Monday, 24 November 2014

DW Companions as PCs: Vislor Turlough

A new player joins the group in the twentieth season, briefly bringing the number of players up to four again. His initial character concept is, in many respects, similar to that of Adric: a high-tech rogue from an alien planet. But this player is older, and the character more complex, and less annoying.

Turlough is the last in the line of alien companions, and also the last male companion of the classic era. When we first meet him, he is a sixth form student at an expensive boarding school somewhere in the south of England, and so is presumably about eighteen years old. He is desperate to escape from Earth, but, while he admits to the other players that his character is alien, Turlough's player gives out no information at all about his background, or how he got to Earth in the first place. It's entirely possible that he's left this blank, with the intention of filling in a backstory later; it would explain why he sometimes mentions his homeworld, but never actually says what it's called.

Then again, it's possible that he's just being cagey. The "rogue" aspect of the character is only partly built on the obvious skills of lockpicking, devising traps, and so on, and is far more based in deception and similarly subtle methods. Turlough seems to be a master of Fast Talk, Bluff, or whatever else your system might call it. Right from his first story, we see him getting another student into trouble to divert attention from himself, and successfully tricking the headmaster into falling for the ruse. There are other instances in later stories where he uses the same skill again, albeit usually with less base motives.

Monday, 10 November 2014

DW Companions as PCs: Tegan Jovanka

Romana leaves towards the end of the eighteenth season. After so long playing her, albeit in two different forms, her player wants to try something different. Her last character was an intellectual aristocrat from a sophisticated and highly advanced civilisation, so the player comes up with the exact opposite of that.

She's going to play an Australian.

Joking aside, though, what is the character concept for Tegan Jovanka? When we look back through the previous companions on the series, most of them have actually turned out to be fairly identifiable character concepts that would fit in this sort of RPG. They haven't always been executed well, but the concept itself has usually been clear and perfectly viable. We have had a heroic space pilot, a number of soldiers and scientists, a secret agent, an investigative journalist, a barbarian warrior, and so on. With Tegan Jovanka, we have an air hostess.