Tuesday, July 5, 2016

My TimeWatch Resource List

“TimeWatch, by Kevin Kulp, is a GUMSHOE game of investigative time travel. You are a defender of history, an elite TimeWatch agent plucked out of your native era and trained to stop saboteurs from ripping history apart. Your training allows you to diagnose disruptions in the time stream and track down the cause, making conclusions that less capable investigators might just guess at. The TimeWatch rules presume that you are a highly competent badass. Who are you to prove them wrong?”

- Description of the TimeWatch RPG from Pelgrane Press.

I backed the TimeWatch RPG Kickstarter in 2014.* Time travel hi-jinks and the GUMSHOE system made for an appealing combination. The latest series of updates include electronic versions of the finalized game materials and news that the books are going to press soon. Which gives me a deadline for getting ready to run the game if I wish to wait until the physical copy of the rulebook arrives. My knowledge of real and alternate history isn't something I can rely on to launch a TimeWatch campaign without research. To that end, I put together a resource list after a quick pass through my personal library.

GURPS Time Travel. Steve Jackson and John M. Ford explore the concept of a time travel RPG. Plenty of ideas to mine here. Pity that the timeline in the back ends in 1994, but that can't be helped. Copyright 1991, 1995.

GURPS Alternate Earths. Kenneth Hite, Craig Neumeier, and Micheal S. Schiffer present a number of alternate histories for the Infinite Worlds campaign frame from GURPS Time Travel. Some of the alternate histories don't stand up to close inspection, but whisking the player characters in and out of them fast enough should help prevent awkward questions. Copyright 1996, 1998.

GURPS Alternate Earths 2. The sequel to GURPS Alternate Earths. Copyright 1999.

GURPS Who's Who 1 and GURPS Who's Who 2. These anthologies complied by Phil Masters presents figures from throughout history. More importantly, those figures are presented from a game perspective. Information on how they might react to the player characters and notes on how they might impact a time travel game are the focus. Copyright 1999.

Suppressed Transmission and Suppressed Transmission 2. Anthologies of Kenneth Hite's column of the same name which ran in Pyramid Magazine during its years as a website. In particular, the essays on history and alternate histories promise plenty of ideas for the borrowing. Some of the concepts here are more thoroughly explored in Kenneth Hite's later works. Copyright 2000.

What If? An anthology of essays describing turning points in military history and the alternate worlds that could have resulted from changes to that history. Copyright 1999. Edited by Robert Cowley.

What If? 2. Editor Robert Cowley casts a wider net for the essays in this sequel to What If? The book is not exclusively focused military history. Copyright 2001.

With all this, I don't have to come up with my own ideas for TimeWatch. I can just borrow from the hard work of others!

* The fact that I'm getting my backer rewards two years later doesn't surprise me. My previous Kickstarter experiences have turned me a little cynical and I regard the delivery dates given for backer rewards as fictional. I have to credit Kevin Kulp with keeping up excellent communications and updates for TimeWatch's backers. Not every Kickstarter goes to that much effort to maintain goodwill.

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