Monday, August 6, 2012

Diversicon Doctor Who Gaming Report

It has become something of a tradition for me to run games that play on Diversicon Guests of Honor and their works. In the past I have run Spirit of the Century, Tales of the Caliphate Nights (True 20), and Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space.  

So, I thought I'd share a brief report on the Doctor Who game that I ran at Diversicon 20 this weekend. The scenario was called "The Lion's Blood, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" and was designed to include tributes to current and past Guests of Honor at Diversicon, including Steven Barnes, Tananarive Due, and Nnedi Okorafor.

Amanda Hall's original cover illustration for
Zahrah the Windseeker
The scenario set-up was similar to the Faction Paradox spin-off of Doctor Who: the Timelords were carrying-out a long war against an unspecified Enemy (a greater threat than the Daleks) who had shattered and fragmented spacetime into many conflicting and ever-shifting alternaties.

There were two players, which was just fine. One player chose to play Sarah Jane Smith; the other chose to play Martha Jones.

They found themselves on a War Tardis with all sorts of terrible weapons of mass destruction. I may stat-up a few of them for FATE SF in the very near future. The PCs soon found that the War Tardis also had about 1,000 Daleks on board: the Daleks were allies of the Timelords in the current war against the Enemy. The good news: only one of the Daleks on-board this ship was a traitor.

Long story short, the scenario went pretty well. I had prepped for action on three worlds, including Steven Barnes' alternate history Alamo-mosque from Lion's Blood, a jungle planet named Guinea, based on the planet settled by West Africans in Nnedi Okorafor's Zahrah the Windseeker, and (although we didn't get there) a carved stone church in Lalibela church complete with Weaping Angels disguised as statues of saints. This last destination was going to riff on Tananarive Due's African Immortals series.

I adapted a several aliens from Hereticwerks for the scenario, including the Synthetic Soldiers and the 30' tall cyber soldiers known as the Rilligong, who were both servants of the Enemy (the Judoon NPCs were no match for the Rilligong!), and an Achernarian trader, who was helpful to the PCs, and received a Dalek from them in exchange for the help (this did not end well for our Achernarian).

All in all, it was a fun experience. I like the system (especially its order of conflict: Talk-->Run-->Do Something-->Fight, which is very Whoovian) and the wide-open setting. I'd like to run a version of this again (or at least a couple scenes) in a longer time slot (I was scheduled for two hours and we played for three).


  1. This sounds like it was an awesome scenario! :) Sorry i missed it! :) Very Whoovian indeed! :) And sounds like you definitely need a bigger slot in the future! :)

  2. Thanks, Bryan! I had a lot of fun with it. I am waiting with baited breath to hear who will be the Guests of Honor for Diversicon 21, so I can get the creative juices flowing.