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Category Archives: DWAITAS Mechanics

…and when it comes to persuading computers to do something that doesn’t make sense, well more suspension of disbelief comes into play.

PARANOIA featured a skill called Spurious Logic, which allowed you to engage artificial lifeforms in the sort of discussion that left them smouldering in confusion. Captain Kirk had a knack for doing this – with Landru in ‘The Return of the Archons’ and M5 in ‘The Ultimate Computer‘ – uttering some statement or puzzle that logically would not compute and led to much sparking/smoking of circuit boards. It seems that Amy and The Doctor, but the former particularly, managed to pull off a little of this with Bracewell when the Dalek’s initiated the Oblivion Continuum.

In DWAITAS, the standard test for handling spurious logic should be against Convince + Ingenuity – conveying a logical conceit in a manner than denotes absolute belief to anyone listening, artificial or not. To further enhance the prospect of success, a character might take the Trait Technobabble.

Technobabble (Minor Good Trait)
The character has a bewildering grasp of the esoteric nuisances of bleeding edge technologies and obscure scientific theorems. They might not always completely understand the nitty-gritty of the subject matter, but they appear convincingly assured in their grasp of the principles.
   Effect: +2 bonus to any roll where the character seeks to assert authority in his grasp of obscure science or technology.
   Note: Cannot be taken with the Technically Inept Bad Trait. However, the character’s grasp of the principles does not, in turn, provide any positive modifiers to actual attempts to understand, repair or override gadgets and devices – where the character would need Technology and/or Boffin.

Yes, I know. I haven’t had time to digest the last two episodes yet to allow me to field an opinion. Thus far, I enjoyed ‘Eleventh Hour’ and I’m still on the fence with my judgment on ‘The Beast Below’. I will post something more… substantial… soon.

In the meantime, one thing about the episodes that struck me from a game mechanic angle is the possible need for the re-introduction of the ‘Notice’ skill – which I understand got cut from the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space rules set. The Doctor in the first and Amy in the second had a moment of clarity while looking for ‘an answer’ – and while the current system can fudge around it, an actual skill seems more and more… right. I admit this might not be Notice, but it needs to be something less than the Turn of the Universe trait (that might fit The Doctor, but not Amy).