Some time ago I heard that Cubicle 7 Entertainment is working on a new Doctor Who RPG. Since I am a great fan of Doctor Who and Torchwood I was of course very excited. But at the same time I was a bit skeptical: Could this really work?
The Cubicle 7 website doesn’t give us any hints on what the focus of their roleplaying game may be. The most important question will be what the players will be. Will they be part of the Doctor’s companions? Some random guys who live in the “Whoniverse” or even Time Lords like the Doctor? Let’s speculate a bit…
The Doctor Who TV show is pretty much focussed on the adventures of Doctor Who and his various companions who are travelling through time and space, saving civilizations, correcting wrongs, solving mysteries and ensuring that London is visited by evil aliens at least every Christmas. One possible concept could be that the player characters are those companions that the Doctor has picked up in any place or any time (preferably on Earth) and now they are travelling with him in the TARDIS. Although this is my favorite idea of a Doctor Who game it has it’s flaws. At first the GM is faced with playing the Doctor all the time. What could be fun for a few sessions will probably turn into a problem fast. In fact the Doctor becomes the GM’s player character. And in the series it’s usually the Doctor and his favorite “plot device” aka his sonic screwdriver that saves the day. So the players move to the 2nd row.
The “whouniverse” is a big place, so why not make it your playground? The Doctor (and his companions) could be recurring characters that you’ll help in one adventure and that will save your hide in another session. But how do you allow the players to travel time and space like the Doctor does? The only thing that comes to mind is make them agents of that mysterious time agency Jack Harkness had been working for. That would allow them access to 51st century technology and time travel. So it’s probably best if the players are not some random guys but “time agents”. Hmm, this could work.
The Doctor tells us at least in every other episode that he’s the last member of his race, that his homeworld was destroyed in the time war. But that didn’t prevent the Master to come back. And although the Doctor thought the Daleks were gone for good too, they reappeared several times. So, it’s totally possible that there are still some Time Lords around. I hope that’s not what Cubicle 7 is aiming for with their Doctor Who RPG. Having a lot of very powerful Time Lords running loose in the “whoniverse” would probably destroy the special atmosphere of the series. And the fact that the Doctor is the last one of his kind makes him something unique.
Perhaps the creative minds at Cubicle 7 have come up with a lot more ideas on how a Doctor Who campaign could work. What are your thoughts on the subject? Could a Doctor Who RPG really work and what kind of campaign would you like to see?