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"Groundhog Day" as a character concept: Groundhog Life

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So, I had this idea the other day.  Character(PC) somehow trapped in a time loop.  Every time he* dies, he "restarts" from a very early age.  At first he's only vaguely aware he's seen all this before.  After several loops, however, he's as aware of it as Bill Murray's character in Groundhog Day.  He starts to try to learn and remember new stuff every time around, to travel the world, capitalize on his knowledge of the "future" to make money, get the girls(or boys), learn languages, martial arts, etc.  After dozens of loops, the character starts to get some control over the looping, being able to initiate the loop for shorter periods of time.  At some point, the character decides to become a super(hero/villain).  

So, throwing this open to discussion:

1. What abilities might the character have, both time-loop related and related to having literally centuries to millennia of life experience?

2. What complications might be appropriate to the character?

3. What would the heroic version look like, and what would the villainous version look like(perhaps the villain is a nihilist and thinks the only way to break their "curse" is to end all existence!)

4. What limitations might exist on the looping power?  Would it require him to "kill" himself?

5. Maybe the future changes imperceptibly every time he loops, so that his knowledge of the future is always at least somewhat imperfect.  But some form of precog/retrocog seems apropos.  

 

 

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First thing I'd settle is what happens from the perspective of the other characters if he dies?

 

While the character himself will go back in time and have another go, when he arrives back at the present he would presumably change things to avoid the death event. Is this a new timeline? Does anyone else remember him dying? Can he be shut down using non-lethal means (i.e. capturing him and keeping him unconscious or disorientated)?

 

From a powers point of view, a triggered Teleport might cover "escape from bad situations", since his basic solution would be to be somewhere safer all along. High DCV would also be a way to emulate "not being where they aimed" on a tactical level.

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I'd expect that if he dies in combat, he probably only replays that particular day, and maybe he comes back with only a few key pieces of information to tell the other heroes.  Essentially only he relives the day. For them it's fresh.  

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Would he be able to learn skills while looping? Would that be something he would have to train on every loop, killing some of his time, or could he just loop the experience for the day?

 

I guess the example I am going for is Bill Murray learning how to play piano in the movie. He looped around until he could play the song at the restaurant later.

CES    

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11 minutes ago, csyphrett said:

Would he be able to learn skills while looping? Would that be something he would have to train on every loop, killing some of his time, or could he just loop the experience for the day?

 

I guess the example I am going for is Bill Murray learning how to play piano in the movie. He looped around until he could play the song at the restaurant later.

CES    

Mostly I think his extensive skillset would be part of his backstory.  He could possibly do a looping version of cramming, I suppose.  My thought was that education and physical training could be retained(muscle memory).  

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This might work for a one on one game, i.e. only one player.

 

Other players might get tired of ending sessions with "Okay, next time, we do the exact same adventure again, from the beginning."

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary likes "Deja Voodoo" for  a character name

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Could you try limited precognition, defined as "seen it all before"? If the character changes ages while in the middle of an adventure, you might have that as a special effect of "looping", no one else is really affected. {something like Timelord regeneration}

Give him skill levels overall- he knows what will happen and is prepared- seen it all before.

 

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6 hours ago, Lucius said:

 

This might work for a one on one game, i.e. only one player.

 

Other players might get tired of ending sessions with "Okay, next time, we do the exact same adventure again, from the beginning."

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary likes "Deja Voodoo" for  a character name

I'd think that the looping would only happen if the character were actually killed in combat, which should hopefully be a rare occurrence in most superhero campaigns.  Being knocked out, or even the whole team being defeated, wouldn't do it.

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The problem becomes, what's to stop the player from deciding, "I didn't like losing that fight, let's try it again armed with a little foreknowledge"?

 

I created an NPC villain with this very concept.  Mark Futures can send his consciousness back in time, though the farther back he goes, the more chance of injury or even death.  This chance of death provides a reasonable explanation why, if captured, he doesn't just re-do the fight and run off -- he's kept unconscious long enough that going back far enough is too dangerous.  I armed him with some stolen VIPER tech (a force field belt, covert armor, flight harness, blaster pistol, and grenades).

 

That said, his abilities include: 

    10  Repeats the Shot Until He Hits Just the Right Spot: Armor Piercing (2x; +½) on up to 8d6 Blast; OAF (-1)          2

      8  Try Until You Hit the Eyes:  Flash Sight Group 4d6; OAF (-1), Linked (to Blast, can use Blast without Flash; -½)      2

    10  Saw It and Already Got Over It:  +20 PRE; Only vs. PRE Attacks (-1)      0

    24  Try, Try Again: Multipower 30 points; All slots are Costs Half END (-¼)               

      5 m  +6 OCV                                                   1

      5 m  +6 DCV                                                   1

      5 m  +3 w/ Noncombat Skills                        1

    13  Lived Through It Before: Precognitive Clairsentience with Sight Group & Normal Hearing; Precognition Only (-1), Required Roll (-½), Time Modifiers (-½), Side Effects (2d6 per 1 misses roll; -½) 4

    24  Luck 6d6; Precognitive (-¼)                     0

    29  Power (Precognition) 26-

      5  Winnings:  Money ($500,000 / year)

      6  Combat Luck (3 rPD / 3 rED)                      

    37  Precog:  Danger Sense (general area, any danger, sense, +3 PER)

      3  Precog Anticipation: Lightning Reflexes  +3 with All Actions

 

As to Complications, I gave him a Distinctive Features (stutter); Hunted by Captain Chronos, and Overconfidence.

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I was thinking of a new PC with the power to redo the day but is more GM friendly.  Basically time travel back 5 hours usable once per day.  This basically prevents TPK as the character could say, "I abort to travel back in time" but only once per day.  If the GM didn't want me to use the power, then they could just say the power has already been used for the day on some trivial item (like say "Bitcoin just lost half of its value, travel back and dump the bitcoin")

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Oh, and you could replace the Precognition with Extra-Dimensional Movement through time, as that's actually what you're doing.  I didn't go that route because he's an NPC and I really just wanted a power to explain how he might know what's about to happen.   Actually, I probably should add that (maybe put both the Precog and X-Dim Move in their own Multipower) for completeness sake. 

 

Also, note that my writeup for Mark Futures doesn't include the ability to start over after death (since his is a conscious act, not an automatic thing).  I'd think such an abililty would be a triggered X-Dim (Time) Movement + Regeneration with automatic Side Effects (transform to baby). 

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Reminds me a bit of Jonah Yu, an occasional character from Skin Horse.

 

http://skin-horse.com/

 

His original story (Choose Your Own Adventure) was essentially about him getting a personal "save point" and using it to get out of a bad situation. That story was from his own perspective, so you go to see a lot of dead Jonahs, but the current one (Unsinkable) is from a general viewpoint and it comes across more as a precog.

 

It's probably worth pointing out that this power can't save you from a genuine no-win where all personal choices the character is willing to contemplate lead to doom. But that's a matter for the GM to avoid unless the player wants the character to go out that way (And such a situation isn't limited to characters who have a reset, of course).

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10 hours ago, BoloOfEarth said:

The problem becomes, what's to stop the player from deciding, "I didn't like losing that fight, let's try it again armed with a little foreknowledge"?

 

I created an NPC villain with this very concept.  Mark Futures can send his consciousness back in time, though the farther back he goes, the more chance of injury or even death.  This chance of death provides a reasonable explanation why, if captured, he doesn't just re-do the fight and run off -- he's kept unconscious long enough that going back far enough is too dangerous.  I armed him with some stolen VIPER tech (a force field belt, covert armor, flight harness, blaster pistol, and grenades).

 

That said, his abilities include: 

    10  Repeats the Shot Until He Hits Just the Right Spot: Armor Piercing (2x; +½) on up to 8d6 Blast; OAF (-1)          2

 

      8  Try Until You Hit the Eyes:  Flash Sight Group 4d6; OAF (-1), Linked (to Blast, can use Blast without Flash; -½)      2

 

    10  Saw It and Already Got Over It:  +20 PRE; Only vs. PRE Attacks (-1)      0

 

    24  Try, Try Again: Multipower 30 points; All slots are Costs Half END (-¼)               

 

      5 m  +6 OCV                                                   1

 

      5 m  +6 DCV                                                   1

 

      5 m  +3 w/ Noncombat Skills                        1

 

    13  Lived Through It Before: Precognitive Clairsentience with Sight Group & Normal Hearing; Precognition Only (-1), Required Roll (-½), Time Modifiers (-½), Side Effects (2d6 per 1 misses roll; -½) 4

 

    24  Luck 6d6; Precognitive (-¼)                     0

    29  Power (Precognition) 26-

      5  Winnings:  Money ($500,000 / year)

 

      6  Combat Luck (3 rPD / 3 rED)                      

 

    37  Precog:  Danger Sense (general area, any danger, sense, +3 PER)

 

      3  Precog Anticipation: Lightning Reflexes  +3 with All Actions

 

 

As to Complications, I gave him a Distinctive Features (stutter); Hunted by Captain Chronos, and Overconfidence.

The combat looping probably only works if the character dies in combat.

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