Ghosts of Gallifrey
Regeneration and Advancement
GMs should reward characters during play in two ways:
- Omega Points are awarded for successful roleplaying, acts of humour or heroism, recruiting Companions, enacting your War Card or Fault Card and having your Cognomen referenced in the story. These points need to be saved up and are usually only spent during Regeneration.
- Inspirations are awarded for acts of unusual heroism, self-sacrifice or success. These are usually spent between adventures but can be saved and converted into 5 Omega Points during Regeneration
Inspirations represent recollections of Time Lord wisdom returning from the trauma of the War. An Inspiration is “spent” to repair a fault in the TARDIS, raise one of the TARDIS’ Aspects by one or (less frequently) improve a Screwdriver’s Aspect by one.
Omega Points are spent during Regeneration. Firstly, between 1 and 10 Omega Points must be spent to trigger the Regeneration. The number needed is equal to the Time Lord’s highest Aspect. The number needed might be doubled if the Time Lord has suffered extensive injuries (blasted in an explosion, burned in a fire, etc). Another Time Lord can use Logopolitics-9 to remove the need to spend these points.
Remaining Omega Points can then be used to alter or improve the character:
- Increasing one Aspect or Science by decreasing another = 1 OP per point altered (eg raising Stasis by 1 and lowering Memory by 1 = 2 OPs)
- Raising an Aspect by one point = OPs equal to TWICE the new score Raising an Science by one point = OPs equal to the new score
- Developing a new Power = the starting cost of the Power in OPs (NB old Powers can be “bought off” for their value in OPs)
- Changing Ethical Code = 3 OPs within the same College, 5 OPs outside of College
- Changing Eclipse/Regeneration Path = 5 OPs
In addition, the Time Lord must pay for these underlying changes:
- Changing War or Fault Cards = 3 OPs each
Regeneration itself can be a spectacular business and the form it takes is based on the Time Lord’s college and Eclipse path:
Prydonians regenerate with the energies of Dynamism. Fiery burst of power erupt from the Time Lord’ face, arms and legs, disguising the transformation itself. This power can be used destructively; blowing things up for example (treat as Battle Science with a rating equal to the Time Lord’s Dynamism).
Arcalians regenerate with the adaptability of Stasis. Their features run and flow disturbingly and for a number of hours after the start of Regeneration (time equal to their Stasis) they can take on different form, finally settling on one which will be their permanent appearance. (Yes, this is a resolution for the “Romana Regeneration controversy”). This gives Arcalians some control over their form, enabling them to take the form of other people (the way Romana took the form of Princess Astra) or humanoid aliens.
Patrexes regenerate with the power of Memory. The regeneration is serene, bathing the Time Lord in white light. Patrexes particularly delight in regenerating into their Cho Je and gain the full benefit of both the Watcher and the Cho Je if they do this.
Ceruleans regenerate with the energies of Foresight taken directly from the Time Vortex. This is disturbing to watch. The Time Lord ages and rots (rather like a speeded-up version of their Eclipse Path) and the new flesh slowly creeps across their bones. Most of the Lower Races (like humans) react with horror at the sight of this and make every effort to get away and stay away till the grisly transformation is complete.
After Regeneration, the Time Lord enters Eclipse and descends to the 3rd stage in a matter of minutes. Constant care from a Companion can nurse the Time Lord out of Eclipse over a period of hours or days. If the Time Lord is taken to a Zero Room in the TARDIS, he will be free of the effect of Eclipse but it will return when he leaves the Zero Room. During this time (and often for some hours afterwards) the intense Regenerative energies in the Time Lord’s body give him a temporary Stasis of 10!
Often, the player will save up Omega Points and decide when it’s time to Regenerate, telling the GM before the start of an adventure. The GM and the player will negotiate circumstances where the Time Lord is poisoned, irradiated or falls from a great height (or whatever).The player might like to invoke the Watcher, a forward projection of the Time Lord’s next incarnation. The Watcher can take two forms:
- The Phantom Watcher is a ghost-like figure who appears throughout the adventure. It merges with the Time Lord at the moment of Regeneration. The Phantom Watcher triggers regeneration regardless of the extent of the Time Lord’s injuries and ensures the Time Lord has several hours of lucid activity before Eclipse sets in. Phantom Watchers are good for intensely dangerous adventures, ensuring the Time Lord can recover and escape (or carry on the battle and win) before Eclipsing.
- The Cho-Je is a physical manifestation of the Time Lord’s next incarnation, often appearing to be a new Companion. A Time Lord will recognise his Cho-Je and want to spend time getting to know him. This enables the Time Lord to change War/Fault cards for free, giving more OPs to spend on improving the character. However, the Cho-Je does not heal the Time Lord’s body or reduce Eclipse the way a Phantom Watcher does. The Cho-Je is suited for quieter, more thoughtful adventures when the player wants to role play his new personality as a “trial run”.
To invoke a Watcher requires a number of OPs equal to the Time Lord’s highest Aspect, but this means some of the Regeneration is “paid for” when the Watcher merges with the Time Lord’s body. However, when a Time Lord’s “death” takes him entirely by surprise, there’s no time to invoke the Watcher.