Tactical Lesson #4 Time Hop

I try to keep my tactical tutorials general. This allows people in non-d20 campaigns to take advantage of them. Today, I make an exception for “Time Hop.” This is a psionic power.
As a quick refresher, here is the text of “Time Hop” from the D20 SRD.

The subject of the power hops forward in time 1 round for every manifester level you have. In effect, the subject seems to disappear in a shimmer of silver energy, then reappear after the duration of this power expires. The subject reappears in exactly the same orientation and condition as before. From the subject’s point of view, no time has passed at all.

In each round of the power’s duration, on what would have been the subject’s turn, it can attempt a DC 15 Wisdom check. Success allows the subject to return. The subject can act normally on its next turn after this power ends.

If the space from which the subject departed is occupied upon his return to the time stream, he appears in the closest unoccupied space, still in his original orientation. Determine the closest space randomly if necessary.

I love this power. I would argue it has more utility than any other power in the entire psionics book. It has both offensive and defensive applications, as well as some offbeat uses that can save your PCs in a pinch. The key element is to remember that anything affected by the power ceases to exist. It is not teleported, it is gone from the universe for the duration. With that in mind, let us examine some specific applications.
Obviously targeting individual creatures is a good tactic, but not a great tactic. I do not like it because it takes the bad guy off of the field to return at a random point in his current state. I do not like the unpredictable. Much better targets are the victims equipment. Target the weapons and armor of the NPC. If they make the save, then you are no worse off than before. Should they fail, then the NPC loses his weapon and/or armor. Very handy for giant barbarians with only one weapon. I will take a punch instead of a great axe strike any day of the week. Weaponless, they are much easier to kill. This also has the added bonus of protecting stuff for later salvage. I would hate to melt an enemy’s weapon I wanted to use!
The best use defensively is to save a PC from imminent death. Whether bleeding to death, grappled, poisoned or otherwise threatened, a well-timed time hop sends them into the future. That means a PC with only one round of life left now has that one round plus the time hop duration. It is also great for grapple escapes. I also use it to hide the”Dagger of Doom.” This is the story mulligan that the villian plans on using to complete his evil task. It is usually indestructible, so the best you can do is get it off the field of battle and into the future. Fight a battle of denial. Puts a crimp in the bad guy’s plan when the magic item will not exist for another 60 seconds.
Other Stuff:
I also find this useful to open doors. The best part is, it opens locked doors and then they reappear, still locked. Great for sneaking about. As a last ditch, extrememly short term solution, you can hide with this power. Just cast it on yourself and fail the wisdom check intentionally. Not like being invisible, but it may be enough to hide you from a cursory search.
I hope you found this useful. As always, please post your disagreements and suggestions in the comment section.
Trask, the Last Tyromancer


Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.