You wanna roleplay some Doctor Who? Cool. Here are the basics to know.
Every year or so, we play out a new season of Doctor Who adventures. Seasons are loosely based on a theme and may contain 4 or 12 stories. Usually our regular or longtime players organize a season based on ideas of their own creation and in consultation with the group at large.
Every month or so, we play out a new Doctor Who adventure broken into weekly episodic format. Each week, a new part of the story is sent to our mailing list as plot outline (we call a script) with cast of characters. These contain summaries of that week's story broken into scenes with a beginning, middle and ending. Any player can write a script and work with our Game Coordinator, regulars or Season Guru to make it ready for play. Available roles (usually all but the TARDIS Crew) are claimed in the first few minutes of gametime online. Anyone in the group, whether new or inactive for a while, can claim a role and get a chance to play that week.
Most storylines, taking from 2 to 6 games to complete, do have a set ending and villain, but explain only the bare minimum to tell the story. Players bring the story to life by improvising lines, reactions, and movements. Everyone works with the group towards the common goal of telling a story. The key to a smooth game is the ability for players to play off the actions and clues of others.
Before each game starts, the Game Coordinator will call for everyone to claim their roles again on screen. If a player is late or a character unclaimed, fill-ins are enlisted to pick up the other roles. It's important that all players arrive on time so the game can begin as scheduled. Casting calls look like this:
JenK: Ok folks, it's time to raise the curtain. Final CASTING CALL!
Credits are rolled at the beginning and end of each game. After you see the opening credits (below), it's time to jump into character and act out the script. Non-Game Chat must be enclosed in <> brackets.:
AlxKeegan: <The New Adventures of Dr Who Simulation>
When the game ends and it's time to retire your character for the night,
you pause your role.
The NADW Sim employs the use of concurrently running scenes so all characters in a plot can play. This can be very confusing to players as well as the audience, so to alleviate the confusion we use Scene Symbols. We use the following keyboard characters (most located above your number keys on your keyboard) as Scene Symbols: ! @ # $ % & * + ?
Scene Symbols are chosen on the fly during gametime by players changing scenes. If a symbol is already being used, then another is chosen. For example:
Player1: <$ = Panopticon>
Tip: All scripts are broken down into scene by scene briefings. When you play, pay attention to action and actors in your scene by keeping an eye out for your Scene Symbol. If your character changes scenes with players you aren't currently interacting with, it's ok to ask where they are in the story via Non-Game Chat.
Action & Description
Action and description is denoted by the use of colons. For example:
Doctor: #::enters the Console Room carrying a book::
Speaking in Character
Speaking during a game only requires a Scene Symbol and then normal speech. (No quotation marks are used.) But remember, you can interact with only the other players/characters in your scene. Don't react to things said outside of your scene unless it is scripted via telepathy, commlink or viewscreen. For example:
Doctor: # I think it's time we went on another trip, Brogan.
Telepathy & Remote Communication Scenes
At times, the script calls for characters to interact without being in the same virtual location or without the knowledge of other characters in the scene. This is done with the use of Scene Symbols, description and special brackets.
Telepathy is portrayed within // brackets. For example:
Enigma: $::Confronts the TARDIS Crew at the ARGOS with his minions::
Remote Location communication (speaking to a character via commlink, viewscreen or telepathy) becomes tricky. Picture the scenes playing out like you would on tv. Even though characters are in different geographical locations, communicating via technology puts them in the same scene.
If your character "appears" in another scene location via commlink, use the other scene's symbol.
# = TARDIS (Doctor, Brogan, Keegan) $ = Shada (Gamester)
From time to time it becomes necessary for players to step out of character in order to ask questions about staging the game or other non-game concerns. After the game begins, all Non-Game Chat must be in greater than less than brackets <>. Please keep non-game chat limited to a few lines at one time, so you don't disturb the flow of the game. If non-game chat becomes too excessive, you may be asked to take your conversation to IM (private messages). For example:
Player 2:<Do we have an Admiral Swift yet?>
Putting it all together, this is a sample of what you may see during a game.
BroganMc: Ok folks, it's time to raise the curtain. Final CASTING CALL!
Often times, players enjoy adding to our story with off camera character action or details. This is usually done by sending Time Logs (short pieces of fiction such as scenes, bios, journal entries, etc.) to our mailing list. These logs are kept with the game and may be included in the final Story Reconstruction for our Renegades Outpost Archives.
When and Where Can I Play?
The NADW sim meets every week on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) or via our web chat room.
You've Never Been on IRC?
There's nothing to fear. IRC is simply an open text chat network like Instant Messaging (IM) but does not require a specialized service or commercial software to participate. Anyone with an internet connection may join us. To do so, you may:
Download an IRC program: mIRC or equivalent
Once you have your program of choice, please tune in to the
On IRC, you may change your nickname (what you are called in the
room) by typing the following command:
How Can I Join?
Anyone is invited to join us. If you wish to receive our script early or be updated on our plans for the week, you may join our Yahoo mailing list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nadw. If you'd prefer to drop in for a game, simply sign in via our web chat room.