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FI RS T

The fanzine devoted to Doctor Who Gaming

IS S

U E

ISSUE # 1

MATCHSTICK MEN ADVENTURE MODULE - SPARKLES IN THE SKY ADVENTURE MODULE GAME MASTER ADVICE ON CHARACTER DEATH - PRODUCT REVIEWS - and MORE...

WELCOME TO DDWRPG

WelcometothefirstissueofDiaryoftheDoctorWhoRolePlayingGames(DDWRPG)thefanzinedevoted toDoctorWhoroleplayinggamesandrelatedgaminginformation.Wehopetobringtoyouinformationaboutthe variousDoctorWhoRPGs,reviewsofproducts(currentandretro),adventuremodulesforyoutouseinyourown campaigns,giveyouGameMasterandplayertipsandinformation,aswellassimplybeagoodresourceforDoctor Whorelatedgamingingeneral.TherewillbetimesthatwealsocoverothergamesandRPGsbutourfocusisthe worldofDoctorWho. TheideafortheDDWRPGzinecameaboutinearly2010,whenwewerepreparingforthe25thAnniversary gameofourownDoctorWhoRPGcampaign.Startedon01April1985,weweredoingaspecialgamecelebrating the campaigns anniversary when someone asked how we would be able to play such a big module, with players fromallerasofthegameinvitedtoplayatthesametableatthesametime.Manyoftheplayersatthetablehad takenaturngamemasteringduringthecampaignbutnoteveryoneknewhowonecouldbringtogethersuchalarge group,manywhohadntgamedinyears,foraspecialeventlikethis.Itwasatthattimethatwerealizedthatwe hadalotofgamingexperiencebetweenus.NotjustwithDoctorWhogames,butwithlotsofsystemssuchasDun geons&Dragons,VampireandtheWorldofDarkness,CallofCthulhu,Paranoia,StarTrek,andsomanymorerole playinggamesaswellasboardgames,miniatures,historical,andliveactionRPGsaswell.Thiswasknowledgethat wecouldsharewithothergamersandsotheideatodoaDoctorWhoRPGfanzinewasborn. Thefanzineisnamedforanumberofreasons.OurownDoctorWhogamingcampaigniscalledtheDiversi fiedDoctorWhoRolePlayingGame(alsoDDWRPG),soIwantedtostickwiththoseinitialsforthezine.Theoriginal gamingfanzinethatmanyofusreadmanyyearsagotogetmoduleideasandinformationwascalledtheJournalof theTravelersAidSociety,afanzinewrittentosupporttheTravelerroleplayinggame.Well,wealsothoughtthat theDoctors500YearDiarywasexactlyintheveinoftheTravelersjournal.Sothenameofourzinewasbornfrom theDoctorsdiary,theinitialsofourgame,andatributeto the Traveler fanzine of years past that influenced us to do ourownzinemanyyearslater. As with any RPG experience, it is the interaction be tweentheplayers(andtheGM)thatmakethestorysogreat. Thisfanzineisthesameway.Weareheretoshareourideas withyou.Butthebestideasarethosethataresharedfreely and interactively that make everyones experiences better. Wewelcomeyourideasandsubmissionsaswell.Sendyour articles, module adventure seeds, game tips, reviews and ideastousatseidler@msoe.edu. Intheend,our25thAnniversarygameworked outgreat.Wehad22playersatthetableforanadventure featuringtheCybermentryingtokidnapIronDrakin,theuni versesmostfamousrockstar.Soundssortofcrazydoesnt it. But then again, sometimes thecrazyadventures are the bestones

NickZepoSeidler[Editor,DDWRPG]

DIARY OF THE DOCTOR WHO ROLE-PLAYING GAMES - A DOCTOR WHO FANZINE is published by the Earthbound TimeLords 2010. Issue #1 published 07 August 2010. The fanzine is published for the purpose
of review and enhancement of the Doctor Who television program and its related Doctor Who role-playing games and is FREE. Doctor Who and related photos are copyright to the BBC, and no infringement of their (or anyone else's) copyrights is intended. Articles are copyright of their respective authors. Support the BBC and the program. Contact the Earthbound TimeLords at seidler@msoe.edu . Print Run is Electronic.

ThisfirstissueofthefanzineisdedicatedtoDavidHewett,playerinmyoriginalDiversifiedDoctorWhoRolePlayingGame(DDWRPG)game,module#1(playedon01April 1985)inacampaignthatstillcontinues.Thisissuewasstartedonwhatwouldhavebeenhisbirthday(July7th)ifhehadnotbeenlosttobraincancerandisdedicatedtohim.

REVIEW: DOCTOR WHOADVENTURES IN TIME AND SPACE: The ROLEPLAYING GAME

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In late November of 2009, Cubicle 7, a UK game com pany, released the newest Doctor Who roleplaying game, the first Who related RPG released since Virgin publishings Time Lord game in 1991. But after an almost two decade wait have wegottenthegamethatwehavehopedfor? It seems we have finally gotten an RPG that we can proudlyembraceasbothagoodDoctorWhoproductandagood gamingproduct.Thefirstthingthatstrikesyouaboutthegame isitspackaging.Thegamecomesinacardboardboxwithgreat artwork and graphic design on it. Inside we find The Players Guide,TheGamemastersGuide,anAdventuresBook,aHowTo Play quickstart guide, blank character sheets (x6), character sheet templates (x7), Tenth Doctor and new series companion character sheets (x8), gadget sheets (x3) that can be punched outincludingsomeblanks,asheetofcardboardstorypointsthat canbepunchedout(1 sheetwith174total),sixdice(clearsix sided dice with blue pips), and a flier announcing upcoming supplements that are planned to be published (announcingaGamemastersScreenandtheMonstersandAlienssupplement).Alloftheitemsintheboxarecolor printedonglossypaper,andthemaintwobookshavewraparoundperfectbindingcovers.Alloftheartworkisbril liantandvibrant.Thisgameissimplyabeautifulproductandsomethingthatyoucanlookatfordaysandneverget bored.Theendresultisthesortofproductthatyouwishyouwouldhaveasyourstarterintoroleplayinggaming. Itisasabridgefornewgamersthattheproductispositioned.Thegameassumesthatthereaderisunfamil iarwithRPGs,andwhereasthisoftenslowsdownthereadofagameformoreexperiencedplayers,Ifoundthere minderofthefirsttimeexperiencesomewhatrefreshing.InThePlayersGuide,theideaofDoctorWhoandRPGsis coveredaswellashowtocreatecharacters,thestandardgamemechanic,thebasicsofgameplay,aswellastipsfor howtoplayanRPG.Thetextissimplebutexplanatory.Easyforplayersofallexperiencelevelstounderstand.Lit tleiconsofpsychicpapercanbefoundthatgiveremindersofimportantpointsthroughoutthebook.Redsidebar boxesgiveinformationonNPCsandmonsters,whilebluesidebarboxesgiveexamplesandadditionalinformation. Particularlyniceonthelayoutwasthetableofcontentslocatedonthebackofthebook,thatmadelookinguprules orinformationveryquick. Thecruxofthewholegamesystemisincludedhere,inwhichplayersusea2d6rollincombinationwithskills andtraitstobeatadifficulty.Inallitisasystemthatworksforbothbeginnersandexperiencedplayersandonethat Ifoundworksfairlywell.Thesystemalsoincludestheuseofstorypointsthatallowtheplayertousethemtomake arolloractiongotheirway.Itisasystemthatworksinothergamesfairlywell,andseemsparticularlyappropriate inDoctorWhoespeciallywhentryingtorecreatetheluckyorpositivetwiststhatseemtohappenintheshowfor theDoctorofhiscompanions. The second book, The Gamemasters Guide, gives additional information on how to referee the games. Thereisamoredetaileddescriptionofthebasicrulemechanic,amoreindepthlookattimetravelandTimeLords, asimpleoverviewofthestandard DoctorWhomonsters, aswellastwofairlystrong sectionsonGamemastering hintsandtips.ThisbookwasparticularlyusefulforfirsttimeGMsandwasalsoanentertainingreadforaveteran, asdifferenttypeofgamingstylesandplayerswerecovered,aswellasideasandsuggestionsforcreatingmemorable andsmoothflowinggames.Ifyouvegotalotofgamingexperiencethisbookisstillagreatreadasitremindsyouof whatdifferentplayersarelookingforintheirgamingexperiences. The Adventures Bookdeserves some comments as well. Included in it are a couple of excellent modules,

USAMSRP$59.99 ISBN9781907204111

suchasamorecomplexonefeaturingtheAutons,andamoduleofmediumcomplexityfeaturingtheJudoon.There are also about 20 other adventure seeds included. Unfortunately these adventure seeds only give the proposed situationscharactersmightfindthemselvesin,andnotsolutionsforhowplayercharactersmightsolvetheproblem ordefeatthethreat.WhilethisisnotaproblemforexperiencedGMs,firsttimersmightstrugglewithtellingastory inwhichtheplayershavetostoptheMasterwhenhecontrolsasuperpowerfulgravitationalspaceanomalyknown astheTheGreatAttractorwithoutanybackgroundonwhatitis,howitworks,orwhatweaknessesitmayhave. ThegamesHowtoPlayquickstartguideisasolidadditioningivingtheplayersthebasicswithoutoverlyex plainingRPGsandbeingabletogetoneintothegame.Samewiththecharactersheetsofthe10thDoctorandhis newseriescompanions.Thesemakeplayingforthefirsttimeasnap.However,italsoleansplayersintotheveinof playingDoctorandcompanionadventuresratherthancreatingtheirowncompanionsandhavingtheirownheroes toexploretheuniverse.Formanythisisfine,butmoreadventurousgamerswillwanttobeabletousecharacters that they themselves have developed. While templates are included for characters the players can roll up them selves,thegamepointstoDoctorandcompanionadventuresratherthanothergameswithintheDoctorWhouni verse.PassingsuggestionsaremadeforUNITorTorchwoodstylespinoffcampaignsoradventures(butwiththe Doctor being the last of the Time Lords in the current series this doesnt leave room for other Time Lords in the game).Expandedcampaignsandadventuresarenotexplainedasstronglyastheycouldbe.Whileblankcharacter sheetsarealsoincluded(andlookreallynice),theydonotlendthemselvestotraditional(blackandwhite)photo copying.Iwishtheywouldhaveincludedablackandwhiteversionofthecharactersheetforthispurpose.Thesix blanksheetsincludedinthegamewillprobablyonlylastoneortwogamingsessionsifyouaregamingwithafull table. Theskillpointscountersarenice,asarethegadgetsheets(thoughonceagainthereisnoeasilyphotocopy ableversionoftheseeither).Thedice,originallymarketedasspecialTARDISdiceinsomeoftheprereleasean nouncementmaterialswereadisappointmentastheyweresimplycleard6dicewithbluedots.Youdthinkthatas DoctorWhodicetheymighthaveatleasthadaTARDISononeofthesides.Forlicensingreasonsthegameconcen trates only on the new series of Doctor Who, and does not include any information about Doctors, characters or monstersfromtheclassicseries.Thisisabitofashame,butalsooutofCubicle7scontrol.Thegameexplicitly pointsoutthatthegamecanbeadaptedforusewiththeclassicseriesandinthatbonusmarksshouldbegiven. Overall,Cubicle7snewDoctorWhoAdventuresinTimeandSpace:TheRoleplayingGameisanexcellent additiontoanyDoctorWhocollection,andisagreatstartergamefornewgamers.Experiencedroleplayerswill alsofindthegamebeautifullypackagedandversatileenoughtocreatecomplexcharactersiftheywishtodoso.The gameplayandmechanicsaresolid.Thegamejustmissesperfectmarks.LetshopethatCubicle7putscharacter andgadgetsheetsthatcanbephotocopiedonlineasfreeaccessoriesthatplayerscandownload.Hopefullyfuture adventureseedswillalsoincludesolutionsaswellasthesituations.DuetotherebrandingofDoctorWhowiththe appearanceofthe11thDoctor(MattSmith),theCubicle7DoctorWhogamewillberebrandedwiththenewver sionofthegameplannedforreleaseinNovember2010.CollectorsshouldbesuretogettheDavidTennantversion ofthegamenowiftheywantit.AuthorandleaddesignerDavidF.Chapmanshouldbeproudofhisnewadditionto theDoctorWhogaminguniverse.OurrecommendationistoaddthisRPGtoyourcollectionifyouplantoplayit withitsnewsystem,orevenifyousimplyplantouseitasaresourceforyourexistinggamesystem. 4outof5TARDISes. Supplements for the Doctor Who Adventures inSpaceandTime:TheRoleplayingGameincludeThe GamemastersScreen(picturedleft)whichisnowavail able to purchase [USA SMRP $14.99, ISBN 9781 907204135] and which will be reviewed next issue. Also planned is the Aliens and Creatures supplement (pictured right) which is expected in print in August 2010 at a price of around $39.99. More supplements have been planned to include Defending the Earth (featuringUNIT)andTheTimeTraveller'sCompanion.

CUSTOM DICE FOR DOCTOR WHO RPGs


Forourgroupsbig25thAnniversaryDoctorWhoroleplaying gamewewantedtheeventtobesomewhatspecialsoallplayersre ceived commemorative Doctor Who dice that were made for the game.Photosofthediceareincludedhere.The6sideddicewere laseretchedfromblackandwhite.jpgartworkthatwasforwardedto the Chessex company as part of their custom dice ordering service. Information on this can be found at www.chessex.com . Dice cost $.99 each with a minimum order of 10. Prices drop with larger or ders,withpricebreakshappeningwhenyouorder50,100,ormore dice.Othercolors,styles,andmultisideddiceareavailableaswell, anddesignscanbemadetoreplacevarioussidesdependingonavail ability. The dice, made with whatever custom design you like, are perfectforspecialevents,graduationgifts,partyfavorstogiveaway at a gamers wedding (perhaps etched with the name of the bride and groom and the date), or to commemorate other cool events. Custom dice are a great way to personalize a campaign or event. Evenindividualcharacterscangettheirowndiceatthisgoodprice.

THE INTERNET FULL OF HIDDEN RESOURCES


Every game needs those extras thatmakeitmoreexciting,beitgraphics, maps,orimagesthatcanbringlifetoyour campaign. Searching for resources that one could use for Doctor Who role playing on the internet, we came across the following photo of Nicola Bryant on line. It is a photo that has rarely been publishedandcomesfromher1984cast ing call photo shoot when she was first made a companion in the series and in troduced to the press. Its a nice photo butitsnotjustheretolivenupthepage with a pretty face. It is a reminder to many gamers that spending some extra timeonlinesearchingsitesoffthebeaten pathcomesupwithsomegreatresources thatonecanusefortheirgames. One item we came across online is included on the next page. It is a full map of a TARDIS interior, with a descrip tionforhowtheTARDISmightbestaffed and used. The design was created by a graphics designer who was simply using his imagination to design a TARDIS and how an alternate version, other than the Doctors,mightlook.Itturnedouttobea greatmap,andonethatanyDoctorWho

GameMastercouldusefortheirowngame.Inturnwehaveincludedthemapwefoundheresothatsomeofyou mightuseitinyourowngamesifyouwish.Themapcancurrentlybefoundasapdfdownloadonlineat: http://phaeton99.deviantart.com/art/TARDISPrimeControlFINAL123795601.

MODULE: MATCHSTICK MEN


MatchstickMenisaDoctorWhoadventuremodulesetattheTorchwoodHublocatedinCardiffin2008CE.The moduletakesplacebeforetheeventsdepictedintheTorchwoodminiseriesChildrenofEarthsoTorchwoodCardiff isworkingwellandintact.ThisadventurepresumesthattheTARDIStravelers(whetherusingtheDoctorandcom panyoranothergroup)arefamiliarwithTorchwoodandknowoftheexistenceofthisTorchwoodhiddenbase.The membersofTorchwoodareinvolvedininvestigatingthestrangeandunexplained TheTARDISanditstravelerslandinCardiff,WalesneartheTorchwoodHub(eitheroutofhappenstanceorto refueltheTARDISbytakinginenergyfromthetimeriftlocatednearby).TheTARDISdiscoverthataphotographeris nearbyandhastakenphotosoftheTARDISslanding.Thephotographer,MarcusEberlly,isa25yearoldfreelancer whorunsoffassoonastheTARDIScrewdiscoverthatthathehastakenphotosoftheTARDISanditsmaterializa tion.Ifthecrewgivechase,theymightbeabletocatchhim.Otherwise,thecrewmaygototheTorchwoodHub wheretheywillencounterCPTJackHarknessandtherestoftheTorchwoodteam(theGMshoulddecidethelineup inaccordancewithwhentheywantthisadventuretotakeplace).JackandtheTorchwoodstaffwillbesurprisedto learnaboutthephotographerandtheywilltrytotrackdownthephotographerusingclosedCircuitTVfootageof thearea,andtrackingdowntheyoungphotographerandhishomeaddress.WhethertheTARDIScrewcatchMar cus,orifTorchwoodareabletotrackhimdownathishome,thenextdiscoveryshouldbeasurprisetoallinvolved. PICTURESOFMATCHSTICKMEN OncethegroupcatchesupwithphotographerMarcusEberlly,theydiscoverthatheisscaredandquitewill ingtotalkabouthisbackground.Marcusrevealsthatasafreelancephotographerhehasgottenanumberofphoto graphsofunusualoccurrencesaroundthecityofCardiff,includingstrangehumanoidcreaturesthatseemtowalk thestreetsatnight.MarcuswasinitiallyunawarethatwhathehadgottenphotosofistheWeevilcreaturesthat Torchwoodhavebeentryingtoroundup.Marcusexplainsheshoppedthephotosaroundtovariousnewsoutlets butnonewerewillingtobuyhisphotos,claimingthattheywereahoax.Hethenexplainshewasapproachedabout aweeklaterandhiredbyamysteriousmanwhopaidhim1000($1750)forthephotosandpromisedhimmore moneyifhecouldgetmorephotosofthecreaturesaswellasinformationfromwheretheycamefrom.Marcus thenrevealshehasbeenuplatethroughthenightinCardiffandhasbeentakingmorephotosoftheWeevilcrea tureshehasfound,andhasalsogottenphotosoftheTorchwoodlandcruiseraswellastheTorchwoodteamcaptur

ingsomeoftheWeevils.IntimehehasbeenabletotracetheTorchwoodteamtotheHub.(Ifthecrewhavecaught Marcus,theyshouldreturnhimtotheHubandinformTorchwoodofhiscaptureandphotographs.)Whereverthe groupinterrogateMarcus,hethenagreestotakethegrouptohisapartmentssecondroom.Marcusssecondroom isusedashisphotostudioandiscompletelyfullofphotosofTorchwoodthatarepastedupallaroundtheroom, andalsoorganizedintophotoalbums.ThephotosincludepicturesofvariousWeevils,theblackTorchwoodland cruiser,andphotosofindividualTorchwoodteammembers(Jack,Gwen,Ianto,etc.).Marcusexplainsthathehas madealmost120,000($200,000)sellingphotostothemysteriousman.Whenpressed,Marcuswillrevealthathe issimplytryingtogetenoughmoneytogethersothathecanchoosetotakewhateverphotoshewantsratherthan livinghandtomouthasafreelancer.Hewillalsorevealthathisnextmeetingwiththestrangerisplannedforthe nextevening. ADARKMEETING ThegroupwillsetupastingoperationtoseewhocomestomeetMarcus.Eithersomeonecandressupas Marcusforthemeeting,orhecanbeconvincedtomakethemeetingsolongasheistoldthathecanstillexchange thephotosformoney.AnythreatsdirectedtowardMarcusofeitherviolenceorarrestwillscareMarcustoomuch tomakehimuseful.Hewilltrytoleaveandneverreturnifgiventhechance,butwillbetoostressedtoactnaturally underthecircumstances.Marcuswillgivethegroupthelatestbatchofphotosthatheplanstodeliver(including photosoftheTARDISmaterializingattheHub).Hewillalsorevealthatheplanstomeetthemanatthewaterfront asadesignateddroplocation. Thenexteveningthecrewgotomeetthemysteriousmanwhohasbeenbuyingthephotographs.Players haveachancetomakeperceptionrollstorealizethatthemanisnotalone,butthatheisbeingwatchedfroman othercarwithpeopleinit.Iftheteamconfronttheman,themanwillcallforbackupandthreeheavilyarmedmen will exit the car and take the photos by force and evacuatethemanfromthearea.IftheTorchwood teamarethereortheTARDIScrewhavecharacters thatarewillingtobeconfrontational,thesituation willresultinastandoff,untilsomeonecantalkthe situationdown.Thougharmed,themeninthecar willonlyactinselfdefense.Otherwisethemyste rious man will be prepared for the meeting and awaiting Marcus. If there is a substitute for Mar cus the man will realize it but try to go through withthedealifgiventheopportunity.Ifthegroup moveinonthemanandcapturehimbeforehecan call for backup, the car with his backup team will driveoffpertheirinstructions. THEMYSTERIOUSMAN ThemansnameisTerranceSchneiderand he is a professional mercenary (exSAS) who has beenhiredtogatherinformation.Thecrewwillbe able to trace Schneider to his base of operations which is an old airplane hanger at an abandoned airfield. They can do this if Schneider is captured andinterrogated.Otherwise,ifSchneidergetsthe photosandisallowedtoleavehewillbefollowed there. If Schneider escapes from the TARDIS crewstrap,withsomehelpfromthecharactersor Torchwood teams investigation skills, the group

willbeabletodiscoverthathehasgonetothehanger.Themeninthecarwillleavethehangerlocationaftera shortmomentofcamaraderiewithSchneiderandtalkabouthoweasythejobwas.Schneiderwillsoonbealonefor thecrewandTorchwoodtomoveinandcapturehim.ThecrewwilllearnfromSchneiderthathehimselfwashired togetinformationbyanunknowncontactthatseemstohaveunlimitedmoneyandresources.Schneiderhiredex SpecialAirServicefriendsofhistohelphimwiththisexchangeandasbackuponthedeal. SchneiderrevealsthathehasbeencollectingphotographsandinformationonTorchwoodforthelastmonth, havingpaidMarcusmoneyforthephotos.ThecontacthasmadeSchneiderscanallthephotosandinformationand sendthemtoanemailaddressbelongingtoafreeonlineservice.Inturnlargeamountsofmoneyhavebeende posited into Schneiders account. Enough to pay Marcus and his exSAS friends(a total of 1.5 Million ($2.6 Mil lion)).Schneideradmitstohavingneveractuallymetthecontactheiscollectingtheinformationfor.Hewascon tactedviatheinternetviaonlineadvertisementsforhispersonalsecurityservices,andwentthroughwiththedeal ashewasonlyaskedtocollectinformationthatwasinthepublicandneverwasaskedtobreakthelaw.Theun knowncontactalsodepositedathirdofthemoneyintoSchneidersaccountbeforeheevengotthefirstphotoand thusSchneiderwaswillingtodothework.Schneiderwilltakeoffenseifanyonesuggeststhatwhatheisdoingisa threattonationalsecurity.Hewilldefendhimselfbysayingthatheisexmilitaryandquiteawareofthelinebe tweeninvestigativeandtreasonous.UponinvestigationSchneiderscomputerwillrevealthathehassentmanyof theimagesandinformationtoanemailaddresslabeledinfodomain@freemail.com.Schneiderisnotasvillainous ashemayfirstappear,andaGMwoulddowelltoplayuphismysteriousandmilitaristicnature,butinrealityheis simplydoinganhonestdaysworkasaprivateinvestigator. THETRAILRUNSCOLD...ORDOESIT Thecrewfindthatgettingtothisemailaddressisratherdifficult.Ifhacked,theaccountisempty(evenof spammessages)anddataonwhenitwaslastaccessedhasbeenwipedclean.Theemailaccountcanonlybetraced whenthereisemailintheaccount.Thecrewneedtofigureoutthattheymustsendtheaccountanemail.This caneitherbethenextsetofphotosMarcustook,orevenastandardHelloemailoraspammessage.Aplayer goodatcomputerskills,ortheTorchwoodteamifnoneofthecharactersaregoodatthisskill,cantracethemes sageassoonitissent.Itturnsoutthattheemailaccountisimmediatelydownloadedtoanotheraccountnotac tuallyconnectedtotheInternet! Usingtracertechnology,thecrewshoulddiscoverthattheemailisbeingdownloadedlocallyinCardiff.If playingwiththeDoctor,hecouldusehissonicscrewdrivertosendamessagetotheaccountanddiscoverthatthe messagehasbeendownloadedandthatthemessagefinaldestinationisnotfaraway.Acharacter,ortheTorch woodteam,canalsotraceenergythatresidesfromtheofflinedownload.Whatisdiscoveredisthattheemailac countisdownloadedoffthenetinthenearbyvicinity.Asonicscrewdriver,oraTorchwoodenergytracker,willlead thegrouptothelocationoftheemailaccountsdownloadthemiddleofCardiffBay. DEEPCOVER TheTARDIScrewandTorchwoodteammaketheirwaytoCardiffBayandtracethedownloadlocationtothe middleofthebay.Underthewater,thegroupdiscoveraspaceshiphaslandedandhasbeenhiddenthere.The groupmustusescubageartodivedowntotheship.ThisallowsCaptainJacktomakemanyinnuendocommentsto peopleastheypreparetodonwetsuits,suchaseyeingmembersofthegroupintheirswimwearandfillinghiscon versationaboutopportunitiestogodown.Divingdeepunderthewaterofthebay,thegroupmaketheirwayon boardanalienspacecraft.Theywillbeabletoenterviaanairlocksystem,thatpurgesthewaterfromthelock. Whenfirstenteringtheshipitwillappeartobebuiltofasortofhardcrustedshelllikebiologicalconstruc tion.Therearecomputersonboardtheship,andwithincreaseddifficultyforthealientechnology,players,orthe Torchwoodteamjoiningthem,candiscoverthatthisisindeedwhereSchneidersemailmessageshavearrived. OnboardtheshipareagroupoffouraliensofaracecalledtheSaoul.TheSaoulhavedarkredreptilelike skinandcompletelyblackeyes. Theirheadshavenohairandtheyweardarkpurplespacesuits. ThefourSaoul carryenergypistolsidearms.TheplayerswillgetthejumpontheSaoulinsidetheirspaceship,astheyhavenopar ticularexpectationsofanyonefindingtheminthislocation.Thealiensaresittingbackandplanningtheiractions.If stealthilymakingtheirwayfromtheairlockandthroughthesecondaryareastothemaindeckoftheship,thecrew willdiscoverthattheSaoulareplanningtoraidtheHub.TheyhavenointerestinexposingTorchwoodortheloca

tion of the Hub itself. Their plans are a bit more sinister, depending on who you are. It turnsoutthattheSaoulwanttotakeallofthe Weevils from the Hub, butcher them and sell themontheintergalacticmeatmarketasfood. While the Weevils are a nuisance and can be overly aggressive, they are sentient enough thatthisshouldposeamoraldilemmaforthe characters. It may create a way to get rid of the Weevil problem, but also dooms all the Weevils to death. The Doctor will surely not accept this, and CPT Jack should have his own setofreservationsaboutthisaswell. The Saoul are gathering enough infor mationaboutTorchwoodandtheHubtotryan assaulttobeabletotaketheWeevilsbyforce. TheSaoul,however,arealsoslowtomakede cisions,andtheyareliterallycaughtupinade bate between trying to offer Torchwood moneyfortheWeevils,orstormingtheHubinanaggressiveassault.(TheSaoulhavesimplyhackedbankstoget moneyfilteredintotheirownpaypalaccounttomovethefunds)IftheTARDIScrewandTorchwoodteamhavenot yetdiscoveredthattheSaoulhavethispurposeinmindfortheWeevils,theGameMastermaywanttohavetheSa oul try to trick the group into allowing them to take care of the Weevil problem by removing them regularly for Torchwood,possiblypromisingtoreturnthemtoaseparateplanet.AstheSaoularewillingtopaymoneytodo thisthetimetravelersandTorchwoodoperativesshouldbesuspiciousabouttheirmotivations.EventuallytheSa oulwillaccidentallyrevealthattheydonotconsidertheWeevilssentientandthattheyarenotmenlikethemem bersofmatchstick(Torchwood)ortheTARDIScrew. SAOULFOOD Discoveringtheissueathand,theTARDIStravelerswiththehelpoftheTorchwoodteamwilleventuallyneed toconfronttheSaoulaliens.TheSaoularenotwillingtogiveuponthissourceoffoodandmoneywithoutafight. Thecharactershavenumeroussolutionsattheirhands.Theycanthreatentofloodordisablethealiencraftunless theyleaveandneverreturn(theplayershaveScubagear,andtheSaoularenotwaterbreathersonlyparkingtheir craftunderwatertostayhidden).ItispossiblethatmoreaggressivecharactersarewillingtofighttheSaoulina standupbattle,butwithenergyweaponsthatSaoulareastrongmatch.ItisalsopossiblethatplayerstricktheSa oul into letting them get the Weevils, allowing the TARDIS crew or Torchwood members to get reinforcements (perhapsUNIT)orbettertechnologytodisabletheSaoulspacecraft.IftwoormoreSaoularewoundedorkilled theotherswillgiveup.LikewiseiftheirshipisthreatenedortheybelievethattheirabilitytoleaveEarthisatrisk theywillcapitulatetoanydemandsthataremadeofthem. EPILOGUE Once the Saoul have been dealt with, either by negotiating with them to leave, disabling them and their ship,orbykillingthem,theTARDIScrewandtheirfriendsfromTorchwoodwillbeabletoreturntotheHub.The TARDISwillbepreparedtoleave.CPTJackandthestaffofTorchwoodCardiffmayinvitetheTARDIScrewtothe Hub for a social before everyone departs, but somehow either Torchwood or the TARDIS crew are usually pulled awayfromsuchasocial.WiththesecretofTorchwoodsHubandtheWeevilssafe,thetimetravelerscanreturnto theTARDISandcontinuetheiradventures.

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RETRO GAME REVIEW: WAR OF THE DALEKS

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WaroftheDaleksisoneofthoseoldboardgamesthatyoulookatandsimplythinktoyourself,thismust havethecheesiestgameplayeverandwillbeinterestingforabout5minutes.Andyourconclusionsarecorrect. Butthenyouendupplayingforaboutanhourandahalflonger,multiplegames,laughingandtauntingyourfriends asthenightgoeson,andyousuddenlyrealizethatthegameissosimpleandfunitis,inthewordsoftheNinthDoc tor,fantastic! In1975UKgamecompanyDenysFisherreleasedasimpleboardgamebasedontheverypopularDalekcrea tures.Thegameissimple.Madefortwotofourplayers,eachplayergetsacharacter(nottheDoctor!)andbegins onthestartmarkeroftheircolorontheoutsideedgeoftheboard.Theobjectofthegameissimple,bethefirstto reachtheDalekcontrolcentreinthemiddleoftheboard,thusdisablinganddestroyingtheDaleksandbecoming thewinnerofthegame.Itsonlyoncearoundtheboardasyouspiralinwardtowardsthecontrolcenter.Howfunis that?Actuallynonstopfun.LittleplasticDaleksareplacedontheboardontracks,andeverytimeyoulandona spot that has a black dot on it, you can choose to turn the central Dalek Control Centre which makes the Daleks move,andspinontheirtracks.Youcanonlymoveinonedirectionthough,soyouhavetochoosewisely.Ifthe Daleksplungerorguntouchaplayerspiece,theyareexterminatedandsentbacktothestart(youmuststopturn ingassoonasthefirstpieceistouchedorwhenyouchoosetostop).Thesameexterminationhappensifyouland onanotherplayerintheinnertrack,wheremorethanoneplayercanmove.Playersalsohaveguntokenstheycan placeinfrontoftheirpath.Iftheylandontheguntoken,theyaresafe,andifanotherplayermovesaDalekpast theguntoken,theydestroythatDalekforgood.Ifaplayerpassestheguntokentheycannotmoveitfartherup theirpathandbeprotected.Themostfunpartisthatthegameisfullofexterminations!Asplayersdecidewhich waytopatroltheirDaleks,sometimesmistakesaremadeatpredictingwheretheDalekswillgo.Whototrytoex terminatebyrotatingthecontrolcentreand howtodosoismuchhardertopredictthan onethinksitwillbe.Evenwhenonegetsto the end of the game at the control center, thegamemaynotyetbeover.Onemustlift the Dalek control centers middle column and the panels fall down. If the panels fall and there is an explosion on the place that the character is on, youve exploded the control centre and won, but if the King Dalekfallsandtouchesyourpiece,youare exterminatedandthegamecontinues! Thisgameishoursworthoffun.Its simplicity, engaging game play, and replay value is what makes it so great. Howes Transdimensional Toybox, the price guide forDoctorWhocollectables,hasanearmint collectablepriceof50forthisgameandit iswortheverycentinmybook.Thissortof funmaynotbeeveryonescupoftea,butas theFourthDoctorsaid,Whatsthepointof beinggrownupifyoucantbechildish?If you dont enjoy this game, you are not a truegamefanatic. 5outof5TARDISes.

BOARDGAMEDENYSFISHERGAMES(1975) TTCOLLECTABLEPRICENearMint50($75$100)

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MODULE: SPARKLES IN THE SKY

SparklesintheSkyisaDoctorWhoadventuremodulesetonEarthinVictorianScotlandandisashortadventure thatcanbeplayedasaoneshotorasaonesessionordiversionaryadventureinanongoingcampaign.Thisadven turemodulecanberunwitheitheragroupfeaturingtheDoctororanothergroupoftimetravellingplayers.The adventurewasinspiredbythesongFirefliesbythealternativemusicgroupOwlCity.

TheplayersfindthemselvesonEarthneartheendofsummerin1880CE.Thecharactersaresimplyspend ingthedayrelaxingonthestreetsofasmalltownintheScottishcountryside(nameandexactlocationarenotcriti caltothisplot,butwelikedcallingitOwlCity).Attheendofadayofshoppingandenjoyingthemselvesinthe Victorianera,thegroupreuniteandmeetfordinneratanoutdoorcafe.Enjoyingeachotherscompanywhileex plainingtheirdayscommonadventures,thecrewareeatingoutsideandrelaxingasduskapproachesanditstarts gettingdarkoutside,withtheskyawonderfulcolorofdarkred. Therestauranthasoutdoorgaslights,butbeforetheyarelit,thedarkredskyisfilledwithstreaksandspar klesthatseemtocrackleastheyfilltheair.Charactersfailingawarenessrollswillthinkthatthesearejustcheap fireworkshighinthesky.Charactersmakingtheirrolls(ortheDoctor)willimmediatelyknowthatthisisanunusual occurrenceandhasanextraterrestrialorigin.Thesparklescontinuetofall,notburningoutlikefireworkswould. Someofthesparklinglightsseemtofallonsomeoftheroofsofthetown,andsomefallallthewaytotheground. Thesparklescoverthegroundlikeashowerofsparks. Playersmaygotoinvestigatethesesmallglowingemberlikesparkles.Theyseemlikesmallglowinginsects orfirefliesuponcloserexamination.Theydonotmovebutcontinuetoglowlikesmallwhite,andsometimesgreen, LEDlights.Playerswithamagnifyingglass,microscope,sonicscrewdriver,tricorder,oradvancedscanningdevice willlearnthatthesmallglowingobjectsareinfactasmalllivingfairylikecreaturescalledTinks.Thesameistrue foralloftheotherglowingbitsthatarescatteredthroughthetown,layinginthestreetsandhavinglandedonroofs andinthenearbyfields.Thereareliterallymillionsofthese.Somepeopleinthetownarecarryingaroundthese smallsparklesfromthesky.Insomecaseschildrenmaybe steppingonthemorcollectingthem.Inanycase,thecharac tershavetosecureandhelpcollect(andprotect)asmanyof these sparkle creatures as they can. Convincing certain townspeopletohelpmaybedifficult. ThesituationisthatthesmallglowingfireflylikeTink creatures are extraterrestrials whose worldspacecraft (the size of a car) broke up when entering Earths atmosphere. Having been small and light enough to survive the fall, mil lionsofthemfelltoEarth,andmanyofthemhavesurvived (and likewise many have perished). The Tinks are friendly andhelpful,butarecurrentlyscaredandworried,perceiving the monstrously sized humans (from their point of view) to bedangerousandhostile.Thisisbecause,asthehumansare unawarewhatthesparklesare,theycontinuetostepon(kill) andcollect(capture)them.TheTinkshavesmallwingsand canfly,andwouldbemistakenforfirefliesiftheirlightswere togoout,whichtheygenerallydonotunlesstheyarekilled (in which case the glow disappears over about 6 hours not unlikeafadingchemicallightstick). The first Tink that players encounter, named Bahell, willbeamazedthatitcancommunicatewiththecrew,asno otherhumansseemtolistentotheirpleasformercy.Bahell willexplainthattheTinkworldshipwashavingproblemsand astheyapproachedtheplanet,theydecidedtotrytomake planetfall,butastheshiphasbeentravellingformonths,the

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pilotswerenotaswelltrainedastheyhopedandtheirapproachintotheEarthatmospherewasattoosharpanan gle,andastheyenteredtheatmospheretheirshipcameapart.Bahellbegsthecharacterstohelpthemsaveher speciesasmuchastheycan. OncethecharactersrealizethattheTinksarefriendlyaliens,theywillhopefullytrytosaveasmanyofthe Tinksaspossible.Despitewhatthecharacterswish,itwillnotbepossibletosavealltheTinks.Thisisnotthechar actersfault,afteralltheTinkworldshiphadacatastrophicreentry.BahellishappyifanyTinkscanbesaved,as thereisnohopeotherwise.TocollectandrescuetheTinkstheplayersneedtoconvincethetownspeopletohelp. Thingsthatcanmotivatethemincludethefollowing:thepromiseofmonetaryreward,appealingtotheirgoodwill, orsimplytellingthemthetruth(whichwillnotshockthem,surprisingly).Oneofthetownspeoplewhoiseagerto helpisa20yearoldmannamedJames.Iftheplayersconvincehimtotalktotheothertownspeople,hewillrally thevillagetohelpandcollectupthestrandedaliens.Conflictforthemodulecanbefoundhere,assomeofthe townspeoplemaynotbewillingtohelp,andthetownspreacherwillthinkoftheTinksaslittledevils.Theplayers withtheaidofJamescanconfrontthethesetownspeople,andiftheplayersdefeattheringleaderoftheresisters inastandardstandupbrawltherestwillrelentandhelp.Thehonorwonorlostinsuchafistfightwillbeenough toswayopinionoftheothers.ItwilltakethetownspeopleanumberofhourstohelpcollecttheTinks,andreturn ingthemalltothecafisthebestcourseofactionasacollectionpoint. Bahell,astheTinksvoice,willinformthecrewthattheymustrecovertheirshipsantigravitydriveunit,so thattheycantrytorebuildtheircraftandcontinuetheirjourney.BahellwillexplainthattheTinksaremigratingto theirmatinggroundsandtheymustcontinueon.Jameswillvolunteertohelptheplayerswiththissearch,andBah ellwillinformtheplayersthatthedrivelookslikealargecylinder(fromtheTinksperspective).Theplayersusing eitheradvancedtechnology,orsimplysearchingmayfindthetube.Jameswillrecommendusingthechildrenof thesmallcitytolookforit,astheyhavethekeenestsenseofperceptionfordetails.Theantigravitydrivecylinder hascrackedopenandsomeoftheantigravityelementshavespilledoutinwhatlookslikeafinepowder.Theplay ers,children,oranyoneelsewhotouchthefinepowderwillfindthemselvesbecomingverylightandfloatinginto theair.Onecancontrolonesmovementbysortofjumpingoffthingsorswimmingthroughtheair,buttheanti gravitypowderwillmakeitseemasifpeoplearefloatingorflyingiftheyareexposedtothepowderdirectly.Peo pleexposedwillfloatbacktothegroundafterashortperiodoftimeandthecompleteeffectwearsoffafterabout onehourunlessagainexposedtothepowder.Thepowdergivessomeonetheeffectof1/20thofgravity,which makesagreatantigravitydrivefortheTinks.Acigartubewouldbeanadequatereplacementforthebrokendrive unit,andtheplayersorJamescansuggestthisasareplacementasthepowderiscollectedfortheTinks. IfalliscollectedandtheTinksaresaved,anewworldshipcanbeconstructedoutofalmostanything.The Tinksdonotbreatheashumansdo,andtheirinterstellartravelonlyrequirestheirantigravpowderengineandan enclosureforthemtobeinsidesotheycancontinuetheirjourney.Theplayerscancreateorconvertalmostany largesizedobjectintoanewworldship.WhenthisisdonetheTinkswillwanttoshowtheirgratitudeandwillper formsomeoftheirritualdancesforthehumanswhohavehelpedthemandsavedtheday.Theadventureshould endwiththeTinkscelebratingwiththehumansandBahellthankingJames,thecharac ters,andtheotherhumansastheotherfairylikealiensflyanddanceandwelcomethe townspeopletojointhem.AfterthecelebrationtheTinksleaveintheirshipandasthe suncomesup,thepeopledisperseandreturnhometocatchuponsleep.Jamesthanks thecrewandbidsthemfarewell,astheTARDIStravelersreturntotheirownspacecraft. JameskeepssomeTinksthatcannolongertravelinanopenjarandiswillingtonurse thembacktohealth.TheseTinkswillhappilylivewithhimuntiltheysoonnaturallydie. Playersthatareastute,oronreturntotheTARDIS,willdiscoverthatJameswas infactSirJamesMatthewBarrie(pictureright),betterknownasJ.M.Barrietheau thoroftheplayPeterPan,ortheBoyWhoWouldntGrowUp.Clearlyhisstorywas influencedbythisexperienceandincludesthecharacteroftheTinkBahell(Tinkerbelle) andpowderthatcanmakechildrenfly.Thisshouldbeahappyrevealattheendofthe adventure.

Attheendofthisadventure,wesuggestgivingtheplayersacopyofthesongFireflies byOwlCityasareminderofthestory,andfewwillseePeterPanthesameagain.

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GAME MASTERING TIPS: LET GOD SORT THEM OUT A LOOK AT CHARACTER DEATH
Every Game Master has that moment when they need to make that most difficult decisions for the first timedecidingtoletthedeathofacharacterstandornot.WhetheritisafirstfortheGMinanygame,orfor thenewcampaignthatyouarecurrentlyplayingitisalwaysamomentthatsometimesstunstheGMintowonder ingiftheyareplayingright.Well,thisarticleisheretoreassureGMsthatcharacterdeathsarenotonlyaccept able,butsometimesevennecessary. ThefearthataGameMasterfeelswhenacharactersdeathcomesupduringthegameisonlynaturalfor manyreasons.ItisthemomentthattheGMwondersiftheplayersare GM TIPS ON FAIR PLAY consideringthemafairandproperinterpreteroftherules.Itisthemo ment when some may wonder if they are a good storyteller, and for The following are some fair play tips someGMsthemomentthattheywonderiftheplayerwillstillbecon that will help a Game Master ensure tinuingtoplay with thegroup afterthis particular game. It is also the that a character death doesnt become timewhentheGMwondersiftheplayersareactuallyhavingfuninthe aproblemfortheirgroup. game.Justaswithrealdeath,itisthemomentwhenotherswonderifit Tell your players deaths are perma is all really worth it, and what is the purpose of life (in the game at nent whentheyfirstjointhegameand least). thattheDoctorWhouniversedoesnot GMs, and players, must remember that in order for a role haveresurrectionsorreincarnationsfor playing game campaign to be exciting, there needs to be the threat of humanslikegamessuchasDungeons& dangeranddeathforthoseinvolved.Ourfearofdeathiswhatgivesus Dragons (except for Time Lord regen the adrenaline rush of excitement when we see a good action movie, erations of course). Tell players that a watch Doctor Who, or engage in a great roleplaying game. Without deadcharacterisdead,likeAdric. consequencethereisnofearorworry,whichallowsustoexperience(in safety)thoseemotionsthatmakeushuman.YoudontwantyourRPG Explain the game systems rules for tobesosafethattheplayerscansimplybeemotionlessCybermenand death to all new players before the walk their way through your plots without concern. Good games fea game starts, such as when explaining ture the excitement of overcoming a deadly situation and surviving. thehitpointsystem.(Ex.Youhave60 Oneofthereasonsthatourgamegroupstaysawayfromplaying hit points, at 6 points you are uncon games thatfeature theDoctor and companions is that this takes away scious,at0youaredead,onceyouare thedangerthatthecharactersarein,asweknowwhenalmostallof at 31 no medical help in the universe theDoctorsregenerateandthefatesoftheircompanions.Ifthecharac cansaveyou.) tersarenotinanymortaldanger,thenthegamecannotcreatethatim Announce the rolls target number mersive level of excitement and consequence that makes RPGs so in and the resulting consequences before volving.IfinanadventureyouareplayingtheFourthDoctorandSarah the roll happens. (Ex. On a 7 or less the Dalek hits you with a laser blast, 8 ormoreitmisses.)Thismakesthedice andnottheGMthevillain.

Ifthereismorethanonetargetthat theenemiesmightshootat,besureto make the target random (roll a die to seewhogetshit),unlessthereisagood reasonfortheenemytomakeachoice. (ex.CPTJackgetsshotatbytheDaleks, because he has shot at them with his laser rifle, and Rose is unarmed.) Try tousethediceasarandomizerasoften aspossible.

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(continuedfrompreviouspage) Besuretobefairaboutsituations.If a character has a good argument for why they should not have been tar getedinacertainturn,hearthemout preferably before you make any dice rolls. Reason out the situation and let the dice decide the result as per the previoussuggestions.

Applyyourrulesevenlyandfairly.If one player gets a bonus for hiding be hindabox,besuretogivethesamebo nustoanyothersaswellunlessyoufirst describe an action that changes that situation, and then be sure to explain the change with the context of the game. (ex. CPT Jack is harder to hit because he is behind the box. The Daleks are now moving forward for a betterangle.RosejoinsCPTJackbe hind the box. The Daleks now fire at RoseorCPTJack,butthereisnobonus for being behind the box because the Dalekshavemovedup.)

Make important rolls in your game in the openandnotbehindascreen, especiallywheninhighdangerorcom batsituationsthatmayresultinachar acterdeath.Thisisthesinglemostim portant tip on this list! This ensures thattheplayersknowthattheircharac ters fate has been decided fairly and randomly.Theirtimewastrulyup,and itwasnottheGameMastersfault.

If tension is high, have the players roll their own dice to determine their fate (such as damage). It cant be the GMsfaultiftheyrolledtheirowndice!

As a GM, once you make the ruling that a character has died, do NOT changeyourmindorreconsider.Doing so makes players lose respect for you and allows them to believe that they can change fate in your campaign world.Onlyifaplayerhasatrulycom pelling reason for why something was unfairshouldyouconsiderachange.

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Jane,onecantquiteallowthemtobekilledasweallknowthatSarah Jane survives to live at Bannerman Road and that the Fourth Doctor onlymeetshisendfallingfromaradiotelescope.Thethreatofcharac terdeathinanRPGneedstonotonlybepresentbutalsoreal.Thisis whatmakestheplayersthinkouttheiractionsratherthansimplytest ingthewaterstofindsolutionsfortheadventureathand.Inagreat game, the players truly worry about their characters mortality. For thisreasonweencouragegameswithoriginalscharactersintheDoctor Whouniverse. Playersbecomeattachedtotheircharacters,andoftenachar acter is a manifestation of a players personality and sometimes even their hopes and dreams. It is important that a Game Master under stand that the players often have a vested interest or attachment to theircharacters.RPGsplaceapartofyouintothatdangerzonethat wejusttalkedabout.ThisisalsowhatmakesRPGsexciting.Because ofthisplayertocharacterattachmentadeathwillhitthemabithard. Thisisespeciallytrueiftheplayerhasneverexperiencedacharacters death before. Game Masters need to understand that while danger mustbepresentforagoodgame,somustacharactersattachmentto theircharacter.Agamewouldlackjustasmuchexcitementiftheplay ersdidnotcareiftheircharactersmightmeettheirendornot.Inor der for a game to be exciting both danger and a desire for character selfpreservationmustbepresent. Withboththeseelementspresent,wehavetheelementsofan exciting game or campaign, and with it, we also have the possibility that a character may not survive when the odds catch up to them or theplayermakesanerrorinjudgment.ThisispartoftheRPGexperi ence.Butjustastherearelawsofphysicsintherealworld,thegam ingworldhassomerulesthatshouldbefollowedtomakesurethatwe dontunjustlyharmourplayersandtheircharactersunjustly.Theside bar here (GM Tips on Fair Play) that started on the previous page, givesexcellentadviceforGMstoensurethatastheyrunthegamethey create a fair environment for all the players involved. Without this senseofjustice,characterdeathsbecomethebattlegroundformany player/GM arguments. If the advice in the sidebar is taken and fol lowed, and environment of understanding and justice is created that avoidsmostofthesesortsofoutofgameargumentswhenacharacter

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NEVERbringanypersonalgrudgesor arguments to the gaming table.Often thisismucheasiersaidthendone.Fol lowing the previous tips will make it hard for any player to argue that the GMwastryingtokillacharacterinten tionally.Butevenwiththatsaid,afair and respected GM will never try to in tentionally kill a character, and will not bring any grudges to the game table. Thisisthesecondmostimportanttipon thislist!

deathhappens.Fairplayisthecruxofavoidingargumentsorproblems atthegamingtable,andacharacterdeathisusuallythestrongestand most direct catalyst that brings the issue to the forefront in an argu ment.Fairplayavoidsnotonlytheoutofgameproblemsacharacter deathcanbringbutalsowinstheGMandplayersamutualrespectfor eachotheratthetableandalsoaningamefeelingofreality. GameMastersshouldalsotreatadeathasagenuinedramatic momentinthegame.Itwillforsurebeonefortheplayerwhosechar acter is involved. When a GM plays up this drama (by having a villain gloatoverthedeath,ortheNPCsreactinshock)itcreatesamemorable momentbefittingtheevent.Thiscreatesastrongergameandamore understandingenvironmentbytheplayer,realizingthatthedeathwas notjustablipinthegamesradar,butatruedefiningmoment.Some timescharactersdiebecauseofstupidmistakesordecisions,buttreat ingthemomentwithdignityanddramaticeffect,evenifoverasimple error, creates a level of suspense and interest in the game for all the players. Allplayersreacttoacharactersdeathdifferently.Someplayers take the death of their fictional persona in stride, while others take it particularlyhard,somegetangryattheGMorevenotherplayers,and someevencryatthetable(Iveseenithappen)!AGMshouldsimplybe preparedthatadeathissometimesapersonalandemotionalmoment for the players. Accept this and give the players their opportunity to

Ifyouradventuremodulehasacom plicated plot, a boss with special abili ties, or a particularly potentially deadly ordangerouselementthatmightcause a characters death, be sure to write down the dangerous elements and theirconsequencesandhowtheymust be overcome in your GM notebook be fore you begin the module. If players claim you made up the threat or that you singled one of them out, you can show them that the deadly encounter wasplannedandthattherewasinfact a solution at hand. With this written downitshowstheGMhadnomalice.

Bewillingtoletaplayergrieveabout a characters death. Players get at tached to their characters and no one wants to lose their imaginary friend, so let those players remember their charactersgreatestmomentasneeded. Thismightbeatthemomentofdeathin thegameorattheendofthegame.

Do not insult or taunt the player abouttheircharactersdeath.Theloss of a character can be a very personal moment. Being a jerk about it, laugh ing, or trying to make someone feel even worse, isnt cool. It also reduces thedramainthegameitselfandmakes for a less dramatic or epic moment in game. The GM may also need to keep otherplayersincheck,andastheleader atthetabletheGMshouldbeprepared forthisaswell.

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grieveorventifneeded.Thismayalsoheighteningamedrama,butdo notallowaplayersrealworldemotionstohijackthegame.Afteramo Give the character an in game me mentortwo,refocustheplayersandsay,Thisdeathshouldnotbein morial service or funeral. Thisletsthe vain,whatdoyourcharactersnowdo?...andcontinueonwiththead other characters remember the fallen venture.Realizethatthiscansometimesbeawkward,butlife,andthe character in their own way, and also game,goesonafterdeath.Playeremotionscanbedealtwithmorefully creates a module that often brings out afterthegameends. the best or funniest moments for the Characterdeathssometimesinterferewithplotarcsorstorylines playersjustlikearealfuneral.Some thattheGMhascreated.Andofcourse,sometimessuchastoryarchas timesawholeseparatemoduleforthis beenmadetofitthatspecificcharacterwhojustdied.Thislossofmo isbest. mentumofthestoryarccanhappen,assometimesacharacterhasspe As the GM,ifyouevertrulyfeellike cific information or knowledge of events that have happened that the you should not have killed a character restofthepartydonothave.TheGMmayhavetorebuildthisplotarc orallowedittostand,you do have the so that other characters can solve it. One recommendation in a cam powertocreateastoryreasonofwhy paignistolettheplotarcsit,andnottoreturntoit,untilthepartyhas thecharacterisnotreallydead(ex.The reintegratedwiththenewcharacter.Thenwhenreturningtotheplot, bullets that appeared to kill were actu makeitabitlargerandmoreominousafterallacharactersdeathset allystunningbullets,thedeadcharacter backthegoodguysplansabit,andthiscancreateanepicthreatthat was actually a clone replaced earlier in has been building. A seasoned GM will replant the seeds of the story the module, the apparent death was arc,sothatotherslearnaboutwhathappenedandthethreatrearsits thevillainsplottocaptureacharacter, headagain. TheDoctorWhouniverse,isofcourse,special.Ifacharacterisa themodulewasalladream,etc.)! TimeLordtheygenerallyhavetheabilitytoregenerate.WhiletheDoc torhasoccasionallysaidonscreenthathecandieratherthanregenerate,thebestadvice(andtogivecontinuity tothegame)istosimplyallowtheTimeLordcharactertoregenerate.ThisadviceisgivenbecausetheTimeLord character,liketheDoctor,isusuallythecommonleaderineachgroup(ifplayingastandardDoctorWhostylecam paignasopposedtoaderivativecampaignsuchasUNITorTorchwood)andisgenerallythecharacterthatkeeps thegrouptogether.SomeGameMastershavesuggestedarollshouldbemadetoseeiftheTimeLordsurvives andregeneratesratherthanthisbeinganautomaticallysuccessfulevent,butthisauthorthinksthattheregenera

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tionshouldbeallowedwithoutcomplicationsimplytocreategrandcontinuitytotheepiccampaignathand.What would Doctor Who bewithout this defining trait of the Time Lords? Plus, nothing would bring a campaign to a fasterhaltthatagroupofcompanioncharactersstandingaroundwonderinghowtoleavenowthattheonlypilot oftheirTARDIShasperishedandwithhimorherthesecretofhowtooperatethetimemachine... Thisdebatesetaside,whenaTimeLordcharacterdoesregenerateitcreatestheopportunityforthegame tobereimagined.EacheraofDoctorWho,andeachnewregenerationoftheDoctor,hasbroughtwithitanew themeorfeeltotheprogram.WitnessPetrweesUNITyears,theFourthDoctorsKeytoTimearc,theNinthDoc torsBadWolfconnectionsandsoon.Thesedifferenterassetanewtonefortheseriesandsoshouldaregenera tionsetanewtoneorstoryarcfortheGameMasterscampaign.No,dontdivertfromyourexistingstoryarcjust becausetheTimeLordregenerates,butusetheregenerationasacatalysttointroduceanewfeeltothateraof thegame. RegenerationsalsomeanthattheTimeLordcharactermaylookdifferentoractdifferently.Againagreat waytorenewplayerinterestinthecampaign.RomanasregenerationinthestoryDestinyoftheDaleksseems toimplythatTimeLordscanchoosehowtheylook.AGMmaychoosetohavearegenerationriddledwithcom plicationssuchasinCastrovalvaorTheTwinDilemma,butwehavefoundthatallowingtheplayertocreate thenewpersonafortheTimeLordworksbestandallowssomecontinuityintheTimeLordspersonality.Suchre generation complications are only interesting when they happen as an occasional occurrence rather than the norm,somostregenerationsshouldjustsimplyoccurandtransitiontoanewpersonafortheTimeLord. Characterdeathsshouldntbecomecommonplace.InmyownDoctorWhocampaign,wehadanunfortu natestringofdeathsthatoccurred.32deathsoccurredin33modules!Inoneadventuretherewasevenatotal partykill(TPK),inwhichallthecharactersdiedorregenerated!Thiseraofourgamehasbecomeknownasdeath rowandwhilethegameplaywasgenerallyfairatthistime,therearestillplayerswhohavebadfeelingsabout thistimeinthegame.Someplayerswholostmanycharacterswouldstopputtingasmucheffortintotheircharac terscreationbecausetheywouldlosethemsofast.Asmentionedatthebeginningofthisarticle,youneedboth dangerandadesireforselfpreservationtomakethegameexcitingandthiswasstartingtoslipinthecampaign astheplayersstartedcaringlessabouttheircharacters.Itcreatedanenvironmentinwhichtheplayersbecame paranoid,didnottrusttheGM,andalsodistancedthemselvesfromtheverycharacterstheycreatedasapsycho logicaldefensemechanism.Whilemostoftheplayinthiserawasfair,theserapidfiredeathsthreatenedtobreak upthegaminggroup.Muchofthishadtodowiththereactionsplayershadatthetable.Besuretotreateach characterasimportantwhenyouaretheGM,andrememberthatitisalrighttogivenewcharactersthebenefitof thedoubtandletthemescapetheirfirstfewdeadlyencountersevenifthedicesayotherwise. AnextendedcommentshouldbemadeaboutTotalPartyKills.WhileTPKsdohappen,theyshouldberare. TheGMshouldbesuretopointoutthelevelofdangerthattheplayersareinwhensomethingsuchasthismight occur. In one adventure weran, the party was shooting weapons at electrical crea tures in a spacecraft, and the walls of the shipwerestartingtobucklefromlaserfire damage. If the next player missed their shot, the spacecrafts hull would be breached and the whole party would be blownintospaceandkilled.Itisimportant to give the players knowledge or intuition rolls of the danger at hand, so that when they make such decisions they at least knowthattheresultswerechosenbythem. Thisistrueofanydeadlysituation,buteven more so when their actions may kill their entire group. Ensuring the players under stand the gravity of their decisions takes the edge off any ingame death and also rampsupthedrama.

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Inaroleplayinggame,especiallyatimetravellinggame,adeadcharacterisnotalwaysdead.AGMcan alwaysrunaretromoduleandreturntoacertaineraofthegameandallowplayerstoplayamodulewithaparty lineupfromthepast.LikewisetheTimeLordcharactercanalwaysreturntoadifferenttimeandencounterthe previouscharacterorparty.Modulesofmissingepisodesorreunionmodules(likeTheFiveDoctorsorwhat everTimeLordyouhave)arealwaysafunplay.Givingplayersachancetorevisitsomeoftheirfavoritecharacters alwayscreatesagreatmomentinacampaign.Thisisofcourserecommendedonlywhenyouhaveatleastagood historybuiltaroundthecampaign.Thesenostalgiastoriesreallygiveplayersachancetofleshouttheircharacters andrevealhiddencharacterpointsthatwerenotdevelopedduetotheiruntimelydeath,andareusuallygreatfun toplayaswell.Neverruleoutsuchafunopportunity. AGameMastershouldneverfearacharactersdeath.Sometimesadeathisevenneededtoinvigoratea campaign.Aslongasthemomentwascreatedandplayedfairly,andtreatedwiththemelodramaandexcitement such an important moment deserves, a characters death will add to the excitement and the epic nature of the game.Playerswillunderstandandacceptthemomentaslongas allwasplayedfair,andtheeventwillalsoallowareinventionof the character party as a new character is introduced. Some of themostdramaticmomentsintheDoctorWhoTVserieshave come at the expense of companions deaths, such as Katarina sacrificing herself to help the First Doctor and Steven in The DaleksMasterPlanandAdricsdeathtryingtosavetheplanet EarthfromtheCybermeninEarthshock.Thesameistruefora roleplayingcampaign.Deathcanreinforcetheplayersmotiva tionsandremindtheplayersthattravellingtheworldandsaving the universe from destruction is not without danger or conse quence.Itmakestheadventuringpartysvictoriesevensweeter.

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Send your contributions, articles, comments and correspondence to: seidler@msoe.edu

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