Are there any non-epic methods of time travel (years/decades/centuries, not smaller than a year) in third edition?

I'm not looking at short duration tricks, nor am I looking for anything that is a one-way trip. Please exclude theoretical optimization tricks.

I am looking for a way to travel a large temporal distance, and back again, preferably affecting the destination in question. Forwards or backwards in time is fine.


1 Answer 1


In Wizards of the Coast material and without epic magic, a combination of effects can enable significant time travel

The 9th-level spell teleport through time [conj] (Perilous Gateways Web column "Portals in Time") allows one-way time travel backward up to 1,000 years. The spell's XP cost is acceptable, but the spell's material component is extremely difficult to acquire, and the spell's side effects are potentially deadly. No other nonepic spell that I'm aware of in and of itself causes instantaneous time travel of a year or more upon finishing its casting.

One-way time travel that's only forward can be achieved by employing the 5th-level Sor/Wiz spell plane shift [conj] (Player's Handbook 262) or a similar effect to travel to a plane with the planar trait faster flowing time (Dungeon Master's Guide 168) then simply waiting. However, such a plane must either already exist in the campaign's cosmology or the DM allowed the caster of the 9th-level Sor/Wiz spell genesis [conj] (Epic Level Handbook 117) to set a newly-created plane's flowing time trait (see here).

(Other methods of one-way forward time travel exist, but most occur on a 1:1 ratio while the traveler remains helpless—immersed in quintessence, for example, or petrified or as the subject of a temporal stasis effect. The consequences of an accident during such ersatz "time travel" can be severe.)

Still, a caster who can do both—somehow consistently cast the spell teleport through time despite its material component and travel to a plane with the faster flowing time planar trait—can effectively time travel.

Licensed and third-party material that may suit your needs

The Wizards of the Coast licensed product Legends of the Twins (Feb. 2006) for the Dragonlance campaign setting presents several spells dealing with time, including the 9th-level Sor/Wiz spell time reaver [trans] (27) that's easier to use than the teleport through time spell yet prohibits most folks (but not all folks!) who time travel using it from affecting the past. The third-party Encyclopedia Arcane supplement Chronomancy (Nov. 2002) details time travel rituals; these are complicated enough that getting the book is easier than me trying to explain them.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What about the Time Hop power and a psionic version of a spell clock? \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jul 3, 2020 at 18:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nijineko Using time hop for traveling forward after 1-year trip to the past gets a dude a couple of rounds forward every hour. Over time, I guess that'd make a difference, but… well… did you've something specific in mind? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 3, 2020 at 18:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ With a psionic spell clock hitting the person continually, they potentially wouldn't notice how long it took to travel forward subjectively, as they would be more or less perpetually sent forward in time, so long as the spell clock didn't reach it's stop condition? How many rounds they move forward depends on ML. I guess it depends on how the DM rules the second and subsequent hops, can it be timed properly or not? \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jul 8, 2020 at 16:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also duration depends upon ML... thus a theoretical 20 ML effect would jump them forward 20 rounds, barring ML boost optimizations. Then the psionic spell clock would hit them again, in theory, and if timed properly, before their turn, and thus keep travelling forward until either the clock stops, or they decide to make a Will save and succeed. In theory. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jul 8, 2020 at 16:54

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