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Kingdomon: Enter the Sub-Verse

In which we dance on the edge of the abyss, as story gamers do.

The Kingdom Legacy game we’ve been playing for almost two years has suddenly taken a bold, dangerous turn. Not content to merely keep having immense fun every week, we made an unplanned and spontaneous escalation that threatens the entire foundation of our campaign.

You guessed it: TIME TRAVEL.

The weird thing is, we had no intention of introducing time travel. None whatsoever. In this era of the history our Kingdom is the SS Melody, an exploratory submarine seeking out new Jedo (read as: Pokemon) and new civilizations on the other side of the globe. We wanted a very Star Trek-meets-Life Aquatic quirky exploration vibe. We had played this era before, and had fun dealing with pirates and discovering “terrifying” Leviafins, but didn’t really hit the tone we had in mind. So months later we decided to return and take the Melody for another voyage with some new cast members.

Adorable Leviafin monster, brought to life by Caroline. Food for scale.

In our first new Crossroad, an accident led to the release of all our captured Jedo, leaving them to scurry all over the ship, and led to some deep philosophical questions about the nature of the “kingdo discs” (q.v. Pokeballs) that we use to capture wild pocket monsters for dueling and training. What’s it even like in there? Are they in stasis? Are they pacing around in a little room? These experiments led to an unlucky human crew member getting sucked into a disc’s crystal matrix. Whoops!

And now the escalation snowball was rolling down the mountain because the next step was *the entire submarine* and the full crew being accidentally sucked into the disc matrix… which, as it turned out, wasn’t just storing things in individual discs. The discs themselves were links to the subatomic world: the “Sub-Verse”, if you will. A whole other microcosmic universe, where the Melody could now sail around exploring realms of matter never before seen by human eyes. Were all the disc’ed Jedo floating around in there, having a good time? Yes they were.

This alone was enough to completely flip our lids, 70 games into this campaign. It fit and explained any number of things we had established in past and future eras of our history.

But of course before we start our next Crossroad, we have to hammer out the details of how it’s going to work. We had wondered before if Jedo were in stasis or perceived time passing while they waited to be summoned for a tournament, so now that we knew that they were conscious and roaming around, we pondered how does time pass here versus the normal world? Slower? Faster? The same? We decided well maybe it varied unpredictably, sometimes months would seem like days, other times it might match the real world perfectly. Aka whatever was the most interesting for the story at any particular time, we could do.

Then Al says something along the lines of “I want us to be able to look out through kingdo discs out into the real world!” Huh? Okay. Sure, that makes sense: we had established the discs were just connections between the Sub-Verse and the normal material world. So we can fire up the sensor table and use it to make “windows” to peek out to where discs are, assuming we find the matching spot in the Sub-Verse or whatever. Because the underlying question of course is whether the Melody can ever return to the normal world, but we don’t want to get into that yet because we’re much more excited to explore this whole new world and not just run away.

But now the alchemy of group creativity starts to get a mind of its own. When you put your ingredients in the pot, sometimes you can’t predict what comes out. Conclusions you did not foresee become irrefutable.

Because if the passage of time varies in the Sub-Verse, or clearly behaves differently than in the normal universe, couldn’t we see out to different points in time? And since we warped in through a disc connection in the first place, couldn’t we go back out again… INTO A DIFFERENT TIME?!?!?

Boom, mic drop. We had, inadvertently, laid a very logical foundation for time travel, without ever intending to create time travel.

Do we close our eyes and back away quietly, shut the door and pretend this never happened? Or do we put our entire beloved campaign at risk by leaping in with both feet, potentially undermining everything we have created together over the last 70 games???

I’ll give you one guess…

NEXT UP: Back to Kin Je’do, or Taking On the Warlord, Take 2!

    Ben Robbins | December 6th, 2021 | , , , , | show comments