Timeless RPG: Flashbacks, Powers and Misc

Here’s what I have so far in terms of some mechanics unique to Timeless. I’ve still borrowed from The Dresden Files RPG, especially for Timeless Powers, but hopefully things feel unique.


Setting up a flashback works just like a Compel. When the opportunity comes up for a flashback, the GM selects an Aspect, pays the player or players a Fate Point, and describes the basics of the scene. The scene resolves normally, with players and the GM describing their actions and reactions to what’s going on, with one exception. Characters all have three Flashback Aspects that can be assigned during the Flashback scene. To assign one of these Aspects, a player selects one of his or her regular Aspects, pays a Fate Point, and then chooses a new Flashback Aspect. This new Aspect must be based on the one chosen previously, but changed to reflect the events of the flashback scene. The Aspect Zen Warrior could lead to Raging Beserker, or the Aspect chosen to start the flashback could be used to set up a Centuries Long Enmity Aspect.

Example:  Bernard is sitting in a coffee shop reading a newspaper when a tall, powerfully built man walks in. The GM looks at Patrick, Bernard’s player, and says “When you see his face you have an intense memory of weeping over the bodies of your wife and children as man rides away at the head of a band of raiders, reminding you that Swords Make Poor Shields,” pushing a Fate Point across the table, “what happened that day?”

Patrick thinks for a moment. “Bernard ran screaming in the direction of the arrows that killed his family, cutting through any that got in his way, including a few villagers that froze at the sight of him. He cut into the archers, who tried to flee but couldn’t outpace someone carried by centuries of forced marches. He screamed futilely into the night as the leader rode off. I’ll pay two Fate Points to set up the Aspects Revenge Best Served Warm and Survivor’s Guilt.“

The GM pushes a third Fate Point across the table saying “Didn’t you say you killed a few of the villagers? That sounds like Blinded by Rage.” Patrick accepts the third Fate Point, concluding the Flashback. Now they just have to see how Bernard reacts to the sight of his family’s murderer….

Flashback Aspects are semi-permanent, remaining on a character until either the situation that caused them is resolved (a rival is killed or reconciled with) or replaced in a later Flashback, and function like normal Aspects in all ways.


The Timeless are not just ageless, they are also largely immune to death. Most often when a Timeless suffers enough physical trauma to be killed (Taken Out in mechanical terms) they drop unconscious with all the appearances of death. After some time passes, which varies with each individual, they return to life and begin to heal. No matter what sort of physical injury they endure, be it burns, stab wounds, gunshots or something more esoteric, Timeless will always heal completely.

The only exception to this is when a Timeless is killed by another of their kind. If a Timeless falls at the hand of another Timeless, there is no miraculous recovery. Death is permanent and the killer absorbs some measure of the fallen’s power (see Aura Absorption, below).

Stunts and Powers

For Stunts, see The Dresden Files: Your Story, chapter nine.

Aura Absorption (–0)

Description:You gain a small portion of your enemy’s skills, experience and power when you kill another Timeless.

Skills Affected:Varies.


Aura Absorption. On your opponent’s death you gain a single +1 bonus to certain rolls based on their Skills, Powers or Aspects.  For example, if Timeless Joe kills Timeless Bob, famous for his honeyed words, Joe would gain a +1 to rolls to convince people to do what he wants.

Aura Perception (–1)

Description: You can read people’s moods and desires as easily as most people read street signs.

Skills Affected:  Empathy


Aura Reading.  Make an Empathy roll against the target’s Rapport or Deceit. If successful, you gain a +2 bonus to interaction for the rest of the scene.

Enhanced Speed (–2)

Description:You are very fast, just past the edge of human capability.

Skills Affected:Athletics, Alertness, and some other physical Skills.


Improved Initiative.Your Alertness is at +4 for the purpose of determining initiative.

Athletic Ability.All your Athletics checks are made at +1, including dodging. When sprinting (see page 212), this bonus is increased to +2.

Casual Movement.Whenever moving as part of another physical activity, you may move one zone without taking the –1 penalty for a supplemental action (page 213).

Almost Too Fast To See.Difficulty factors due to moving are reduced by two when rolling Stealth.

Enhanced Strength (–2)

Description:You are able to lift more and hit harder than the average human can, due to your supernatural heritage.

Skills Affected:Athletics, other physical Skills.


Improved Lifting.Whenever lifting or breaking inanimate things, you gain a +3 to your Athletics score.

Bruising Strength.Roll Athletics at +1 whenever using that Skill in conjunction with grappling (page 211). This also allows you to inflict a 2-stress hit on an opponent as a supplemental action during a grapple.

Superior Strength.Whenever using your Athletics to modify (page 214) another Skill, it always provides a +1 regardless of the actual comparison of your Athletics score to the Skill in question.

Hammer Blows.With attacks that depend on muscular force (Fists, thrown Weapons, etc.), you are at +2 to damage, increasing the stress dealt by two on a successful hit.

Healing (Varies)

Timeless Healing (-0)

Description: You heal completely from any injury but at a regular pace.


Total Recovery.You’re able to recover from physical harm that would leave a normal person permanently damaged. You can recover totally from any consequence (including extreme ones) with no other excuse besides time; simply waiting long enough will eventually heal you completely. If you are Taken Out due to physical trauma, you regain consciousness at the beginning of the next scene. In the case of extreme dismemberment, you regenerate from the largest portion of your body, regaining consciousness when enough of your body is restored to support it. Depending on the damage suffered, that may take a very long time.

Impressive Healing (-2)

Description: You heal slightly faster normal, with everything from cuts and bruises to broken bones healing in a few days.

Musts:  This ability replaces Timeless Healing.


Total Recovery.  As with Timeless Healing.

Fast Recovery. Out of combat, you may recover from physical consequences as if they were one level lower in severity. So, you recover from moderate consequences as though they were mild, etc. Consequences reduced below mild are always removed by the beginning of a subsequent scene.

Shrug It Off. In combat, once per scene, you may clear away a mild physical consequence as a supplemental action.

Amazing Healing (-4)

Description: You heal significantly faster than a normal person. Broken bones and serious trauma heal in minutes.

Musts:  This ability replaces Timeless Healing.


Total Recovery.  As with Timeless Healing.

Amazing Recovery. Out of combat, you may recover from physical consequences as if they were two levels lower in severity. So, you recover from severe consequences as though they were mild, etc. Consequences reduced below mild are always removed by the beginning of a subsequent scene.

Just a Scratch. In combat, twice per scene, you may clear away a mild physical consequence as a supplemental action.

Miraculous Healing (-6)

Description: You heal near instantly, ignoring all but the gravest of wounds.

Musts:  This ability replaces Timeless Healing.


Total Recovery.  As with Timeless Healing.

Unbelievable Recovery. Out of combat, you may recover from all physical consequences before the beginning of the next scene after you receive them!

You’ll Have To Do Better Than That. Three times per scene, you may clear away a mild physical consequence as a supplemental action.

Herb Lore (–2)

Description: Your detailed knowledge of herbs and other natural medicinals allows you to create potions and salves with properties that modern science would consider magical.

Skills Affected: Scholarship, plus others.


Magical Draughts.  Make a Good (+3) Scholarship check to create a potion that grants a +2 to a specific action (running, swordfighting, singing, etc.) that lasts for one hour. Extra shifts can be used to increase the bonus or the duration.

True Deathlessness (-4)

Description:  You are incapable of dying and will return to life regardless of what trauma you might suffer. How quickly this occurs is determined by the Healing power.


True Immortality. You can never be Taken Out by physical trauma, even by another Timeless.

Spirit Companion (–2)

Description: You have a mystical connection to some sort of spirit, be it an ancestor, a nature spirit or a totem animal, that guides and assists you.

Skills Affected: Empathy.


Spectral Guidance.  You can call on your spirit guide for additional insights and assistance with a situation. With a Good (+3) Empathy check, the GM reveals to you one Aspect or piece of information that would otherwise be impossible for you to know. For example, your spirit guide might inform you that the business man your dealing with has Secret Cayman Bank Accounts, or that you’ll land on in the bed of a passing truck if you jump off the bridge in exactly 6 seconds.

So, please let me know what you think!

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1 Response to Timeless RPG: Flashbacks, Powers and Misc

  1. TriskalJM says:

    A couple of thoughts here.

    I like the Flashback idea, although I agree with what Brian said on Twitter yesterday about making it more player-centric than GM-centric. I’m a little concerned about how many Aspects could come into play here. I’d almost want to limit it to one by the player, one by the GM, and have the player be able to spend a FATE point to make the Aspect permanent.

    I think it’d be interesting to have Aura Absorption give the player an Aspect from the dead Highlander, possibly replacing an existing one. This has implications, but I think it’s a neat idea.

    I’m with Brian on removing True Deathlessness, too. Just integrate it into all the PCs.

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