Preview: Denizens of the Plex, the Tourist

This is the 25th installment in a series of previews designed to introduce newcomers to Chronoplex. In this, the tenth in a series about typical characters found in the Plex, we learn about one of the most clueless spanners.


The Tourist

Description: Despite the Confederation’s assurances that inter-aggregate travel is tightly regulated, the demand for extra-temporal sightseeing has led to the rise of a thriving underground tourism network. Whether they’ve paid big money for the most unusual vacation they could find or just happened to stumble into an unexpected vacation, tourists are out to see the world as it unfolds through the linear ages.

Tourists have a fairly unflattering reputation among seasoned spanners, and to be fair many of the stereotypes have been earned honestly. Tourists are some of the worst when it comes to ‘blending in’ with different linear societies. It’s not uncommon to find a modern tourist meandering through the Middle Ages in a Hawaiian shirt or Bermuda shorts, totally unaware of the unwanted attention it’s drawing. Likewise, a tourist from the Middle Ages might marvel at a modern toilet and may raise a few eyebrows by drinking from it. Basically, tourists are out of their element and either don’t know how, or don’t care, to mask it.

Given this prejudice, one might conclude that no sane spanner would ever want to travel with a tourist. However, what tourists lack in cultural awareness, they make up for in perception. They bring a fresh set of eyes to a situation and will often notice big picture details that escape a veteran spanner. You might say they see only the forest and not the trees. Also, there is some truth to the saying “ignorance is bliss.” Tourists rarely have any idea what danger they’re in, which means they are willing to walk into situations that most spanners wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. This is an oft exploited trait for less scrupulous spanners.

Relationships: Tourists need a companion. It’s possible they might survive on their own through sheer dumb luck, but the odds aren’t in their favor. There are several types of spanners that are willing to travel with, or even seek out, tourists. Guides frequently pair up with tourists because… well, that’s their business. Explorers and thrill seekers will sometimes travel with a tourist purely for the unintentional excitement they bring to a journey. Also, smugglers will frequently utilize tourists’ clueless nature to move ’sensitive’ goods through high security check points.

Spanning: Tourists want to see everything! Getting them to span isn’t a problem. Keeping them out of trouble between one tube and the next? That’s more of a challenge. Anyone traveling with a tourist must be constantly vigilant or else willing to cut them loose at the first sign of danger.

Talent Focus: Tourists benefit greatly from awareness and will with a secondary focus on charm and agility. Tourists tend to have a surprisingly insightful fresh perspective on everything around them and are always hungry to press on and see more. When things get difficult, it helps to be able to talk their way out, or, failing all else, to be able to run.


Thanks for following my progress on Chronoplex. Check back in two weeks when we finish up the series of common characters found in the Plex with perhaps the most common of all: The Transient.

Posted in Game Design

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