I Ran TimeWatch on International Pelgrane Day

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of their Gumshoe system, Pelgrane Press declared last Friday, October 21, as International Pelgrane Day, and encouraged their fans to play their favorite Pelgrane games. And since all I need is an excuse, I did!

I really like the Gumshoe system. I’ve played two Gumshoe games, Night’s Black Agents (on Free RPG Day 2016) and TimeWatch (at Gen Con 2016), and I’ve read a third, Trail of Cthulhu. But choosing which one to run was easy: the one my wife and I couldn’t get enough of at Gen Con: TimeWatch!

The adventure I ran was “Recruiting Call,” from the TimeWatch rulebook. I ran it for my group at home, using the pregenerated characters Pelgrane provided on their website.

I also got to use my action tracker cards and my Rippers
bennies (as Halloween-themed “stitches”).

Now my wife has played two of the pregens, Altani and Vid, and made the most of each role. I’m sure it would seem like obvious pandering if I declared her the MVP of the game, so I won’t do that. (She totally was.)

I don’t want to spoil any details of the adventure, but I can mention it involved time-traveling Nazis and a famous historical figure. At one point, the players have to prevent a Nazi from keeping the historical figure’s parents from meeting and marrying. My friend Jerrod (playing Skegg) came up with the most entertaining plan I heard all night: he would use Skegg’s disguise ability to impersonate the mother of the historical figure and get the Nazi to fall in love with–and marry–Skegg. (Things didn’t exactly go that way, but I wish they had.)

Some other highlights from our game:

  • Skegg disguising herself as a Nazi general, Hitler, and Elvis.
  • The players researching history on their phones, saving us all from listening to me drone on about everything.
  • The team going back in time to arrange a “hunting accident.”
  • The players cleverly using Preparedness to seed the area with horses and C4, “Bill and Ted” style.
  • The PCs realizing that they had to avoid killing an enemy that they already saw die later in life.

This was a good example of an improvisational adventure. It had a linear structure, in that scene one led to scene two which led to scene three, but within each scene the players had plenty of leeway in how they tackled the situations. That’s a little outside my comfort zone, and I’m glad I got to practice running a game in this style. I want more.

I dressed up for the occasion.

How about you? Are you a Pelgrane fan? Did you do anything fun on International Pelgrane Day (whether related to their games or not)?

Check this out, too…Pelgrane posted a round-up of Pelgrane Day events on their website, including some videos of game sessions.

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