Veteran Chrononaut

This page is about the Time Travel Character Archetype of an experienced and capable time traveler. For the list of crazy cool things such a character can do with a time machine, see Temporal Tricks.

Basic Information

The Veteran Chrononaut is a seasoned Time Traveler. He knows his Time Machine or Time-Manipulating Power inside and out, and can pull all the really cool tricks with it. He's The Ace of Time Travel.

He may still goof up from time to time and create a Temporal Paradox when he didn't mean to, but when that happens, he doesn't panic. He jumps to the distant past (so as to be safely isolated from the Delayed Ripple Effect, if the setting allows them) or future (where he can research what went wrong), where he'll have "all the time in the world" to figure out an effective solution. Patience and Confidence are hallmarks of the Veteran Chrononaut.

Preparedness is one of their strengths as well: they'll have multiple alter-egos ready to assume at a moments notice, the best equipment available at their era without noticeable anachronism. They'll speak a wide variety of languages, and know where and when to go to access any need they might be missing. He or she is likely to have committed to memory a list of worst years ever, and will know what times and places to just avoid in the first place. They'll be keeping track of their vaccinations against the long-lost bacteria and viral infections of every era they plans to visit, and probably have some sort of generalized immune system boost gained via the application of The Future Of Nanotechnology In Medicine.

The Veteran Chrononaut is likely to know about all of the temporal tricks. He'll be able to do any that are possible given his technology and the laws of temporal physics in the setting. He'll probably have tested those that are dangerous or theoretical, and has a good idea whether or not they'll work.

In addition to those listed on the Temporal Tricks page, he'll be familiar with the limitations or applicability of the following tropes:

Unlike the Temporal Physics Professor, the Chrononaut is not necessarily an expert on the science and theory of time travel. Instead, he has an intuitive understanding of the practical applications and limits of his abilities. He can probably fix the most common Time Machine malfunctions, but might lack the know-how to build one from scratch. If his machine breaks catastrophically in a primitive era, he may have to take The Slow Path.


1. RPG: Continuum. Features a tiered status system that prevents characters from advancing to the higher levels until both the player and the character are no longer bewildered novices.
2. Campaign: The Short Bus Spanners. Campaign log to a Continuum Campaign that r_b_bergstrom ran where everyone started out as Bewildered Time Novices in session one, but most slowly grew towards Veteran Chrononaut or Temporal Physics Professor archetypes.

Game and Story Use

  • Natural Selection ensures that most Time Travelers encountered will fit this paradigm. The foolish ones either wiped themselves out of existence, got arrested by the Time Police, or were eaten by Clock Roaches. This is parallel to how WWII fighter pilots tended to fall into two categories: The Ace and the guy who died on his first mission.
    • Exceptions will be those who barely survive the first trip and swear off time travel for ever, and those who had a Veteran Chrononaut as a mentor or protector. The later is like the companions of Dr Who.
  • The character arc from Bewildered Time Novice to Veteran Chrononaut can be fun and very rewarding to play out.
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