In ‘Enlightenment’ we are introduced to the Eternals for the first time. Since then they have had passing mentions in the new series and their mythology has been greatly expanded in the books and audios, incorporating various Doctor Who villains into their family tree.
They represent something greater in power and reach than even the Time Lords, making them very intimidating. From this first adventure we know that they exist outside of space and time, are able to capture and control living beings from any era, read minds and create matter.
As their name indicates they are not mortal, always existing. Even colliding with a planet is only enough to temporarily destroy their corporeal bodies, leaving them free to transverse to their own realm.
Upon encountering them for the first time the Doctor is quick to learn their limits. Demonstrating the same deductive powers possessed by his other incarnations the Doctor observes their behaviour and their surroundings, asking questions until he has come to the correct conclusion.
They need a living mind to provide them with the detail for their vessels and to create guide lines for their behaviour. Even their advanced technology is taken from the minds of other species, leading the Doctor to call them parasites. For all their power and their own belief they are superior to those that dwell in time the Eternals are lacking the ability to create.
Even the reason for the boat race through space is to overcome the sheer boredom of their existence. The competition does have an ultimate prize but we are certainly left with the impression that this is not the first time that the Eternals have put together a challenge to pass eternity.
This means that Eternals could feature in one of your games. Some have suggested that the Celestial Toymaker and the Gods of Ragnarok were examples of Eternals amusing themselves with living beings.
Eternals represent the god-like opponents that plague many heroes in science fiction. Although more commonly encountered in Star Trek, whether it be Apollo or Q, it is a reoccurring theme of encountering a species that is so much more powerful than the main characters that physical force is simply out of the question.
In these scenarios it is identifying what the entity is missing or limited in. It might even be the rules that the opponent sets themselves. In Enlightenment the Eternals have mutually agreed to stay within the confines of their chosen forms. Canny player characters can exploit these self-imposed rules to defeat their opponent.
Throughout the story the Eternals act in a stiff manner, carrying out their roles using the thoughts of the crew as a guide to what they should do and say. This gives them an unnatural air, something very clear in first officer Marriner dogged fascination with Tegan. They simply lack the social skills to deal with mortal beings, either through lack of experience or context.
This disconnection with their perceived form and true nature can seem horrific to the player characters. Captain Striker views the crew as toys and Marriner doesn’t understand what significance the death of mortal beings holds as their lives are limited any way.
This casual nature means that their actions aren’t evil, just callous. In many ways this means any pain or suffering they cause is more terrible, because they don’t understand what they are doing. If the player characters don’t stop them they will keep doing it, unaware that it is wrong.
For inspiration you need only look to games, sports and other challenges and imagine how the Eternals would play them. An Eternal who was fascinated with miniatures might create a scenario much like ‘The War Games’ while an Eternal obsessed with Monopoly might become a business fat cat in the 1980s, playing the property market and ruining economies.
Being an Eternal could provide an interesting background for a player character. Such a character would have had to have limited themselves to a corporeal form and although immortal their bodies are vulnerable. Should they ‘die’ they will still leave the narrative of the game, even if their mind simply returns to their own domain.
An Eternal would have a lot to learn by travelling with a Time Lord, not only about the places they go to but about living beings and morality. At the beginning of their journey they are the ultimate ‘fish out of water’. They might treat everything lightly, seeing all the peril they face as simply a game and getting into embarrassing situations due to their naiveté.
Such a character is easily modelled using the Alien trait coupled with the Immortal trait if they don’t want to get older during their travels. Mind reading is covered in the psychic trait and to represent their other-worldly nature the clairvoyance, precognition and feel of the universe traits can taken.
Code of Conduct could reflect the limits they have imposed on themselves. The Eccentric bad trait could be taken to show just how unusual the characters behaviour is and removed once they’ve had enough time to socialise with others.
Such a character would likely have low levels in their Ingenuity attribute, representing their inability to be creative.