Continuum

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C°ntinuum: rolplaying in The Yet
Continuum.jpg
RPG published by
Aetherco and Dreamcatcher
Authors Chris Adams, Dave Fooden, Barbara Manui
First Publication 1999

C°ntinuum: roleplaying in The Yet is an obscure RPG about a society of Time Travelers. The core rulebook and GM guide are both exceedingly rare, and as such no scans existed until December 2008, when an Anonymous samefagged /tg/ until they noticed that it sounded kind of cool. After confirming that neither book was ever scanned, this Anon went to work, taking up a tripcode and before the New Year was in, we had a scan.

And then it turned out it sucked. While the lore was fairly interesting, the crunch was a nightmare, even before you bring time travel into the mix. It is, quite possibly, the second-most convoluted rule system ever, after FATAL. The GM guide was never scanned, and nothing of value was lost.

The above point is arguable. By and large, the rules are simple. You use d10s, and roll under your rank in a skill plus your rank in an attribute to achieve success. There are 3 attributes which break down into Body, Mind, and Quick (which is both your inner sense of timing and rhythm, and your ability to time travel). You advance your skills by making successful rolls and marking on your sheet every time you do so. Make enough successful rolls, and your skill or attribute level will increase accordingly, making future rolls easier. Equipment and circumstances can modify how difficult or easy a roll is by modifying the value you need to roll under. Difficult circumstances or faulty equipment might apply a deficit to the value you need to roll under, making it hard to do so, while good equipment or circumstances might increase this number, making it easier to roll under. There, not quite so complicated now is it? The crunch was just written badly.
The above point is arguable, because it seems to have been written by someone who has never read the Time Combat chapter or the rules for Frag, both of which are arcane to the point of requiring a Sanity roll.
Time combat is tricky, but the frag rules are incredibly simple. You change your own past, or your known Yet, you frag yourself. You change someone ELSE's past, you frag THEM, and everyone else affected by the change (which may be you or a friend if you are careless). That's why fragging actions are usually done subtly, to avoid affecting others. You receive a letter from yourself (written by the GM). The writing and sending of the letter is now in your Yet, and it not getting done when it's supposed to would be a point of frag. But because the GM introduced it, you don't get fragged yet. Immediately taking care of it yourself (a wise precaution) has to be done the right way. Mailing the already sent letter back changes your known Yet, by removing the writing of the letter, so it would frag you. You have to get a identical blank paper, and write it on that, and send the copy back, which is the one you received. You don't actually have to go discover the information first, because you already learned it from your future self. Ontological paradoxes involving information are safe, it seems. This is specifically pointed out in the rules. You can make your future self do something in game to help you (such as fetch an item and leave it for you to find, a la Bill and Ted) but if you do so, you now have a point of frag until you actually do it in game afterwards (and you actually have to roll and role play it). You can even get your future self to help in person, by say dropping a trash can from above on the guys head. As Bill and Ted said "Now we have to go back and do it afterwards or it won't happen." You can span out of an unplanned death, but it's like Clara in Dr. Who. Because you know you died, you have to later return to your moment of death. The game allows you to level up your time travel ability up to twice after that, but you then MUST return and die, so say the Inheritors, and they WILL insist. Dying before you return to your moment of death is screw all your friends over levels of bad, giving them nearly unfixable frag, and makes you deader than dead. Of course, a faked death planned in advance is perfectly legit, even if you use your time powers (spanning out of a car falling off a cliff before it goes boom is a good one), and most players have to do it to hide their enhanced lifespan from the normal people eventually. Simple, no?

If you're here just to look at the cover art, it's by M.W. Kaluta. He's done amazing art for games that are much better than this.

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