Friday, October 5, 2012

Review: Doctor Who Defending the Earth (2012)

The latest Doctor Who source book is out for the "Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space Game".
This book is the UNIT source book, "Defending the Earth".

Like all the Who books this one is full color.  While it skews more to the new Who series, there in a lot of Classic Who material here including stats for the 3rd Doctor (Jon Pertwee).

The UNIT (Unified Intelligence Taskforce) is tasked by the UN with protecting the Earth from Alien threats.  This book allows you to create UNIT bases, personal and comes with two sample adventures.

In many ways a UNIT based game can be more interesting that a Doctor-based one.  In this everyone can have a nicely defined role.  You have field scientists, soldiers of all sorts and even civilians.

Among the features of this book are the expanded firearms and mass combat rules. The History of UNIT. Personnel, which includes plenty of new traits for military, science and civilians. And two UNIT based adventures.

This is one of my favorite sourcebooks for DW so far.  Not just because of the limitless possibilities, but also because there is more attention paid to the older series than other books (note I am not saying this is a flaw of the other books, but it is a nice feature of this one).

I also see this as one of the more flexible books.  You can set up a small UNIT command base and let the wackiness ensue. In fact, my own playtests adventures with DW could easily be converted into a UNIT game.  Think back to the 3rd Doctor's adventures, these were mostly Earth based with UNIT.  All of those are great ideas for a game.  Or even the Sarah Jane Adventures.

I would be remiss if I didn't point out the cross-game compatibility with this and Primeval.  While such a thing is never stated in either book and I am certain that it was not design consideration, there is nothing the ARC can't do that UNIT can't also do and visa-versa. By adding them together you get something very cool AND adventures to last for a couple of campaigns.

As with all books in this line, it is full color, well laid out and full of stills from the show.

A great addition to the collections of gamers or Who fans.

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