THE SEVENTH DOCTOR SOURCEBOOK

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BOOK REVIEW: THE SEVENTH DOCTOR SOURCEBOOK / AUTHOR: ANDREW PEREGRINE / PUBLISHER: WIZARDS OF THE COAST / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW (DIGITAL), EARLY 2015 (HARDCOVER)

Cubicle 7’s Doctor Who Adventures in Time and Space Roleplaying Game concentrates on the current TV series. This makes sense; if you’re shopping for a new Doctor Who game, you probably want one with the newer Doctor on the cover. This doesn’t mean that the previous incarnations don’t deserve the love and The Seventh Doctor Sourcebook attempts to redress the balance by being all about Sylvester McCoy’s sneaky Time Lord.

The Seventh Doctor Sourcebook can be seen as a very specific sort of series guide in a way. Author Andrew Peregrine takes apart the themes and ideas behind one the most controversial runs of Doctor Who in the shows history, but does so with one goal in mind. Peregrine takes the show apart in order to allow you, the gamer, to run your own stories all about the Seventh Doctor.

We get a breakdown of the Seventh Doctor’s set-up, from his lack of TARDIS use to his relationship with UNIT, all the way to a section called ‘Games Mastering The Magician’, that provides suggestions for working the most duplicitous and subtle incarnation of The Doctor into an evening’s worth of table-top roleplaying. His companions and enemies are given full stats and also plenty of story seeds for the potential games masters to work from.

The main attraction, of course, is the series guide. The book dissects each episode in order to see what makes them tick, and doesn’t back away from a hard task. Ever wanted to see Remembrance of The Daleks from the side of one of the Dalek factions? An extensive list is available. Do you want to make the Dragon from Dragonfire a little less lame, or make Sabalom Glitz a companion? Done. Of course, the biggest challenge is making Ghost Light playable, and an admirable effort is made at unpicking this particular story and making it into a game. Each episode of McCoy’s run is covered, and all the elements (and people) from the show are given space. The book does not replace familiarity with the core material, but it’s a very good companion and is filled with pretty photos from the show.

It does miss the mark on occasion. For example, it strongly discourages use of Ace’s trademark Nitro 9 rather than using it as the storytelling device it really is, and the book leans more toward simulation than narrative-style play than perhaps most people who play Doctor Who Adventures in Time and Space Roleplaying Game would like. Still, it’s a solid book and a good companion to a frequently discussed era of the show.


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