I’ve been trying to read the rule book for the old FASA RPG, but it is stiff going. It seems to be a mixed bag of trying to make rules and trying to. A FASA Doctor Who role-playing game resource site. FASA – Doctor Who RPG – The Iytean Menace – Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free.

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Of course, the argument is not nearly as cut and dried as we tend to make it. The best published scenarios combine the two types, using some linear encounters and some free-form encounters.

Linear encounters are used to introduce the scenario, drawing the players and the characters into the action, giving them a reason to enter the scenario environment and meet the scenario NPCs. The actions in each of the free-form encounters affect the players in the short term.

In the long term, another set of linear encounters lead the players into yet another area of free choice, perhaps the climax of the scenario. Linear encounters are often used to wrap up the scenario, bringing it to a satisfactory conclusion. Using encounters of both types is like building a structure with tinker toys, with the sticks being linear encounters and the knobs being the free-form encounters.

The linear encounters give some structure to the free-form encounters. The combination allows the scenario to have a well-defined story line— not as well-defined as purely linear scenarios, but much more defined than those that are purely free-form.

The combination also allows players freedom to choose their action— not as much as in purely free-form scenarios, but far more than in those that are purely linear. What he is describing here is what I call situation oriented play. Planetfall, for instance, opens up with a linear sequence that leads in to a more free-form situation. A lot of digital ink has been spent since then explaining why his views here are wrongheaded. He can perhaps be forgiven for this due to the fact that the case for why things were being done the way they were was never made plain in any of the rule books for the games that he was reacting against.

His best advice centers on nailing down the climax of the adventure, but leaving the players to get to it whichever way they choose:. The players earlier actions affect the details of the finale, but its basic nature remains the same. The exception might be a case where they have blundered so badly that the finale would certainly kill them all — in which case, the merciful GM will drop a hint that they are over their heads, and let them give up and run for home.

A more sophisticated adventure will have several possible finales, depending on decisions made by the players during the adventure. John Wheeler and Steve Jackson provide a comprehensive breakdown on how to craft an adventure plot that typifies the sort ideals that mid-eighties gamers were looking for. While not necessarily better or more mature, it does acknowledge player autonomy while creating something much more recognizable as being a story.

The entire milieu was a bit daunting. And yet… occasionally there are crunchy, essential rules laid out there that are so important that you cannot understand the Game Operations Manual without them. So next I needed a scenario. The cost for some of the old supplements for the game are just plain crazy anymore— there was nothing for it but to roll my own.

I picked an old Classic Doctor Who episode off of Netflix and watched it. Then I watched it again while furiously taking notes. Then I worried and fretted for days. When the convention finally rolled around, I still had gaps in my outline. The night before my game, I could not sleep due to the traffic on the highway outside my window. In an exasperated state, I sketched out sort of a dungeon area for the final climatic scene.


All of it was built around an elaborate puzzle that I felt would be the perfect homage to the the writer of the episode. Sure, I was serving as a facilitator and a judge… but the game almost entirely belonged to the players.


So what the heck xoctor, then…? And why did it work? So the game seemed to succeed due to four things. Somehow, the players were able to contribute to the shared reality at least as much as the game master. Finally, those old episodes from the seventies seem to be a really good fit for gaming.

This was all surprising to me. Hopefully this information will be useful in helping you plan your own Doctor Who game. Or even better… maybe it can help you not plan for your Doctor Who game! All the components of doctir modern designs were in evidence… but dpg like FASA Doctor Who contained an unusual mix of old and new.

This break down should be enough to get you up to speed for a quick convention game. An odd combination of point buy and faea. This page was particularly inspiring to my teenage self back in the eighties. It really seemed at the time that the game system was a serious attempt at… well… a serious game. Because a resolution chart is de rigueur in the eighties…. I was not really rlg master material at the time, but I would spend hours paging through the lavish books of the set attempting to find some clue of how to play the game.

I stayed up late on Saturdays to watch episodes on public television… I bought novelizations… I bought the figures and even an adventure module for the game… but I never could wrap my head around it. Nowadays, though, I eat games like this for breakfast. Yeah, it was a total wbo off of a novel from the seventies, a comic book from the eighties, and elements of an otherwise completely horrible science fiction series… but you know, it was my rip off.

Hey, what the heck has happened to my brain…?! Ah well… never mind. I was pleased with the results, so I ran off six copies of the various Logs and started filling them up with the idea that I could someday pull them out for inspiration. On the off chance that you might want to do the same, let me tell you the basic features of these systems:. He follows this up with a breakdown of three campaign types: His best advice centers on nailing down the climax of the adventure, but fasw the players to get to it whichever way they choose: In an attempt to give the players the full FASA Doctor Who experience, I let them make their own characters instead of giving them pre-gens.

The character design process immediately engaged the players. They were cooperating from the start because individual characters could not get every single skill. The payoff of having the players make their own characters continued throughout the game. If my scenario design or game mastering ability was ever mediocre, the players were still playing their characters. No matter what else was happening, the players just seemed to take satisfaction from this.

And dkctor the course of the game, the characters continued to develop and fssa into focus. Players were intimately familiar with the new series, but not experts on all the classic episodes.

I lucked out in that no one had seen the episode I was using as the dictor of the doctof.

Nobody played any characters from the TV show. Our hwo was set before the new series, so there were any number of Time Lords running amok. It really is carte blanche to be anybody, go anywhere, and do anything.

A lot of people decry the complex combat system in the game, but at the convention table with the pressure of having to entertain new players all that seemed to survive of it was the initiative system, AP costs for movement, and attack rolls. Players in this system are immediately competent, unlike a lot of other role playing games from the mid eighties. Interestingly enough and in keeping with the source materialthe non-combat oriented characters found plenty to do in combat situations besides combat actions.


Skills got checked… and sonic screwdrivers got used. Finally, the strangeness and the epic sweep of the classic episode that I used for the adventure was so mind blowing… the players seemed content just to gradually figure out what casa going on and why.

Once they had accomplished that, they had their own ideas about how the story should conclude. All of my elaborate game design ideas stayed safely in my notebook— the players designed their own adventure. Note that you must set your scores before you roll for your Special Ability. All of these will give you an automatic related skill at maximum level, but you want to be sure to get a bump in ability level as well so that your Saving Roll chances are improved.

The other attributes will give you skill points equal to your attribute score times your fass level.

Higher attributes mean more points to spend on related skills, though. My understanding is that it is sort of a combination rrpg detect lies, danger sense, and luck.

When players ask to roll it, they are effectively asking for a hint or a clue. I think this corresponds to the television series where the Doctor just randomly seems to realize odd facts that are critical to the plot. ITN also functions as a general perception attribute: One thing to keep in mind when you are skill shopping: The random tables for personality traits and appearance may seem quaint, but having the Gallifreyan characters reroll on these when they regenerate is a highlight of the game.

The Doctor Who Role Playing Game – Wikipedia

Failure results in inaction, but if you are severely wounded rph could also result in additional wound damage. Rules for the Wound Heal Rate: Rules for the Fatigue Heal Rate: Successful General Medicine for wound treatment rolls can double the Wound Heal Rate for up to 48 hours.

A character gasa does not increase their starting END score from its base of 6 must make saving rolls to remain conscious after taking any amount of fatigue or damage is taken. The roll in this case is 3 or less if you took wound damage fass 5 or less if you took temporary damage.

So put some of that attribute point fund into END if you want to be able to exert yourself at all!!!

FASA Doctor Who RPG Resource Site

On the off chance that you might want to do the same, let me tell you the basic features of these systems: The focus here is entirely on terrestrial worlds. You know nothing else about the system except for these— there is no star map, no information on gas giants or eoctor belts, nothing!

Not only is it extremely likely for there to tpg two or more terrestrial planets in the same star system, but those worlds are also extremely likely to share the same orbits!

Density is assumed to be earth-like, so your gravity level determines planet size and diameter. There is no hydrographics roll like in Traveller, but there are two independent tables that tell you how many continents and oceans there are.

Together they can create awesomely impossible results.