On Chronomancers in 2nd Ed AD&D


We discovered that Chronomancy was a School of Magic in 2nd Edition AD&D after flipping through the Complete Wizard's Spell Compendium - A monstrous four volume compendium that covered every Spell created in AD&D from 1979-1997. Chronomancy was listed as a school in the back, and it got our imaginations turning at the possibilities. And that was when Dave found the Chronomancer Book for 2nd Ed. Now a list spells to add on to a wizard, became an entire class.

It took us a long time to figure out where to place Dave's Chronomancer , but we fit him into JADE's Arachnophobia Campaign which finally gave us reason to look at the class in detail. And It really is a game changer, though I understand why the book only has a 6.26/10 on RPGGeek.


Being a Chronomancer. isn't really all that different form being a Wizard in 2nd ed. As I mention in Thomas' Blog Post, They get an increase in XP bonuses for casting and studying Chronomancy Spells, but also it takes them more XP to level up. The true advantage of the class is that they are the only Wizarding class that naturally has access to the Chronomancy Sphere. Other Wizards may not chose those spells as there starting spells, and of course the DM is more likely to give you access to more of them by virtue of your class being able to control them.

Now don't get overly excited about this class. It is not all powerful, and actually has some significant limitations. Which frankly is reasonable, because as much as we all want to be the Doctor from Dr. Who, That would be a very difficult campaign to host in 2nd ed AD&D. And that is perhaps... A little too much power for any player character have.

Never played it. How does it handle Time Travel?
The way Time Magic works in AD&D is by interacting with the demi-plane of time called the Temporal Prime. So the magic is directly linked to that plane and in order to use it you often have to enter it. The two main spells that let you enter Temporal Prime are Timeslip and Create Slip. Once entered, time appears as a black void filled with whispy silver lines representing people's, animals and object's lives. The more important the thing the brighter the line.

A player may then move upstream to move backward in time, Downstream to move forward in time. You may then latch on to an existing Life Line and re-enter the prime reality, at time depending on how far up or downstream you went. The physical reality of temporal prime is fairly vague, and this seems intentional. Almost as if the writers bit off a little more than they could chew. There is even a recommended warning to give players who try to investigate the mechanics of the Temporal Prime a little too much:


It is a little corny and really unsatisfying, but ultimately I don't want to have to explain the nature of the universe in game, and this at least gives me an easy out. But Chronomancy does really give your players the ability to change the nature of your campaign. By 3rd level a Chronomancer would be able to enter the Temporal Prime, and move around the time line and world your campaign is set in. As DM you need to be prepared for that, making this a class to not throw casually into a game.

It is a class that requires the DM to think about their world in a way they don't normally have to and prepare for the possibilities of time travel. I think that is the major limitation on the class: it is not useable in every game. This is the sort of character that you would need to get a approval from the DM before including it, and you need to make sure that they have considered everything that the class can do.

But Dave has wanted to try it out for so long, and I think he can handle it... I'm pretty sure I can handle it...


Right now Dave's Chronomancer Thomas is only level 1, which means that his time spells are limited to slow his metabolism, and see a bit into the future. But I imagine, as his powers grow, and we learn more about the abilities of the class and the nature of time magic, things could get pretty Wibbley-Wobbley.


Written by: Andrew Gregory

On Chronomancers in 2nd Ed AD&D On Chronomancers in 2nd Ed AD&D Reviewed by Jade GamingNews on 8/23/2016 02:05:00 pm Rating: 5

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