Planescape Survival Guide

About the Comic!

About the Authors

So, yeah... that's me, Travers (aka Swiftbow) Jordan, on the right and Rioux (aka Brogen) Jordan on the left (in the hat!). Guess what's on the table?
Hey, I got rid of the Under Construction flag! Wow. Guess I'll give a little biography!

Though Travers lives with his beautiful, equally geeky wife (Danielle) and Rioux is off in law school, the two brothers still get together regularly in their parents' basement to produce your favorite webcomic. Dad (Kenyon) and Mom (Therese) Jordan (not pictured here) are usually too busy putting out the Westside Pioneer newspaper
to play with Legos too, but still help edit and proofread the comic!

Situated on the Westside of Colorado Springs, Colorado, the castle has been an ongoing project for many years, well before the comic started.

Rioux is studying Geology and Political Science at CSU-Fort Collins while Travers runs his own business, Techno Guy Computers, fixing computers in his spare time when he's not making comics. (or is that the other way around?) Travers also writes and draws the fantasy webcomic Planescape Survival Guide. Both comics are now posted on their hub site, Rioux also posts various videos (including a couple co-starring yours truly!) on his YouTube channel. (I'm in "WoW: Into the Game" and "Kyle and Kirk go to Jim's House")

Time-Rules Quidditch

Time-Rules Quidditch was first developed in the early 2000s in Bulgaria by Viktor Krum. Krum advocated heavily for the changes, with help from his friends Harry and Ginny Potter. The variant sport was first adopted into the school system, and has since gained worldwide support. 2017 marks the first year (by a vote of the coaches as a variant on Snitch- Ruled Quidditch) that the new rules have applied to the World Cup Quidditch Competition. Several basic rule changes are in effect:
- Games are 60 minutes long, with 3 twenty minute periods, on a timer similar to those used in many Muggle sports. This changes the former rule of the game ending when the Snitch is caught.
- The Snitch is released once per period, with a value of 50 points each time. (The total worth of the Snitch being 150, to keep with tradition)
- The Seeker may play in any position on the field if desired.
- The Keeper may leave the scoring area and act as an eligible Chaser, leaving the goals undefended.
- Penalties don't provide a free shot, but require the offending player to sit out of the game in a "penalty box" for 2-8 minutes, depending on the severity of the infraction (similar to Hockey).

The primary reason for the rule changes was to reinvigorate team play and restore importance to the other players. Under the new rules, games are frequently undecided until the bitter end -- unlike old Quidditch when games were almost always won by the team that caught the Snitch.

Regarding Magical Governments
(posted 9/8/14, edited 1/30/15)

    There have been some questions lately on the tagboard regarding international affairs, especially in relation to a wizard being able to apparate directly above a country from across the world wielding, say, a nuclear device.
    This would be bad for the country in question, but would fortunately not be possible in the Harry Potter universe.
    Why is this, you ask? Let's delve in!

A look at this particular possibility requires us to examine apparating/disapparting in general. How does it work? If one can instantly transport everywhere with a spell, why do so many other forms of transport still exist? They can't ALL be for minors and bad wizards. (Though there never is a satisfactor explanation as to why the financially poor Weasley family would buy Floo Powder when they could far more cheaply use Side-Along Apparation.) How does one protect against the possibility of any fiendish wizard appearing in your bedroom in the middle of the night?
    In regards to the first question, it may seem easy to just assume that wizards are simply teleporting to wherever they please, which must be at least partly right. But why then must Voldemort fly to the European continent when he is seeking the Elder Wand?
    Rowling herself left out big chunks of the actual purpose of the Ministry of Magic, other than its primary goals to maintain order and the masquerade that pretends magic doesn't exist. Given what we know regarding the apparent inability of wizards to Apparate out of the country, what we can safely assume is that the Ministry actively protects England by controlling Apparation inside of it. We can likely assume that every other nation probably does the same thing. This is also why the Malfoys can actually make a living doing shipping across the Atlantic (as seen in HPC Book 2). If Apparation worked between nations, they wouldn't be quite so rich anymore.
    However, the Ministry doesn't just regulate apparation, it actually PROVIDES apparation as a service (like the highway system). In other words, much like the Floo Network, Apparation pathways don't exist without the Ministry (these are the conduits Harry feels himself being squeezed through when he describes Disapparation). And, since each country has its own local government, pathways don't exist between nations (which is rather more effective than your average customs house). Hence, the widespread use of mundane magical transport (ie, brooms, enchanted cars, flying carpets, flying mounts, etc.). This also explains the requirement to be licensed to use the Apparation network. It's almost like a Driver's License!

This may seem like a ramble, so here's the short version:
Wizards can't apparate between countries because apparating uses magical conduits built and maintained by magical governments. Individual countries do not connect their conduits for security, thus, they are cut off from each other.

Regarding Time Travel
(posted 1/30/15)

    We've made regular use of time travel in Harry Potter Comics. We orginally wanted to bring it into the comic because of its inclusion in the Prisoner of Azkaban, and then use the opportunity to close the loopholes and plotholes that particular book created.

Now, time travel is always a tricky matter to get into, but fortunately, Brogen and I love to chat about such things. In Harry Potter, we use what has become one of the most popular forms of time travel in popular fiction. We call it Iterative Time Travel (though I'm not sure all the authors who use it think it through very extensively). One of the big problems frequently brought up regarding time travel is the "Grandfather Paradox." Essentially asking, if a man goes back in time and kills his own grandfather, does the universe explode? Some early theories say no, because the man would somehow be incapable of killing his grandfather. This posed the problem of essentially eliminating free will, which is rather upsetting. So, Multiple Reality Theory (see below) was concocted to explain why this wouldn't happen.

Multiple Reality Theory
I like to read a lot of TVTropes and other fictional analysis things, and this form of time travel is often equated with multiple reality theory. I am not a physicist, so I like to try to explain these things in ways normal people can read them. In multiple reality theory, every time a particle in the universe may exist in more than one state, the universe branches into two copies, with one copy holding state 1, and the other state 2. In layman's terms, this means that if Bob decides to go outside, two universes are created. One where Bob went outside, and another where he stayed inside. Acutally, there may be even more, because Bob might linger in the doorway, or scratch himself, or do any number of other things.
    Multiple reality theory can be really messy for this reason. You effectively end up with an infinite number of realities, most of them VERY similar to the others, at least until ripples cause major changes along the way. When time travelling in this theory, a traveller actually leaves his home reality permanently, and creates a new one where a time traveller appears from the future. The reality he left continues without him (this also explains why he can kill his grandfather. It's not HIS grandfather, just a very similar copy). This is the MAIN reason we don't like multiple reality theory: Because you never actually change time. You just make a new reality. And you continually leave characters behind, instead running into very similar copies of them.

Effects of a time traveller on the time plane. (graphic by Brogen)
Iterative Theory
This is where Iterative Theory comes in. In this theory, time can be changed, even causing a "Grandfather Paradox," but nothing bad would happen to the universe. How? It's because Time is not just one dimension.
    This is probably where you say "huh?" but I shall explain!
   We'll start with our own, physical reality (commonly known as the third dimension). The first of these dimensions is a straight line. It has no width, just length. The second is a plane, like a sheet of paper. It has width and length, but no depth. Then we add the 3rd dimension, depth, and now we have our physical universe. But, of course, Einstein defined the 4th dimension as being time, and it being intrinsically linked with space in a space-time continuum. Essentially, the dimensions of space are defined by where they exist in time. This is the point where our theory comes in.
    Time is generally treated as a line, with no width and no depth, just like the 1st dimension. Think of the Three Dimensions of physical reality kind of passing down it. Any given instance in time is a snapshot of where everything is physically at that moment.

But what happens if we add a 5th dimension? If one dimension of time is a line, then a second creates a plane. Or, to be illustrative, a riverbed. It's a very wide riverbed. Actually, it's infinitely wide, but that's hard to imagine.
So, think of the main length of time as the Y-axis (the one we experience), and the X-axis of time is the history of time itself. IE, time itself has previous versions of itself, arrayed to the sides of the current timestream. We, as human beings exist as three dimensional beings. We are not capable of observing this, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. Just like time... we can't directly observe it, as we can only witness the exact present. But we KNOW it happened, and that future events will follow.

With us so far? I hope so! It is a little complex.
    Most people operate in the present reality. Think of a stream of water from a recent storm. The present is the bead of water in the very front. It hasn't forged a channel yet. The actions of those in the present affect how it flows in the infinitely wide stream bed.
So, every time someone makes a decision (or any sort of quantum divergence occurs), the stream shifts on the X-Axis. Big things cause big nudges. Time travellers are no different than regular people, except, by going to the past, they effectively create a new "present." Thus, they can intentionally divert the flow of the stream out of the channel it was in, into a new one.
    So what happens when a traveller kills his own grandfather? Well, the grandfather is killed, but the time traveller himself remains. He is a "Time Clone," an artifact of a previous time stream that is no longer active. (In this case, that dry reality is the one where his grandfather wasn't killed.) That "dry channel" still exists somewhere on the X-Axis. The fact that it DID exist is enough to satisfy causality.
We call this "Iterative Time Travel" because each "iteration" can cause small or big changes compared to the last. Time travellers can even stack up multiple copies of themselves in time.
    This last part would seem to violate the Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy, but it actually doesn't. The actual total value of mass/energy being conserved is contaned within the entire "plane of time."

You might be asking: What about the 6th dimension? THIS is where multiple realities exist in Iterative Theory. They are the "depth" dimension of time. Separate riverbeds above and below our own timestream. Much harder to get to, and not tied directly to time travel at all. Incidentally, this also explains Star Trek (2009)... previous versions of time travel they used were Iterative Time Travel, but the red matter black holes acutally punched holes out of their own reality into nearby ones, thus creating new universes. Stargate did similar things, with characters both changing time AND travelling back and forth to nearby realities with different technology. The 6th dimension isn't something we're dealing with in the comic, mostly because they are other issues with it. Like where do the other realities come from? Are there a static number? (And, if they WERE relatated to decision points, where would the energy come from to create them?)

Anyway... so what DID happen in the Prisoner of Azkaban? It was actually a series of iterations that eventually resembled a stable time loop. I shall explain:
- Iteration 1: We never see this iteration. Upon running into the woods and encountering Dementors, Sirius' soul is sucked out. Someone else (possibly Severus Snape) conjures a Patronus shortly afterwards that Harry thinks was his Dad's. Or, possibly, this doesn't happen at all and something bad happens to Harry and/or Hermione. In any case, Dumbledore thinks of using the Time Turner. They (or possibly he) go back.
- Iteration 2: This begins the time loop. Harry and Hermione reach the shoreline faster and prevent the Dementors from administering the kiss. Harry casts the Patronus. Depending on Iteration 1, either previous Harry or the next Harry now believed it to be James' Potter's Patronus. They also save Buckbeak and everything proceeds as normal.
Iteration 2 actually continues indefinitely. If they'd known that iterative time travel was possible (and that they weren't stuck in a predestination loop), they could have gone back one more time and grabbed Pettigrew. But oh well... don't tell Harry that.

Hoping this has been informative!

AMENDMENT 6/8/19. (Also some edits to the text above):
It occurs to me that the Cursed Child (which I don't consider canon, but that's not the point here) also establishes iterative time travel rules. At least, that's what I've gleaned form the plot synopses. I started reading it... but was unable to finish. It is bad.

Copyright 2009-2016 by Travers & Rioux Jordan

Harry Potter and related characters are the intellectual property of J.K. Rowling. This comic is in no way authorized. All images are the creation of the author except where otherwise credited. Lego is owned by the LEGO Group.