Game Master: Brian Players: Adam, Erin
Game Date: 30 April 2019
Characters: The Doctor, Riddell
Adversaries: The Divinity
Time: 2-3 July 6008 CE
Space: Polythea, Constellation of Cancree
Synopsis: On a faraway planet, the Doctor and Riddell find themselves cast as pilgrims in the strangest of holy lands. The thriving megalopolis known as the Multihaven is built of churches and cathedrals, monuments and monasteries, sanctuaries and shrines. In this city of spiritual tourism, diversity is celebrated and faith is all. Representatives from a chaotic assembly of religions—from the Shrine of Serendipity to the Microbaptists to the Church of the Divine Gas—open their arms and their houses of worship to the travellers. The Doctor is impressed that this community has seemingly achieved the impossible, finding peace and harmony in balancing religious debate with tolerance. That delicate balance is threatened, however, by the sudden, overwhelming popularity of the Cabinet of Lucidity.
Convert by convert, church by church, all faiths are falling to the zealots who worship the God of Dreams. To find this mysterious idol, the Doctor and Riddell must join the church’s disciples in sleep and surrender to their dreams. Deep in the surreal landscape of the unconscious, amid visions born of their greatest hopes and fears, they face the inescapable influence that has conquered the hearts and minds of the Multihaven. The Lucidians have embraced the truth of the universe, and they know there is but one true god: the Divinity. In a world ruled by piety and religious devotion, they may be unstoppable.
Game Master: Adam Players: Brian, Erin
Game Date: 15 April 2018
Characters: The Doctor, The Master, The Rani, Ori
Adversaries: The Divinity, The New Moral Army
Allies: Captain Jack Harkness
Time: 11-13 February 2596 CE
Space: Dellah, Constellation of Vitroa
Synopsis: Prophecy tells of an apocalyptic battle that will take place on the planet Dellah on the eve of the twenty-seventh century, the ultimate clash between the Divinity and the one they call the Great Blasphemer: the rebellious trickster known as the Doctor. Desperate to bring an end to the ascendancy of his eternal foes, the Doctor embraces this destiny, calling upon his captive companions, the Master and the Rani, to break free of the control exerted over the TARDIS by the Time Lords.
The Doctor and Ori arrive on Dellah to discover that this once peaceful world has fallen under the pitiless rule of the New Moral Army, whose holy wars and genocidal pogroms have left the road to the city of Tashwari lined with the crucified corpses of unbelievers. Appealing to the Sultan of Tashwari, the travellers find that any effort to quell the religious fervour that grips the populace is hopeless. The Sultan and his army heed only the doctrine of their idols, the Divinity, and the Doctor and his companion are soon slated for execution. Hope arrives in the form of an unexpected saviour who falls out of the sky—not an angel but a man, a man named Captain Jack Harkness.
With the help of this dashing rogue, the Doctor and Ori flee the city in search of allies, the atheist rebels who hide in nearby hills. Their quest will take them deep inside the volcanic Mount Casmov, where they learn that the prophecy that has led the Doctor to Dellah is self-fulfilling, allowing a great evil to harness the power of his TARDIS. The Divinity have become one with the elder god known as Tehke, the Burning One, and unless the Doctor can extinguish the beast, it is his ascension that will at last allow these ethereal fiends to defile the most glorious domain in all of time and space: Gallifrey, homeworld of the Time Lords!
Game Master: Adam Players: Brian, Erin
Game Date: 31 December 2017
Characters: The Doctor, The Master, The Rani, Ori
Adversaries: The Divinity, The Iyteans
Time: 17 December 1885 CE
Space: London, United Kingdom, Earth
Available: IN PRINT
Synopsis: On Baker Street in December of 1885, the Doctor introduces Ori to the joys of Christmas in Victorian London, but the two find there is little hope for peace on Earth. A brutal murder has struck down a member of Parliament, Sir Reginald Carruthers, and the Doctor’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding the high profile killing uncovers more extraordinary crimes. The dead man was involved in a black market connecting Marylebone and Limehouse, an underground network trafficking otherworldly artefacts to London’s elite. Another of the buyers, the eccentric Colonel Malcolm Fraser, believes these dangerous and powerful objects support his outlandish theories concerning the lost city of Atlantis. What’s more, he claims the artefacts have led him to make contact with an Atlantean!
The Doctor is sceptical of Fraser’s fantastic story until he chases down a cloaked, ethereal figure in a snow-strewn alley—a herald angel, a ghost of things to come. Recognizing this ghastly creature for what it truly is, he realizes that the truth of these events is more terrible and frightening than the likes of Carruthers or Fraser could ever have suspected. The course of human history is being threatened by the introduction of anachronistic alien artefacts, but there are those who will make every effort to ensure that mankind is not diverted from its predestined path. None are more invested in preserving the history of humankind than the Divinity. After all, it is a history that they have spent millennia remaking in their image.
In a fortnight’s time, Doctor Who will return to television for what looks to be a stunning new series on BBC One. Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor continues to prove full of surprises. (And the new series is accompanied, of course, by a brand new edition of the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game released by Cubicle 7!) Shortly after the show’s return, our own tabletop version of Doctor Who will have its latest series premiere, although there are some changes in the cards for these dice-driven misadventures in time and space.
The Dark Dimension campaign represents an alternate timeline to the new series of Doctor Who. Diverging from the established television continuity has allowed us to develop an original mythology, and the exciting second series of our role-playing game advanced that mythology by leaps and bounds. (Consider the image posted here as the box set cover for Series Two. Behold the manic grin that has greeted—and terrified—so many of the NPCs in our adventures!)
After failing in his desperate effort to eliminate the corrupting influence of the Divinity from the timestream, incurring their wrath as well as the judgment of the Time Lords, the Doctor found himself face-to-face with with his mortal enemies once more in “Divine Retribution.” His greatest fears were rendered reality. The resulting confrontation precipitated a seemingly inevitable betrayal as Selene pledged her loyalty to the Master, earning the Doctor’s ire and nearly costing him the TARDIS. The decisive “Planet of Ghosts” ended on a somber note as Mohana bid farewell to her predecessor in the Doctor’s stead, leaving Selene frozen in cryogenic stasis, bound for Earth, unaware of her fate.
When our campaign continues next month, we’ll fast-forward into a new era. One of the ways in which we hope to keep our campaign fresh is by regularly rotating roles. Each player will have the opportunity to serve as game master, and our campaign’s characters and mythology will sometime shift as a result. Soon a new game master will take charge, sharing a fresh take on these stories and introducing fresh player dynamics as well.
The upcoming series of adventures will focus on the Doctor (Richard E Grant), the Master (Derek Jacobi), and Alison Cheney (Sophie Okonedo) as they travel through time and space, their destinies dictated by the mysterious mandate of the Time Lords. While the events of our first two series serve as a prelude to “Scream of the Shalka” (2003), our next few stories will take place after the events of the animated BBCi webcast. The Episodes page here on the blog outlines the order of adventures and campaign continuity and will always be up-to-date with the latest installment.
If you’re looking for something to tide you over during the countdown to “The Magician’s Apprentice,” now is a fine time to pick up that copy of “Scream of the Shalka” on DVD. Spend an evening revisiting a memorable reinvention of our hero and have a glimpse at what might have been if the history of Doctor Who had jumped a time track and taken a different course. The story of that sophisticated, saturnine Doctor and his ominous trials and tribulations continues, right here, in the weeks to come.
To many, the Divinity represent the fulfillment of great spiritual aspirations. They are the living embodiment of faith, commanding awe and blind obedience. Temples and cathedrals have been built in their honor, and countless sacrifices have been made in their name. To those who are able to see beyond their blinding aura, they represent a nigh unstoppable plague of corruption. Since the dawn of time, these ethereal heralds have used their perceptual powers to prey on lesser species, twisting religion and mythology to suit their needs. Their hand is to be witnessed in the bloody history of uncounted civilizations. Their modus operandi may evoke the Church of the Silence or the Church of the Glorious Dead but, ultimately, their undying influence is far more pervasive—and pernicious.
When faith is corrupted, the Divinity are there. When persecution overwhelms compassion, the Divinity are there. After witnessing the ungodly truth of their ministries in a struggle that resulted in devastating personal losses, the Doctor attempted to eliminate their malign influence from history. He failed, and such drastic intervention has left him at the mercy of the Time Lords. As the Divinity regain their strength and power, he is destined to face divine retribution.
The Divinity are distinctive—tall, slender creatures with luminescent skin and eyes that burn like incandescent stars. Their unique and inexplicable biology contributes to the potent mystique associated with them. They are physically weak and reflexively slow, relying on those who serve them to fight in their stead. They possess an unrivaled psychic influence, however, carried by an aura of authority or glamour. Their presence, resolve, and powers of persuasion are exceptionally strong. The Divinity are recognized according to individual belief; they adopt a preexisting position of omnipotence and dominion within the minds of their subjects, and those who face them are hideously transformed as a result.
Introduced to the mythology in “The Origin of Evil” and making their dramatic debut in “Divine Intervention,” the Divinity have been established as the dominant adversaries in our ongoing Doctor Who role-playing campaign. Variant stats for other members may be posted alongside future updates. One thing is certain: the Divinity are everlasting, and the Divinity will return.
Game Master: Adam Players: Brian, Erin
Game Date: 1 August 2015
Characters: The Doctor, The Master, Selene, Mohana
Adversaries: The Divinity, The Rhumon Empire, The Rhumon Republic
Allies: The Menoptera
Time: 26 October 2306 CE
Space: Vortis, Constellation of Arbus
Continuity: The first adventure featuring the Divinity.
Synopsis: The Divinity. Since the dawn of time, these ethereal heralds have spread evil and chaos across the stars with their promise of religious salvation. An attempt by the Doctor to erase their malign influence from history served only to bring about eternal vengeance. For his sins, there will be retribution.
On the planet Vortis, flowering jungles have become a battlefield for the warring alien armies of a bitter interplanetary conflict—the war between Rhumon Prime and New Rhumos. The fighting has led to the enslavement of the peaceful insectoid peoples of the planet, the Menoptera and the Zarbi. As Vortis is stripped of its remarkable resources and hope dwindles among its indigenous inhabitants, the Menoptera seek a prophet who fell from the stars to save their world during a time of peril long ago: the Doctor.
Fate has returned the TARDIS to Vortis, for the Doctor knows the origin of the religious zealotry and primal superstitions fuelling this war. The Divinity have taken this fertile world as their own and all are powerless to resist their influence. After facing them, even the Doctor’s closest allies find their faith put to the test. How much does Mohana really know about the shadowy figure known as the Doctor? How deep-seated is Selene’s misguided dedication to the Master? The fate of Vortis and the rebirth of the Divinity hinge upon the resolution of a power struggle that has long been brewing behind the battered blue doors of the TARDIS.