Time Loops

One of the game ideas I am developing revolves around the “Groundhog Day” concept of reliving a day until a certain goal is achieved. The mechanics would involve a reset of resources to the game starting point, so that the players would be disadvantaged in this way, but they would be gaining knowledge during each reset to help them achieve their goal. An easy way to work on this game is to try and integrate the mechanics into an existing game that is open to custom expansions. And such a game, is Marvel Legendary, by Upper Deck.


In Marvel Legendary, players play the part of Heroes trying to stop a Mastermind before he completes his Scheme. There are plenty of Heroes, Masterminds and Schemes, that can be mixed and matched, so that the game has a lot of replayability, and each expansion Upper Deck releases adds more. But there is a huge resource of fan made content, and the easiest thing to add is a Scheme, because you only need to create a single card to add to the game. So creating a Scheme with a Time Loop mechanic, is a relatively easy thing to do, and it would allow a lot of play testing to see how well it works.

Custom Scheme

The Scheme card has information about setting up the Villain Deck, what happens when a Scheme Twist is played from the Villain Deck, and how the players lose the game. This information should be thematically linked to/inspired by the Card Name, which in the case of Legendary, comes from a story in the Marvel Universe. The Setup, Twist actions and Evil Wins criteria should help tell the story that inspired the Scheme. And whilst we have an idea of how we can effect the Time Loop in the game (resetting elements to their starting point) the important thing we need to know is why is this happening?

Motivation of the Villain

As this is a Scheme, we can eliminate naturally (or, more accurately, supernaturally) occurring instances of time loops, and concentrate on time loops as the result of a Villains actions. Google searches have returned surprisingly low results of comic book stories with time loops. It seems to exist primarily in Movies and TV. Researching the Time Gem of the Infinity Gems gives me some interesting time travel stories, but nothing about loops. So at this point I’m just going to have to make something up. If any readers have ideas or know of stories regarding villains and time loops, feel free to send me a message.

Continued in Magic to Make the Sanest Man go Mad

5 Replies to “Time Loops”

  1. Iain WallaceOctober 22, 2017 at 11:00 amReply

    How about the (spoilers) climax of the Doctor Strange movie?

    1. Shane FletcherOctober 22, 2017 at 5:59 pmReply

      Hi Iain,

      Yeah, that is the only “Comic Book” time loop I could think of. Can you think of a way that Doctor Stranges actions could be those of the Villain? If the good guys were just about to accomplish something big, that the Mastermind wanted to stop?

      1. Iain WallaceOctober 23, 2017 at 10:46 pmReply

        It could be a scheme for a villain set?

        1. Shane FletcherOctober 24, 2017 at 6:23 amReply

          Good point.

          So if the Plot/Scheme was just focused on that 5 minutes of the movie. It would be called “Stop Dormammu from destroying the world”. No. It would be called “Help Dormammu destroy the world” with Doctor Strange as the Mastermind/Commander, leading the rest of the monks.

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