Headline:Fate, Prophesy, and Time Travel
Date:Sunday, February 16, 2020
Posted By:Plaid Hatter Games

I plan on regularly putting my thumb in the eye of shows like Star Trek. And one of the things I love to hate are how often Time Travel just sort of seems to "Happen" on the show that otherwise puts on the airs of Hard Science Fiction. And what I will basically do is define as outright magic what other shows try to pass off as "sufficiently advanced technology."

I had a vision in a dream about exactly how Prophesy would work in the magic system of Iliad-07. Up to and including the concept of Time Travel.

Now, the idea that you can have a magic blue space elevator, or a portal that lets you leap from one point in spacetime to another is pure hokum. Matter cannot be created or destroyed, and by making a clump of molecules (i.e. a Time Traveling war criminal and his/her companions or a entire warship) disappear from one point in space time and appear somewhere else requires both. The traveller has to be destroyed at the starting point, and recreated at the destination.

Matter is restricted to moving forward in spacetime's time component, and can only travel through the space component at less than the speed of light. This is because matter is a standing wave in spacetime. Multiple pieces of matter resonate constructively, thus giving us the interactions of matter and the curvature of spacetime by massive objects. And while that might not be 100% what Einstein concluded in General Relativity, this is Science Fiction. I am the author. I make the assertions, my characters live with the conclusions, and you are the gullible saps who bought a ticket to ride this crazy train. Stop thinking about it.

While matter is restricted to the forward in time at less than the speed of light, information is not. And in my Magic System, Spirit represents the interconnection of all things in ways that surpass space and time. One who is in tune with that leg of Mind/Soul/Will system can, by letting go of "self" shift whose perspective they see the universe through. And, to some extent, impart even impart their will on that other perspective.

Have you ever been a victim of a talented Confidence Man? A pushy salesman. A flim-flam artist. There are times where I, myself, have ended up "agreeing" to do things that make absolutely no sense at all. It is like my decision making areas were being pulled by puppet strings. I was even manipulated into thinking that their sabotage was my "idea." While, in hindsight, I remember having this definite sense that I was in no way in control over some critical part of my head.

What if we explained that as some form of projecting will on an unsuspecting person through the spirit realm? It basically covers every form of mind control in Fantasy and Science Fiction. Hell, even the Jedi have that power, remember "These are Not the Droids you are Looking for".

So, the idea I has was this: decisions in the story allow you as the player in the influence one of the NPCs (years later) to invent a system. This system (be it somewhat technomagical) allows a user to beam short messages to him or herself at some point in another time. Those messages are non-verbal though, and they end up interpreted as visions or dreams.

What I'm thinking is that we end up with a nutty kind of "Note to Self" from Bill and Ted's Excellent Aventure. I'm thinking of one scene where they need some sort of item, and they slap their head and realize "We own a time machine!", and they just resolve to remember that if they get out of this jam to use the machine to leave that item... right behind some piece of scenery. (The exact scene is eluding me now.)

But, remember that necessity is the mother of invention. If you find and fix all of the issues from the vision the Time Travel system will never be invented. Basically, the NPC will stop having visions, but you never will learn exactly how that was supposed to work.

I am thinking of some sort of amusing "chat with the future" segment. In this, the player can write a question in a lab notebook, that the NPC agrees to read at a future time. Messages have to be in the form of a question, and include the date the question was asked. This allows the future NPC sends the present NPC a vision at the right time for the answer to make sense.

Of course, in the process of discovering this "power", you have to take the NPC having the vision seriously, earn their trust, and convince them they can actually see the future. This lets you set up the "Dream Notebook." The irony being, that if you get all of this working and actually save the ship, the system will cease to function. There is also an element of dream interpretation that will have to take place, because the visions will be in the form of Jungian Archetypes.

And all of this talk about symbolism and prophesy got me to thinking about what the Mission Patch Iliad 07 would be.