Due to a magical mishap during a fight, one group member got temporally displaced about 200 days into the future. What that future looks like depends heavily on the outcome of the 'ongoing' fight.

Saving the option of resolving this situation only after the combat ends (He may find a way to travel BACK, after all!), what is the best way to concurrently describe his experiences in an uncertain future and keep the fight going?

We're playing in Durance, modified to have a central storyteller and open setting.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, thanks for clarifying. I'm updating the question to specify that, since it's likely going to be relevant to how this situation gets resolved. That game system will carry philosophies and attitudes, and play goals & expectations, that may suggest this situation should get handled in a specifically Durance-ish way, and the game also tells us what mechanical tools are and aren't available. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 8, 2017 at 11:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelspooker I had not considered philosophical angles. It's as rules-light as rules-light gets, but there is certainly an overarching theme of opposing hierarchies. Don't know if that will be relevant here, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Weckar E.
    Nov 8, 2017 at 11:38
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ It is relevant that this is not, for instance, D&D. Even rules-light games can carry some significant philosophical weight, especially in terms of what they don't carry. (Even roll-for-shoes, a game composed of seven bullet points, has philosophy.) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 8, 2017 at 11:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ First you need to figure out what model of time travel you want to use, which is beyond the scope of Durance. It's really a group question. \$\endgroup\$
    – okeefe
    Nov 8, 2017 at 17:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Here's a good read for ideas on different ways you could structure your time travel: scottwesterfeld.com/blog/2005/09/… I hope it can help you with your plans! \$\endgroup\$ Nov 8, 2017 at 18:13

1 Answer 1


Unless you've replaced the resolution mechanism, the future events of any Durance session could best be described as "aggressively unstable". Doubles will result in something that most future people would regard as a significant past event. Triples will dramatically overthrow the established order, as in: detonate a landmark, start a coup, or reveal some terrible secret of the planet that Authority either never uncovered or covered up.

Yet here your voyager is, in the future, seeing a world that certainly exists and taking actions in same, with nary a hint of the tremendous changes that may shortly be happening because you haven't rolled them yet. Aside from limiting them to a hermetically-sealed and completely opaque room or series of rooms, what choice do you have?

Let's examine some assumptions.

You may believe that:

1 - The future is comprehensible. You can perceive and interact with the future world to the same extent that you could the world on the other side of the time hole.

3 - The future is predictable. You can examine future events and their history and understand the things that produced them in the past.

5 - The future is definite. What you are seeing is the clear and certain result of all temporally prior events, whether they are narratively present, passing, or yet to come.

7 - The future is mutable. It is possible to transmit information or yourself from the future to the past, and later narrative can be assumed to affect your current future.

9 - The future is indeterminate. Everything in it that could be changed can be changed. No one is fated to do anything and nothing is inevitable.

11 - The future is inviolate. Time travel is weird and rare, and so the things that you change are going to stay changed.

You may also believe that you were headed for a hospitable planet only a few shades off from dear old Mother Earth, and Authority had planned to create a boundless new colony that would bring prosperity and justice to everyone.

So, in developments that might seem familiar:

\begin{array}{rr} 11 & 1 \\ 9 & 3 \\ 7 & 5 \\ \end{array}

you're gonna pick three.

And whatever shows up, whether it's (7 9 11) a fine frappe of potentialities where regular three-space navigation takes detours along the now/later and maybe/maybe-not axes, or (1 3 5) an apparently changeable future that gets re-edited by Temporal Authority out of their base in Fixed Point Kilo because this particular disaster needed to happen in all its particulars, it's going to let you depict whatever future makes sense at the time and plausibly uncouple it from causality.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .