This material is adapted and summarised from GURPS Time Travel for the convenience of my players. No challenge is made to the copyright of the original document.
The typical beginning Timepiece Agent is a citizen of the Commonwealth aged somewhere in their twenties. Some come into the agency straight from education, but quite a few have served some time in a Defence or Police Agency prior to joining Timepiece. As the Temporal Control Agency is a Unit Nations agency, people from other nations are permitted to join, but except when Timepiece specifically targets to recruit agents of Chinese and Japanese descent, it is fairly unusual for them to do so.
There is no racism in these hiring practices (though there is an element of nationalism). They reflect the fact that the enemy universe is significantly less racially diverse than our own and tends to confine its interventions to those areas where its people can fit in better, and Timepiece finds it sensible to do the same – preserving the flow of time is difficult enough without having to explain the presence of an Arab in 16th century Central America (although it can be done).
The above should be borne in mind when creating a character.
Characters are created on a base of 100 points, but there are certain advantages, and disadvantages and skills that must be purchased and certain disadvantages are not permitted.
A Timepiece Agent must have the 20 point disadvantage – Duty to Timepiece. This naturally gives them additional points for character creation, and is not counted against their total number of disadvantages.
Timepiece cannot be used as a Patron – usually the time when an agent would most need their help is a time Timepiece can’t help them.
Note the advantages and disadvantages from the Time Travel book are (obviously) worth special consideration in this game. All characters suffer from common, mild Timesickness unless they buy it off (5 points)
Agents must have a skill levels of at least 12 in Guns (B51) and Beam Weapons (B49) and must spend points to achieve this. All must speak English – it is the lingua Franca of 2100CE – to IQ level, whether as their default Language or as one purchased as an Average Mental skill (2 point cost). In addition, all Agents are expected to have the following language skills.
All agents must purchase the following neolanguages. A neolanguage is created by an artificial intelligence analysing a series of closely related languages to identify the shared words that form a core for understanding. These languages are limited but allow for basic communication between a person and a speaker of any of the languages that share a neolanguage core. Neolanguages are Easy Mental skills (1 point cost at IQ level).
Romance (Spanish, Italian, Romanian, French, Portuguese)
Teutonic (English, German, Dutch, Afrikaans, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, and Faeroese.)
Sinojaponic (China, Japan, Tibet, Burma)
Notes: All groups also include a host of less common languages. Russians and Indians virtually all speak exceptionally fluent English, and so nobody has bothered creating Neolanguages specifically for them – Teutonic will suffice, even if a person does not speak English.
Neolanguages can be used to communicate with people in the past but they will notice something unusual about the characters language skills. It may be passed off as simply limited proficiency, but too much communication with an exceptionally intelligent or educated individuals may arouse suspicions of precisely where these strange people come from. For this reason, agents are strongly encouraged – though not actually required – to learn at least one foreign language fluently. It can be a good idea for a group of agents to discuss what languages each of them knows in order to try and avoid too much duplication at the expense of linguistic diversity. In this context, agents are encouraged to consider Latin, and Ancient Greek as foreign languages.
There was an, ultimately doomed, attempt in the mid 21st century to make Esperanto the universal tongue (English was simply too dominant for it to make much headway, and the development of neolanguages put the final nail in the coffin of the attempt). In 2100CE it is considered the mark of a truly educated individual to be able to speak Esperanto (Easy Mental skill – 1 point for IQ level) but it is a fairly pointless skill.
Timepiece Agents are expected to be healthy and therefore no major physical disadvantages may be taken and some minor physical disadvantages may not be allowed either. Mental disadvantages will only be allowed if they are non critical to an Agents work. Timepiece rarely hires Agents with Dependants.
Skills – just about any skill could be useful in the past, but Timepiece does believe it is ideal that every Agency team has at least one member with the following skills and this should be discussed by players during character creation in order to ensure most of these areas are covered:
Animal Handling (Mental/Hard)
Driving [Automobile] (Physical/Average)
Electronic Operations (Mental/Average)
First Aid (Mental/Easy) OR Physician (Mental/Hard)
Piloting [Aeroplane] (Physical/Average)
Computer Operations (Mental/Easy)
Note: Timepiece provides specialised training in these areas meaning some skills are broader than is generally true in GURPS – a trained Pilot can fly anything from the Wright Flyer through to the F91 Hypereagle – and has. Likewise, the Driving skill lets you take control of just about any land based vehicle which even remotely resembles a car. Computer Operations means skill with anything from Colossus through to Wintermute-V, etc.