Book Review: Doctor Who Roleplaying Game

Doctor Who Roleplaying Game, by Cubicle Seven

As someone who reads a lot of roleplaying guides [1], I suppose it was inevitable that I would come across a roleplaying guide based on the popular Doctor Who universe.  Any universe that has fantasy elements or even sci-fi elements is well suited to some sort of dice-based role playing game.  There are definitely some distinctive elements that make the Doctor Who universe very worthwhile when it comes to stories.  The mythos of the universe makes for powerful enemies and extended roleplaying campaigns across space and time, allowing for plenty of scenarios that can last as long as one wants.  The characters themselves are compelling and complex, allowing for great roleplaying opportunity.  Also, the universe is popular enough that a lot of people would likely want to play a game like this, since it is easy enough for people to imagine themselves as a doctor or a companion or someone else related to the universe anyway.  There are also some distinctive elements about play in this universe that make it a lot different than many other roleplaying games, in that there is much less hacking and slashing here than in most games, unless one has a party of Sontarans, which would be highly unusual, to say the least.

This book is a reasonable large one of about 250 pages or so, and it is certainly a basic guide that allows plenty of room for expansion.  The book begins with an introduction (1) about Doctor Who and his world, along with the basics of roleplaying.  After that there is a discussion about the old-fashioned nature of heroes, including their attributes and traits and skills and story points (2).  The author then moves on to the physics of the game, including physical, mental, and social conflicts (3).  There is a short chpater about time travel and the role of the TARDIS in the game (4) and then the author discusses the many strange creatures that one can encounter in this universe, including clockwork robots, cybermen, daleks, Missy/The Master, the boneless, the teller, robot knights, silurians, skovox blitzer, sontarans, spider germs, and weeping angels.  Some of these would make for some terrifying scenarios (5).  After that the author talks about gamemastering (6) as well as multiple part stories and specials (7).  The book then concludes with the Stormrise campaign (8) as well as an appendix that contains some pre-generated and blank character sheets for players to use.

Overall, this book seems very enjoyable to play from.  I happen to know a lot of people very interested in both role playing games as well as the Doctor Who universe, and I must say the only surprise about this book is why I did not know it was available before, and about the only question how many other volumes are available for this series with other campaigns.  One of the distinctive elements about the Doctor Who universe is that there is a lot more outsmarting an enemy than clubbing him to death.  For the most part, Doctor Who is a universe that rewards wit and cleverness and an ability to negotiate and persuade, and those elements are in force here in rolls relating to mental conflict and social aspects and the lack of attention given to weapons compared to most games of this type.  Those who tend to oppose role playing games because of the violence or magic involved in them will find little to complain about here, given the focus on scientific rather than magical explanations and the focus on social and intellectual over physical combat.  Obviously, those who are fans of both role playing games and Doctor Who should check this out.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/12/26/book-review-a-song-of-ice-and-fire-roleplaying-a-game-of-thrones/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/04/27/book-review-pathfinder-roleplaying-game-advanced-players-guide/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/04/27/book-review-pathfinder-roleplaying-game-advanced-class-guide/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/09/20/book-review-firefly-role-playing-game/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/12/11/book-review-fantasy-age/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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