No Prep Module: Time Travel for D&D or RPGs

This adventure can be can be easily customized to a party of any size or level, or run as a level 3 adventure for 5 players. It can work as a small side adventure in an existing campaign, as a standalone one-shot, or the start of a new adventure. Use the links to the tools in their relevant section to customize the adventure to your party.

One of the party members is actually the mastermind of the time travel malfunction, set in motion to change the fate of someone or something from their backstory. Speak with one of the players before the session to set up the details of this event from their past that they want to change, and tell them that they'll need to keep it a secret in order for their plan to work.

The PCs start in a hamlet in the desert, looking for info related to their backstory or doing downtime. A spell goes awry and the PCs need to deal with a bunch of summoned reflections. The reflections think they're the real ones and are confused about the PCs and how they got here. Try to roleplay the reflections similarly to their respective PC, but with a detail changed. If a fight breaks out use the PC's own statblock, but the reflections will disappear after some time has passed (and hopefully before any serious harm is done).

The Machine

The faulty spell is caused by feedback from an ancient machine uncovered recently in the desert. The PCs can either learn this from an NPC or after some investigation. They'll be asked for help to try and fix the machine to get it working properly and to stop interfering with spells. After investigating it they'll learn that it's an eldritch machine with the ability to move people through time and different realities.

During this time spent tinkering with the machine is when the secret PC will have their opportunity to set their plan in motion, so give everyone an opportunity to interact with the machine without drawing suspicion. Some time after the secret PC interacts with it, the machine malfunctions and sends the PCs hurtling back and forth in time through the last war. Whether the machine meant to do that or not, the PCs have the ability to change the course of history before they jump to the next time-frame. As they do, they create alternate realities, where alternate versions of themselves also are sent back in time and change history accidentally or on purpose.

They go to different points in time during the war.

Magical Tundra

A frigid tundra. There's a dead magic zone where the only way to practice magic is by using mana stones from the mines below, which are the reason the dead magic zone exists.

If the PCs choose to not participate, their army will win. If they participate, use this: 1 Kobold Underling, 1 Deep Gnome (Svirfneblin), 1 Bugbear, 1 Apprentice Wizard, 1 Aarakocra

Tundra Battlemap

Jungle Spider

A large monument to a deity in a jungle. A huge web of thick strands is here, but its owner is not immediately visible. Cocoons of creatures, some dead and some still weakly wiggling, sit embedded in it.

If the PCs choose to not participate, the platoon they're with will be wiped out and eaten by the monsters. If they participate, use this: 1 Shadow Mastiff, 2 Giant Spider, 1 Eblis

Jungle Battlemap

Airship Rescue

A decaying city between two huge and dangerous mountains that create a small valley between them.

The players find themselves on a damaged airship, flying low in the valley over the ruins of a city after a battle. The soldiers on the airship are wounded and tired, and there are enemies on the ground that will try to crash the airship if they spot it and get a clear shot. The captain of the airship will explain that they've gotten the order to retreat, but are trying to recover as many survivors as they can before pulling out.

The airship has 100 HP and the ruins below has enemy soldiers that will shoot arrows or cast spells at it. Run this as a hazardous skill challenge with air vehicle proficiency as an additional easy (DC 7) option. The players will need to decide just how many people to save before withdrawing. Anyone not rescued will be killed, and if the airship crashes everyone onboard will be killed or captured before the players warp out.

Painted Castle

A castle sits on top of a natural land archway that arcs over a large lake or bay. Everything looks like it's painted, including the PCs themselves. Anyone with paint can create illusions, and all illusions (either painted or by spell) function as if they're real.

They encounter an enemy platoon with 1 Changeling, 1 Flying Sword, 1 Feathergale knight, 1 Kobold Scale Sorcerer, 1 Nothic

Painted Battlemap

Monastery Invasion

An isolated monastery within a forest. It's all on a huge floating island with massive chains keeping it anchored to the ground.

In this battle, their army is trying to get into the monastery while spellcasters inside rain destruction on them. The army will lose this battle unless the PCs can get into the monastery by opening the door, which is covered in locks with different languages.

The first lock says 'Open' in Common. The second lock says 'Close' in Elvish. The third lock says 'Open' in Dwarvish. The fourth lock says 'Close' in Infernal. The fifth lock says 'Open' in Giant. The seventh lock says 'Close' in Halfling. The sixth lock says 'Close' in Undercommon.

The objective of the puzzle is to unlock the locks which say 'Open' (DC 10, or the trap goes off) and to leave the locks which say 'Close' closed, and then turn the door handle, otherwise the Lightning Rune in the centre of the door activates. DC 13 Dex Save or 2d10 lightning damage (half on save).

Fixing the Past

The PCs are warped to the point in time from the secret player's backstory, in order to save someone's life or change the event that went wrong. At this point, allow that player to act and reveal their plan. The situation is still difficult, and they'll likely need the other PCs help to resolve the situation, so they should have a chance to try to explain themselves and ask for help. If it's to save a relative or someone dear to them, there's a large group of enemies threatening the VIP that the PC can't defeat alone. If it's to stop an event from happening, the enemy army is in the process of doing it and will need to be stopped or redirected.

You can run this finale as a skill challenge or combat encounter, whatever feels appropriate. For extra stakes, have a natural disaster occur at the same time that the PCs need to deal with (such as an earthquake or fire). If you need an appropriate combat encounter, you can use this: 1 Aarakocra, 1 Acolyte, 1 Firenewt Warlock of Imix, 1 Ninja, 1 Duergar Stone Guard

Regardless of if the PCs succeed or fail, they're warped back to where they were. In front of them lies the eldritch device, utterly destroyed and smoldering. If they try to determine the cause, a DC 12 Arcana check reveals that the magical energy coursing through it eventually overloaded it and melted it down.

The PCs can then see the results of their meddling in time, the events from the secret PC's backstory will be changed and that person may be alive now or that event stopped, or history will be unchanged if they failed. Different events in the war will change the outcome, if the PCs failed more events than they succeeded, then the faction they fought for will have lost the war, or won if they succeeded more than they failed. This can have a number of events and consequences in your world, and possibly lead to several more sessions as the PCs explore their altered timeline and see what has changed for better or worse.

Need more help with your campaign? Check out all the other tools, generators, and articles: kassoon.com/dnd/

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