Friday, April 02, 2010

I See What You Did There...

I recently acquired a copy of the new Doctor Who RPG. I still have my copy of the old FASA Doctor Who RPG, and while the system was a bit clunky in places, I always really liked the freedom it gave you within the Doctor Who universe. One of my biggest concerns with the new edition was that it appeared that they were sticking strictly to the current series where Doctor Who is the only Time Lord left, therefore you either play as the Doctor or with no Time Lord at all.

Skimming the book did not initially alleviate my concerns. There's lots of talk at the beginning of the players guide about different options for play, which basically include playing with the Doctor or playing without a Time Lord, just like I'd heard before getting it.

I highly suspect that the reason for this is that the terms of the licensing agreement prevent the designers from overtly including the option to play other Time Lords. The book barely mentions previous incarnations of the show prior to the most recent one. The BBC obviously wants to focus on the show that they have on the air today, and not the past.

Fortunately, the designers snuck in the ability to play other Time Lords anyway. They did this by including Time Lord as a trait in the traits section rather than as a unique ability for The Doctor. They even split the trait into two: Time Lord and Experienced Time Lord. This allows you to create either beginning Time Lords like Romana, or more experienced ones like The Doctor, without having to houserule anything. It's all right there in the rules already, just not explicitly presented as an option.

I've only skimmed the rest of the rules so far, so can't give an overall impression of the game yet, but thought I should point this out since it was probably my biggest concern with the new game.

I'm currently re-reading parts of Diaspora preparing for Monday's game, and am also trying to finish up reading Reign, so it will probably be some time before I get around to digging into the new Doctor Who in more depth.

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