Sometimes students dream of exploring time and space, not to conquer or do good, but to have fun. All of reality is their playground and what is the point of being a Time Lord if you have to play by the rules?
Inspired by the Meddling Monk students use their studies to identify what will be entertaining. They learn which points in history could be altered, what advanced technology could have the biggest effect if introduced earlier.
They are constantly thinking of interesting ‘What if’ scenarios. What if the greatest playwright of Earth had the chance to write for the movies? What if World War 2 was fought on the moon with laser weapons? What if the Silurians never went into habitation.
Not that these students are oblivious to the harm this would cause or the attention this might attract. They simply don’t plan to be around long enough for that to matter, leaving their fellow Time Lords to clean up their mess.
Typically such students are pranksters, already causing disruption and chaos in the academy. Morally they might swing between good and evil. They might ally themselves with a villain only to get cold feet when people get hurt or turn on the good guys if they mean to stop the meddlers fun.
Those with lofty aspirations may dream of being like Rassilon himself. Here was a man who brought order out of chaos, who defined what it is to be a Time Lord, who led the war against the vampires.
Students who wish to follow in his footsteps hope to have a similar impact, shaping Gallifreyian culture. Their only interest in the rest of universe is how it can benefit the home world.
Just how they plan to do this depends on the student. They are not interested in small changes but drastic alterations that will echo through the ages. A common theme is a disregard for morality.
Rassilon was as much feared as he was worshipped. For the greater good anything is permissible. This breeds a certain element of ruthlessness in students who follow his teachings.
The most dedicated of students will attempt to obtain a relic of Rassilon or make the perilous pilgrimage to his tomb.
Without Omega there would be no time travel. This is the reason that students can come to view him as the single most important figure in Gallifreyian history. By dedicating themselves to science they hope to transformation the universe.
Unlike those who follow the Rani those who are dedicated to Omega aren’t frivolous. Most of their work his theoretical, based around some grand idea. Proving their theory requires a great experiment, something they usually spend most of their lives building towards.
During their studies they will hone their theory, incorporating information that supports it and disregarding everything else. This can lead them to being very focused and intense. Proving their theory is their ultimate goal.
Taking that final step is often very dangerous but a student must be prepared to test it himself. Omega has taught them that to prove your genius you must sometimes be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice.
There are those who feel that Omega was betrayed by Rassilon. This can lead them to mistrust others, especially those in power. They fear being used and can act violently if they believe someone is using them.
8th Man Bound
Students must provide their own entertainment as none are provided by the academy. The teachers believe their pupils should dedicate themselves entirely to studying yet these young Gallifreyans will seek out their own amusement.
One of the most dangerous past-times is the forbidden practice of ‘8th Man Bound’. This presumes that the students are able to regenerate. If it is bestowed upon them in their final year (or years) then it is a game that is played only by the older students.
The game, such that it is, involves triggering a series of regenerations, allowing the student to glimpse into his future. Before the regenerations stabilise the student restores his original incarnation.
There is great risk in doing this. If a student pushes too far his regeneration could take hold, wasting several cycles of life. Worse still they might not be able to stop, rushing through all 13 incarnations and dying.
In game terms it costs 1 character point to play 8th Man Bound. They make a strength+resolve check against a difficulty of 12.
A ‘Yes, but’ indicates that they have glimpsed their next incarnation but pass out as they return to their original form. A ‘Yes’ indicates they have triggered their next form and may roll again to see their next form. A ‘Yes And’ means they have successfully triggered two regenerations.
A ‘No, but’ means they failed to trigger a regeneration but haven’t lost a regeneration or reverted backwards. ‘No’ means they haven’t triggered the regeneration and return to their original form. ‘No, and’ means the player character has regenerated into whatever incarnation they have reached.
As long as they don’t get a ‘no’ or a ‘no, and’ the player character can keep playing. Each round they suffer a –2 modifier, increasing the chance of a terrible failure.
Each incarnation viewed allows the player character to have knowledge of a future incarnation. This can be roleplayed or the rules on page 85 of the gamesmaster book can be used. When they reach that incarnation that is what they change into.
This allows a player character to know what they will be like and recognise descriptions of themselves should they cross time paths with later incarnations.
The game itself is named after a student who managed to reach his 7th incarnation. No one has gone further than this although several have tried. Hence the game is called ‘8th Man bound’, the 8th incarnation being seen as both unobtainable and frightening.
Anyone who is caught playing the game is likely to be immediately expelled.