Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Media Inspired: Messages in Time

I have recently been watching through Stargate SG-1, mostly just so I know where certain stories fall in the series continuity, and as usual find myself thinking about its applications to role playing. One particular story element caught my attention with the episodes entitled '2010' and '2001' dealing with messages from the future.

In '2010', the members of SG-1 are overseeing the utopia they helped create ten years in the future. They quickly find out that the people that they made a treaty with are slowly killing all of humanity and send a message into the past to themselves so that they never make the deal in 2000.

The next season in '2001', the members of SG-1 had arrived on a planet who were friends with a more powerful race whom happened to be willing to make a deal with Earth for trade. This race was the same group of people who tried to wipe out humanity in '2010'.

This idea intrigues me as a Dungeon Master. I want to be able to run this kind of game. The sheer amount of role playing possibilities boggles the mind!

So what if I'm my own Grandpa! What's it to ya!?
So how can one run this type of scenario successfully?

  1. If you have a player that tends to use out of character knowledge in the first place, then don't use it. This is true whether or not the player is aware he is doing it. If they are doing it on purpose, then there is another issue that needs to be addressed.
  2. Be sure that your players enjoy the challenge of role playing a scenario where they know more than they should. Some players may enjoy the mystery behind the problem and if they already know what the bad guys are planning then it lessens the enjoyment of the game.
  3. If the players write down enough information on the note to the past, then either don't run the following scenario or allow them to play with their enemies for a bit.
I'm not sure when, or if, this scenario will play out in a game I'll run. I would love to try it out sometime, though. The only problem at my table will be the debate on time travel mechanics. YOU'RE JUST NOT THINKING FOURTH DIMENSIONALLY!

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