Monday, December 26, 2011

The George System

11th Doctor version coming out soon
Re-reading the Doctor Who Adventures In Time and Space RPG books/boxes. I was reminded how much I liked it. Back when I first got into the game I recognized the system as something that could be used outside the Doctor Who setting.

Like most RPGs the character is made up of Attributes. (Awareness, Coordination, Ingenuity, Presence, Resolve, and Strength) which typically range from 1 through 6- 1 being nearly incompetent, 3 being human average, 5 is human maximum and 6 is supernatural. Unlike most RPGs there are no hit points. Instead when a character takes damage it temporarily comes directly from the Attributes themselves. This automatically makes characters suffer penalties from wounds or fatigue. Physical attacks would come out of Strength or Coordination or both, a head shot injury or a mental attack might reduce Presence or Resolve. Which ever makes the most sense.

This is not the first time damage comes out of the Attributes, it's been used in the Traveller game from Mongoose and Tunnel & Trolls had something like it, too. I'm sure there are others. This is just my first game using them. And I love it.

The other neat system mechanic that many people talk about for Doctor Who Adventures in Time and Space, and thus George, is the initiative system. In this game the order of action in conflict or combat is 1. Characters that are going to talk go first. 2. Next are the characters that are going to move, run, crawl, etc. 3. The doers are next. and finally 4. the Fighters. It discourages combat and fits the Doctor Who setting perfectly. I'm not sure if this will carry over to

To best discuss that it seemed this game system needed it's own name.  This is how that turned out:
Jeffrywith1e: The game engine that powers Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space is great. I've heard that it will be used for an upcoming Primeval game. Does this system have a name?
Jeffrywith1eLets name it then. the DWAITAS system,  the Yes And Yes But system, the Talkers Runners Doers Fighters system- (this is what most focus on when reviewing), it seems, the Story Point system. I don't know. Anyone got something better? 
NeilFordI don't believe it has a name, but if it really does need one, and I need some convincing on that, I would think George would be most suitable.       - Neil.
ImajicaI like George. It's perfect.
Kaemaril It's certainly a classic. 
coroneOne of the names we all liked was 'Vortex system' but that sounds too close to Cortex. My vote would go for Challenge system as its about how you choose to face each challenge situation rather than rollnig what you're told to roll. 
link to this Cubicle 7 forum discussion

I just find it hilarious because I've seen people still refer to it as the George System. I hope they continue 'cause I'm going to...

The game is set to be re-released with updated imaging with Matt Smith (as pictured above) rather than David Tennant. There will also be an update to bring the new creatures and companions up to date, as well. This version is long overdue to the frustration of many fans on the official unofficial game forum where there is a pretty strong sense of disgruntlement.

There are some other products for Doctor Who in the production line.

The Time Traveller's Companion will be about the wibbly wobbly time stuff:
Time flies when you're having fun, but flying through time can present a whole host of problems. Whether accidentally creating paradoxes, upsetting the course of history or trying to Put Things Right, you're going to need to know your way around the Vortex. You need a guide…a companion.
This supplement for Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space gives more information on Time Lords, temporal mechanics and time machines. It also takes an in-depth look at earth's important role in time and space, covering prehistory to the 51st Century - a vital aid for running historical campaigns at any time in earth's colourful history.
Defending the Earth will be about U.N.I.T. etc.

Front and centre, soldier! You're part of UNIT now, the Unified Intelligence Taskforce. We are the Earth's best defence against the myriad alien forces who would try to subjugate and conquer our planet. Try they might, but they will meet UNIT: a global military force tasked with protecting the planet and researching the alien threat.
It's not an easy job, and even those recruited for their scientific knowledge can find themselves on the front lines of combat against an almost unstoppable foe. It's dangerous, violent and not everyone will survive, but for the good of the planet we will do everything in our power to protect humanity from extraterrestrial terrors.
Defending the Earth is an expansion set for the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space roleplaying game. Within this box you will find:
• 160 page rulebook detailing the history of UNIT, along with additional information for creating UNIT characters, including new Traits and Areas of Expertise, as well as expanded firearms and combat rules, including mass combat and skirmish rules.
• 32 page Adventure book, featuring a whole new ready-to-play adventure and many ideas for additional stories.
• Character sheets for major UNIT personnel, including the legendary Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.

As mentioned in the forum discussion above, a different game is in the making using the same "George" system based on the television series Primeval. Only because of this coming game did I gave a few episodes a try and thought the show was rather weak. I don't know if I'll pick up the game. However, I do wish to see more support for "George" and am glad there's at least something.

Who am I kidding? Of course I'll buy this book. I'll probably watch more of the show, too.

There is another game in production that will be using "George". It is a pulp campaign setting from Battlefield Press producing a game called  Pulp Fantastique and will be compatible with Doctor Who Adventures in Time and Space and Primeval. Someday we may see Pulp Fantastique with a "Powered by George" logo in the corner of the back cover. We'll keep you updated on the progress of this book.

My Doctor Who RPG was a gift from my wife two years ago for Christmas. This year I got The One Ring RPG from the same company. In fact, many of the further releases for Doctor Who have been delayed due to The One Ring's production! (and from the look of this game, it was well worth it.)

Cubicle 7 is making some fine product these days. This blogger is a fan of this system so we'll keep you updated on future releases from the Doctor Who game, Primeval, AND Pulp Fantastique.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Snow Queen

Disney appears to have plans for an upcoming animated feature film based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen.

Finally! Disney confirms The Snow Queen, coming in 2013

Simon Brew

A long-lost Disney animated project is firmly back on the roster, as The Snow Queen becomes Frozen, and gets a 2013 release date...

Published on Dec 23, 2011

Long-time followers of Disney animation will be only too aware of the number of years that it’s been attempting to bring The Snow Queen to the big screen. Based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen, the film came closest to fruition just over a decade ago, with plenty of work being done on it (and artwork has since appeared online), before the project was shelved around 2002.

Then, when Disney revived hand drawn animation with The Princess And The Frog, talk of The Snow Queen resurfaced. The chatter then was for the film to be a hand-drawn project.

Still, when we spoke to composer Alan Menken at the end of 2010, he told us that “Snow Queen is not happening”, adding that “that could turn around like that”.

And turn around it has.

Walt Disney Animation has confirmed that The Snow Queen will now be known asFrozen, and it’s scheduled the film for 2013. November 27th 2013, as it happens, and it’ll be a 3D release.

Our best guess is that it’s no longer a hand-drawn production, and is likely to go fully-CG, but Tangled proved that might be less of a problem than some traditionalists may think (although personally, I’d love to see The Snow Queen as a hand-drawn movie).

I'm sure the Disney version will be amazing. This will not be the first animated version of the story.

There was a 36 episode Japanese anime series based on the story. More about that here (Japanese).

And then there's this production originally from Russia in 1957 with a newer audio track (that is actually quite strange). I find the animation quality extraordinary! Especially from that long ago. Miyazaki claims this film as the inspiration that kept him going forward with his career.
Hayao Miyazaki has stated that this film is one of his inspirations to work in animation. When he started his career, Miyazaki had a rough start and was thinking of leaving animation already. When he saw The Snow Queen, he admired it and continued working in anime. In September 2007, it was announced that Studio Ghibli will be distributing this film through their Ghibli Museum Library label and it was released in December 2007 (in the original Russian audio with Japanese subtitles).

I also came across a 1990s production with some bigger names from England, but the animation was so horrible I thought best to leave that one alone.

Also forgettable- A Stories to Remember episode narrated by Sigourney Weaver.

However, here is an interesting version. From 1983, not a lot of information about this short animation, written and directed by Fred Laderman:

Sunday, December 18, 2011


We recently watched Smurfs for family film night. So now my kids are obsessed with them. Obsession is something I'm familiar with! They must've got that from me. It fuels this blog.

So... Smurfs first appeared in a Franco-Belgian comic Magazine, Spirou, in the comic called Johan et Pirlouit (Johan and Peewit in English) in 1958 created under the name Peyo. It wasn't until the early 1980's that they reached American televisions on Saturday mornings often as the flagship show with 190 minutes of story. And of course it was on NBC which was often the only channel we could get in up in the North Woods of WI. There were 256 episodes! The show continued until 1990. That is remarkable.

I fondly remember a lot of fantastic classical music associated with the Smurfs cartoon. This was one area that the show was superior in than other programming on Saturdays. I can't help but think of the show when we listen to the Nutcracker during the Holidays.

The interesting thing about the origin of the smurf is that I remember a run of episodes that featured Peewit (pronounced Peewee). It's interesting to discover it was in his stories that the Smurfs first appeared, not the other way around, as we were introduced to Peewit. I don't remember ever seeing Johan in the show, but apparently he was.

Oh, the new live-action film was fine, by the way. There was strange character development with getting too deep into the Papa Smurf and Clumsy character, but that felt necessary for today's films.

On a final note with Smurfs, one episode that sticks with me was the zombie episode- where a smurf gets bitten by the purple fly and infects him. Soon he's hopping around biting other smurfs on the tail shouting "Gnat, Gnat". It's remarkable how zombie-movie that episode really was. I remember feeling so helpless at the end of the episode. It was quite dramatic! The episode is based on the very first Smurfs comic in 1966. That predates the 1968 Night of the Living Dead!

Here's an excellent parody of that episode mashing it up with 28 Weeks Later which is my favorite zombie movie (if it truly could be considered one). It illustrates how similar 28 Weeks and the purple smurf episode are with each other...

Smurf Sighting by n8package

Masters of the Universe art

These are the work of Dave Rapoza who has an eye for incredible art. Here are four villains from the Masters of the Universe. Check out his blog for other characters of equal quality.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Margaret Weis Productions is promoting the upcoming Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game with a PDF of the Captain America datafile. Looks like a nice version of the Cortex system.
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Promo: Captain America (Steve Rogers)
70 years ago, one of Marvel Comics' most popular and endearing characters burst upon the scene: CAPTAIN AMERICA. Created by comic book legends Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Cap's popularity is at an all-time high. As part of our lead-up to the release of the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Basic Game in February 2012 we are pleased to give you a sneak peek of the Sentinel of Liberty.

I think the Cortex system is a wonderful 'outside-the-box' system now where it started out as almost just another Savage Worlds. It seems to have become an ideal system for the variety of licensed products produced using it. It's good to see Margaret Weis' company succeeding here. It will also good to see a Marvel RPG with healthy support like it had under TSR (twas my gateway RPG).

Jack the Giant Killer trailer

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Indiana Jones 5

Commission - Indiana Jones by misscoffee
George is looking for a MacGuffin. A what?

It's a phrase that was coined by Alfred Hitchcock in like 1939...
MacGuffin: an object, event, or character in a film or story that serves to set and keep the plot in motion despite usually lacking intrinsic importance
As bad as it was, I still do like Indy 4. Apparently Lucas, Ford and Speilberg all disagreed about 4's MacGuffin. We'll see what they come up with for 5.

George Lucas Is Still Puzzling Over Indiana Jones 5

Whenever Steven Spielberg is asked about the status of a fifth Indiana Jones film, he usually passes the buck to his producing partner George Lucas, whom he entrusts to come up with the plot-propelling MacGuffin for each movie (whether it's the ark of the covenant or an extraterrestrial crystal skull). Recently, Spielberg told EW, "We have already agreed on the genre of the fifth movie, we already have a concept in mind," but when Vulture caught up with Lucas last night at the premiere of The Adventures of Tintin, Lucas admitted that the concept wasn't quite fleshed out. "Actually, I told him I didn't have it yet," Lucas said. "I told him about the story, but I really haven't found the MacGuffin yet. I mean, I know what it's about, but I just have to find a MacGuffin that fits into the arena we're working in." Will Indiana's considerably extended family factor into the movie? Lucas just laughed. "Yeah, we'll see!" 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Movie Cars

Kevin Henry (Boomerjinks on deviantart) has a really neat gallery of minimalist posters depicting iconic movie cars. See if you can figure out each film or show. Check it out...

The Dark Crystal - comic and RPG

Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal is going to be coming out in comic book and RPG media by Archaia Entertainment who has been known for making some very nice comics, notably Mouse Guard and Artesia.

According to the website The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths graphic novel should be released very soon and it's available for pre-order on Amazon  (called The Dark Crystal Vol 1).
In late 2011, Archaia Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company will come together to publish the first volume of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, an original graphic novel hardcover set one thousand years before the crystal cracked, before the world of Thra fell to strife and destruction. Original Dark Crystal movie concept designer Brian Froud will plot, provide the cover, design characters and art direct this highly anticipated project.
This is not to be confused with the TokyoPop manga books that came a couple of years ago (which I have yet to read a good review of).

Archaia has been making comics with RPGs based on them already. The Mouse Guard RPG has seen pretty good success and a strong following. It uses a variation of the Burning Wheel RPG system. An Artesia RPG was produced using the Fuzion system. There aren't many companies who produce the RPG and the product the game is based on. It's kind of a neat business model. All of their products have a very high visual quality. These are some of the nicest looking books on the shelves.
ArchaEntertainment announces plans to release The Dark Crystal Roleplaying Game in late 2012. This roleplaying game will be based on the Dark Crystal comic book by Jim Henson. Designer Luke Crane (Mouse Guard RPG, Burning Wheel) will take on this project, creating a relatively simple roleplaying game for younger and older players alike.
ICv2 caught up with Mark Smylie with the details at the recent Gen Con game fair.
“It will be fairly simple, all-ages appropriate, and available for younger players,” Smylie explained. The game will be designed by Luke Crane, who also created the Mouse Guard RPG for Archaia and the award-winning Burning Wheel.
The Dark Crystal RPG will use similar rules to those found in Mouse Guard. In The Dark Crystal RPG, players create gelfling characters and explore the world found in the original film, set thousands of years ago. This fantasy-themed roleplaying game will send you on quests on a whole other planet in another time.The Dark Crystal RPG will be a single hardcover book, and may eventually release as a boxed set. Archaia Entertainment is currently planning to complete this exciting new roleplaying game in time for Gen Con 2012.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sherlock series 2

BBC Sherlock and John by melrosestormhaven
BBC's SHERLOCK is set to return quite soon! Three new 90 minute episodes and we have titles and the first air date!

  • The Scandal in Belgravia - (January 1st at 8:30PM in the UK) written by Steven Moffat
  • The Hounds of the Baskerville - written by Mark Gatiss
  • The Reichenbach Fall - written by Steve Thompson
Can't wait!
Virtuoso by alicexz

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I've got a bad feeling about this.

The Star Wars Christmas Special is getting the GLEE treatment. I don't think this is good. These days, anything with the description- 'reimagining' is usually a bad thing.

Star Wars Holiday Special to get Glee reimagining

Caroline Preece

The Star Wars Holiday Special is being dug out of its grave by Glee this Christmas. Flame jackets at the ready, then...

Published on Dec 6, 2011

If you're a diehard fan of TV musical Glee, this story might fill with childish delight, but if you're not, the news that the show is about to resurrect the long-forgotten (well, that's what LucasFilm would seemingly prefer) Star Wars Holiday Special will have you crying into your Ewok dolls.

Images of Chewbacca and Mike 'human windmill' Chang have surfaced, revealing that the show wasn't content with hijacking The Rocky Horror Picture Show and complete works of Madonna, as this year's Christmas special will raise George Lucas' 1978 spectacular from the deep grave it currently lies in.

Let's face it, the original 'special' outing was, er, 'challenging', and had been left for future generations to discover on YouTube and dismiss at their leisure. Now it's about to be catapulted into the mainstream, possibly doing more damage than the prequels ever could.
No doubt there'll be break dancing from C3PO and a Rachel/Chewie duet. Gawd help us all.
If you need a refresher as to the Star Wars Holiday Special, then take a look here.


And here is the original video (if you dare)...

Doctor Who Christmas Special prequel

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