YEAR WITHOUT SUMMER, PART 3

790px-New_York_from_the_Harbor_pga02545uHaving been spotted Phillipa threw an oil lamp on the bedroom floor, weakening the Ice Lord, but not enough to stop him from using his sonic weapon which narrowly missed her and shattered a mirror.

Fleeing Phillipa and the Inspector began smashing every lamp and knocking over every candle, helping the fire spread. The Colonel struggled with the Inspector but he managed to break free, taking the Colonel’s keys at the same time.

Racing to the mill they began to feel the tremors. At the gates they used the keys as evidence to convince the guards that they’d been given permission to enter. Sneaking inside they found the Ice Warriors monitoring the Plasma Inducers path down the shaft.

Phillipa successfully used co-ordination+subterfuge to set fire to sacks of cotton around the factory, distracting the Ice Warriors long enough for the Inspector to sabotage the equipment, including causing the Plasma Inducer to head back towards the factory.

They managed to escape the factory and throw themselves into the pond as a fireball consumed the building and the alien invaders. Although tired they felt they still had loose ends to tie up. Most importantly they wanted to stop the Ice Warriors from trying their plan again.

Realising that the Ice Warriors would have needed a ship to take them to Earth and that the Colonel had seemed certain he and his guests would have been protected they decided that the vessel must be at the manor.

They arrived at the burnt remains of the mansion  just in time to see the last of the party guests boarding a landing craft, a hologram disguising it as a snow drift. The Inspector and Phillipa dithered, unsure how to proceed, until the doors closed and the craft took off, heading to the mother ship.

The Inspector proposed contacting the Time Lords, to inform them that time was being altered, or using the TARDIS. After been self sufficient for most of the adventure he was showing his reliance on others.

If he had contacted the Time Lords they would have done nothing, after all, this was a natural part of time and the only temporal meddlers were the player characters. Although the Inspector argued he wasn’t an exile like the Doctor he still engaged in behaviour that the Time Lord community frowned upon.

Deciding to head back to the TARDIS the Inspector was able to locate the Ice Warrior mothership, as there were relatively few objects in orbit of Earth at the time. They demateralised and thanks to a ‘Yes and’ found themselves in the cargo hold, where there were more Plasma inducers.

Their arrival hadn’t gone unnoticed, alarms going off immediately. The Inspector had just enough time to dart out and use his sonic screwdriver to activate the plasma inducers. They escaped in the TARDIS, reappearing outside the ship to watch it vaporise due to the intense heat.

Phillipa felt bad that the guests had died but the Inspector coldly stated they’d deserved it for their ruthless acts of slavery, they were hardly innocent. Phillipa then pointed out that their black servants would also have been on board and they were innocent. The Inspector choose not to acknowledge that.

Returning to New York they found that several hours had been skipped over in the time ship and that it was now dawn. They headed to Ben Potter’s house to say good bye to the inventor and the two children.

They arrived to find Charlie, choked to death on the floor, screams coming from the basement. Rushing down they found Ben and Caitlin cowering in the corner, the cloud-like Red Death floating towards them as the scientist threw flasks of chemicals at it.

In all the confusion Phillipa had completely forgotten about it but recalled it was tracking Caitlin’s DNA. Having decided that fire solved all their problems they used a lamp to set fire to the dangerous toxic chemicals on the floor.

The heat did little to deter the Red Death. Ben protected Caitlin, acting as a human shield to give her time to get away. Even as the martian death machine choked him Caitlin found she couldn’t get past the fire the time travellers had set.

Without a charge in his Sonic screwdriver and finding that they couldn’t distract the Red Death with blankets or waving burning sticks they watched in horror as it left Ben and enveloped the young girl. They could only watch as she choked to death and the cloud dispersed.

Jumping over the fire Phillipa was able to get Ben to safety, escaping the house as it continued to burn. Outside Ben was heart broken, renouncing science and saying he was going to join the church.

Dejected, even though they’d saved the world from another ice age, the time travellers walked back towards the TARDIS, not even noticing that the snow had begun to thaw.

It was another down beat ending and the players felt that I hadn’t made it clear that the Red Death wasn’t blocking them from trying to jump over the fire, which they did once it had vanish, to try to save Caitlin.

We don’t use miniatures and so the location of characters has to be described. Since it is all in the minds eye it can be easy for people to be confused but I felt that my description of the clouds movements did indicate it wasn’t blocking the way.

It was also pointed out that they’d learned early on that the Red Death had been released and chosen not to do anything about it. While they’d made a promising start, splitting up to carry out their investigations, the final act saw them tied at the waist, focusing on only one issue at a time.

The Inspector continues to use the TARDIS as his personal taxi despite warnings about how easy it is to loose time while using it. It would only take one botched roll to end up several weeks or years in the future, the worst possible outcome of the adventure becoming an unchangeable part of the web of time.

Although it ended with a tragic failure the players enjoyed the game, both for its historical setting and for the  involvement of classic Who monsters. I had much fun with the hissing voices of the Ice Warriors and attempting to do a Southern accent for Colonel White.

The behaviour of the Inspector and Phillipa is much darker than those of the characters in Doctor Who, displaying a talent for wanton destruction. The Inspector took the Dark Secret trait and his actions so far suggest it is a very dark secret indeed.

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One Response to YEAR WITHOUT SUMMER, PART 3

  1. Now that is a down beat ending for an adventure, especially one based in the Doctor Who universe. Good to see that there are consequences to the character’s actions, and that the rules don’t allow an easy way out by use of story points and the like.

    Glad I stumbled upon this blog. It is interesting to see how you put together an adventure using history as a backdrop and inspiration.

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