Savage Worlds Doctor Who Rules

New Rules


Each person has a home timeline. Time travel poses some interesting challenges to the unwary.

For game purposes, Time is divided into broad periods, roughly equating to technology levels. It should be noted that even if a story takes place in the future, the technology level may be different. See the Middle Ages for an example.


This era describes the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age. It ended on Earth with the rise of ancient civilizations like the Egyptians and Chinese.

A few episodes have taken place in this time, such as the 1st Doctor episode "An Unearthly Child".

Ancient Times

Ancient civilizations blossomed with technologies that allowed states to expand beyond towns. This period represents a time before gunpowder and inexpensive paper.

The Doctor has visited many places in this time, including Pompeii and the Battle of Hastings in "The Time Meddler".

The Middle Ages

Events like the Crusades and the translation of Greek and Arabic texts fueled a renaissance in Europe during the 12th century, known as the High Middle Ages. It was remembered fondly for its feudal system, knights and castles.

The Doctor rarely visits, but has seen the Crusades ("the Crusade", "The King's Demons") and Marco Polo. However, the Doctor has visited other planets like Peladon and Ribos, where the technology is at this level.

The Renaissance

The Italian Renaissance saw a similar explosion of social development from translation of literary works and historical accounts, as well as advancements in mechanical engineering.

As these advances were applied to transportation, ships began carrying explorers across the ocean.

The Doctor has visited this period many times, including Italy ("The Masque of Mangragora", "The Vampires of Venice"), France ("The Girl in the Fireplace") and Shakespeare.

The Industrial Revolution

Coal-powered steam engines gave rise to automation in several industries: textiles, mining, and transport. Like the previous Age of Exploration, the steam engine powered transportation advances too, in the form of steamships and railways.

The Doctor has been to this era a couple of times ("The Mark of the Rani", "The Next Doctor").

Victorian Times

This era of productivity began in the mid-19th Century with the mass production of steel and machine tools. The era saw the telegraph, telephone and internal combustion engine, and culminated with scientists gaining an understanding of thermodynamics and electromagnetism.

The Doctor comes to this era often ("The Unquiet Dead", "Tooth and Claw", "The Gunfighters", "Ghost Light", "The Unicorn and the Wasp", "Vincent and the Doctor")

The 20th Century

Applications of new science and World War I propelled another leap in technology. Product development after the war gave the world crystal radios, vacuum tubes, radar, and microphones. By the end of World War II, early computers and nuclear power were invented. Spaceflight and lasers are among the innovations at the end of this era.

"Human Nature / The Family of Blood", "Black Orchid", "Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks", "The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances", "The Curse of Fenric", "Delta and the Bannermen" and "Blink" are just some of the historical adventures that have taken place in the era, not to mention all of the contemporary stories in the classic series (such as "The Invasion", "Inferno", "Robot", "City of Death" and "Logopolis").

The Information Age (Modern Day)

Advances in fibre optics, the Internet and Earth's first official contact with aliens in 2006 opened this era, which was marked by an increase in global consciousness. Stories in this era may feature extrapolations of modern technology but include few real advancements.

The McGann TV movie is the first story set in this time. All the contemporary stories of the new series take place in this era. Near future stories also take place in this era: "The Hungry Earth / Cold Blood", "The Wheel in Space", "The Waters of Mars", "The Moonbase", "Day of the Daleks" and "Warriors of the Deep".

Interstellar Empire

The era starts after humans begin interstellar travel with ion rockets (circa 2100). It encompasses the Earth Empire period as well, ending roughly in the year 4000. Stories in this era tend to have 'hard' science fiction feel.

"The Dalek Invasion of Earth", "Tomb of the Cybermen", "Earthshock", "Midnight", "The Curse of Peladon", "42" and "Terror of the Vervoids" are some serials that take place in this era.

Far Future

Humanity's heyday. Most of the current series's jaunts to humanity's future take place in this era. This is the era of Time Agents, vortex manipulators, the Ood, and Weeping Angels.

This era represents the pinnacle of human technology and thus is the last human era. Technology in this era is so far advanced that stories in this era tend to have 'soft' science fiction feel.

Episodes include "The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit", "Planet of the Ood", "The Time of Angels / Flesh and Stone", "Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead", "The Doctor's Daughter", "New Earth", "Gridlock" and "Utopia".

Rassilonian Gallifrey

The Doctor's people come from this time, and possibly only the Daleks rival the Time Lords in technological achievement.

Fitting Into Another Timeline

If someone suspects another person is from a different time, they may use a Notice roll to detect the traveler, opposed by the subject's Knowledge (History) skill.

Should a social faux pas occur, the character must make a Persuasion roll to avoid drawing attention. Enough Hostile results could lead to incarceration, an asylum, or worse.

Unfamiliar Technology

People are considered to be proficient with technology of their own timeline. If it is dramatically appropriate, the Game Master should use the following guidelines for extraordinary technology.

A character can develop skill with technology of different eras. A Knowledge skill for a particular technology level makes the character proficient with the technology and etiquette of that time. Players looking for proficiency across all timelines should take the Time Traveller Edge.

Baring proficiency, the following rules apply:

Technology that is uncommon in their home timeline can be used with a -1 penalty. An example might be an old-fashioned ice cream maker for a modern-day human, or likewise a MRI machine.

Old technology that is no longer in use in their home timeline is harder. It requires a Smarts roll to correctly deduce how to operate the device. Then, the device comes with a -2 penalty to use. Medicinal use of leeches falls into this category.

Technology that is from the next future era is treated like old technology: Smarts roll, -2 penalty. However, any technology further advanced than that is unfathomable and seems like magic. A person confronted by such technology is forced to experiment.

Penalties to skill rolls involving technology until a Raise is achieved using the device. After that, the penalty no longer applies — they have gotten the hang of the era's equipment.

Each time the characters returns to an era, they must overcome the penalty once more.

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