[Dr. Who] US Distributor or PDF Version coming?

edited December 2009 in Story Games
I like what I am hearing about Dr. Who, but the price tag of ordering it in Pounds Sterling is $88 US! Not questioning if the product is worthy of such a pricetag (I am sure it both pretty and well designed, since it has the C7 label on it), but I wonder if there is a local distributor and/or PDF version coming?

Comments

  • Thanks! That item totally doesn't appear if you look by publisher...maybe because it isn't released yet.
  • edited December 2009
    The last I heard Angus from Cubicle-7 said the pdf was being released today (Monday 14th Dec).

    (link to quote here)

    Having said that this is one game where I think the pdf may not do the game justice. Its full colour gloss pages throughout, comes with beautiful glossy example character sheets, punch out item cards and story point markers. I still plan to use poker chips for the story points (poker chips will always trump thick cardboard markers no matter how pretty they are) but the production values of the other components are unmatched (or at least unmatched in my experience - I haven't seen WHRP3 yet).
  • edited December 2009
  • Yah. Player's Guide still set to drop tomorrow.
  • It is indeed very pretty, although I'm still not too fond of the way the GM's book repeats so much of what is already in the Player's Book, and I wish the selection of aliens was both longer and more detailed - only a page and a half on Daleks doesn't seem right. Guess they're looking forward to releasing expansion packs, and at least the necessary statistics are in there. Also... well... so many of the traits are immensely lacklustre, only doing stuff like granting a +2 bonus to certain skill attempts. There're a few more interesting examples, psychic abilities, alien abilities and stuff like that, but ordinary people aren't very well catered for. At least the system itself appears to stand up reasonably well and promotes the kind of activities seen in the TV show - i.e. talking your way out because one shot from a Dalek blaster is 100% lethal, and even bare fists can take down most ordinary people in two or three punches - but I did find myself wishing there was a little bit more to the game.

    Still, it's a darn sight more interesting than the stuff Margaret Weiss has been throwing out with careless abandon, and the extra bits and bobs (cardboard Story Point chips, pretty clear plastic dice, separate NPC character sheets) are a welcome addition. Box sets just feel so... retrograde though, and the cost is somewhat expensive for all the flash and razamataz that's been lavished on presentation.

    Nevertheless I think that with a solid line of support behind it, Doctor Who could grow to be a pretty respectable game.

    -Ash
  • edited December 2009
    Any opinions on this yet? I just fell in love with Dr. Who after not having watched it since it gave me screaming nightmares as a child.

    Edit: Whoops! Cross-posted with Destriarch.
  • Its quite clearly a work of love, but you can't help feeling that members of the team were pulling in two different directions - one half inspired by newer rules light narrative games, and the other half with their feet firmly in a traditional school. Thankfully it doesn't suffer from the rules bloat which Cubicle-7 demonstrated with Starblazer Adventures.

    Personally I like this game a lot, and have it lined up to play after we finish Diaspora. Its pretty, its easy to explain and its fairly rules light. Its also very much written to meet the expectations of the literature. There are some things I could have questioned, the dice mechanic is particularly poor (or maybe its because my brain was addled with alcohol when I played) requiring too much metal arithmetic and the game isn't nearly as revolutionary as some at Cubicle-7 seem to think but its a definite 'thumbs up'.

    This quarter seems to be the quarter for big licences and high production values, with WFRP3, Dragon Age and Doctor Who. So far I'm giving Dragon Age a thumbs down, Doctor Who a thumbs up and I'll see what I think of WHRP3 on Christmas day.
  • edited December 2009
    My mini review (after waiting until midnight opening day to snag it - feeling like those people that stand in lines for X-Box games, God Love Them):

    Look - 5/5 Very well crafted look, nice use of photo elements and test is clear and helpfully arranged. I really like the use of the psychic paper picture as the sidebar element for quick tips.

    Rules - 4/5 Simple and clear rules, with lots of support for story gaming concepts. Very quick task resolution with traits that are extremely expandable by playgroups. Alot of common sense is used in when a trait is usefuland when it isn't. The task resolution has the "Yes, and..." and "No, but.." improv concepts built into it.

    Pros: Support for non-Doctor Time Lords or non-Time Lord based games, clear examples, concise rules, open-ended setting creation is easy and common sense
    Cons: Some repetition of concepts (to ram ideas home), Focus on current Doctor Adventures in materials, old-school GM control advice in GM guide

    This is based on my first run-through of the game texts, but I am very impressed with it. I also second the idea that a Firefly game using this same system and design ethos would have been most welcome. In fact, I may run a one-off of a Serenity-like crew who have access to a Vortex Drive of some sort ("You can't take Time from me!")
  • One of the best ideas in Doctor who is the initiative order. By allowing actions to interrupt each other and placing speech, before running, before non-violent action, before shooting they have very effectively made talking your way out of things the most effective way to survive a gun fight. Want to survive an encounter with a dalek - just make sure the first thing you say is reason enough for it not to shoot you. You will always manage to get that phrase off before it shoots and since it will always defend even if it chooses to shoot you phrase will actually distract its aim. If you cant think of anything to say, then run or do something non-violent (like hitting a door panel to shut a door).

    Violence in Doctor Who is brutal, usually fatal and very short. PCs generally don't stand much chance in a gun fight with most of the enemies, but it doesn't matter because choosing to get involved in a gun fight really is a choice.
  • Holee Cow, that Initiative mechanic is hot! That's just gotta be theft-worthy.
  • Yes, I have to say that, despite my reservations about the game, Dr Who is a step above the usual fair we get from official licenses and it's encouraging to see that they've taken the time to make the system suit the license it emulates. I totally agree with Rookie on the point of allowing persuasion to always precede fighting during combat scenes, since this is invariably what happens in the show. Someone looks like having a barny, and the Doctor immediately jumps in with placatary self-effacement or disarming wit before matters can escalate further. I am not so certain about interrupting actions - there's the potential for them to possibly subvert the whole point of initiative - but I'm willing to keep an open mind about them until I have a chance to actually play the game.

    -Ash
  • I might be wrong but based on what I've seen simple tests basically test for intent, just like BW.
    Also, the success ladder is: No, and; No; No, but, Yes, but; Yes, Yes, and.

    I appears that there is a lot of contemporary and clever design in there, it's just that the core dice mechanic (2d6 + attribute + skill + trait) looks quite boring, old and potentially needlessly complicated.
  • Yeah someone should steal that initiative mechanic and bolt it on to a western game about religious gunslingers. :)
  • Posted By: Vernon RYeah someone should steal that initiative mechanic and bolt it on to a western game about religious gunslingers. :)
    Actually, it works in reverse. In DitV, escalation makes you more "powerful", temping you to do it.In DW, escalation to violence makes you slower and thus discourages it.
  • edited December 2009
    Posted By: Teataineappears that there is a lot of contemporary and clever design in there, it's just that the core dice mechanic (2d6 + attribute + skill + trait) looks quite boring, old and potentially needlessly complicated.
    It is - during play during the IndieCon demo my beer addled brain was finding the maths far too hard and due to that I am very tempted to simplify it.

    My first thoughts went something along the lines of:
    As things stand difficulties used are all multiples of 3 and Success levels are pretty close to being multiples of three (they're not quite, but its pretty close) - so why not divide everything by three and simplify the maths considerably. Having done that we discover that most humans have the same value for most of the their abilities. Rather than having humans with 1 in everything lets redefine this baseline as zero, making -1 (below average), and +1 (above average) the exceptions. These would be the extremes for humans having divided everything by three. Having done this the maths should much easier easy. Of course instead of adding 2d6 (a bell curve with a range of 11) we need a much smaller bell curve. Using a couple of Fudge dice will give a small bell curve and simplify the maths even further. All the traits which used to add +2 now just add +1 (which actually makes the traits more powerful).

    The end result is that the typical roll for an unskilled human is now 0 instead of 10, and the target difficulty for an easy task should be 0 instead of 9. Difficulties will go up in 1s instead of 3s. Normal Difficult is now 1, Tricky is now 2, etc through to Nearly Impossible! at 8.

    A standard success is now succeeding by 0, a good success is now succeeding by 1, and a fantastic succeeding by 2 or more.

    Would this work? I have no idea - it would need to be play tested. For all I know these tweaks might completely ruin the game.

    In addition you would need to work out the impact of story points. Converting the effect you probably add 2+2dF, but this is actually more complicated than the original effect of adding 2d6.
  • Posted By: R00kie:
    In addition you would need to work out the impact of story points. Converting the effect you probably add 2+2dF, but this is actually more complicated than the original effect of adding 2d6.
    Of course you could just use 4dF for the main roll and add +2 when people spent story points, but then it would feel suspiciously like you were playing some other game ;)
  • I've just realised why this isn't going to work (at least without a little more thought). Making the suggested changes above would break the damage mechanics.
  • The initiative system is brilliant. I also like taking damage directly to stats. Lots of narrative flexibility there that actually matters mechanically. Get hit with a rock for 3 damage? Take 2 to coordination and 1 to strength and say you got hit in the leg. Or take 1 to strength and 2 to resolve because you realized they haven't listened to a word you've said. Or take 1 to presence and 2 to awareness because you got beaned to the head and your vision is blurred...

    Awe-some.
  • Posted By: JuddG
    I also second the idea that a Firefly game using this same system and design ethos would have been most welcome. In fact, I may run a one-off of a Serenity-like crew who have access to a Vortex Drive of some sort ("You can't take Time from me!")
    Nice. I want to use this to run a Primeval game for my wife and daughters. We all love the show, wife is not as big a fan of Dr. Who. We'd reset Primeval to our hometown (Seattle).
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