im Gespräch mit David F. Chapman
Paule hat für mich ein kleines Interview mit David F. Chapman Author des Rollenspiels Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space verlegt beim britischen Verlag Cubicle 7 geführt. Es dürfte die ein oder andere interessante Zeile über das Zeitreise-Rollenspiel dabei sein!:
: Doctor Who did not run for a long time in Germany and is not really all that well known. Can you tell us in a few short sentences what we missed?
David F Chapman: All you need to know now is that the Doctor is a genius, the last of his kind, travelling through time battling evil. He frequently picks up companions to share his adventures, to experience the wonders of the universe, travelling to any time or planet, but the sight-seeing is frequently dangerous. The Doctor, however, never resorts to violence, preferring to out-think his opponents.
: And how does that work as a RPG?
DFC: The great thing about the setting is that you can travel to any time in history – the wild west, ancient Rome, the Renaissance, or into the future. And travel to any place in the universe – there are millions of planets out there, hundreds of aliens. You only have to look through some of the adventures the Doctor has had in the series to see how wide and varied they are. Anything is possible.
: Is your game a good introduction to the Doctor Who universe for someone who was intrigued by your description but who has never seen the TV show or is the game’s target audience mostly the fans of the show?
DFC: I think the game gives you a fairly good introduction to Doctor Who if you’ve never seen it. Hopefully, if you haven’t and picked up the game you should be intrigued by the setting enough to at least check out the new series. If you’ve not watched any of it yet, you’re in for a treat!
: In spite of it happening all the time, time travel is never really discussed in the show, only the Doctor knows exactly what’s possible and what isn’t. Will you explain in the game how time travel works and how to deal with paradoxes?
DFC: Luckily the Time Lords adhere to strict Laws of Time. They are forbidden from interfering with their own time lines, which does allow for safer time travel. These laws can be broken, and the game does cover the strange effects that happen when paradoxes occur. You only have to watch Father’s Day to see how bad tampering with your own history can be, and how nasty the creatures that come to ‚repair‘ the damage can be.
: Did the authors of the TV show read your rulebook or is there some other approach you took to make sure your work wouldn’t contradict the Doctor Who canon?
DFC: The BBC and the production team in Cardiff have kept an eye on what we’re doing to make sure that we don’t contradict what is to come in future episodes. They’ve been very helpful in making sure that what we’re producing is true to being Doctor Who, keeping the themes and tone of the series at the forefront at all times.
: The last special concluded the story of the last (10th) Doctor and we don’t yet know a lot about his successor. Is your game based on one specific incarnation of the Doctor and whom will we see in the illustrations?
DFC: The first edition of the game is certainly very Ninth/Tenth Doctor, looking purely at the latest incarnations and his adventures and companions. We’re going to be producing boxed supplements for each of the Doctor’s past incarnations, detailing their adventures, companions, villains and so on, just in case you prefer to run a game featuring the Third or the Fifth Doctor for example. The next edition of the core game will be more Eleventh Doctor orientated for the new series with Matt Smith, which is amazing.
: Many of the Doctor’s opponents are almost invincible and are only beaten in the last second by a surprising trick or plot twist. Do your game mechanics cover that or will we have to roll the dice to fight hopeless battles against the Daleks?
DFC: Yes the game mechanics cover anything. Story Points can allow characters to do amazing things, and they can be earned by doing something heroic or dramatic that progresses the story and makes it more exciting. These Story Points can be used to do almost impossible things like absorbing the Heart of the TARDIS or banishing villains to an eternity trapped in every mirror.
: A player who plays the Doctor or any other Timelord is a lot more powerful than the other players. Are there any game mechanics to equalice that imbalance?
DFC: It’s true that they are more powerful, but certainly in the new series the companions have been just as important – if not more important – than the Doctor. Rose managed to repel the Daleks, while Martha saved the planet from the Master, and Donna saved the universe from complete destruction. The Doctor may be super-intelligent, but he needs his companions to not only help, but to keep him in line.
: The TARDIS provides the players with countless opportunities: They can reach any place at any time and are protected by the TARDIS‘ virtually unbeatable forcefield. That is a nightmare for every game master trying to plan a whole campaign, don’t you think?
DFC: The TARDIS, especially the Doctor’s old Type 40, is not the most reliable of time capsules. Most of the Doctor’s adventures in the classic series are the result of the TARDIS landing somewhere it chooses rather than where the Doctor wants to go. You have to remember that the TARDIS is a living, thinking being, and can decide to go where it thinks the Doctor is needed, not necessarily where the Doctor chooses. This is a great device for the Gamemaster to steer the characters to the right place, and the game gives the Gamemaster a few pointers for using the plot device that is the TARDIS.
: In the old Doctor Who game made by FASA there was a paragraph on humor: While it wasn’t forbidden to be funny the humor wasn’t supposed to distract from the adventure. Does the humor we’ve come to know in the TV show have a place in your game?
DFC: One of the great things about the series, especially in its new incarnation, the series can move from being hilarious to downright terrifying with a flip of a coin. There’s plenty of room for both of these extremes in the game, and hopefully players will experience just as many laughs as scares in their adventures.
: Will your game include source material to the spin-offs Torchwood or even The Sarah Jane Adventures or are you trying to concentrate on Doctor Who?
DFC: There are a few mentions to events that happen in the spin-off series, but our game really concentrates on Doctor Who. It is hoped in the future that these spin-offs will get their own games that will be tailored to the audiences of the shows, using the same system to build into a Doctor Who Universe game.
: And as my last question: Regardless of the license for one of the best TV show in the world – what makes your game special?
DFC: Hopefully, we’ve produced a game that will introduce a new generation to roleplaying games, using a system that is easy to pick up for the first time gamer, and yet detailed and versatile enough to give experienced gamers everything they need. The game has been created with Doctor Who in mind, and hopefully, the choices we’ve made to make it more Doctor Who have lead to a game that allows a new way of playing that isn’t just killing the bad-guys and taking their stuff. It’ll be fun! Give it a try!
So thank you very very much for that interesting Interview and good luck for the Dr. Who RPG. Take care!
DFC: Thanks for the interview!