One of the most exciting aspects of the game (besides it's very existance) is the fact that, as well as being designed for both the experienced and first time gamer, it's going to come in a deluxe box set.
With a suggested retail price of $59.95 (or around £36.50), the box is believed to contain:
- a 144-page Gamemaster’s Guide,
- an 86-page Player’s Guide,
- a 30-page Adventures Book,
- Four-page Quick Start Guide,
- Pre-Generated Character Sheets,
- Blank Character Sheets,
- Gadget Sheets,
- tokens and dice.
Last year Cubicle 7’s Angus Abranson was quoted as saying:
“We’re aiming to try and use it to bring new players into the hobby as well, because in the
One thing of which we can be pretty certain is that Cubicle 7's current agreement is for a game based purely on the current iteration of Doctor Who (the era that began with The Ninth Doctor in 2005) and not the Classic Era (although I'm sure fan adaptations of the older material will pop up on the web within minutes of the game hitting the shelves in October).
“We may…do seasonal box sets, so players can go back and play through a particular season,” Angus continued, adding the possibility of books based on various antagonists.
At the time, Cubicle 7 was also hoping to publish an RPG based on Torchwood, using the same rule set, by the end of 2009 (this seems unlikely now, given that the Doctor Who game isn't coming out until October - but would make a brilliant Christmas surprise).
Bear in mind none of this comes from recent Cubicle 7 press statements, so may now have been superseded by behind-the-scenes licensing negotiations with the BBC or simple practical considerations.
The same goes for what little I have been able to glean about the actual rules system, although this sounds about right for the game's target audience.
All I know (from the only online preview of the game I could find) is that the core mechanic is "a simple mechanism of Attribute + Skill + 2d6 versus Difficulty Number", which was enough to convince me.
The Renegade Time Lord's sneak preview also included a mention of characters having Story Points which "allowed you to use useful gadgets (like Sonic Screwdrivers and Vortex Manipulators), roll extra dice, or force a simple success".
It all sounds very solid and will hopefully win a large number of Doctor Who fans over to the wonderful world of roleplaying.
I genuinely hope that Cubicle 7 is sticking to this - or a similar, simple (but traditional) system - and haven't strayed into the "indie games" arena with this product.
Not that there is anything wrong with "indie role-playing" (although I would call most that I have encountered "story telling games" rather than "role-playing"), but if I see phrases like "tagging aspects", "giving player's narrative control" and "framing scenes" I won't be very happy - and will almost certainly be less inclined to actually play this game.
That simply isn't a style of gaming that an old grognard like myself is interested in running (or having to explain to my players either).
Let's not forget that a Time Lord - like The Doctor - can travel to any place or period in history anywhere in the universe and this game is going to be able to let us play that out.
If Cubicle 7 get this right, their Doctor Who RPG mechanism could become the ultimate generic/universal role-playing system!