Post by brainsnaffler on Dec 17, 2013 21:33:26 GMT
Hi guys (snd girls?)
I have a problem that I'm hoping other people's points of view will help solve.
Whenever I create adventures for Doctor Who, I tend to plan them out so I know where the group is going to, what they need to do and so on. This goes as far as planning a campaign to better allow me to sow seeds in the style of a Russell T Davis season.
However, I have the Time Travellers Companion, I really like the expanded TARDIS console sheet, and I would like to use it in a game I've agreed to start up for people who I've never played with before.
My problem is that the expanded rules are based upon actually rolling to travel somewhere (and when), which leads to players deciding where they are going. This isn't a problem in principal, but I think it relies on your players being on the same wavelength as you in terms of creativity etc. has the potential to not give you much time to sort an adventure out if they choose something totally weird, and also has the potential to become a vehicle that will take them EXACTLY where they want to go every time so long as they've got enough story points (which I think is against the feel of Doctor Who).
Does everyone who uses these rules, allow their players to dictate where they are going, or do they use another method?
My PCs are using the Doctor's TARDIS, which has so many negative faults that it almost always requires a Storypoint to get it to go roughly where you want to go. Precision landings [with a mile] require more story points. Also, I construct my stories so that one story usually has a hook about where [and when] they should got next - so we are all on the same page.
Post by brainsnaffler on Dec 19, 2013 20:48:23 GMT
Well, that's definitely one way around it.
I don't mind the players having control, it's just that I don't think I'd be able to keep up with where they ended up and create a plot around it week after week.
My friend gave me a good suggestion of bluffing a D10 roll to see which adventure they play next or getting them to choose 1-10. That gives some control, but not really any feel of a TARDIS journey. I wanted to use the rules and sheet, but not at the expense of the plot.
I'll have to have a closer look at the navigation roll chart in more detail. Meanwhile, if anyone has any other examples of how they do transition between adventures, I'm all ears.
One method I used was to let the players suggest locations in advance (at the start of the game, or the end of a session) which would give me some time to work out adventure ideas for their suggested eras.
Ultimately though, the TTC system is best suited to in-game uses of the TARDIS like moving between scenes rather than landing somewhere unexpected at the start of a story.
One possibility is to create a generic plot and characters, which can be transplanted into any time and place. Or create several to cover the biggest possibilities: Earth history, modern Earth, future Earthlings in space, and completely alien worlds. Then, when the players pick something, you just mold the generic plot to their chosen setting.
For instance, you might create an Earth history plot in which Cybermen try to convert an ancient army to use in conquering the planet. When the players decide to visit, say, Harald Fairhair, first king of Norway, they find his own army defending against the Cyber-army of the Danes. The GM had no idea the players would choose AD 900 Norway, but he didn't need to know that ahead of time.
If you're good at pulling this sort of thing off, your players will be amazed at how real your universe is, as they can go anywhere they like and you're ready for them.
Further to Stormcrow's suggestion, if they MISS their intended destination, the same basic plot could be happenning to the armies of Vercingetorix in first century Gaul, or wherever it is they actually do land.
"Is there a word for total screaming genius that sounds modest and a tiny bit sexy?"
Craig is 100% right. The TARDIS rules are for moving within the adventure. When planning a campaign for your group, it is best to emphasize from the beginning that whatever adventures the players will be having, they do not, necessarily, follow one after the other and it can be assumed that there is a lot of activity going on off-screen as well. As the Tenth Doctor said in The Christmas Invasion, 'Trouble's just the bits in-between!'
There are exceptions of course, and the First and Second Doctors in particular seemed to go from one misadventure to the next without rest or refreshment, but for your average DWAITAS PC, with a TARDIS that isn't just randomly hopping around Time or Space, it can be assumed that wherever they said they wanted to go at the end of the last adventure, they went there, and possibly a few more places besides, possibly with a short holiday on the Eye of Orion at some point. Adventures occur between those points, when they accidentally put in a 1 when they meant to put in a 0 for a coordinate set, are pulled or drawn off course by some force (a popular hook from the series) or just get bored and go wandering around randomly (possibly looking for trouble). And, sometimes, if they are looking to go visit some specific place, and you have an adventure planned that just so happens to be set there (as when the Doctor takes Rose back to Earth for a visit with her Mum) it just works out that the two coincide.
It's all a matter of narrative perception. Ask them where they want to go at the end or beginning of an adventure and then plan an adventure for their destination or tell them 'You went there and it was magnificent! The sights were Fantastic! On the way back to Earth however, you notice an object hurtling through the vortex. It's Mauve and it's dangerous...' Cue theme credits and let them pursue the objective on their own. If they won't pursue the adventure when you present such an obvious hook, then you all need to revisit your social contract and why it is you are playing the game in the first place.
Post by brainsnaffler on Dec 22, 2013 22:29:12 GMT
Thank you for clarifying that the travel rules are for use mid adventure. I feel happier now.
I really like the console rules, so I will probably write into the begining of my adventures if there's some sort of hook that could damage the TARDIS and have them make a navigation roll, or take some form of damage from it. That way, it's creating the possibility of generating more damage to the TARDIS even if they don't use it in game.