Position/State of Players : Trapped in the Underdark

Goal : To use time travel

A small explanation : While they are there, I want to make them travel back in time. However I have no idea on how to actually implement it into the story. I can't think of a scenario that could cause the above, so I'm looking for advice on what sorts of in-universe time travel effects exist, if any, and how I can flavor it. Also do any specific rules apply here?


2 Answers 2


Assuming you want short term travel to get the players out of the Underdark, deific/arcane influence might be in order. But rather than a simple teleport, the PCs have to get themselves out of their own mess.

Dealing with paradox:

  • An effect to disguise and/or silence the PCs might be in order--possibly granting them telepathy with each other.
  • Shunted back in time, but
  • Perhaps the PCs find their way out, following a path strangely devoid of encounters, and when they reach the end they are shunted back in time to destroy the monsters before they arrive.
  • Memory wipes are an excellent way to deal with this in a narrative; in a game, however, you might want to be careful—these can be seen as a bit heavy handed.

That being said, disguises and preventing communication are probably the best ways to avoid paradox.

Possible Flavors:

  • Cleric's deity, who won't grant an open-ended miracle yet but still will wants them out of there

  • Trickster deity, for the price of something valuable (RP-valuable, don't screw over your equipment-dependent players. Like a soul or servitude after death or something)

  • Perhaps Lolth has plans in mind for them...

  • Maybe they discover some magical location with instructions and tools to perform a ritual to send them back in time.

  • An ancient artifact from the times when even the lowliest spellcasters were leagues greater than their mundance counterparts...the magic changed, but their tools survived...

Feel free to combine any of the above--perhaps a deity (or a servant thereof) guides them to a place where one of those locations are; maybe a cult of albinos guards the secrets of ancient magics...

  • \$\begingroup\$ Very helpful, especially the Lolth part ;) However I am thinking about sending them back in time without them knowing, any ideas for that? \$\endgroup\$
    – Valamorde
    Feb 22, 2014 at 10:56
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Hm, perhaps you could disguise it as a teleportation effect? Alternatively, you could have the effect lack any visible signs whatsoever--they just turn a corner and are back however long you need them to be. This all depends on how long you want to send them back, how long you want them to be unaware and whether you want them to meet themselves, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Arkhaic
    Feb 22, 2014 at 19:31

It should be a dark ritual in honor of Lolth to bring more power into the webs she weaves. The result of the players intervening could take 3 different routes.

1. Short-infinite Loop

The adventurers reach the site of a terrible ritual, only too late (example: All You Need is Kill). They are trying to make it through impossible obstacles and regardless of how successful they are or their actions along the way always end up back at the beginning when they die. This encourages a Meta-Game approach to the problem (in character) as the PCs are aware of everything they did before and make it through further and faster each time. Eventually they should be able to undo the cause of the loop by speed running the dungeon.

2. Long Single Loop

The adventures get sent way back in time by the dark ritual they interrupt/disrupt (example: Chrono Trigger). Themes that can be played around with are the absolute isolation of being in a completely different age. They could also be responsible for founding of the underdark and/or the worship of Lolth by their actions in the past. The overall goal should be to get back to their own time since everything they know or care about is there.

3. Short Single Loop

The Adventurers get transported back into their own timeline within a recent period (example: Prince of Persia: Warrior Within) . Their former selves are still active though. This is ripe for the PCs being shown as the cause of some of the problems they faced originally and/or a great way to have the time-traveled versions of PCs work to make things easier for their original selves.


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