Over The Edge – Query about 'The Dark Future'

Hi! This is my first post. I’ve got a question about a couple of the main behind-the-scenes story arcs outline in Over The Edge, mainly those that look at transforming the world we know in ten years through the plotting of the Throckmorton Device and the Pharaohs. In a nutshell I’m looking to gets some ideas of the dark future the game promises the world to turn into, and how to wrap it around the storyline(s) I’ve currently got going.

I’ve just begun to run a game of Over The Edge for a couple of players who’ve never played before, initially with no real aim beyond running maybe a couple of scenarios and introducing the setting. Finding an appropriately ‘cool’ hook (PC are members of a Spinal Tap like band attempting a come-back, funded by an Al Marjan investor) and a potential one shot adventure to run with (‘The Partycrashers’ from Forgotten Lives), I’ve let the players do what they want with their characters, wandering off and getting into trouble wherever they wanted. So far they’ve avoided death – they left the party prematurely, having raided the host’s bedroom – and are getting involved with the Net, who have been helping the band members score drugs and lie low. With other players from our large gaming group showing interest in the game, and the suggestion that this could stretch into more of a campaign, I’m trying to develop the various major plotlines.

Inspired by Heroes and, to a lesser degree, Terminator, I was toying with the idea of having characters from a dark (ten years on) future coming back to the present, perhaps even surviving members of the PC’s band. My idea of time and time travel is, rather than having fixed events in the timeline that must and do happen, as is the case with the Throckmorton plotline, that time can be changed, with enough effort. Those elements from the future that are projected into the past remain even when their origins no longer exist, in the same way as a person can avoid dying despite the destruction of his house if he simply isn’t at home.

To use an analogy, people and things are carried along the time-line like driftwood in a river. Whilst it’s difficult to do so, you can take something from the water and move it back upriver. Move only a few pieces of driftwood and dump them back into the river and there will be little effect on the flow of the water. Move enough pieces, with the aim of diverting the water, and you can change the whole direct and flow of the river. Though the diversion has been created by wood taken from what is now essentially an empty dry channel where water used to run, the wood doesn’t suddenly cease to exist. Indeed the presence of this wood is essential to new course of the river – without it the river may just revert back to its previous course. This analogy doesn’t completely hold water (so to speak) since items in the time-line should constantly be moving with the current, but it’s the way I’m intending to use time in my game.

With this idea in mind I considered the possibility that the Throckmorton Device’s ability to affect things in the past is a direct result of people having travelled from that future into the past. Whilst Throckmorton’s goal is to strengthen this channel towards a stronger Throckmorton dominated world, other time-travellers seek to change the course of the time-line. What this requires, however, is an original time-line, untampered with, where Clyde Throckmorton gains some sort of control and is able to flick the switch on his Device. In this original time-line, there are no dominated Throckmorton operatives until the Device goes live.

Essentially I need to create a What-If timeline to accommodate this, a world where ten years on the elements are in place for things to go this way. I’m not sure where exactly the Pharaohs will fit in with all this – it may well be that Throckmorton takes over Al Amarja whilst the Pharaohs concentrate on the major world players – but there needs to be an alternative future history where the island gets more and more hostile and less liberal. Fortunately I’ve already begun to add elements of “The Jackboot Stomp” from Forgotten Lives, which suggests Throckmorton will take over in the wake of a fascist Nazi take-over.

My main reason for posting here is to get ideas, to see what other people have done with the Throckmorton and Pharaoh plotlines to push them towards a dark future, and what ideas would work well with this dark future/time travel angle. So, what do you think?

This is a deep subject I have never delved into since I never GM the game just read the books because I like the Genre. but leaves you wide open for anything you can imagine. I would think that there is a changed future but maybe not as dark as you think. Imagine evil like terrorism but more world wide. maybe someone who pulls off a Joker as in batman without the bat to stop him. Throckmorton? Pharohs leading major corporations dominating the economy and pushing asside gov'ts.