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Doctor Who - The Fourth Doctor Sourcebook $39.99 $19.99
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Doctor Who - The Fourth Doctor Sourcebook
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Doctor Who - The Fourth Doctor Sourcebook
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/08/2016 07:44:54

This book, looking at the fourth regeneration of the Doctor, played by Tom Baker, takes a slightly different approach to the preceeding volumes, in structure if not in content. The first chapter looks at what makes Fourth Doctor adventures different from any other ones, the second covers the Doctor himself and his companions from this era in detail, and the rest of the book lists the adventures that he undertook in the TV show. But first, won't you have a jellybaby?

Every regeneration is quite different from all the others, but this one is the most 'alien'... and perhaps the most fun. Or at least, he seems to have the most fun charging round the universe and saving it, anyway. This period is also one in which the nature of the Time Lords is explored more thoroughly, and it sees the beginning of the Time War, echoes of which are still felt in the current season of the show. Several adventure seeds as well as more wide-ranging ideas are given for those who like this period but want original adventures rather than those shown on TV. There's also an interesting discussion about Time Lords as player characters, showing more clearly how the rules balance the relative strengths of Time Lord and human (or indeed other races) characters and even giving ideas of how to run games with two or more Time Lord characters in the party. If nothing else, that's a good time to visit Gallifrey as they can be less than welcoming to outsiders! This chapter also includes a wide range of new traits, including several new ones for Time Lords.

Chapter 2 takes a detailed look at the Fourth Doctor and his companions. There's Leela (a barbarian), K-9 (a robotic dog... strictly speaking, two of them as the first was left with Leela and the Doctor made another), Romana (a Time Lord, who regenerated during her time with the Doctor so there are two versions), Adric (a smart kid), Nyssa and Tegan. It's a bit of a toss-up with most Doctor Who fans as to whether Adric or Tegan was the most annoying! Character sheets for all of these as well as for Sarah-Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan (both detailed elsewhere and more associated with the Third Doctor than the Fourth) are provided should you wish to play them or have them as NPCs. This chapter also looks at the TARDIS, now back in working order (mostly).

And then we're off with a survey of all the Fourth Doctor's adventures. These follow a common pattern: a synopsis of the adventure, notes on how to run it should you so choose, character sheets and other information for key NPCs and monsters, and a selection of further adventures based on the original broadcast. There is very little repetition of adversaries, so this is a good set for those who like new things rather than the same old monsters...

This series just gets better. This one is replete with ideas that you can use in your game, from complete adventures to throw-away ideas that spawn whole new adventures of your own. It's well worth a read, even if you don't want to use this era or to play out TV adventures.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Doctor Who - The Fourth Doctor Sourcebook
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Alexander O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/31/2014 01:59:21

And the next installment of the DWAITAS Doctor Sourcebooks is out. It's the 4th Doctor -- portrayed by Tom Baker -- the longest running of all the Doctors so far, and arguably the most popular of the original series sequence.

Like the prior installments in this excellent series, DWAITAS - Fourth Doctor Sourcebook not only provides the predictable crunch (new traits, character sheets for the Doctor / Companions / acquaintances / enemies) and fluff (series and episode synposes), but also provides some thematic explorations and comparisons to the episodes and themes from prior incarnations. It even includes a synopsis of the lost episode "Shada", a must-have for die-hard Whovians.

I say, doesn't Skarga's sphere remind you of Rover, from The Prisoner?

Chapter One: Playing in the Fourth Doctor Era

Some really interesting insights here, as I'm used to thinking of the Doctor's older shows in episodic form, rather than as the grand sweep of a campaign arc. While many would cite the change in characterization as the most obvious change, I'd missed the fact that the Far Future of humanity is mapped out in this cycle of stories. Also, as pointed out in "The Demystification of the Time Lords", it's true that the mysterious Time Lords and Gallifrey are not only fleshed out more, they're also taken down a peg and portrayed as a decadent and decaying culture that possesses a great deal of power and influence in the multiverse -- a theme certainly worth exploring.

Chapter Two: The Fourth Doctor and Companions

The Two Companions that really jumped out at me here are -- surprise -- Romana and Romana. The first incarnation was not only beautiful, but had a distant and aloof aspect to her beauty; the second incarnation was more sweet and approachable in seeming, perhaps indicating the change in her personality after having been influenced by the traveling Doctor's ways (or maybe she just like Princess Astra's looks, just like she said). Of course, Leela and Sarah Jane Smith are also memorable, but the counterpoint of an equal Time Lord to the Doctor really shifted the dynamic for me in this era.

Chapter Three: The Fourth Doctor's Adventures + Shada in the Appendix

For those interested in canon, the complete run of the 4th Doctor's many adventures, and adventure hooks and NPCs, opponents, and gadgets aplenty -- this section is a treasure trove of gaming delights. If there's an episode you've always wanted to appropriate for your campaign, now's your chance to get your hands on appropriate crunch or fluff!

The next installment can't come soon enough for me!

(from http://armchairgamer.blogspot.com/)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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