So getting a new computer had a disproportionately large impact on my podcast listening, so I'm just catching up.
Time Sculptors and We Call Her "Amelia" are a great pair to have back to back. I think the only game idea between the two where I didn't have a "My God, I want to play that" reaction was the inverse zombie one, which was still amusing.
I don't really have a game idea for Time Sculptors, but I thought of a couple of works of fiction that kind of fit the concept with non-evil people doing the time manipulation. (Not really for aesthetic purposes, I'll grant. I'm at a loss for how you'd have someone manipulating time as a work of art that wouldn't be truly despicable.) Anyway, I thought I'd share them with the class to see if they made anyone else think of anything actually playable. This is going to be spoilerific. Look behind the tags at your own peril.
The first is Dinosaur Beach
by Keith Laumer.The first discoverers of Time Travel made a real mess. The main character is an agent of an organization dedicated to repairing the damage to the timelines. His opponents are members of different organizations with the same goal, except that they're convinced that their solution is the right one. Also, he's actually a covert infiltrator of the organization you first think he's a member of, and actually works for the ultimate fixer, who is the only one that recognizes that the fix must necessarily involve their own erasure from the timelines.
The actual time travel plot gets pretty confusing, but there are a lot of awesome set pieces along the way.
The second is the comic "Time Breakers"
by Rachel Pollack.The Time Breakers are an organization that create temporal paradoxes, both of the Grandfatherand Bootstrapkind. They do this because, contrary to how things usually work in Time Travel fiction, paradoxes are necessary to the health of the space time continuum. They are opposed by the Knowers, who are convinced that the Time Breakers are evil. The ultimate victory of the Time Breakers involves (a) giving the leader of the Knowers his "divine" mission and (b) giving him the means to prevent the Time Breakers from ever being founded. Resulting in the biggest Grandfather paradox ever, and permanently securing the health of all space time.
I do have an idea for "Amelia," which oddly enough (or perhaps not so oddly) involves time manipulation.
My starting point was taking the seed in what struck me as the most literal way possible. We of course know how often any two people agree on that
proposition. Anyway, there's a woman. Her legal name is not Amelia. At no time in the past has she had the nickname Amelia or any association with the name Amelia. She does not resemble anyone named Amelia. There is absolutely no connection anyone can find between her and the name Amelia. Yet there is a group of people who feel compelled to call her Amelia, and she answers to the name without hesitation. What could cause this? Some residual awareness of an erased timeline, of course.
I carried this to the PCs being a group of people who have become aware that someone or something is messing with the timeline. Whether this actually involves the specific inciting incident of Amelia or something else that triggers the conviction that something isn't the way it used to/should be, is left up to the GMs discretion. The plot would be figuring out something is wrong, figuring out who's responsible, and stopping them.
Anyway, I've also enjoyed the little bit of travel-log that is accompanying Craig's peregrinations. I consider where I live to be "A nice place to live, but I wouldn't want to visit there." Be that as it may, if, when you visit the States, you feel a compulsion to visit Madison, Wisconsin, let me know, and we can meet up.