Random Encounters: Time Travelling Magic for Pathfinder

In my recent It Came from the DVR article on the film Detention, I outlined how to run a campaign centered on time travel (it’s after the movie review), but all that advice isn’t very helpful without a means for the PCs to start time trekking.  As promised, I present the fulcrum of ages, a time travelling artifact for the Pathfinder game.  As a bonus, I’ve also included a new spell, detect temporal flux, which should prove useful for burgeoning time lord PCs.  What’s more fun that slaying an orc and taking his stuff?  Preventing an orc from being born and taking his great-grandparents’ stuff.

The Fulcrum of Ages

Aura overwhelming conjuration and transmutation; CL 22nd.
Slot none; Weight unmoveable
This complex arcane machine occupies the better part of a small room, it’s most distinguishing feature a massive hourglass held in the grip of a quartet of petrified monsters.  By manipulating the fulcrum of ages’ menagerie of gears and levers, the user can transport themselves and anyone in the room that houses the fulcrum back in time (a maximum of 8 medium creatures).  The fulcrum can facilitate travel only into the past; users appear as if by teleportation, in the room that houses the artifact, albeit in some previous time.  Each trip into the past lasts for 48 hours, after which the user and any who travelled with her reappear back in the present, a moment after they left, in the room that houses the fulcrum.  This travel can cross planar barriers, and cannot be impeded by any physical or magical obstacle.  There is no known means to shorten or extend the 48 hour time limit. The fulcrum of ages will only work for users in the present – time travellers cannot use the artifact in the past to make a series of jumps.
The fulcrum of ages is difficult to master.  To activate the fulcrum the user must spend 10 consecutive rounds manipulating the device, after which she makes a Knowledge (history) or Use Magic Device check.  The result of this check determines the upper limit of how far into the past the user can travel.

Check DC        Historical Age
20                      Months in the past
25                      Years in the past
30                      Decades in the past
35                      Centuries in the past

The fulcrum of ages is affixed to the very fabric of space and cannot be moved out of the room that houses it.  It cannot be disassembled or damaged.  The only way to destroy the artifact is to travel into the dim ages of prehistory and prevent the fulcrum’s powerful creators from completing the fulcrum’s construction.

Detect Temporal Flux

School divination; Level bard 1, cleric 1, druid 1, sorcerer/wizard 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range 60 ft.
Area cone shaped emanation
Duration concentration, up to 1 min./level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
You can read the auras of things that are outside of their regular place in the timeline.  The amount of information revealed depends on how long you study a particular area or subject.
1st Round: Presence or absence of temporal flux.
2nd Round: Number of different auras in flux and the strength of the most potent aura present.
3rd Round: The power and location of each aura.  If an aura is outside of your line of sight, then you discern its direction but not its exact location.
Aura Strength: An aura’s power depends on how far the subject is outside of its regular place in the timeline.  If an aura falls into more than one category, detect temporal flux indicates the stronger of the two.
Aura Power
   Faint                                 Moderate                  Strong                             Overwhelming
Months out of synch.   Years out of synch.   Decades out of synch.      Centuries out of synch.
Lingering Aura: An aura in temporal flux lingers afters its original source is destroyed.  If detect temporal flux is cast and directed at such a location, the spell indicates an aura strength of dim (even weaker than faint).  How long the aura lingers at this dim level depends on its original power:
Original Strength       Duration of Lingering Aura
Faint                                   1d6 rounds
Moderate                           1d6 minutes
Strong                                1d6 x 10 minutes
Overwhelming                  1d6 days
Each round you can turn to detect temporal flux in a new area.  The spell can penetrate barriers, but 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt blocks it.


I intentionally left the creators of the fulcrum vague.  Depending on the campaign world they could be the artificers of ancient Netheril, the Suloise mages of power, or the Rune Lords of ancient Thassilon – any group of beings far enough in the past to be extremely difficult to reach and of a sufficiently legendary power level that only high level PCs would even consider the challenge.

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