travelling time at will
Much has been written over the last hundred years- and the centuries on either side- over the possibilities of time travel. As many wise folk have pointed out, if you have one time traveller, then you have them everywhere, and everywhen throughout spacetime.

This perception is quite accurate. The Continuum has come forward with this further information for release in AD 1998:


We are all born ordinary human beings. The moment where one is chosen to join the ranks of spanners is a delicate circumstance, to put it lightly.

Span 3 Rules
Exclusive to SCIFI.CON 3.0

As stipulated in the rulebook, increasing Span is based on merit.

Span 3 is a critical degree of skill. Anyone who can span 100 years between sleeps naturally has a great deal of responsibility on their shoulders. A spanner has to be an exemplary person to earn the right to achieve this Span.

 - Knowledge of how to teach1 spanning to others
 - Extended lifespan (usually youthful)

 - Oversee a corner
 - Mentor novice spanners
  (a painstaking process)
 - Ongoing contact with spanners of higher Span

Follow the light blue boxes for rules for earning Span 3.
All are required for advancement.

Span 3 Rules, cont.

Requirements for Advancement.
The following is in addition to any requirements for reaching Spans 1 and 2.

1. An Exalted's recommendation.
    At least one spanner considered an Exalted member of the Continuum (usually Span 5 or higher) must agree to the Span 2's advancement.

2. A 22nd century medical exam, or better.
    Allows one to be certain to be free of all contagens throughout all the eras of the Societies.
    Also extends lifespan considerably (to 200 - 400 years).

3. Membership in a Fraternity usually (not absolutely) required.
    It's hard to gain (or discover) an Exalted's recommendation when your contribution to the Continuum is entirely personal. Being part of a team is a hallmark of responsibility.

moment of truth
Not every activity spanners perform goes unnoticed. People in two places at the same time, occasional accurate visions of the future, and other 'unexplained phenomena' are easily explained once the reality of spanning is taken into account.

And sometimes a leveller- a human that knows nothing of spanning- witnesses a span outright. Usually it's a narcissist out making trouble, but even so, the Continuum handles these moments of terrible surprise and confusion.

It's called an Invitation To Dance, but both parties have to be willing. The leveller normally must be at least 18 years of age, and possess remarkable maturity of mind and spirit. And the spanners present have to make a judgement (or find a spanner who can) as to whether this leveller's time has come, or if means must be employed to ensure the leveller forgets and never tells of their brush with spanning.1

learning to span
The information of the actual process of travelling time is naturally not available here2. But neither is it completely available to spanners of lesser experience (represented in the game as Span 1 and Span 2).

There are very practical reasons for suppressing these specific memories of novice spanners. A person has to be able to earn the trust of the rest of the Continuum before being given the power to teach others. It's often compared to riding a bicycle: once you learn, it's hard to recall not knowing how. Only this bicycle is inside you, making it almost impossible to describe to the unaware.

That being said, the skill of spanning is something the novice may exercise freely, and improve the detail of with practice. Their mentor guides them through their novice spanning, helping them with the inevitable questions and mistakes, both social and temporal.

Span 3 Rules, cont.
Advancement, cont.

4. The spanner must also meet the following statistical requirements-

 a. Zero Frag.

 b. A Quick of 60 or greater.

 c. Master ranking in two Skills from the following list:

  • A Computer Skill
  • Demolitions
  • Diplomacy
  • Disguise
  • Dreaming
  • A History Skill
  • A Medical Skill
  • Piloting
  • A Science Skill
what it's like
Spanner poets have written reams of beautiful expressions describing the sensation of being in one place and then suddenly another, wholly alien but filled with the noise, aromas and sights of a world run by humanity. But the realist John Jacob MacHale described it best: "It is simple. You turn, you are there. No more strange than pausing in the doorway to listen to the farewell of a friend."
Span 3 Rules, cont.
Advancement, cont.

 d. Journeyman ranking in three additional Skills from the following list:

  • Any from c. (above)
  • Animal Handling (pref. Horse)
  • An Art (esp. Acting)
  • An Athletic Skill
  • Repair
  • Stealth
 e. Fluency in three languages. (Journeyman ranking or higher)

 f. At least Novice ranking in both Physics and Dreaming

Finally, pre-release versions require that a player be playing the same character over a period of real time in order to advance in Span. The requirement for Span 3 would be playing the character at Span 2 for three months, with at least four sessions of four hours each.

& the maxims

The Maxims are the rules of conduct we memorize. They keep us clear of the danger of fragmentation, or Frag for short. The Maxims are outlined in the rulebook, and while presented for game purposes, they are very accurate, and absolutely essential to the fabric of our life and existence.

The Maxims emphasize without quarter that each of us is responsible for his or her own actions. And we are there to help our chronies- up to a very specific point.

the yet
The Yet, or the Required Future, are the things you discover you have yet to do. If you see or meet an elder self, or hear of things you've done but don't remember doing, those actions go in your Yet. Failure to handle events in your Yet- or worse, defying your elder self- creates the unwelcome accumulation of Frag. Too much unhandled Frag, and you're not seen around much.

If you don't handle your Yet and your Frag, your friends have to. If they can't or won't, your mentor has to. If he or she can't handle it, the Exalted step in.
You can imagine the social pressures of the spanner lifestyle. People have enough to do without having to clean up after someone else.

Spanners are careful not to reveal too much to one another, lest life become burdened with details in one's Yet. Often knowledge of what a friend has yet to do is simply not shared with them. A preferred information-neutral phrase is "Further information is not available here."

blending in
In this era of great information retrieval, keeping spanning a secret becomes more and more difficult. That is part of the reason the CºNTINUUM game is becoming available at this time- to gently prepare levellers for the difficult truth of time travel.

One ploy that has been utilized across the years is to hide conversations in common parlance. A common greeting, and means of identifying other spanners is to ask the time. A leveller with either read their watch (or sundial, etc.) and tell you, or will otherwise behave normally. A spanner wanting to return the greeting will repeat your precise words back at you. Unsuspecting levellers will merely act annoyed by this if they ask a spanner the time.

Of course situations of greater import await in the average CºNTINUUM game. Just ask the players whose characters discovered their own names inscribed on 17th century swords, or the ones who had to help a spanner destined for sainthood make sure a medieval miracle came off. And some discovered that living twenty years away from Three Mile Island is just not far enough.


For further information about spanning and the CºNTINUUM game, visit our website.
See also the latest version of CºNTINUUM.

1Further information on means of ensuring this is not available here.
2A very detailed description of means and method of spanning will be in a forthcoming edition of CºNTINUUM.


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