Thursday, December 31, 2009

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space

My lovely wife gave me what I wanted for Christmas, the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space roleplaying game. I wanted to own this from the moment I heard about it. But it was the fine fellows at the Source Comics and Games that clenched the deal. A few weeks ago, they had about 4 copies of the game. I asked and Bob let me open one of the boxes even though I wasn't going to buy one at the time. Together he and I sorted through the books and studied the character sheets, deciphering the game system and came to the conclusion that this was a good game. Now I have my very own copy.

The game is written assuming the reader is familiar with the current Doctor Who series. It also assumes the reader is new to roleplaying. I think this is a smart direction with the hope that more young people will discover this fulfilling and wonderful hobby. The production quality is top of the line. Cubicle 7 did an amazing job with art and themes from the BBC show. What I liked the most about the presentation was that the game comes in a box. This was very reminiscent of RPGs from the late '80s and early '90s, like Top Secret/S.I. from TSR. Included inside is a player's manual and a gamemaster's manual, again reminiscent of the old-school games. Several blank character sheets as well as character sheets for each of the major characters of the program. There is a set of six 6-sided dice, a quick start sheet, and an adventure booklet. There are also sheets of accessories that you can use for gameplay- a sheet of tokens that are used for Story Points and a few sheets items you can use for your character's inventory. The latter seemed odd where with most games listing the character's gear on their sheet seems enough. The Story Point system has been a pretty popular feature in many games these days. There is a lot packed into the box and you can tell by the weight of it (it almost might seem the inside is bigger than the outside- wink wink).

One thing that was very interesting is the lack of hitpoints or similar way to measure damage. This lends itself to an unusual philosophy for RPGs and that is this game frowns on violence. While this fits the spirit of the television show, it may be a challenge for experienced gamers who are far more accustomed to kill 'em-and-take-their-stuff type gaming.

This is the only product out as of the writing of this post. There are three other supplements planned so far. There is a Gamemaster Screen and a bestiary of sorts- Aliens and Creatures, both to be released early February. Then in April another supplement will be published- Defending the Earth: The UNIT Sourcebook.

For whatever reason Cubicle 7 doesn't have a forum dedicated to the Doctor Who RPG at their site. I suspect it has something to do with BBC or whatever. No matter. There is a fantastic resource created for and by fans. The DWAITAS is the Doctor Who Adventures In Time And Space forums.