Dr Who?
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Post Posted: Sat May 14, 2005 2:55 pm 
 

With the good ole BBC releasing a brand new series of everyones favorite time travelling doctor, I have been hit with a bit of nostalgia.   Has anyone here ever played the Dr Who RPG?  Was it any good?  I am watching an auction for it atm, not sure if I will bid yet (with a new Collectors Series Auction comming up, I might want to set aside some funds).  I used to watch the series religiously when it aired on PBS in the states, and after watching some episodes of the new series I might want to check out some of the old role playing game material (and war gamming items), however it would be nice to know if the material was any good to begin with.

Anyways cheers to the BBC for bringing the Doctor back to life yet again.

~jeff

  

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Post Posted: Sat May 14, 2005 7:46 pm 
 

Which Doctor Who RPG? There were two.

FASA's Doctor Who RPG

&

Virgin Books' Time Lord (click on the www link below this post and you can get a free copy, all legit like).

I have FASA Doctor Who, and I found that it was rather clunky in areas, as it was essentially the FASA Star Trek RPG system reworked for Doctor Who. I found the rules to be a bit heavier than I preferred, and in addition the background material sometimes contradicted Doctor Who canon, which is NEVER a good thing. But I am digressing. Since I found the Star Trek RPG clunky in areas, especially character generation, on the whole it wasn't the best game I've ever owned, but up until Time Lord was released, was the only fish in the sea. However, I had to get it in order to be able to convert FASA characters over to the Time Lord system, which is my system of choice for Doctor Who gaming.

Time Lord is rules light skill based, with its only major mechanic being the "beat the difference" system. The book is geared for those who have never roleplayed before (not many of us), so it actually skips character generation, assuming that one of the players will play The Doctor or one of his companions. If the book had done well, there were plans for a companion volume that would introduce character generation.

Sadly, this was not to be. The book flopped, due to Virgin's inability to market it properly. It was placed with the Doctor Who fiction in bookshops, instead of being placed in with the RPGs. When the game completely flopped, through a series of negotiations the rights to the book were returned to its authors, and a freeware version of the rules made available.

There was that quirky issue with character generation though, so I wrote out a booklet with rules on how to create new Time Lords, and at the same time made it possible to create new aliens. Unfortunately, the "beat the difference" mechanic didn't work all that well, so with a lot of help, a point buy system was introduced that actually works rather well.

Oh, and did I mention that Time Lord is free for the taking?



  

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:37 pm 
 

Hi there!

Just thought I'd wander on over and put in my two copper pieces' worth about the FASA Doctor Who RPG.

Being a massive Doctor Who fan, I of course collected this game when it first came out in the mid-1980s.  I actually own the first printing of the game, where the cover artwork is of Tom Baker's Doctor and his savage companion Leela.  Due to the way it was painted, it looks like Leela is about to stab the Doctor in the butt -- I remember a comment to that effect from both my father and the owner of the hobby shop who sold it to me!  :D  (The second printing used a more conventional photograph of the Doctor and Leela from her first story, "The Face of Evil".)

I thought the game mechanics were clunky, and the game designers took lots of liberties with Doctor Who continuity.  For example, they asserted that the Meddling Monk (the first renegade Time Lord encountered in the show's history, back in the First Doctor's days, when his race wasn't known as Time Lords) was actually an earlier incarnation of the Doctor's archenemy The Master!  Granted, there's nothing explicitly contradicting this in the 26-year run of the original Doctor Who series, there's nothing that supports it either.

I did buy all of the modules and supplements, but only once did I ever get to play one of them, called "The Hartlewick Horror," which was an attempt to infuse some of the cosmic horror of Call of Cthulhu into the Doctor Who RPG format.

I do remember that some of the earliest modules didn't even use the Doctor or any of his companions, just other renegade Time Lords and their companions!

Hope this helps,
JohnH
aka Wandering Monster

P.S.:  Now that the SciFi Channel has shown the first two seasons of the new Doctor Who, what do people think??

  

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:33 pm 
 

The two episodes I saw...presumably of the most recent Dr. Who actor...were pretty good.  I had never watched an episode of Dr. Who before.

Mark   8)


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Post Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:01 pm 
 

Ah, Doctor Who. Good stuff!! Just have one episode on tape - City of Death. Would like to get a few more on tape or disk.

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:48 am 
 

Watched my third episode of Dr. Who on the Sci Fi Channel this week.

I really like the newest shows.  It makes me wonder how fans of the older shows like the new ones.

Mark   8)


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:17 am 
 

MShipley88 wrote:I really like the newest shows.  It makes me wonder how fans of the older shows like the new ones.

I've only seen the first series of new Dr. Who episodes.  For me, the new Who has been updated for the better in all ways - FX, acting, writing, overall mood/suspense/editing.  He's still the Doctor, though he's changed for his audience.

The 1996 one-shot Dr. Who showed how much times have changed.  The old-school Dr. Who had to change, and what better way than to have the Doctor step out of the TARDIS and . . . well, meet with the grim reality of 20th century Earth?

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:02 pm 
 

I've been a Doctor Who junkie since the late 70s.  It used to scare me but I was only about 5 at the time.  A lot of the old shows are great.  Part of what makes them good is that the story continued from show to show or throughout the season.

I was excited to see that the new show has taken off and looks like it will be around for a bit.  They tried a revival in 1996 with a TV movie but for some reason it didn't make it.

When the new series started, I watched it but didn't really like the early episodes.  I liked most of the characters but the first show enemy was the autons which is based on an old show that I didn't like very much.  But they have had some really good episodes since then.  The K9 revival show was great!  In fact I got a remove control K9 for Christmas this year to go with remote command Dalek last year.  They are great for chasing my dog around :)

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:57 pm 
 

I loved Dr. Who as a kid too, but stopped watching it after Tom Baker left(I got one of my books signed by him in a shopping centre when I was a kid). I have recently seen a few of the new episodes and they seem to be in the same spirit.

I picked up the FASA boxed set almost by accident a few years ago and thought it would be good to collect, but each time a module comes up on Ebay, the bidding seems to go through the roof.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:28 pm 
 

JohnGaunt wrote:I've only seen the first series of new Dr. Who episodes.  For me, the new Who has been updated for the better in all ways - FX, acting, writing, overall mood/suspense/editing.  He's still the Doctor, though he's changed for his audience.

The 1996 one-shot Dr. Who showed how much times have changed.  The old-school Dr. Who had to change, and what better way than to have the Doctor step out of the TARDIS and . . . well, meet with the grim reality of 20th century Earth?


I didn't see the 1996 TV movie.

One problem that movie versions of TV shows have is that they tend to be about the one time that the main characters did NOT do whatever made them entertaining.

For instance, any Gilligan's Island movie has always been about the time the castaways were NOT on the island.

What happens when Captain Kirk is NOT on the Enterprise?

Mission Impossible is about the time the impossible mission does NOT go as planned.

The 70's Brady Bunch gets moved to the 90's, rather than the 70's where the show made sense.

The Thunderbirds movie was about the time that the pilots did NOT have their machines.

How about the time the Beverly Hillbillies did NOT live in Beverly Hills?

The most recent Shaft movie was about the time that Shaft was NOT a cop.

Most superhero movies are about the time that the superhero in question either wants to give up his powers and/or loses his powers for a time.

I suspect that is what happened to the Dr. Who movie.  Am I right?


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Post Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:58 pm 
 

MShipley88 wrote:
I didn't see the 1996 TV movie.

One problem that movie versions of TV shows have is that they tend to be about the one time that the main characters did NOT do whatever made them entertaining.

For instance, any Gilligan's Island movie has always been about the time the castaways were NOT on the island.

What happens when Captain Kirk is NOT on the Enterprise?

Mission Impossible is about the time the impossible mission does NOT go as planned.

The 70's Brady Bunch gets moved to the 90's, rather than the 70's where the show made sense.

The Thunderbirds movie was about the time that the pilots did NOT have their machines.

How about the time the Beverly Hillbillies did NOT live in Beverly Hills?

The most recent Shaft movie was about the time that Shaft was NOT a cop.

Most superhero movies are about the time that the superhero in question either wants to give up his powers and/or loses his powers for a time.

I suspect that is what happened to the Dr. Who movie.  Am I right?


Pretty much....I liked it but alot of the hard core (from what I heard) Dr. Who fans did not.

The reason why I liked it was maybe (in my opinion) that the Dr. Who franchise was not dead.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:30 pm 
 

Wandering Monster wrote:I did buy all of the modules and supplements, but only once did I ever get to play one of them, called "The Hartlewick Horror," which was an attempt to infuse some of the cosmic horror of Call of Cthulhu into the Doctor Who RPG format.


In point of plain fact, the author did in fact write the adventure as a CoC adventure originally but it was rejected by Chaosium...so he re-wrote it and got it published by FASA. I am presently running it for Time Lord.

By the way..I wrote one of the earliest attempts at a character creation system for Time Lord, which was "published" on Usenet and later became inspiration for the system found in the fan-produced Time Lord Companion.

Allen Shock

  


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Post Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:32 pm 
 

HermitFromPluto wrote:I loved Dr. Who as a kid too, but stopped watching it after Tom Baker left(I got one of my books signed by him in a shopping centre when I was a kid). I have recently seen a few of the new episodes and they seem to be in the same spirit.

I picked up the FASA boxed set almost by accident a few years ago and thought it would be good to collect, but each time a module comes up on Ebay, the bidding seems to go through the roof.


Check Noble Knight Games. I got my copy of Countdown and The Warrior's Code from there.

Allen Shock

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:39 am 
 

Allensh wrote:
In point of plain fact, the author did in fact write the adventure as a CoC adventure originally but it was rejected by Chaosium...so he re-wrote it and got it published by FASA. I am presently running it for Time Lord.

By the way..I wrote one of the earliest attempts at a character creation system for Time Lord, which was "published" on Usenet and later became inspiration for the system found in the fan-produced Time Lord Companion.

Allen Shock


That's pretty cool, Allen.  8)


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:34 am 
 

*buffs nails*

I'm the fan who put out the Time Lord Companion.  Allen's work was definitely an inspiration, along with Ian Marsh's work and William Keith's.  Allen's point buy system, Ian Marsh's experience rules, some of William Keith's regeneration mechanics from "Doctor Who & The Rebel's Gamble", and some of my own little tweaks (skill losses during regeneration) got melded together into something that apparently worked well.

Of course, The Time Lord Companion isn't the only generation system for the game these days, but it to me is still the best of breed even though it was written some five years ago.

Yahoo! GeoCities: Get a web site with easy-to-use site building tools. is the url for anyone interested, since some time ago I apparently removed the link to the Time Lord web site from my signature.



  

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:30 am 
 

Traveller wrote:*buffs nails*

I'm the fan who put out the Time Lord Companion.  Allen's work was definitely an inspiration, along with Ian Marsh's work and William Keith's.  Allen's point buy system, Ian Marsh's experience rules, some of William Keith's regeneration mechanics from "Doctor Who & The Rebel's Gamble", and some of my own little tweaks (skill losses during regeneration) got melded together into something that apparently worked well.

Of course, The Time Lord Companion isn't the only generation system for the game these days, but it to me is still the best of breed even though it was written some five years ago.

Yahoo! GeoCities: Get a web site with easy-to-use site building tools. is the url for anyone interested, since some time ago I apparently removed the link to the Time Lord web site from my signature.


Pretty cool, Traveller.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:33 pm 
 

Allensh wrote:By the way..I wrote one of the earliest attempts at a character creation system for Time Lord, which was "published" on Usenet and later became inspiration for the system found in the fan-produced Time Lord Companion.


Do you know what year that was?  What is the first Doctor Who/TimeLord rpg?  I have one called TimeLord by Independent Card League (Carl Rasmussen) which is copyright 1983/84.  It is 3 digest sized books.

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:43 am 
 

Hmm, that predates the BTRC version of TimeLords, which was drafted about that time, but not actually released until 1987.  However, unless it has actual references to The Doctor, it's not a Doctor Who RPG.  Nevertheless, I'm interested to hear more about this set of books you have.

Not including this new entrant, the only time travel role playing games I know of are the ones I own:

TimeMaster (Pacesetter)
TimeLords (BTRC)
Doctor Who (FASA)
Time Lord (Virgin)

As for Allen's rules, he can answer better than I can, but his rules could not have been posted any earlier than 1991, when Time Lord was published by Virgin.



  

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:34 pm 
 

It is definitely a Doctor Who RPG.  The cover shows a picture of the Tardis and there are other Doctor Who references inside as well.

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 1:43 am 
 

Could you scan or photograph the covers so I can see them?



  
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