Ok so, I know about how temporal mechanics work in Feng Shui, but there is a specific twist that I don't think has been adressed.
I'm planning to make the PCs look for a former Dragon, who was in 69 when the Chi-bomb exploded. For reasons that are unimportant to this problem, the dragon is more or less immortal, but trapped in a room and powerless to help himself. So he's going to live through all junctions until the PCs find his trace.
What I'm planning for them to do is to
- Learn where he was in 69 at the time of the C-Bomb
- Go there but in 960 since they can't access 69, and learn the family living there has moved decades ago (with the former Dragon as a "family heirloom") and nobody knows where
- Go back to the present and find traces of where the family is now thanks to libraries and the internet
- Go to the current estate of the family and fight to find the former Dragon.
My problem is : how to prevent them to just go find him in 1850 or even 960, as soon as they know where the family new place actually is ?
I want to use the whole melodrama of having lived powerless and alone for 2000 years, as a character-based plot point later in the campaign. And I also want it to happen in the present junction, because I already do too much things in other junctions and they never taste the simple pleasure of blowing up the real world.
I know time travel in Feng Shui doesn't work this way, but I mean, what's stopping them to find him in 2015 and earlier ? Just inventing excuses like "the family has always been on the move for whatever reason and the only place you're sure about is from after 1850" ?
I mean, it's a solution of course, but I'd like to tackle that problem in general : an asset that exists throughout several junctions.
Depending on who's involved in the prisoner's capture, you could use magic or something to prevent his cell from being opened.
There could be the need to collect several magical artifacts to open it, or it could have to do with astrology and the stars are aligned in 2015 (or whichever Juncture you want them to find him in) so the door will open but they're not aligned in the other Junctures.
BTW the Ancient Juncture in the official continuity is 690 AD rather than 960 AD. Wu Zetian has just become the Emperor of China.
I think you've got a cool idea and it doesn't take much to invent a magical reason why they don't find him til you're ready, if that's the direction you want to go in.
Personally I'm cooking up a story in which the heroes try to track down the Prof and Kar Fai, and learn that in the Future Juncture, New York City has been turned into a maximum security prison and they're being 'held' there...
On the other hand, I think your suggestion that the family has been on the move, and the heroes are able to learn the family's location sometime after the Past Juncture makes perfect sense too. I don't think that's a bad solution at all!
I like isaacpriestley's idea....
A side prison just out of phase with reality. More of a side-hell if you will. Perhaps it's the "Prison of Solitary" that can only be accessed when the stars align in a certain way - with that certain way being 'dramatically' timed to match when you need it in game.
I'm imagining a cool camera pan of a small stone cell with no windows and just a little hatch at the bottom of a steel door, maybe like in that film the count of Monty Cristo (or however it's spelt ) except without anybody even visiting to beat them up. Just a tasteless meal put through the hatch once a day by the warden who never ever responds to the pleas of his prisoners. The camera pans out and out and out from those demon feet you see dropping the food through the hatch.... showing not one but thousands of identical cells or a massive tower in a lord of the rings style that's just asking for an assault from a gang of plucky heroes.
Obviously your PCs are going to have to fight said demon (Demon-King of Solitary?) to get that gent out, and what else is in that prison, driven mad from untold years with only walls to look at. I'm probably add a legendary baddie that they accidentally release at the same time and have to deal with in a later adventure. That or the same legendary baddie but they've been alone for so long they end up being a goodie as they've forgotten how to be a baddie.
Well, the simplest way is to say that when they research the family's history in the current juncture, they find no record of them for along time but then "pick up the trail" around 1970 or something. But that's kind of boring. I like the idea of the magic box quest presented above better.
Thanks for all your answers. I hadn't though about a magical reason they had to wait until the contemporary juncture... I like that ! Also the fact that they COULD save him in 690 but choose not to... I may want to work with this. Cheers !