Continuum RPG articles

Continuum is a time-travel RPG in a deterministic universe full of interlinked (and mostly benevolent) secret societies. It's one of my favorite settings, but it's a lot of work to GM. PCs can teleport and time-hop at will, so the GM has less control of plot and pacing than any other game I've played or run (including Amber, so that's saying something).

Update: a number of the links were inexplicably broken, but they should all be fixed now. I had to delete extra junk characters that had crept in to nearly all the links somehow. If it happens again, let me know.

Continuum GMing Advice:

  • Continuum GMing Tips. In short: GM from a computer, keep plots simple and open-ended because things will get complicated fast, have maps but don’t use them, and make history feel real.
  • Anachronistic Music is a short anecdote about GM prep and music, and ways it can go wrong. Don't do what I did.

Alternate Rules:

  • Proposal for revising the 5 Spans. This alternate version of the ranking system shifts Span 5 to Span 7, pushes PCs as Mentors to much later in the campaign, and smooths out character progression and storylines for the benefit of the players. I think this would really fix most of the awkward story structure and non-mechanical problems with the game.
  • What I’d like to see in Continuum 2.0.

Gumshoe Continuum:

The longer of my two extant Continuum campaigns borrowed many mechanics from the Gumshoe system. I found that the clue- and point- systems from Gumshoe made it easy to replicate scenes when the PCs revisited events from a different angle.

Expanding and Developing the Setting:

  • Cross-Posted at Repeated Expletives: Iman Wilken’s alternative history non-fiction “Where Troy Once Stood” has some great potential for Continuum. He places the Trojan War in Celtic Britain, and makes a very interesting case for it. I used it in my Short-Bus Spanners campaign. See here and here.

  • Campaign Logs:

    I've run two different campaigns of Continuum, one relatively short with a definite conclusion, and the other a sprawling five-year-long sandbox.

    Caerphilly Cep Campaign:

    The "Caerphilly Cep" Continuum Campaign was a large open-ended sandbox campaign that ran for nearly 5 years of real time. It started in Caerphilly, Wales in the modern day, with frequent trips to London (in both the 21st and 17th centuries), NYC in the 1920s, Basil and Strasbourg in the 16th Century, and Lhasa Tibet in the 1950s. It eventually collapsed due to out-of-character issues (and growing plot complexity to some extent), which is a shame because I had big plans for plotlines in Ancient Egypt and during The Hunt Of The Sun. Since we never got a really good wrap-up for the game, many of the campaign's mysteries went unsolved and thus were never blogged about in detail. Here's the handful of posts I did make, which is a pretty small number for 5 years of play:

    Short Bus Spanners: 

    The "Short Bus Spanners" campaign was for a little under a year, with a single main plot in the (then) modern day, followed by a whirlwind tour of the setting all the way down to Atlantis. I took extensive notes on the campaign in a format that was easy to post to the blog, so this one is covered in great detail.

    Miscellaneous Continuum-related posts:

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