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Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
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Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/22/2023 13:24:12

Updated Review posted here:

The first decade of the 2000s gave us a new series of Doctor Who starting in 2005. The 9th Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston, was, in his own favorite word, fantastic. He re-introduced the character to both new and old audiences. It can be argued that the show, and new fandom, really took off with David Tennent's 10th Doctor. In 2009 British RPG publisher Cubicle 7 released its first Doctor Who game. Like the show it was based on, it was a huge success. A couple of points I want to clarify first.

I am reviewing my boxed set here AND the PDF from DriveThruRPG. There will be differences, so I will point these out.

I was on the playtest for this game as I have mentioned in the past. Plus Dave Chapman and a fe of the Cubicle 7 guys were also play testers for my Ghosts of Albion game. We communicated often in the time Doctor Who, Ghosts, and Chapman's other RPG Conspiracy X was being developed by Eden Studios.

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space

262+ pages. Full-color interior and covers. Print: soft-cover books in a boxed set. Digital: Seven PDFs in a Zip file.

This is the first of many printings of the C7 Doctor Who game. A good way to differentiate from one to the other is by which Doctor appears on the cover. This is the Tenth Doctor's cover.

The Boxed set features two softcover books; a Player's Guide and a Gamemaster's Guide. Several cardboard "story point" tokens, a "Read Me First" booklet, several character sheets, and gadget sheets. All of these are also present in PDF form. The Boxed set additionally has a set of six d6 dice to use in the game. The dice are also available separately.

Read This First - How To Play

This four-page booklet covers the really basic basics. It is written with the Doctor Who fan in mind and not the average role-player. So we cover questions like "where is the board?" and "how do I play?"

Inside the 10th Doctor's character sheet is broken down. It is recommended that starting players use one of the pre-made characters in the box, but there is nothing saying you can't use your own characters.

The "Basic Rule" is covered here.

Attribute + Skill (+Trait) + 2d6 = Result; Compare 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).

You are directed next to the Adventures Book.

Adventures Book (and Characters)

This is a 32-page book of easy to start with adventures. They include "Arrowdown" with some monster form Autons (very clever), "Judoom" a short adventure inside a Judoon cruiser, and a bunch of adventure seeds to give you some starting points. All the rules needed to run these adventures are self-contained.

For these adventures, it is recommended that you use the provided characters. These include The 10th Doctor, K-9, Sarah Jane Smith, Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Mikey Smith, and Capt. Jack Harkness. Additionally, there are some "pre-gens" for players to customize on their own. These include a Medical Doctor, a Musician, a Student, a UNIT Soldier, a Torchwood Operative, a Scientist/Inventor, and a Journalist. There are also six blank character sheets for your own creations. The "named" sheets are printed on slightly heavier stock than the pre-gens or the blank sheets.

There are also gadget sheets, both filled out and blank.

The Player's Guide

These are the rules of the game proper. This is a 86-page soft-cover perfect bound book. Mine is getting on so the binding is coming loose, but nothing that I didn't expect for a book that is nearly 14 years old (which is old for a Sontaran!).

Chapter One: The Trip of a Lifetime

This chapter begins with some set-up fiction. Only two pages. We get another recap on the basics; Who is the Doctor, what is roleplaying, what is a Gamemaster, and the like. As well as how to use this book in the game.

This chapter sets up the game rather well. Imagine going anywhere, anytime, past, present, or future.

Chapter Two: The Children of Time

This covers the characters of the game. From playing your own to games with no Time Lords at all! 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: Allons-y!

This takes us back to our basic rule and expands on it. It gives us some details on the Task Difficulties; 3 for Reall, 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. Afterall no one can talk a Dalek out of being a Dalek.

Chapter Four: Two Worlds Will Collide

This covers the ins and outs of good Roleplaying. There is also another character sheet here to copy (print) or print out (pdf).

The Gamemaster's Guide

This book is for the Gamemasters naturally. Not that Players can't read it. This book is also a full-color, perfect-bound softcover book. It is 140 pages.

The first four chapters here parallel the four chapters of the Player's book.

Chapter One: Next Stop, Everywhere!

A brief recap of the basics and what this book is for.

Chapter Two: The Stuff of Legend

Covers character creation from a Gamemaster point of view. This includes different types of groups (Doctor and Companions, Unit or Torchwood Groups, and more). We also get some details on how the various Attributes work with examples of seven levels (1-6 for humans, 7+ for others).

Traits are likewise discussed since they provide the most differences between characters and character types. All the traits are covered again, but in briefer, "rules only" formats. Same with skills.

We also get some "Technology Levels" TL. I will have to go back and see how well these map onto other RPGs, in particular the FASA Doctor Who and Traveller. For the record Earth of Doctor Who is TL 5, we are closer to TL 4.75 I think.

Chapter Three: The Long Game

Covers running a game. This includes when to roll (and when not too) and how to judge rolls and difficulty levels. While not a combat-focused game there is lot of text dedicated to it since that is the place where rolls will happen the most.

We get a section on using and regaining Story Points and experience.

Some equipment is also covered here.

Chapter Four: A Big Ball of Timey-Whimey Stuff

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.

Chapter Five: All the Strange, Strange Creatures

Ahh. Here is our chapter on 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.

Chapter Six: You Are Not Alone

This covers the role of the Gamemaster and what they do in the game. There are some resources shared here for gamemaster including other Doctor Who books out at that time.

Chapter Seven: The Oncoming Storm

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

It is a great starting point for all GMs.

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space really is a wonderful game and the best Doctor Who game to date. It is easy to see why it has had such staying power. The rules are simple, easy to understand, but infinitely flexible. They emulate the genre very well and can be used to in a variety of situations.

The rule system is such that it could be powering other games as well. It did, for a while, with games like Primeval (no longer available) but I am not sure if it is used elsewhere now.

Honestly, it is one of my favorite games.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Robert S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/27/2012 05:27:42

Greetings from the edge of the Medusa Cascade. Gamers and games draw inspiration from many places, including novels, movies and TV shows. Sometimes that media is adapted into an actual role-playing game. For example, the TV program Smallville actually got an RPG adaptation at one point. This is the first time I’ve done a review of an RPG adapted from other media… Right, this week we are reviewing the RPG adaptation of popular British science fiction program, Doctor Who. Specially, Cubicle Seven’s Doctor Who Adventures in Time and Space. Before diving into the game, it is worth diving into the show. Doctor Who is a long running British program. It follows a human looking alien, called the Doctor, who travels across time and space in a mostly indestructible vehicle that it larger on the inside than the out – the vehicle is called a TARDIS. In most of his adventures, the Doctor takes along human companions, allies and friends from contemporary Earth. Although supposedly able to change their appearance to match their environment, the Doctor’s TARDIS is stuck in the form an English Police Call box, or a blue phone booth just for calling the police in the event of an emergency, such as thieves, aliens, or thieving aliens. A feature of the Doctor’s alien race is if they (he is a Galifreyan) have suffered catastrophic, or otherwise fatal, injuries, their bodies literally regenerated into a new actor and new production crew responsible for presenting the show. It first aired in the early 1960s and ran, with a few interruptions, from then until the late 1980s, when it seemingly went off the air permanently, aside from a mediocre TV movie in the late 1990s. Fortunately, the BBC – or the British broadcasting Company – brought the program back in a revised format in 2005. A proverbial line was drawn between the original run of the show, with its piles of backstory and canon, and the new show. At some point between the story depicted in the TV movie and the new series, there was a terrible war across space and time itself, between the Time Lords of Gallifrey and… the Dalak. -there was a war, we lost- A result of the war is the Doctor is the last of the Time Lords (aside from his archenemy who periodically appears and is also a Time Lord), and the Doctor’s TARDIS is the last one known to exist. Gallifrey is gone and the Dalak are no longer posed in a position to conquer and exterminate the universe itself. Or at least the Dalak are mostly no longer posed in a position to conquer and exterminate the universe itself. The Dalak, slightly silly and utterly hateful, are one of the Doctors oldest foes. Newer enemies include the not-all-silly and mysterious Silence, with their eye-patch wearing servants. Now, the somewhat manic and lonesome Doctor occupies his time on adventures with his friends, as they travel to exotic places, race up and down long hallways and inevitable battle forces of evil. As has been put in the show, he is a madman with a magic box. Though nominally science fiction it falls into the science fantasy end of the scale – science, time and causality are all treated in a rather wibbly wobbly manner. The program may have started with the intent of it being an education program, it has grown into a show have a merry romp, and highly entertaining style rather than a careful presentation of historical and scientific fact. For that matter, it is barely a time travel program. Bear with me here for a moment – time travel is as much a vehicle for adventures as the Doctor’s Type 40 TARDIS. It uses time travel to having romping adventures rock and lava monsters in Pompeii and it uses time travel to have romping adventures with cat-nuns in far future New New York. It does not worry about time travel paradoxes any more than it has too. Doctor Who, as a program carries a distinct aesthetic and tone – if you are a fan of the show, you will presumably seek such things in an RPG adaptation of the same. Honestly, the game does an excellent job of adapting the unique tone and aesthetic of the show. However, it is not for everyone. Those unfamiliar with the program should watch one of the better episodes from the new run. These include Dalek, The Empty Child, The Girl in the Fireplace, Doomsday and Human Nature. If these episodes are not your thing, then the game will not be your thing. For that matter, watch the opening or pre-credit sequence to the episode When a Good Man Goes to War. If that sequences does not leave you wanting more, then this is not the game for you because the show is not for you. Adventures in Time and Space is a boxed set – something rare and handled well here. Included in the set are a player’s guide, a game master guide, handouts and character sheets. The handout for gadgets and story point can be cut up. The table of contents for the player’s guide and the game master guide are printed on the back of the books. All the material is full color and features images captured from the current version of the TV show. In terms of composition, it features two columns surrounded by lots of designs and patterns which are busy, but not distractingly so. One problem is that the original character sheets and handouts are bright and pretty, meaning unless you opt for full color copies, they will be muddy looking in the more economical black and white. The writing is jocular, informal and energetic – again, not distractingly so, though at times is comes close to being a problem or irritating. Moving on to the mechanics. This is a game where the mechanics and the story suit each other. There is a difference between action, combat and violence. Doctor Who, new and old, features a lot of action relativity little combat or violence. By comparison, Dungeons and Dragons is in close orbit of violence and combat. Rules systems reflect this, where D&D provides a grabs bag of rules with a focus on killing everything killable. The rule set provided by Cubical Seven in this boxed set is focused on fast-talking social situations, fiddling with gadgets, sneaking around and running up and down corridors. Combat is possible, but close to expressly discouraged. In the show itself, the big action sequences appear at the end of a season, rather than at the end of every episode.
There are six attributes, including Awareness, Coordination, Ingenuity, Presence, Resolve, and Strength. Their value ranges from 1 to 6. Traits helps define the attributes and thus the character. Traits come in good and bad and can be thought of as merits or flaws from White Wolf or edges and hindrances from Savage Worlds. When a roll is called for, the mechanic is simple. The relevant attribute the relevant skill relevant trait 2D6 = result and the result is compared to the target difficulty. If the results matches or exceeds the difficulty, then the task succeeds. (Attribute Skill Trait 2D6 = Result v. Difficulty) This is true for all the roles in the game, the mechanic does not change. So while it requires a little math, it does not require a dice pool, a pair of d6 passed around the table will suffice. Characters neither possess health levels nor hit points – damage comes off attributes, impacting the characters ability to make successful roles in the future. In D&D, by comparison, a character who lost 99% of their hit points is still fully functional. In Adventures in Space and time, a character that damaged probably could not so much as crawl. Adventures in Time and Space also features storypoints, or chitties the players can collect and spend to allow themselves to fiddle with scenes, sequences and dice rolls to get a better outcome. The quick start guide is well executed and handy for giving to all the players at the table, providing a solid starting place for the game. Enough aliens, menaces and dangerous situations are provided in the set to cover most situations in a game. An understandable weakness is the game is too devoted to the current version of the show. If you want to run in a different situation, such as before the Great Time War or with a different Time Lord than the Doctor, you will have to hack the contents.
Probably the worst problem for the boxed set is the price – the $60 is understandably a turn off. However, as presented here, Adventures in Time and Space would serve as a good introduction to role playing games, letting new gamers get used to the ideas in the hobby before moving on to games which are more mechanically challenging. It will still be fun for long time gamers if they also enjoy Doctor Who. In the end I give Doctor Who, Adventures in Time and Space a 20 on a d20 roll, though I feel that is me rounding things up a bit. Aside from the hardcopy being expensive, the flaws in sound churlish to list – the design of the character sheets will not reproduce well and it is too focused on the current version of the show. However, the strengths vastly out match the flaws, it features a quick system and does a good job of matching the aesthetic and tone of the show.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/03/2011 09:32:02

Originally Published at:

Licensed role-playing games have been good to me. The very first RPG I ever bought and played was the 80’s Marvel Superheroes game from TSR. Palladium’s quirky Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by the brilliant Erik Wujcik and thorough Robotech were my favorite games in middle school, which might explain my fetish for Rifts. The West End Games Star Wars 2nd Edition occupied my time for a whole summer. Even the R. Talsorian Bubblegum Crisis RPG was a blast, though it only had one sourcebook.

I am not entirely sure how pen and paper games have avoided the licensing curse that afflicts so many video games, but I am glad they have. Well, mostly. Even now, I am attracted to the Solomon Kane version of Savage Worlds and I hate to think what would happen if I ever find a mint copy of Stormbringer. Hell, I hear positive things about Leverage, a game based on the least RPG style TV show I have ever seen.

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space from Cubicle 7 is not the first RPG based on the exploits of a certain Time Lord. The FASA Doctor Who game was notoriously heretical and clunky, though I never played it. I know even less about Timelord, except that it is usually described as ‘weird.’ As a longtime Whovian, I looked forward to reviewing this game quite a bit.

The first thing that crossed my mind upon unzipping the files, since this is the PDF version of the boxed set, was the mass of it. The Player’s Guide, Gamemaster’s Guide, and Adventures Book are much as you would expect. There are character sheets for the 10th Doctor and his companions, plus character sheets for archetypical characters and blank ones, too. There is a sheet of Story Point counters and Gadget cards to be cut out and used in game. Honestly, even in PDF format, Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space feels huge. I can only imagine how heavy the boxed set is.

The second thing I noticed, once I opened the Player’s Guide, is how bright everything. The orange and blue color scheme of the modern Doctor Who series really pops off the screen in book form. Each page is bordered in appropriately cosmic graphics, with a single column of text. Photographs from the show constitute the whole of the art work throughout the books, but they look good and are appropriate for a product like this. There is nothing ugly in the box and you would really have to be looking for flaws to point out.

The Player’s Guide opens with a chapter that introduces the Doctor and the concept of role-playing. This is pretty standard issue stuff, but David F. Chapman has done a very good job of making a chapter most gamers skip worth reading. The single page example of play is one of the best I have encountered. The example players are portrayed as rank amateurs, and they actually behave the way amateurs are wont to do. It is the little touches that make a game feel like the designers care. The callout to units of measure is just such a touch. Not something I would have ever thought about, being an American, using the metric system is a great way to wed a campaign to the Britishness of Doctor Who. It does help that I can Google conversion rates, though.

For me, the elephant in the room is the fact that a Doctor Who game will involve the adventures of a character with godlike powers and knowledge. The second chapter dives right into this conundrum. The first option is to run a game with the players taking the role of the Doctor and his companions from the show, the stats for which have been conveniently included. Option two is to have a player play the Doctor, as in option one, but to create new companions. Option three is to ignore Doctor and play without him, like on the Sarah Jane Adventures or Torchwood. I will throw out two more options that I would consider. One is the GM playing the Doctor. The other is having a player play as the Doctor, but make them a deputy GM with a bit of foreknowledge, so that the companion players get an equal amount of spotlight time.

The character creation system is simple and light. Point based, instead of the more grognard approved random dice rolls of my youth, character creation is pretty simple. After putting some points in Attributes, the player can take some negative traits to gain extra points to drop on positive traits. A separate pool is used for paying for Skills. It really is that simple. If you are feeling lazy, the included Archetype character sheets make it a snap to generate a character.

The list of Traits deserves a special mention. The negative Traits list reads like a who’s who of great Doctor Who characters. Insatiable Curiosity? That sounds a lot like Sarah Jane. Argumentative? If that isn’t my beloved Donna Noble, I don’t know who it is. That the negative traits of a character are more important to character creation than the exact encumbrance of their gear is reason enough to champion this game. That the traits not directly evocative of Doctor Who characters are as interesting as the ones that are makes me want to sing this game’s praises from a rooftop.

After picking Skills, which is as bog-standard as you might expect, the Player’s Guide has a few extra steps. The most interesting of these steps is picking your character’s original time period and technology level. While not a subject explored on the show, the Doctor traveling with companions from a more primitive time is very evocative. Imagine sending a group of Napoleonic soldiers to the depths of space and having them encounter the Daleks.

The core mechanic of Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space is based around a simple mathematical formula: Attribute + Skill (+Trait) + 2 Six Sided Dice= Result. If the Result is equal to or greater than the Difficulty, then the Action is successful. I like this mechanic for a couple reasons. First of all, using only d6s makes the game much more accessible. Secondly, I much prefer rolling two dice at a time to dice pool based games, which can be ridiculous. Thirdly, the formula is easy enough to remember that the players and GM will not be flipping through the game books during play. The lack of Hit Points, at least the traditional sort, will be a bit jarring to more experienced players. That said, the mechanism for damage is much more keeping in the spirit of Doctor Who. Damage lowers Attributes instead of an arbitrary Hit Point pool, which reflects difficulty moving and thinking when hurt. This seems less abstract and more natural for new players.

My favorite game mechanic, and the one that ultimately reflects the Doctor’s adventures the best, is the way lethal levels of damage are treated. When a character is deeply injured and out of Story Points, the player can choose between two harsh options. Option one is the outright death of your character. Option two is that the character can survive, but burdened with the Unadventurous Trait. This negative Trait makes it more likely that the character will leave the Doctor’s company.

The remainder of the Player’s Guide is dedicated to advice. This might seem old hat to experienced players but, even after a quarter century of RPG playing, I found a lot of worthwhile tidbits. I think this sort of advice is especially important for this product. Doctor Who is such a specific setting and tone that any guidance for players and the GM are appreciated.

The Gamemaster’s Guide starts with the same character creation and action resolution rules as the Player’s Guide. If these were sold individually, I would object to this. In a boxed set, though, repeating the content makes sense. After all, with new players, they will likely be referencing the rules more often than a veteran group. Having the rules in two places is a great bit of convenience for the GM, even one who has been around the block.

The chapter explaining the nature of time in the Doctor Who and the rules, or what can loosely be described as rules, for the TARDIS is a mixed bag. The content isn’t the issue. In fact, the writing is quite good and does a great job spelling out the way timey-wimey stuff works in Doctor Who. What makes it a mixed bag is the fact that Doctor Who is as much about breaking the rules as they are known as it is following them. Honestly, no book can get across the spirit of time and space in the Doctor Who universe better than watching a bunch of episodes can.

Chapter five is a guide to some of the more commonly encountered aliens from modern Doctor Who. A campaign can easily revolve around two or three of these creatures, particularly the Daleks, Cybermen, and Slitheen. Between the well chosen aliens and the creation rules for new ones, there are enough enemies and allies for a fairly long campaign.

The chapter of gamemastering advice is as well-constructed as the similar chapter in the Player’s Guide. It is obvious the advice chapters were put together by knowledgeable players and GMs, not just keyboard warriors. There is a two paragraph sidebar, for example, that gives the best advice I have ever heard for dealing with that most dreaded of player species, the Rules Lawyer. Once again, even if you have been around the block, there is much to admire about the advice chapters in these books.

The final chapter of the Gamemaster’s Guide is a fantastic guide to the art and science of writing adventures. I know I have mentioned it before, but it bears repeating, the feel of Doctor Who is the whole point of playing a Doctor Who RPG. Writing scenarios that capture this feel is difficult, but I think the Gamemaster’s Guide does the best possible job of capturing that spirit.

The third and final book is the Adventures Book. With two fully-formed adventures and a handful of briefs for further adventures, the Adventures Book accomplishes two important functions. First, it gives novices a starting point for running games. With rules as simple as those in this game and a ton of pre-created characters, it would be easy to run this as a one-off right out of the box. Secondly, these adventures provide a good template to start from for GMs aiming to create their own.

In the end, the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space boxed set has a massive amount of content, all of which is well produced and as slick as can be. For the experienced gamer, Doctor Who is a good starting point for one-offs or campaigns. For a reskinner, the content here could easily be welded onto a more robust ruleset. For a group of new RPG gamers, this box is a boon. Easy rules, an evocative setting, and all the tools a novice needs to become a well-rounded gamer are right there in the books. If you are a Doctor Who fan and want to bring timey-wimey adventures to the tabletop, Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space is a great buy.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Matthew A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/19/2011 14:00:19

The biggest complaint I have with the product is that you HAVE to play the Doctor. The older games allowed you to create other Timelords that you could play. The idea of ONLY being able to play the 10th Dr was very disappointing. Sure, include the stats for the various Drs, but let us have our own adventures rather than trying to fangirlishly attempt to insert ourselves into the established canon.

Yes, I know all the other Timelords are dead according to canon... But none of the adventures that would happen in this game are canon either.

sigh Other than this huge disappointment... The presentation is slick. The rules are sadly meh. I'd planned on using it as just a flavor book to read and enjoy... but there isn't enough here for that. If they'd included more stuff from the other regenerations... maybe...

Very much felt like a cash grab instead of a real attempt to turn the Dr Who Universe into a real RPG. Each time I come across it in my "you own this list", I go "damn... what a waste of money."

[2 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Marc T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/13/2011 08:26:41

This is one of the best games I've ever purchased. It really captures the essence of Doctor Who and when you play the game you feel like you're right there in the show. It's fun, easy, and quick. Plus, it makes a great system for recreating some of your other favorite shows (Ever want to play Eureka for example? Maybe a game of Fringe? This system is perfect!)

Not only that, the entire product is extremely polished - a level of quality lacking in a lot of games these days - even the big names. Finally, Cubicle 7 is a great company to work with. I emailed a question and had an answer (and solution) within a day. If you're going to plunk down some of your hard earned cash for a new game, this is the one you've got to get. You won't regret it.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/10/2010 13:35:18

Childhood revisited yet thoroughly contemporary: back in 1963 a very small Megan watched from behind the sofa (the Daleks terrified me!), and now I revel in the relaunch over the past five years... here in my hands is a box which like the Tardis itself contains far more than you'd think from the outside!

Just as the subject matter takes me back to childhood, presentation harks back to early role-playing games: a boxed set, 'all you need to play' even some dice. Purchasers of the PDF version get everything except box and dice, although you'll have to print out cards & counters. The game itself - in both presentation and mechanics - is designed to be accessible to newcomers to role-playing as well as to those who have been playing a long time. While it will, of course, be an advantage to be familiar with the TV show, the general idea of time-travel and adventure is presented clearly enough that the odd player in your group who is not should be able to cope.

For those in a real rush to play, a 4-page Quickstart manages to explain both the concept of role-playing and the mechanics of this game; while there are character sheets for the Doctor and the Companions who've appeared since the 2005 restart of the show. If you prefer a slower approach there are Player and Gamemaster Guides which go through everything in much more detail, and blank character sheets for you to create your own characters.

The game mechanics are straightforward. Each character has Attributes (awareness, coordination, ingenuity, presence, resolve and strength) and Skills, and when a task is to be resolved a target difficulty is set which you try to exceed by rolling a couple of d6 and adding in the most appropriate Attribute and Skill. Players can 'tweak' the outcome by use of Story Points (also used in other ways to influence things to their advantage), which they earn for character achievements and good role-playing. To make life easier, some little cardboard counters are provided to help track Story Points.

The Player's Guide looks at role-playing and what this particular game is about before getting to grips with character creation. If you shy away from playing characters from the TV show but are uncertain about one of your own (or are too busy!), an ingenious addition are some 'archetype' characters where the bare bones of statistics are worked out for you for particular roles, and you add name and personality to suit. The text also touches on the thorny problem of deciding who gets to be the Doctor although it gets no further than "It's up to the GM" and a suggestion that players take turns if agreement cannot be reached. Or, of course, you can have a game without the Doctor - perhaps you are part of Torchwood or UNIT instead!

Character creation is a point-buy system for Attributes and Skills as well as Traits - features that make your character particular adept at something. There are also disadvantageous Traits, taking one of these gives you a few extra points to put in to whatever you're seeking to improve. Names, backgrounds, possessions - generally what you'd expect to find about your person when you go out in the morning (equipment apart from a few special gadgets rarely feature in Doctor Who) - and you're done. There's a chapter on the rules both here and in the Gamemaster's Guide, which are essentially the same with a few extra game-running hints for the GM. Interestingly, while there are rules for combat and damage, they are de-emphasised: unlike most role-playing games, this one is intended to be combat-light true to the TV show - out-and-out brawls are rare, the Doctor generally uses other methods to solve problems and get things to go his way. Quite a few ideas for alternate tactics to going in guns blazing or fists flying are provided. This book ends with a section on role-playing and improving the game, a common feature of books for GMs but a player-oriented one is more unusual and is good reading even if you are an experienced role-player.

The Gamemaster's Guide is arranged in a similar way to the Player's one, although from a different perspective. After explaining what sort of characters you should be aiming for, the Attributes, Skills and Traits are gone through from the standpoint of how to adminster their use within the game. The next chapter looks again at the game mechanics, but again from the position of how to use them to good effect rather than how they work. Then comes the challenging bit: how to run a game that involves time travel with all the problems that can involve with the regular flow of events as most of us experience and understand them in the real world. There are also extensive notes on the process of regeneration and the Tardis. This book rounds off with a chapter on some of the 'monsters' and alien races that you might encounter, and chapters on gamemastering and constructing adventures.

The final book in the box presents a couple of adventures, written with novice gamers in mind. One is set on Earth and one in space, both quite fun if a little limited. Oddly, there is a slight tendency to treat the Doctor as an NPC whereas the obvious intent of the game is to have him a player-character. There is also a bunch of ideas that you can expand on to create a few adventures of your own: all quite neat and original ideas open-ended enough to prove interesting.

Overall, this regeneration presents a game that is pretty true to the spirit of the TV show. It never quite gives a good resolution to the problem of the Doctor being such a dominant character if you choose the 'classic' Doctor and companions grouping, and there are no suggestions for how the Doctor player can work in harmony with the GM to create the right atmosphere and effect... mention is made of his 'super-genius' knowledge of much of the universe, but not of ways in which to make it happen. Neither has any use been made of the rich heritage of the show prior to the 2005 restart, and indeed only ONE Doctor (the 10th regeneration played by David Tennant) is featured. Other than that, it's a promising beginning that ought to empower all role-playing Doctor fans to come out from behind the sofa and take a trip in the Tardis for themselves!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Flames R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/28/2010 07:42:24

A Review:

I have to make a confession. It’s not an easy confession to make since I’ve been a card carrying sci-fi geek all my life, but it’s best you all know the truth. The truth is this: I know next to nothing about the Doctor Who Series. Cubicle 7 games have decided to introduce me (and many others) to the good Doctor in a big way. Although I’m reviewing a full-color PDF of the game (thanks to Cubicle 7 for my reviewer’s copy), they have created a RPG rarity in this day and age–the RPG box set. Yep, for $59.99 game lovers will get three books–players, game masters, and adventures, a handful of blank and filled-out character sheets, and other bits of goodness. All of these are also in full color and look quite smart.

Let’s talk about that smart look right now. The book is laid out in full-color glory. Beautifully bordered by graphics that include the TARDIS, the two-column layout is impressive. Sidebars are off-set in blue and work to keep (a) information separated properly and (b) important information in a good place. For example, the core make-up of characters–attributes, skills, and traits–earn one of the first sidebars. The character sheets look good, but are eerily similar to Eden’s character sheets for Buffy, Ghost of Albion, and Army of Darkness (more on this later). The graphic design and layout team did a stand-out job on this project from the books to the gizmo sheets. About the only thing that isn’t really attractive (or needed) are the Story Points sheet. Sheets like these aren’t really important because I find most groups tend to use chips, coins, or a myriad of other tokens. Printing out oodles of heavily colored paper probably won’t appeal to most groups.

There is a four-page quickstart guide, which is handy for giving to all the players at the table. The player’s guide proves to be a great starting off point for the game. It’s here we find four chapters–an introduction, character creation, basic rules, and a short tidbit on player advice.

The Dr. Who game has a great deal of promise. I thumbed through an opened hard copy at my gaming store and must say it’s a quality made product. Likewise, the PDF looks fantastic.

I have my problems with the system, but I think there are enough differences between it and Unisystem for me to get over it. Some artwork would have been nice, but most license-based games do the exact same thing.

Read the full Review at Flames Rising:

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/17/2010 22:12:04

As far as introductions to either roleplaying or Dr Who, you could't ask for better than this. The rules are written in a clear manner that guides you through everything you need to know to play in the Dr Who universe. The game uses a very simple roll + stat + skill system, with the degree by which you succeed or fail indicating how well (or poorly) you do. As an intro game it not only carefully guides players through character generation and game play, but also holds the hands of new GM's, helping them run their first sessions. If you are not a new player, don't fret! This is not a "simplified" or "introductory" set as some games are - this is the complete game with plenty of depth and detail. One of my favourite things about this game is how the rules really force you to play to the genre - violence is very rarely the answer and players (and villains) are given heaps of other things to do before the situation degenerates into combat. Some players may find the initiative system difficult, for instance, as it is based on your action type and people talking and running away always act before people making attacks. But this is totally true to the source material - I love it. The PDF itself is full colour and gorgeous, but a complete nightmare to print out. I would have loved a print-friendly version, perhaps without the borders, but I am guessing there is some kind of trade-dress requirement with the license that Cubicle 7 have. In all, I think the Dr Who RPG is the best inroductory roleplaying game I have seen in a really long time, worth a look by new players, old hands and fans of the TV show alike.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Allen S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/19/2009 13:25:53

As something of a response to the above review...

It makes sense to me that Cubicle 7 would want to promote the series that is on now rather than the old one, and that the BBC would require this. Nevertheless, as is being proved on the unofficial forum, you can very much do classic Who with this game. And, on the cover of the upcoming UNIT boxed set what do we see? Brigaider Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, an old school Cyberman and Dalek, and a Yeti! I would be quite surprised if there were not also stats for the Third Doctor and maybe even the Second. So the classic stuff IS coming.

I believe a review should concentrate on what the game IS, rather than slamming it for not including stuff which is outside its scope anyway. This game is fantastic! It is fast-paced, rules-light, with systems that emulate the show beautifully. The production values are off the scale..and it comes in a BOX! I have missed boxed sets like this, frankly. A caveat: I was a playtester on this project. I love this game, and I really believe that anyone who gives it a chance will find it very enjoyable. And you don't have to play The Doctor :) It has very good character creation rules (something Time Lord did not have), and you could use it to play Torchwood, UNIT, something like the Sarah Jane Adventures, or a variety of variations on the time travel/battling evil aliens theme..and of course the "Time Lord and his companions in a TARDIS' paradigm works well too.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Steven E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/16/2009 12:43:55

As a long time Doctor Who fan and owner of the two previously published Who RPGs (Timelord and the FASA product), I was looking forward to Cubicle 7s effort- new series, new RPG!

Overall the production value is high- lots of color, lots of photos from the new series. Very snazzy and wonderful to flip through.

The system is a pretty basic, straightforward one- not very complex at all and generally appears to be more story than character driven. Would be a great casual RPG for newbies.

But it wasn't so much what the game included than what it DID NOT include or really mention: the various regenerations of The Doctor, his companions over the years and even some of the better villians from the series long history. It is like Doctor Who started with the 9th Regeneration and Rose with nothing prior to that given much mention at all!

No Jamie or Zoe, no Romana, no Peri, no Ace.... no Ice Warriors, no Zygons, no mention of earlier varieties of Cybermen or Daleks.... none, nada, zip!

If you're a long time fan, these omissions are just glaringly bad. If you just started watching the new series, this is a great product. But frankly I am disappointed- the FASA product and Timelord did a much better job of capturing the WHOLE of Doctor Who, no just the recent adventures and that is a shame.

FYI- Get your copies now! The David Tennant branded product (if rumor is correct) is going to be swapped with the new Doctor, Matt Smith, after this print run.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
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