Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time Review

The future is full of surprises. And the past is full of ancient mystery. No matter where you look, there is timeless wonder in history, which can be played around with in Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time. This is our review.

Published: December 6, 2023 4:50 PM /

Reviewed By:

A screenshot of the Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time sourcebook on a gaming table.

Time travel is, putting it mildly, complicated. Depending on the property it can be more trouble than its worth, or used so casually it turns history inside out.

Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time, not only attempts to parse and express the series' various forms of time travel in the tabletop RPG, but includes brand new rules and options for players and GMs alike.

A group of people from different eras, standing together in a clocktower from Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time
We've had Mad Max team members and even cavemen before. At this point, why not?

What is Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time?

Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time is a 223-page Essence20 sourcebook. It contains brand new character options, including new time travel-themed Influences, Origins, Perks, and three new Spectrum Roles, as well as rules and mechanics for time travel adventures.

In addition, the book contains new Threats for GMs, most of which are drawn from time-travel or alternate history-themed Ranger teams from the franchise's history.

Artwork from Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time, showing a purple ranger in a kilt fighting alongside Scottish warriors in front of an ancient castle
They may take our lives, but they'll never take our accessories!

How does Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time handle time travel?

As mentioned before, time travel is messy. Time travel in superhero media can be especially messy. And Power Rangers is no different.

You have powerful wizards that can mess with time, but only have it affect a certain person or location. There is Time Force from the year 3100, tasked with preventing evildoers from fundamentally altering history.

There is the post-apocalyptic alternate history of Power Rangers RPM where the world has been reduced to a desert wasteland by an evil computer virus.

There's even the goofy ending of Power Rangers: Dino Charge where the dinosaurs never went extinct, leading to... the exact same events of human history, just with dinosaurs in the background.

Everything from multiverse theory to fixed timelines have been explored in this franchise. And Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time treats the mechanics of time travel in a similarly fluid way. How does time travel work? Whatever way is more entertaining.

Artwork from Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time, showing a red ranger in a WW1 trench, blocking gunfire with a sword
Don't question how this will affect geopolitics. I know I'm not.

In fact, that playfulness is seen in the book's artwork. In addition to the detailed cover by Caio Cacau, there are illustrations full of imaginative possibilties

However, that doesn't mean Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time doesn't provide rules on how to travel through time. The book divides time travel options into several broad categories.

Chronomancy lets you use magic to time travel, but it is prone to failure and not good at specific dates. Personal Sending involves using advanced tech to send one person through time, but requires a large amount of time, research, and energy.

Transwarp Navigation allows properly enclosed vehicles to travel through time, but needs a skilled pilot at the helm to avoid damage or deviation. Finally, Wormhole Bridging provides time travel for spacefaring vehicles, but can be unstable or unpredictable.

Each of these methods have their own charts for skill test difficulty as well as different consequences for failure. These can be as minor as getting temporary amnesia, as entertaining as bumping into a paradox version of yourself, or as disastrous as complete temporal collapse.

Ever have a scenario where a roll on a chart can lead to to a superhero disaster involving Billy The Kid getting into a shootout with the lost Roman ninth legion in the middle of an alien invasion? It could happen thanks to this book.

A screenshot of a Threat page for the Scorpion Cartel from Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time
Remember when the mob showed up in a show aimed at kids? This sourcebook remembers.

What new GM material is in Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time?

In addition to time travel rules, Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time provides worldbuilding detail and equipment from different eras of history.

From the franchise there is The Awakening, the era that saw the very first team of Power Rangers, and the alternate far future of the city of Corinth.

As for established history, Dynastic Egypt, caveman times, Medieval Europe, and America's Wild West all get a highlight.

Not only are there stats for tools and weapons used in these eras, there are even new Perks that allow players to feel more like noble knights or gunslingers in their game.

As for Threats, Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time draws from both the mechanical and mystical. Both villains and footsoldiers from Time Force, RPM, Lightspeed Rescue, Operation Overdrive, and Turbo are given a specific highlight.

There are even statblocks for Fresno Bob and the Scorpion Cartel.

Artwork of several Quantum Rangers, all with different colors from Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time.
You want more Quantum Power? You got it.

What new player options are in Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time?

The new player Influences and Origins in Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time maintains a tongue-in-cheek attitude to time travel shenanigans.

In addition to great general Influences like Beloved, Local Legend, and Chronicler,  there are several time-themed ones.

Paradox places a duplicate of yourself somewhere in the world. This doppleganger could help you, but interacting with them might cause more rips in the time-space continuum. Time Displaced has your character originally be from an alternate timeline, one where things can be subtly or drastically different.

The new Origins contnues this campy trend.  The Accidental Origin has your character thrown into the present due to a random time travel accident.

On a more bleak note there is Last of my Kind, where your character has survived cataclysm, war, or disease, or a combo of all three. It even has a potent benefit where you can come back from defeat once per scene.

Artwork of a black ranger sitting in a palace in Dynastic China from Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time
Wuxia and tokusatsu are pretty close, so I can see this working.

But the biggest draw in Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time are the new Role options. The book contains two new regular Spectrum Roles: Orange and Purple.

Orange's key trait is unconventional creative thinking. Not only can they use a special Cunning Die for skill tests, they can also modify and adjust their weapons and morphed form. If you want a jack-of-all-trades character, this is the color for you.

The Purple Role by comparison focuses more on emotional mastery.

They gain special enhancements to attacks and skill tests based on what emotions they tap into during a scene, can regain Personal Power during an emotionally heightened scene, and can share that power with teammates at higher levels.

In short, it is a Role tailor-made for roleplayers and shonen anime fans alike.

Lastly, there is one new Advanced Spectrum Role: Quantum. This is a unique Advanced Spectrum Role because PCs need to be at least level 4 before they can take it.

This is because the Quantum Role lets you keep some Role Perks and resources from your prior Role; essentially multiclassing.

Complimenting those abilities are some devastating Quantum Powers.These range from cutting through enemy armor to letting you spend Personal Power for multiple re-rolls on skill tests.

A text excerpt of the white ranger Spectrum Modification Perk from Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time
Goodbye initiative bonus, hello ongoing support aura effect.

But arguably the most welcome feature are Spectrum Modification Perks.

As I mentioned in my review of the Power Rangers Core Rulebook, many different character archetypes have adopted different ranger colors. Not every leader was red, not every tech expert was blue, etc..

Now with these new modification perks, you can bring some of that nuance to the original six spectrum roles.

Want the Pink Ranger to be more of a tactical sniper than an agile fighter? Replace Hard Target with Contingency Shot. Want your Green Ranger to be more intellectual than a lone wolf? Replace Unique Weapon with Brainstorm.

My only critique of the modification perks is there is only one for each spectrum role. However, they are a great start for more player customization. Here's to seeing more in the future.

Artwork from Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time, showing a blue ranger in a Wild West town in a gunfight alongside cowboys
Yes, there are rules for fanning the hammer. Yes, you can modify your power weapon to do it.

Should I Buy Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time?

If you want to take your Power Rangers RPG campaigns to the next level, or introduce some ridiculous time-travel nonsense to the table, Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time manages to pack the playful energy of the series into a single book.

Just don't think about what happens too hard if you don't want to give yourself a nosebleed.

Brand new to the Power Rangers RPG? Grab a digital copy of the Power Rangers Core RPG at DriveThruRPG today!

The copy of Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time used in this review was purchased by the author. All photographs were taken by the author. 

TechRaptor participates in an affiliate program with DriveThruRPG, and may earn a small commission from purchases made by clicking the above link.

Review Summary

Power Rangers: A Jump Through Time brings lighthearted but solid rules for time travel gameplay, time travel stories, and time travel-themed characters to the Power Rangers RPG. A solid supplement to the superhero Essence20 experience. (Review Policy)

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| Staff Writer

Ever since he was small, Tyler Chancey has had a deep, abiding love for video games and a tendency to think and overanalyze everything he enjoyed. This… More about Tyler