Adventures in Time
The characters are the players in “past lives”; there is a fractal resonance between the players and the PCs. This is discussed in depth in Campaign Philosophy.
Characters in general know only what the players know. In other words, the characters use the character sheet that the player has created, regardless of the specific character that is being played.
Players begin with a character sheet based on their own skills and abilities. Players can add to their skills (and therefore their CP) by demonstrating proficiency in that skill. This can be accomplished by (in increasing order of CP granted) reading an article they have found aloud; delivering an oral report or discussion on the subject; demonstrating the skill in question; or submitting a written report on the subject.
There are caveats to this. First, there may be some basic knowledge that the players lack that we may presume that the character has, most obviously knowledge of his home language. Second, characters will not possess skills or information that a person of his era [and station] could not reasonably obtain. Third, once the maximum CP for the adventure has been reached, new skills can only be added by displacing old skills. The purpose for this is to prevent, say, a Roman from knowing how to make a bow and arrow, for instance, or to track game (not that there were not Romans with these skills, but a Roman city character with these skills and city skills would be a bit out of place and overpowered). I’m not sure how this interacts with the “CP as Luck points” notion I’m thinking of, however.
The idea here is that the players suddenly find themselves at some point in history. Or rather, their analogues discover themselves at some point in history. What the players know, the characters know. To be specific, anything the players learn—or even, to some degree, learn about—the characters know. There is a mystical connection between the players and their characters that persists through time.
What’s more, characters can gain new Skills regardless of CP, by the simple mechanism of the player demonstrating a certain level of proficiency in the skill. I’m not quite sure how I’ll handle this, but doing research on a specific subject can provide skill points, even if the player can’t actually do the skill himself. Oral discussion of the skill could count as one CP; a printout on the subject two; finding a hard copy description or discussion of the skill three; and a written report on the subject four or more.
I’m not sure that’s quite right; perhaps an oral discussion should count more than a printout, if it’s good. Yeah, that makes sense. And these are additive. Actual demonstration of the skill in question, of course, simply gives the skill at the demonstrated level of competence.
In any case, instead of replacing CP like I was thinking, such things should give CP. Frankly I’d like to implement that idea, somewhat modified, in my regular campaigns.
I’m not sure whether this should go here or in Philosophy, but I’m thinking that characters get transformed into a period-appropriate body, in period-appropriate clothes, in a mission-appropriate situation. I’m not thinking Quantum Leap, though I may go that way, but themselves in modified bodies. No one would specifically know them, but if two random kids show up in correct dress in a palace, they will simply be assumed to be new servants by nearly everyone. If that’s not feasible, two new orphans on the street will be noticed by just about no one except other orphans, who will probably not care where they came from. Occasionally they should have to come up with an explanation for themselves, but the focus should rarely be on the fear of being caught out as outsiders (though occasionally that could mean being thrown into slavery, which could be interesting).
Remember, they only move forward when they have solved the issue of the day. They don’t come home until they’ve reached the present.
Characters always maintain their present age and stats, regardless of their bodily appearance. However, sometimes they might find their bodies transformed into another sex. But it’s still their body, so the rules under Mental Projection (TT 64-5) do not apply.
Remember, characters maintain a psychic connection to their players, and it is normally the case that characters only learn skills by demonstration of knowledge about those skills by the players.