“I think paradise is a little too green for me as well.”

windchimesKinda’ was written for the 4th Doctor and Adric. Rather than rewrite the story to include all the companions Nyssa spends the adventure asleep in the TARDIS. Tegan, while an important part of the story, also spends a large portion of time asleep.

From time to time players won’t be able to be present during a game. Rather than abandon the game all together, if the players agree, you can do a quick re-write removing them from the adventure.

The simplest way to do this is to just keep them in the TARDIS for the duration. If they are technically minded then they could be performing repairs, if they were injured in the last adventure they could be recovering or they could spend time reading in library.

If they do join the other time travellers then they can be captured by the villains. This allows you to have the villains to hold them hostage and making demands of the remaining player characters without requiring any of the active players to role play sitting in a cell for the duration of the game.

In fact the absent player character can be placed in any manner of peril that makes them unable to take further action themselves. The other player characters have a stake in rescuing them but you’re not isolating any of them.

The character could be trapped in a cave-in, be stuck in an elevator, be poisoned or fall ill. Rescuing them becomes a major plot point and can push ahead the adventure as the player characters search for a way to save them.

If you don’t want to derail your written adventure the player character might just not be caught up in events. If the whole planet isn’t in peril they could spend the time sight seeing or take in the local flavour.

There will be times that you’ve written an adventure that requires the absent player characters skill. In this situation you can treat the character as a NPC, having them use their skills at the appropriate moment but otherwise stepping back and letting the player characters take the lead.

The sonic screwdriver is absent from this adventure as it is serving as a key component of the delta wave inducer. If a player character is becoming over reliant on a particular gadget this is a handy way to temporary remove it from play. In return the player character can be awarded a story point or two as compensation.

The Mara isn’t the only threat in ‘Kinda’. It also comes from Hindle and his madness. Insanity is a handy justification for any villains actions. Rather than just being random actions their madness will usually reflect some aspect of their personality.

In Hindle’s case its his role as a SR Security officer. He becomes obsessed with keeping the dome safe, finding comfort in rules and regulations, believing that the security handbook holds the answers to all of life within its pages.

His insanity has exaggerated his personality, to a ridiculous and obsessive degree. A police officer might treat every minor infraction as a grave crime, a doctor might obsess about the physical health of everyone around them and a mechanic might dismantle and reassemble machinery over and over again. 

Hindle opening argument with Sanders in episode 1 shows that he doesn’t have much control. It is not surprising that when his madness takes hold he sets himself up as the king, having the Kinda kneel before him and setting about constructing his own miniature city.

Going crazy can allow a character to live out their fantasies. Some one rejected by the object of their affection might believe that they have now been accepted, someone who has lived in poverty might believe that they are now rich and a person who has been pushed around their whole life could see themselves as a deadly warrior.

180px-HindleAdricKindaDealing with someone who has been driven mad is difficult as their world view is drastically different. For example Hindle sees his model men as real, announcing that they can’t be repaired because you can’t mend people.

He also doesn’t fear death, quite willing to blow up the dome and everything within a mile radius just to surprise the enemy and protect the home world. This shows that he doesn’t act in any rational manner.

This makes any convince skill attempts either very difficult, if not impossible. Even if a player character plays along with their delusion they never know what might set them off or when the character might see them as the enemy.

Hindle’s paranoia takes the form of believing the jungle itself, or at least the plants, are out to get him. In the Doctor Who universe stranger things have happened. In this case Hindle is wrong but it is still a good idea for a different adventure.

By the end of ‘Kinda’ Hindle has his sanity restored. It is important to remember that mental illness is just that, something that has made the character sick. Rather than deserving punishment or death they require help and treatment. Whether it is possible to heal them is another matter.

Ultimately they are deserving of pity rather than hatred. It is still the choice of the player characters what they receive.

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