I've read the "Any advice for a complete novice to gm his first campaign" question and responses and there is some significant overlap between my question and that one.
Basically, I'm looking for advice on what pitfalls and avoidable errors I can expect to encounter in actual play. Which rules are tricky? What played out differently in actual play than you would expect it to if you had only read the rules in the book? What concept do most new players get wrong?
I've been gaming for 25 years now, but this will be my first time running Doctor Who. The players have role-played before, but some are more experienced than others.
Post by CountClockwise on Oct 3, 2017 15:27:40 GMT
In my personal experience it's the initiative system and the chase mechanics that are the most problematic. You often get so caught up in everything else that you forget how they work and several people just ignore them entirely. As for general advice, use. your. story. points. I can't begin to tell you how useful they are and players should both remember that and perhaps do what they can to gain more. Other than that, there aren't any rules that immediately spring to mind as being a pain (at least in the core book anyway.
While not really a rule per se, a lot of players would advise against having a doctor and companions game because of the different in raw stats. In my games this has never been a problem. The Doctor kept having heart attacks every session and for the most part his stats weren't that much higher than the party (as he was an early incarnation in the new continuity). This game is not D&D so it won't matter too much if there's a disparity between stats as long as all the characters feel important and have an equal opportunity to affect the story.
Games that I have run have always featured the Doctor and companions, whether canonical or made up from template or scratch. Disparate power levels has never been an issue. The goal of the game is not to make the best roll; it is to solve the problem facing the characters. The Doctor handles the scientific and technical stuff; other characters deal with other stuff, and there's always more going on than one person can address at one time. The companions typically have so many more Story Points and so many opportunities that they can keep up with the Doctor in various ways.
They key to a good game of Doctor Who is Story Points. As I've said elsewhere, a good DW adventure should be an instant deathtrap to characters without Story Points. Characters survive not because they have good skills, but because they spend Story Points in creative ways. And when they're running low, they have to find creative ways to earn them. If your adventure features a lot of running, there's no excuse for at least one player not wanting to trip and fall, to let the bad guys catch up to them and to earn Story Points. The Doctor gets captured as much as anybody.
I just wanted to follow up on this. We had our first session on Saturday, with the eclectic team of an apprentice Time Lady, a time-displaced Anne Boleyn and Public television personality Bob Ross with Dorian Gray's immortality. It was just as silly as the cast list suggests and we had a really nice time. The advice here helped and I wanted to let everyone know that I really appreciate it.