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|This is a quick and dirty review of the free Doctor Who Roleplaying game Timelord.
The best (and quite snazzy) website for the game is: http://www.torsononline.com/hobbies/timelord/main.htm
For those who dont know, Timelord is written by Ian Marsh and Peter Darvill-Evens
and was origionally published in 1991 by Virgin Publishing. It has been released by the authors who regained the rights in 1996.
Never saw this game before, but found it on the net while searchig for Doctor Who RPG games. If you think this is a rebadged game from FASA (based on the Star Trek system), think again (it supprised me, and I am an old school gamer who never even HEARD of this game until I googled for Doctor Who RPG games)
This game is designed for people who are new to Role Playing, and contains a wealth of information on all the TV series Doctors up to the eigth, as well as ther companions and many of the Doctor's enemies
This is a simple and elegent RPG system, with a 2 dice system with its own quirk. All RPG games need randomness to add that uncertanty into the narrative between players, and Timelord uses a modified 2 six sided dice system )or 2d6 in gamer speak).
You roll the dice as subtract the smaller number from the larger number, giving a range of 1 – 5.
Skills (or special abilities to use the games terms) and abilities (numbers that define how good a character is in the game) are rated betweeen 1 (mediocre) to 6 (expert).
The person running the game (called a game master) sets the difficulty of a task (ranging from 1 to 10), subtracts the ability and special ability needed. Yes, I said it has its own quirk....
Lets say the Doctor needs to pick a lock. The game master sets a dificulty of 8. The doctor special ability in lockpicking is 1 and this special ability is based on the control ability (which is 5). Total skill is 6, which is 2 less than the dificulty
The person playing the doctor needs to get a difference of 2 to succeed. He or she rolls 2 dice (lets say 1 and 4). He subtracts 1 from 4 and gets 3. A success. The lock is picked!
An excelent element of the game is that if the difficulty is less than ability + special ability, the character automaticaly succeds.
The combat system is based on this system as well, and again it is an elegently simple system, that reflects much of the closed in feel combat of the TV show.
The material of the game is strong, with stats of all of the TV series Doctors from Wiliam Hartnell to Silvester McCoy, all of the companions, and many of the enemies of the Doctor.
THe origional game did not allow new chararcters to be created, however, this edition (the pdf 1996) does have a system to create chararcter (good guys and bad guys)
Wealth of informaion on the Doctor, the companions and enemies of the Doctor
History of the TV series
Excelent Introduction to roleplaying
Simple system aimed at new roleplayers who want to enjoy the Doctor's universe
Lack of details on enviroments and the worlds of the Doctor Who Universe
No 8th, 9nth and 10th Doctor data whatsoever (but given the date of this book, this is underestandable as it predates these generations.
Rating. 4 Tradis Groans for new roleplayers. 3 tardis groans for experienced role players.