Who could you be? Imagine you could go anywhere: this world or countless others, encountering strange alien races, new cultures, or hostile environments. Now imagine you could travel to any era as a Time Lord. The Humble RPG Book Bundle: Doctor Who from Cubicle 7 is here to make it possible!
Players and game masters, please attend carefully! Humble Bundle, the online store offering digital gaming packages in exchange for charitable donations, is currently offering an extensive selection of sourcebooks from Cubicle 7’s Doctor Who RPG. A donation of $15 or more unlocks downloadable PDFs for The Doctor Who Roleplaying Game core rulebook, The Time Traveller’s Companion, The UNIT Sourcebook, three adventure modules, all eleven of the individual Doctor sourcebooks, Cubicle 7 coupons, and more! Donations support the BBC’s Children in Need, a charity long associated with Doctor Who. If you’re a player or a gamemaster, now is the time to complete your electronic collection. If you’re curious about the Doctor Who RPG, there’s never been a better opportunity to get started! The offer is available until August 2nd. Visit Humble Bundle to choose your package.
It seems like only yesterday that the Doctor and Selene were stepping out of the TARDIS and onto the beach at Arrowdown, ready to face an uncertain future and terrors untold. That was “Ghost Town,” the inaugural module in our ongoing campaign based on the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game from Cubicle 7. It launched an unforgettable run of adventures that has taken our players from the battlefields of Roman Britain to the flowering jungles of Vortis to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean in the belly of the Titanic. The Doctor and his companions—the robot Master, Selene, Mohana, and Alison—have toppled madmen and undead gods and alien killing machines. The Daleks and the Divinity came closest to ending their journey, but with carefully chosen traits and a few well-played story points, our heroes triumphed over evil time and again. The Doctor and the TARDIS are eternal. On television and at the gaming table, their story will never end.
That’s important to remember, as change is coming. The Dark Dimension is about to be renewed. The incarnation of the Doctor brought so memorably to life by Richard E Grant in “Scream of the Shalka,” star of our campaign, has dark days ahead as our game narrative is jumping forward to depict his defiant last stand. The time has come for an historic first in our campaign, the first regeneration—and the moment has been prepared for. Players and game masters will be switching roles, and there will be a shake-up in the status quo.
A regeneration is imminent, but that doesn’t mean we’re done telling stories with the Nth Doctor. Though we’ll be introducing the Doctor’s next incarnation and a new take on the ongoing story arc, there will be plenty of opportunities to play out the untold stories of the Nth Doctor’s era in the future. Going forward, the Dark Dimension will feature twice the Doctors. This will expand our ongoing original narrative and add some variety to the proceedings. Ultimately, each player in the campaign will have the opportunity to create their own Doctor. It’s been great fun developing an original take on the mythology of Doctor Who using “Scream of the Shalka” as a starting point. That mythology is going to take on a greater richness and vibrancy as our cast of Doctors begins to expand.
Who is the companion destined to board the TARDIS during its time of peril? Will the Doctor at last break free of the oppressive control of the Time Lords? Can the Master resist his hideous true nature? What is to be the Doctor’s final fate, and what sort of man will emerge from the ashes of his regeneration? Time, and a roll of the 2D6, will tell.
In a fortnight’s time, Doctor Who will return to television for what looks to be a stunning new series on BBC One. Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor continues to prove full of surprises. (And the new series is accompanied, of course, by a brand new edition of the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game released by Cubicle 7!) Shortly after the show’s return, our own tabletop version of Doctor Who will have its latest series premiere, although there are some changes in the cards for these dice-driven misadventures in time and space.
The Dark Dimension campaign represents an alternate timeline to the new series of Doctor Who. Diverging from the established television continuity has allowed us to develop an original mythology, and the exciting second series of our role-playing game advanced that mythology by leaps and bounds. (Consider the image posted here as the box set cover for Series Two. Behold the manic grin that has greeted—and terrified—so many of the NPCs in our adventures!)
After failing in his desperate effort to eliminate the corrupting influence of the Divinity from the timestream, incurring their wrath as well as the judgment of the Time Lords, the Doctor found himself face-to-face with with his mortal enemies once more in “Divine Retribution.” His greatest fears were rendered reality. The resulting confrontation precipitated a seemingly inevitable betrayal as Selene pledged her loyalty to the Master, earning the Doctor’s ire and nearly costing him the TARDIS. The decisive “Planet of Ghosts” ended on a somber note as Mohana bid farewell to her predecessor in the Doctor’s stead, leaving Selene frozen in cryogenic stasis, bound for Earth, unaware of her fate.
When our campaign continues next month, we’ll fast-forward into a new era. One of the ways in which we hope to keep our campaign fresh is by regularly rotating roles. Each player will have the opportunity to serve as game master, and our campaign’s characters and mythology will sometime shift as a result. Soon a new game master will take charge, sharing a fresh take on these stories and introducing fresh player dynamics as well.
The upcoming series of adventures will focus on the Doctor (Richard E Grant), the Master (Derek Jacobi), and Alison Cheney (Sophie Okonedo) as they travel through time and space, their destinies dictated by the mysterious mandate of the Time Lords. While the events of our first two series serve as a prelude to “Scream of the Shalka” (2003), our next few stories will take place after the events of the animated BBCi webcast. The Episodes page here on the blog outlines the order of adventures and campaign continuity and will always be up-to-date with the latest installment.
If you’re looking for something to tide you over during the countdown to “The Magician’s Apprentice,” now is a fine time to pick up that copy of “Scream of the Shalka” on DVD. Spend an evening revisiting a memorable reinvention of our hero and have a glimpse at what might have been if the history of Doctor Who had jumped a time track and taken a different course. The story of that sophisticated, saturnine Doctor and his ominous trials and tribulations continues, right here, in the weeks to come.
“We’re the least heroic heroes in the world! We just walk around getting beaten up and captured… It’s not even like a heroic duty. It’s not like we bravely tried to save the universe and failed. We just got into a brawl!”
We’ve learned that when you’re not able to sit down with friends at your own gaming table, it’s nice to be able to observe others at play on blogs or YouTube. Thanks to the power of the internet, role-players are able to imaginatively take a seat at each other’s tables. One of our favorite Doctor Who role-playing campaigns presented online is undoubtedly the HMS Ignorance series, hosted by NinjaConor. A master of gaming, playthrough documentaries, and quick-witted commentary, it’s no surprise that Conor is a marvelous game master and his Doctor Who-inspired campaign is non-stop fun.
In the great tradition of Jago & Litefoot or the Paternoster Gang, HMS Ignorance serves as a sort of light-hearted yet action-driven Doctor Who spin-off. The series stars Kevin as Cricket, a roguish Ood, Sue as Pussy, a timid Catkind, Manuel as Bob, an even-tempered human cyborg, and Conor himself as Commodore 65, the hulking robot sidekick. Together, this band of misfits and fortune seekers find themselves bumbling into some of the weirder corners of the cosmos, running from monstrous enemies and inadvertently saving a few planets in the process.
On YouTube, recordings of each adventure are accompanied by a series of humorous still images in which the universe of the Ignorance and its crew is rendered in Lego form. The cast of characters is endearing, the players provide endless laughs, and the stories themselves offer moments of breathtaking action and genuine suspense. Not only are these sessions wildly entertaining, they also offer noteworthy insight into the gameplay of Cubicle 7’s Doctor Who role-playing game. Looking for an example of the Doctor Who RPG rules in action? Look no further. Above all, these adventures are fun! They provide a true model for role-playing in the Doctor Who universe.
All of the stories—from the inaugural adventure, “HMS Ignorance,” to the suspenseful “Sector 12B,” currently unfolding—are available online. Visit NinjaConor’s playlist for HMS Ignorance to watch in slack-jawed disbelief as Cricket and his eccentric crew save the universe, entirely by accident.
In celebration of fifty years of Doctor Who, our own TARDIS team decided to launch a new role-playing campaign based on Cubicle 7’s Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space. The first game begins on 23 November, just hours before the premiere of the fiftieth anniversary special, “The Day of the Doctor.” We’ve chosen to establish this blog to serve as the official chronicle of the campaign. This site will offer an episode guide, conveying the essential details of each adventure as it takes place. We’ll also post fiction, artwork, character stats, and other gameplay materials. Our intention is to keep an official record and to allow the rest of you to follow along with the fun at home.
We’re so excited to get things underway that we’ve prepared this teaser poster to set the mood. Our campaign begins with the adventures of the Nth Doctor, modeled on the character played by Richard E Grant in Scream of the Shalka (2003). A direct successor to Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor, the temperamental but spirited Nth Doctor allows us to forge an entirely new continuity going forward. Devastated by his personal losses, controlled by shadowy forces, the Nth Doctor is a conflicted hero. Those mysterious assignments to be undertaken in the universe’s darkest corners are sure to reflect his troubled persona.
As celebrating fifty years of history and monsters has reminded us, there can never be enough stories set in the Doctor Who universe. Prepare for all-new adventures in time… and space!