So it is June, and historically June has been D&D month around here. Though I have to admit I have not been in a D&D mood all year. I do have some things that fill that space certainly and will get to them.
Today though feels more like May 32nd. So I am going to do a little bit more with my Doctor Who posts and move on to other things. And a good place to do that is to compare the three characters that I have been using for all my Doctor Who posts; Larina, Jenny Everywhere, and Valerie.
The biggest difference between the 1st Edition and 2nd Edition Doctor Who RPGs is predominantly in character creation. Since I have three characters here that are a bit outside of the norm they make good test subjects for the new Distinctions.
Who Are You?
So I have a public domain "shifter," an immortal from the 16th Century, and a witch vaguely aware of all her past lives. How do these three get together in a bar in Soho?
Thankfully I already have good ideas about who these characters are in the Doctor Who universe. I just need to get them to jell together. Using the Shared Background Experiences table on p. 33 helps.
- Jenny has met other versions of Larina but sees that, unlike her, Larina is only vaguely aware of them. Larina wants to know what Jenny knows.
- Jenny has come across Valerie in the past. Val thought Jenny was immortal, Jenny (never Jen) thought Val was another shifter.
- Val and Larina have known each other for years. Val has also interacted with Larina's past lives.
- Jenny goes to Larina for a Tarot reading, and despite all the shuffling, all the cards when flipped over are blank. The same thing happens again with Valerie.
- This is the big one. All three try to avoid each other. Larina says they have strange auras, and not the same sort of strange. Jenny says the other two "buzz" and it gives her a headache. Val says that when they are together weirder than average shit happens. When it is all three the wierdness increases.
So when a chance meeting in a bar in Westminster one cold November night, things got weird.
Going back to the characters now and build them by the new rules.
I have mentioned Jenny a lot. She is a great character for the Doctor Who game and maybe even a better character for this newer version.
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."
Concept: Shifter in time and space.
What does that mean? Well she can sense changes in time flow, she can move about realities, she knows things that she otherwise would not know or not be capable of knowing. This new edition is explicit on the fact that the Time War changed history and the future and what we thought happened didn't or happened differently. Jenny can sense that.
Jenny is nothing if not about adventure. She doesn't bemoan her abilities or lot in life, she embraces them.
This is what she is. It defines her. Since this is a major one her Story Points are reduced per page 47.
To paraphrase the Doctor, she is not my character but I have put a lot of work into her. Valerie is an immortal and she is always search for others like her, somewhat out of companionship and kinship but mostly to discover why she is the way she is.
Concept: Immortal seeker of knowledge
Everything about Val revolves around her desire to learn more about who she is and her place in this cosmos.
Val is cautious not to let people know who she is until she knows who they are first. But when it comes to a mystery or discovering something new she jumps in feet first and then figures out how she will land on the way down.
Distinctions: Immortal, striking appearance
This one was easy, and the examples are given in the book. She also takes a minor reduction in Story Points.
Ah. Now this girl. We go way back.
She is a witch. Regardless what that means in any given world that is who she is. If anything she lives by the quote "A witch is not what you do it is who you are." Sounds like a Concept to me.
Concept: Modern Witch
She believes in magic, in the power of crystals and more. She does not view these as "paranormal" just "extra normal." Certainly in the universe of Doctor Who she can be justified.
Larina wants to know things just for the sake of knowing them. Her curiosity is insatiable and it gets her into trouble. A lot.
Distinctions: Psychic, striking appearance
Ah, now here is where the Distinctions work better than traits. In the First Edition, I had to buy a lot of traits to get her the powers I wanted, even if in a small bit. Here she takes a Major Distinction, Psychic and I work out with my GM (well...me) and figure out what she has when. So she is telepathic and empathic and can have visions of the future (precognitive) when needed. There are plenty of examples of these sorts of humans in Doctor Who, well traveling with this bunch has turned her abilities up. Turned up so much that they might even become dangerous.
The balance here is do I reduce her Story Points OR as the GM use her as a plot device? Both sound appealing.
I have to admit. I rather love these. I knew with the new 2nd Edition system, things like my group of weirdos here would work so much better.
Right now the only thing keeping me in the First Edition game is inertia, but if I had too I could switch over to the Second Edition with no looking back.
I'll reiterate this with more clarity.
If you are new to RPGs and/or new to Doctor Who, then this is the version of the game to get. Get to your FLGS (preferably) or Amazon (if you must) and grab a copy. Or if you are a Save the Trees type (good for you!) then head over to DriveThruRPG and grab a copy in PDF. It has everything you need except dice.