Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Armchair Review: DWAITAS -- The First Doctor Sourcebook

I recommend Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space -- The First Doctor Sourcebook for two target audiences. The first audience: the fans of Doctor Who who want to get more material on the first incarnation of The Doctor; the second audience: any RPG GM looking to set up a campaign similar to Doctor Who but without the Doctor constantly saving the day.

Wait, what?

Let me explain. This incarnation of The Doctor is delightfully illuminated by these two quotes:
" Back when I first started, at the very beginning, I was always trying to be old and grumpy and important, like you do when you're young."
-- and this one --
" Later incarnations of the Doctor invite interesting people to travel with them on the TARDIS, to see the galaxy to their young eyes and to feel young again. The First Doctor appearsold, but he's by far the youngest of the Doctors... he doesn't want companions for that... In this era, arguments and disagreements between the TARDIS travelers could be much more bitter and long-lasting than in later years. One side or the other often has to be dragged into the adventure... This Doctor is also physically frail. While he does occasionally demonstrate superhuman endurance or strength, he is easily winded and has to rest frequently. He often relies on Susan or another companion for support. "
This Doctor is knowledgeable, but that knowledge may not necessarily be shared with you or for your benefit. This Doctor can be just as responsible for getting you into the adventurous situation that you're in, as he could be instrumental in getting you out of it. He's new at this heroic adventuring thing, and is for the most part an explorer who is driven by curiosity and superiority and an alien sense of righteousness and possibly  a thousand other emotions that are passingly similar to human ones. Thank goodness his granddaughter is so nice.

Book Breakdown

I don't think I like this horned look for
Vikings. Perhaps I shall rewrite it...
It has a lot of black & white pictures from the series which help add to the classic feel of this period of the series. Most of the material is more geared toward setting up the campaign feel, the campaign elements, and a handful of write-ups and rules-related material to help run the game using the DWAITAS system (easily translatable to other systems).

Chapter One really focuses on the overview and setting the tone for a First Doctor era or First Doctor-esque campaign. Really useful for planning key elements and themes of what is essentially a romp through various mini-settings and genres.

Chapters Two through Ten are a set of synopses plus game mechanics and character write-ups for twenty-eight First Doctor adventures, with pictures from the episodes. And it takes us from the beginning of the First Doctor's documented career to the end. We are introduced to well-known villains like the Daleks and the Cybermen as they first appeared, along with some less popular but important characters like WOTAN, a Timelord known as the Meddling Monk, and The Celestial Toymaker.

Recommendation
Buy this book if you're a compleatist fan of Doctor Who, or want to run a First Doctor campaign, or really want to do your own take on a new Timelord exploring his corners of the galaxy, out from under the shadow of the Doctor!



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