RPGaDay – Day 21: Favourite Licensed RPG
Short Answer: Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space, Cubicle 7.
Long Answer: From what I’ve seen, licensed RPGs tend to fall into one of two groups. The first group has the players representing characters from the source material, while the second makes the players create their own characters within the setting and play through adventures of their own design. Both groups have their pros and cons, but the best licensed RPGs I’ve seen manage to borrow elements from both groups. My favourite of this group is Cubicle 7’s Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space (written by RPGaDay creator, David Chapman).
I’ve got a few reasons for picking this game – other than the fact I’ve been a fan of the show for almost 30 years. For starters, they manage to balance 900+ year old Time Lords with temp workers from Chiswick, feisty Scottish redheads, and pan-sexual Time Agents within the same game. On top of this, they let you create your own Time Lord. Sure, The Doctor is the last Time Lord wandering the universe (except for The Master), but if you’d rather it be The Corsair then go for it.
As an added bonus, Cubicle 7 aren’t focussing on the episodes that have aired since 2005. Just as the show refers back to (much) earlier episodes, so does the game. They are releasing supplements for each Doctor, starting with William Hartnell. Not only are they books packed full of adventures and plot ideas, but they’re great reference material for show in general. We can’t watch the lost episodes, but we can recreate them around the table. There is also a book dedicated to UNIT, allowing GMs to run campaigns centered around members of the group. It’s this dedication to covering as many aspects of the show as possible that makes this my favourite.