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Enter the Nexus!

16 Apr

Some last thoughts on The Multiverse & The Nexus

In the previous posts on the Multiverse and the Nexus, the possibilities of how these could be used in a campaign. Whenever a Nexus is involved in my game, there is either some reason for the focus on one or it is just an opportunity to spice up things with a change of pace. If it is too easy to walk around the planes and other dimensions, then they become old hat, so a GM should avoid Nexus travel being a common thing. Even a stable Nexus portal that is keyed specifically between two points of the Multiverse should have potential dangers.

When accessing a Nexus, unless the GM does not currently wish for ir to occur, there should always be a chance for malfunction and ending up in in another world or perhaps nowhere at at all. Some Nexus’ may phase in and out of existence in the player’s world, while others may require magical or technological opening… hopefully to a place where those Sleestak aren’t!

Examples of the Nexus in Science Fiction:
In Traveller, a mis-jump could be used as a Nexus to a parallel Universe or worse! In Planet of the Apes a mis-jump took the astronauts thousands of years into the future, but not to their target destination. The TARDIS of Doctor Who is a portable, technological time-space Nexus – which tends to malfunction a lot. There are several new Sci-Fi Retro Clone games that have or are coming out where a space-time anomaly could be a method to introduce new elements into the game. A new alien species might appear, as the tear in the fabric of the Universe allows them in.  The starfarers might end up hopping inside their own Universe because of a warp accident and end up in uncharted space.

These are just a few of the possibilities, some of which I have used in my games. How do you, as a GM, use the concepts of the Multiverse and Nexus portals in your game world?

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Nexus: Portals to other places and times…

16 Apr

Nexus : Portals to other places and times…

These ‘gates’ provide a supernatural exchange where all possibilities meld and merge, allowing anything to happen. Opening into temporal, spatial, and dimensional locations, the gates lead to places in dreams, uncharted jungle worlds, or steams of time not yet seen…”  From What Is The Nexus? an Arduin World Of Khaas web supplement by Emperor’s Choice Games & Miniatures

Many of us have seen the Stargate movie or the spinoff TV series. The Stargate is a strange piece of technology that is a portal to another world and other dimensions.

In a previous post I considered the concept of the Multiverse, which is a theoretical possibility according to Quantum Physics. In Roleplaying games, the Multiverse means opportunities to introduce characters to diverse playing experiences. Somehow the players must get to these alternate worlds and places, but how? A Nexus Gate is one such way to accomplish this, but is by no means the only one.

A Nexus brings the potential for other beings to enter into or exit from the home world/dimension. Sometimes these events are random and happen purely by accident. Sometimes they are timed events – “The Nexus opens every 1000 years when the 3 moons align.”

In a D&D campaign, a Nexus gate might be activated by arcane magic. In a Science Fiction campaign, technological gates, black holes and warp space events are prime candidates for opening these portals into other worlds. Some gates are just anomalies occurring between the various Universes. Some are tied to natural places of power – the largest mountain, deepest dungeon, a specific plain, Ley lines , etc. like in H.P. Lovecraft’s tales or as in the Arduin and RIFTS games.

A Nexus that can be controlled can mean power to those that control it. Wars for control of a Nexus to keep beings out or to allow them in is one plot hook that could drag the characters into the Nexus.

The Pylons of the old Land of the Lost TV show are an example of a Nexus Gate. They are hard to control and can cause as much trouble as good, but they have the ability to loop time, alter the world and other fantastic powers!

Perhaps the PCs will find they are in a quest to return their own timelines to normal after their arch-nemesis has altered the current one to their detriment. They will need to find and activate a Nexus (no easy thing sometimes!) to attempt to reconfigure the timeline. Or maybe they will enter and find that they are in an Old West + Sorcery version of their world. In an RPG campaign, these abilities of a Nexus Gate are determined as the Gamemaster sees fit – the only limit is imagination.

I am glad that back in the day, when I started my first serious campaign, I placed it in the Arduin setting, because it made the Multiverse & the Nexus an important aspect of the game that I love.

Step into the Nexus and see where it takes you!

-Jeff
“Retro”