I’ve been reading a lot of Doctor Who stuff recently since receiving the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space (DWAITAS) RPG. I haven’t actually been reading the RPG though. I figure that the rules are secondary to the creation of compelling adventures.
I finished Tom Baker’s “Robot” and “The Ark in Space” as well as the entire first series of the Doctor Who reboot (The Eccleston series). And I’ve been spending an indecent amount of time on the DWAITAS forums.
In the first episode of the Torchwood TV series, it’s stated that Torchwood Four went missing some time ago. (It’s a sly reference to Babylon 4, from the Babylon 5 TV series as it also ‘disappeared’). My plan is to use the missing Torchwood Four team as the start of the adventure. Sure – they went missing – but it’s where they went that is interesting.
Kage Baker writes about The Company. A future organisation that recruits people in the past and gets them to steal and hide items of famous antiquity which are then sold. This has similarities to the Warheads who move between dimensions and time periods stealing technology and valuables for their employer, Mys-Tech. Another inspiration is Gatecrasher and the Technet who ventured to 14th Century Peru to steal a unique mathematical model of the universe carved from rock crystal which was fated to be destroyed in an earthquake.
Clause 374 of the Shadow Proclamation stated that “theft of an artefact of great cultural value legitimises the use of lethal force to ensure the artefact’s recovery”.
So – where does Torchood Four fit in? The Torchwood team, obviously removed from Earth somehow, find themselves without resources, without money, without ammunition, on an alien world. They do what they can but in order to find their way back to Earth and also in order to survive, they have to resort to selling their services; services which include a pretty good knowledge of history and mythology.
So, the team, rag-tag, beaten but not down, missing a few but gaining a few, battles on to get passage back to Earth.
OK, this means the GM has to apply some hefty Deus Ex Machina to keep them from hijacking the first time-machine they come across and travelling back to 2 minutes after they left. This could be handled easily by having their time-transporters be similar to prisoner monitoring bracelets. They might be indestructable, they might be keyed together, they might be able to channel ‘motivation’ from their unseen masters. Hopefully, though, the players won’t decide to just return home – they’ll embrace the freedom and get to play through the concept of the galactic government of the Shadow Proclamation – if there’s government, then there’s trade. And some of these places might be good to start.