Rules for a Time Loop Scenario

Souls like rules inspired by the Sunfall Cycle DnD hack by Steven Lumpkin

Scenario:
The PCs live through the same period of time over and over until they break the loop.
Campaign milestones:

  • Figure out what causes the loop.
  • Figure out how to stop the loop.
  • Break the loop. Stop the doom.

Clocks:
Loop Cycle (hidden in first cycle) - 8 or 10 ticks to fill
Doom (optional and hidden until discovered) - 6+ ticks to fill

  • If the Loop Cycle clock is filled the world resets.
  • Every major PC action, scene, or travel ticks the loop cycle clock.
  • The ‘Indulge Vice’ and ‘Train’ actions can be performed anytime, but fill the loop clock by half.
  • Every full cycle the doom ticks.
  • If Doom is filled, disaster hits.

Loop cycle:

  • Items, coin, and wounds are reset. Dead PCs are revived.
  • Stress, Trauma, XP, and advancements carry over.
  • The world and NPCs reset, but the PCs memories carry over.
  • If all players die, the loop resets.

GM Questions:
What causes the loop? (figure out how to stop the loop during play!)
Why do the PCs remember the loop but the NPCs don’t?
How is the doom revealed to the PCs?
What are possible shortcuts or secrets to bypass obstacles later?

Additional Ideas:

  • Players only start with only playbook specific items, unlock more later
  • Certain important NPCs remember the loop as well
  • Change locations depending of cycle clock ticks
  • Give the Players a hub and/or supernatural patron outside the loop
  • Places of Power to revive dead PCs (costs loop ticks?)
  • Add rare artefacts that don’t reset by the loop
  • Unlock more stuff in with rare artefacts:
    • Access to basic items at loop start
    • Crew advancements
    • Fast travel / shortcuts
    • Remove a NPC permanently from the loop
    • Let a NPC remember the loop or get a new PC
    • Change Playbook
    • Rituals / Crafting / Long Time Projects
    • Gather Information / Lore Projects

BitD only:

  • If a PC dies, after 1 or 2 loop cycle ticks they switch to the ghost playbook.
  • Ghost PCs are revived to their previous playbook on loop reset.
3 Likes

Nice write up!
Please share play experience you make here.

I might take this as inspiration for “into the dark”. BitD had a lot of moving parts. A lighter system and leave more breathing room.

This is fascinating, and could be a super fun campaign. I hope I get the chance to run this someday.