Doctor Who RPG: Series 6

On the occasion of completing reviews on the Doctor Who's 6th Series, I should like to re-imagine it as a role-playing game campaign using Cubicle 7's Doctor Who RPG. (Go back one, to Torchwood: Miracle Day.)

The GM
Even with the extra lead time he'd given himself preparing the previous series, Steven found he didn't have enough to do his best job, and lost a lot of team partway into it. Maybe if he didn't insist on some complicated grand arc, but it's what  the players come back for. So here's the deal: He'll split the series into two, taking a break after about half the sessions to regroup, work on his scenarios, and as a nice side-effect, dole out more crazy cliffhangers than ever before. So as not to test his players' patience, he also has a few ideas for scenes that can be played at social gatherings or online.

The Players
-It's a good thing Matt trusts Steven, but the GM sets his character's death up and leaves it up to him to get out of it (or not)! Because 200 years apparently go by between the beginning and end of the series, Matt wants to make sure his Doctor learns something and evolves.
-Karen puts a couple of Skill points into Amy Pond, but what she really wants to accomplish is to mellow her character's attitude towards Rory, and make their relationship more of an equal partnership. The GM has told her she's pregnant at the start of the series, but it turns out to be part of his master plan. Fiendish.
-Because Rory spent hundreds of years as the Last Centurion, Arthur gets to put lots of points into the character, but even so, he decides to use those Skills sparingly, as if Rory can only access them with some effort.

A Christmas Carol. Before the series starts, the gang gets together during the holidays for a riff on the Dickens classic. Matt is so good at using time travel and paradoxes to manipulate events, the GM lets him go wild with the idea and from a simple Scrooge figure, the scenario soon evolves into the story of a Ghost of Christmas Past editing the Scrooge's memories. While this forces the GM to play the young Scrooge as a companion, Karen and Arthur rally the troops aboard a doomed spaceship and act as the Ghosts of Christmas Present.

Time and Space. The RPG club usually has an annual function where players demo the various ongoing campaigns, and for this, the group plays a couple of short scenes in which the TARDIS lands inside itself. There's an audience, so they play it for laughs (and get them).

The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon. Matt really does trust Steven because he lets the GM kill the Doctor permanently, in front of the other players. Of course, he's given 200 years of the Doctor's life to figure out how to get himself out of it. Karen has her own subplot - Amy's pregnant, but by the second session, is told months have gone by and she's still not showing... so what are those pictures of her with a baby in an old orphanage's nursery? The GM also introduces the Silence, an alien cult responsible for the Doctor's death, and whom no one can remember unless they're looking straight at them. The players work out a way to remind themselves using erasable marker, and Steven has fun marking them to cover forgotten scenes. Creepy. The players ingeniously rid the Earth of the Silents by using their suggestion powers against them, so the GM sort of has to retire them and stats out a human servant of the cult to do what must be done.

SILENT
Attributes: Awareness 3, Coordination 3, Ingenuity 3, Presence 4, Resolve 5, Strength 5
Skills: Athletics 1, Fighting 2, Knowledge 2, Marksman 3, Science 1, Subterfuge 5, Survival 1, Technology 3
Traits: Alien, Alien Appearance (Major), Climbing, Fear Factor 2, Hypnosis (Major), Natural Weapon/Electrical (requires a round to build up from nearby electrical sources) L[4/L/L], Special/Immediately Forgotten (If you are not looking at a Silent, you do not remember you ever saw a Silent), Tough. Story Points: 2-5
Home Tech Level: 8


The Curse of the Black Spot. A simple pirate scenario featuring a holographic physician that acts like a siren. Arthur loses a pile of Story Points resurrecting himself after the other players completely fail the resuscitation roll. The GM lets him buy off the Unadventurous Trait.

The Doctor's Wife.
The GM puts the TARDIS' consciousness in a woman, allowing the Doctor to interact with her. It's a high-wire act because she doesn't perceive time linearly and has to respond to things that haven't happened yet (so the trick is making them happen). Lots of craziness ensues, including a race through the bowels of the TARDIS as the alien parasite called House shows Amy and Rory their greatest fears, and the Doctor building a makeshift TARDIS from old parts found in a TARDIS graveyard.

The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People.
Steven introduces a type of technology called the Flesh, used to make "Gangers", disposable copies of a person's body they can "pilot" to do dangerous tasks. Of course, a freak storm makes a batch of them self-aware, including one based on the Doctor (Matt even plays both). The players appreciate the horror and paranoia as much as the negotiating for a species' right to exist. What they don't realize is that the GM created the Flesh so he could pull a fast on: Amy was Flesh all along, and she's having her baby under Silence supervision, somewhere (it explains the weird visions and phantom pains she's been experiencing). Shocker!

GANGER (self-aware)
Attributes: Awareness *, Coordination 4, Ingenuity *, Presence *, Resolve *, Strength 5
Skills*: Athletics 1, Convince 2, Fighting 2, Knowledge 1, Subterfuge 4
Traits: Shapeshift (Special), *Special/Gangers have the memories (and thus Skills and mental Attributes of the person they are based on). Story Points: 3-6
Home Tech Level: 6


A Good Man Goes to War. The finale before the self-imposed break coincides with a number of players wanting to try out the game. Matt offers to have his Doctor build a gang from across space and time to help him rescue Amy, and the GM agrees. So in addition to the Doctor, Rory and River (the GM's favorite NPC), the game will feature PCs created by Neve (a Victorian Silurian detective-samurai called Madame Vastra), Cartin (Jenny, her assistant and lover) and Dan (Strax, a Sontaran punished with nurse duty). Though they're in the service of an ongoing story, all three agree they'd play again some time, even if they're a little mystified by the various revelations flying around, the biggest of which being that Amy's kidnapped baby will grow up to be River Song.

Let's Kill Hitler. Returning from the break, the GM asks if Karen and Arthur would mind role-playing some scenes from their characters' childhoods so he can introduce Mels, a childhood friend he wanted to introduce as an adult (one that gets them into trouble by forcing the Doctor to go back to the Hitler's Germany). They agree, and have some fun creating the origin of their relationship, but once again, they've been hornswaggled by the GM. Mels soon regenerates and becomes River Song! She even manages to assassinate the Doctor as programmed by the Silence, though in the end, saves him. To give the Doctor a second opportunity for a "get-out-of-death" card (the first was the Flesh), the GM also introduces the Tesselecta, a man-sized shapeshifting robot manned by miniaturized justice-seekers. Perhaps because it was introduced closer to the series' resolution, it's what Matt went with.

Night Terrors. An alien child is causing all his fears to be sucked into a doll's house, and he's afraid of absolutely everything. Steven insists on playing this scenario with the lights off and just a torch to compensate. It creates the required mood.

The Girl Who Waited.
In this timey-wimey scenario, Amy is separated from the other players by a time stream moving at an increased pace. By the time they get to her, she's aged 36 years. The GM hands Karen a modified character sheet and off they go. Obviously, the idea is to undo that timeline and bring the young Amy back to the TARDIS before she can lose all those years, but Karen decides to test the limits of the campaign by insisting both Amys should survive. Arthur goes along with it, but Matt, getting stern warnings from his Feel the Turn of the Universe Trait, does not. It's kind of heartbreaking.

OLDER AMY
Attributes: Awareness 4, Coordination 5, Ingenuity 4, Presence 4, Resolve 5, Strength 4
Skills: Athletics 3, Convince 2, Craft 1, Fighting 4, Knowledge 2, Marksman 2, Medicine 2, Science 2, Subterfuge 3, Survival 4, Technology 3
Traits: Argumentative, Attractive, Boffin, Brave, Inspiring Love (Rory), Quick Reflexes, Run for Your Life!, Stubborn, Technically Adept, Voice of Authority. Story Points: 12
Home Tech Level: 6 (Equipment: Swords [+2 Strength], Armor [5], Sonic Probe [same as sonic screwdriver])


The God Complex. The GM creates a hotel that acts as a Minotaur maze, and where belief is converted food for the monster. Guest player Amara creates a Muslim nurse called Rita and the Doctor takes a shining to her, but alas, her character succumbs to the hotel's power. To save Amy from the same fate, Matt figure out he must destroy her faith in the Doctor. It's character development as plot (not that Steven has to push too hard usually). At the end - and after discussing it with the group - Matt's Doctor decides the only way he can "save" Amy and Rory is to leave them on Earth so they can live their lives. The group's decided this coincides well with the two players' absence at the next proposed session, but that they'll resume playing after that; Amy and Rory will simply be living double lives, and from their perspective, going on adventures only occasionally.

Night and the Doctor. Over the past few weeks, Matt, or sometimes both Matt and Karen, have been arriving early to sessions, so Steven has created scenes for them, or else let them create scenes, all taking place while the missing players are asleep. When Karen is there, she leads with questions about her now confused timeline. When it's just Matt, the GM makes it about his crazy dates with River.

Closing Time. The GM ensures Amy and Rory make a cameo even if Karen and Arthur aren't there. To share the Doctor's adventure is returning player James as Craig Owens, the Doctor's one-time flat mate. James doesn't really update his character's skills, but gives him a baby boy, and maybe the Doctor can play babysitter? Matt goes much further, bringing an "I speak baby" shtick to the table and going to work at a department store under which Cybermen are plotting.

The Wedding of River Song.
200 years have passed, and it's time for the Doctor to face his death. So he takes the Tesselecta option, but the GM surprises him (again) by having River refuse to kill him and causing a massive paradox. Time implodes, and Steven creates a crazy historical mish-mash of a setting in which the Doctor must navigate, find River, and convince her to go through with the assassination of his robot self. Karen and Arthur are given new versions of their characters from this world, and after rolling Resolve, only Amy remembers the Doctor at all (yes, but... not that Rory is her husband). In the end, not only does it all work out, but the Doctor and River get married, after a fashion.

MADAME KOVARIAN
Attributes: Awareness 4, Coordination 2, Ingenuity 4, Presence 4, Resolve 3, Strength 3
Skills: Convince 3 (AoE: Brainwashing), Knowledge 2, Marksman 2, Medicine 3 (AoE: Midwifery), Science 2, Subterfuge 3, Technology 2
Traits: Eccentric/Sadist (Major), Obligation (Major; to the Silence), Voice of Authority. Story Points: 8
Home Tech Level: 8 (Equipment: Eye Drive [Data Storage])


Looking ahead, the group will start another new series together, but Karen and Arthur plan to stop at the mid-season break, so Steven is already looking to audition new players to replace them.

0 comments:

 

Blog Archive

Category

5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zine