Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Apollo 23: The Talerians

To start off this blog, I thought I'd do some in depth examination of one of the books from the New Series line. So I'm starting off with the first novel for the Eleventh Doctor, Apollo 23. This will be the second of three articles covering the book and aspects usable in the game.
Talerian drawing by me, background by Sam Brown


Awareness   3            Coordination   3
Ingenuity      3           Presence         3
Resolve        5            Strength         1

Fear Factor (x2)

Alien Appearance (major)
Weakness- Easily punctured skin (major)

Convince     4 (Control Possessed  6)
Fighting      3
Knowledge  4 (Earth people 6)
Marksman  4
Subterfuge  5
Technology  3


Battle Armour [5] 
Talerian Blaster [3/6/L]
Talerian Mind Transfer Device


Talerians were the same height as humans, but with grey-green skinned, blobby bodies covered in slimy pustules. Their heads were bulbous, with a slit-shaped mouth full of razor-sharp teeth, and a single, egg-shaped eye. They had no necks. Their skin was rubbery, able to deflect small impacts. More powerful attacks, such as a knive wound, or a change in atmospheric pressure, would rupture the skin, causing the Talerian's liquid innards to gush out, killing them. With each passing generation, the Talerians grew more and more fragile.

The way the Talerians have overcome their physical limitations is to transfer their minds into the stronger bodies of other species. They prefer to use "Blanks" individuals whose one minds have been wiped and made more pliable to the Talerians' strong will. If a character has been subjected to a wide spectrum engram erasure, or other Resolve and Awareness draining attack, they are susceptible to the mind transfer.

In a desperate attempt to change their fate, the Talerians planned an invasion of Earth through the secret lunar installation Base Diana. The science staff of the base were experimenting with mental conditioning methods that left the subjects vulnerable to Talerian mind swapping. The Talerians took control of the lead scientists Professor Jackson, and then systematically subverted the majority of the base staff.

Talerians are very single minded in their desire to find new host bodies. They are physically limited, and must depend on stealth and subterfuge to achieve their goals. They prefer to move slowly, but are not above fast forwarding their plans if the opportunity arises.

Talerian Mind Transfer Device (special gadget)

The Talerians used this in conjunction with Doctor Jackson's memory adjustment machine (same as the Engram Eraser from sample gadgets) to implant the minds of Talerians into human bodies.

Transmit, Possess (special 3)



Talerians are a natural fit for the "enemy within" scenarios. Their technology allows them to control people from nearly cosmic distances, without their physical bodies  being present. So there's no quick and easy access to cut off the transmitter, so the players will have to be clever with how they help the Talerians' victims.

Apollo 23 ended with the Talerian invasion being stopped at Base Diana, but it's possible some of their agents already took host bodies and returned to Earth via the Quantum Displacement field before it was sabotaged.  Some Talerians may already have a foothold on Earth and are planning their next move. Any sort of Torchwood or U.N.I.T. based campaign might find the blobs as a recurring opponent.

Maybe the Talerians might not keep to one host, and jump around to body to body to achieve their goals. If the players wake up one morning with no memories of last night and CIA at their door asking about some missing plutonium, it might be the Talerians have been using you as a patsy in one of their schemes.

Out in space, it might be the Earth is not the only place they are targeting. Any alien may serve their needs, and maybe they have already captured numerous other species. Anyone with advanced technology may find themselves targeted.Why exactly is a Sontaran, a Draconian, and a Zygon working together as mercenaries when they would hate each other normally?

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