July 9, 2010

New Timelords for the Doctor Who RPG

The new Doctor Who RPG game. I have always loved Doctor Who, and even liked the old FASA version of their game. More for the fact they worked hard to recreate the Doctor Who setting, rather than any sterling rule set. The new rule system is by canon set in the current (relatively speaking when it comes to a time travel game) series. The game makes mention of the earlier series, but is firmly set in the most recent episodes.

This becomes problematic when a player wants to play a Timelord other than the Doctor. Personally I do not like playing established characters. For me, half the fun of an RPG is creating the character and then seeing where it takes you. A lot of other people feel the same way. However, the problem that arises is that according to canon the current Doctor is the last of the Timelords. This has been proven wrong on at least one occasion, when the Master made an appearance.

So the question is, is there a way to play a Timelord while still retaining the canon of the current series?


Looking back through the previous episodes of the series there are ways to allow for a new Timelord to make an appearance within the canon universe of Doctor Who. Here are a few examples of how we can make this happen.

This episode saw the Doctor combating an alien race that was being aided by a renegade Timelord. They were abducting soldiers from the past and having them fight each other to find the strongest warriors to be later used as an army. The end of the episode saw the alien race and their section of space put behind a special force shield, outside of time, by the Timelords. With the destruction of the Timelords, it is safe to assume the force shield would have fallen and the alien sector is now back in the “regular” universe. It is also reasonable to assume that there may have been a Timelord or two stuck within the force shield as well as the aliens; perhaps as observers or as a punishment.

In this episode the Doctor was transported to a parallel universe wherein Great Britain was under a Fascist dictatorship. There are doubtless many Timelords from this universe and there is no reason why one could not cross over to this universe. In fact, it might be an interesting twist to have things turned on its head as far as outlook. The universe seems to be a reverse, or at least a darker shading, of the “real” universe. The Doctor from this universe may be an “evil” being. The Master may be benevolent. Daleks, Cybermen and other beings may change as well. Player characters from this universe may have a darker edge to them. Having them bleed into this universe could make for some interesting encounters.

The Three Doctors/Arc of Infinity
The Doctor confronts Omega, a fellow Timelord. Omega is trapped in a pocket dimension of his creation and wants a Timelord body so he can remanifest in a physical form. At the end of the Three Doctors, Omega is shunted into an anti-matter form. While Omega can not take physical form without aid (the Arc of Infinity) there is no reason why his pocket dimension could not still exist as it was a manifestation of his mind anyway. Omega could have captured another Timelord and kept him within his pocket dimension until the end of the Time Wars.
An interesting idea for the start of a campaign is to have the characters start within the pocket dimension (Omega could have brought more than just Timelords into the dimension to alleviate his boredom/insanity). The dimension could have sustained itself through the mind of the Timelord trapped within, but unbeknownst to the Timelord. The campaign would start within a surreal world where the characters have to navigate a weird world of strange occurrences only to, in the end, realize it is all in the mind of the resident Timelord. From there they would be released into the “regular” universe.

Carnival of Monsters
A Miniscope is a device that can pluck places and beings out of their respective times and place and, by miniaturizing them, put them inside a machine. The machine then runs a cycle of repeating scenes. The machine has been used for scientific and entertainment purposes in the past, despite being outlawed in the universe. It is possible a Timelord was captured within one and only managed to escape after the Time Wars ended.

Full Circle/E-Space
Herein the Doctor is transported to an alternate universe, E-Space, through a Charged Vacuum Emboitment (CVE). Apparently CVEs are rare occurrences in the space/time continuum that can link two universes together temporarily. Another Timelord may have found himself trapped in E-Space or even another universe through another CVE. The campaign could start with the Timelord escaping the other universe sometime after the Time Wars ended.

Human Nature/Utopia
The Doctor and the Master both used a Chameleon Arch to change themselves into something else (human). This can cause a Timelord to “not be a Timelord” and thus it is possible to have survived the Time Wars. Perhaps a character Timelord did the same thing to escape the Wars; this could be an interesting character trait to explore.

These suggestions can be used to explain how there are more Timelords other than the Doctor. It is also a way to introduce a villainous Timelord into a campaign.
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