Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Illustration for article titled Doctor Who RPG - Gallery of Fear

Your TARDIS arrives at the opening of the Pence Wing of the Galactic Art Gallery, dedicated to the works of the polymath, Artemisma Kobek. She’s getting her own wing to showcase her works—all of which are under wraps until the grand unveiling. You received personal invitations, despite having never met the artist. The museum is, of course, a spaceship.

The linchpin of the first act is the NPC, Alia Pence. She’s a dotty old lady with money, so she gets to say what she wants and everyone has to basically put up with it. She’s magnificent. Alia leads you through the spaceship on a guided tour, on the arm of her bodyguard. She made last – minute adjustments to the catering, so that everything within arms reach is pickled and salty as hell.

The museum is hijacked after it leaves the dock, when a family of Slitheen (who have replaced the museum board of directors) attempt a robbery of the creme de la creme. The Board of Directors have been belching all night, and a portrait of them hangs in the main gallery, featuring them all as much thinner than they currently look. The clues are there.

Surrounded by pickled catering, it is simple to dispatch them all, each and every one.

Barely a moment after the initial crisis is solved, Alia dies of heart failure. It’s simply her time. Her last words are bittersweet. “I wish I could’ve seen her one last time.”

Artemisma’s young wife Magda finally catches up with you. The artist wishes to continue with the performance as planned, “It’s what Miss Pence would’ve wanted.”

The performance piece is set to music, and consists of a short ballet. He tells the story of a woman losing her lover. And finding someone new. Together the new couple honors and remembers what the first couple had, while forging into new territory. The piece ends with Artemisma turning into a weeping angel, whose first meal is Magda.

The lights flicker, and the angel disappears. The ship moves under an ultraviolet star, painting ghastly shades on the gallery works. Angels are waiting in paintings across the gallery, painted in invisible paint. They literally reach out of the portraits to grab horrified patrons of the museum.

Clues divulge that Alia Pence was Magda, sent back in time. She prepared everything for tonight in advance, right down to the pickled food. You are now trapped on a deadlocked ship, on autopilot. It is set to crash into a lifeless rock in a matter of hours.

Matches, mirrors, and Gallifreyan paintings allow you to keep the Angels at bay— to start, at least. You must sort out the mechanics of Alia’s trap for the Angels, lest you be caught in it yourself.


Gallery of Fear was an attempt at something different. I wanted to lure my players into a false sense of security by providing an easily solved mystery at the beginning.

What I found instead, was a lesson about pacing. They preferred games where the action didn’t start immediately. Rather, they wanted to engage in an immersive scenario that was pleasant at first, so that there would be something to lose, later on.

As with later games, I wanted to include a deadly alien threat, but give it a handicap. These players are not the Doctor. Against an angel at full strength, they wouldn’t last long at all. Ergo, manufacture a reason for the angel to be operating at half strength; such as they are still trapped in the paintings and trying to break out, or they’re simply brand new. “Anything that holds the image of an angel becomes an angel.”

Everything used in the game has its roots in the show. Nothing was engineered. From the Vinvocci glass protecting the artwork, to the Gallifreyan Stasis cubes, every ingredient is pureDoctor Who. The materials and music to run this mod can be found here

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