independent games & design by Nathan D. Paoletta



About The Game

A Roleplaying Game of Cinematic Time Travel

Timestream is a game about telling the stories that surround those who can move through and play with time itself. It’s about playing with Time, but not having to keep track of every little detail. It’s about living out your dreams, whether they be in ancient Rome or future Australia, fantastic Avalon or the Wierd West. It’s about balancing your emotional attachments with your power.

More Information

The principles behind the game are as follows: ease of play, cinematic time travel, and emergent story. Ease of play means that the game is pretty easy to play - two dice, an integrated set of consistent mechanics, all the information you need for your character is on the sheet, and so on. There’s also a complete Index and Table of Contents/Glossary to make looking up anything you need on the fly as intuitive as possible.

Cinematic time travel means that time travel has meaning, but isn’t complicated. It effects your character, and the story in very profound ways - but the game is oriented such that paradoxical situations can be glossed over in order to get to the good stuff. Though, if you think that is the good stuff, you can focus on that, too. The game includes rules for setting the “dials” of paradox and the restrictions on time travel to whichever level works for your group.

Also, time travel isn’t your only option. You can also play someone who manipulates time as it flows around them, stopping it, looping it or jumping in and out of it as they see fit. Or, you could play someone who can both time travel and manipulate time, but is as the beck and call of a more powerful force, from an alien race to a god to a malevolent supercomputer. These three different Styles - Travel, Temporal Manipulation and Thralldom - all present unique opportunities in play.

Emergent story means that the game is structured so that, as soon as you start, your group has a set of threads and connections to weave together. It’s not your traditional RPG in that there's no need for a “party”, or for the GM to do all the work of coming up with a plot or other characters. Your characters will be connected across time, and exploring those connections will create your plot for you. This does mean that everyone at the table has to be involved - but it also means that everyone will have a reason to be.



Purchase The Game

Timestream was available as a full color 6"x9" perfectbound softcover (premier edition), a black-and-white spiral-bound softcover (reference edition), and PDF. It was released in 2005.

It is now available as a pay-what-you-want PDF (including free!). 

Other Outlets

(Spiral-bound version only)

Pay What You Want