Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Only Two Regenerations Left?

A lot of Fans are panicking about the fact that following established canon - the Doctor only has two regenerations left.

What everyone seems to be forgetting, is what Lady Peinforte aluded to in Silver Nemisis.

Lady Peinforte claims to be the only one to know the Doctor's true identity. When Ace says she knows the Doctor is a Time Lord, Peinforte shakes her head conspiratorially.

Neither this nor any further televised story elaborates, although in a deleted scene from Remembrance of the Daleks, the Doctor claims to be "far more than just another Time Lord"; further omissions from Survival would have featured the Master challenging the Doctor's identification as a Time Lord.

These elements are all part of what a lot of fans have dubbed the Cartmel Masterplan.

In the Cartmel Masterplan, Susan Foreman was the granddaughter of the mysterious Gallifreyan founder known only as "the Other," a being who MAY have been reincarnated as the Doctor (due to the series cancellation it was never played out).

The Doctor had traveled back to the dawn of Time Lord civilization and rescued Susan, who recognised him as her grandfather. The Doctor did not initially recognise her, but knew that this was somehow true.

This version of Susan's origins is reflected in many other Doctor Who spin-offs.

The Other was first mentioned in the novelisation of Remembrance of the Daleks by Ben Aaronovitch as a shadowy figure in Time Lord history, one of the founding Triumvirate of Time Lord society after the overthrow of the cult of the Pythia that had, until then, dominated Gallifrey. The other two members of the Triumvirate were Rassilon and Omega.

Of the three, the Other's origins are the most obscure, with the circumstances of his birth and appearance being a mystery. Like Rassilon, various contradictory legends surround the Other, some hinting that he had powers surpassing that of Rassilon or Omega, and some even suggesting that he was not born on the Time Lords' home world of Gallifrey (which links with the Doctor being half-human on his Mothers side - as stated in the Doctor Who TV Movie).

Even his name is lost to time, which is why he is simply referred to as "the Other".

If anyone is interested, a minor Gallifreyan festival known as Otherstide used to be celebrated yearly in his honour.

If the Doctor is indeed "more than just another Time Lord" and his history and abilities go back to the Dark Times of Gallifrey, the Time Lords were restricted to 12 Regenerations by Rasilon - so the 'old ones' Rasilon, Omega, and the Other would be able to regenerate indefinitely.

Also, there are other factors to consider such as in The Brain of Morbius story we see (during the mind duel game with Morbious) that there had been additional incarnations of the Doctor prior to Hartnell. How could this be, unless there is more to the Doctor than meets the eye . . . . .

We also know for a fact that a new Cycle of Regenerations can be bestowed upon an individual (its mentioned in the Five Doctors) and that the Time Lords even had the technology to raise the dead (they bought the Master back to fight in the Time War).

Don't lose hope, Time and Time Lords will find a way.

The 'No Time Lord' Campaign

I can see some folks wanting to run a Game with no Time Lord in it, the appeal is an obvious one - there will be no one player who can 'Lord' it over the rest of the group!

One of the problems with such an approach, is getting the Characters around.

Here are a list of Temporal Devices, that may (or may not) come in useful . . . .

BUT I would't give them a Broken Tardis - thats a "destroy the universe if you get something wrong" plot device LoL!

I would go for one of the many different Time Machines that have been seen in Doctor Who stories.

The Ancient Horologe
The Ancient Horologe was a very delicate instrument linked to time itself that measured the passage of time across different dimensions. Crafted like an ornate clock by the master chrono-smiths from the older worlds, it was given to Lord and Lady Tubbs as a wedding gift from the Doctor and had pride of place in the Clock Room of Croxton Hall. It was damaged when a thief dropped it in a scuffle with Lord Tubbs. As a result, a fracture in time was created displacing those nearest to it into a different kind of time. (Very fragile, and probably better suited to being the focus of a Campaign/Scenario - rather than a games main Travel Device).

Chula Warship
Chula Warships were spaceships that could travel in time. Chula Warships were fully equipped with tractor beams and Nanogenes. These warships could also turn invisible, to avoid detection. (This would be my favourite option, the group could find a crashed Chula ship and repair it).

Circle of Mirrors
The Circle of Mirrors was a time travel device created by the alternate UNIT of Donna's World, by harnessing the the power of the Doctor's salvaged TARDIS. It allowed Donna Noble to see the invisible Time beetle on her back and allowed her to go back in time and turn left. (Not brilliant, but might be useful as a one-off device in a game).

DARDIS
A DARDIS was a dimensionally transcendental space-time vessel created by the Daleks so that they could chase the Doctor through time and space. One of these craft enabled the Doctor's companions Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright to return home. The Doctor set the ship for self-destruction after it had transported them to 1965 London. (What if it DIDN'T self destruct, maybe the explosion just buried it - for the group to find many MANY years later).

The Machine
The Machine was one of the earliest forms of TARDIS. It was created in the time of Omega, and The Other used it to get Patience off of ancient Gallifrey. (A more basic Time Capsule, and so would be easier for the PC's to pilot - with less chance of them screwing up too!)

Time Cabinet
The Time Cabinet was an early experimental time machine from the 51st century which used zygma beams. (Unfortunately, zygma beams can be deadly in any great quantities).

Time Controller
The Time Controller was a method by which one faction of Daleks in the Imperial-Renegade Dalek Civil War used to control their method of time travel. Physically, the Time Controller was a globe which appeared to only be used by a Human controller. (This, though limited - would be great in a heavily Dalek orientated campaign - with the Daleks and the Time Travellers having the ability to track each-other using their Time Controllers).

Time Converter
The Time Converter was a handheld device possessed by Sarah Jane Smith which allowed the detection, opening and closing of time fissures in areas where the Web of Time remained thin. Fearing that she might use it to alter her timeline as she had recently, Sarah Jane destroyed it. (If you were to use one of these, that would be great - it would give the campaign an almost 'Sliders' feel to it).

Time Rings
Time Rings are small time travel devices created by the Time Lords. The first Time Rings were worn on one's wrist, and later ones were worn on one's finger. (I would favour this, especially if the group have to travel continually to one specific place and time - sent there by some higher power).

The Time Tree
The Time Tree was a tree which enabled time travel. It was possible to time travel simply by plucking its seeds (which grew into other time trees). It had orange coloured leaves. They had an appetite for heavy metals. However the method of time travel was not exact, one seed could take someone back a 1000 years, another seed could go back 10,000. (Not the most reliable method, good for a one-off scenario though).

Tribophysical Waveform Macro-Kinetic Extrapolator
The Tribophysical waveform macro-kinetic extrapolator was a long, flat device which, when ridden like a surfboard massive wraps the user in a protective bubble enabling them to ride the energy from a vast explosion. (TECHNICALLY this could be used for Time Travel SHOULD the explosion be temporal in nature).

Vortex Manipulator
A vortex manipulator was a form of basic time travel used by the Time Agency of the 51st century. The vortex manipulator allowed the user to travel through time using the Time Vortex. Under normal circumstances, it can allow travel of a distance of nearly 200,000 years. Following modifications with a sonic screwdriver, it could allow travel from the End of the Universe to the 21st century. The Doctor considered it very primitive compared to a TARDIS, describing his TARDIS as a "sports car" to Jack Harkness's "space hopper". Presumably the vortex manipulator created some sort of shield to protect an Agent from the side effects of an unprotected journey through the vortex. This did not, however, prevent some considerable discomfort for the user, as shown by the Doctor, Jack and Martha's responses upon arriving in London. (Another good one, some great plot devices to be used here).

More thoughts tomorrow - Drew

Friday, 25 December 2009

The Time Lords (Spoilers for Non-Uk Doctor Who Fans)

I've said it before, ranted and raved - and I was right.

The Time Lords aren't dead.

The End of Time Part One, showed their return in all their Glory - except now they aren't uninvolved dispassionate watchers, they are driven and vengeful.

I am wondering whether its a one off, or they are back for good. Will they become Villains in this new Whoniverse, or will they be re-established as the Doctors people as before.

Its all very exciting.

I feel vindicated for all my rants and opinions now.

Merry Christmas - Drew

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The Master - Updated

I've updated the Masters Character Sheet, it now has a Picture of Roger Delgado as the Master rather than a Description.

I've also included the Back (for your own notes) and reduced the file size a little.

The Masters Character Sheet (Updated)

Professor Bernard Quatermass

Another Classic, Professor Bernard Quatermass - my Friend Chris used to play him in one of our FASA Doctor Who Campaigns; and he played him REALLY well too.

This version of Quatermass is from 1963 (ish) after all his prior adventures, so he is somewhat more experienced than most human Characters (and so has fewer Story Points).

Once again, I have Provided a Character Sheet (the link is at the Bottom).

Professor Bernard Quatermass


Appearance - Bernard is a rather unremarkable middle-aged man. Sometimes he sports a moustache and sometimes a full beard. Generally wearing a tween jacket with leather elbow pads, his mode of dress embodies the general publics idea of a res

Personal Goal - To keep The British Rocket Group going, and see a British presence in the Space Race.

Personality - " I never had a career. Only work" - that attitude sums up Bernad Quatermass. Though an extremely talented and intelligent man, he didn't come from an overly privileged background like a lot of pre-war Scientists. He worked for what he attained, and respects thoughs with a strong work ethic, and disdains those who are lazy and unimaginative (like Politicians and Military Officers).

Attributes

Awareness - 4
Coordination - 3
Ingenuity - 6
Presence - 3
Resolve - 5
Strength - 3

Story Points - 6
Home Tech Level - 4 (20th Century Earth)

Skills

Athletics - N/A
Convince - N/A
Craft - 4
Fighting - N/A
Knowledge - 5
Marksman - N/A
Medicine - N/A
Science - 6
Subterfuge - N/A
Survival - N/A
Technology - 3
Transport - 1

Background - The Professor was first involved in rocketry experiments in the 1930s, his wife died when they were both relatively young. Quatermass travelling to Germany during the 1936 Berlin Olympics and became involved in research with Wernher von Braun and the German rocket programme, before helping a young Jewish refugee to escape from the country.

Quatermass conducted top secret work for the British war effort, which he subsequently refused ever to discuss.

By 1953 Quatermass is the head of the British Experimental Rocket Group, which has a programme to launch a manned rocket into space from a base in Tarooma, Australia. The test launch is an unmitigated disaster. Many lives were lost, but the Government manages to keep most of the details from the press.

Quatermass continues with his space programme, and by 1955 is actively planning the establishment of Moon bases. His research is adopted by an extraterrestrial intelligence, hoping to use it to colonize Earth. Quatermass and his team manage to stop the invasion and avert disaster.

Despite his heroic efforts, his funding is cut even further.

By 1958 the British Rocket Group is being handed over to military control, much to Professor Quatermass’ disgust. Command is to be handed over to Colonel Breen and Quatermass senses that he is being forced out.
After the events Hobbs End - Breen is dead, and Quatermass once again had helped to save the world. London is in chaos, with the Government placing blame for the incident firmly on the shoulders of International Terrorists.

By 1963 the British Rocket Group was once again in full swing, given a new lease on life by the Governments new awareness of extraterrestrial threats. Amongst those working with Professor Quatermass was Dr Rachel Jensen who not only assisted Quatermass, but acted as military liason – giving Bernard a ‘buffer’ between himself and the military types he so disliked.

Equipment - Whatever resources are available.

Traits - Science Areas of Expertise - Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Quantum Physics, Astrophysics. Craft Area of Expertise - Engineering. Indomitable, Technically Attuned, Voice Of Authority, Experienced x 2 (He's seen it all by 1963 LoL). Argumentative, Insatiable Curiosity.

Download - Professor Bernard Quatermass Character Sheet

Monday, 21 December 2009

The Master (Roger Delgado)

This is my first attempt at an NPC for the new Who RPG, so I thought I might make it a big one!

I went for the Delgado Master, as he still remains my favourite. A lot of the numbers are drawn from both the FASA Rpg and Time-Lord, and balancing what I know of the Character against the Characters (such as the Doctor & Jack) from the new RPG Set. Conversions such as this are purely subjective, its the way I see the Master - if I offend because my views on this much loved character differ from your own - my apologies.


The Master (Roger Delgado Incarnation)

Appearance - This First (that we see on-screen) incarnation of the Master, appears similar to that of the classic Svengali character; a dark high-collar suit - with a goatee-beard and moustache.

Personal Goal - A would-be universal conqueror, the Master wants to control the universe , with a secondary objective of eliminating and/or hurting the Doctor.

Personality - Suave and debonair with a sardonic sense of humour. A haughty psychopath, he regarded most beings as his inferiors but has a mutual respect for the Doctor as a worthy opponent and (almost) his intellectual equal.

Attributes

Awareness - 5
Coordination - 5
Ingenuity - 8
Presence - 7
Resolve - 6
Strength - 4

Story Points - 4
Home Tech Level - 10 (Gallifreyan)

Skills

Athletics - N/A
Convince - 6
Craft - N/A
Fighting - 4
Knowledge - 5
Marksman - 5
Medicine - 4
Science - 6
Subterfuge - 6
Survival - 5
Technology - 5
Transport - 7

Background - The Master, formerly known as Koschei and by various temporary aliases and pseudonyms, was an evil renegade Time Lord who the Doctor, with whom he had grown up on Gallifrey, opposed many times. On at least one occasion, he threatened the existence of the universe itself.

Equipment - Tissue Compression Eliminator, Black Leather Gloves, TARDIS (Mark II dematerialisation circuit).

Traits - Charming, Hypnosis (Major), Indomitable, Technically Adept, Time Traveller (Major),
Voice of Authority, Outcast (from Gallifrey), Alien (Time Lord), Experienced, Time Lord, Time Lord (Experienced), Distinctive, Obsession (Major - Defeating the Doctor), Obsession (Major - Ruling the Universe), Vortex, Adversary (Major/Multiple), Master of Disguise.

Master of Disguise is a new Trait, but I reckon its pretty much self explanatory Lol.

Download - The Masters Character Sheet

Sunday, 20 December 2009

The Last of the Time Lords . . . . . Really? (Part 2)

In 2005 Season Episode "The End of the World " - Jabe Ceth Ceth Jafe (the cute Tree-Lady) uses her scanner to ID the Doctors species, the scanner registers some disbelief and refuses to confirm he is a Time-Lord initially.

This creates a HUGE hole in New-Who's continuity.

IF the Time Lords are functionally extinct (I.E. Missing from Historical and Fossil records) which is the 'official line' - how TF does Jabes scanner have a reference to them?!?!?!?!

How do the Krillitaine or anyone else know about them for that matter, in Classic Dr Who the Time Lords were shrouded in mystery - yet nowadays it seems like everyone knows who they are/were, what they were capable of, and their Area Code!

The term "Time War" is applied to at least two types of time-spanning conflicts in the Doctor Who universe. The first type of time war is where the two sides are fighting the war across different points in history, separated by centuries or millennia - this has been seen in such stories as "The Wargames" and referenced to in "The Five Doctors".

The second type of time war is where Time itself is used as a weapon, with preemptive strikes, time-loops, temporal paradoxes, and the reversal of historical events.

Logic dictates that the "Last Great Time-War" would have used both techniques, we saw the 8th Doctors TARDIS "re-wind" Time for example in the Doctor Who TV Movie for example; illustrating such techniques SHOULD they be required.

Its all just another example of the 'fuzziness' involved in the shows 'Bible' - don't get me wrong, the individual stories/episodes are great. But all this 'confusion' makes running the RPG quite difficult.

Romana is trapped in E-Space (we have to ignore the Books as they aren't strictly canon), so technically she would still be alive too. The Meddling Monk, whatever happened to him.

All these questions (and more) need to be addressed by the Doctor Who Games Master (Time Master?) when setting up his campaign. Its going to get VERY boring for his players very quickly if one of the Players HAS to be the Doctor.

One option I personally favour is a new Gallifreyan colony made up of survivors of the Time War (much like the Vulcan colony in the new Star Trek Movie), out of desperation they would re-instate the Celestial Intervention Agency - but this time they would have a new mission objective, to ensure the survival or the Time Lord race. Rather than their original function as Spies and infitrators (It was said that they "don't even know which side they're on").

But, as with all RPG's its all horses for courses . . . .

Dr-Ew?


The New TARDIS Interior

Non RPG Blogging today, the new TARDIS Interior was spotted during a location shoot - for shots when the TARDIS Doors are open they use a back projected screen to give focus for not only the actors but the special effects guys.

To me it looks like a cross between the 8th Doctors (Paul McGann) TARDIS and the new series TARDIS (with a little Scream of the Shalka Animated TARDIS thrown in for good measure) - the image isn't brilliant, so only time will tell.


I just hope Matt can pull off his role, as the youngest Doctor EVER - the pressure is on!

Drew

Saturday, 19 December 2009

The Last of the Time Lords . . . . . Really?

The Doctor (from the RPG Players Guide)

Just who is the Doctor? The Doctor may look human, but he certainly isn’t. He’s over 900 years old, and from a planet called Gallifrey. He has two hearts, is incredibly intelligent (as well as being mildly telepathic) and can ‘cheat death’ by regenerating into a completely new body. The Doctor is the last of his race, last of the Time Lords. He was on the front lines of the last great Time War against the Daleks, where both races appeared to have perished in the conflict.

Its been established in the new series that the Daleks survived, and they survived "wholesale" - via the "Void Ship" (The Void Ship is a vessel capable of travelling in the void, the area between dimensions outside of time and space. The Doctor expresses surprise at encountering one, saying, "I thought it was just a theory," and so such technology was presumably beyond the Time Lords. However, the Cult of Skaro—a secret order of Daleks—manage to obtain one, and thus survive the Time War with the Time Lord prison ship referred to as the Genesis Ark) and in turn, the "Genesis Ark".

We know for a fact the Genesis Ark is Gallifreyan Technology, its stated in the show. The Void Ship, though advanced exists within Time Lord Theory - or at least to the knowledge of the Doctor.

If a savage and degenerate race of beings such as the Daleks can survive the Time War, are the producers of New Who really telling us all the Time Lords (excepting the Doctor and the Master) are indeed dead. That a Race of beings so technologically advanced (after all they are Lords of Time)and ingenious, with such a strong penchant for durability (are we supposed to believe an insideous and devious intellect such as Rani, isn't going to do her best to survive) aren't going to exist somewhere sometime along the time-line.

Rabid Fans are going to insist they have been erased from time, "It says so in the show, so it must be" - but the Daleks with their inferior Time Technology managed it (even Davros managed it) yet the Time Lords didn't. How naieve is that, the producers are ignoring established continuity - that the Time Lords are that strong. That Rasilon was SUPPOSED to know the secrets of the Time Lords future, and had total Mastery of Time. If that was indeed the case, surely the great Rasilon would have put measures in place to ensure his peoples survival!

Near the end of the 2007 series finale "Last of the Time Lords", a female hand with red nail polish is seen picking up the Master's ring while evil laughter of The Master echoes in the background.

In the podcast commentary of the episode, Russell T. Davies jokingly refers to it as "the hand of the Rani", but they would not be picking up on that scene next year, and that he put it there to give any future production teams something to use if they wanted to bring back the Master.

Later, in Doctor Who Magazine, Davies explains that he "didn't know the Rani was that well known" and that the hand was not actually intended to represent the Rani - oh really, then why oh why make the remark "I didn't know the Rani was that well known".

Now, what am I ranting on about. Well, as far as running games for the new Dr Who RPG - IGNORE the rather daft established continuity. They have already established that "Time is in Flux", and that things can (and do) change - the Master survives (oh, so the Doctor ISN'T the last after all), Paradox Machines can alter reality, the Rani MIGHT be around too, plus you never know WHAT they might add and change on a whim.

The Doctor, Last of the Time Lords . . . . . Really?

Drew

Shortcomings

One of the shortcomings of the new Cubicle 7 RPG is the lack of reference to the classic series, whilst I aquiess that copyright would be an issue here - surely simply making reference to the original Doctor Who would't be too much trouble, especially if you don't include pictorial references.

Then, just a while ago I found out there is a UNIT Source-Box coming out. Complete with the Brigadier very prominent on the cover, which further accents the lack of Classic Who in the core box.


Nice to see Nicholas Courtney on the cover IMHO. Cubicle 7 has announced an April 2010 release date for "Defending the Earth".

One of the things I will be chatting about is the Classic Series, and how their inclusion will impact upon the game.

Drew

Big Balls . . . . . . . .

RPG's, like time are 'big balls' LoL! All are seperate, yet all share things in common . . . .

Nonsense huh, get used to it LoL! For I Drew (Dr-Ew geddit) will be waffling on and waxing lyrical from time to time about the new Doctor Who RPG from Cubicle 7 Entertainment.

Ideas, thoughts, and even conversions from earlier Incarnations of the Dr Who RPG will all be here - so, settle in, hold onto something sturdy - its likely to be a bumpy ride.

Drew