Adventure Seeds: Time Travel!Written by Colin VanCourt - Published on May 13, 2014
Who doesn’t enjoy a good time travel story? The idea’s been prevalent in fiction for centuries. Whether it’s something where time travel is usually just a framing device like Doctor Who, or whether its integral to the plot like in Back to the Future or Chrono Trigger. The best thing about time travel is that it can fit into almost any setting, whether it’s achieved through magic or super-advanced technology.
Mystery of Ancestors:
A time-travelling villain who seeks revenge against the party travels back in time to kill one of the party’s ancestors, intending to unravel the party member’s existence. However, the party member remains very much intact. It turns out the person the villain killed wasn’t their true ancestor. Now, the party must work to figure out who their comrade’s true ancestor is (and optionally the reason for the confusion), and find them before the villain does.
An assassin (or a group of them) is sent back in time to kill the party to prevent some horrible act they commit in the future (either purposefully or accidentally). It could be that they become iron-fisted dictators, cause a mass genocide, or even killed a god. The party must evade the assassin(s), and (at least if the party is good-aligned) try to work out exactly what they will do in the future in order to change their actions to avoid the catastrophe.
Due to an accident (or the actions of a villain), a single member of the party is zapped hundreds of years into the past. This party member was in the possession of the party’s method of time travel at the time, and was sent back with it. However, it was broken during the accident. Without the means to repair it in that time period, the party member must find some way to hide the time travel device in a place where the rest of the party will find it in the future, along with instructions on how to locate them in the past. The rest of the party then must follow their comrade’s clues to find the time machine, repair it, and rescue them.
Worth A Thousand Words:
When the party rolls into a small town, they’re preparing to unveil a great new art exhibit by an artist who originally came from the town. However, mere minutes before the exhibit is set to open, a mysterious thief appears from nowhere and steals the art. The party realize that the thief is a time traveller, probably intending to take the art to the future where it’s worth more money. The town beseeches the party to recover the art.
(For an interesting moral twist on this one: Once the party tracks down the thief, he reveals to them that by his time, the artwork had been lost or destroyed, and he stole the artwork in order to rescue it, leaving the party to work out the moral conundrum)
What are your ideas for a time travel encounter, adventure, or even a full-blown campaign?