View Full Version : DM Help Intro I'm writing for a Doctor Who themed mini rpg

2015-12-13, 03:42 PM
I'd love feedback, ideas, or suggestions. I'm setting this up to be an episodic series of short adventures to take place between my d&d story arcs. This is the first draft of the prologue I'll hand out to my players prior to character generation. It should be clear that this takes place outside the normal continuity.


First draft

You sit in your hard chair in the cold light of the briefing room, your pulse pounding with anticipation. You've heard General Pond speak before of course, but this is the first time since you were selected for the Combined Taskforce. Your eyes fall on the twinned UNIT and Torchwood logos behind the podium, and the iconic blue telephone box between them. This is an emergency meeting. You wonder what for.

General Pond enters the room from the left and crosses the stage. He's wearing his customary red cape and anachronistic polished Roman breastplate; as usual he makes it work. You realise with shock that his eyes are rimmed with red, as though he'd been crying.

"Thank you for gathering on such short notice. We haven't much time at all. My friends and allies, we've lost the war. At eleven this morning, the Doctor was killed by the Cyber Controller."

It is a true testament to the professionalism of the room that the shocked gasp and chatter dies down the moment General Pond raises his hand. "We have no time to grieve. The future of the human race is compromised. The cybermen are at the gates,and I do mean that literally. The Combined Taskforce was formed with this in mind. You have all been briefed on Operation Recovery: you have ten minutes to gather your gear and report to level 11."

Operation Recovery. You had indeed been briefed, but it sounded so impossible. The technology required had to be outside of human capability no matter how desperate the need...

You arrive on level 11 with your duffel bag. The level is top clearance, and you'd never set foot on it before. It is a simple industrial bunker, the very bottom of the facility. The entire level is a single open space, the walls lined with equipment. You know, in your mind, what to expect, but your heart can barely process it. In the centre of the room, surrounded by a full defensive perimeter, is a telltale blue box. The windows are dark, the door cracked open. Cables run out.

A curly haired woman in white is arguing with a tall man with dark hair in front of the TARDIS. Through the haze of everything that's happened, your mind calls up their names from briefing documents. Professor Song. Captain Harkness.

"You can't do this. It's an abomination. He would never have allowed this." Song is nearly screaming.

"We don't have a choice, River. If you have a better idea, I'm all ears."

"Let me in, just for a moment. Let me ask the TARDIS what she wants."

"How do I know you won't take it and leave?"

Song's voice turns cold. "The TARDIS is in no condition to go anywhere. If you took off this... this life support, she'd be dead already."

Harkness glances over his shoulder at General Pond, who has been watching with a distant expression. "Jack, we need her. Let her go."

Harkness stands aside, and Song steps slowly across the threshold of the darkened TARDIS. As if on cue, the floor shakes and the lights dim momentarily. A voice sounds over the PA, loud and harsh in the echoing chamber.

"Lockdown engaged. Facility under attack. Estimated time until full breach: six minutes."

The elevator is offline. About half of your peers have made it here. The rest will join in the defence against the cybermen. For three painful minutes you watch the door, trying not to think about who is missing from the crowd, what faces you'll never see again. After an interminable wait, a dim light flares up inside the box. Professor Song steps out. Her face is pale, strained, unreadable. She turns to your collected group.

"I'm sorry. I was wrong. This is... This is worse than I thought, but it's what needs to be done. Soldiers, remember your mission parameters: save the Earth. Save the universe. Save the Doctor, if you can. Now get in. Rory, Jack... We're to stay behind. We're needed more here."

You and your colleagues glance at each other in surprise. Your feet start moving on their own. The building shakes again, and you're aware of flickering light and a hissing sound as cutters start working on the elevator door. Song draws a pistol and Pond a strange looking sword. Harkness fiddles with some kind of wrist band.

"If I may offer some last advice," Pond calls as he starts towards the door: "RUN."

With a few more desperate steps you find yourself crowding into the narrow door. Before you even have time to take in your surroundings, there is a gut-churning shock from behind you that sends you sprawling into a pile of your colleagues. You realise with a start that the door has slammed shut, severing the wires, leaving the few of you that are in here isolated from your team. Chaos fills the TARDIS control room: choking thick smoke, a dim flashing mauve light, a horrendous clanging gong, and an all-consuming wrenching sound that you know instinctively.

The TARDIS is leaving.


Haven't decided what system to use yet but I'm leaning towards a heavily modified Dogs in the Vineyard: it captures the episodic format I'm looking for, and I plan to have the players' morality (translated into their relationship with the tardis) form a core role.

2015-12-13, 10:39 PM
Looks pretty interesting, except you forgot to capitalize TARDIS. :smallwink:

2015-12-14, 01:06 AM
Haha, fair enough. I got lazy trying to type it all caps on my phone. Fixed it for my fellow pedants.