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Does Postcognition work on someone who commits the Grandfather Paradox?

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  • Does Postcognition work on someone who commits the Grandfather Paradox?

    You travel back in time and kill your grandfather before he had children, then return to the present in a world where you were never born. Does Postcognition reveal you as having a history prior to returning from your time-traveling, or do other mages see you as simply coming into existence ex nihilo at that moment, with nothing before it?

    In other words, is your metaphysical history tied to your pattern, or tied to the timeline of the world you're in?
    Last edited by Strill; 04-21-2017, 12:40 AM.

  • #2
    I always considered the ex nihilo option to be the case. You pretty much jump into another timeline where you never were. I also always thought that a person jumping back in time and causing such a significant event pretty much pops out of existence (from the perspective of other mages looking back in time) the moment such a momentous action is taken, although the mages on that timeline still remember him. The mage in question basically rounds a proverbial time corner on the streets of time and railroads himself into another timeline.

    The timelines ("streets") would be like the letter Y, where you look into the past from the perspective of one of the forked branches. You can watch the mage who went into the past, but only until he causes an action that would place him on the other fork.

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    • #3
      You can't actually commit the grandfather paradox anyway since you can't travel further back than the starting point of your own existence.

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      • #4
        Ex nihilo. I think there was a character somewhere who ended up erasing his past like that. He took something that meant "Nobody" as his new Shadow Name.

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        • #5
          The only way for a mage to directly commit the Grandfather paradox is to be an archmaster, since they can go to before their birth. It is possible for a regular mage to indirectly cause it by sending someone older than them back in time and having them prevent the mage's existence.

          But, the book says that temporal paradoxes aren't really possible. Magic takes care of the details. A mage who returns to the present where he doesn't exist returns to a world that doesn't know him.

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          • #6
            If a Mage sent an agent back in time to kill his grandfather then he would additionally need to Shield himself against changes to the past in order to prevent being erased.

            I presume that the guy in the fiction sections of the core book went back via an Iris or an archmaster's machinations or he'd never have been able to erase his own past like that.

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            • #7
              Shouldn't need a shielding spell. The section on Time says you're naturally insulated against changes: "Travelers are insulated against the alterations of history; a mage who prevents her own birth returns to a world that does not know her, but does not vanish from existence." Shielding prevents others from changing your past, I think.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by projectmoon View Post
                Shouldn't need a shielding spell. The section on Time says you're naturally insulated against changes: "Travelers are insulated against the alterations of history; a mage who prevents her own birth returns to a world that does not know her, but does not vanish from existence." Shielding prevents others from changing your past, I think.
                If you send an agent back to prevent your birth then you aren't the traveler. That's why you would need to Shield against any changes they might make. In other words you're just repeating what I said.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post

                  If you send an agent back to prevent your birth then you aren't the traveler. That's why you would need to Shield against any changes they might make. In other words you're just repeating what I said.

                  Yes, that would make sense. I misread your original post.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by projectmoon View Post
                    But, the book says that temporal paradoxes aren't really possible. Magic takes care of the details. A mage who returns to the present where he doesn't exist returns to a world that doesn't know him.
                    The question is, if you do that and return to a world that doesn't know you, does a Mage using Postcognition to view your past before the point where you returned see anything at all?

                    I would assume no.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post

                      The question is, if you do that and return to a world that doesn't know you, does a Mage using Postcognition to view your past before the point where you returned see anything at all?

                      I would assume no.
                      Causality is part of the Lie. Everything Doc Brown taught you is part of the Lie. An Awakened using postcognition on another Awakened who has changed time, would see what the awakened's real history, not the one believed by sleepers. Of course this is just as I understand

                      Also, Active Time Mage Sight can be used to detect if someone has been time travelling and it can detect distortions in the timeline. Also, I believe the only time travel spell that is Lasting is Corridors of Time.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                        If a Mage sent an agent back in time to kill his grandfather then he would additionally need to Shield himself against changes to the past in order to prevent being erased.

                        I presume that the guy in the fiction sections of the core book went back via an Iris or an archmaster's machinations or he'd never have been able to erase his own past like that.
                        You can still go back and "kill" yourself as a baby/younger self, then when you return you have erased some of your own past. Your wife, child and whole life has been erased. I think this is what happened in the core story.
                        “A long time ago, I was recruited for a mission by my master. He sent me back in time, to accomplish a critical mission.
                        He should have known better. I was young, and careless, and I did irreparable damage to my own history. I returned to
                        a Consilium that had never heard of me, to a wife that never met me and married someone else, and to…my daughter,
                        who was never born. ‘Outis’ means ‘No one,’ because I don’t have a life outside my Shadow any more. Being Interfector
                        is part punishment, part putting me to some sort of use. And when I looked at the door…”
                        not quite sure how they managed it tbh tho, maybe "master" is an archmaster..

                        Also, I believe the only time travel spell that is Lasting is Corridors of Time.
                        Corridors of time has a duration, ie how long you stay in the past, anything changed when you get back could be considered "lasting" but thats not really the right term even tho it says it in the book, id have said final over lasting.
                        Last edited by totalgit; 04-21-2017, 11:50 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by totalgit View Post
                          Corridors of time has a duration, ie how long you stay in the past, anything changed when you get back could be considered "lasting" but thats not really the right term even tho it says it in the book, id have said final over lasting.
                          Well, that is what Lasting means. Basically "everything this spell changed stays that way until something else changes it" So Lasting is the correct term.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by totalgit View Post

                            You can still go back and "kill" yourself as a baby/younger self, then when you return you have erased some of your own past. Your wife, child and whole life has been erased. I think this is what happened in the core story.

                            not quite sure how they managed it tbh tho, maybe "master" is an archmaster..



                            Corridors of time has a duration, ie how long you stay in the past, anything changed when you get back could be considered "lasting" but thats not really the right term even tho it says it in the book, id have said final over lasting.
                            You just need a Master who has mastered Time to end up in his situation. He didn't prevent his own birth, just a certain amount of his own history after that point.

                            Lasting is the correct term for changes rendered after a bit of time travel either by the spell's Duration running out and booting you back to the present, or catching up to the present.

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                            • #15
                              Outis didn't say he died, just that he did irreparable damage to his own history leaving a Consilium and a wife who had never heard of him. He may have come back to discover he was living under a bridge or sitting in prison for a crime he didn't live through committing.
                              ​In the case of Post cognition I would say that if you used his childhood home or other touch stone as a focus then no, the spell wouldn't find him. If instead you used him as the touch stone then yes, his flesh and mind do bear the marks of that history, he still has the scars.

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