Arcane Tradition: Chronomancy (with spells)

You can find a printer-friendly .pdf copy of this page here.

This article was edited Feb. 11, 2017 based on feedback and playtesting.

ARCANE TRADITION: SCHOOL OF CHRONOMANCY

As a student of the School of Chronomancy, you have learned to feel the passage of time like a constant stream running past you. Its four-dimensional patterns weave about all things like a great fabric that you can tug and twist. Some chronomancers dedicate their lives to repairing the inevitable rifts and wrinkles that such manipulation leaves in this fabric. They accept the responsibility of such power with grim obligation. Others plunge headlong into the strange, unknown world outside of linear time, plundering its secrets for their own ends.

Chronomancy Savant

Beginning when you select this tradition at 2nd level, the gold and time you must spend to copy a chronomancy spell into your spellbook is halved.

Versant Preparation

Starting at 2nd level, you learn the hourglass cantrip if you don’t already know it. You also gain the ability to inform your past self which spells are most useful to prepare. When you finish a short rest, you can swap out up to three spells you have prepared for spells you didn’t prepare, so long as you haven’t cast them since you prepared them. You can’t use this feature again until you take a long rest.

Chronal Control

At 6th level, your mastery over the flow of time increases, allowing you to send your consciousness back in time while your body lingers in the present. This capability is represented by special dice called chronal dice. Using these dice, you assist your past self and improve the effectiveness of your actions. The catch is that when you gain the benefit of chronal control in the present, you must then take time in the future to cause it.

Your chronal dice are d6s, and you have a number of them equal to half your wizard level, rounded down. By expending a die and using your reaction, you can create one of the following effects.

  •  After you roll an attack, ability check, or saving throw, roll the chronal control die and add the result to your previous roll.
  • Roll the chronal control die and add the result to the DC of the next saving throw made against a spell you cast.
  • You immediately move a distance up to your speed without provoking opportunity attacks.
  • Cancel the effects of surprise on yourself. You may also choose to cry out, preventing every creature that can hear you from being surprised.

When you end a turn during which you used this feature, you become paralyzed until the end of your next turn while you reverse time long enough to cause the above effect. You can delay becoming paralyzed by expending additional chronal dice when you use this feature. For every additional die you spend, you delay the paralyzed condition for 2 additional turns. At any time before the designated turn ends, you can choose to become paralyzed early in order to end this requirement.

While paralyzed, your consciousness travels a few moments back in time to help your past self. If you are reduced to 0 hit points before the condition ends, or if you should become paralyzed from this feature while already incapacitated for any reason, you enter a causal anomaly.

When you enter a causal anomaly, you drop anything you were holding, vanish from existence, and begin making death saving throws. If you stabilize, your body appears unconscious in the space it previously occupied along with the gear you were wearing. If you fail three death saving throws while in a causal anomaly, you cease to exist, along with whatever objects were on your person.

You regain all your expended chronal dice when you finish a long rest.

Closed Timelike Loop

When you reach 10th level, you add the timelike curve spell to your spellbook if it is not there already. You always have this spell prepared, and it doesn’t count against the number of spells you prepare each day.

In addition, whenever you cast a spell that interacts with another dimension or plane (such as banishment, contact other plane, gate, or plane shift), you can instead substitute a place in the timestream that matches the description, interacting with that temporal point as if it were a plane of existence. The point in time you choose cannot exceed a number of years ahead or behind you equal to 10 × your wizard level. At 10th level, for example, you might use the banishment spell to cast a creature 100 years backward in time.

When you cast a spell this way, it is considered a chronomancy spell for that casting in addition its usual school.

Tailored Relativity

Beginning at 14th level, you can expend a chronal die to take one additional action or bonus action. You can use that action to cast a spell, regardless of any other spells you’ve cast this turn.

Additionally, instead of gaining the benefit yourself, you can apply the chosen effect of a chronal die you expend to any creature within 30 feet of you. You still become paralyzed once the die is expended, as normal.

Aftermath by Sandara

Aftermath by Sandara

THE SCHOOL OF CHRONOMANCY

Chronomancy spells interact with the fabric of time. Often they slow or speed up the passage of linear events by twisting the timestream in unnatural directions. Because the practice of chronomancy is so closely guarded, the spells described in this section are added to the wizard spell list only.

CHRONOMANCY SPELLS

4th Level
Temporal tether
Timelike curve
Precipitous relativity

5th Level
Chronomantic eye
Despair of infinite agency
Folds of time

6th Level
Contingency*
Temporal winch

7th Level
Consecutive loop

8th Level
Axis of eternity
Existential paradox

9th Level
Chronal exile
Time stop*

Cantrips
Accelerate/decelerate
Compressed oration
Hourglass

1st Level
Chronal shift
Delay
Expeditious retreat*
Longstrider*
Scan timethread

2nd Level
Blur*
Specious relativity
Temporal barrier
Time dilation

3rd Level
Cosmic string
Convergent strike
Haste*
Slow*

 

*Versions of these spells exist that belong to the school of chronomancy. If not cast as a chronomancy spell, they belong to their usual schools. Spell descriptions for these spells are found in the D&D SRD and Basic Rules.


Accelerate/Decelerate

Chronomancy cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 round

You make a minor change to the way time interacts with a single creature or object within range. Until the end of your next turn, the target’s speed is reduced or increased by 10 feet. Likewise, if the creature falls 20 feet or less before the spell ends, it lands on its feet and has resistance to any falling damage it takes.

 

Axis of Eternity

8th-level chronomancy
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V, S, M (the powdered bones of a celestial, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Concentration, up to 24 hours

From you hand you blow the dust of a celestial’s bones, which becomes a whirling globe of crackling light in a 15-foot radius around you. Inside the globe, time does not exist. It is immobile and lasts for the duration. Creatures within the globe do not age, are immune to poison damage and the poisoned condition, cannot take levels of exhaustion, and do not need to sleep, eat, or breathe. They cannot benefit from a short or long rest while inside the globe.
From inside, creatures can see into the present time, watching events transpire there. If any creature enters or exits the globe, the spell ends.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell at 9th level, the duration becomes 1 month.

 

Chronal Exile

9th-level chronomancy
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S, M (an ornate spinning top crafted in a mold made by Ruethas himself, worth at least 200 gp per Hit Die of the target)
Duration: Life of the caster

With a glimmer, you activate a large spinning top which whirls in front of you in the air. When you speak the name of a creature within range, it must succeed on a Charisma saving throw or be sent howling into the riptide outside of linear time. It ceases to exist for the duration. If it is on its native plane, it has advantage on this saving throw.

If the target succeeds on its saving throw, the spell ends with no effect and the creature is immune to this spell if you cast it again. When you cast this spell, any previous casting of it ends, meaning that you can only exile one creature at a time.

 

Chronal Shift

1st-level chronomancy
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (a pinch of sand)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

By dropping a few grains of sand, you determine the degree to which time physically affects one creature or object you can see within range. Its aging, growth, metabolism, and deterioration are either slowed or accelerated.

If you slow the stamp of time on the target, it is protected from the effects of time while it remains within range until the spell ends. It does not appear to age or wear at all, and it has advantage on death saving throws, as well as saving throws against poison effects. It cannot benefit from a short or long rest while the spell lasts.

If you choose to speed up time’s effects on the target, it appears to age or wear down at twice the normal rate. For every level of exhaustion it gains, it gains one more. If an effect causes the target to make a saving throw on each of its turns, it instead makes a saving throw at the beginning and end of each turn.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the duration increases by 1 hour for each slot level above 1st.

 

Chronomantic Eye

5th-level chronomancy
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: Self
Components: V, S, M (a veil woven with cloth of gold worth at least 1,000 gp)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

You conjure visions of the past or future, which you can watch in real time. Choose a location you’ve seen before, and a time up to 24 hours in the past or future. If you choose a time more than 1 hour from the present, you must make an Intelligence (Arcana) check to successfully reach it. The DC for this check is 15. On a failed check, you reach a number of hours, forward or backward, equal to the result you rolled.

On a success, you create an invisible sensor in the chosen time and place, through which you can see and hear for the duration as if you were there. The sensor cannot move and appears to creatures that can see invisible objects as a tiny, dark orb with cat-like pupils.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, you can increase the distance you send the sensor in time by 24 hours for each slot level above 5th.

 

Compressed Oration

Chronomancy cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V
Duration: Instantaneous

With lightning speed, you spurt a string of high-pitched syllables at a creature within range that can hear you. The clipped, percussive sound only lasts a few moments, and sounds like bizarre gibberish to everyone in hearing other than the target. The chosen creature, on the other hand, hears it as an extensive communication, up to 10 minutes of normal speech.

 

Consecutive Loop

7th-level chronomancy
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (a timepiece worth at least 800 gp)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

A creature you can see within range must succeed on an Intelligence saving throw or become trapped in a single moment of time. Until the spell ends, the creature spends each of its turns repeating whatever actions it took on its last turn in exact detail. If it used the Attack action, it does so again, targeting the same space it attacked previously. If it cast a spell and has a similar slot available, it likewise repeats that action targeting the same space (or a creature within the same space) as it did on the repeating turn. If any condition interferes with the action, the target stubbornly attempts to perform it in vain.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 8th level, the duration increases to 1 hour. At 9th level, it increases to 3 days.

 

Cosmic String

3rd-level chronomancy
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: 200 feet
Components: S, M (a thread or length of yarn)
Duration: Instantaneous

You touch a creature or object, and it is instantly slung along a perfectly horizontal line of concentrated time fabric to a point you choose within range. This distance is reduced by 1 foot for each pound the target weighs.

 

Convergent Strike

3rd-level chronomancy
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: Instantaneous

With a fierce incantation you slow the passage of time to a torpid pace, just long enough to execute your next attack with deadly accuracy. You have advantage on the next attack roll you make before the end of your turn. If the result of this attack is 20 or higher, it is a critical hit.

 

Delay

1st-level chronomancy
Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take when you see a creature within 30 feet of you get hit by a weapon or spell attack, or fail a saving throw
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 round

You hold your hand up with the palm facing the creature that triggered your reaction, and place a chronal ward on it. Until the spell ends, any damage, condition, or other effect caused by the triggering event fails to occur. When the spell does end, however, the target is immediately affected as if the attack, spell, or saving throw had just been completed.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the duration increases by 1 round for each slot level above 1st.

 

Despair of Infinite Agency

5th-level chronomancy
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S, M (a hand mirror worth 250 gp, which shatters as the spell consumes it)
Duration: Instantaneous

One creature you can see and which can see you makes a Wisdom saving throw as you confront it with a mind-rending awareness of every possible timeline which belongs to it. Visions of the infinite choices it could have made during every moment of its life flash through the creature’s mind. On a failed save it takes 8d10 psychic damage, or half as much damage on a success.

 

EXISTENTIAL PARADOX

8th-level chronomancy
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Instantaneous

When you cast this spell, you focus on a creature you can see within range. The creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or have its consciousness thrust back in time to a moment before it existed. The existential shock of the experience causes it to take 20d10 psychic damage. If this damage reduces it to 0 hit points, the creature ceases to exist. Whether the save fails or succeeds, the creature gains a form of indefinite madness.

 

FOLDS OF TIME

5th-level chronomancy
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (a large cloth or cloak)
Duration: 1 round
You draw a length of cloth across a creature, burying it in a fold of the timestream. It becomes invisible and hidden from all creatures until the end of your next turn. This spell ends if the target attacks or casts a spell.

 

HOURGLASS

Chronomancy cantrip
Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take when you observe something that intrigues you
Range: Self
Components: V, S, M (an hourglass, jar, or other vessel)
Duration: 10 minutes

With a verbal command and a simple gesture, you capture a mental imprint of what you personally saw during the 6 seconds directly preceding the casting of this spell. For the duration, you can create an image of the imprint inside an empty vessel you are holding. You can play the imprinted sight in real time, reverse, and slow motion as repeatedly as you want until the spell ends. It is visible to anyone close enough to see it.

 

Precipitous Relativity

4th-level chronomancy
Casting Time: 1 action (ritual)
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S, M (three strings of yarn, each tied to one of your fingers)
Duration: 1 minute

You drastically accelerate or reverse the aging of one beast, dragon, humanoid, or plant you can see within range. Most crops and flowers are automatically killed by this spell, or transformed into a seed. Mature perennial plants may either change size by one category or have little visible effect, according to the GM’s discretion.

Creatures must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or grow 5d10 years older or younger (your choice). If its age is decreased below 0, the creature becomes an infant. It doesn’t die if aged beyond its typical life span.

By default, creatures are considered adults (for humans, ages 18-39), but your GM may choose to modify the effects of this spell based on the particular circumstance. An elderly cult leader may already be aged, or a young commoner just 10 years old, making it an adolescent. In such examples, the creature changes only enough to represent the difference between its starting age category and its new one.

Many creatures age differently from humans. In these cases, the GM makes a ruling based on available information on the lifespan of the targeted creature. If an adult dragon’s age were reduced from 140 years to 90 years, for example, your GM might simply swap its stat block for a young dragon of the same color. Starting age should be determined before you roll the dice.

This spell has no effect on monster types other than beasts, dragons, humanoids, and plants, but your GM may apply an exception if the creature is capable of aging.
The following effects come into play when a creature’s age category changes.

Infant. The creature’s ability scores all become 2, its maximum hit points drop to 1, its speed is reduced to 5 feet, its size is Tiny, it loses all benefits of its race, class, and background, and it is prone and stunned for the duration. Everything it was wearing or holding when the spell was cast drops to the ground around it. Humans up to age 3 belong to this category.

Child. The creature’s ability scores take a -8 penalty (minimum of 2), its maximum hit points drop to 3 + its Constitution modifier, and its speed is halved for the duration. Everything it was wearing when the spell was cast, as well as Heavy objects it was holding, drop to the ground around it. Humans aged 4-9 are children.

Adolescent. The creature receives a -2 penalty to its Wisdom, Strength, and Charisma scores, its maximum hit points are lowered by 3 for each of its Hit Dice, and its speed is reduced by 5 feet for the duration. Humans fall into this category from ages 10-17.

Middle-aged. The creature receives a +2 bonus to its Intelligence and Wisdom scores, a -2 penalty to its Constitution, and has disadvantage on Strength (Athletics) and Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks for the duration. A human between 40 and 65 is middle-aged.

Aged. The creature receives a +2 bonus to its Wisdom score, a -2 penalty to its Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Charisma scores, its maximum hit points are lowered by 20 (to a minimum of 3 + its Constitution modifier), all terrain is considered difficult terrain, attack rolls against it have advantage, and it automatically fails Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws for the duration. Between the ages of 66 and 100, humans are considered aged.

Ancient. The creature’s ability scores are all reduced to 4 and it is stunned for the duration, in addition to all the effects listed under aged. It drops everything it was holding when the spell was cast. Any creature past the upper limit of its life span is ancient.

 

Scan Timethread

1st-level chronomancy (ritual)
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (a single hair and a teardrop from the creature whose timethread you are scanning)
Duration: Instantaneous

Passing your hands in intricate gestures around a prostrate creature, you extend your vision into its past and present. You learn its exact age and see its happiest memory, as well as one grim moment from its future, determined by your GM. If the creature is older than 1,000 years, you take 2d10 psychic damage.

 

Specious Relativity

2nd-level chronomancy
Casting Time: 1 action (ritual)
Range: 30 feet
Components: S, M (a silver bell worth at least 50 gp)
Duration: 1 hour

You ring a bell, causing one creature that can hear it within range to lose all sense of linear time. As minutes and hours pass, the target’s internal clock is so disoriented that it cannot tell the span of one moment to another. For the duration, years seem like seconds and vice versa.

When the spell ends, an accurate memory of events slowly returns to the target over 1d10 days.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the duration increases by 1 hour for each slot level above 2nd.

 

Temporal Barrier

2nd-level chronomancy
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 90 feet
Components: V, S, M (a 3-foot strip of woven cloth)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

An invisible, floating wall of distorted spacetime appears at a point you choose within range, in any orientation. You can form it into a hemispherical dome or a sphere with a radius of up to 15 feet, or you can shape a flat surface made up of ten 10-foot-square panels. Each panel must be contiguous with another panel. In any form, the wall is 1 inch thick and lasts for the duration.

When the wall appears, each creature within its area must make a Strength saving throw, which it can choose to fail. On a failed save, a creature is incapacitated until the end of its turn. While incapacitated, creatures have their speed reduced to 5 feet and are immune to falling damage. Any creature that touches or passes through the wall must likewise make this saving throw.

 

Temporal Tether

4th-level chronomancy (ritual)
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (a rosemary blossom, a vial of red Liquor Hepatis, and 5 feet of flax rope)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

Your body is temporarily bound to its current axis in the fabric of time. Choose a space or creature you are touching. Until the spell ends, when you or the target are included in the effect of a chronal die or a chronomancy spell of 3rd-level or lower, you choose whether both of you are affected or neither or you are affected. A wizard using a chronal control effect can expend two additional chronal dice to ignore your use of this spell. If both you and the target are affected by the spell or chronal control effect, you cannot prevent it.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, its effect works on any spell whose level is less than the level of the spell slot you used.

 

Temporal Winch

6th-level chronomancy
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V, S, M (the string of a fiddle, harp, or other instrument)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

The timestream around you is restricted or expanded, affecting nearby creatures’ perception of time. You create a 30-foot sphere centered on yourself, within which time appears to either slow or accelerate.

If you choose to slow the manifestation of time, all creatures within the sphere can take an additional action or bonus action on their turn while the spell lasts. If instead you choose to accelerate it, the affected creatures can only take one bonus action and move a distance of half their speed (in whatever order they choose), after which their turn ends.

 

Time Dilation

2nd-level chronomancy
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

When you cast this spell, you stretch the timestream toward yourself, experiencing events a little slower than those around you, and enabling you to react quickly to what occurs. For the duration, you have advantage on attack rolls and ability checks.

At any point before the spell ends, you can shift your place in the initiative order to the present—though you can’t take another turn until after the end of the current round. Your turn remains there in the initiative order until you move it again as part of this spell.

 

Timelike Curve

4th-level chronomancy
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V, S, M (a tail feather of a young robin, and the egg from which it hatched)
Duration: Instantaneous

You tug at the fabric of time and create a sphere extending 15 feet from you in each direction, causing events within that area to be undone. No change is apparent to observers outside the sphere, but those within it see a blur of motion as the actions and movement of the last few moments play out in reverse. The current round starts over at the top of the initiative order as if none of it had occurred.
Everything outside the sphere must progress exactly as it did previously, including the actions and die results of creatures not within the sphere. Characters within the sphere, however, can alter their actions and perform new rolls based on knowledge of what originally happened.

On their turns, characters affected by the spell perform whichever actions they choose, rolling new results. They might use this opportunity to get another chance at an attack that missed, to take the Dodge action, or to end their movement in a different space, avoiding some unpleasant hazard. When the initiative order reaches a creature outside the sphere, it must act exactly as it did before the spell was cast, and keep whatever die results were originally rolled.

Because the events outside this spell’s reach are now predetermined, the new actions may interact with them differently. Creatures that used a ranged attack or spell on a particular character may find that there’s a different target in the space they originally chose, or that a barrier of some kind has gotten in the way.

If an action from outside the spell’s area of effect is obstructed or foiled, the GM determines how the new timeline resolves. Targets inside the sphere may now have cover or be obscured, changing the outcome of the attack. Likewise, an attack from outside may now have advantage or disadvantage. In such cases, count the original roll as the first, then make a second roll.