Tag Archives: Doctor Who Adventures in Space and Time

RICK AND MORTY ONE SHOT (PART 2)

Click here for part 1.

 The Game

I wanted to keep the overall improvised feel of the TV show so I went with the system used by the Doctor Who. In this system it utilises a pretty famous improve tool ‘Yes and…’. The player rolls 2d6 plus an appropriate Attribute and Skill and then compares this to a set difficulty. The margin of success determines what outcome they get:

–          Yes and… – Oh my god you’re on fire, you succeed in what you are doing and you gain an extra boon.

–          Yes – You succeed (Good for you).

–          Yes but… – You succeed but it didn’t go as you planned.

–          No but… – You don’t  succeed but you salvage something.

–          No – Nope, just no.

–          No and… – You’ve really cocked up, not only have you filed but things escalate getting worse.

This outcome is built into the very resolution mechanics of the game. Stuck in a groundhog day loop Morty attempts climb up to the where the driver sits on a moving coach to convince the driver to push the plasticine horse pulling the coach harder. This is a Normal task requiring Morty to use his Coordination and Athletics. He rolls a 9 and gets a total of 13. Yes he manages to climb from inside the coach to where the driver sits but he loses his balance and knocks the driver off leaving him alone to drive the horse driven coach.

Story Points give the player characters the ability to control the story and allow themselves to do sweet stuff. Experienced characters like Rick already have Traits that allow them to do sweet moves and therefore have less Story Points but green adventurers like Morty get far more as they are more malleable. This may be simply bumping up your failure to a success, emulating Rick’s scientific expertise, introduce something new to the scene or saving yourself from death.

Summer has just broken herself out of a Galactic Federation interrogation room finding herself in the station’s garage filled with ships. She’s seen Rick fly one of these things before, drunk so how had can it be. She spends a Story Point and she is able to use Rick’s Attribute and Skill to fly the tiny space shuttle instead of her own.

In the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game the combat system nearly almost always lethal and when it isn’t damage comes straight out of the characters Attributes. This is elegantly handled with the systems Initiative mechanic, talkers going first in the Initiative order with runners second, doers third, and lastly attackers.

Rick finds himself face to face with Scanners Rick and Morty. Scanner Rick is sitting in a chair pointing a laser pistol (which does lethal damage) at Rick, he intends to simply shoot Rick where he stands. Luckily, Rick has got something to say so he goes first.

 The Outcome

All in all the adventure was fun and was resolved in the 3.5-4 hours of play and the players enjoyed themselves, resulting in some good bits.

Every time I use the Vortex system used in conjunction with the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game I find the resolution system satisfying. Especially in a one shot adventure players has no compunctions with spending their Story Points. But it does take some time. The player needs to roll calculate their outcome, the GM then tells them how well they failed and then waits to see if they would like to spend some Story Points to bump up their success. In a one shot I find this can bog things down a big pace-wise especially in a fast paced shoot at the hip show like Rick and Morty.

A thorn for one of the players was that he felt that one aspect of Rick and Morty  are the bits and the scenes. Expressing that a Fiasco playset or using Primetime adventures might give that feel.

Would I run Rick and Morty again? Yes.

Would I run it in the same Fashion? Probably not.

If there isn’t one already I would actually consider creating a Fiasco playset for Rick and Morty.

Otherwise I might try my own chimaera of a system to handle it. I would utilise Primetime Adventures to help build scenes and the characters and use the resolution system from Itras By. These are also inspired by improve but are simply cards that can be randomised.

Until next time Wubba Lubba Dub Dub.

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Rick and Morty One Shot (Part 1)

Thursday night and its my rotation as lead game master at our local Brisbane one shots. This week I had decided as an experiment with a Rick and Morty themed game. Rick and Morty for those of you unfamiliar with the hit animated comedy from Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon. It is a show about a jaded cynical scientist, Rick and his impressionable grandson Morty where they juggle inter-dimensional travel and domestic life. The show blurs the lines between improv, dark humour, existential horror and philosophy.

Research

I did my research leading up into the game, mind you this predominately consisted of watching Rick and Morty and looking at common the tropes. It also consisted of researching systems that might best handle the tropes and themes of the TV show, also listening to the RPPR actual play of their own Rick and Morty adventure using a homebrew of Monsters and Other Childish Things.

System Choice

The three systems I felt that would handle a Rick and Morty adventure were; Primetime Adventure, Cubicle 7’s vortex system and Monsters and Other Childish Things (a mod of the One Role Engine).

Primetime Adventures – This is a game that’s very mechanics are aimed at creating scenes in your own or your favourite TV shows. One player takes the role of the producer while the other players take the roles of the actors/characters in the TV show. The game itself is built into 4 acts and is then broken down further into scenes where each player takes a turn and deciding if their character wants a character development scene or if the character wants to succeed in something furthering the plot. This system’s beauty lies in its high level approach to enable the telling of stories of any genre by breaking down the TV structure and gamifying it.

Monsters and Other Childish Things – In this system each a player’s PC is a child but that child also has a beast friend. A monster and they get up to all sorts of michief. Rolls are quite simple and a number of d10 are assigned to each of the child’s attributes. In RPPR podcast altered the system slightly by making the child Rick and the monster Morty. This worked well in the podcast as each of the players played a Rick from another dimension with their own Morty. I ended up avoiding this system for this very reason as I was thinking of running a game with Rick, Morty and some others in the supporting cast.

Cubicle 7’s Vortex System – The Vortex system is the one used in the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game. Rick and Morty have many parallels with the Doctor and their companion. Travelling through space and facing existential risks at every adventure. Its just that Rick ad Morty don’t bounce back from the existential horror that the Doctor and his companions do. The system itself utilises those techniques used in improvisations like; Yes and, No but and such forth. The system also uses Story Points that give power to the player to improve their roles or directly change the world. When it comes to combat it is generally lethal and generally pushes players to talk or run their way out of trouble. This is also reflected in how initiative is handled with Talkers going first, then Runners, Doers and finally Fighters.

I ended up going with the Vortex system, as I am very familiar with the system and I was wondering how the system would handle the genre.

In the next part I will give the outcomes from running, including character sheets for Rick, Morty and Summer.

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Sneak Peek: Doctor Who Temporal Master Sourcebook

tmcoverimageHere is a sneak peek of the cover for the unauthorised Doctor Who Sourcebook for the Temporal Master setting. The Temporal Master campaign was created by Justin Alexander of the Alexandrian and written by myself. The sourcebook is not authorised by BBC or Cubicle 7 and is a fan made sourcebook.

Once completed the sourcebook will compile the individual adventures written for the Temporal Masters campaign written over the course of 2016.

It will also act as a guide for creating your own alternate adventures in the Temporal Master setting. This will elaborate on what was covered in November’s edition, Another World.

At this juncture I have not got a schedule for completion of the final product. Once I get an idea of how InDesign works, I will be able to give a better estimate of the time required to complete the project.

 

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Time Lord Ascendant

Now with complete control over time and space, the Temporal Masters are a strategic tour de force. Through the guidance of the Temporal Master Victorious, commander in chief and visionary of the pure timeline any opposition has been met with ruthless alterations to their personal timeline. Time and space is at an impasse with those races still capable of time travel are paralysed by the threat of extinction or simply do not have the capability to mount a resistance. The Doctor has been desperately trying to  undo the damage done, feeling responsible for his progenitor’s work.

The Doctor and his companions have arrived at the Temporal Masters’ stronghold to put an end to the Temporal Masters’ reign one way or another. The Doctor is unsurprised to find an old acquaintance with the mantle of Temporal Master Victorious. The companions find themselves amidst the glory of the Temporal Master capitol where they find out that they are not the only ones unhappy with the Victorious’ reign, as various factions are poised to strike and depose their leader.

The Time Lord Ascendant marks the end of the Temporal Masters adventure arc, 12 months of Doctor Who Roleplaying Game related adventures. A big thanks goes out to the Alexandrian it was his blog post outlining the Temporal Master story arc that inspired Doctor Who RPG Temporal Master campaign. Thanks also needs to go to BBC as the creators of Doctor Who and Cubicle 7 whose Doctor Who Roleplaying products inspired the project.

The project started as a challenge to myself to; A) share the adventures I had written for my gaming group and to share them, B) to produce something that I would be happy with, and C) to actually meet my own deadlines and finish the project. Overall I am happy with what I have achieved.

Next year I plan to at some stage compile all the adventures into one Temporal Masters sourcebook using InDesign rather than Microsoft Word.

I hope you enjoy the adventures over the past year!

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Andromeda Burns

Few races have wielded the power to destroy a galaxy. The last were the Time Lords when their waged their time war with the Daleks. They unleashed untold devastation using super weapons from the Omega Arsenal. It is only fitting when the Temporal Masters would unearth one of these great weapons and turning it against the Andromeda galaxy.

After previously witnessing the abrupt disappearance of the Andromeda galaxy, the Doctor and his companions have travelled back in time before the galaxy’s destruction. There they find themselves within a maze station circling the super massive black hole. Stranger still are the prisoners of war made to run the maze pursued by Weeping Angels.

Can the Doctor and his companions navigate this maze and stop the Temporal Masters from destroying the Andromeda galaxy?

Andromeda Burns is an adventure written for the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game. It is the next arc of the Temporal Masters campaign setting created by the Alexandrian. Though it is intended for the the campaign setting it could be easily adapted for single play.

As always I would love to hear your feedback especially since I have published the adventure before getting an opportunity to run it with my group. The adventure can be found here.

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Black Hole Bluff

It’s finally here! Last month’s adventure is a little late due to my Korea/Japan vacation.

In this adventure the Doctor and his companions are pitted against a cult of logicians planning on using a causal feedback loop for their own benefit. The characters arrive at Synch Hole station, a particle accelerator in orbit around a super massive black hole experimenting with temporal particles. Upon arrival the crew seem to be acting strange and facts don’t seem to add up.

Black Hole Bluff is an adventure written for use with the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game. It is intended to act as a standalone adventure but can be used as a precursor to Andromeda Burns of The Temporal Master campaign.

Due to my little holiday and scheduling issues, I’ve also fallen behind on presenting this adventure to my group. This means you will be the first to see it but this also means I’m not entirely sure how this scenario plays out. This means I am eager to hear your suggestions and questions. Please find the adventure here

The next adventure will be the next major arc of the Temporal Masters campaign, Andromeda Burns. I endeavor to get this completed this month but running late as I am might make it difficult.

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The Master Plan

This month I present the next installment of the Temporal Masters Campaign… the Master Plan.

A defector is in the care of the Bi-galactic Time Enforcers (FKA Tri-galactic Time Enforcers). The defector has information about the Doctor’s granddaughter, Donna. News that she is dying on the planet of Apalapucia, a planet once visited by the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory. A planet that is home to a deadly disease that kills Time Lords.

The Master Plan was originally cooked up by the Alexandrian and features a familiar enemy that has insinuated themselves into the early history of the Temporal Masters. This is an adventure intended for use with the Temporal Masters campaign, the Twelfth Doctor and his companions.

During this campaign I had two major concerns; one was how to handle the Alliance of the Daleks adventure (which I am pretty happy with now) and how the Temporal Masters came to be. Regarding the TMs origins I wanted it to make a certain amount of sense drawing on canon but I kept it slightly convoluted because…well its Doctor Who. I will actually be very interested to hear what you think with how I handled their creation within the adventure.

As always the collected adventures from each month can be found here and be sure to leave and comments or feedback. Hope you enjoy.

Till next time…

Ps. Next month I will be travelling abroad so for those of you waiting in anticipation for the next adventure. Heads up. I am very likely to be late in delivering it.

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The Genesis Extermination

This month I present the sequel of sorts to Alliance of the Daleks and next major installment in the Temporal Masters campaign. The Genesis  Extermination.

Following the events surrounding the Time Lock Accords and the negotiations Human/Dalek negotiations, the Doctor and his companions find themselves aboard the Dalek saucer ship where the Daleks demand that they save them. They have intel that the Temporal Masters plan to destroy the Daleks at their genesis, destroying their timeline. They demand that the Doctor return to Skaro and stop the abortion of the Dalek timeline. The Doctor and his companions must make a decision; save the Daleks and the alliance’s best chance of overcoming the Temporal Masters or allow them to be destroyed, purging time of the Daleks but changing it forever. The Doctor must also be wary as he is stepping into his own timeline and must affect it as little as possible.

The Genesis Extermination was originally cooked up by the Alexandrian and takes place during the events of the classic Doctor Who episode Genesis of the Daleks staring Tom Baker as the Doctor. The player characters will be adventuring within the events of this surrounding the creation of the Daleks, interacting with characters from the classic episode and rooting out the Temporal Masters. This adventure is a turning point for the campaign setting where choices made and their consequences will colour the rest of the campaign.

Research for this adventure was particularly fun, predominantly involved watching the Genesis of the Daleks serial. For inspiration I also took the time to watch classic Star Trek episodes; The Trouble with Tribbles and Trial and Tribble’ations.

For this adventure I took a slightly different approach and tried to outline the main events and characters from the original Genesis of the Daleks but also provide motivation and inspiration for the GM to integrate their player characters into the Fourth Doctors events.

As always the collected adventures from each month can be found here and be sure to leave and comments or feedback. Hope you enjoy.

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Alliance of the Daleks

Alliance of the Daleks is the next installment of monthly Doctor Who Roleplaying adventures. This adventure is the next major arc for the Temporal Masters campaign first envisioned by the Alexandrian.

The Doctor and his companions are contacted after delegations of the Time Lock Accord are overdue.  After travelling to the strange planet Nomdor they become integral in forming an alliance between the Great and Bountiful Human Empire and Dalek Empire.

I had a been concerned about this adventure since I first started writing the campaign. I had a vague map of what I wanted to do overall and for each adventure but Alliance of the Daleks had always been filed away as future Martin’s problem. If I recall my notes I only had one; Dalek ❤ Humans.

My greatest concern was how I would handle the first part of what would be essentially a two-parter between Alliance of the Daleks and the Genesis Extermination. The Alexandrian’s description of this leg of the campaign was ‘The Doctor proves instrumental in forging an alliance between the Human and Dalek Empires.’

I went back and re-watched The Trial of a Time Lord (surprisingly my favourite Colin Baker episodes) and the Deadly Assassin serials. These are both the episodes are effectively divided into the trial and adventuring that proves to help solve the trial aspect. I tried to emulate that within this adventure.

I also wanted for the Doctor and his companions (particularly his companions) to have some invested interest in 53rd century politics, prior to the events of The Genesis Extermination. Recently,  Doctor Who has a couple of examples where he has mediated discussions between two parties but allowed the final decision to come from those parties (Day of the Doctor and Zygon Inversion). Kill the Moon was a case where Clara was a part of this discussion even though she was not a ‘local’.

You can find Alliance of the Daleks and past adventures here.

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Fugue State

Fugue State is April’s adventure for the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game.

After colliding with a temporal anomaly in the time vortex the player characters find themselves in 1915 Providence. Upon arrival they see a young HP Lovecraft being escorted into a coach. Background atron energy radiates from the man. This adventure perfect for a time travelling or even time agency adventures. Inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft, Fugue State deals with some of the themes seen throughout Lovecraft‟s work in particular; forbidden knowledge and inherited guilt.

I was torn between two concepts for this month’s adventure, unable to choose between; an adventure featuring David Cronenberg or one featuring HP Lovecraft. Though I really wanted to run a horror adventure with body horror themes familiar with Videodrome, Scanners and Naked Lunch, in the end I chose to go with Lovecraft in the end because the Lovecraft’s themes of inherited guilt tied in with the greater campaign’s theme of progeny.

Please find the adventure here. If you have any suggestions or questions regarding the adventure don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

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