Doctor Who RPG: Season 12

On the occasion of completing reviews on the 1975 season of Doctor Who, I should like to re-imagine it as a role-playing game campaign using Cubicle 7's Doctor Who RPG. (Go back one, to Season 11.)

The GM
After working out plots with Terry and helping out around the table, Bob becomes full-fledged GameMaster. The best way to describe him is that he's a wit with real flair for his NPCs' dialog, something that tends to be infectious when the players are immersed in his games. Because this is his and two players' first season, he plans to re-introduce some old monsters from the campaign archives, add some new ones, and even use the Time Lords. Not just to try them out, but to better integrate everyone into the game world. His other idea was to see if he could interconnect stories differently, to make them feel more like a single grand campaign than a series of disparate adventures.

The Characters
-The new Doctor is played by Tom, an enthusiastic gamer with a big personality and plenty of with himself. His concept for the Time Lord is to use Eccentric Traits to showcase how alien he is, give him the wrong emotions for the situation, and play most of them as if it were a joke. The kind of player who can't stay in his seat, but almost must act out every gesture. Reshuffling the Doctor's stats, he makes him a better detective, but a worse fighter, a lover of humanity though behaviorally apart from it.
-Lis is coming back for more, though she'll find throughout the season that she was better suited at Earth/present locations than the science fiction stuff. Not just her character, though she did invest a lot in the working journalist premise she developed with Terry, but as a player whose imagination is also a bit more grounded in reality. It takes her a few games to get her place around this new table where everyone seems to take a lot of room.
-Ian, who was a guest of Terry's in Season 10, created a UNIT character with Terry and now has time to play him, but is he still relevant? Harry Sullivan, a Navy physician attached to UNIT, he was crafted as an action man because Tom was apparently going to play an older, more cerebral Doctor. Not only did he change his mind about that, but the GM also decided UNIT and Earth weren't going to play such a big role in his scenarios. Though he had to share action opportunities with Tom, Ian nevertheless kept Harry active and useful, and built a strong chemistry with the other two players. His old-fashioned, good-natured but sexist doctor was the perfect foil for Sarah Jane's feminism, and the Doctor enjoyed mentoring and ridiculing him, according to the occasion.
-Nick and John, the UNIT boys, agree to participate in the first adventure of the season, to help baptize the new Doctor (and the new GM).

Robot. One of the stories Bob had worked with Terry on, but the latter never got to use, about a robot with a heart and evil scientists using it to threaten the world. Bob started with this one so as not to waste it, but also as a safety net for his first game. He might have done better plotting it himself because it's really a bit of nonsense (Terry's plots often were). However, as an introduction for the two new players, giving Lis what felt like one last journalism story for Sarah Jane, and the UNIT boys a lot of action, it did its job.

Attributes: Awareness 2, Coordination 2, Ingenuity 2, Presence 3, Resolve 3, Strength 7
Skills: Convince 1, Fighting 2, Knowledge 1, Marksman 2, Subterfuge 1, Technology 1
Traits: Robot; Armour (15), Empathic, Natural Weapons (Clamps, +2 Strength), Scan; Special: If absorbs Lethal doses of raw energy, gains the Huge (Major) Trait; Eccentric/Conflicted programming (must always roll against Resolve to solve ethical dilemmas; if before manipulated by Miss Frost, use Code of Conduct/Asimov's Laws instead), Obligation (to Professor Kettlewell). Story Points: 4
Home Tech Level: 5

The Ark in Space. Bob had always been good at creating new monsters, and other GMs in the local club used to ask him to design some for them on occasion. The Krotons, Autons/Nestenes, Drashigs, and Sontarans were all his designs. In his first adventure flying solo, he creates the Wirrn, true Bug-Eyed Aliens, space locust intent on absorbing humanity. The setting, a space ark where what's left of humanity has slept for the ages, is a perfect pantry. The new aliens are fairly memorable, though ultimately too powerful, and the GM resorts to NPCs sacrificing themselves for the greater good (though not without some crucial Convince rolls).

Attributes: Awareness 3, Coordination 2, Ingenuity 3, Presence 3, Resolve 3, Strength 4
Skills: Athletics 3, Convince 1, Fighting 3, Knowledge 4, Medicine 1, Science 1, Subterfuge 1, Survival 4, Technology 1
Traits: Alien; Additional Limbs (4), Alien Appearance, Armour (5/10 against energy weapons), Environmental (Space), Fear Factor 1, Flight (Major), Infection, Natural Weapons (Mandibles, +2 Strength), Networked, Sense of Direction; Slow (outside space environment). Story Points: 3-6
Home Tech Level: Special (Wirrn can use any technology normally used by creatures they infect)

The Sontaran Experiment. Letting the players think the scenario isn't over and that Earth must be checked out to see if it's safe for the revived humans, the GM surprises them with another foe down below, one of his own Sontarans! It was Lis' first monster and she responds well to their return. But if the Wirrn were too powerful, a lone Sontaran is too weak a threat for three PCs and the adventure is quickly over. A new GM has to learn these things.

Genesis of the Daleks. When the PCs T Mat back to space station Nerva, their beam is intercepted by the Time Lords who give the Doctor a mission: Destroy the Daleks before they're born! Bob isn't content with a scenario that features the Daleks, he wants to add to the campaign grand tapestry. In the mutilated Davros, he gives them a creator who is an intellectual match for the Doctor. A pleasant surprise is that the jokes all fall away when the genocidal dilemma comes into play. Tom scores a lot of Story Points for not blindly following Time Lord orders. This is also the scenario in which Lis finds her feet again. Would Bob have let the Daleks be wiped from the campaign? He's not telling.

DAVROS (early years)
Attributes: Awareness 4, Coordination 2, Ingenuity 7, Presence 4, Resolve 5, Strength 2
Skills: Convince 4, Craft 4, Knowledge 6, Medicine 6, Science 6, Subterfuge 2, Survival 2, Technology 6 (+2 Cybernetics)
Traits: Cyborg, Indomitable, Scan, Technically Adept, Tough, Voice of Authority; Dependency (Major, Life support chair), Eccentric/Megalomania, Impaired Senses (vision, an electronic eye compensates), Obsession (to make the Daleks the dominant life form), Unattractive, Weakness (no legs, one arm, limited movement). Story Points: 11
Home Tech Level: 6 (Equipment: Life Support Chair [Armor 10, Speed 4, Environmental, Immortality, Transmit; from it, he can operate various equipment, including newly-built Daleks)

Attributes: Awareness 1, Coordination 1, Ingenuity 1, Presence 1, Resolve 3, Strength 5
Skills: Fighting 1, Subterfuge 2
Traits: Alien; Alien Appearance, Armor (10), Fear Factor 1, Natural Weapon ("Mouth", +2 Strength); Weakness (immobile, can only work its "jaw"). Story Points: N/A
Home Tech Level: N/A

Revenge of the Cybermen. When the PCs return to Nerva, the GM plays yet another trick on them. It's a Nerva from the past, acting as a science station exploring a rogue planet. As villains, he decides to pull the Cybermen out of mothballs, though he's not really sure how they used to be played and no one's around to tell him, so he reconstructs what he can from old campaign notes and wings the rest. The adventure almost kills Sarah Jane (watch those saves against poison!), and ends with a fair bit of excitement which requires the expenditure of a lot of Story Point in order to get the best possible result. At adventure's end, the TARDIS drifts back into the now, just in time for season's end.

By then, the UNITeers have mentioned an interest in returning for another season opener, and Bob's got an idea for it, so he lays it in as a telegraph message from across space and time. Something to look forward to in a new season.


Anonymous said…
Sweet! This is the exact point at which I was introduced to Doctor Who in 1977 or 78. The local NBC affiliate started airing episodes after school each week day.
Siskoid said…
Season 12 is where North America's love affair with Doctor Who began!
Kit said…
Wonderful as always! I always find these inspirational. IIRC, "Revenge of the Cybermen" is the first story featuring the Cyberman weakness to gol which becomes quite silly over the years. IF I do remember it correctly, I'm surprised you didnt comment on this big change to the Cybermen. If I dont, then, nevermind :)

Regardless, these write-ups always make me want to watch old eps again and run a campaign of my own

Siskoid said…
I did mention it aplenty in my daily Doctor Who reviews, and only left it as a veiled reference (Bob not really knowing what they were like... campaign notes might not say what the Weakness is) here.