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Old 03-30-2020, 10:28 AM   #1
Embassy of Time
 
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Default Looking for outside testers for new GURPS-inspired RPG line!

I designed a roleplaying game a long time ago, based on a set of GURPS houserules for new players. The game was set in a universe with ample and chaotic time travel, revolving around an organization trying to protect people who got into problems with other, less savory time travelers. You may be able to guess the name of the organization!

Long story short, it was a lot of fun and I ended up working on a series of novels set in the same universe when it became all but impossible to keep the sessions regular. Now, as the writing of the novels is coming along nicely, I have started doing the second edition of the RPG, since the first had its flaws and was very much a product of the people I played it with.

My problem is that I've had too many people look at it to find good eyes that are not already too familiar with it to give it that 'fresh look'. So I'm looking for people to, for now, look it over and give some basic feedback. The full rules are not yet in there (simplified rules are, though), but while they are no longer fully compatible with GURPS, they share enough similarities that the two systems should be able to compliment each other.

The current work-in-progress document is here: Embassy Of Time RPG As stated, it's far from done, and will be updated as I find the time to get it written. For now, it's a brief introduction to the rules and the first major pieces of the setting. No art at all, yet.

Any and all feedback is appreciated. Other books are already being drawn up for near-future writing, all by former GURPSers, and I hope to get some good input and maybe give a bit back to the GURPS community that shaped the many roleplaying sessions of my youth!

Last edited by Embassy of Time; 03-30-2020 at 10:31 AM. Reason: Fixed the link
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Old Yesterday, 03:01 PM   #2
ericthered
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Default Re: Looking for outside testers for new GURPS-inspired RPG line!

Well, I'm a new pair of eyes.

I've read the whole document that you've linked. I have a few things that could use clarification. Some of these are personal questions, but you might want to look at changing your document to answer them.

I'm still left a little curious about what the actual consequences of split timelines are. Is it just that they attract enforcement attention if left too long? Is there some other consequence? How does that interact with timetraveler timeline "pockets"? And how does enforcement deal with split time traveler timelines?

Can you intentionally travel to each half of a split timeline? why or why not?

Enforcement goes around busting up colonies, and the embassy goes around rellocating those people. But because going native is hard, that means they're not removing those people in space, just in time. How is what the embassy does different than just establishing moving the colonists to a new and safer colony? Is the point to make a colony that's less intrusive? And why is enforcement leaving these people to save in the first place?

How do you power a time machine in 100 AD? how did you build it in the first place?

Is it that time machines can send anyone to any location in time, or is it that they're so expensive and finicky that the embassy just insists on people finding their own ways between them? A paragraph at the end of page 19 makes it sound like sending someone from London 1830 to Shanghai 1832 is a fairly easy task, then two paragraphs later on page 20 it sounds like London 1830 to Shanghai 1463 dumps you in europe at the correct year and you have to find a way to china.

You've explained why the embassy can't cross 4000 AD, but what about the 10,000 BC mark? is it just really boring? does enforcement find evicting people from that time easier?

The Dojo could use a little more description, given that its central to the embassy's identity.
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Old Yesterday, 04:39 PM   #3
Embassy of Time
 
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Default Re: Looking for outside testers for new GURPS-inspired RPG line!

Thanks for reading it, I'll get right on those questions!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I'm still left a little curious about what the actual consequences of split timelines are. Is it just that they attract enforcement attention if left too long? Is there some other consequence? How does that interact with timetraveler timeline "pockets"? And how does enforcement deal with split time traveler timelines?
For enforcers, split timelines create opportunities for troublesome TTs to slip away. A new timeline is in no way guaranteed to have a strong enforcer presence. Also, the chaos of multiple timelines makes enforcement harder. There are 'bigger' problems, but those are part of a deep lore that is not on the table quite yet. Basically, it's the Time Police, trying to keep things simple and orderly.
Quote:
Can you intentionally travel to each half of a split timeline? why or why not?
Yes, but it's a whole new level of TT tech, which The Embassy is still behind many others in, especially enforcers.
Quote:
Enforcement goes around busting up colonies, and the embassy goes around rellocating those people. But because going native is hard, that means they're not removing those people in space, just in time. How is what the embassy does different than just establishing moving the colonists to a new and safer colony? Is the point to make a colony that's less intrusive? And why is enforcement leaving these people to save in the first place?
Yes, it's basically hiding people in ways that are less intrusive, i.e. less likely to grab attention. Think of it like hiding illegals. And enforcers aren't intentionally leaving anyone, they just don't always catch all of them. They're refugees from a 'time war', essentially.
Quote:
How do you power a time machine in 100 AD? how did you build it in the first place?
It's hard, very hard. Heck, doing it in 3475 is hard! There are factions fighting tooth and nail to reproduce full technologies, step by step, until the parts for a time machine can be built. Some use them for their own work, some let allied factions use them under the right circumstances, and some straigh tup sell them, although the ones The Embassy can get its hands on are usually not the best quality.

Quick question: Is this subject interesting enough to add a section on? I like the subject, but I'm worried whether it would be too much of a sideline, or if it's something people might want for interest and use in very lore-centric adventures?
Quote:
Is it that time machines can send anyone to any location in time, or is it that they're so expensive and finicky that the embassy just insists on people finding their own ways between them? A paragraph at the end of page 19 makes it sound like sending someone from London 1830 to Shanghai 1832 is a fairly easy task, then two paragraphs later on page 20 it sounds like London 1830 to Shanghai 1463 dumps you in europe at the correct year and you have to find a way to china.
Space is easier to cross than time, so sending someone far away in space is easier than sending them far away in time. The limitations come from how 'destinations' are created: Some kind of stable matter (usually a rock) is used as a tracker, allowing the time traveler to arrive anywhere that rock was. Finding a rock that will bring the time traveler to an exact spot is very difficult (imagine having to find a rock that was at a certain spot in 1832). If a rock or similar tracker can be found that was in Shanghai in 1463, The Embassy can use it to create a connection to that spot, at that time.
Quote:
You've explained why the embassy can't cross 4000 AD, but what about the 10,000 BC mark? is it just really boring? does enforcement find evicting people from that time easier?
The last ice age, basically. The Embassy, and most other time travel factions, have a limit to how far back they can safely send anyone. The ice age makes it hard to send soeone safely back to before 10,000BC, because any spot they'd arrive in might be buried under thick ice sheets. Also, the trip even a few millenia back requires a lot of time travel infrastructure. It's basically like sending someone from Europe to the middle of Africa in the 1600s. Not impossible, just very very difficult, and The Embassy has yet to crack that nut. Also, there currently is limited use in spending resources on it. But it's a future goal, for them and many others!
Quote:
The Dojo could use a little more description, given that its central to the embassy's identity.
I am writing on agent training right now, and the dojo will be a very central topic in the rules section, as it is a meta angle on teaching the players the rules, by describing early agent training. I am giddy to start going into it, but I need to do some other things first.

Thank you for your response, and if you have more, please let me know. I have uploaded a new pdf a few days ago (same link), not sure if yours is the latest. I hope to upload one again within the next few days. The current version is 54 pages, plus 3 pages of mostly empty outlining.
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Old Today, 06:09 AM   #4
ericthered
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Default Re: Looking for outside testers for new GURPS-inspired RPG line!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Embassy of Time View Post
For enforcers, split timelines create opportunities for troublesome TTs to slip away. A new timeline is in no way guaranteed to have a strong enforcer presence. Also, the chaos of multiple timelines makes enforcement harder. There are 'bigger' problems, but those are part of a deep lore that is not on the table quite yet. Basically, it's the Time Police, trying to keep things simple and orderly.
Ok, so from the Embassy and the character's perspectives, why don't you want to accidentally run into your future self with a nasty scar over one eye at a class 6 office? What's the drawback for that character?

Quote:
It's hard, very hard. Heck, doing it in 3475 is hard! There are factions fighting tooth and nail to reproduce full technologies, step by step, until the parts for a time machine can be built. Some use them for their own work, some let allied factions use them under the right circumstances, and some straigh tup sell them, although the ones The Embassy can get its hands on are usually not the best quality.

Quick question: Is this subject interesting enough to add a section on? I like the subject, but I'm worried whether it would be too much of a sideline, or if it's something people might want for interest and use in very lore-centric adventures?
Yes. And leveraging future knowledge on low tech to make weird hybrid tech is kind of a major theme of the setting, so the larger topic is probably something you'll want to illustrate.

Quote:
Space is easier to cross than time, so sending someone far away in space is easier than sending them far away in time. The limitations come from how 'destinations' are created: Some kind of stable matter (usually a rock) is used as a tracker, allowing the time traveler to arrive anywhere that rock was. Finding a rock that will bring the time traveler to an exact spot is very difficult (imagine having to find a rock that was at a certain spot in 1832). If a rock or similar tracker can be found that was in Shanghai in 1463, The Embassy can use it to create a connection to that spot, at that time.
Ok, so you have to find the tracker at the time of the time machine, and you have to find one that goes where you want it to. I didn't get that the first time. You may want to go back and make that clearer.

How do you travel to the future? I thought making a destination was a fairly destructive process. how do you get a rock to 2315 from the present day when you have to destroy and archive the rock in 2020?
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Old Today, 08:00 AM   #5
Embassy of Time
 
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Default Re: Looking for outside testers for new GURPS-inspired RPG line!

Quote:
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Ok, so from the Embassy and the character's perspectives, why don't you want to accidentally run into your future self with a nasty scar over one eye at a class 6 office? What's the drawback for that character?
Meeting your older self could change what you would have done to become that older self, meaning your younger self embarks down a different path. that means there are now two different versions of you running around the timestream, meaning everything you do effectively splits the timeline anywhere you go. It's a mess. There are ways that self-multiplication is used (in fact, one way is very important in the novels), but it's something done veeeery carefully, to avoid escalating timeline changes!
Quote:
Yes. And leveraging future knowledge on low tech to make weird hybrid tech is kind of a major theme of the setting, so the larger topic is probably something you'll want to illustrate.
Ohhhh, I have so many noted on this! This is going to get interesting...!
Quote:
Ok, so you have to find the tracker at the time of the time machine, and you have to find one that goes where you want it to. I didn't get that the first time. You may want to go back and make that clearer.
Will do, thanks for the heads up!
Quote:
How do you travel to the future? I thought making a destination was a fairly destructive process. how do you get a rock to 2315 from the present day when you have to destroy and archive the rock in 2020?
The time machine locks onto the original timeline of the rock (or technically, the previous timeline, but that's not the issue right here), without time traveler interference. So you'll go to the future where that rock would have been if no time travelers had been around to move the rock. I love it when people actually ask these questions!!! There are so few time travel stories these days that go into depth with this crazy stuff!

Oh, and I just updated the file, so there's now a lot of stuff about being a time agent, and a section copied from an earlier version on how to write adventures, although you probably don't need that. The aim is to make every book in the series a complete stand-alone.
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