endor being described to the PCs in the future as the pivotal event in history, I provided a basic in-universe motivation for the PCs, so the meta-gaming was (thinly) disguised.

Then years later I thought, what if that campaign leading up to and including part of that conclusive adventure wasn't the original timeline of events? What if the original timeline included film canon events after all, and the campaign changed that, and then when the PCs went back in time it changed yet again? Then I thought what if my campaign multiverse was created through a handful of time travels, based on the idea of time travel to the past creating a divergent universe that branches off from the previous one. That would allow for a select few characters from each of my previous campaign worlds to exist in my "current" campaign universe, not that anyone would believe that they originally existed in a previous timeline/universe "before" they existed in the current one. That would mean that "after" they are all created, all the timelines still exist simultaneously as alternate realities, so the above adventure's future still exists in another universe and the Force PC who stayed behind could be reunited with his buddies if they all went back in time to the same point in time which would become the primary point of divergence. Far out!

Raven Redstar wrote:
Thanks for sharing Whill, it sounds like a great ending to a long term campaign. I have to say that your players dedication to the cause is a refreshing sight after years of playing with and running for selfish player characters.

I think doing something like Whill did is a perfect application of time travel done tastefully in a Star Wars setting. Either back or forward to save the timeline as we know it seems like a good approach to take.

Glad you liked it. Sorry you have had the experience of a lot of selfish players. I have had a few too. In fact, one of the 3 PCs that went back in time was the PC who was featured in a spin-off solo campaign taking place in the new timeline, and the last chronicled adventure of that timeline/universe ended with his PC crossing over to the Dark Side and me never playing with the player again. Sad
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Leon The Lion
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Joined: 29 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aegisflashfire wrote:
Why use the time travel angle at all? I've seen a great Alternate history RPG game (Saga edition) that postulated alternate endings to the duels in Episode III: Vader defeats Obi-Wan, but Yoda defeats the Emperor.

But there was no time travel, it wasn't necessary. Just a story told from another angle.

There's also the Star Wars Infinities comics, which do something similar. What if Luke missed at the Battle of Yavin? What if Han didn't reach Luke in time on Hoth?

But there are no time-travel elements needed.

Agreed, no time-travel elements are needed.

But you also don't need starships, interplanetary travel, laser guns, space aliens and robots to tell the story of a farm-boy becoming a mystic knight, rescuing a princess, defeating an evil wizard and slaying a dragon. So why use them? And yet here we are.

Which is to say, just because it isn't strictly necessary doesn't mean somebody can't, won't, or shouldn't have fun with it, if that's the story they want to play. As long as everybody is on the same page and having fun there's no harm in doing unnecessary things.


Whill wrote:
(Snip much awsomeness)

Sounds like a fantastic adventure. I can only hope the finale of my own campaign will be as great.
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DougRed4
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed; many epic tales here, Whill. Thanks for sharing them with us! Very Happy
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willg
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It occurs to me, at the expense of reviving a dormant thread ( sorry, btw), the Empire would have a vested interest in time travel research.

Ive found they even have the very thing in their navy to conduct the research on. An Interdictor carrier, pne of those ships with the gravity well generators and projectors. It occuts to me, using a supercharged up version ofthat , you could generate a kind of miniblack hole/ microsingularity.

Then if you figure out how to go BACK in time instead of forwards.
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Zarn
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.

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Whill
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darklighter79 wrote:
For the time being I try to avoid any time travel in my games as no rules have been established for it "in universe". I do not want mishmash of trek theories which vary from episode to episode.

There has been a little time travel in the EU. A comic book story had Artoo and Threepio transported into the future and visited the Ewoks on the forest moon of Endor at some point before RotJ. The 'time travel' aspect was when they went back to their own time at the end of the adventure. However the story didn't address any possible "changes" caused by the droids disappearing for 18 years but then returning to their time, so no time travel "rules" can really be gleaned from that source.

However if you did want to do a time travel adventure, you should feel free to make up your own rules and not be beholden to published time travel stories. And if you only had one time travel adventure, you wouldn't need to worry about multiple time travel methods like all the Trek episodes that vary. And if you had multiple time travel adventures, you could make them all the same rules, so again, it wouldn't have to vary adventure to adventure.

Just saying.
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Leona Makk
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the final season of Rebels, Ezra and Asoka discover some kind of Jedi temple that allows them into a strange dimension of roads. The roads lead to specific locations in time and space. There is a moment where Ezra could save someone who dies in the past (they could have played up the Dark Side temptation here) but doesn't. Ultimately they open some door that opens straight to the Emperor!!! "OH NO, the Emperor wants to time travel too, we gotta seal the gate forever!" You get the idea.

I don't know. I thought it was a good episode of a show that had a habit of ANNOYING me a ton. (too many Star Destroyers go down easy).
It was a good sci-fi episode, and felt like a fun RPG session. But is it Space Opera? Is it Star Wars?
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leona Makk wrote:
In the final season of Rebels, Ezra and Asoka discover some kind of Jedi temple that allows them into a strange dimension of roads. The roads lead to specific locations in time and space. There is a moment where Ezra could save someone who dies in the past (they could have played up the Dark Side temptation here) but doesn't. Ultimately they open some door that opens straight to the Emperor!!! "OH NO, the Emperor wants to time travel too, we gotta seal the gate forever!" You get the idea.

I don't know. I thought it was a good episode of a show that had a habit of ANNOYING me a ton. (too many Star Destroyers go down easy).
It was a good sci-fi episode, and felt like a fun RPG session. But is it Space Opera? Is it Star Wars?

I feel time travel is really pushing it for the space opera genre. We've talked about that Rebels episode elsewhere. This episode has an interesting concept and it was a one-off like the only time travel adventure I've ever done, but I still have issues with it beyond my usual issues with Rebels.

The reason Kanan couldn't be saved is because it would change history include killing Ezra before he could make that change, and that would be a paradox. We learn that Ahsoka was originally killed by Vader two years prior but Ezra could save her without changing the past because she didn't change history by coming back (presumably to the present when she left that interdimensional temple place).

But rescuing Ahsoka had no purpose in the story. Why kill her off just to bring her back in the first place? She could have been imprisoned somewhere for two years or trapped on a planet without a starship. When she came back, all she did was help Ezra realize that he couldn't alter history to save Kanan. Then they are attacked by the Emperor and separated. Then Ezra destroys the temple so the Emperor won't have time travel.

Then next we see at the end of the series that Ahsoka and Sabine go look for Ezra who was last seen taking Thrawn to the Unknown Regions. The interdimensional time temple had no real purpose in the story. It was was a dramatic cheat to make us think Ahsoka was dead only to bring her back for no reason, because if the temple hadn't existed then she could have remained alive and Ezra still wouldn't save Kanan anyway. Since this episode didn't have any point in the Rebels story, the only way it has any point to franchise is if Ahsoka, Sabine, Ezra, and Thrawn are coming back in another story. I have speculated that they may come back in TRoS, or at least their histories beyond the finale of Rebels are impactful to the story.

If the purpose of the story was just the drama of "the Emperor almost got time travel", then I already did and that and like my SW time travel story from 1989 better (described on the first page of this thread). The Emperor almost got time travel, and part of preventing that from occurring required the heroes to time travel and destroy the Imperial space station where part of the technology would be developed. And the story was a horrible alternate future where the Rebels lost the Battle of Endor, and the only way to prevent that future was to go back to the past. Time travel had a real purpose in the story.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never really got into watching Rebels, but I did catch enough of the gist of the time-travel segment to class it with the Force Wielders of Mortis. #NIMSWU

If I ever did include time travel in a campaign, I would probably lean more in the direction of something like the first two Terminator films (before the Sarah Connor Chronicles got ahold of time travel and everything went off the rails), where you can only jump back in time and you show up in the past naked and stunned with nothing but a weird story to tell that's just as likely to get you locked up in an asylum as it is to do anyone any good.
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