He did, so I gave him some geography facts. Colombus is not yet born, so who knows what kind of wonders may the Irish fishermen find sometimes behind the horizon. They sure have a load of legends about it. He used the American lead immediately, spinning a tale a land of wonders and riches that the Irish has found recently and exploiting to the fullest. They did, and the next session was a grand-bataille. Each investigative spend served to give them some potentially relevant ammunition of social understanding and historical knowledge. Each remark, each gift, each question served to unveil yet another aspect of the Mongolian court, change the attitude of most participating NPCs to each of the two delegations involved, to create new enemies and new allies.
Each word had a weight of its own, a chain of implications clearly visible at the whiteboard.
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The Crusader Kings grand strategy game surely served as one inspiration for the social web that emerged on the whiteboard, together with the point based attitude system Which may have been also influenced by Bioware type CRPGs. The investigative spends helped this web of intrigue become real, sustentative and mechanically related to the characters, a part of the crunch, the gamey part of the RPG, rather than the fluff you need to bypass to get to the action.
What happened here was a complete opposite. I had some fights planned later in this scenario, and was clearly surprised when all of them were cunningly bypassed by the players, that used the Overt and Covert motivations discovered by their social spends to surround themselves with a thick armor of temporary allies. Around here, the common perception is that early role-players, especially in a paid entertainment based role-playing environment, would usually choose the way of more violence, preferring to hack and slash their way through various plot devices and holders of information.
When their character sheets are full with damage dealing abilities and the mechanic representations of the fiction they encounter would usually be monster statistics, they would rightfully assume that the game is about dealing damage. If, at the other hand, the mechanical representations are dealing with meaningful knowledge and human relationships, they can engage learning, planning and roleplaying with about the same gusto. The Gumshoe way of putting information pieces in the mechanic core of the game serves to promote engagement with, and manipulation of, knowledge.
Maybe you would like to go further than me and immediately show on whiteboard the temporal implications of every major player action, without the need to go forth in time to check it. This open sharing of information may indeed harm some sense of mystery and surprise and thus immersion, but at the other hand can serve to emphasize themes and stakes. And what emphasizes better the sheer epic scale of a time travel plot than to see possible futures flower and whither with your every step.
In an alternate history, you may be your own worst enemy…and your future self has a lot to answer for!
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Can you restore the true timeline? The Misery Trumpets A peaceful autumn hike in northern Vermont turns into a cross-dimensional raid to save the sanity of everyone you know. When your own world is one of many, where do your allegiances lie? To the time machines! Face your past to save the future. He probably did not catastrophically disrupt history in the process!
On the other side is the essential information and tables a GM needs to run a TimeWatch game. The Resource Book includes advice, guidance and rules for: Making combat in TimeWatch even more fun Pre-made Rebel organizations to bedevil or ally with your time-traveling Agents 16 new time seeds for near-instant missions, organized by the Adversaries and Antagonists that each mission seed uses.
Foes can be from the core or a parallel timeline, humans from Earth or aliens from another planet or even entities who fit neither of those two descriptions , and either time travelers or contemporaries who are in their native time. That includes all the people and animals who have lived in the real world. Dinosaurs exist in the core timeline, but hyper-intelligent dinosaurs do not—unless you, as GM, decide to make that a secret part of your game history.
For instance, psychic abilities are possible if the GM has decided that people develop psychic abilities in the future, but not otherwise. In early 18th century London, Skegg throws a chronal destabilization grenade at Isaac Newton, who turns out to have secretly been an evil genius that TimeWatch needs to stop. Newton is in his own natural era and is unaffected by the blast, which only affects time travelers people with Tempus or Chronal Stability. In comparison, parallel timeline or parallel universe creatures are a hugely varied lot. They range from the stereotypically evil exact duplicate with a goatee, to individuals raised in an utterly different society such as one where Carthage won the Punic Wars instead of Rome , to n on-humans coming from a world that is mostly water, mostly ice, or an insect-controlled radioactive wasteland.
As a reminder, creatures from parallel timelines tend to be more sensitive to chronal instability than usual, suffering from a 1 point penalty to the Difficulty and Loss of most Paradox tests until they adjust to our reality. Skegg is from a parallel timeline that TimeWatch destroyed when they made sure an extinction-level meteor hit the Earth.
The penalty no longer applies to her. Parallel timelines open up any tragic, ludicrous, imaginative, horrific or deadly possibility you can think of. You just need to be able to rationalize how it is possible. A world where neanderthals triumph over cro-magnon man? A world where the dinosaurs are not killed by a meteorite? All possible. A parallel timeline created artificially when true history is altered exists for as long as that history stays changed. Timelines that are sufficiently well established or that the GM finds interesting may survive or slowly fade despite their separation from the main time stream.
Creatures from parallel timelines usually have a wide array of chronal powers that are powered by their Tempus general ability. The type of foes will vary by campaign frame. A Conspiracy-style game, for instance, will feature more human antagonists many likely employed by TimeWatch itself alongside shape-shifting alien species who masquerade as human. Pick and choose appropriate ones from the list later in this chapter. There are any number of different types of creatures this category could cover; innumerable TV shows, movies, role-playing games and science fiction novels are brimming with ideas to steal.
If you like, select chronal powers and simply explain them off as stolen technology. They possess the Tempus ability, which powers their unique capabilities. Hyper-evolved porpoises, radioactive giant cockroaches such as the Ezeru, and genetically altered intelligent dinosaurs all fall under this category. So do mysterious post-human beings from the end of time who have evolved into something far greater than our minds can comprehend. An entity could be an unnaturally intelligent dog, a sentient meme surrounded by a cloud of nanobots, an ephemeral time-ghost that possesses its prey, or a self-aware hologram projected from a distant corner of alt-history.
An antagonist with a contemporary origin is either a villain who has never time traveled, or one who has access to time travel but is not displaced in time at the moment. For instance, a TimeWatch agent who has returned to his native era to visit his family technically has a contemporary origin despite also possessing an autochron. This is an important distinction, because anyone with a contemporary origin cannot suffer from chronal instability.
That paradox has to go somewhere, however, and local time and space are likely to do something unexpected; the GM is encouraged to be particularly clever and diabolical with the result. Hostile time travelers may target earth in the far future and far past and use their time travel to bedevil or influence events at different points in time. Some only have access to a very small sliver of history, while some have unfettered paths to all of time and the parallel universes that flow nearby. They may use anachronistic weapons, suffer from no translator, and catch or spread!
As you would expect, time traveling antagonists likely have access to a wide array of technology and Tempus-powered abilities. By Kevin Kulp. The three men pushed open her bedroom door, stood there in the doorway, blocking the gaslight from the hall. All three wore identical black suits.
Their skin was sallow, almost gray, their jaws were square, and when they spoke through fake-looking teeth it was in a dull monotone. You will have less exceptional babies that will not depart. You will not remember this one alive, not when awake. Time is about to change.
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Laws, one of the playable races is the vas mal. This race of psychic, grey-skinned, large-headed aliens used to be called the vas kra. That leads to an interesting question. Challenging their actions can be as dangerous as challenging the servants of a God itself. La Kreitaj are typically tall men and women who wear black, with sickly skin and unnaturally perfect teeth.
They often wear sunglasses to hide their pure black eyes. La Kreitaj who are slaughtered multiple times leave multiple corpses, possibly confusing law enforcement to happen on the scene after the fight in complete. La Kreitaj typically carry out their duties with their Rewrite Time power, allowing them to change the past in fairly minor ways while standing in the present. It makes their actions particularly difficult to pin down during a TimeWatch investigation.
No one knows why they primarily speak Esperanto. Special Abilities: Clock Out cost 2, no time machine needed , Exile cost 2 , Regenerate cost 0; an identical La Kreitaj appears somewhere nearby within 30 seconds, with full Health and Tempus , Technology cost 2. Special: La Kreitaj have a unique ability known as Rewrite Time cost 3 that they prefer to use over physically injuring a target. They will typically use this to weaken a target before using Exile to banish it into the distant past and remove it from the relevant time stream.
All La Kreitaj have identical DNA and fingerprints — even when they differ in appearance, sex and personality. They typically act in the background, making small and unimportant alterations in the timeline that add up to a momentous change at some point in the future. Goals might include:. Use this antagonist as a mysterious foil to complicate other mysteries and missions, and let them develop slowly as background threats. Extensive GM advice for creating and running games where PCs can travel anywhere, anywhen.
Fourteen settings where you can face Mythos horrors, slide between alternate universes, steal the treasures of the ages, and more. More than a dozen ready-to-play time seeds, iconic pregenerated characters, and three full adventures. Welcome to TimeWatch! Limited edition with bookplate. A wizard did it. Enter the Matrix That much was originally planned.
If you want, you can research stuff at home. The Valkyrie Gambit November 24, release 1 Comment. Parallel Timeline Origin In comparison, parallel timeline or parallel universe creatures are a hugely varied lot. Human Origin The type of foes will vary by campaign frame. Entities have access to a wide array of Tempus-powered abilities. One of the problems with in-house design studios a fixture at many game publishers is that it creates a company culture, and soon that culture dictates design, and everything the company does "feels" the same.
Too much collaboration breeds too much similarity. Rather, I want freelancers in separate cities writing separate products and never collaborating, so that their ideas remain fresh and independent. One of the product lines we're adding next year -- which I can't talk about in too much detail, not yet -- is being created with almost no input from me. What can we expect from the Aerial Adventure Guides? Hot chicks, fast guitars, and the virtues of milk.
Boy, do I need a break from all these cons. Focus, focus OK, Aerial Adventure Guides. Well, you can expect two things. First, new vistas of adventure. You hear that phrase all the time, but this time it's real. How many times have you played a campaign that never once touched the ground?
Probably never. The Aerial Adventure Guides really do offer a different kind of adventuring from that which most people play. It's your chance to build yourself a sky ship and see what's been floating overhead all these years you've been crawling around in dungeons. Second, a great series of books, in all regards. We print in 10 point type with tight margins and minimal white space, so you always get your money's worth on our books. This series in particular is written by Mike Mearls, whose prowess in the d20 field is widely acclaimed. The art is by V.
Shane, who has carved out quite a rep for himself, as well. The books are a great read and visually engaging all the way through.
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What else is in the works at Goodman Games? Anything on the drawing board? Oh, yeah. By March of next year we will have 5 major product lines -- Broncosaurus Rex, Complete Guide, Adventure Guide, and two more that aren't announced yet. For me personally, the big news will be at Gen Con next year, when we release our sixth product line. I had another idea, kind of like with Broncosaurus Rex except this time I was reading Campaign Magazine when it hit me It's another cross-genre world that, like Broncosaurus Rex, and is quite unique.
It incorporates a lot of fantasy elements, but a lot of sci-fi as well. I'm not saying any more right now, because I don't want to give it away as far as I can tell so far, it really is unlike anything else out there. It's scheduled for early and will be the first monster manual ever to feature nothing but fantasy dinosaurs. It's very cool! As a GM who loves to trick his players, I'd love to hear more about next month's Dopplegangers supplement. What can you safely reveal to us? Every GM I've ever talked with about doppelgangers tells me they use them in the same basic way: there are a couple doppelgangers who impersonate an important figure, and they may be involved with the thieves' guild.
The Complete Guide to Doppelgangers sets out to develop doppelgangers into something more than that. Although there are some very entertaining new rules such as the Protean Warrior shapechanger prestige class, and feats that let the doppelganger extend his limbs like Plastic Man , my favorite part is the background material. Keith Baker the author answers the questions about doppelgangers that have never been asked, much less answered: Why do they want to impersonate people?
What do they get out of it? What is their society like?
And the scariest question of all: How many doppelgangers are out there? The ones you hear about are those who impersonate the king or run the thieves guild And what about the rustic doppelgangers, who impersonate bears and deer and other mundane creatures? Once you understand a doppelganger's motivations, you realize that impersonating the king is more important to us than them. Wererats are shapechangers of a different sort, but some general, broad-application shapechanger rules might affect the Dopplegangers as well. Are there any plans for more general rules that loosely tie the products together?
To some degree. Part of the doppelganger manuscript included the Firebrand prestige class, which is devoted to hunting and exposing shapechangers. Because it applies to more than just doppelgangers, we decided to release it as a separate article you'll find it in an upcoming Knights of the Dinner Table, and eventually on our web site. If you can remember, please describe the best or worst, if you prefer death one of your characters fell prey to.
Actually, I'm almost always the DM! I don't have any good character death stories. I do have a good Risk AD death story, since I just played that the other night. I put all my troops into Asia and took it on my first turn My friend playing Australia refused to ally and insisted on breaking through my borders, and in doing so didn't provide any opposition to my brother, who took North America. Then my friend in Australia suddenly realized his mistake. We allied but it was too late. I eventually had to retreat to the moon while North America swept the world. Does that count?
While I'm at it, here's one of my favorite PC stories. It wasn't the death of a mere character; it was the death of an entire campaign. This happened quite a while back. There were three characters in our campaign who could never get along: a dwarf fighter, a human rogue, and a human wizard. The rogue was always stealing the fighter's axe, just for kicks, so the dwarf would charge into battle and discover his axe was gone. The rogue would give it back but still, it pissed off the dwarf's player.
Well, the party buys a boat to set off on a seaborne adventure. That was pretty much the end of that campaign. Gen Con SoCal is a good idea. It will help us reach new fans in the unsettled wildlands of California. Plus the San Diego zoo is awesome. As for Gen Con Indianapolis, I think it should be held opposite the Indy so we can reach yet another new group of fans.