The Time Lord Problem

2010-02-02

(approx. 200 words)

This post originally appeared on the Pen and Paper Games Forum. Only some markup (markdown) has changed.

After watching the Doctor’s recent regeneration for the Nth time, I realized how to solve a persistent problem in Doctor Who RPGs: Time Lords rock, companions suck.

A traditional solution is to make all players Junior Time Lords. The Buffy game gives non-Slayers more Drama Points, and I’m sure some Doctor Who game has tried a similar equalizing factor. Another suggestion I’ve heard is that the Time Lord is an NPC Patron, who makes the Companions do all the work.

But what if, in a Doctor Who game, the one Time Lord “dies” every few sessions, and his player passes the character sheet to a new player? “A new man steps in,” indeed.

In Ars Magica troupe play, players alternate playing their mage, their companion, and a grog (bodyguard/redshirt). So it could work …