Any closed society is going to establish its own culture, particularly one with such history as the Time Lord Academy. This culture adds flavour to the normally scholarly activity, making things much more interesting for the player characters and possibly influencing their personalities.
The most visible factions are the chapters. While everyone is a member of the academy being a member of a chapter gives a stronger sense of identity. This can be encouraged by points being given to chapters for successfully completing tasks, with winner being given monthly or yearly prizes.
Not only does a chapter provide roleplaying opportunities but in-game bonuses. Players should be encouraged to select the chapter they wish to be a part of and spend 1 character point to receive the associated benefits.
Upon graduation this point can be returned (although the benefits of the trait are lost). Player characters can be members a chapter without spending a character point but don’t gain the associated trait.
A chapter with a rich history, counting Rassilon among their members. Under a banner of scarlet and orange members are none for their cunning. While this can be a positive characteristic it can also lead to members being seen as trustworthy.
Both the Doctor and the Master were members of the chapter, reflecting both the positive and negative aspects of Prydonians. In excelling students will find themselves drifting to one end or the other of the spectrum.
Members gain a +2 bonus when using subterfuge but suffer a –2 modifier when using Convince against a Time Lord who is aware of their chapter.
This chapter has keen interest in the temporal sciences. Less interested in exploring time, they are more concerned with what it is. Paradoxes, pre-destination and fixed events can fascinate them for hours.
Dressed in brown and green robes many members of the Arcalian chapter eventually become temporal researchers. Competition is high and those students who making startling discoveries are more likely to secure a good job.
They gain a +2 bonus when making knowledge and science checks relating to temporal physics. Due to their indoctrination they suffer a –2 modifier when taking an action that would damage the web of time.
Garbed in heliotrope (a pink-purple tint) the Patrexes are the closest the Time Lords come to artists. Hampered by being born into a culture without true creativity they struggle to express themselves in their paintings and sculptures.
This leads to a yarning for something more. The future fascinates them, trying to learn as much as they can about what is to occur. This even leads them to peek into Gallifrey’s future, something frowned up by the Time Lords.
So caught up are they in their artistic pursuits they have little influence in politics. Many members of the chapter end up unemployed but a few find an outlet for their creativity, one of the few factions who can think outside of the box.
They gain a +2 bonus on all art related tasks (craft and knowledge checks are the most common application). They do suffer a –2 modifier when their actions would stifle creativity or damage art.
The politicians of the academy they dress in gray and silver robes. Showing little interest in the outside world they focus on the power of political change, influencing others to transform their homeworlds culture.
Within the academy they often find themselves maintain peace amongst both the chapters and individual students. A fair amount of time is spent doing favours for others, favours which will be used to benefit the Dromeian once they leave the academy.
They gain a +2 bonus when using convince to support their cause. They suffer a –2 modifier if their actions would cause social unrest or division.
It is nature that holds the Cerluean chapters attention. The power of nature is far more impressive to them than even the Time Lords technology. This can lead other chapters to view them as backwards.
Cerlueans enjoy gardening, studying animal life and attempt to protect the natural world. They would much rather explore alien worlds than tame them to suit themselves. This extends to protecting natives from outside influences and so champion the Time Lords code of non-interference.
They gain a +2 bonus on checks related to nature such as knowledge and survival. They suffer a –2 modifier when their actions would harm nature, including its plants, animals and people.
A paupers chapter, those who lack wealth or influence find themselves in the Scendles chapter. Dressed in simple brown or white robes they band together to share their meagre resources.
This leads them to be shunned by the other chapters, although some students will perform acts of charity for them. While a Scendle member might appreciate these kind actions other resent them, growing increasingly bitter at their low station in life.
Long having learnt to make do with what they’ve got they receive a +2 bonus when making craft and technology checks. They do suffer a –2 check when dealing with those who are better of than they (whether they be Time Lord or an alien nobleman).
Have you read The Book of the War, edited by Lawrence Miles? It describes several Time Lord houses (without using the word Time Lord, which belongs to the BBC). You might find it a good source of inspiration for your role-playing.
I have and it is a great book, filled with big ideas. I loved the way that he set up ‘paths’ through the book, one entry leading you to another and another until a storyline started to appear.
I may one day decide to tackle it, including the Houses. I think you can have that divide, that there are Traditional houses which then change during the time of war. The question is which house changes into which and which ones are completly new.
There are also details of how the Time War is being fought. It would be interesting to see if there was a way that the tactics and battles could be successfully brought to the table top, without the players going mad.
It’s really interesting that he chose to write it like a role-playing source book, because there has been no official Faction Paradox game. It’s as though he chose that format because it suited the way he wanted to outline his ideas about the War concept.
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