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Character Sheet: The Hellgrammites

During the Doctor and Riddell’s tour of the Nine Circles of Hell, they fought against many of the “savage insect races” that once ravaged our universe but are now condemned to eternal damnation beyond. Among the most vicious of these was the Hellgrammites. A parasitic species with a unique life cycle, the Hellgrammites absorb the bodies of the dead. In the cocoons that they weave around corpses, even the dead of other species will undergo a grim metamorphosis, only to rise and live again as newborn Hellgrammites. Possessing dozens of limbs and an instinctual bloodlust, the Hellgrammites are quick and violent predators. During the Dark Times, they were a plague upon our universe. Because of this, the ancient Time Lords banished them to the accursed dimension that evokes their name.

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“The Ninth Circle”

“The Ninth Circle” (3LD04)
by Monte Cook

Game Master: Brian   Players: Adam, Erin
Game Date: 16 March 2019

Characters: The Doctor, Riddell
Adversaries: Asmodeus, The Scourge, The Racnoss, The Hellgrammites, et al.
Allies: Romana V
Time: N/A
Space: Hell

 

Synopsis: “The legends of Gallifrey speak of a world where everything is horror—horror and pain—a world from which there is no escape, and the creatures crawl on the crust of the land of the lost and the hopeless and the broken and the doomed. The legends of Gallifrey speak of a world, and the name of the world they speak of… is Hell.”

It is said that in the Dark Times of the Fledging Empires, the Time Lords of Gallifrey were pitiless in imposing order on the universe and in their misguided attempts to create other, less sensible realities. Whispered legends tell of the most appalling of their cosmic constructs, the nightmare dimension known only as Hell, an accursed wasteland to which the savage insect races of the universe were banished. Now, in an abduction that defies explanation, the Shining World of the Seven Systems has lost one of its great landmarks to this wicked realm, leaving some of its greatest visionaries at the mercy of the monsters it once condemned to eternal damnation.

Among the missing is the Lady Romana—High Councillor, Custodian of the House of Everston, and, more secretly, a guiding force behind an increasingly organized underground sect devoted to the notorious renegade she once accompanied on his fabled journey through time and space. The loss is potentially devastating and the situation is grim, but the Council on Chaos recognizes an opportunity when it sees one. With the Doctor, his human companion, and their rickety Type 40 time travel capsule captured and in state custody, the Time Lords have regained control over an erratic but resourceful agent who has repeatedly demonstrated his willingness to venture where others fear to tread. To earn their freedom, to rescue Romana and all that Gallifrey has lost, the Doctor and John Riddell must face a gauntlet of unimaginable horrors and brave the infernal depths of Hell itself!

Teaser: “The Ninth Circle”

THE TARDIS control room was serene, bathed in a warm, pulsating glow and silent save for the gentle hum of its mysterious, timeless heartbeat.

The mood was shattered in an instant as the doors burst open and the Doctor and Riddell practically fell through them before turning and slamming them shut again. Breathlessly, they exchanged a nervous glance then laughed in relief.

“Y’know, you’d think the stewards would be more grateful that we’d helped them out,” Riddell complained.

“Absolutely,” agreed the Doctor, dusting himself down, regaining his composure, and stepping into the control room. “Having a Krynoid loose in Kew Gardens was a serious matter. It would have eaten the entire collection—not to mention their visitors! And it’s not like they can’t rebuild the Temperate House. I’ll be having a few sharp words with George next time I see him, I can assure you of that.”

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“The Red Balloon”

“The Red Balloon” (3LD03)
by Michael Rees

Game Master: Brian   Players: Adam, Erin
Game Date: 16 February 2019

Characters: The Doctor, Riddell
Adversaries: Psionovore
Time: 16 February 2019 CE
Space: Greater London, England, Earth

 

 

Synopsis: On the streets of Muswell Hill, a mob of panicked parents marches for justice following the brutal death of a local boy. Neither they nor the police are prepared to accept the circumstances of such an appalling murder. From the moment they exit the TARDIS, the Doctor and John Riddell sense that a terrible evil has come into this neighbourhood. Searching the streets in the dead of night, they collect unsettling evidence, but they also arouse the suspicions of a community on edge. The travellers must watch their step if they are to confront the haunted boys and girls who wander the parks and alleyways after nightfall with madness in their eyes. Something alien and abominable has descended on North London, transforming ordinary children into jealous monsters who will go anywhere, cross anyone, do anything—anything to get their hands on the red balloon.

Teaser: “The Red Balloon”

THE SETTING sun radiated a deep pink light that set the prairie on fire. The savannah stretched as far as the eye could see and beyond, teeming with a multitude of life. A family of scimitar-horned oryx drank at a glassy watering hole whilst, nearby, a huge herd of quagga grazed the lush grass. Away to the west, a pride of Barbary lions had emerged from beneath the shade of a spiralling, forked Sigillaria tree. John Riddell and the Doctor surveyed this pristine landscape in silence from the edge of an escarpment that offered them this breathtaking view.

“Lost in thought, John?” asked the Doctor gently.

Riddell took a few more moments of silence before he spoke. “Before I met you, this place would have been like something out of a fairy tale. I mean, it still is, but… I think my instincts are changing.”

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Recipe: Cheese and Crackers

Recipe001

When we’re not playing the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game, we are, of course, watching Doctor Who. Our most recent marathon was remarkably varied, a visual feast that featured screenings of everything from New Who webisodes to Torchwood installments to the bonkers Channel 5 telefilm Hotel! (2001), starring Paul McGann, Peter Capaldi, and Bradley Walsh. (That’s right. It has to be seen to be believed!) As is tradition, we also seized the opportunity to cook up a diverse selection of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres ranging from the simple to the elaborate, each of them celebrating our favorite series. These drinks and nibbles might be just the thing to serve up during your next RPG session, so, one-by-one, we’re sharing the recipes with you.

Today’s recipe is certainly on the simple side. Indeed, it barely qualifies as a recipe! You don’t have to be a master chef to prepare a platter of Doctor Who cheese and crackers. All you need is patience, a sharp knife, and a bit of imagination. With a keen eye and a little trial and error, a slice of sharp cheddar can be transformed into a Type 40 TARDIS with a broken chameleon circuit! Your favorite hard cheese can shapeshift into an Adipose, a Silent, or an Ice Lord’s helmet. Add some pepperoni or other garnish for a bit of contrast and serve it up on your favorite cracker. Consider the possibilities for the game table! Once your players acquire a taste for edible Story Points, there’s no going back.

Our thanks to Better Homes & Gardens for inspiring us with a plate of Halloween hors d’oeuvres prepared using cookie cutters. Have a look at their slideshow for more spooky party food ideas.

“Over the Top”

“Over the Top” (3LD02)
by Mark Acres

Game Master: Brian   Players: Adam, Erin
Game Date: 29 January 2019

Characters: The Doctor, Riddell, Flo
Adversaries: The Master, Manfred von Richthofen
Allies: George S. Patton
Time: 19-20 November 1917 CE
Space: Cambrai, France, Earth

 

 

Synopsis: France. 1917. In the mud-filled trenches of the Western Front, the Germans, the British, and the Americans face each other in a bitter stalemate. Thousands have died but, for three bloody years, not an inch of ground has been gained. When a trio of strangers emerges from No Man’s Land bearing secret battle plans for a major British tank offensive, Lieutenant Colonel George S. Patton knows that the course of the war is about to change. Emboldened by this knowledge and by the extraordinary skills possessed by these outlandish operatives, he charges them with a dangerous reconnaissance mission.

The Doctor, Riddell, and Flo must penetrate enemy lines. There, on a hidden airfield, they discover the source of the strange energies they’ve been tracking since the TARDIS first fell onto this bleak battleground. The Flying Circus of Manfred von Richthofen—the legendary Red Baron—is prepared for the coming offensive, and their Fokker triplanes are equipped with advanced arms representing the wrong World War! It becomes clear that a brilliant but sinister influence has bent Germany’s leaders to his dominating will. The Master is near death, incinerated by the time vortex, stripped of his robotic frame, but as desperate and determined to survive as he has ever been. Soon, he will take a new body, and in that rejuvenated form he will lead Germany to victory in the Battle of Cambrai, corrupting a crucial tipping point in the history of the Great War. The Doctor and his companions will have to take to the skies to correct the course of history—and face the dreaded Red Baron, ace of aces, on the field of combat that he has mastered!