Types of Continuum scenarios

While fighting narcissists is clearly detailed in Continuum, like any good role-playing game, variety of adventure makes for the best experience. I suspect that a Continuum campaign that is all about fighting narcissists would be much like a D&D game that is all about fighting monsters: it can be fun, but you’re missing out on a lot more.

It has been my experience, however, that thinking up good Continuum adventures that don’t involve narcissists is awfully hard to do. This is because the power of spanners is so vast that the stuff of ordinary RPGs is child’s play to them. One careful novice spanner could decimate a high-level D&D party.

Here is a list of basic spanner adventure types.

  1. Fight Narcissists. Further information is not necessary here.
  2. Solve a Mystery (i.e., find information). My introductory scenario “Identity Is All” belongs in this category. Novices often create this adventure for themselves when they accidentally frag themselves or their chronies and they have to figure out how they did it. Most mystery adventures will probably revolve around a desire to find out what happens to objects great or small (from the ocean liner that disappears in the Bermuda Triangle to the teddy bear that a child misplaces) or what happens in specific events (who really killed John F. Kennedy?).
  3. Physical Challenge. There are lots of adventures that spanners can go on simply because they’re fun. What Foxhorn wouldn’t enjoy dinosaur-hunting? Just because you’re playing a time travel game doesn’t mean your every action has to revolve around time travel. Spanners can participate in all the activites that levelers do, and they don’t have to cheat at it! Friendly competitions will usually fall into this category. (Imagine a game of spanner soccer!) Note that a “physical” challenge may not literally be physical at all; it could be mental (say, exploring the Dreamtime). We might call it “level challenge,” except there’s no reason why the PCs can’t span in accomplishing it.
  4. Covert Intervention. Whether as a result of narcissist actions or of things simply not adding up, it may be necessary for spanners to take an active role in events in their localities. Thespians must take on historical roles to replace levelers who, for some reason, can’t do what they’re supposed to do. Engineers make sure inventors have the breakthroughs they need, or that breakdowns occur on schedule. Physicians may find their services necessary on battlefields, because casualties were higher than expected considering events farther Up. This adventure category is dominated by the fraternities, because careful covert work requires a specialist.
  5. Be a Mentor. As a Span Three mentor, you will be chasing around after your novices and cleaning up after their mistakes. You fix frag a lot, but this differs from fighting narcissists in that the frag was created through inexperience, not informed selfishness. You will, in this special case, get a lot of information from your elder on how to handle the situations you find yourself in; this is something that doesn’t happen much in other activities.
  6. Complete the Yet. The spanners learn some complicated piece of their Yets and decide to try to take care of it. This differs from solving a mystery in that it is not necessary for the spanners to lack information (though this is always interesting). In fact, the challenge is that the characters have too much information, and are forced to observe the First Maxim. This is also different from covert intervention, which has more to do with levelers and history, rather than their Yets.

These six categories will often be mixed together. “The Death-hand of Saint No-one" has the PCs try to track down an object (solve a mystery) before a narcissist does, who will fight them in Time Combat (fight narcissists) to get it.

Last updated March 23, 2013

David Trimboli | Index