by Jonathan Leistiko
inspired by the February ’09 BGDF Game Design Showdown
Revised March 2, 2009
A time jump has gone bad. Now there are two copies of you: You, and your evil twin from a parallel dimension! Eliminate your evil twin before he or she eliminates you.
Travel through time and space and manipulate the timestream to erase all trace of your opponent. Sacrificing time-clones of yourself, although not desirable, may be necessary.
We use stackable counters in different colors as pawns and tokens. If you don’t have stackable counters, we recommend using nickels and pennies as pawns, quarters for Havens, dimes for Hazards and Wounds, and nickels for Energy.
Claim a set of pawns, an Energy token, and a six-sided die.
Put the board in between the players. Each numbered row represents a specific location. All spaces in the middle column are locations in the present. The columns to one side represent the same locations in the future. The columns on the other side are the same locations in the past.
Place your pawn in a Present space. If a pawn is already on the board, do not place your pawn four spaces away from your opponent’s pawn.
Set the tokens nearby.
Play takes place in phases. Everyone gets to act in each phase before the next phase starts. The phases are: Energize, Initiative, Act, The March, and The Future.
Gain one energy for each pawn you have on the board.
Hide 0 or more energy in your hand. Hold out that hand. When everyone has hands out, reveal what’s in your hand. If you reveal the most energy, you choose who acts first in the Act phase. If you’re tied, roll to determine a winner. All revealed energy is spent.
Starting with the first player, take turns activating pawns. After you activate a pawn, your opponent gets to do the same, then control returns to you, and so on. Each pawn you control can act once.When a pawn finishes acting, set it on its side to indicate you’ve used it. When a pawn acts, it can Move, Exert, and Shift. It can do each of these things once, and it can do these things in any order.
Moving (through space):
Roll your six-sided die. Move your pawn to a space exactly that many steps away in the same temporal zone.
Example: Present location 1 wraps around to Present location 8 and vice versa. If you are in Present location 6 and roll a 3, you must move to Present location 1 or Present location 3.
Example: A pawn with two wounds lands in a space with three Hazards. The Hazards trigger and turn into three wounds. The pawn has five wounds and is removed from the board, along with the wounds.
Example: A pawn with two wounds lands in a space with one Hazard and one Haven. The Hazard triggers first and turns into a wound. The pawn has three wounds and is removed from the board, along with the wounds. The Haven stays in play.
When a pawn exerts, it may: Gather Power or Alter Fate.
Shifting (in time):
Spend up to four energy. Move the pawn one step, into an adjacent future or past version of the pawn’s current space, for every energy you spent.
All pieces in the Distant Past move into the Permanent Past and are removed from play. All pieces in the Immediate Past move into the Distant Past. All pieces in the Present place copies of themselves in the Immediate Past. All pieces in the Near Future move into the Present. All pieces in the Far Future move into the Near Future.
Roll the ten- and 12-sided dice. Place a Hazard token in the Far Future spaces in the location numbers you rolled. Ignore results that are not on the board.
Roll the dice again, but place Haven tokens this time.
Example: I roll a 7 and an 11. A Hazard appears in the Far Future of location 7. I roll again and get a 3 and 7. Havens appear in the Far Future in locations 3 and 7. Location 7 has a Hazard and a Haven on it. Note that Hazards and Havens can share a space.
If every player has at least one pawn on the board, play continues with a new Energize phase. If only you have a pawn in play, you win. If no pawns are on the board, you both lose.
Like I said at the top of this page, this game was designed for the February 2009 BGDF Game Design Showdown. The mandatory component was, “roll and move,” and the thematic component was, “back in time.” I’ve wanted to make a time travel game for a long time now – probably ever since I played Andy Looney’s Chrononauts.
It all came together quite rapidly. I’m pretty sure it started with the idea of a simple loop of 8 to 12 spaces that you could move along in space. I wanted to use 12 for 12 hours in a day, but went with 8 because it worked well with a six-sided die and created a board that was crowded enough, but not too crowded. Once I knew that I wanted the players to roll and move on a simple straight line, I knew that I wanted them to be able to visit those spaces back and forward in time. Instead of setting up some kind of complex means of tracking every instance of every space on the board, I realized that the board could have a limited number of duplicate spaces for past and future versions of the spaces. This also meant that the players could move to those spaces; moving in time. I liked this because it helped alleviate the frustration of the highly restricted “roll and move” mechanic for moving in space.
I started thinking about combat, and the implications of how complex combat could be between time travelers. I promptly decided to prevent direct combat, and that’s how the, “share a space, get popped by paradox,” rules came about. The ability to create and destroy Hazards and Havens in other instances of the same location immediately followed.
There used to be a different story involving your corrupt boss at the Time Agency setting you on your opponent in the hopes that you’d both eliminate each other. Big thanks to Ben Gibbs for the current version of the story.
The game was originally called TimeLoop, then Duplicity. Thanks to Sharon for the current name: Duplexity.
Big thanks to Sharon Cichelli, “Mr. Huggles”, Carlo Lackey, Jon Porobil, and Frank Swehosky for their time and input. Thanks to Almostel for excellent questions that clarified the game.
I’m shopping this game around to publishers. If you like this game and would like to see it published commercially, please let me know (either in the comments, or by email). If you do not like this game, I welcome and appreciate your constructive feedback. Similarly, suggestions for improvements are welcome.