I ran a play test of Packing Heat, my nascent game about buddy cop movies. In the rules, when a roll goes bad the character takes a condition (known as a temporary hardship). In our session, a roll went bad during the initial scene – a shootout – and the character took “wounded”. In the fiction, we decided to go back in time to explore how the characters got into the shootout.
So, in this case, the character had the “wounded” condition but it shouldn’t count against him in the flashback.
In fact, we decided to play the denouement first, and the rest of the session was a series of nested flashbacks to how we got to the shootout. So, any conditions earned in that first scene shouldn’t have been present in the rest of the session.
Do other games have a means for dealing with mechanical effects while jumping time frames in the fiction? I’m also open to changing how characters mechanically experience set backs.