Let’s Roll: GURPS Time Travel

Siskoid and special guest Pout Ouellet discuss yet another chapter of their Shiftworld campaign by addressing time travel in gaming, and how GURPS specifically deals with what can be a difficult genre. Plus, GameMaster Advice on that very topic.

Relevant images and credits in the Let's Roll Supplemental.

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4 responses to “Let’s Roll: GURPS Time Travel

  1. Excellent episode; the ongoing saga of this campaign makes for fine listening. Like many listeners, I find myself wishing I was part of this fine game when it was happening!!!

    Siskoid, in terms of prep, you aren’t alone in showing up to a session with 2-3 sentences of an outline – and nothing else prepared. I have run a lot of games in just such a fashion, though nowadays my memory is more full with work and life stuff, and I find I have to take more notes and prep more. This does bring to mind an Ars Magica session I ran (as part of a weekly campaign back in the late `90s). After a very enjoyable session, a few of the players wanted to see my notes to help figure out how I prepped for that session. To their amusement, I handed over the page I was “checking” several times during the session. All it said was “Gryphons are powerful creatures…”. The rest of it I’d improvised from that line, stored in my head and improvised using the setting, established cast and plots. To this day it’s a catchphrase in anyone who was part of that group.

    The concept of trying to make sure certain events happens sounds like what the temporal cold war in Enterprise should have been. Instead we got… well, whatever we got in that show, but this is what came to mind.

    I really like the idea of giving the characters a chance to try and go back and fix an event that’s already happened to prevent the death of a comrade, or a terrible outcome. Through synchronicity this is exactly the plot of my current super-hero game. Odd how time travel’s come up a lot on the network of late.

    Wait, does this mean that maybe some time traveler out there is trying to figure out successful strategies to undo some disastrous event that’s occurred? Are they using the groupthink of the network and listeners to try and workshop various approaches? Am I reading too much into this? Am I not reading far enough?

    Keep up the great work, and love hearing Pout on the show, the good times the two of you had together shines right through the speaker every time they’re on!

  2. It’s always great to hear another chapter in the Shiftworld campaign saga.

    I really enjoyed your discussion on the different ways that time travel can be incorporated into a game, as well as the challenges that each approach can present. It got me thinking about different ways that one might use time travel.

    I actually like the idea of using time travel to allow the players to have a more direct hand in building the campaign world. For example, you set your campaign in a different world from our own, and, before the players have time to get to know that world, you send them back in time to experience its history. Their actions in the past end up informing the present world to which they eventually return, and where the rest of the campaign plays out.

    Alternatively, you could run a series of seemingly unrelated one-shot adventures, before starting your campaign. When the campaign starts, the players learn that those one-shots were actually famous events from their world’s past. You could even take a Michael Moorcock/Eternal Champion kind of approach, where the characters from those one-shots turn out to be earlier incarnations of the present-day characters. So, you’d end up with time travel via reincarnation.

    So many interesting ideas….

    Thanks for another incredible episode.

  3. Just wondering if you’ve ever played either the flisinger games card and dice role playing champions of the Galaxy or a table top card game called go , fight pow ? Also did you guys ever play the transformers or teenage mutant ninja turtles role playing games ???

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