The 50th Anniversary Campaign: Curse of the Ouroboros

Adventure: Time Loops, Highlights

circleThe new Lords of Time have conquered the universe and all of time. A result of this is that time is collapsing into a single point, something which the Lords of Time neither anticipated nor can control.

Currently they plan to establish a final outpost at Event One. Once in place their new planet, situated where Gallifrey once resided, will be shunted from the end of time to the beginning in a never ending loop.

They envisioned that this would allow them immortality, ensuring their race would have complete control over everything. What they didn’t realise is that the entirety of time would become a fixed point.

Everyone would be trapped in a never ending loop for all eternity. The closer the Lords of Time come to completing their plan the more intense the side effects are, effect preceding cause.

During this adventure PCs will suffer these effects, finding themselves mentally sent into the past to relive past adventures. This is a perfect opportunity to revisit important moments in your campaign or the entire Doctor Who series.

Thanks to either their link to the energy from the Land of Fiction or a bond with an Eternal, the PCs still have free will and can influence events. This can allow them to retroactively prepare for the arrival of the Lords of Time, gathering resources, recruiting allies and setting up defences.

They can’t prevent the Lords of Time arriving, since that would create a paradox, but they can put themselves in a better position in the ‘present’. This can be very useful as the PCs are required to walk into the lion’s den, the Lords of Time home world.

At first the time shifts may seem like an inconvenience but as they work out what they are and what they can do they can be a real boon. For example, you can place the PCs in peril and then run a time shift, allowing them to set up their own salvation in the present, so when they return they find themselves saved.

You can also use these time shifts for PCs to be given the opportunity to alter past mistakes or things they regret. This will give them an opportunity to see how tempting it is to want to change time for your own benefit.

After the events of the previous adventure ‘The Haunted Planet’ the PCs should have a ship that can take them to the Lords of Time. A bond with an Eternal, and the power that comes with that, should give the PCs the confidence to take the dangerous journey, but even if they don’t they should realise they are the heroes of the story and no one else can do this.

If this is the first adventure you are using in this campaign you only need to establish the threat the new Lords of Time represent. Either let them capture a ship in the first scene or have their TARDIS take them straight to their home world.

The details of the Lords of Time home world will really depend on which race they are. If they are the future of humanity their world might hold relics taken from the ages, a celebration of their civilisation. If they are Sontarans there could be artefacts taken from conquered worlds while Cybermen horde advanced technology that they can use to further advance themselves.

Above all else should be a sense of desperation. All around the home world the universe is collapsing into entropy. Only the advanced technology of the Lords of Time is keeping it at bay but there are only a few hours before that fails. They must escape or be erased for ever.

These Lords of Time aren’t immune to the time collapse, with many experiencing confusion and depression. This makes them vulnerable and gives the PCs a fighting chance. If they are detected it gives those with a power of the Eternals to show what they can do.

Reason won’t work with the Lords of Time. They’ll be convinced that once they launch their final time ship to the Event One the collapse of time will be prevented. They simply don’t understand that everything is happening because of that decision.

The time ship itself is an impressive vessel. It should be huge and intimidating. It is designed to act as an anchor point, allowing an entire planet to be safely transported from one end of time to the other.

Destroying the craft from the outside is impossible. The PCs should find a way on board before it launches. If they are captured then the Lords of Time will take them inside to see if their knowledge can be used to ensure that everything works.

At the climax of the adventure time has run out for everyone. The universe is destroyed just as the time ship launches into the vortex, carrying the last hope of the Lords of Time. The journey is anything but smooth, since the vessel must travel so far even as the vortex collapses due to the damage caused by time.

The stage is set for the next adventure as the ship emerges at Event One, the creation of the universe. Everything depends on the PCs, they are the only ones who can change events at this crucial of moments. Even if it means that not everyone survives.

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