Thursday, May 11, 2023

FASA Doctor Who RPG: Part 4 The Adventures

No RPG is complete without some adventures to have. Here are all the official FASA Doctor Who RPG adventures published. All are out of print and hard to find these days.

Doctor Who Adventures

It has taken me a few years, but I have managed to get all the adventures.  Some of these are so musty I am going to need to double up on my antihistamines just to get through them all!

The Iytean Menace

The Iytean Menace

48 pages. 1985. Design and writing by J. Andrew Keith.

Now here is a fun one. The characters travel back to London in 1885 (I am already on board) to discover a retired Army Officer with a cache of futuristic weapons, a crashed spaceship, and a rogue body-snatching alien. It actually has quite a lot to offer. 

There are plenty of interesting NPCs and even a full set of PCs for the players to use. We are introduced to Time Lord Rollonovaradanavashir, or Rolo for short, and his collection of eight companions. We get coverage of the Type 51 TARDIS with its advanced computer systems and even some new skills.

Yes. That cover is Paris Street; Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte. Though the adventure takes place in London in 1885 not Paris in 1877. Minor detail I guess. 

This one might be fun to try out with the Paternoster Investigations gang with the Cubicle 7 system. 

The Iytean Menace and Paternoster Investigations

The Lords of Destiny

The Lords of Destiny

48 pages. 1985. Design and writing by William H. Keith, Jr.

This one has a rather interesting premise. The characters materialize onto a 10,000km long starship built around a planet. As it has been traveling through space and gathering material, it has grown larger and larger. Now its computer is sentient and, of course, insane, so it is targeting mineral-rich planets to gobble up. To top it all off the characters are arrested right away and there is a rebellion happening on the ship of some 100 Billion people. 

This is another adventure, like most of the Doctor Who adventures and stories, that require more thought than beating people up. It is mentioned that while yes, blowing up the ship would solve the problem, it would also kill all 100 billion on board. 

This one introduces us to the Time Lord, "The Professor," which seems like an inventible name.  I would be lying if I didn't say I totally tried to square this guy with the Peter Cushing Dr. Who movies. His companions include Joan of Arc (yes. that one), a tabloid reporter from Peria, IL, and a test pilot from 9880 AD. 



48 pages. 1985. Design and writing by Ray Winninger

The first adventures were published right on the heels of RPG Boxed set. This one came later. In this adventure the character's TARDIS gets caught in a gravity bubble and they land on the courier Leander in the 26th Century. The Leander is delivering medical supplies that only last for 48 hours and the flight in 30 hours long. There is some meddling with some Vegan pirates (not those Vegans, ones from Vega XII) and a Cyberman plot. 

This adventure is set up for first time Gamemasters with notes on how to run this adventure and adventures in general. Several options for resolving this adventure are given. And we even have a nice map of the starships.

For the Players, we have a new Time Lord, Kelaphaludner, aka Kelly, and some of his companions. Kelly will make more appearances.  Additionally, we also get the Fourth Doctor with Leela and Romana II as choices.  I think there must have been a push to include the Doctor and his companions. 

This one gives a special thanks to the Northwestern University Doctor Who club. This one is also slightly taller than the other books. 

The  Hartlewick Horror

The  Hartlewick Horror

40 pages. 1985. Design and writing by Ray Winninger

This one takes us back to some of the more horror-influenced stories of the Third and Fourth Doctor. The Fourth Doctor even appears on the cover. This one takes place on Earth 1923.  Here the CIA has detected energy waves on the same wavelength as the human brain. There are some disappearances, a strange seance, a trapped alien threat, and a group of angry villagers.

It feels very Hammer Horror to be honest and I think that was the point. There are supernatural overtones, but of course as typical with Doctor Who, it is an alien. It might a bit clichéd, but still, it is fun and there are some nice maps. 

For the characters, Kelly and his companions Phillip and Gwendolyn are back. They even show so updates from the last adventure. Also back as alternate player characters are the Fourth Doctor, Leela, Sarah Jane, and Harry Sullivan (not sure who the art for Harry is...).  There are even suggestions for a sequel the Game Master can do on their own.

The Legions of Death

The Legions of Death

52 pages. 1985. Design and writing by J. Andrew Keith.

This one features the newer FASA logo on the cover and the Third Doctor. This one starts with a temporal anomaly in Britain in 43 AD. Apparently, something (or someone) is helping the local Britions win battles against the Romans they were never supposed to have won. That someone turns out to be the renegade Time Lord the War Chief. 

This one is certainly for the history buffs out there. 

For PCs we get the Time Lord "The Colonel" and Time Lady Leoradrusendalular, aka Leora.  For alternates, we have the Third Doctor, Jo Grant, and Sarah Jane Smith. Additionally we have the Bigadier, and some others. Including the first companion from Chicago! There are good collection of NPCs as well. 

There are player's handouts and lots of background information. We even get coverage of the War Chief's Type 43 TARDIS. 

The adventure reminds a bit of some of things we would also see in the Tweleth Doctor episode "The Eaters of Light."

The City of Gold

The City of Gold

52 pages. 1986. Design and writing by J. Andrew Keith.

While the TARDIS and her crew are supposed to be headed to Venezuela in the 21st Century to deal with some revolutionaries, they get sidetracked and land instead in 1543.  Instead of revolutionaries though they run into dinosaurs and rumors of El Dorado, the lost City of Gold.

There is a lot of background here, some player handouts, and some great maps. It also has the involvement of the Silurians, which is always a plus. This is also our first adventure with a 1986 date on it. 

For our PCs we get a Time Lord . "The Don" (ok...), the time Lady Maranodulandur, aka "Mara", a gunslinger named Jack Ransome, a human doctor Cassandra Maitland, and human cavalry officer Jacques D'Aubanville. For our alternate cast, we have the Fifth Doctor, Adric, Nyssa, Teagan, and Turlogh. And a lot of NPCs.

The Warriors Code

The Warriors Code

56 pages. 1986. Design and writing by J. Andrew Keith.

It's 1986 and America is fascinated with all things Japanese. This adventure is larger and we get Jim Holloway doing the cover art. This adventure takes place in Japan during the Tokugawa shogunate (1600 AD), just before the Battle of Sekigahara. Here the TARDIS crashes into another Time Ship from 5184 AD.  While both crews rush to make repairs to their respective ships they have Fuedal Japan to deal with.

I won't lie, you REALLY have to like Japanese history to get into this one. I am not saying it is bad, but it is a set piece. The Time Ship is just a MacGuffin to get you here. 

This one also focuses on the Doctor and his companions in the forefront. The Second Doctor is joined by Jamie, Ben, Poly, Victoria, and Zoe. For the original characters, we get the Time Lord "Noman" and the Time Lady Marinarratalasanavor, aka Marina, and some companions. 

There are maps, hints for play, and even some flowcharts. All of which are nice touches.  This is also the only perfect bound adventure. 


I think all of these adventures could be played, with a little massaging, under the Cubicle 7 Doctor Who RPG rules. Many of the Doctors and the Companions have stats in their respective books as do counterparts for all the NPCs. 

The best thing about these adventures are the tidbits that add to or clarify the various rules. They are all geared toward a starting Game Master and naturally assume that anyone will grab any of these as their first adventure.  The only minor, tiny exception here is the Time Lord Kelly and his companions that do get better across their respective adventures, but that is it really. 

None of them will go down in history as classic adventures in the way that say some of the D&D ones have, but they are fun.


PT Dilloway said...

That last one reminds me of what they did a few years ago with the Batman Ninja animated movie where Batman, the Joker, and others all got trapped in feudal Japan somehow.

Even though I'm not an RPG player I might want to read those just for the stories.

Michael Thompson said...

Lots of good ideas. How do the J. Andrew and William H. Keith modules compare to their other work from this period, when they finished writing much of JTAS?

Timothy S. Brannan said...

They generally got better as they went with more guidance for Gamemasters, but they all felt like they were written in fairly rapid succession. Not that they feel rushed, but tonally they are all mostly similar. It feels like there was a burst of energy and then nothing else.