Grays Sports Almanac
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Basic Information

A time travel trope, Grays Sports Almanac is an item that is perfectly innocuous in its own time period but will change history in a dramatic (and invariably negative) way if brought into and left behind in the past. Typically this is either because pasttimers can get valuable information about their future from it or because it can be reversed-engineered to generate a quick technological advance that wasn't supposed to happen yet. (Though a sufficiently miraculous artifact could also change history just by radically affecting scientific, philosophical and religious thought.)

This is an ideal MacGuffin. Even though it's worthless to them, the people who left the item will be compelled to reclaim it. And while the item holds vast potential value for people in the past, it's not of any immediate use to them.



Game and Story Use

  • If time traveling PCs are careless enough to leave reference works or advanced technology in the past, hitting them with this can be interesting. If they're generally careless you can prepare a scenario for when they eventually make this mistake.
  • The hero stumbles on a future item with vast potential, but soon after time travelers from the future arrive to get it back. Will he fight them to keep it? What if they and their future aren't all that good? Does keeping their future from coming to pass (and thus negating their existence) make having killed them to do that less unethical?
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