When this blog started I was running my own Doctor Who campaign, which I’ve posted several reports on. Sadly things fell apart, and I’m sure that anyone who read those write-ups can guess why, and it has been a year since we last met. At this point I don’t think I’ll be running any further adventures of the Inspector and Philippa.
Which is a shame as I’d planned out how the campaign might have proceeded, with a few adventures in mind. Rather than let those ideas go to waste I thought it would be good to share what I had planned, in the hopes that they might serve as inspiration to other games masters.
At the end of our last session Philippa, the ambulance lady from WWII, was on the run in a Forbidden TARDIS, accompanied by a hologram of the Inspector. The real Inspector was pursuing her in his newly regenerated form, knowing only that she’d been responsible for changing Gallifrey’s timeline and stealing a dangerous piece of technology.
The Forbidden TARDIS was a prototype and I had big plans for its nature. Besides being much smaller on the inside this time ship also didn’t have some the safety features of the later models.
Among other things this meant that the Forbidden TARDIS could travel randomly to other dimensions. This would allow for a number of What-If scenarios within the Doctor Who universe.
One of these adventures would imagine that a tribe of Silurians had been awakened in the 18th century. After realising they were hopelessly outnumbered by the humans they decided live peacefully alongside them.
Phillippa and the holographic Inspector would have arrived in Victorian London, allowing them to be surprised at the sight of Silurians living alongside the humans. They’d then be caught up in the murder of a respected explorer and the theft of a Silurian artefact.
Working alongside a Silurian detective they would have discovered that the artefact could reveal the location of other hibernating Silurians. It was stolen by a human society determined to prevent more of the Silurians from being awakened.
This would put the time travellers in a tricky position. The Silurian detective would have stopped at nothing to recover the artefact, even though he fully admits that should his people be revived they would most likely conquer the world.
Do they aide the murderers to protect humanity or expose them and put the planet at risk? I wanted to give them a real opportunity to affect the fate of this reality, setting up a potential return visit in the future to show how things had turned out.
In another What-If scenario the Forbidden TARDIS would have arrived on a moonbase in the 1980s. The only significant change is that the Cybermen have never been encountered, until now.
In this reality Mondas crossed paths with a Great Vampire. The Cybermen are now cybernetically enhanced vampires. They can infect others with a bite or injection. Even their cybermats are capable of transforming others.
The time travellers arrival on the moon base coincides with the arrival of the first Cybermen ships. They’d have to warn the moon base astronauts about the Cybermen, only to be surprised themselves by the Cybermen’s new capabilities, including metal vampire wings.
They’d have to get fight off the Cybermen, even while the crew turning into vampires themselves, to get word to Earth. On long range scanners they’d detect the approach of Mondas and discover the next stage in their plan.
The Cybermen would enter orbit around Earth, placing themselves between our world and the Sun. With the Cybermen and the Great Vampire on the dark side of Mondas they’d be free to create perpetual night on sections of the Earth. This would make the vampire cyborgs almost unstoppable.
To succeed they could either fight alongside UNIT on Earth, using a mixture of traditional vampire weapons (stakes, holy water, religious symbols, etc) alongside gold dust to repel invasion or they could undertake a dangerous mission to Mondas to take it out of orbit and even rotate it so the Cybermen and the Great Vampire were exposed to sunlight. With the death of the Great Vampire all those it had sired would die as well.
I wanted to have at least one alternative reality revolve around World War II. Since this was Phillipa’s point of departure I wanted to have her return to something close to home, only to find a major historical difference, possibly involving a Doctor Who monster (possibly Nazi Daleks).
In keeping with the idea that Rassilon wiped out rival civilisations upon gaining time travel the holographic Inspector and Phillipa would discover he’d done something similar with other realities.
The Forbidden TARDIS would arrive in an desolate universe, in a facility bearing the seal of Rassilon. The TARDIS travel logs would automatically be uploaded to the facility and begin to be processed, allowing the time travellers to explore.
They’d find weapons capable of destroying entire universes. Databanks reveal that the first to be destroy were realities with rival Time Lords, especially if they had a counterpart to Rassilon. They are described as pre-emptive strikes, since if Rassilon was considering destroying them then surely his copy would be.
To their horror they’d see the weapons being primed for launch, fed co-ordinates of the dimensions they’d visited from the TARDIS. They’d have to destroy the facility, escape in the TARDIS and head off any weapons that had already been launched at other dimensions, racing against time to deactivate them.
The TARDIS would also allow the occupants to cross-time lines with other Time Lords, letting them encounter different incarnations of the Doctor. If they did anything that diverged the timelines too much then I could simply declare that the encounters occurred in a parallel dimension.
While this was happening the real Inspector would be in hot pursuit. Unable to travel to other dimensions he would be perplexed why they simply vanished. He’d wander space and time having adventures before picking up their trail again.
Along the way he’d find a new companion, increasing the tension between Phillipa and the Inspector when they crossed paths. He’d replaced her, effectively closing the door on the possibility of going back to the way things were.
From time to time the real Inspector would show up, intent on capturing Phillipa. This would always be during a crisis which would force them to work together. Afterwards she’d just have enough time to escape in the TARDIS, allowing the chase to continue.
I imagined this along the lines of how Sabbath was used in the 8th Doctor books. Both would be antagonists for the main characters but they had good reasons for doing what they were doing, even if their methods differed.
Would the Inspector eventually realise that she hadn’t turned evil? Could he find a way to allow her to escape punishment at the hands of the Time Lords? Would he go on the run with her? What would the holographic Inspector think of that?
We may never know the answers.