Typhoid Paradox [TimeWatch]

Yup, more Timewatch.

Typhoid Paradox
(This writeup is meant for use with the TimeWatch RPG.)

Some entities (and some objects) have a parasitic relationship with time. They are known as Typhoid Paradoxes, and they typically form when a person or item is present at both a radical change to the timestream, and its equally-radical change back. ‘Radical’ in this case means ‘something that TimeWatch has to drop everything to fix, right now,’ not ‘the wrong country won the war’ or even ‘a mutant form of smallpox just wiped out Eurasia.’ Anything that threatens the ability of TimeWatch itself to function (or exist) would qualify. 

Thankfully, the above means that the conditions to create a Typhoid Paradox are rare. And even then, most of the time nothing happens. But every so often someone or something gets temporally permanently warped. Typhoid Paradoxes who can talk about the experience have reported that the warping feels like their skin is slightly but perpetually covered in goosebumps, and all Typhoid Paradoxes are slightly warmer to the touch than expected.

Those are just symptoms, though. The problem is that Typhoid Paradoxes drain Chronal Stability all around them, constantly, and reflexively. In game terms: even at rest, all Paradox tests for those around them are at +1 to Difficulty, including Travel tests. Typhoid Paradoxes can also spend a point of Tempus to increase the Difficulty of a test by another +1. For every six points of Chronal Stability lost that way, the Typhoid Paradox increases her Tempus pool by 1.

TimeWatch actually does not attack Typhoid Paradoxes on sight, as they are extremely annoying to fight at best, and fairly dangerous at worst. The conditions that create them do not appear to also cause emotional instability, which means that some Typhoid Paradoxes can be bribed, persuaded, or reasoned with. 

And some cannot.

Defense: Hit threshold 4, Armor 1 (Paradox), Health 8
Offense: Scuffling +1, Shooting +1, Damage Modifier +0
Abilities: Tempus 20
Special Abilities: Awareness, Chronal Drain, Destabilize, Embrace Instability, Help Yourself, Restabilize
Misc: Alertness Modifier +2, Stealth Modifier +2

The Great Syndicate [Timewatch], Part 1.

Something that I’m working on.

The Great Syndicate [Timewatch]
(This writeup is meant for use with the TimeWatch RPG.)

Strictly speaking, it should be ‘Il Grande Sindacato,’ since that’s what its members call themselves. The Great Syndicate particularly loathes both English and English-speakers, and particularly resents being referred to using that language. Which is why TimeWatch keeps doing it. The war between the two groups may be relatively minor (despite the Syndicate’s best efforts), but it’s exceedingly nasty. Using deliberately inflammatory names are among the least objectionable things that happen during it.

Origins: The Great Syndicate is a product of the main timeline, unfortunately. Time travel research in Fascist Italy was pseudoscientific, even by the flexible standards of totalitarian regimes, and never received more than the most cursory amounts of patronage and support. Unfortunately, even the smallest amounts of money can be useful if the theory was sound, and the theory that Professore Gianmarco Francone came up with was particularly sound. On his own, Francone developed a functional, if primitive version of an autochron in September of 1943… just in time for the Allied invasion of Italy.

The lessons Francone and his cronies learned in their doomed attempt to fight that invasion have informed the Great Syndicate’s thinking ever since. Francone was an absolutely committed Fascist who loathed the Nazi regime for their bizarre Teutonic race-superstitions (and their ancestors’ invasions of the Roman Empire). Accordingly, he recruited solely from other Italian fascist groups, trying at first to reverse battles on the tactical level by putting the right person in the right place at the right time. 

He soon discovered that the flow of time was hard to divert, and harder to keep diverted. His autochrons were also short-ranged in both space, and time. The first generation of them could manage, at best, a day in time, and twenty kilometers in space, and did not have elaborate safety interlocks to avoid jumps into solid objects. While disasters coming from those could be rewritten after the fact, in the long run Francone’s interventions had no appreciable effect on the invasion. Interestingly, that also saved his nascent organization from getting Timewatch’s attention. World War II is a popular destination for time travelers, most of whom had better gear than the Syndicate’s, and more extravagant goals. 

Francone did not succeed in stopping the Allied invasion, but the eight months he spent frantically trying allowed him to rapidly develop the autochrons into something like state of the art, mature gear. The struggle also taught the Syndicate to be patient, which was probably a more unfortunate lesson. The organization eventually abandoned the twentieth century entirely, deciding to recreate itself as a cell structure, scattered throughout history. 

Their goal? Well, obviously the greatest empire in history was Rome’s. The true one, the one centered on the Eternal City herself. With enough heroic labor and direct action, Rome could be made even stronger yet… and never, ever fall at all. But there is a decadent and effete group opposing them. It is more powerful, for now, so the Great Syndicate must be careful, and insinuate itself in history, gaining power and influence for the day of the General Strike. With supreme Will and sheer Spirit they will seize Destiny, and create the perfect State in a lightning-flash of Glory.

At least, that’s the plan. Implementing it is proving more difficult. The Great Syndicate spends most of its time hiding from Timewatch, encouraging bad economic policy, and being generally nasty to the local poor and downtrodden. Unfortunately, that last part is par for the course for most of recorded history, so it’s hard for outside observers to notice that there’s anything ‘wrong.’

Happy McFlyday Eve!

Tomorrow, of course, is the anniversary of the first deliberate, controlled time travel event involving a human specimen. And he even made it back! …Eventually.

Continue reading Happy McFlyday Eve!