View Full Version : Open Challenge: Timelord

2013-12-23, 08:16 PM
Ok I was curious if it where possible to do a passable Timelord in d&d or pf.

So here is the challenge for anyone who wants to try.
Make a Timelord template.

Using outsider rhd if you use them.
And it must have their regeneration ability as well as show how wise and intelligent they are.

LA or CR must be listed

2013-12-24, 06:09 AM
A simple mind experiment here, not a proper write up, but I'll see how it works. In an attempt to make this even remotely playable, I'm going to avoid some of the more less-known physical traits, mostly because you could basically just give a blatant +5 luck bonus to every roll and call it done.

The Time Lord's most notable abilities are those of their intelligence and wit, extreme memory, and of course, their regeneration.

Intelligence and wit could easily be explained away by ability bonuses, probably a +4 to Intelligence, +2 to Wisdom, and +2 to Charisma. In addition, while not necessarily stronger or more agile than a human, they are definitely hardier, implying a need for at least a +2 to Constitution, if not a +4. So, some level adjustment is probably needed.

The memory ability would probably be most easily emulated by all Knowledge skills being considered class skills, the ability to use a Knowledge skill untrained, and the ability to always take 10 on a Knowledge check. Their inherent Intelligence bonus makes them much, much better at Intelligence-based checks, and when they learn something, it stays with them, all the time.

Additionally, an eidetic memory ability could be useful as well.

Regeneration can most easily be defined as such:
"When reduced to -10 hit points, a 0 in Constitution, or any other effect which would normally kill a creature, the Time Lord instead enters a state of regeneration. The Time Lord immediately returns to 0 hp, while also being conscious.

While in this state the Time Lord is particularly vulnerable. The Time Lord can take only a single action per round in this state, and are unable to move much faster than to stagger about.

The regeneration effect lasts for a variable period of time, determined at the beginning of the regeneration. The effect lasts for 5d4 rounds. During this time, the Time Lord can be permanently killed. If reduced to -10 hit points while in a regeneration cycle, the Time Lord permanently dies, as if a normal creature.

Upon the successful completion of the regeneration cycle, the Time Lord returns to full HP, and also finds their physical traits, mannerisms and personality changed. These exact traits may not be immediately evident, and sometimes take time to solidify. In addition, the Time Lord may immediately reallocate any feats or skill points gained up to this point.

Furthermore, for a period of 24 hours after a regeneration event, the Time Lord can undergo a single burst of latent regeneration energy, which heals the Time Lord an amount equal to half their HP."

Now, I'm not good at identifying LA, but I imagine this would be at least a +3, just based on ability scores. The regeneration ability is more of a story ability, since it wouldn't take much more than a second hit to kill them again.

Most of the other abilities, such as psychic powers or similar, I think could be explained away by class abilities. There are a bunch of physical traits that could give simple bonuses, but there are so many of them that I would almost feel like they deserved their own Pathfinder alternate traits list.

2013-12-24, 06:51 AM
One doesn't become a Timelord, one IS a timelord. It's not a class, it is a race: Gallifreyan.


2013-12-24, 07:38 AM
One doesn't become a Timelord, one IS a timelord. It's not a class, it is a race: Gallifreyan.


That's not too certain. The background is ambiguous and sometimes contradictory, but there seem to be Gallifreyans who aren't Timelords. There is an audio play that specifically explains that Rassilon, as an example, invented Regeneration and only gave it to some, but not all of his native culture.

Also, psionic abilities. The Doctor, at the very least, and probably others as well, is a powerful Telepath.

Mike T
2013-12-24, 08:05 AM
One of the later episodes of The Deadly Assassin, I think.

The Doc shares details of what he's found with another Time Lord via telepathy.

2013-12-24, 08:20 AM
That was a bug/feature of the matrix.

Nah, happens all the time. For the new series, there's the infamous psychic headbutt in, I think, The Lodger, where he shares all the information on who he is and what the enemy is instantly with Craig (was that his name? I think it is. His Landlord).

At hte very least, the Doctor is highly resistant to telepathic attacks. He resists those all the time when all his companions and the NPCs of the week get hit by them.

The Tardis Data Core is a bit vague on it, but I'll go digging for more.

2013-12-24, 08:39 AM
I always thought The Doctor was basically a human, but he can see and I interact with time stuff that humans can't.

Wouldn't his stats be the same, but he'd effectively be some kind of caster using the sonic screwdriver and space/time stuff for 'magical' effects?

I shudder at the thought of using Pathfinder for this. ..I can't imagine it handling time travel all that well.

2013-12-24, 08:52 AM
The good thing about statting up the Doctor is that you don't really have to use time travel to do it. It's not a native ability of even time lords, they have to use TARDISes for that. The best they'd probably have is an ability to sense anything that changes time being used nearby.

Something like:
Time Sense (su): A Time Lord can detect abilities that change time in a radius of 120ft. around them as if by a detect magic spell. This includes any magical, psionic or supernatural ability that gives a creature more actions (such as haste, time stop, celerity, temporal acceleration), abilities that move a creature in time (such as time hop) and those that place a creature in stasis (such as temporal stasis or timeless body).

Now, statting up a TARDIS, that would be a nightmare. Especially since writers seem to love heaping more abilities unto the Doctor's TARDIS.

2013-12-24, 09:03 AM
I haven't had too much exposure to Old Who, so I could be very wrong on the Intelligence point. I was mostly working from the Doctor and the Master, both of whom are very intelligent.

As for becoming a Time Lord, I tend to agree that the Time Lord's seem to be made, not born.

And, yeah, the Doctor is definitely some kind of Telepath. He hid Donna's memories entirely through telepathy, he used the "psychic headbutt," he tapped into the psychic network set up by the Master, and numerous other examples throughout New Who. It's popped up a dozen or so times.

I definitely like the Time Sense ability, though. Forgot that particular ability.

2013-12-24, 09:10 AM
One doesn't become a Timelord, one IS a timelord. It's not a class, it is a race: Gallifreyan.

Yeah, because no human has ever had some timelord in them--*badoom chhh* :smallbiggrin::smallwink:

I'd take a look at kellus' gramarie and note the geoccultism non-Euclidean space and the entire yggritecture section, for the construction of a TARDIS and then go way beyond that in terms of epic gramarie to the point where you can make suns and use them to power crazy time ships.

2013-12-24, 09:27 AM
I definitely like the Time Sense ability, though. Forgot that particular ability.

Good. I forgot one thing, though. "A timelord always instinctively knows the time traits of whichever plane they are on."

2013-12-24, 10:11 AM
The Doctor is most definitely NOT human (Humanoid and appears human) but he has two hearts and a bunch of other physiological differences.

Time lords are distinctly superior to humans, capable to surviving things that would kill most humans (strangulation, oxygen deprivation, poison, etc.), but that doesn't mean that they are completely immune to the effects of those things. However, they generally survive the encounter with no lasting effects.

They do have limited telepathy (with animals certainly and babies) but doesn't seem to need it or use it very often. I would say it isn't a passive ability but one that he has to decide to use. From Wikipedia: "In "The Lodger", The Doctor (pressed for time and needing to convey a great deal of information to someone) smashed his forehead into another person's forehead, causing a massive instantaneous transfer of information. He then commented that was just the general background, then repeats the action to transfer further information pertinent to the episode. This seemed to cause him and the person intense physical pain, although unclear as to whether due to the physical pain of impact or the information transfer itself."

Obviously there is some clairvoyance as well. He knows all the past, present and possible futures all at once.

The problem with such a character is that he becomes the focal point. While it makes for good drama, it doesn't necessarily make for a good game.

The best options are either that all the PCs are Time Lords or that none of them are. Running a single PC time lord with PC human companions is very unbalanced. I wouldn't recommend it if you value your players' friendship. This shows favoritism from the get-go. It is very easy for the player running The Doctor to hog the spot light far too often. This is probably best for an adventure or two but not a long-term campaign.

The easiest way to run a time lord campaign is to make the Doctor an NPC with PC companions. This keeps the party dynamic cohesive. It just takes a good DM to pull it off without having the Doctor become a Mary Sue for the DM. As long as the Doctor isn't stealing the PCs' limelight, it's a good thing. It also makes it easy to get rid of the Doctor (he has places to go and people to see) and force the PCs through the adventure on their own (with the hope that The Doctor will remember to come back for them or save them if necessary). The thing is not to let the Doctor always save them. Adric anyone?

Alternatively, you could run an all time lord campaign. This will be overpowered nonsense to the Nth degree, but it could be A LOT of fun. It's a lot of work to come up with foes that could challenge more than one time lord (and it takes good players to rein in the superpowers when necessary). This requires all players to be excellent roleplayers since their PCs are so overpowered. The hardest thing to DM will be challenging foes and to keep utter mayhem at bay. With good players and a really good DM this could be marvelous. It also has the potential for being too hard and not fun enough if it bogs down with number crunching. This is probably best for short term gaming rather than a long campaign. It's a lot of work for the DM since anything is possible. Of course, you could be the mean DM and temporarily take all their powers away or have the T.A.R.D.I.S. go missing (stolen or not). Another fun campaign is one where everyone is an incarnation of Doctor. This pays homage to the other Doctors too and good for old-time fans. Younger fans may not know all the references.

The big question is how well do you know Doctor Who?

I started watching Doctor Who when it first aired in the US in 1978 (and I'd bet a fair number here weren't yet born). It was the scarf and the jelly-babies references that made Tom Baker's Doctor #4 my favorite. I like the new series too but Tom Baker is my doctor.


2013-12-24, 10:12 AM
I would think the Death Delvers Nine Lives ability is somewhat an idea to use a solid base.

Regeneration (13 Lives): If a single attack, spell, or effect would reduce the Timelord down to -10 HP the Timelord instead may choose to use up one of the 13 charges of Regeneration to immediately ignore said effect and have their HP reset to 1. For 2d4 rounds the Timelord is considered shaken, after this time the Timelord's Shaken status is removed and the Timelord returns to full health. A Timelord who has undergone Regeneration may reallocate any skills, feats, or level granted ability points.
All Class levels and original Ability Score rolls remain the same.

(Variant) The Timelord must Reroll Ability scores as well as reallocate skills, feats, and level granted ability points. The Timelord may also change Character Classes (If used in Gestalt only one half of the gestalt may be changed)

I would also say that as a template that allows you to see and feel the change in time and so forth ("I can feel the world turning beneath me") I would say a +4 Con, +4 Int, +2 Wis, +2 Cha, -4 Str

These would grant a pretty hefty LA. I was thinking for D&D 2 RHD and a +2 would be ok, maybe 1 RHD and +2 if its a higher level game.

For CR in PF maybe a +3?

2013-12-24, 11:59 AM
The problem with such a character is that he becomes the focal point. While it makes for good drama, it doesn't necessarily make for a good game.

The best options are either that all the PCs are Time Lords or that none of them are. Running a single PC time lord with PC human companions is very unbalanced.

There are easy fixes though. You just need to add the drama drawbacks as game effects. Like:

Mental Acclimation(Flaw): A Time Lord has so much knowledge that they can not readily access and remember it all. When ever a Time Lord encounters anything, they take a -25 to all knowledge rolls and intelligence checks. This penalty remains until the Time Lord definitely finds out what the thing is or 1d12 hours pass. (This covers how the Doctor does not automatically know everything in the first half hour, but ''suddenly'' remembers it all in the last half hour)

Swiss Cheese Memory(Flaw) A Time Lord has huge, gaping holes in their memory. Roughly half of the things a Time Lord encounters they will know nothing about. Roll a 1d12 whenever something is encountered, on a negative result, the Time Lord knows nothing about what is encountered. (and more memory problems)

No Sense of Time(Flaw) A Time Lord never knows where or when they are in time or space, unless they find an intelligent being that tells them when and where they are at the moment. (the classic ''don't know where we are'')

Cowardliness(Flaw) When a Time Lord encounters anything monstrous, inhuman, scary, evil, or hostile they are effected as if a fear spell had been cast on them. The DC is 25+1 per level of the Time Lord. Failure means the Time Lord is panicked. (covers why the Doctor runs from foes for no reason, even though he could do something else)

Vow of Nonviolence(Flaw) The Time Lord must not cause harm to any living creature (constructs, undead, great evils and invading aliens are not included in this prohibition).

Vow of Poverty(Flaw) A Time Lord can not own any item worth more then one gold piece. (and this covers why the Doctor has no cool stuff or equipment)

2013-12-25, 09:18 AM
Bloodlines and half-gallifrey are possible, among several other things.

You have to consider that the doctor is more or less an Outsider/Native type and that his actual being is made of energy and consciousness, those things are not as black and white as flesh and can be transferred or mixed with other races in unexpected ways.

2013-12-25, 12:08 PM
Also, psionic abilities. The Doctor, at the very least, and probably others as well, is a powerful Telepath.

That's probably just levels in Psion, if that isn't what you meant already.

2013-12-25, 08:13 PM
The doctor isn't a psion he's a gramarie. He's a diplomancer who uses UMD.
He certainly has a psionic ability but that could simply be racial similarly to a synad's collective.

2013-12-26, 09:29 AM
I think you have to decide which abilities are racial and which ones would be from a class. Gramarie sort of fits and obviously time related abilities.

So what happens when you strip a Gallifreyan to its core? We're not talking about The Doctor necessarily as he's a unique being.

We know there are other TARDISes and most of them have working chameleon circuits. The Doctor's TARDIS is unique because his TARDIS has a broken chameleon circuit so it is stuck looking like a British police box regardless of setting.

The sonic screw driver, however, is unique to the Doctor as canon says it was created by him and it has different properties with each incarnation.

Here's what might be useful for more generic Time Lords/Ladies: http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Gallifreyan_physiology


Rogue Shadows
2013-12-26, 09:47 AM
"When reduced to -10 hit points, a 0 in Constitution, or any other effect which would normally kill a creature, the Time Lord instead enters a state of regeneration. The Time Lord immediately returns to 0 hp, while also being conscious.

Small point of order: a Time Lord can be killed before they would regenerate. A Time Lord has to choose to regenerate; it requires a conscious act of will; and, as well, a Time Lord can choose to not regenerate.

Also I don't think they actually have to be dying to do it, it's just that since it creates a personality change, most Time Lords don't do it unless they have to.

To simulate the personality change, a 1-step alignment shift may be required, probably a random one. Like, say a Time Lord starts at Chaotic Good. He then rolls a d%. On a 01-33, he becomes Neutral Good; on a 34-66, he stays Chaotic Good; and on a 67-100, he becomes Chaotic Neutral.

Then again, it's worth noting that the Doctor is actually terrible at being a Time Lord. The Rani, for example, I believe once was basically "trying on" different regenerations in front of a mirror, and it's been implied that other Time Lords could have many more than 13 regenerations, and can control what that next regeneration is like.

2013-12-26, 07:53 PM
These all seem to be issues with the doctor himself, not the race.

Actually, to do a Time Lord (Gallifreyan) would be even worse.

They would still have the Cowardliness flaw and the Vow of Poverty flaw. And you'd need to add:

Vow of Non-Interference(Flaw): A Time Lord must not interferer with anything in the universe, and must just observe. Only by making a Wil save (DC 25 +1 per level) can a Time Lord act.

Cower(Flaw): should a Time Lord encounter anything more exciting then drying paint they must roll a will save (DC25 +1 a level) or be paralyzed.

Knowledge Arrogance Time Lords already know it all and may only roll one knowledge check per day per level, and the check is made at -1 per level of the Time Lord, plus counting their intelligence bonus as a penalty to this roll (so +5= -5). A Time Lord may never take a feat, or use any type of item that gives them a bonus to knowledge skill checks.

2013-12-27, 07:27 AM
For the lowest LA possible version of the race, I'd say the key things are:

Regeneration - Been covered by other posters. It would be good to specify an immediate action trigger.

Time Acclimitization - Perceive temporal effects and get similar information to Arcane Sight when observing them. Can spend time studying them to get an Analyze Dweomer type effect. They receive a save against temporal adjustments that would not normally grant a save (e.g. having one's past rewritten or losing memories of someone else due to them being removed from time).

Racial Feat: Wild Talent - Covers random bits of timelord telepathy. Could also just give them 5ft radius Telepathy similar to what some outsiders get.

Two Hearts - Save-or-die effects shut down one of their hearts temporarily, causing them to be stunned for 3 rounds (bypassing stun immunity); they need to be hit by two in a row to be killed outright. Normal function resumes with a 5 minute rest.

Putting stat bonuses aside (which are mostly a matter of taste I think - whether the Doctor was a genius compared to the rest of his people or just average), this is probably at worst a +1 LA - mostly from the 5ft Telepathy, which is otherwise hard to get and enables some very potent options - and wouldn't really interfere with spotlight sharing. The effective immunity to save or dies is not really a big deal since 3 rounds of unavoidable stun will basically take them out of a fight anyhow. Removing the stun would make it a little better and probably still not bump up the LA.

The Regeneration ability being limited to a certain number of uses ever makes it a little hard to price out though.

If you need to buff it up a bit as far as the 'we know everything' bit, you could give them innate Bardic Knowledge that scales with level. Another fun thing to do might be to remove the level-based cap on Knowledge skills, so someone could put 100 ranks into Knowledge(Nobility) or something if they had obsessively studied that subject for hundreds of years the way the Doctor studies Earth.

2013-12-27, 02:12 PM
That doesn't look right either. Among other things, you are mixing up a government policy with a race.

The Vow of Non-Interference is the only one that could be considered a law and not a race trait. But sometimes a law or tradition does become a trait. When you say ''hat gnomes get a +2 to hat based skills'', that is giving the hat gnomes a racial ability based on culture. You'd have to have a culture where the hat gnomes dealt with hats every day. And that leads to the game effect.