Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Review: Doctor Who: The Roleplaying Game Second Edition

Doctor Who: The Roleplaying Game Second Edition
Earlier today, I covered the Starter Set for the new Doctor Who The Roleplaying Game Second Edition. Now I want to cover the full core book.

I will do a full review, but also I want to cast an eye toward the differences in the game from the previous First Editon(s).

Doctor Who: The Roleplaying Game Second Edition

PDFs and Hardcover book. Full color. 256 pages.

PDF is broken down into Core rules, Doctor, Companions, and Pregen charactersheets, and a blank character sheet.

As always, I am considering the PDFs from DriveThruRPG as well as the Core Rules book from my FLGS. 

New Doctor means new trade dress and rules from Cubicle 7. But this time C7 goes the extra step and gives us an all new rule book with new (ish) system. What's inside? Let's have a look.

The layout of the book is very similar to the previous hardcovers, so if you are moving to this game from the First Edition then things will be easy for you to find.

The table of contents is up first and immediately you get the idea that this edition is courting new players. Each chapter for example has a brief sentence describing what it is for starters. 

Chapter One: Let's Get a Shift On

Upfront, just like the previous versions, this book focuses on the then-current Doctor, the 13th, played by Jodie Whitaker and her companions. Though the other Doctors are not forgotten here. 

Doctor Who Second Edition

This is our introduction chapter and it orientates the reader on who the Doctor is, what RPGs are and this one in particular. There is some bits about using the metric system (the USA really needs to get with the rest of the world here) and if you have round, round down. 

We end with an example of play.

If you are coming to this game from either the previous edition or the Starter Set then this chapter is familiar territory. 

Chapter Two: Travellers in the Fourth Dimension

As with previous editions, this is our Character Creation chapter with new rules ahead.  We start with a character concept in the form of "Who are you?" not a backstory but rather an idea of who your character is. There is a discussion about the tone of your game and how do the characters all get along. We get everything from the extended "fam" of the 13th Doctor to the group of UNIT operatives. 

Note: The text here, while similar to previous editions, does not feel "copied and pasted" from other editions/versions. This does read like a new game, albeit one with some familiarity. 

Doctor Who Second Edition

The game starts with your Concept. That is who this character is. So for a companion like Yaz she is a "Probationary Police Officer." Leela would be a "Primitive tribe member."  This helps us figure out what our characters are. 

Next we get to our Focus. From the rulebook: "Where a character’s Concept is ‘who they are’, their Focus is more of ‘what makes them tick?’" That is a good summary. A Focus has a benefit (adds a +1d6) and a flaw, which is just a restriction on what sort of actions you take. Continuing with the Yaz example her Focus could be "The Law" meaning she can get a bonus when acting with authority but maybe she wont want to participate in a little B&E.  Now depending on the intensity of your Focus it could be a +1d6 or +2d6 or even a solid +6 to any roll. 

Experiences cover things the character could have done already. Yaz has some experience with the Law due to her education and she has experience as the daughter of an immigrant family and so on.  Don't have anything in mind? No worries there is a 1d6x1d6 grid to help you find out. Likewise there is one for shared background experiences. This is great since so many of the companions of the Doctor had these shared experiences. Ian and Barbara were both teachers at the same school, Teegan and Nyssa both had family members killed by the Master.

Once you have these then we get into your point buy Attributes. This is largely the same as the previous edition (and most point-buy games). These are still Awareness, Coordination, Ingenuity, Presence, Resolve, and Strength. Skills are also largely the same with 12 skills. Previous combat-related skills have been merged into the Conflict skill. There is a new "Intuition" skill now.  

Distinctions are also new and these largely replace the Traits of the previous version. These are mostly things like "Time Lord" or "Cyberman" or "Sontaran." Taking these usually result in fewer Story Points. Humans get 12, a Sontaran might get 8, and an experienced Time Lord also 8.

Fill in some more background information, set your home Tech Level and you are ready to go. Once you play a bit you will collect experience points.  The end of this chapter covers spending experience points. 

Chapter Three: Sorting Out Fair Play Throughout the Universe

This chapter covers running a game. The basic rule is still pretty much the same.


(try to match or beat the Difficulty of the task)

So now Distinctions can alter these rolls, but the basic gameplay is still the same. This includes the Success and Failure levels associated with the rolls. 

This also covers spending (and regaining) Story Points.

Plenty of examples are given on how the rules manifest in game play but really this is one of those games where the rules seamlessly move into the background while you are playing. 

One such example of this are contested rolls and the example is combat. Again, Doctor Who is not a "kill all the monsters and take their stuff" sort of game, but every so often there will be creatures that want you dead.  

Along with this some weapons are detailed along with other equipment and vehicles. 

Special care is given to gadgets which are now less regulated by the rules. Essentially they do what they need to do.  

Chapter Four: A Big Ball of Timey-Wimey Stuff

This covers the basic of traveling in Time and Space with some details about how the TARDIS works and so on. There are other means mentioned, but the TARDIS is our state-of-the-art means. TARDISes in the game are built a lot like characters are. This was always part of the rules, but it is more front and center in this edition. 

This chapter also covers the various issues with Time Travel. 

Doctor Who Second Edition

Chapter Five: Hold Tight and Pretend It’s a Plan

This is our Gamemaster section. It covers how to run a game. From designing your first group of travelers to the big wide universe they live in. It covers how to set up a game and a series of adventures (a campaign). This material is very similar to previous editions. This is expected since the advice in those editions was great and spot on, no need to over do it or redo it. 

This also covers dealing more and more with the companions lives and families. Companions took a more central role in the story of the Doctor with the updated series. Their job is not so much to scream, get captured, and ask "what is it Doctor?" Now they drive key elements of the story and the adventures. 

Chapter Six: A Brief History of Space and Time

This covers the setting of the Doctor Who RPG which is at present all of Time and Space. So yeah fairly inclusive of everything. Special attention is paid to the Doctor's favorite planet, Earth. Which is good since that is the one the authors also know the most about. 

This chapter covers a few monsters/creatures/aliens for you to encounter and more background on Time Lords and Gallifreyans. Attention is given here to the Master in all their incarnations. 

We get details on the "big ones" of course, Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, Silurians, and Ice Warriors. Good mix of both Classic Who beasties and NuWho ones. 

Doctor Who Second Edition

Appendix: Remember All the People You Used to Be

This covers converting your Doctor Who 1st Edition Characters over to the new Second Edition. Not a difficult process at all really. About the same as moving from say any edition to Call of Cthulhu to another. Less complicated than moving from 1st Edition AD&D to 2nd Ed AD&D to be sure.

We also get character sheets for the 13th Doctor, Graham, Yasmin "Yaz", and Ryan. There is a blank sheet, and a good Index.

Doctor Who Second Edition

Who is this Game For?

If you are new to RPGs and are a fan of Doctor Who then this is the game for you.

If you are not new to RPGs but new to Doctor Who then this game is also good. But that is not the real question is it.

Should I Switch/Upgrade?

If you have the First Edition Doctor Who RPG, any version, and you really love it I would say stick with that. Reading 2nd Edition books with a First Edition mindset is not difficult ad I pointed out with the Doctor Who Sourcebooks

If you want to keep up with all the Doctor Who books, then yeah, this is a fine edition of the rules.

The trade-off between Traits (1st Ed) and Distinctions (2nd Ed) is largely one of taste. Traits are little crunchier and Distinctions require more buy-in from the Players and Gamemaster. 

Honestly, I can see a game where Traits and Distinctions can co-exist and can be played in the same game. Traits are just a bit more codified.

The book itself is gorgeous with plenty of color photos from the show (and even some black & white ones) and while the 13th Doctor and her "fam" are predominate, all Doctors are represented here at least once. 

For me? Well, let's build some characters and see if I can get what I want.

Review: Doctor Who Second Edition Starter Set

Doctor Who Second Edition Starter Set
Running a little behind schedule this week. I took yesterday off of work and here. But back it!

Another new decade (2020s), another new actress to play the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker in 2018) and yes, a new edition of the Doctor Who role-playing game from Cubicle 7.  Now this time, it is a proper Second Edition. I teased this the other day with the 13th Doctor Sourcebook, but now time to get into the game proper. 

Doctor Who Second Edition Starter Set

For this review I am considering both the PDFs from DriveThruRPG and the physical boxed set from my FLGS.

The PDF contains the following files: 

  • 2-page Read This First file which covers the really basic basics of an RPG.
  • The Timeless Library Adventure Book. This 48-page Adventure as an Introduction covers a bunch of human characters looking for the Doctor. IT's not a bad introductory adventure and covers all sorts of different aspects of the game. I'll get into details in a moment.
  • The Echo Chamber is set up as a campaign guide building off of the adventure in the Timeless Library.  This 65-page book expands on the game-play ideas and shows how the game can be expanded. This one is of more use to new Gamemasters.
  • Character sheets 10 pages of 5 new characters to use for this set. No black sheets or companions from the show just yet.
  • There is a 4-page Reference sheet.
  • A file of Story Point tokens.
  • Box lid with some references.

The physical boxed set has all of these as well, with the addition of a set of d6s. I am now in the market for a new Doctor Who-themed dice bag.

Doctor Who 2nd Edition Boxed SetDoctor Who 2nd Edition Boxed Set

The box for this is extremely sturdy. It will last a long time.

Doctor Who 2nd Edition Boxed Set

Doctor Who 2nd Edition Boxed Set

Doctor Who 2nd Edition Boxed Set

Doctor Who 2nd Edition Boxed Set

Doctor Who 2nd Edition Boxed Set

Doctor Who 2nd Edition Boxed Set

Doctor Who 2nd Edition Boxed Set

Doctor Who 2nd Edition Boxed Set

This set is great for someone, or a group, that has never played an RPG before or has minimal exposure to them. Fans of the show would also enjoy this.

If you have the First Edition, this is a good introduction to the minor changes (and some major ones) to the Doctor Who RPG. Though players of the First Edition and gamers, in general, can skip right to the hardcover rules.

This set, though, is quite attractive and the same level of design I have come to associate with C7 is still here. 

If I were starting a new group with the Doctor Who RPG I would go to this first likely. It is very much the "Basic Set" the hardcover's "Advanced" rules. 

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 5, Room 31

 The cave opens up, and a tunnel, likely from a lava flow, descends into darkness.

Room 31

This tunnel is how the party will access level 6.

There are no creatures here.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 5, Room 30

 With the Mummy/Captain dead, the dias rises up into a large opening in the ceiling of this vast metal structure.  The party can now see how long it is and how much of it must be buried under more stone and earth.

Room 30

The structure they are on is made of smooth metal and it has a curve to it. So a successful DEX check is needed or the players will slide off and hit the rocks below for 4d6 hp of damage.

A rope (50') is needed to descend to the cave floor.

The cave is completely filled by the metal structure.   Ahead is an open cave mouth.

There are the bones of several animals here. It the party stays longer than 1 hour they will feel the effects of the necromantic magics that are concentrated here. They will begin to loose 1 hp every hour they remain. These hp only can be regained by magical healing. The healing "wands" will not be effective.


The ship is not an impediment when the Vampire Queen was active. There are a series of small tubes and tunnels she could use in gaseous form or as a bat to ascend to the surface.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Review: The Doctor Who Sourcebooks

Not content just to give us a great game and material we can use to make our own adventures, Cubicle 7 took a huge leap and gave us guides and sourcebooks for all Thirteen of the major versions of the Doctor that have aired since 1963.

Doctor Who Sourcebooks

The spines feature the same trade-dress as the 50th Anniversary hardcover.  So you see they look nice all in row like this.

Doctor Who Sourcebooks

The covers feature the Doctor with some of his (and her) enemies from their run.  The Thirteenth Doctor is not pictured, played by Jodie Whittaker, only because it has not hit the stores yet. I will review the PDF here.

The logo on the cover of the first 11 is from the Jon Pertwee era (1970-1973) and for the 8th Doctor's movie in 1986.  Peter Capaldi's 12th Doctor uses the logo from Jodie's 13th Doctor era, and Jodie's 13th Doctor book uses the "new" logo which is the reuse of the old Tom Baker logo.

For this review, I am going to consider all the hardcover books I have, doctors 1 to 12, and the PDFs, Doctors 1 - 13.

All books differ in length but all have similar content. Each book begins with an introduction to that Doctor's era and some of the special things about it. For example, in the 3rd Doctor book we get a lot about his exile on Earth. Each book is filled with photos from that Doctor's time period, so a lot of black and white for the First and Second Doctor and of course ideas for adventures throughout.

If that is all it was, well, you need one book for that, and this is not what makes these books special.

Each book details every adventure that Doctor had on screen. While it is written from the point of view of the RPG (and this RPG in particular), the details are such that each one of these books is fascinating reading all on their own. This is great since so many of the early adventures/episodes are now lost and the old Target novelizations go for a king's ransom.

Also, each book details all the Doctor's companions and provides stats for them, the Doctor in question and most, if not all, the creatures they encounter.  Not since the Time Lord game of the 1990s have we had such a full accounting of all the companions.  I have not compared them outright but some companions here do fare better in terms of stats than their Time Lord counterparts. 

First Doctor Sourcebook
Doctor Who - The First Doctor Sourcebook

160 pages. Black & White photos. William Hartnell as the Doctor.

The original, you might say! This book is a treasure. There are so many of the First Doctor's stories I have never seen, and some I have only caught in novel or audiobook form. Getting a full reading of them all here is worth the book's price alone.  Getting RPG material is just a bonus.

Speaking of which there are plenty of stats for various adversaries here, as well as new gadgets, new Traits (both Good and Bad) and plenty of game seeds. 

Inside the pictures of the First Doctor are all William Hartnell. The spine though features Richard Hurndall in his turn as the First Doctor during the 20th Anniversary special The Five Doctors. 

Second Doctor Sourcebook
Doctor Who - The Second Doctor Sourcebook

160 pages. Black & White photos. Patrick Troughton as the Doctor

Like the First Doctor book this one features a lot of black & white photos (because that was what we had then).  The stats for the Doctor and the TARDIS are updated, as are any stats from returning villains like the Daleks and the new Cybermen. 

There are new Traits (Good and Bad) and more story/episode/adventure seeds as well. If anything the Second Doctor travels more in Space as well as Time, so seeing humanity out among the stars is a great treat.

Likewise, this one features stats for companions and creatures encountered, and the best part is a full detail of the Second Doctor's adventures. If anything, I have seen less of his stories than I have of the First.

The 3rd Doctor Sourcebook
Doctor Who - The Third Doctor Sourcebook

160 pages. Color photos. Jon Pertwee as the Doctor

This covers the time the Doctor was exiled on Earth and working with UNIT. We get stats for all his companions, the Brigadier, Liz Shaw, Jo Grant, Sgt. Benton, Capt. Yates and of course Sarah Jane Smith.  We also get details on the Doctor's disabled TARDIS. One would think lacking the ability to travel in time and space would be dull, but some of the greatest enemies of the Doctor has ever had. Including the proper introduction to the Master, the greatest enemy the Doctor has ever known. 

There are some tips on running UNIT based games, all the great vehicles that Pertwee seemed to love (and if the rumor is true was terrible at driving), and more.  There are tips to running adventures in the Third Doctor area and of course, the guide to all the Third Doctor's episodes.

The 4th Doctor Sourcebook
Doctor Who - The Fourth Doctor Sourcebook

256 pages. Color photos. Tom Baker as the Doctor

This book is much larger than the previous Doctor Who source books, and with good reason. Tom Baker was the Doctor for nearly seven years, twice as long as any previous Doctor and longer than actor after him (so far).

Here we get some of the Doctor's greatest tales of the classical series and also some great enemies. For companions, we get Sarah Jane Smith, Harry Sullivan, Leela, K-9 and both Romanas. Even a bit on Adric, Nyssa, and Teegan. I do like that Romana I and II each get full-sized Time Lord sheets and not the half-sheets of the other companions. 

The episode synopses are a joy to read. Takes me back the 80s and watching Doctor Who on KETC Channel 9 out of St. Louis. Having the RPG stats of all these creatures is also quite a joy. This includes the introduction of Davros, the creator of the Daleks, and the White and Black Guardians.

There is even a special appendix for the "lost" episode of "Shada."

The 6th Doctor Sourcebook
Doctor Who - The Fifth Doctor Sourcebook

160 pages. Color photos. Peter Davidson as the Doctor

The 80s began with a new Doctor, a new title sequence and a new direction for the Doctor (and the show) under the helm of John Nathan-Turner. The 6th Doctor Sourcebook has us all covered. 

Again we have all the Doctor's Companions, Adric, Nyssa, and Teegan, and later on Turlogh, Kamleion, and Peri. Updates to the Doctor's sheet and the TARDIS. 

Again we get the episodes from the Fifth Doctor's adventures including all his adversaries. We get the Anothony Ainely Master (introduced at the end of the Tom Baker era) and quite a lot more. 

The 6th Doctor Sourcebook
Doctor Who - The Sixth Doctor Sourcebook

160 pages. Color photos. Colin Baker as the Doctor

Controversial at the time (and he didn't even get his own title sequence, just a modified version of the 5th Doctor's) the Sixth Doctor was more 80s than the Fifth Doctor was. 

In addition to all of the things we expect to see here, updated stats for the Doctor and his TARDIS, companions (Peri and Mel), episode guide and adversaries, we get a lot of detail on the season-long arc "The Trial of a Time Lord."  We used to joke that the CGI (primitive by today's standards, but amazing then) was so expensive that it blew sfx budget for the whole season. What it lacked in visual splash it made up for in storytelling. This was an arc worthy of the new series and the authors here choose not to waste it.

This one also sees the introduction of the Rani, another deadly renegade Time Lady.

The Seventh Doctor Sourcebook
Doctor Who - The Seventh Doctor Sourcebook

160 pages. Color photos. Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor

I like Sylvester McCoy's Doctor and in him, you can see all the elements of the later Doctor Who series beginning. There is a darkness about the Doctor and that begins to show through now. Obviously, this book takes advantage of that. 

We get companions Mel and Ace, the only two he had. Sabalom Glitz is included as a companion, which is fine by me, better than the status the Timelord RPG gave him.  But lets be honest here, you buy this book for Ace, one of the best companions ever.

Like the other books there are new Traits (both Good and Bad), new equipment (Nitro-9!) and the ever-present episode guide. I loved reading these since the Seven Doctor was on TV while I was in college. The cable stations did not carry it but the TV my brother (who was living with me then) wired up in the basement with an antenna did. These are some of my favorite episodes and seeing them all here again was quite a treat.

The 8th Doctor sourcebook
Doctor Who - The Eighth Doctor Sourcebook

192 pages. Color photos. Paul McGann as the Doctor

Paul McGann only got a single movie, and an American made one no less. He did get appear in a short many years later, The Night of the Doctor, which brought him back into the continuity a little bit better. So why is his book larger than Doctors who had years?

Simple. This one also has a full-length campaign featuring the 8th Doctor.

This book is also a great place for ideas on how to fix various "continuity" issues. Is the Doctor half-human? Who are his companions Charley, C’rizz, Lucie, Tamsin, and Molly? There is quite a lot here really and it makes me want to have some adventures featuring the 8th Doctor.

The 9th Doctor Sourcebook
Doctor Who - The Ninth Doctor Sourcebook

160 pages. Color photos. Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor

Sadly, the wonderful Fantastic Ninth Doctor only go one season and really just one full-time companion, though Captain Jack Harkness did travel with them for the last half. 

"You know what they call me in the ancient legends of the Dalek homeworld? The Oncoming Storm." That is who the Ninth Doctor is. This particular book is great because just like the in the series you get the feeling that the Ninth Doctor has been forgotten by the RPG. The first set focused on the Tenth, then the Eleventh. The hardcovers focus on all of the Doctors, with Nine getting lost in the shuffle, and then Twelve and Thirteen. So it is good to see this Doctor again.

This book also handily fixes the old "When did the Doctor work with UNIT" debate. While the FASA Who game moved everything to the 1980s this game takes the route that the Last Great Time War sent ripples of causality in Time and Space. Changing how and when things happened. The Doctor (and the viewers) remember it one way, but the rest of the universe another. Why? Their histories were changed and they never knew it. Some of this is explored with some very detailed history of the various Dalek invasions of Earth. That is how can the Battle of Canary Wharf (10th doctor) be forgotten in the future in Dalek (9th Doctor)? 

We also get some more explanation of human psychic ability here. 

The 10th Doctor sourcebook
Doctor Who - The Tenth Doctor Sourcebook

256 pages. Color photos. David Tennant as the Doctor

If one actor can be given credit for the renewed popularity of Doctor Who then it has to belong to David Tennant in his run as the 10th Doctor, though Matt Smith should get a lot of credit as well. 

This book is a must have for any fan of the Tenth Doctor and/or this particular RPG. Great detail is gone into all the Tenth Doctor's episodes and nearly everyone one and everything he encounters.  We get the various new Traits here, but also new Alien Traits and new Gadget Traits as well.

Honestly quite a lot of detail is given over to all this Doctor's episodes. Rightly so too since these are the episodes that have set the tone for the new series and for this RPG. If you want to know how the Cubicle 7 RPG is to be run, then this is your place to start. After the core books of course.

The 11th Doctor sourcebook
Doctor Who - The Eleventh Doctor Sourcebook

256 pages. Color photos. Matt Smith as the Doctor

Matt Smith's 11th Doctor runs a very, very close second in terms of the popularity of "modern" Doctors. My only personal belief is he was more popular here in the US, but that could just be how I perceive things. 

We get his companions, of course, but in particular, we get Clara and River Song, two of the companions that changed everything for the Doctor. In fact if there is an axiom about the 11th Doctor it is rules are made to be broken. 

Also, we get Rory Williams. What about Rory? Well, when Chuck Norris was a baby, he would ask his mother to make sure Rory Williams wasn't hiding in the closet to get him at night. He waited for Amy for 2000 years. He punched Hitler. He punched the Doctor twice. 

This book gives us more details about the War Doctor and more about what we learned about the Time War during the 11th Doctor's episodes.

The 12th Doctor sourcebook
Doctor Who - The Twelfth Doctor Sourcebook

160 pages. Color photos. Peter Capaldi as the Doctor

The book uses the trade dress of the then-current 13th Doctor with elements of the 12th Doctor and the Sourcebook series.

I liked the 12th Doctor's run. It felt like the stories of the Classical Doctors. The chief advantage of this book are the Doctor's companions, some of the most interesting he has ever had in my opinion. Like Clara, Bill Potts, Ashildr, even Missy (the regenerated Master), and of course River and Nardole.

There is information here on the Post-War Gallifrey and what they do until the end of the Universe. There stats of the Mr. Saxon/Master along with Missy and the First Doctor as he appears in the Doctor Falls.

A lot of great ideas for adventures here.

The 13th Doctor sourcebook
Doctor Who - The Thirteenth Doctor Sourcebook

192 pages. Color photos. Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor

The book uses the trade dress of the new Doctor (14th and 15th, 2023) with elements of the 13th Doctor and the Sourcebook series.  This one is the only one I have in PDF only, with the hardcover due out later this year. 

Confession time. I liked the 13th Doctor. I like Jodie Whittaker as an actress and as the 13th Doctor. I just don't think the scripts were very good.

Maybe even more so than the Twelfth Doctor this Doctor and this book feels like a small reboot.  There are many reasons for this.

Primarily this is a sourcebook for the Second Edition Doctor Who RPG. So there are internal differences from the other books in addition to minor rule changes. 

This book includes stats for the new Master, the Fugitive Doctor (Jo Martin), Teegan, and Ace (in 2021).

Teegan and Ace

There is also an adventure at the very end.

All of these books are absolutely fantastic. Not just in terms of episode guides but also additions to the RPG (both editions). Kudos to Cubicle 7 for these. 

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 5, Room 29

 This is the command center of the whole level (ship) this is obvious to anyone.  There are "windows" on the walls and they show scenes of rooms that the players have already been too and they should easily recognize them.

Room 29

Sitting in a throne-like chair is a dedicated mummy of an Ophidian. 

The mummy gets up and approached the party. It tells the party, in a language they know, that it has been watching them and now needs them to leave its prison.  Though, it adds, it really only needs one of them.

At this point, a ray fires out from a spot on the ceiling at the party.  Everyone must save vs Death Ray. Any that fail will be held fast. They will lose 1 point of WIS per round. When they hit zero the Mummy will possess them.

The beam emitter is AC 0 (19) and can be hit with a missile weapon or spell-like magic-missile. The emitter has 20 hp. 

Attacking the mummy will keep it from possessing the characters, as will killing it. The mummy has no minions since pretty much everyone else is dead.  The mummy is so old it has 7 HD but no disease attack.

What If No One Saves? 

This is possible. But I have another six months of the dungeon to write and do. So allow at least one character to save. 


This mummy is the former captain, but that was so long ago that they don't remember much of their time before the accident. 

Sunday, May 28, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 5, Room 28

This room opens up to a large chamber. There are 

Room 27

There are lots of chairs here arranged at long metal "desks" with some blinking lights. There are occasional blips of light, some sounds, but nothing living is seen. Part of this room is embedded in the rock of the cavern. It does not look like it crashed here but rather "phased" into it. Metal and even skeletons of the snake people are stuck in it. Some of the skeletons are even stuck in the metal floor. 

Above the center of the room is a floating dias if the characters approach it then find themselves floating up.

Treasure: These skeletons wear a uniform of some sort. There are badges and what looks like medals on some of the tattered remains. These are worth about 50 gp each. The party can find 1d8+8 of these.


This is the commander center. The floating dias is the bridge.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 5, Room 27

Just outside this corridor to the left there is a deformed area where the metal and rock merge. Outside of the metal area, there is a spiral staircase going up.

Room 27

These stairs look like they are the manufacture of the Necromancers (or more to the point, their slaves) that had lived here.

These stairs ascend to Room 15 on Level 4

If the players did not defeat the ghouls in that room they will try to meet the characters half-way. The Ghouls however will not enter level 5, bot even to avoid being killed by the party. They react in fear to anything on level 5.

If the characters use one of the "heat wands" the ghouls will try to run away as fast as they can as if "Turned" by a Cleric. 


The strange necrotic energies here are enough to scare away other undead. 

Friday, May 26, 2023

Jenny, Larina and Valerie for Doctor Who Adventures in Time and Space

Time to put it all together now.  Over the course of my reviews of the various Doctor Who RPGs I have looked at some characters with the express purpose of comparing them across different versions. 

Today I want to take three characters and have a go at building them in the 1st Edition of the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space RPG. The three are: 

For this group, let's say they are all traveling together. The game gives us a lot of options on "Games without Time Lords," so this would be a good place to test it all out. Either Jenny or Val have a vortex manipulator, but I also like the idea that Jenny can travel in time and space (to a limited degree) all on her own without needing gadgets. 

In all three cases I stuck as close as I could to the point-buy budgets for character creation. Though in all three I did go over. That is not a big deal in my mind since Val has already had some adventures (The Ghost Tower of Inverness, Illinois), and Jenny, well I can use nearly anything to justify her stats. But in all cases I tried to stay close to what I had done in other games.

Jenny Everywhere

Jenny, as I have mentioned in previous posts, is a "shifter" she can shift between realities and times and even interact with her own alternates. She is expressly a public domain character that everyone can use, so for my tests, she is the perfect stand-in for a Time Lord. In previous versions of the Doctor Who RPG, this was a conceit since there were other Time Lords, but in the "new" game, there is only the Doctor.

Here she has some of the qualities/traits of a Time Lord, but not the ability to regenerate as River Song did.

As always, I must include her license:

"The character of Jenny Everywhere is available for use by anyone, with only one condition. This paragraph must be included in any publication involving Jenny Everywhere, in order that others may use this property as they wish. All rights reversed."

Jenny Everywhere
Jenny Everywhere

"The Shifter"
Story Points: 12

Awareness 4
Coordination 3
Ingenuity 4
Presence 3
Resolve 4
Strength 3

Athletics 1
Convince 2
Fighting 1
Knowledge 4
Marksman 1
Science 3
Subterfuge 2
Survival 1
Technology 3
Transport 1

Brave, Charming, Lucky, Time Traveller (Minor), Eccentric (-1)

Special Traits
Shifter, Feel the Turn of the Universe

Various gadgets

Home Tech Level: 6 (Jenny has some solid tech)

Larina Nichols

Larina of course is my witch that I use everywhere. She is my experiment to see if I can do a witch in any game, Rule as Writen. So far I have come up with some very interesting versions of her. Unlike Jenny she is only vaguely aware of her other selves in different realities, usually images that appear to her in dreams. She knows what they are but she has no control over them.  

In the Doctor Who universe her "magick" appears as advanced psychic powers. Humans in this game have a bit more psychic abilities than assumed in previous games. Indeed in the new series of Doctor Who we have seen actual witches.  Larina though is human and not a Carrionite. Though I am not ruling out that human witches might not have Carrionite blood/DNA in them.

Larina Nichols
Larina Nichols

"The Witch"
Story Points: 12

Awareness 4
Coordination 3
Ingenuity 4
Presence 4
Resolve 6
Strength 3

Convince 1
Craft 2
Fighting 1
Knowledge 4
Marksman 1
Medicine 2
Science 1
Subterfuge 1
Survival 2
Technology 2
Transport 1

Attractive, Empathic, Psychic Training, Insatiable Curiosity, Obsession (learn more about magic)

Special Traits
Psychic (Package)
 - Clairvoyant 1
 - Precognition 1
 - Telekinesis 1
 - Telepath 1

Book of Shadows (on her phone), Tarot Cards.

Home Tech Level: 5

I have this funny notion that Jenny goes to Larina for a Tarot reading about her and despite all the shuffling all the cards when flipped over are blank. The same thing happens again with Valerie. 

That seems like a fun hook.

Valerie Beaumont

Val is an immortal who was born in England in 1569. She came with a family to the new colonies (America) to be the nanny of Virginia Dare, the first child to be born of European parents in an American colony. Both she and Virginia are immortals and have a Doctor/Master style relationship.

She is not my character per se, she is the character of one of my good friends Greg, though she does appear as an NPC in many of my games.

Valerie Beaumont
Valerie Beaumont

"The Immortal"
Story Points: 12

Awareness 4
Coordination 5
Ingenuity 5
Presence 5
Resolve 4
Strength 3

Athletics 2
Convince 1
Fighting 3
Knowledge 5
Marksman 2
Medicine 1
Science 1
Subterfuge 2
Survival 3
Technology 1

Attractive, Brave, Quick Reflexes, Tough, Adversary (Virginia Dare), Dark Secret (is Immortal)

Special Traits
Immortal (2), Fast Healing (2)

Sword cane

Home Tech Level: 4 (she was born in 1569)


In truth I am rather happy with these. I altered some of Valerie's skills from her play test file. 

I can easily see a series of adventures with these three. Likely running into Madam Vastra and Jenny in Victorian times (and whom Valerie has dealt with before), Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in a modern London (gotta figure out how that works!), and of course fellow witches Willow and Tara

It's a weird and wonderful universe out there, and this is the game to explore it!

character sheets

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 5, Room 26

 The hallway/corridor opens to a larger corridor.  A large room can be seen at that very end. 

Room 26

The necromantic forces feel stronger here, like they did on previous levels.

As the characters move down the hall, they are attacked by Zombie Ophidians.

There are 1d8+4 zombies of the snake men. They have no weapons and attack with claws and bites. Their poison bite is all used up so they only do 1d4 hp damage per bite.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Reviews: Doctor Who RPG supplements

 A few quick ones now. I grabbed these to review because I wanted some of the Cubicle 7 books I knew would be good in emulating a FASA Doctor Who like game. So more UNIT, more CIA (Celestial Intervention Agency), and more aliens.

In all cases here I am reviewing the PDFs

Doctor Who: Aliens and Creatures
Doctor Who: Aliens and Creatures

Six PDFs in one ZIP file. 220+ pages total.

From the 10th Doctor era. What grabbed me first about this book was how well it looks with other Doctor Who books from other sources. This is due to the BBC mandated trade dress. While it means every era of Doctor Who will give us a different look (and core book) it also means that the books my kids were buying at school book fairs (wow, that was a long time ago!) will look great on the shelves next the RPG books. 

This package includes:

  • 138 page rulebook detailing many of the creatures faced in the Doctor's adventures, including the Cybermen, Cult of Skaro, Davros, the Weeping Angels and the Hath, additional rules for creating your own creatures both as enemies or as playable characters, and a system for creating new worlds for your adventures to take place on
  • 32 page Adventure book, featuring a whole new ready-to-play adventure and many ideas for additional stories
  • New gadget cards
  • Additional Story Point Counters
  • Detailed Creature Cards for easy reference

All to work with your 10th Doctor boxed set. The same level of art, design and layout given to the core game is here, making it one of the more attractive games out these days. Perfect for the Doctor Who gamer and the Doctor Who fan alike. And an excellent source of new things to run away from! 

This is a great product, full of all sorts of monsters, aliens, and other creatures primarily from the new version of Doctor Who (but some old favorites are still there). It was nice to have writeups for various Daleks, Cybermen, Catkind, Sontarans, and more. There are even more Traits and pre-built Trait packages given to aliens.  Along with aliens come their worlds, we have more detail on these as well. So you don't have to stick to Earth!

The adventure book (32 pages) has two ready-to-go adventures using these new creatures; and plenty of ideas on how to use the others. 

Some printing will be required for the cards and story point counters, but that is minimal. 

Despite the "trade dress" this can be used with any version of the Doctor Who RPG from Cubicle 7.

Defending the Earth: The UNIT Sourcebook
Defending the Earth: The UNIT Sourcebook

PDF. 160 pages.

This book comes to us from the Matt Smith/11th Doctor era but it has call back to the 3rd, 4th, 7th, 10th, and more Doctors. Even the cover features UNIT officers from those periods.

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

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

In many ways, a UNIT-based game can be more interesting than 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 includes plenty of new traits for the 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 playtest 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.

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

Doctor Who - The Time Traveller's Companion
Doctor Who - The Time Traveller's Companion

PDF 242 pages.

Again from the Matt Smtih/11th Doctor Era.

Now here is a book we would have LOVED to have had back in the FASA Doctor Who era. Everything we know about Gallifrey to date ( the date of this publication).

This product, like other supplements, is a bit freer with its use of material and image from the Classic series. So while the "trade dress" is the 11th Doctor, all the Doctors are featured here.

This book covers Gallifrey. It's history, it's culture, and of course, the Time Lords. This history by the way is great. We get deep cuts like "The Dark Times" and Morbius. Though only brief mentions of the Racnoss, the Great Vampires and the Carrionites in the Time Lord history. Interesting aside. All these early enemies of the Time Lords; spiders, vampires and witches respectively, all feature into the fears and horror tales of humans. Coincidence? 

There is even a little bit on the Time War here. 

Essentially if there is a Doctor Episode that featured Gallifrey or Time Lords it has representation here.  

We get updates/expansions on Time Lord Character creation. This includes character creation based on which of the great academies the Time Lord comes from. Nice touch. There are even expanded regeneration rules here that predict how the War Doctor would be. 

A brief overview of Time Travel is next. We get a good (ok better) explanations of the Blinovich Limitation Effect, or, "Why You Can't Cross Your Own Time Stream" and the Time Differential. Though the time differential is a good way to help explain how the Doctor never really knows how old he is. 

There is coverage on Vortex Manipulators, Time Corridors, Time Scoops, Time Dams, even "primitive" time travel machines. 

Updated information on TARDISes, including how to build your own in the game. Here things like the "Symbiotic Nuclei " of the Two Doctors episode is explained in 11th-Doctor-era terms and ideas. 

Several TARDIS templates are given from Ancient (Type 1 to 29) to Decommissioned (Type 30 to 59, The Doctor's TARDIS is Type 40), Modern (Type 60 - 89, used by The Rani and the main TARDISes of the Time War), and Advanced (Type 90+).  Like Characters, TARDISes have attributes and traits. 

Lastly, there is a Gamemaster section, divided into four chapters.

This covers not only running a game, but things the GM needs to know that the players should not. These are details like what tyrant the Great Rassilon was, how Omega survived, how Morbius escaped Time Lord justice, the War Chief, and the workings of the CIA. 

There are the hidden files about the weapons of the Time War (the Moment had not been created in the show just yet) and other monstrosities. 

We get some other Time Lord Renegades from the show, Drax, The Monk (separate now), the Rani, Romana, and even the new regeneration cycle of the Master.

More details on travelling in time and how to deal with players being...well, players in this. 

There is even a TARDIS controls diagram that reminds me of the 1980s Doctor Who Technical Manual which also works as a TARDIS character sheet.


These books are not required but certainly ad a LOT to your Doctor Who games. If your goal is to build a game that is more akin to what we used to do with the old FASA Doctor Who games, then these are the best places to start.

Review: Doctor Who Roleplaying Game 12th Doctor Hardcover Edition

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space12th Doctor Hardcover Edition
A new cycle of regenerations, and we get a new Doctor! By now you know that means we get a new Doctor Who RPG book.  This time it is still a hardcover. Much like the Doctor himself, appearances have changed, but what matters on the inside has stayed the same. 

Doctor Who Roleplaying Game 12th Doctor Hardcover Edition

256 pages, full color.

A few things to note about this version of the game.

First, "Adventures in Time and Space" is gone from the title. That is fine; by this point people should know what Doctor Who is all about.

Secondly, this edition/variation is the same as the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space Limited Edition Hardcover Edition I discussed already.  So everything that is true for this is true here save that the artwork is predominantly from the Peter Capaldi era of the 12th Doctor.

The Characters in this one the 12th Doctor, Clara Oswald, Danny Pink, Madame Vastra, Jenny, Strax, Kate Stewart, Osgood, Saibra, Psi, Courtney Woods, Rigsby, Robin Hood, and Journey Blue.  No Bill Pots or Nardole however.  The extra characters come in at the expense of a page or two of ads. No loss.

The Chapter titles are different, but otherwise, this is the same book. 

I did not grab this as a hardcover, but I did get the PDF.

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 5, Room 25

 Moving down the corridor, there is one last room on the left. Lawful (Good) Clerics (and Paladins if they are being used) can feel a growing aura of evil. Magic-users and witches can sense a growing aura of necromantic magics.

Room 25

This room is different than the previous ones. There is no furniture, only metal panels with many flickering lights. Moving between these lights, going from panel to panel, is the ghost of an Ophidian.

This creature is a Greater Spectre. It has 8HD and attacks as soon as the characters enter.  

It can be turned as a Vampire.


This room is the computer core. The spectre is a high-ranking officer that died in this room. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Review: Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space Limited Edition Hardcover Edition

Doctor Who Limited Edition
The year is 2013 and the place is TNP (oops, sorry wrong RPG) Earth. Doctor Who is celebrating it's 50th anniversary and there is a big to do to be had. We see the 8th Doctor regenerate, not into the 9th Doctor, but the War Doctor. We see the final days of the Time War. We get to see ALL the Doctors (some via archival footage) come back to save Gallifrey. And we even get a special sneak peak at something that has not paid off till now, 10 years later.  In the RPG scene, Cubicle 7 releases a new Doctor Who RPG limited edition printing. This time it is a full-color hardcover rule book. 

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space Limited Edition Hardcover Edition

Hardcover and PDF. 256 pages, full-color covers and art with color and black & white photographs.

For this review, I am considering my hardcover version and the PDF from DriveThruRPG.

Ok. I want to state outright that the rules in this game are really no different than the previous two boxed sets that I have covered. If you have either or both of those there is not a lot of new you will find here. That is ok. Let me explain why.

Prior to this volume, the rule books were focused mostly on the current Doctor. This is a trend that will continue on to and likely past the Second Edition of the game. This edition, while still using the BBC trade dress for Matt Smith's later (and last) seasons, brings in photos and imagery from all the past Doctors.  This makes this book feel more like a full Doctor Who game, something I have not felt since the FASA books. The content still favors the NuWho series but there is enough here and there to get a real feeling of depth and history. The character sheets are the same 11th Doctor format for example.

The Doctors

Secondly, and just as importantly, this is a hardcover book. It is sturdier than my 10th Doctor softcovers, but of course, no dice, no sheets, and no extras that you get with a boxed set. It does have a solid Basic vs. Advanced feel to it that I like, and one that is formalized for the Second Edition. 

Bigger on the Inside

The Doctors

As I mentioned, the rules here are not unchanged from the previous printings of this game, they are reorganized a bit. There are some edits and as expected things that happened in the series more recently are in the forefront here. 

The obvious strength to this new presentation of the rules is it combines what had been in the Players and Gamemasters sections into one. In the 10th and 11th Doctor's books the Gamemaster's Section repeated some information from the Player's sections. Here they have been integrated into a whole.

Chapter One: The Trip of a Lifetime

This is our introduction to the Doctor, RPGS, and this RPG in particular. Introductions on who the players are and the Gamemaster as well as how to use this book. There is also an example of play. 

Chapter Two: Travellers in the Fourth Dimension

This is our character creation chapter. Here we cover the types of characters that can be played. The assumption is still Time Lord + Human Companions, but other variations are also mentioned, like No Time Lord At All, UNIT Squad/Torchwood team, and others. 

We start with detailing the Attributes of the character, or the qualities of a character that are typically fixed. These are Awareness, Coordination, Ingenuity, Presence, Resolve, and Strength. Similar to the "Basic 6" of many RPGs.  All these are scored from 1 to 6 with 1 being the human minimum, 6 the human maximum, and 3 being the average. Time Lords and other aliens can go beyond these.  These are bought on a point-buy system.

Traits are the qualities of a character, good or ill. There are Minor Traits (Animal Friendship, Attractive), Major Traits (Boffin, Fast Healing), and Special Traits (Alien, Cyborg, Time Lord). Like Attributes, you spend Character Points to buy these. Some can be good or bad traits, and some can be Minor, Major or Special depending on how they are "bought" in character creation. "Friends" can be minor or major depending on the friend in question. "Hypnosis" can be minor, major or special depending on how powerful it is. 

Skills are also purchased with Points. There are only 12 skills, unlike modern D&D and more like Unisystem, skills can be combined with any attribute as appropriate. 

Chapter Three: I Walk in Eternity

This covers running the game and the basic rule(s).

            Attribute + Skill (+Trait) + 2d6 = Result; Compare the result to a Task Difficulty.

That is the guiding principle for the entire game and it works really, really well.  Your average Difficulty is 12 but it can be as low a 3 (super easy) or 30+ (near impossible). Contested rolls are introduced and the all-important Story Points (the little cardboard counters).

It gives us some details on the Task Difficulties; 3 for Really, Really Easy, 12 for Average, and 30 for Nearly Impossible. Additionally, there are thresholds if you roll above or below the set difficulty levels. So, for example, if you score 9 points above the roll needed, something special can happen, like extra damage or something.  Likewise, if you roll poorly, something bad can happen.

The rolls, much like in Unisystem, become easier with practice, and soon you won't need any guides at all. 

Contested rolls, rolls where your character is being prevented from success are also covered. The biggest example of this is combat.  Example situations are given and which skills can or should be used. This is a good way to rule these since Doctor Who is not really about combat. "Combat with words" is more important and can even stop physical combat. Though there are weapons detailed here and how deadly they are.

Chapter Four: A Big Ball of Timey-Wimey Stuff

While the first three chapters can apply to every game, the is the chapter that is quintessentially Doctor Who. This covers not just roleplaying, but roleplaying in Time Travel games. Here we get a lot of advice on how, well, to keep gamers from being gamers and avoiding paradoxes. 

We get some background on Time Lords and TARDISes. Not encyclopedic details mind you, but enough to keep players and gamemasters happy. This covers dealing with damage to Time Lords and regeneration. 

The section on TARDISes is updated, reflecting notions and ideas seen in the show at this point. 

Chapter Five: All the Strange, Strange Creatures

Here we get to all the aliens. While some are certainly foes to be fought (Daleks, Cybermen) there is a lot here that run the spectrum of friend to fiend.  Creatures use the same stats as characters. So it is expected that there are some "Alien Traits" here as well. These work just like Character Traits, but are typically not bought by characters. 

Plenty are covered here, but there is an emphasis on ones that have appeared more recently and ones that have appeared in both the new and classic series. So for example the entry on the Great Intelligence not only covers the "Servers" and eyeless men from the 11th Doctor, but also the Yeti from the 2nd Doctor. There are old and new Ice Warriors. We get the Master in both his John Simms and Anthony Ainley depictions. 

The Master

Old and new Autons. Silurians and the Sea Devils. It's not every monster or alien, but it is a good selection of "Greatest Hits." There is also enough information here to make your own. 

Plus it is one of the best places to see all the variations of Cybermen and Daleks all in one place. 

Chapter Six: Hold Tight and Pretend It's a Plan

This covers good roleplaying and how to play in a Doctor Who game. We also get tips on being a good Gamemaster here. 

Chapter Seven: The Song is Ending, But the Story Never Ends..!

This is our Gamemaster chapter. This includes where (and when) to set them and a basic 5-act adventure formula. Other tips and tricks covered are personal story arcs (think Donna or Clara), cliffhangers, two (or three) part stories, and more. 

In this version, we also get some Adventure Seed ideas. These are great since each one focuses on an earlier regeneration of the Doctor.

Appendix: Journal of Impossible Things

Character sheets. We get the 11th, 10th, and War Doctors. Clara, Amy, Rory, River, Rose, Sarah Jane, K-9, the Brigadier, and his daughter Kate.  There are also archetypes, UNIT Soldier, Scientist,  Rock Star, and Adventuring Archaeologist. A blank sheet, and a cheat sheet. 

There is also an index.

While rule-wise there is nothing "new" here this feels like a good solid revision and has been my "go-to" book for Doctor Who for some time now. 

If you are a classic Doctor Who fan and want to play the "new" RPG then this is a great place for you to start. This is true especially of anyone coming to this game from FASA Who. You will need to get some dice, but since the game uses 2d6 exclusively that is not too hard to do.