Thursday, 11 November 2010

A series-ful of classic Who plots: (Insert Ominous Word Here) Of The Daleks

The Classic Monster Story is an essential of the series. As Steven Moffat noted (somewhere, I'll try and find the actual quote) you could make an entire series with only new monsters and it would work fine and not many people would really notice.

However, ultimately one must have Daleks at some point or the fans in front of the TV or at the gaming table will feel a bit shortchanged. Likewise Cybermen, the Master, and there's bound to be something in thirty-odd series of monsters that you'd like to bring back. Of course, I already talked about uses of the Daleks and friends here, so I'll try not to go over the same ground too much, and instead talk about how they might fit into a game series.


Look at why the classic monsters are popular and flexible, and why the players might enjoy setting their characters against them. (Or equally why they might not. If, say, the Cybermen really creep out someone at the table, give them a miss.)

You can have a bit of fun with them, playing up to or toying with the players' expectations. "WOULD YOU CARE FOR SOME TEEEEEA?"

Doing something new with them is ideal, but just a chance to say hello and duck laser bolts can be enough for an entertaining evening's play.

If you have trailers for the next session, be it a quick description at the end of the session or an email to the players the day before the game to check they can all make it, you could keep this one very simple - when I had my (Insert Ominous Word Here) Of The Daleks episode in The Door In Time, I sent two trailer emails instead of one. The second was the traditional brief pre-credits scene in text, but the first was this link.

You could also ring the changes by crashing this adventure category into another one. Daleks versus Churchill, Victorian Cybermen controlling workhouses, the Master brokering a Secret Invasion...

And if your game goes on long enough, eventually you'll have classic monsters of your own.


Example: Destroyer Of The Daleks

Modern Paris, and a scientific symposium is thrown into chaos when one of its keynote speakers is assassinated - apparently by some kind of electrostatic shock to the system killing every cell in his body. The killers fired this strange weapon from the back of a van, never stepping outside. Witnesses described the attack as making him look like an X-ray...

Why are the Daleks here now, acting in secret to kill a group of scientists?

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