Game Dream 8 :: Rewind!

Game Dream 8: I’m Late! Rewind!
How have the games you’ve been involved with dealt with the passage of time? Has it been primarily linear, skipped around a lot, or even reversed?

Time travel and its complexities and moral difficulties ended my D&D campaign. Long story that I may have typed elsewhere. A PC jaunted through time making things happen that eventually he couldn’t fix or face up to.
Since that campaign, I’ve never allowed PCs to travel through time.

Linear time is best for me. I do allow Players to call for a ‘redo’ when they think they’ve made a serious character mistake.
That said, I do use time gaps, breaks, and differentiated flows to throw dramatic tangles into the game. Travel through a complex universe might bring you home years from when you left—-even more than you expect. Going “under the hill” can bring you back to friends wondering where you have been for years.
There are also “might have been” games. Where related events might inform the main campaign. ‘Bloody Grievance’ has such vibes: a game scenario for Amber that I created for Toronto’s ACN. It deals with what things might have been like as Amber was just starting to be a kingdom.
Many interesting things that have happened in ‘Bloody Grievance’ have enlightened my current Amber Players.
A few of my Amber players now live 2 hours away from me. They and their kids participate in “Eternal City +10” which is a projection of my main campaign rolled forward ten years. Even that quirk of time is almost too confusing for the Play Group.
IOW, most of my gaming is by story arc… time skips or reversals are just not conducive to Players keeping things straight. But my earlier D&D games had some good fun with prequels and time trips that informed the ‘present game’.