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Reaperbryan

Time Travellers

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But would that really need to be a career in and of itself to make the team? Or rather, a required skill to make the team, regardless of profession. Think about it - most historians specialize in a given time period, but even if you have an uber historian, he's going to wind up being the "expert" on everything, and in an RPG, could wind up making him the all important PC in EVERY mission. That's no fun.

 

Yes, absolutely. Even trying to "get by" with amateur historians is a great way to cause a faux pas and get your head chopped off. Many of the 'amateur" historians I run into have some...shall we say...interesting ideas. At least interesing in a way that I would not want to stake my life on their counsel.

 

Also, there is no way, NO WAY, a single individual is going to be an expert in all periods of history. For example, with my background I concentrated in European Ancient and Medieval history. I don't know diddly about FREX the 30 Years War, or Han China. History is such a massive and broad field that to be an expert in all eras is just not humanly possible.

 

Damon.

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Of course the historian might actually be someone who has all the data for that time period downloaded into them. Thus for any one time period they are an expert but know little about anything else. So their knowledge changes from mission to mission. Could also result in a very quirky character as their mind keeps getting reset.

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Yes, absolutely. Even trying to "get by" with amateur historians is a great way to cause a faux pas and get your head chopped off. Many of the 'amateur" historians I run into have some...shall we say...interesting ideas. At least interesing in a way that I would not want to stake my life on their counsel.

Well, I'm thinking that there has to be a minimum standard as well as training and ongoing continuing studies. If you have access to time travel, you can learn the history of a given period quickly enough - new recruits are assessed for their historical knowledge, then given a training course in their strongest period(s) - training that could actually involve field trips. So, yes, amateurs in one sense, but by the time they finish their time cop training, probably close to being able to get that history degree.

 

For example, with my background I concentrated in European Ancient and Medieval history. I don't know diddly about FREX the 30 Years War, or Han China. History is such a massive and broad field that to be an expert in all eras is just not humanly possible.

Is your degree actually in history, and are you actually working as a historian? I know several people who have degrees in history, but none are actually working as historians. FREX, I served with a Naval Officer who's degree was in Greek History, and she was quite knowledgable on the subject, but her profession was Naval Officer.

 

That's why I asked whether it should necessarily be included as a profession, rather than as a skill set.

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Yes, absolutely. Even trying to "get by" with amateur historians is a great way to cause a faux pas and get your head chopped off. Many of the 'amateur" historians I run into have some...shall we say...interesting ideas. At least interesing in a way that I would not want to stake my life on their counsel.

Well, I'm thinking that there has to be a minimum standard as well as training and ongoing continuing studies. If you have access to time travel, you can learn the history of a given period quickly enough - new recruits are assessed for their historical knowledge, then given a training course in their strongest period(s) - training that could actually involve field trips. So, yes, amateurs in one sense, but by the time they finish their time cop training, probably close to being able to get that history degree.

 

For example, with my background I concentrated in European Ancient and Medieval history. I don't know diddly about FREX the 30 Years War, or Han China. History is such a massive and broad field that to be an expert in all eras is just not humanly possible.

Is your degree actually in history, and are you actually working as a historian? I know several people who have degrees in history, but none are actually working as historians. FREX, I served with a Naval Officer who's degree was in Greek History, and she was quite knowledgable on the subject, but her profession was Naval Officer.

 

That's why I asked whether it should necessarily be included as a profession, rather than as a skill set.

 

And really, it's for a game. So, one person could very easily be the Historian, or each character could have a specialization.

 

Of course, if I was GM, I would have specialists in Greece, Rome, Ancient China, and American Revolution. Then send the characters to Fuedal Japan.....

 

Mike

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Is your degree actually in history, and are you actually working as a historian? I know several people who have degrees in history, but none are actually working as historians. FREX, I served with a Naval Officer who's degree was in Greek History, and she was quite knowledgable on the subject, but her profession was Naval Officer.

 

Yes, my actual degree is in history, and no I am not currently working as an historian (not for lack of trying). My degree program was definitely focused on training to be a professional historian (which explains why I tend to get on people's cases for posting unsupportable or unverifiable. So to be more specific, I think if you want to mess with the timeline, you need someone with the same level of training and experience as a professional historian (so you might as well pick up one of the younger, more adventurous post-doctorate students and put them to work).

 

That being said, if you have a "timecop" organization, I'm sure professional historians have been doing their own timetravelling for years, so you might have a professional TT historian or such...

 

Damon.

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Yes, my actual degree is in history, and no I am not currently working as an historian (not for lack of trying).

I thought that might be the case and I'm sure there are a lot of people out there like you. Perfect candidates for recruitment into a time travel organization, depending on what their "other" job is, too. For a time cop position, I would be more likely to hire the guy who has the degree in history, but wound up in the military because he couldn't find a history position than I would be to hire the history guy who's worked as a college history professor. Broader skill set.

 

That being said, if you have a "timecop" organization, I'm sure professional historians have been doing their own timetravelling for years, so you might have a professional TT historian or such...

Not to mention that such an organization doesn't necessarily have to use historians - there is nothing stopping them from recruiting from necessary periods, nor doing things like snatching famous people moments before their death, and using modern health care advances to keep them alive and teaching new recruits.

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A) I'm not using d20/level based - but Savage Worlds, a skill-buy system. Players will be given full starting points, PLUS a bonus skill package after all skills are bought to represent the paramilitary organization's training (so they get combat skills if they didnt buy any, or get better fi they did). They will also be slightly better than typical starting characters because they will spend 0 points on gear - they will be allocated x points for gear Each mission, to be returned at the end fo the mission uless it's consumables. So they may spend 100% of thier point allotment on career and related skills. Since it is a game, someone with a d12 in History - as opposed to a d8 in history - is going to be expert enough in all time periods that not more than 1 PC need advande history as a skill beyond the minimum rank to be considered trained (d4). I'm not an evil GM, I want this to be high-action, not high-realism.

 

B) there will be no borrowing of people from the timestream. That is a violation of Rule 0003-J/2.

 

The thing I am most interested in is that I want to have each player make 2 characters. I want each mission to be "who do we bring from the project's 12 certified field agents" as a factor. Military jobs (we need combat experts, yes) are fine, but no Player may have both characters with Military Primaries. So each mission, once tehy are debriefed, my 6 players will go, "ok, Kev, you bring Character A, because we want his skill in X, Darrell, you Bring your gun bunny in case there's toruble, and we won't be needing your Pilot becuase there were no planes in 1492..."

I think it adds an element of planning that wouldn't exist if we only had 6 characters, it'd be the same team every mission.

 

I expect most characters to have minimum skill or better in a lot of fields - there's a need. If we choose the Doctor over the historian, somebody will glad the gun bunny has d8 history, so there;s good odds they wont; screw everything completely.

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You need a Scientist!

 

Like Dr. Benton Quest or Dr. Jonas Venture Sr. Someone who can take baling wire and a steam locomotive and build a ray gun.

 

They would come in very handy.

 

And a conspiracy nut, because they see the connections no one else even thinks about.

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Ha! Found it, at least the one I was thinking of: Timemasters (red box) by Pacesetter, so late 70s early 80s I think. Now I will have to go spelunking in the basement and see if I can find my copy.

 

The blue box from them was Star Aces their SF RPG, the box for chill was brown with yellow edges and was eventually bought by Mayfair and apparently is going back into print by Other World Creations or something like that.

 

Timemaster was early/mid 80s.

 

Not sure if there is still progress on the OWC version of Chill, haven't heard anything in a long time (I used to be in a yahoo playtest group for it, but the group disappeared about 2 years ago).

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OK, I think I have a decent sized list - anybody have any reccomends for other occupations my PCs might want to have as their primary jobs (knowing that each of them gets a BA in History and basic weapons/h2h training in addiiton)?

 

I want to have choices for them, so they can put together teams capable of performing well in different conditions.

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Someone thoroughly skilled in the art of forgery would be a necessity: If not on a team, then at least at HQ. Forged coins and bank notes wouldn't actually affect fiscal amounts through the time stream, as almost all forgeries are found in time. Barring that you'd need a deep cover operative to get installed from location to location to set up a wealth base for the PCs to draw on while operating in the past.

 

That would actually be a neat NPC. The party could come across him and, seeing as he'd need to be in place for a while in each timeline (possibly for years at a time), the party would see him age and, eventually, get too old to assist anymore and get replaced.

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Someone thoroughly skilled in the art of forgery would be a necessity: If not on a team, then at least at HQ. Forged coins and bank notes wouldn't actually affect fiscal amounts through the time stream, as almost all forgeries are found in time. Barring that you'd need a deep cover operative to get installed from location to location to set up a wealth base for the PCs to draw on while operating in the past.

 

That would actually be a neat NPC. The party could come across him and, seeing as he'd need to be in place for a while in each timeline (possibly for years at a time), the party would see him age and, eventually, get too old to assist anymore and get replaced.

Interesting idea.

 

I've been thinking about other ways to fund trips:

 

Food: Prior to about 1800 or so, you could probably sell food (assuming you could transport it back with you), and use that to generate funds. Being a consumable, and with modern production methods, it shouldn't tamper with the time line too much - at least not basics like bread or meat. As long as you don't take potatoes into the middle of the Irish Potato Famine, it's not likely to muck things up.

 

Gold: being valuable in most times, this is certainly an option. But how much would it muck up the timeline to do so?

 

Stock Markets: Obviously, with knowledge of the future, you could easily figure out when to buy and sell stock to bring in currency. But at what point does it muck with the time line? A few shares here and there isn't likely to be noticed, windfalls would be.

 

Knowledge: The most abundant commodity, the most dangerous, too. While dispensing knowledge of the future is most certainly taboo, what about knowledge of far off events? Prior to the invention of the telegraph, messages had to be carried. Someone with some good historical knowledge of say, Colonial America could actually "report" the news of the Boston Tea Party to the citizens in London a couple of days before the news actually arrived. Again, does it muck with the time line?

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Interesting idea.

 

I've been thinking about other ways to fund trips:

 

Food: Prior to about 1800 or so, you could probably sell food (assuming you could transport it back with you), and use that to generate funds. Being a consumable, and with modern production methods, it shouldn't tamper with the time line too much - at least not basics like bread or meat. As long as you don't take potatoes into the middle of the Irish Potato Famine, it's not likely to muck things up.

 

Gold: being valuable in most times, this is certainly an option. But how much would it muck up the timeline to do so?

 

Stock Markets: Obviously, with knowledge of the future, you could easily figure out when to buy and sell stock to bring in currency. But at what point does it muck with the time line? A few shares here and there isn't likely to be noticed, windfalls would be.

 

Knowledge: The most abundant commodity, the most dangerous, too. While dispensing knowledge of the future is most certainly taboo, what about knowledge of far off events? Prior to the invention of the telegraph, messages had to be carried. Someone with some good historical knowledge of say, Colonial America could actually "report" the news of the Boston Tea Party to the citizens in London a couple of days before the news actually arrived. Again, does it muck with the time line?

 

Several RPGs set in modernistic times (Such as D20 Modern or Spycraft) use a "Wealth" system instead of actual cash. This allows you to deal with the fact that in a classic RPG, every coin counts, but in the real world, with a real income, you generally have a certain amount of liquid cash available at any given moment. In D20 Modern, characters get a wealth bonus based on level and class whereas in Spycraft the players have a clearance level worth of gear that can be requisitioned. Perhaps in your time travelling game, wealth could be treated as such, but if the party goes over certain limits, it starts to affect the time stream by giving them cumulative penalties and so on.

 

Abstract examples:

 

"Sure you can take the rocket launcher," says the Requistions officer, "But its got a paradox rating of eight for that time era. You might not want to use it where anybody can see you."

 

or

 

"Well, you can buy out the fisherman's supply of netting, but that's tacks on six paradox. That puts your paradox score square at thirty so everybody makes their checks at a -3 penalty now."

 

Something like that.

 

A system for tracking paradox would be an essential mechanic for a game that deals in time travel. Come to think about it, if Reaper's new system is called "Chronoscape" they might be looking for a system for roleplaying temporal adventure.

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Not to dampen enthusiasm, but this isn't Reaper fishing for RPG material for any product, it's just me, planning my RPG sessions once my turn to GM comes aorund again (We take turns since of the 7 of us, 6 are experienced GMs)

 

A Paradox mechanic.... interesting. It flies in the face of my "the momentum of time will heal small distrubances" idealogoy, but it oculd be fun. Anybody care to elaborate???

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