|Please Note: use of the PDF version of this file is recommended. While every effort has been made to keep the text and graphics contents of both files identical (apart from page numbering which is irrelevant to the HTML version), there are differences in layout and the PDF is prettier and MUCH easier to print!|
This is the multiple-file HTML version of this game, and its use is recommended if your computer has speed or memory limitations or a slow internet connection, or if you are using Apple's Safari browser under OS X. If these aren't problems for you, you might find the single file version more convenient. It is divided into four sections - an index file, which contains copyright information and an index to all of the images used, a worldbook describing the game setting, these Forgotten Futures rules modified for dragon characters, and some adventures and other information for game referees.
The Death of Bon Agornin
The Biology of Dragons
The Rules of the Game
The Tenant of Copper Caverns
The Crimson Claw Assurance Society
Epilogue: Past, Present, and Future
Don't believe everything you read...
This is an authorised derivative work based on the novel Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton, and on its unfinished sequel Those Who Favor Fire. Its content has been approved by her, but nothing in it, other than direct quotes from the original texts, should be considered to be definite canon for this setting. Background details have been invented in areas where they were felt to be needed, and simplified to make the gaming aspects easier to handle. The only definitive sources for this world are the above works, and it's possible that any future works by Jo Walton that use this setting may contradict the game.
Role playing games (usually shortened to RPGs) are story-telling games. One player is the referee who runs the game, and has an idea of what is to happen in the story, while the other players run characters in the story. Characters are defined by a name, a description, and a list of characteristics (such as 'MIND') and skills (such as 'Marksman'). Players describe the actions of their characters, while the referee describes everyone and everything they encounter. This may sound like an impossible job for the referee, but it's easy if players are prepared to cooperate.
The Forgotten Futures rules as previously published worked well when dealing with the activities of normal humans, but need numerous changes to deal with the dragons described in Tooth and Claw. While it would be simple enough to limit this section to the changes to the system needed to run dragon characters under the existing rules, this would be unfair to any fans of the book that are running or playing the game for the first time. Instead the rules have been rewritten and to an extent simplified to make them suitable for dragon characters; this version is fully compatible with previous releases of the game, but you should be aware that the character generation system is somewhat different, with some special rules that wouldn't apply to human characters, and that everything that's irrelevant to this setting has been omitted. See the full rules (available free on line) if you want to use them for any other genre.
One aspect of the Forgotten Futures rules may annoy players who prefer high levels of violence; it is easy to get hurt or killed in all forms of combat, even for dragons, it takes a long time to recover if you are wounded, and most wounds require medical treatment. This seems more realistic than the systems offered by some other RPGs, in which a character can be shot three or four times and still come back for more. If you dislike this approach please feel free to amend the injury system, but please DO NOT distribute modified rules.
Experienced Forgotten Futures referees will find a summary of the rules changes and a guide to the new sections at the end of the rules.
The easiest way to understand an RPG is to see it played. In the example below Kim is the referee, Bert and Nikki are playing Respected Paddiah and Respectable Shimmeth, brother and sister dragons from the country, and Jane is playing old Raetha, a faithful (though wing-bound) servant who is accompanying them on their first adult trip to Irieth, where they will stay with relatives whom they haven't met since they were hatchlings. As the scene begins they've spent a couple of hours designing characters, learning a little about the setting, getting ready for the trip, and travelling towards Irieth.
|Kim||Ahead of the train you can see a haze of smoke over the metropolis, and you remember the stories you've heard about the difficulty of flying over the city. Buildings appear to either side, becoming more and more frequent as you get closer to the city. Soon the train's rattling between smoky-looking buildings, click-clacking over points as it finally slows to a halt in the grand Cupola station. There's a strong smell of smoke, and an interesting smell of freshly-killed muttonwools from the direction of the station food stalls. There are crowds everywhere, dragons of all colours and sizes and even an occasional Yarge, presumably tourists.|
|Jane||(as Raetha, whose traits include irrational fear of Yarge) Veld save us! Yarge? We'll be murdered in our caves!|
|Bert||(as Padiah, with singular lack of concern) That's right, Raetha, we're all doomed. Mmm... must be about lunch time, should we stop for a meal before we head on to Uncle's place?|
|Nikki||(as Shimmeth) It's a bit early, isn't it? Besides, they probably have a meal waiting for us.|
|Jane||(as Raetha) Yes, Miss Shimmeth. If we stay here who knows what horrors we can expect from the Yarge?|
|Kim||(in sing-song street vendor voice) "Get yer fresh swine 'ere, they're luvverly, only three crown a head. Fresh swine, three crown a head! Muttonwools, two and an 'arf crown!"|
|Bert||Is that expensive?|
|Kim||About twice what you'd normally pay in the country. Oh, all of you: roll to notice something - MIND against Difficulty 6, please. (Anyone succeeding notices a small theft and presumably chases the thief - if they fail the theft will soon become apparent. The theft gives them a reason to meet two important NPCs; characters played by the referee, who will either help to stop the thief or return their property a little later.)|
|Jane||(rolls two six-sided dice) Eleven. Blind as a bat. (In Forgotten Futures low dice rolls are generally good, high rolls are bad.)|
|Bert||Nine. Can I use my Detective skill instead? (It's usually better to use a skill than a characteristic. Bert took this skill because his character is planning to look for work as a journalist and he thinks it would be useful. Detective skill includes some ability as an observer.) That would make it... Never mind, it's still a failure.|
|Nikki||Eight. But my MIND is four, that isn't good enough, I think.|
|Kim||Never mind then. (In another vendor's voice) Honeyed pears, four for 'arf a crown. Ripe as ripe can be! (In normal voice) Actually they look a little over-ripe.|
|Jane||(as Raetha) Them prices are scandalous! You could get ten for that in the country.|
|Kim||A small scrawny-looking dragon wearing a porter's cap and pushing a cart says "Carry yer trunks, ladies and gentleman? 'Arf a crawn fer the first mile, then another 'arf crawn for every 'arf mile."|
|Bert||(as Padiah) Sounds good to me. Do you know Goldsmith Street?|
|Kim||(as porter) Like the back of me claw. Be a crawn and a 'arf. Them two trunks and the three bags?|
|Nikki||(as Shimmeth) Didn't we have four bags?|
|Kim||You did. Shimmeth's smaller case seems to have gone missing. The porter coughs reflectively and says "Veld! Someone saw you coming. Better get the rest on 'ere sharpish before someone nicks them too."|
|Bert||I look around to see if I can spot the bag. Detective skill again. (rolls seven)|
|Kim||You don't see it. Not surprising, in the bustle. (Since none of them saw the bag stolen Kim is assuming that the thief is already out of sight.)|
|Nikki||What's in the bag? Anything valuable?|
|Kim||Not really, just your second-best hat and some scale-burnishing cream and a couple of books.|
|Bert||(as Padiah) We'd better get moving; we'll just have to chalk it up to experience.|
|Nikki||(as Shimmeth) It's easy for you to say that, I loved that hat and a Yarge probably stole it. We'd better get on, before something really valuable goes missing. You'd better help Raetha load the trunks onto the cart.|
|Jane||I start to lift one end of one of the trunks. (As Raetha) Oww! My lumbago!|
|Bert||I'd better help, I suppose. What about you?|
|Nikki||What about me? Which part of being a gentledragon are you having trouble with here?|
|Bert||Okay, I'll help lift the trunks aboard. Oof... (mimes lifting a heavy weight)|
|Kim||The porter helps you. (as porter) Veld, what 'ave you got in 'ere, yer hoard?|
|Bert||(very quietly) Umm - yes, actually.|
|Kim||(as porter) Blimey, we'd better not 'ang around 'ere then; right den of thieves, isn't it? But that'll be an extra 'arf crawn for excess weight. (as herself) As soon as everything's loaded he starts to wheel the cart towards the exit.|
|Nikki||(as Shimmeth) Come on! And if we pass somewhere that sells scale burnishing cream make a note.|
|Bert||I take a last look around for the bag, dash over to the vendor and give him a half-crown for a bag of pears, then follow them out of the station.|
|Kim||As you walk from the station you see the vista of the park surrounding the Cupola, Tiamath's ancient seat of government, but turn left onto one of the avenues heading West towards your cousin's home. A couple of minutes later you hear someone say "Just a moment!" and look round to see a large elderly-looking dragon, with his wings bound with the red cords of a parson, bustling towards you carrying Shimmeth's bag. (slightly pompous voice) "I say, is this yours?"|
|Nikki||(as Shimmeth) My hat! And my burnishing cream! Did you find it at the station, Blessed ...um|
|Kim||(slightly pompous voice) Blessed Gevon of the Mission to the Yarge. At your service, Miss ...ah|
|Nikki||(as Shimmeth) Respectable Shimmeth Oshetivon, Blessed Gevon.|
|Kim||(as Gevon) Delighted. Fortunately my companion noticed a miscreant making off with your property and pursued him. (as herself) He hands you your bag. As he does so a Yarge steps out from behind him.|
|Jane||(as Raetha) Eeek! A Yarge! Nasty squishy things they are, like to murder us all in our caves!|
|Kim||(as Gevon) May I introduce one of my parishioners; Miss Keleg. (As herself) The Yarge coming towards you wears cloth over much of its body, and seems to have blue tattoos over as much of the skin you can see, including its face. It has two long curved swords in sheaths attached to its mid-section, and moves like a predator. (As Keleg) Ah is Keleg of de Yegith Isles, de Yarge calls dem de Cannibal Isles. (as herself) You notice that its teeth are sharpened to points. (As Keleg) Some calls me Keleg Dragon-Slayer.|
|Bert||(as Padiah) Umm... dragon slayer? (as himself) I move so that I can protect everyone from her.|
|Kim||(as Gevon) Oh, reformed, of course. Quite reformed. (as herself) Keleg smiles, showing her pointed teeth again. Jane, I think Raetha needs to roll her BODY against Difficulty 5.|
|Jane||Thought so. (Rolls a 4) Okay, I made it.|
|Kim||Then you don't faint.|
|Jane||(as Raetha) Veld protect us all!|
|Kim||(as Keleg) Amen, sister, praise be to Veld! (as herself) She moves towards you, arms outstretched.|
|Jane||I retreat rapidly (as Raetha) Eek! Yarge!|
|Kim||(as Keleg) You is in me prayers, sister, I is praying you find de courage to embrace in de light of Veld. (as herself) Make another roll, Difficulty 4 this time.|
|Jane||Seven, exactly what I needed. I jump onto the wagon to get out of reach of the horrible thing.|
|Kim||What's your BODY?|
|Kim||The cart sags noticeably but doesn't collapse. (as porter) Hey, get off the bleedin' cart!|
|Bert||(as Padiah) Tell me, Blessed Kellis, what brings you and your... um... parishioner to Irieth?|
|Kim||(as Gevon) Unfortunately the Church is cutting back on some of its more ...ah... far-flung missions, despite our success. Did you know that nearly twenty percent of the Yegith natives now worship Veld? (as Keleg) Praise be! (as Gevon) Praise be indeed, Miss Keleg.|
|Nikki||(as Shimmeth) But why close the missions, Blessed Gevon?|
|Kim||(as Gevon) I fear that there may be a political element, Respectable Shimmeth, perhaps even some jealousy. Most of the missions to more civilised countries have achieved much less success, but there is something about the worship of Veld that seems to strike a chord in the heart of the Yarge of the Yegith Archipelago (as Keleg) Praise be to Veld!|
|Bert||(as Padiah) Perhaps we'd better get on. Raetha, get down from there; you can walk on the other side of the cart if you're worried.|
|Jane||(as Raetha) But Master Padiah...|
|Bert||I roar "Down!" as loudly as I can.|
|Jane||I sulkily climb down and make sure that the wagon is between me and the Yarge.|
|Kim||(as Gevon) We seem to be going in the same direction. Perhaps we should stay together to protect the ladies from any further banditry.|
|Nikki||I move over to Padiah and whisper "Do you think it's a good idea?"|
|Bert||I whisper "Why not?"|
|Nikki||I can't help thinking that all this is too good to be true - a missionary and his convert turn up to stop our stuff being stolen, when we're lugging around our hoards. I think they're setting us up for some sort of con. And you notice that they don't seem to have any luggage, why were they at the station?|
|Bert||Mmm... Good point. Okay, I turn to Gevon and say "Thank you so much, but we really can't detain you and Miss Keleg; we'll be very slow getting there with all this luggage."|
|Kim||(as Gevon) Oh, we're in no hurry. (as Keleg) No, we has all de time in de world. (as herself) While you were talking you've been walking on away from the station, and the streets seem to be getting a little narrower and run-down looking.|
|Bert||I turn to the porter and say "Are you sure we're going the right way?"|
|Kim||(as porter) Short cut, sir.|
|Bert||(as Padiah) I think we'd prefer to take a more scenic route, see some of the sights on the way.|
|Kim||(as Gevon) But not until we've discussed your donation to the Church mission fund. (as herself) He seems to have pulled out a large pistol from somewhere while you were talking to the porter, and Keleg has drawn her swords and is grinning at you again. The porter says "They said they 'as their hoards in the trunks."|
|Bert||(as Padiah) I say! You scoundrels!|
|Kim||Will Gevon and Keleg the dragon-slayer really steal your hoards? Is Gevon really a parson? Is Keleg really a cannibal? Or a dragon-slayer? Do you really want to know? Find out in our next exciting episode...|
|Nikki||What? We've only been playing for a couple of hours!|
|Kim||Only kidding. But I'm getting hungry, let's take a break and eat.|
|Bert||Works for me...
They adjourn to the kitchen.
In this example players took on roles of characters of their own sex. This is advisable if they feel uncomfortable playing the opposite sex, but there is no other reason why players shouldn't run characters of different sexes, races, nationalities, or species. The referee needs to take on a wide variety of roles, which will probably take in all of the above as a campaign progresses. At a few points in these rules it has been convenient to use the term "him" or "her" when describing something that is equally applicable to either sex. This is not meant to imply that either sex should be excluded from any activity. However, female dragons are often disadvantaged by the nature of draconic society.
To use this system you'll need two six-sided dice (preferably two per player), copies of the character record form and a few tables, and some pens and paper. A calculator is occasionally useful. Metal, plastic, or card figures can be used to represent characters, but they are not essential. Some cut-out figures are provided above.
Online resources for referees, mostly HTML pages, can be found at the author's web sites. They include the complete rules, worldbooks and numerous adventures, source material, and a good deal more. The Forgotten Futures CD-ROM, which can be ordered from these sites, adds several hundred megabytes of additional source material, including period fiction, articles, and illustrations.
Most role playing games incorporate specialised terms. Forgotten Futures uses some, as well as a few abbreviations and contractions, as follows:
|1D6||Roll one dice (one die if you feel pedantic).|
|2D6||Roll two dice and add the numbers.|
|BODY||A characteristic, often abbreviated as B.|
|MIND||A characteristic, often abbreviated as M.|
|SOUL||A characteristic, often abbreviated as S.|
|Effect||Numerical rating used to calculate the damage caused by weapons and other forms of attack.|
|Average of...||Add two numbers (e.g. characteristics) and divide by two. Round UP if the result is a fraction. Usually abbreviated as Av, e.g.AvB&S.|
|Half of...||Divide a number (usually a characteristic) by two and round UP. Usually shown as /2, e.g.B/2, 1D6/2.|
|Third of... etc.||Divide by three (or whatever) and round up. E.g. B/3 = BODY/3.|
|Half average of...||Some skills are based on half the average of two characteristics. Add the characteristics, then divide by 4, then round up. e.g.AvB&S/2.|
|+1||Add 1 to a dice roll or other number.|
|+2||Add 2 to a dice roll or other number.|
|-1||Subtract 1 from a dice roll or other number.|
|-2||Subtract 2 from a dice roll or other number.|
|2+, 3+, etc.||2 or more, 3 or more, etc.|
|Round||A flexible period of time during which all PCs and NPCs can perform actions. In combat a round is a few seconds, in other situations it might be a few minutes or hours, if used at all.|
|Optional Rule||This means exactly what it sounds like: something that can be tacked onto the game if you want to use it, but isn't essential for play. Usually optional rules add extra realism but make life harder for players or the referee, or involve complexities which you may wish to avoid.|
|FF||Forgotten Futures (what else?).|
|FF I, II, etc.||Forgotten Futures I, II, etc.|
|NPC||Non-Player character, run by the referee rather than by players.|
Every dragon needs a name, often several. Numerous dragons are named in Tooth and Claw, and Jo Walton has coined many more on her Livejournal. Dragon names generally consist of a forename (or more than one forename) followed, in the case of peers, by a demesne name, the name of the family or estate. Often the forename is omitted from normal conversation if a dragon has a title or professional rank.
Here, reproduced with permission, are a few examples, mostly first names; those in italics are named characters in the books. Some have been used to name characters and/or locations mentioned in the sourcebook, rules and adventures:
Alwad, Amer, Avageth, Avan, Beirandra, Bon Agornin, Blessed Calien, Chigal, Danith, Derwig, Digothien, Dunnis, Eligas, Ereg, Erofal, Blessed Frelt, Gefon, Gelath, Gelathis, Gerin, Gesuthivak, Gethack, Gevon, Glaris, Goredigis, Has, Hathor, Huvager, Ingen, Irofah, Ithelar, Ithemin, Jamanay, Kellis, Klem, Lamerak, Laperal, Liralen, Londaver, Marcanil, Mothies, Mustan, Nalnegis, Ogefon, Onaver, Padiah, Parcray, Parten, Penn Agornin, Pletsim, Rasdarie, Rasdogah, Retaiath, Exalted Rimalin, Salak, Sanjild, Sher Benandi, Eminent Teltsie, Thenacel, Thidris, Thonakie, Vimier, Wontas, Yagideg, Yenalie, Yenash, Yenish, Yepragis, Yethig, Yoverak
Aeslyn, Alotho, Belathis, Belcelith, Beloth, Belshulah, Berend, Dapiandrel, Dara, Direndra, Echoris, Eda, Edawoon, Egsebeth, Enadra, Felandra, Felin, Foharegis, Gegaris, Haner, Hasegath, Hethigetis, Hethikah, Hileris, Hradan, Hradin, Igimemie, Issel, Keleg, Kinetika, Kitisel, Lamith, Lipahis, Lish, Lodie, Lomegis, Melbele, Mievel, Miregah, Miviel, Nelorie, Nevegia, Nevris, Nimuleris, Nolenluth, Oshenitara, Oshetivon, Raetha, Ratherodis, Samindra, Sartho, Sebeth, Selendra, Sethod, Shimmeth, Soban, Eminence Teltsie, Tiadra, Vebarie, Vesirnegie, Woyime, Yeg, Yegith, Yegithnie, Yelis, Yethagnie, Zile
Each player needs at least one character, whose details should be recorded. Use copies of the form that follows, or write records on scrap paper or file cards. The HTML version of the rules includes links to more records in a variety of formats including spreadsheet templates, but they are designed for human characters, not dragons. Because nearly everything about a dragon character is related to his or her class and sex, you should begin by deciding what they are. Aristocratic dragons tend to be bigger, tougher, and stronger than others, but there are down-sides: increased responsibilities; increased public awareness of your activities; and a probability that any Yarge encountered will react badly to you.
Players should record their names and the name (including any title or rank), sex, and age of the character. They may wish to give their characters military names and rank, academic honours, and the like; the referee must decide if this will cause problems.
Sex (Male or Female, and [optionally] sexual orientation) are important in this setting, which in its attitudes is similar to early Victorian Britain. Unmarried female dragons are essentially second class citizens, considered incompetent to look after themselves; married female dragons are more or less at the mercy of their husbands. Widows and a few adventuresses may be able to transcend the normal limitations of their gender, but there will be frequent obstacles - onlookers will be shocked or scandalized, and there may be legal restrictions that stop the character from doing everything that she wants. For example, a female character may not be allowed to take on the legal responsibilities associated with owning a ship or a business, but must instead find a male figurehead to do it for her. Homosexuality is a taboo subject, rarely discussed publicly, but is extraordinarily scandalous if it becomes known.
Age is usually unimportant for adult characters; exceptionally young or old characters may be at a social disadvantage, otherwise there is no effect in game terms. For dragons "exceptionally young" is anything under 50 or so, "exceptionally old" is anything over 500, so there's room for manoeuvre.
For "profession", write in something appropriate; the referee should tell players if they have made an unsuitable choice. For this setting the choices below have disadvantages:
Most of the other careers are very like those in Victorian England, with similar pros and cons. Any career which requires a character to perform daily duties and doesn't give much leeway should probably be avoided, but it's always possible for a character to be retired, on holiday, or between jobs.
Try to avoid professional ranks that will give players too much power, or restrict them too badly. An aristocrat in charge of a large estate is a good example; you have a lot of authority, especially in your local area, but you're expected to spend most of your time administering the estate, leaving little time for adventures. Wealthy characters are acceptable, but should not be able to buy their way out of every problem. Avoid occupations that restrict character freedom and mobility; an obvious example is an indentured servant, but a clerk with no money, a lawyer with a full roster of clients, or a mother tied down by young dragonets aren't much better off, from a gaming point of view.
While it is possible to play a Yarge in this setting, mixed parties of Yarge and Dragons have a tendency to run into problems; Yarge can't fly or see in the dark, dragons can't fit into many of the places a Yarge can go and tend to dislike even looking at Yarge, and so forth. If you want to work around these problems use any version of the normal Forgotten Futures rules to design your Yarge characters.
Example: Respected Segievel Yepragis (1)
Segievel Yepragis is a 220 year old gentledragon author, writer of several scientific romances including The Annihilation of the Yarge, The Fall of Irieth, and The Belshulath Menace. He genuinely believes (like many other dragons) that the Yarge are a danger to all Dragonkind and ought to be annihilated, if it can be done safely and without inconveniencing him. The referee has no trouble with any of this - his writing career and specism will be a good way to get him involved in adventures. Respected Segievel's adventures will be used to illustrate some aspects of the rules.
The next sections of the record are completed using character points, discussed after the character record which follows.
Dragon Character Record
|Player Name ~|
|Character Name ~|
|Profession ~||Age ~||Sex ~|
|Length ~||Flame ~||Thick Scales ~||Tough ~||Fearsome ~|
Bonus pt. ~
|Front claws x2 (Effect B+1 M, B-1 F)||2||F||I||C|
|Rear claws x2 (Effect B+2)||No||F||I||C/K|
|Bite (Effect B+2)||No||F||I||C/K|
|Constrict (Effect B+1)||No||I||I||C|
|Tail Strike (Effect B/2)||No||F||I||I+KO|
|Flame (Radius BODY/5 ft., Effect B/2)||Area||I||I||K|
|Armour = BODY / 5 + Scales||-||-||-||-|
|~ This record is provided for personal use only. It may be copied freely, but must not be sold ~
PDF, RTF and DOC versions have also been provided.
The number of character points given to players depends on the class and age of their dragons. Optionally this can be rolled randomly.
|2||Servants and the Criminal Classes||14||2-4||50-100||+1|
|10||Exalted||27||* +2 only for servants & the criminal classes|
|11||August||29||Female dragons lose 10% of the points for Class (round
the total UP), but retain all points for age.
This looks, and is, extremely biased. Servants and the criminal classes are denied most of the opportunities that might lead to them eating dragon meat or getting a decent education, so they are naturally stunted and uneducated. Females lose out by being confined to the home, so lose out to some extent on education and physical development. Most males (commoners and peers) get to live more active lives, and if they live long enough should gain more experience.
Example: Respected Segievel Yepragis (2)Character points are used for the following purposes:
As a 220 year old Respected male dragon Segievel gets 21+3 = 24 character points
|Value of Characteristic|
|Cost of Characteristic|
|* At the discretion of the referee ONLY|
The table to the right shows the cost of characteristics. For comparison, average Yarge characteristics are 3 or 4. 5 is above average, 6 is very good (for example, BODY  might be a professional athlete), 7 is extraordinarily unusual and is available only at the referee's discretion. Yarge characteristics can rarely be changed.
For dragons things are very different; BODY is usually higher, is easier to buy, and can be improved at a later date. Average MIND and SOUL are about the same as for Yarge, and cannot easily be improved.
There's a space on the record form for a fourth optional characteristic, MAGIC. See the brief note on the use of magic in this setting towards the end of the rules. For most purposes the three standard characteristics are all that will be needed. This characteristic should not be purchased unless the referee has decided to allow its use. See below for full details of the effects of the other characteristics.
Example: Respected Segievel Yepragis (3)
Segievel has 24 character points. His player must spend 6 to 12 points on BODY and purchase other characteristics as desired; Magic will not be used. He chooses to buy BODY 8, making him stronger and tougher than any Yarge; as a writer he will be using the Artist skill, which depends on MIND and SOUL, and chooses to buy MIND 4 and SOUL 3, for a total of 7+5+3=15 points. There will be no magic. He has 9 points left. With BODY 8 he is 24ft long and his thick and scaly skin gives him some armour - the armour Effect is 8/5 (rounded up) = 2.
The list that follows includes all of the skills available in the Forgotten Futures RPG, including some that are limited or not available to dragons or (in the context of this setting) are not available to anyone, depending on technology that has yet to be invented. Skills which are not available to dragons are marked with a darker shade; skills that are only available to dragons are in bold type. Skills that are limited in some way will show it in the notes.
Skills have a base value derived from one or more characteristics, to which at least one point must be added. For instance, Actor is based on the average of MIND and SOUL; a character whose MIND and SOUL average to 4 gets Actor  for one point, Actor  for 2 points, or Actor  for 3 points. Brawling and Stealth are available at the base values shown without spending points on them. Naturally they can be improved if points are spent. Note that dragons start off with poor stealth compared to Yarge, all those scales etc. make noise, and that some other skills have different base values for dragons and Yarge. Flying is available free at base value for dragons, but indentured servants who have not been able to exercise their wings occasionally must start at a lower value if they are later allowed to fly.
|Actor||AvM&S||Any form of stage performance.|
|Artist||AvM&S||Any artistic endeavour.|
|Athlete||B||Swimming, running, etc.|
|Babbage Engine||M||Not yet available in this setting|
|Brawling||B||Use of teeth, claws, improvised weapons, etc. Free at base value|
|Business||M||Any financial or organisational work.|
|Detective||AvM&S||Good at noticing small details.|
|Doctor||M/2||Knowledge and licence to practice.|
|Driving||M||Any ground vehicle if designed for operation by dragons.|
|First Aid||M||Emergency treatment to stop bleeding etc.|
|Flying||B||Free at base value - indentured servants B/2. Dragons only!|
|Linguist||M||Linguist/2 languages (round UP) are initially known.|
|Marksman||M||Use of directly aimed projectile weapons.|
|Martial Arts||AvB&S/2||Any martial art. Allows multiple attacks. Yarge only!|
|Mechanic||M||Any form of engineering etc.|
|Medium||S/2||A genuine medium, not a fake.|
|Melee Weapon||AvB&M||All close range non-projectile weapons|
|Mesmerism||AvM&S||Using your eyes to hypnotize Yarge. Dragons only!|
|Military Arms||M||Use of field guns, explosives, etc.|
|Pilot||AvB&M/2||Use for aircraft, submersibles, etc. Yarge only!|
|Psychology||AvM&S||Use to spot lies, calm other dragons, etc. Not usable on Yarge.|
|Riding||S||Dragons cannot ride, so this skill is limited to training & driving animals.
Yarge base this skill on AvB&S since it is more physical for them.
|Scholar||M||Detailed knowledge of Scholar/2 related fields (round UP)|
|Scientist||M||Use of any science.|
|Signals||M||Operation of heliographs etc. using Dragon codes (or Yarge)|
|Stealth||B/4||Hiding, camouflage, sneaking, etc. Free at base value.|
|Thief||M/2||Locksmith, forgery, etc. Picking pockets for Yarge only!|
See below for full details of the use of skills, and a more detailed explanation of each skill. Male dragons do not automatically know how to write; it is not listed as a separate skill, but if male characters wish to write they must justify it via one of their other skills.
Forgotten Futures uses very general skills; for example, Scientist covers everything from Archaeology to Zoology, Pilot covers all aircraft, submarines, etc. (but isn't available to dragons). Players may spend up to three points per skill during character generation. If more than one point is used the player can add specialities related to the skill; some skills (such as Scholar and Linguist) automatically have them.
Example: Respected Segievel Yepragis (4)
Segievel has BODY 8, MIND 4 and SOUL 3, and 9 character points left. He doesn't think he needs to improve his athletic skills or brawling - he's a writer, not a warrior - but to be on the safe side, if the Yarge ever do invade, he decides to learn to shoot. He obviously needs to be able to compose prose, for which he needs the Artist skill, and Scholar is essential for research. As a peer he obviously has some business interests, so that skill will also be useful. In the end he chooses:Artist  (writer, penmanship) - 2 pt.
Brawling  - 0 pt.
Business  - 1 pt.
Flying  - 0 pt.
Marksman  - 2 pt.
Stealth  - 0 pt.
Scholar (The Yarge, Military history, conspiracy theories) - 2 pt.
Male dragons can't usually write without training - holding a pen between claws is difficult. The referee accepts that in order to practice his art Segievel will have received this training as part of the Artist skill.
Two points are left for other things.
Dragons may have up to four unusual abilities:
Example: Respected Segievel Yepragis (5)
Segievel has 2 points left. He thinks about getting scales or becoming fearsome but in the end decides to buy Toughness 1. This leaves one point; he considers converting it to two bonus points for use in play, but eventually returns to skills and adds Linguist  for 1 point.
These sections should be completed when the character's characteristics, skills, and history have been decided. Players should simply say what they'd like to own, and describe any special status or background details; the referee should decide if this is reasonable, and if it would be useful (or much too useful!) in the game setting. It's reasonable to assume that characters have a home and enough money to live comfortably and pay normal expenses; even indentured servants will live somewhere, at their master or mistresses pleasure. At the referee's discretion characters may be rich if it will help to develop the campaign. All characters should note how much money they normally carry; a Crown is roughly equivalent to ten pounds. See the section on prices above for more on this.
The tick boxes in the section marked "Wounds" are left blank for use during play. Any optional boxes that aren't used should be obliterated so that they won't be used accidentally. See the sections on wounds, combat, and non-combat injuries below for more details of this part of the game.
Example: Respected Segievel Yepragis (6)
Segievel is a gentle-dragon of modest means; he receives the income from a few tenants in Irieth, from his writing, and from occasional guest lectures. He lives in a traditional small Draconic town house in the Migantine Quarter of Irieth; he dislikes Yarge and believes in the old saying "Know your enemy," so living where he will occasionally encounter them is one way to be alert for trouble.
He carries a notepad and pencils at all times, of course, and has about 3000 crowns banked, 100 crowns for his token sleeping chamber "hoard", and routinely carries about ten crowns in gold and change. He owns one antique, a very fine piece of Yarge workmanship, a gold broach representing a dragon curled up around a large ruby, at least a thousand years old and worth a couple of hundred crowns to a collector, which he uses as a hat pin. Other than that he has no special possessions. He has one employee, Sethod Woyime, an elderly widow who comes in three mornings a week to do his accounts and secretarial work, but she is a commoner, not an indentured servant.
With all of this decided the player has nearly completed the character record. For each skill he writes in any relevant specializations (see the detailed skill descriptions below). Since Segievel has one point in Toughness he leaves the first optional "injury" box open, but crosses off the second optional "injury" and the "critical" box. Since there is to be no magic he writes N/A instead of the value for the characteristic.
The final parts left are the weapons and portrait.
The weapons section is used to record all natural weapons (claws etc.), and anything else that the character usually carries or has handy, such as a pistol. The columns list the weapon's name, whether it is capable of multiple attacks, the Effect number which determines how much damage it can cause, and the results of any damage caused. For now it isn't necessary to worry about the use of this system; it's explained in the section on combat below, and the weapons table following it. He puts N/A for "Flame" since Segievel doesn't have this ability. All of a dragon's other natural weapons have Effect based on BODY, as shown on the record sheet. Note that dragonesses get a weaker attack with their front claws, since they are smaller than those of males.
Lastly, he pastes on a picture found online as a portrait of his character.
Segievel is now more or less ready to be used, but to add a little more depth the player looks at the list of optional traits below and picks a few that look particularly appropriate; Snob, Rational Fear of Yarge, Nominally Religious and Confirmed Bachelor. Between them these traits should give him plenty of reasons to get involved in adventures. If only to get away from the pretty dragonesses his aunts want him to meet...
Dragon Character Record
|Player Name ~|
|Character Name ~ Respected Segievel Yepragis|
|Profession ~ Author / Journalist||Age ~ 220||Sex ~ Male|
|Length ~ 24ft.||Flame ~ No||Thick Scales ~ No||Tough ~ 1pt.||Fearsome ~ No|
|BODY ~ 8
MIND ~ 4
SOUL ~ 3
MAGIC ~ N/A
Bonus pt. ~ -
Artist  (writer, penmanship), Brawling , Business , Flying , Linguist  (Migantine, Belshuline, Danithine), Marksmanship , Scholar  (The Yarge, conspiracy theories, military history), Stealth 
Notebook, pencils, assorted personal junk of little value. 3000 crowns banked, 100 in hoard, 10 crowns carried Antique gold broach (Yarge workmanship) representing a dragon curled up around a large ruby, worth a couple of hundred crowns, used as a hat pin. Various hats and caps.
|Front claws x2 (Effect B+1 M, B-1 F)||2||9||F||I||C|
|Rear claws x2 (Effect B+2)||No||10||F||I||C/K|
|Bite (Effect B+2)||No||10||F||I||C/K|
|Constrict (Effect B+1)||No||9||I||I||C|
|Tail Strike (Effect B/2)||No||4||F||I||I+KO|
|Flame (Radius BODY/5 ft., Effect B/2)||Area||n/a||I||I||K|
|Armour = BODY / 5 + Scales||-||2||-||-||-|
Comfortably well off; income from rents, investments, royalties, etc. Lives in Migantine Quarter, Irieth. Conspiracy theorist / "technothriller" style scientific romance writer. One employee, Sethod Woyime (part time secretary / accountant)
Traits: Snob, Rational Fear of Yarge, Nominally Religious, Confirmed Bachelor.
|~ This record is provided for personal use only. It may be copied freely, but must not be sold ~
PDF and Word .DOC versions have also been provided.
Dragon BODY is wildly variable but always high. Normal dragon MIND and SOUL are in the range 1-6, with 1 exceptionally poor, 3 or 4 average, and 6 very good, the top percentile of performance. Player characters may have MIND or SOUL of 7 at the discretion of the referee ONLY; this is freakishly good, far better than normal performance.
MIND and SOUL cannot normally be improved; under really exceptional circumstances changes might be allowed, but this is a once in a lifetime event. BODY may rise any time a dragon eats dragon flesh.
Characteristics may sometimes be reduced. For instance, someone crippled after a fall might lose BODY, someone suffering a severe head injury might lose MIND. SOUL might be damaged by insanity or drug abuse. If any characteristic is reduced, recalculate the values of all skills derived from it.
Depending on circumstances, characteristics may be used against other characteristics, against skills, or against an arbitrary "Difficulty". Skills give an edge in most of these situations, as explained in later sections, but it's sometimes necessary to use them directly.
Previous releases have used a lookup table to make it slightly easier to calculate the result of actions, but it gets somewhat cumbersome with dragons whose BODY (after a few good meals) may be 20 or more. To get the same results a small amount of arithmetic is needed:
To do anything roll 2D6:
A gravid dragoness of the Old Faith (easily recognisable by her mantilla) takes a last flight before laying her eggs.
If the characteristic, skill or Difficulty to be overcome or the skill, Effect, or characteristic used are over 12, divide both numbers by the smallest number that will reduce both below 12 and round up. e.g., if one is 20 and the other is 7, divide by 2 to get 10 and 4. If one is 32 and the other is 7, divide by 3 to get 11 and 3. Then roll as above.
When any roll is made the referee may prefer to keep the target value a secret, and simply tell the player if the result is a success or failure.
If the result is EXACTLY the number needed to succeed, the attempt has come very close to failure; referees may want to dramatise this appropriately. If the number rolled is much lower than the number needed to succeed, the referee should emphasise the ease with which success was achieved. Similarly, a roll just one above the number needed for success should be dramatised as a very near thing that came within an ace of succeeding, a very high roll as an abject failure. These dramatics aside, any success is a success, any failure a failure.
Example: Breaking down a door
Segievel (BODY ) wants to break an unusually strong Yarge door (BODY ) by smashing into it. Neither number is over 12 so there is no need to reduce them.
The first attempt is a roll of 7.
7 (the roll) + 10 (the door's BODY) - 8 (Segievel's BODY) = 9
It's a failure, and the door rattles but stays shut.
After a brief rest Segievel runs at the door again. On a 2 the lock breaks. The referee dramatises this by describing the wood splintering, the knob flying across the room and narrowly missing the dragonet Segievel is trying to rescue.
Example: Arm Wrestling
While visiting a low tavern in the Migantine Quarter, Segievel encounters a VERY drunk Yarge railwayman, a stoker who insists that he can "arm wrestle any one of you sons of lizards;" he's already defeated a couple of the other customers, but all of them are commoners, and somewhat smaller than Segievel. Some of Segievel's friends are with him, and urge him to show the Yarge "What a gentledragon can do."
Unknown to Segievel and friends, the Yarge occasionally supplements his income by performing a strongman act; he has BODY . In each round each should roll BODY as attacker with the other character's BODY as defender:
Round 1: The Yarge and Segievel both roll 10, much too high to succeed. Nothing happens, apart from a slight flabby quivering of opposed muscles.
Round 2: The Yarge and Segievel both roll 3, and succeed. Again, nothing happens. Since both succeeded this is described in terms of bulging muscles, a clash of titans.
Round 3: The Yarge rolls 10 and fails, Segievel rolls 2 and succeeds. He smashes the Yarge's arm to the table and wins - but secretly knows that it was a much tougher contest than it seemed.
All other feats of strength should use BODY to attack BODY. If several characters want to co-operate in a feat of strength, take the character with the highest BODY and add the BODY/2 of each additional dragon aiding.
This system isn't perfect. For example, a dragon with BODY  theoretically has an even chance of lifting a BODY  elephant; in practice the referee should make this task much harder. Referees should be firm if players want to do something that's physically impossible, or make them tackle the job in smaller chunks. "Pass the saw; I need to cut up this elephant..."
Example: Excuse Me, Where Is the Tiamath Consul?
On a trip to the Yegith Archipelago Segievel is caught in a strong net trap; his wing is damaged, and he won't be able to fly for several days. His captors are Yarge savages who decide that he is their long-awaited god. They have no common language. The referee decides that his SOUL  must be used against the native chief's SOUL  to make his manner sufficiently forceful, and ensure his release.
On a 2 the natives build a sedan chair to carry Segievel back to his ship.
Note: Sadistic referees might prefer to make players act out scenes like this...
Example: It's Up His Sleeve!
On their way back to the ship the native witch doctor decides that Segievel's charismatic presence undermines his authority. He challenges him to a duel of magic (actually conjuring), using his skill Acting . Segievel must use his MIND  to spot the Yarge tricks. The witch doctor begins by making a fruit "disappear"; on a 3 Segievel notices that he's tucked it into a fold of his loincloth, and points out the bulge to the audience. This causes so much lewd merriment that the duel ends in the witch-doctor's abject defeat.
Example: I Can Take It...
The wily witch doctor has persuaded the chief that Segievel must be tested again. This time it's a test of endurance; he must put his hand into a jar of stinging insects. Their stings are extremely painful but do no permanent damage. Segievel must use his MIND  to attack an arbitrary difficulty of 8.
This is a tough test; on a 6 he fails, pulling his hand out before the test ends. Fortunately he has the sense to throw some of them at the witch doctor; he also fails. The chief decides that nothing has been proved.
Incidentally, the referee might instead have asked for a roll of AvB&M, rather than just MIND, to check if the character has the will-power and endurance to overcome the pain, or SOUL to check if the character has the courage to endure it.
At the discretion of the referee ONLY, players may spend bonus points to temporarily modify an attacking or defending value as appropriate. Players must declare that they are doing this, and mark off the point(s) used, before the dice are rolled. This rule does NOT mean that you can spend points to perform the physically impossible. No matter how many points are spent, a BODY  Yarge will not lift an elephant single-handed. Regardless of points spent, a 12 is still a failure.
|Something that will probably happen anyway||1-3|
|Something that will happen if things go well||4-5|
|Something moderately difficult||6-9|
|A "million to one shot"||10|
|Yarge lifting an elephant||20|
All of the above situations have something in common; they should not occur frequently, and must not be an essential stage in an adventure. There must always be an alternative which does not rely on the luck of the dice. Sometimes players get unlucky in situations where their characters should succeed; for example, in an early test of this system five adventurers missed hearing a noise at Difficulty 3, and an extra clue was needed to put them back on the right track.
Optional Rule: The Meat Market
Rich adventurers in Irieth may want to avoid messy food fights by buying dragon meat. As noted in earlier chapters, the meat on sale is almost always from fairly dubious sources - paupers, hospital cases, and the aged and infirm, possibly even murder victims - and usually at least a few days old. It isn't likely to be as beneficial as a really fresh maiden aunt. Optionally, there may be a risk of serious side effects.
Every time that purchased meat is eaten, players must pay the maximum Bonus Point cost for the meal BEFORE the referee rolls 2D6:
After this roll is made the player must still roll to see how much of the BODY is absorbed, as described in the main text; this roll may reduce things even more.
Better in the Original Draconic...
The slapstick comedy Rasdarie and Nimuleris is unique amongst Draconic plays in that the bumbling lovers of the title, and other members of the cast, are Yarge.
Sometimes a characteristic will change. Usually MIND and SOUL stay constant, unless the character is unlucky enough to suffer brain damage, possession, or some other mishap, but for dragons BODY can change extraordinarily rapidly, as a result of eating dragon flesh.
The benefit gained is based on the BODY of the meat eaten, and on the number of Bonus Points the player is prepared to spend to gain more BODY.
The first step in determining this is to decide how much flesh has been eaten, by any of the following means:
Note: The referee need not tell the players exactly how much meat is available; give them an approximation, and let them guess how much meat there will be for each diner.
Sharing is simple; divide the BODY of the dear departed by the number of diners (rounding down), and each diner gets that much meat; any left-over BODY is allocated by vote, or by giving slightly lager proportions to the largest dragons. Alternatively, the dragons can take turns eating until there's nothing left.
Prior agreements should either come from the referee and NPCs - "The will says you get one bite" - or can be hammered out between players before they start dining. Get everyone to say what they intend to eat, then have them actually take meat in whatever order seems fit; in the case of a will the oldest heir will eat first, then others in order of seniority. Cheating - taking more than agreed - adds 1D6/2 BODY to the share taken. This may eventually mean that there is nothing left for the minority heirs, but that's what lawyers are for.
Intimidation simply needs a show of force - claws, flame, etc. - which the other dragons can respect or respond to as they prefer. Once intimidation starts all civilised agreement has probably gone out of the window, so it may end in a fight; see later sections for the combat rules. If things go wrong there may be more meat available than was expected.
Contests can be resolved using the rules for opposed characteristics or opposed skills, or by use of the combat rules. This is best done as a series of rounds in which the winner of each round takes 1D6/2 BODY until there is no meat left.
Note that it is considered good form to say a grace praying for the safe reincarnation of the departed before eating.
Example: Eating Eligas (1)
Padiah and his sister Shimmeth have to eat their cousin Eligas, who has unfortunately been murdered by Keleg the (not entirely reformed) Dragon Slayer. In the fight Shimmeth broke a wing bone; the injury is not yet healed.
Padiah is BODY 9, Shimmeth is BODY 10, and Eligas was "a little bigger than Shimmeth;" actually BODY 11, but the players aren't told that. They agree that they'll share and share alike, and that Shimmeth will get the extra meat if there's any excess. They decide to take it in turns to take a bite until there's nothing left. The referee decides that it isn't possible for them to do this really accurately; an average bite will take 2 BODY, but an occasional bite will take BODY 1 or 3. To simulate this he has them roll 1D6, with a result of 1 as BODY 1, 2-5 as BODY 2, 6 as BODY 3.
In the first set of bites Padiah takes 2 and Shimmeth 1.
In the second set Padiah takes 1 and Shimmeth 3.
In the third set Padiah takes 3 and Shimmeth 1 (all that is left).
In the end Padiah has eaten meat with BODY 6; Shimmeth has eaten meat with BODY 5. It isn't quite the result they expected, but it's reasonable.
Once all the meat has been eaten, a number of Bonus Points equivalent to the maximum possible gain must be paid BEFORE the result is determined. Note that it is entirely possible to eat more meat than you can pay to absorb - reasons for doing this might include gluttony or an attempt to stunt the growth of a rival.
Once points have been paid the Effect of the meal is determined by rolling the dragon's current BODY against the MAXIMUM possible BODY after eating:
Example: Eating Eligas (2)
Padiah is BODY 9 and has eaten BODY 6. He pays seven Bonus Points for the chance to grow. If he absorbs all of the meat his BODY will be 15. One of the numbers is over 12 so they are halved to 5 against 8. He rolls 6; 6+8-5= 9. This means that he gains half of BODY 6; BODY 3. His BODY can rise to 12. If it does, he will be roughly 36ft long.
Shimmeth is BODY 10 and has eaten BODY 5; if she absorbs all the meat she will be BODY 15 - also halved to 5 versus 8 for the next step. She pays the Bonus Points plus an extra Bonus Point to push her luck before rolling the dice. She rolls 3; 3+8-5=6, modified to 5. This means that she gains two thirds of BODY 5, rounded up to 4. Her BODY can rise to 14, which will make her about 42ft long.
Digestion takes at least one hour per point of BODY gained. Optionally this time must be spent sleeping, regardless of any danger.
If a dragon has unhealed injuries (Injury or Critical Injury, see below) when he or she eats draconic flesh the first result, before any other benefits, is accelerated healing of wounds. This is not optional, and uses up some or all of the power of the flesh. Use the rules on the previous pages to determine the BODY gained; then make an immediate Recovery roll for the dragon using the modified BODY.
If the result is a failure the wound doesn't heal and 1 point of the new BODY is lost. Repeat the process using the modified BODY until healing occurs (also costing 1 BODY) or all of the new BODY has been lost. Any remaining BODY is retained.
Minor wounds such as Bruises and Flesh Wounds are healed automatically and without any loss of BODY if even one point of BODY has been gained from the meal.
Example: Eating Eligas (3)
Shimmeth is BODY 10 and was going to rise to BODY 14, but she has one unhealed Injury, a broken wing bone that is still in splints. Before she can gain any BODY she must heal the injury. Her first roll is a 2, an automatic success, and the bones start to knit together, although it will still take a day or two for recovery to be completed. One BODY is lost, leaving her at BODY 13, 40ft.
Optionally BODY gained from dragon meat can instead be traded for a minimal change in one of the special abilities shown above, with one BODY traded for one character point. The cost is the full cost of the ability; for example, even if the dragon already has the 3-point version of Extra Toughness, the 6-point version costs 6 points. All of the BODY needed for the ability must be supplied from food eaten, not from the dragon's existing BODY. No more than one special ability can be changed per corpse devoured, even if it is eaten in several meals; nobody is sure why.
Skills based on BODY do not rise immediately after eating; it takes a few days for reflexes etc. to attune to the new size and weight. Special abilities also take a while to appear.
Example: Eating Eligas (4)
Padiah was BODY 9 and was going to rise to BODY 12, but he decides that instead he will trade two points of BODY for extra scales, and rise to BODY 10 instead. In the morning he is 30ft long. The scales slowly appear over the next few days.
If characters have skills the referee should assume that they are reasonably competent. For example, someone who has learned a language should be able to use it under normal circumstances without bothering to roll dice. This applies even if the skill rating is low; someone with Linguist  and knowledge of Migantine will still be able to read, speak, and understand it if no specialized vocabulary is needed, but doesn't sound like a native. Referees should decide for themselves the skill level needed for fluency; Linguist  or better sounds about right - but it's almost impossible for a dragon to imitate a Yarge perfectly, or vice versa, there are big differences in the pitch and resonance of their voices.
Example: It's All Migantine To Me...
Segievel is visiting Migantil to research his next book. He has the skill Linguist  and knows Migantine. He is buying a bottle of ink. No dice roll is required for Linguist, but he's not in a tourist area and it takes him a while to find a Yarge shopkeeper who doesn't run away screaming when a dragon comes into the shop.
Dice rolls should be made if the character is working under unusual or difficult conditions, under stress, or in immediate danger. They are always used in combat. Usually a skill is used against one of the following:
Example: Bad Tenants
On his return to Tiamath, Segievel's secretary tells him that one of the buildings he owns - housing a blacksmith - has been burned out. The insurers will pay for repairs, but he'll have to pay the first 200 crowns. Segievel suspects that his tenants caused the fire, and wants them to pay at least 100 crowns towards the repair, but the smith and his family claim that the fire was started by a passing stranger, who was stung by an insect and flamed involuntarily, setting fire to their wood store.
When he considers this story carefully his knowledge of conspiracies (Scholar , overcoming Difficulty 5) tells him that it's highly unlikely that all of them would agree as closely as they do, down to the exact words, unless they spent some time preparing their story. He threatens them with eviction if they don't pay their fair share. Eventually the tenants cave in and admit that the fire was caused by carelessness with a hot poker, and agree to hand over the money.
Bonus points can usually be spent to improve skill rolls, exactly as they are used to improve characteristic rolls.
Characters may occasionally want to use skills that they don't possess. This is allowable, if it will keep characters alive or the game moving and there is some way to justify it. The character uses the skill at its lowest possible rating, but must roll for all actions including routine easy jobs, and the Difficulty of all actions is doubled.
Example: Look Deep Into My Eyes (1)
Visiting friends on military duty near the border, Segievel is waylaid by a group of heavily armed Yarge bandits who are planning to hold him ransom. They have him tied up; most of them go off to write the ransom note, leaving one guard on Segievel. After trying to break the ropes and failing miserably, he decides to try mesmerising the guard. He doesn't have this skill so it's used at its lowest possible value, av. M&S = 4
Normally this skill is used against the victims MIND or SOUL, whichever is higher, but because Segievel is untrained the target value is doubled. Fortunately the bandit's MIND and SOUL are both only 3, so the target difficulty is now 6. On a roll of five Segievel's mesmerism just overcomes the Yarge's resistance, and Segievel quickly orders the guard to release him. Once free Segievel quickly kills the guard - it isn't exactly sporting, but he's desperate - and flies off before the other bandits have time to react.
Bonus points may not be used to help in this sort of situation. Optionally the referee may allow players to acquire the skill as a result of several incidents of this type.
The skill rolls above are used to resolve short-term problems. Sometimes characters become involved in long projects, such as the creation of a work of art or development of a new invention, which should not be determined by a single roll of the dice.
Some projects simply require routine use of a skill for a prolonged period, with any failure extending the time. For example, the creation of an average quality monolithic sculpture might need five Artist rolls with Difficulty 6 at intervals of a month; any failure leads to major revision of the work, extending the time needed by two months. The project is completed when the fifth successful skill roll is made.
Sometimes practice is all that is needed. This is especially true when learning languages.
Segievel doesn't understand Edawoonese. During an adventure in the Edawoon Republic he tries to learn the language; since he already knows some related languages the referee rates this as Difficulty 8 after a week, Difficulty 7 after two weeks, and so forth. A lucky roll of 2 allows Segievel to learn the language in a week, and it's added to the list on his character record.
NOTE: This considerably underestimates the difficulty of learning a new language. Linguistic problems are not usually much fun to role-play, unless you particularly want to inflict an unreliable translator on characters.
Research projects, such as the development of a new invention, are resolved a little differently. The referee should decide how difficult the work will be, and how long it will take, then require a series of skill rolls of gradually increasing difficulty, repeated until the final difficulty level is reached. The same procedure might also be used for creation of an artistic masterpiece.
Example: The Appliance of Science...
Segievel's friend Respected Professor Gesuthivak is trying to develop a means of sending signals via the electrical fluid. The referee decides that this project will start at Difficulty 5, but will eventually be Difficulty 10, and each stage of the project will take 1D6 months; initially 4 months.
At the end of 4 months the skill roll fails. Gesuthivak has achieved nothing, apart from shutting off a few dead ends. The referee rolls 1D6 again, and determines that the project will stay at Difficulty 5 for another 3 months. This cycle is repeated until there is a success, then the difficulty is raised to 6 for the next round of attempts. Difficulty continues to escalate until Gesuthivak eventually overcomes difficulty 10 to complete the invention. Most of this occurs off-stage between adventures, but occasionally it impinges on the game; for instance, the referee might tell players that Gesuthivak must spend the next 48 hours in his laboratory to finish the current round of experiments, depriving them of his skills at a vital moment, or that he will need a rare chemical or piece of equipment for the next step. Finding the missing ingredient might be an adventure in itself.
The referee need not say that characters are attempting the impossible, but it's advisable to drop a few hints if serious amounts of time are being wasted on a completely fallacious idea.
Bonus points can be spent to attempt to improve skill ratings. These improvements are assumed to have been acquired by experience or by training. Each improvement costs the new value of the skill.
To try to improve a skill, use the relevant characteristic(s) to attack the current skill rating:
Example: More Evidence of the Conspiracy...
Segievel wants to upgrade his Scholar skill from 6 to 7, reflecting his detailed study of the shadowy Migantine government. This will cost 7 points, and he must roll his MIND  against difficulty 7 to gain the improvement. On a 3 he succeeds.
After another adventure he tries again, spending 8 points for the next improvement. Unfortunately the dice roll is 12; he is beginning to encounter concepts that are incompatible with the dragon mindset, and will never raise the skill past Scholar .
Characters with the Linguist skill may add extra languages by practice during the campaign, as described above, or by spending one or more Bonus points per extra language for training between adventures (most will cost one point, something particularly obscure will cost more). Only one language may be added per adventure. Improving the Linguist skill itself costs the new value of the skill, e.g. 5 bonus points to raise Linguist  to Linguist , as above.
Characters with the Scholar skill may only add new areas of knowledge by improving the skill. Any new area of knowledge must be related to those already known.
If a characteristic is reduced for some reason (e.g. loss of MIND due to brain damage following an injury) all related skills are reduced immediately. If a characteristic rises (e.g., if BODY rises after eating dragon flesh) skills rise without any points cost, but they do not do so immediately. It takes a few days of practice. Optionally relate the time to the characteristic increase, e.g. a week per point.
Example: Better, Faster, Stronger
Segievel dines out on his beloved late uncle, and as a result his BODY rises to 10. He has two skills related to BODY; Brawling and Flying; he will need to exercise and practice for a few days. The referee lets him improve his flying between one adventure and the next, and improve his Brawling during the next adventure; after fighting for a few rounds at the original values, the reflexes needed for his increased size start to cut in and he proceeds to smite the foe with renewed vigour.
New skills can be purchased, using the roll described above, but costs are increased.
The referee should decide if a new skill is appropriate for the character; for example, a parson shouldn't normally be allowed to buy the Military Arms skill without a good reason. The new skill is acquired at its lowest possible value.
An attempt to add a new skill costs DOUBLE its rating; e.g., an attempt to add a skill with rating 5 costs 10 bonus points. This represents the considerable investment in time and money needed to learn a completely new skill.
To try to acquire a new skill use the relevant characteristic(s) against the first rating the skill will have:
Example: I Want To Be an Engine Driver...
The Yarge G'aarden (MIND , BODY ) has decided that he wants to be an engine driver. This skill (actually Driving) begins with a rating of 5, so it costs ten bonus points. To gain the skill he must use the average of MIND and BODY (4) against Difficulty 5. Unfortunately he rolls a 7, a failure. After his next adventure he pays another ten points, representing more training, succeeds on a 3, and adds Driving  to his skill list.
Note: the skill base for driving is MIND only for dragons.
The referee may make things easier for players if a new skill is a natural result of events in the game:
Example: Look Deep Into My Eyes (2)
Segievel has already used his mesmerism successfully once, and thinks that it's probably a useful skill to learn. Since he lives in the Migantine quarter it's actually quite easy for him to find Yarge to practice on, and he gets into the habit of stopping any lone Yarge he encounters, asking them a question or two about Yarge life, and trying to mesmerise them while they are answering. If he's successful he conducts a more detailed interrogation about any Yarge conspiracies against Tiamath (so far he's got a lot of "What conspiracy?" and very little else) then tells them to forget the encounter.
Normally an attempt to learn the skill would be a roll against difficulty 5, costing ten points; because of his experience the referee reduces the difficulty to 3 and the cost to six points. On a roll of 4 it's an easy success, and he adds Mesmerism  to his skill list.
Some skills are based on half characteristics or less (Martial Arts, Doctor, Medium, Pilot, Stealth, Thief) so that they are difficult to buy at a high level during character generation. Unfortunately this means that it is easy to acquire them at their lowest level at a later date. The remedy is simple; only let characters have them after intensive training and/or an incident which explains how they have suddenly acquired the skill. They cannot suddenly be acquired between adventures.
|Doctor:||Needs several years of training at a medical school.|
|Martial Arts:||Needs years of training and a suitable instructor. Not available to dragons anyway!|
|Medium:||Cannot be acquired after character generation unless events in the game somehow trigger psychic sensitivity.|
|Pilot:||Needs several months of training. Not available to dragons!|
|Stealth:||This skill is automatically given to all characters.|
|Thief:||Needs months of training and a suitable instructor; referees may optionally wish players to make luck rolls to avoid arrest while training.|
Under the rule above, additional skills based on high characteristics cost more than skills based on low characteristics. Optionally the referee may allow adventurers to add skills at less than base value with an appropriately reduced bonus point cost. By the time the skill reaches base value it will cost much more than the usual method, but this allows players to spread the cost over several adventures. For instance, a character with MIND  might add Marksmanship at a low level; just enough to shoot for the pot. In this example the player might choose to take Marksmanship  for 6 points, not Marksmanship  for 12 points. Once acquired such skills can only be improved by the normal process and one point at a time. Referees are also advised to limit the number of below-base skills acquired to MIND/2; once skills are up to the usual base value they don't count towards this limit. The "difficult skills" described above may not be acquired this way.
The list that follows does not represent every possibility; it is just a selection of the most useful skills. Please feel free to add more, to change values and costs, or otherwise mess things up, but DON'T distribute modified versions of this document!
Skills are listed in the following format: Name, basic value (to which the points spent should be added), and explanation. The following abbreviations are used:
B = BODY, M = MIND, S = SOUL, Av = Average, / = Divided by
|AvM&S||= average of MIND and SOUL (round up)|
|M/2||= MIND divided by 2 (round UP)|
|AvB&S/2||= average of BODY and SOUL divided by 2 (round UP)|
|Skills marked with an asterisk are automatically acquired at their basic values.|
Actor - Basic Value: AvM&S
Any form of stage performance. If more than one point is spent you are good enough to earn money from one specialised type of performance, such as Operatic Tenor, Conjuror, Ballerina (aerial ballet, of course). This skill is also useful for confidence tricks. E.g. Actor (Juggler).
Artist - Basic Value: AvM&S
Any artistic endeavour; also useful for forgery. For more than one point add a specialisation, such as Sculptor, Chef (VERY rare amongst dragons), Jeweller, at professional level. E.g. Artist (oil painter)
Athlete - Basic Value: B
Swimming, running, etc. The advantage of training over brute strength. For more points mention a speciality such as Circuit Walking, performed at championship level. E.g. Athlete (Rock climbing).
Babbage Engine - Basic Value: M
Use for control of any type of mechanical, pneumatic, hydraulic, or electric computer (including player pianos and card- or roll-controlled looms and organs), also for commanding androids, golems, zombies, etc. Currently this setting has no devices of this type, so the skill is not available.
Brawling - Basic Value: B *
Any form of unarmed combat, apart from martial arts. See the combat rules below. This skill normally has no specializations for dragons. Yarge tend to learn specialized combat styles e.g. Brawling (Wrestling).
Business - Basic Value: M
Any form of financial or organisational work, dragon-management, politics, etc. Also useful for preparing forged papers and the like. E.g. Business (politics).
Detective - Basic Value: AvM&S
Trained in the art of observation; good at spotting small details, noticing faint scents, little clues, unusual behaviour, etc. It can be used as an improvement over normal observation rolls, and sometimes in place of an Idea roll, or in place of the Psychology skill. Specialities might include forensics, interrogation, etc. e.g. Detective (claw-mark analysis).
Doctor - Basic Value: M/2
Detailed knowledge of medicines, minor surgery, etc., and a licence to practice. If more than one point is spent, the character has knowledge of a speciality (such as surgery) and the appropriate qualifications. See the rules on injuries below for use of this skill, but bear in mind that dragon medicine is not very advanced. This skill may NOT be acquired in the course of play, unless several years pass between adventures. E.g. Doctor (Herbalist).
Driving - Basic Value: M
Operating any ground or water vehicles (car, land ironclad, railway engine, tractor, etc.). This skill does not apply to exotic vehicles (such as aircraft, spacecraft, submersibles) whose operators require a high degree of training. Specialities might include wagons, steam cars, etc., e.g. Driving (Railway engine).
Dragons can only drive vehicles that have been expressly designed for them! Currently the only such vehicles are wagons and railway engines, and a few steam-launches, all slower than a flying dragon. For this reason car chase rules have been omitted. Yarge base this skill on Av. B&M.
First Aid - Basic Value: M
Emergency treatment of wounds. See the rules on injuries below. Specialisations might include nursing, midwifery, etc. e.g. First Aid (podiatry - care of damaged claws and feet).
Flying - Basic Value: B (B/2 for formerly bound servants)
Adult dragons can fly, typically at 40-50 MPH; speed isn't affected much by size, presumably muscles compensate, but small dragons (BODY 5 or less) are slower if they can fly at all, and very large dragons (50ft or longer) are slower and less manoeuvrable (-1 to skill). This skill is used for manoeuvring, for hovering, for flying in difficult conditions (e.g. in a storm or city updrafts) without hitting trees or buildings, and for navigation, which uses a combination of instinct, memory, and observation. Roll to push speed or fly into a headwind, Difficulty +1 per 5 MPH. Endurance is B/2 hours for dragons who fly regularly, B/3 hours for dragons whose wings are normally bound (servants, parsons, etc.), with penalties if the dragon has been pushing speed etc. for extended periods, or if the dragon is carrying something. Once endurance is exceeded the dragon starts to slow and should receive penalties on rolls to manoeuvre, navigate, etc. The maximum that can be carried easily while flying is B/4, the maximum possible is B/2. For example, a BODY 20 dragon can fly carrying a BODY 7 cow, but will tire quickly. Dragon wingspan is typically about the same as length, but flying with less than double this room requires a skill roll.
Linguist - Basic Value: M
The ability to learn, read, speak and write foreign languages. Initially characters know Linguist/2 languages. More languages can be acquired very easily: see above. Characters automatically know their own native language, and need never roll to use it, without buying this skill. Specialisations are the languages known, e.g. Linguist (Migantine, Samindran).
Marksman - Basic Value: M
Use of directly aimed projectile weapons (e.g. gun, crossbow, throwing knives, spears, etc.) but not field guns or other specialised militaria. See the combat rules below. E.g. Marksman (Crossbow).
Martial Arts - Basic Value: AvB&S/2
See the combat rules below. This skill allows multiple hand-to-hand and melee weapon attacks in a single combat round, and can increase the Effect number of some attacks. E.g. Martial Arts (Baritsu)
Dragons automatically have an equivalent of this skill - they can carry out several simultaneous attacks using their natural weapons, flame, etc. The Yarge have probably developed their own martial arts - especially if they use melee weapons that can harm dragons - and adventurers may do well to be wary if they run into an unarmed Yarge who doesn't seem to be frightened of them. See the full version of the Forgotten Futures rules for detailed martial arts rules for Yarge.
Mechanic - Basic Value: M
All forms of mechanical work, engineering, building, plumbing, etc.; this covers work on existing machinery and the like, and the use of machine tools and other production equipment, but not innovative equipment design which is covered by the Scientist skill. E.g. Mechanic (Steam engines).
Medium - Basic Value: S/2
A genuine medium, or otherwise psychically gifted, not a fake. Fake mediums use the Acting skill instead. This skill can be used for contact with the spirit world, séances, and premonitions of impending doom: "I have a bad feeling about this..." e.g. Medium (precognitive).
There is no reason to believe that there are genuine mediums in this world, but nothing in the source material makes it impossible.
Melee Weapon - Basic Value: AvB&M
Use of any non-projectile weapon, such as a dagger, sword, or axe. See the combat rules below. E.g. Melee Weapon (Machete).
Dragons very rarely bother to learn this skill, since they have so many natural weapons.
Mesmerism - Basic Value: AvM&S
Usable by dragons against Yarge (and possibly animals) only, not against other dragons! The skill is used against a subject's Mind or Soul, whichever is higher, and works via eye contact; the dragon somehow persuades the Yarge to look into her eyes, and then starts to vary the focus rhythmically. If successful, the subject will obey instructions until released, but any command which goes against a subject's natural instincts (especially for self-preservation) may be resisted, requiring another roll with greater Difficulty. There are no specialities. The Yarge are aware that some dragons have this ability, and are often wary of making eye contact with dragons. There must be enough light for the Yarge to see the dragon's eyes clearly. Only one Yarge at a time can be mesmerised.
Military Arms - Basic Value: M
Use of field guns, mortars, explosives, and other specialised military weapons, but not hand guns and other simple portable weapons. E.g. Military Arms (Explosives).
Pilot - Basic Value: AvB&M/2
Use for aircraft, spacecraft, submersibles, digging machines, and other vehicles which require a high degree of skill and concentration. Includes the use of parachutes and systems such as radios, sonar, navigation, and meteorology. E.g. Pilot (Bathysphere).
Only Yarge operate machinery requiring this skill, and it isn't available to dragons.
Psychology - Basic Value: AvM&S
Use to spot lies, calm hysteria, notice tension, and so forth. This skill does not include hypnosis or Mesmerism; dragons are immune anyway, and Yarge think of it as a special Dragon power and haven't worked out that they can master similar tricks. Specialities might include a particular school of psychology or a specific application, e.g. Psychology (therapy).
Dragons can't use this skill on Yarge, or vice versa; their mindsets simply aren't compatible enough for deep understanding.
Riding - Basic Value: S (av. B&S for Yarge)
Riding or training any animal, regardless of its nature. Might include lion taming, dog handling, or running a flea circus. E.g. Riding (Muleteer).
The skill name has been kept for consistency with other Forgotten Futures supplements; there are no riding animals suitable for dragons, but the other applications of this skill may occasionally be useful. The Yarge have several types of riding animal.
Scholar - Basic Value: M
Expert knowledge of specific fields such as archaeology, history, philosophy. Scholar/2 related areas of knowledge are known; for example, Scholar  might include knowledge of Archaeology, Antiques, and Ancient Migantil. The skill cannot be taken twice to give mastery of two unrelated areas of knowledge, but the term "related" can be interpreted as loosely as the referee permits. For example, expert knowledge of snakes (but not veterinary skills) might be added to the list above because the ancient Migantil peoples worshipped them. E.g. Scholar (Antiques, Migantil art, Migantil history).
Scientist - Basic Value: M
Use of all sciences. Currently it's possible to be a generalist with a good knowledge of all sciences, since developments are fairly slow. But the pace of scientific development is starting to pick up, and in a few decades it will be impossible for any one dragon to be aware of all of the work going on in all fields. For now even the specialisations are fairly broad. E.g. Scientist (Chemist).
Signals - Basic Value: M
This skill is simply knowledge of telegraphic and signalling techniques, including simple equipment repairs and adjustments. It also covers semaphore and other common signalling methods. E.g. Heliograph operator.
In this world heliographs and semaphore are currently the only dragon equipment using transmitted codes, but Yarge and dragon scientists are working on electrical telegraphy.
Stealth - Basic Value: B/2 *
Hiding, camouflage, sneaking, etc. e.g. Stealth (Disguise) might be an alternative to Actor (Disguise); an Actor tries to look like someone else, while the aim of the Stealth skill is to look inconspicuous and go unnoticed.
Thief - Basic Value: M/2
Picking pockets, locksmith, forgery, etc. e.g. Thief (Safebreaker). Given the limitations of their hands few male dragons master this skill. Dragons don't use clothing so don't have any natural talent for picking pockets, but Yarge thieves do. Yarge base this skill on AvB&M/2.
Wounds B[ ] F[ ] I[ ] I[ ] C[ ]
For Yarge and Yarge-sized animals, aliens, etc. the Wounds record usually has five boxes, indicating the extent of damage, as in the example to the right. Dragons use the same scale, but the "Extra Toughness" ability can add up to two more "I" boxes and one more "C" box, as described below.
The table shows the effects of wounds. Temporarily reduce the value of BODY and BODY-related skills by the value shown, but not below a minimum of 1.
Example: It's Only A Flesh Wound...(1)
Segievel takes part in a boar hunt. During a sudden storm he is separated from the rest of the hunters. The weather is too bad for flying, so he decides to walk back to their rendezvous.
As he trudges back he literally trips over a boar and is badly cut by one of its tusks. It's a surprise attack, so he doesn't get a chance to retaliate. In the next round he would normally he would use his Brawling  skill for combat; because he has a flesh wound this is reduced to Brawling , but that's enough. Bleeding and limping a little, Segievel tucks the boar's body under his arm and heads on to the rendezvous.
Example: It's Only a Flesh Wound...(2)
Segievel has a flesh wound. A friend bandages it, using First Aid  against recovery Difficulty . On a 9 he doesn't do a good enough job of cleaning the wound and applying pressure to prevent further bleeding.
Segievel rolls BODY  against Difficulty . On a result of 12 the wound gets worse; by the time he reaches competent help he is bleeding severely, and must spend some time off his feet. His doctor fails to help, so his first roll for natural recovery is made after a month. Fortunately he succeeds and finally heals.
Death is death, and is permanent in this setting. There is no reanimation and no resurrection. If you're lucky you reincarnate as a dragon, but you won't know anything about your previous life, although mediums may try to tell you otherwise.
Some examples of common forms of injury follow the combat rules below; they are clearer if you understand some details that are introduced in the combat rules.
Combat takes up a large chunk of these rules; this does NOT mean that it is the most important aspect of the game - it just means that the rules for combat are more complicated than other sections. DON'T make the mistake of thinking that every adventure must involve several fire-fights!
These rules borrow an idea that is found in some war games. All the events in a combat round occur simultaneously. If ten people are firing guns, all of them fire BEFORE the results are assessed. You can shoot a gun out of someone's hand, but he will have a chance to shoot you before he loses it. Attacks are usually a use of skill against a defence; if the attack penetrates the defence, the damage is determined by use of the attack's Effect against the BODY of the target. All of these concepts are explained in more detail below.
A combat round is a period of approximately five seconds in which combat occurs. In this time claws might slash, shots might be fired, and so forth.
The following things can be done in a combat round
|1.||Movement. A dragon can move his or her length on foot or fly twice as far. On a Difficulty 6 BODY or Athlete roll, or a Flying roll, or on expenditure of a Bonus Point, this can be pushed to twice the dragon's length on foot, three times length while flying.|
|2.||An action, such as ducking for cover or opening a door. Referees may OPTIONALLY allow two actions, or an action and a movement, in a round; for instance, opening a door and diving through.|
|3.||An attack or several attacks with some weapons and skills. Dragons are normally capable of multiple attacks with teeth, claws, flame, etc.|
|4.||Wounds take effect.|
If you don't want to move or perform any action apart from the attack itself there is a bonus on the attack, but you do NOT fire first.
Anyone taken completely by surprise CANNOT fight, move, or dodge in the first round of combat, but CAN perform a simple action. For example, intruders would have a round to attack someone who was standing a few feet from an alarm button; he would not have time to get to it first. They could not stop him pressing the button if he already had his hand on it. By definition, someone with a weapon in his hand pointed at an attacker is NOT taken by surprise!
Attacks are resolved in the following stages:
The bonuses and penalties shown on the right should be added to or subtracted from the attacking skill if they are relevant.
Note that there are no fully automatic weapons in this world, and that all rules relating to them have been omitted from FF X; if you want to add them, see the full Forgotten Futures rules.
Example: Shooting for the Pot (1)
Segievel (Marksman ) sees a deer on the other side of a deep crevasse, and decides he wants venison for dinner. The deer will dodge into thick woods if it sees him coming, so he decides to shoot it. It isn't defending itself, so he must fire the shot against a basic difficulty of 6. The deer is immobile (+1) and large (+1), so his skill would normally be modified to 8; unfortunately it's a long way off (-1), and has skin coloration that makes it harder to see (-1), so the skill stays as Marksmanship . On an 8 the shot misses; the deer is startled and runs away.
In the second round the deer is moving (-1), but Segievel didn't move (+1). The deer is still big (+1) and isn't trying to dodge or hide, and is no longer camouflaged, but it's still a long way off (-1), so Segievel uses an effective Marksman  for his next shot. On a 4 it's an easy hit.
Example: Take That You Cad! (1)
Yarge students P'ob and Jh'arge have decided to settle their differences in a boxing match. Both have BODY  and the Brawling  skill.
In the first combat round P'ob dodges and weaves (-1) then tries to punch the immobile (+1) Jh'arge; Jh'arge stays still (+1) and tries to hit the dodging (-2) P'ob when he gets close.
In this round P'ob has an effective skill of Brawling , Jh'arge an effective skill of Brawling . On a 3 P'ob easily breaks past Jh'arge's guard, but on a 2 Jh'arge also hits P'ob.
Some attacks can be used via two or more skills; for example, a longbow might be used via the Marksman or Martial Arts skill, a club via the Brawling or Melee Weapons skill. Use whichever skill is best. If all else fails weapons may be used via characteristic rolls; these are usually poorer than skills.
Defences may also be based on skills or characteristics; for example, someone might try to avoid an arrow by ducking (BODY versus the attacking skill), by hiding (Stealth skill), or by use of the Martial Arts skill to catch it. If no better skill is available, the basic defending value is 6.
If the result of any attack is a success, some damage occurs. Roll for damage as described below.
Roll to cause damage, using the Effect of the attack (see below) against the victim's BODY.
All attacks have an Effect number. For hand-to-hand weapons, martial arts, and other unarmed combat skills it is either the skill level or the user's BODY plus a bonus; for example, a club gains most of its power from the user's strength, and has an Effect equal to the user's BODY +1. A fencing foil, like all swords and daggers, has an Effect equal to Melee Weapon skill. For firearms the Effect number is usually intrinsic to the weapon, and thus independent of the user's skill or BODY.
Damage is determined by using the Effect number to attack the target's BODY. The result of this roll will sometimes be a failure; this is interpreted as minimal damage for the weapon, from column A of the weapons table. While this is always preferable (for the victim!), many weapons have a flesh wound or worse as their minimal damage.
If the result is a success, but more than half of the result needed for a success, check column B of the weapon table.
If the result is a success, and the dice roll is less than or equal to half the result needed for a success (round DOWN), check column C of the weapon table. If in doubt, use the table to calculate which damage column is used.
Shooting for the Pot (2)
Segievel's hunting rifle has the characteristics shown below.
This means that it can only attack one target, and does the following damage:
Weapon Multiple Effect Damage Targets A B C Big Rifle No 8 F I C/K
A: Flesh wound
C: Roll the Effect against BODY again; if the result is a failure the injury is critical, otherwise it's a kill.
Effect  attacking BODY  succeeds on a 7 or less.
If the result is an 8 or more the deer suffers a flesh wound.
If the result is 5-7 the deer is injured.
If the result is 2-4 the deer is critically injured or killed.
On 4, then 6, the deer is killed.
Example: Take That You Cad! (2)
Both combatants are using fists, which are rated as follows:
There is no reason to modify these results, so both must use BODY  against BODY .
Weapon Multiple Effect Damage Targets A B C Fists No BODY B B KO
On a 9, Jh'arge just grazes P'ob. On a 2, P'ob catches Jh'arge with a perfect right hook and knocks him out.
It isn't possible to limit damage with shotguns, machine guns, or area effect weapons such as explosives or flame throwers, or with ANY attack on multiple targets.
Players may sometimes wish to aim at a specific part of the body. To do so, modify the attacking skill and the damage Effect as on the table to the right. This makes it harder to hit if you are aiming at someone's limbs or head, but increases the likelihood of serious damage from a head injury.
If it is used, someone who rolls to hit a target without trying to hit a specific area should roll 2D6 for a random hit location as indicated above, and modify the Effect accordingly.
It is not possible to attack a specific hit location with area effect weapons such as grenades, or while performing any form of multiple attack. Damage from these weapons should attack random hit locations.
It seems certain that the Yarge train their best marksmen to target their shots for maximum effects against dragons; head shots (into the open mouth if possible) to avoid the scales, wing shots to ground their target and make the fight a little more even.
|Dragon Hide||B/5||projectile and blade attacks|
|Dragon Scales||-1 etc.||projectile and blade attacks|
|Dragon Hide Armour||-2||projectile attacks|
|Plate Mail||-4||melee weapon attacks|
|Chain Mail||-2||melee weapon attacks|
|Steel Helmet||-3||attacks to head ONLY|
|Soaked Wool||-2||reduces fire damage ONLY|
|Asbestos||-4||reduces fire damage ONLY|
All dragons are armoured to some extent by their skin and scales, with the exception of a few vulnerable areas such as the inside of the mouth and the eyes. Yarge also have armour, although it is going out of fashion as firearms get more powerful. Armour can reduce the Effect of weapons, but doesn't modify the roll to hit; in fact, someone wearing heavy armour should theoretically be slower and easier to hit. Only the area covered by Yarge armour is protected; for example, the most common forms of dragon-hide armour were jerkins and leggings which left the rest of the body unprotected.
Chain mail and plate mail are now rarely seen in the field; increasingly the Yarge armour vehicles instead of soldiers. Helmets, however, are still popular, protecting the head and neck against bullets and shell fragments. A version designed to fit dragons is still making its way through Tiamath's army procurement system.
Dragon hide armour was always very rare, and it is believed that any still in circulation must now be at least 200 years old. The border defence forces have a standing reward of a thousand crowns for any Yarge prisoners taken wearing dragon-skin armour, if it can be verified that it is of genuine Yarge manufacture. The last corporal who tried to fake it, using another soldier's remains as the source for the skin, was sentenced to death without consumption.
Traditionally heavy soaked wool overgarments were used to protect Yarge against dragon flame - since the discovery of the properties of asbestos they have been more or less abandoned, and most Yarge military units now have some soldiers trained to fight while wearing layers of wool and asbestos clothing that renders flame almost useless.
|Front claws x2
Rear claws x2
Radius B/4 Ft.
Although dragons are generally hugely outnumbered when they fight Yarge, they often make up for it by the range and number of natural weapons they can use, and by a frightening ability to use several of them simultaneously. With the exception of flame all are used via the Brawling skill; Flame is aimed via MIND or Marksmanship, whichever is better.
When a dragon is confronted by several foes in close quarters, his natural instinct is to strike at the most dangerous first, but do as much damage as possible to all of them. The snag, of course, is that it's difficult to coordinate multiple attacks, and the maximum possible for any dragon, regardless of training, is MIND+1 simultaneous attacks. These can be made with either of the front claws (against one or two separate targets), with the rear claws against a single target, by biting, by constricting, by striking with the tail, and by firing a burst of flame.
With the exception of flame, if only one attack is made the dragon uses Brawling skill. If two attacks are made (other than the two front claws against the same target), both are made with Brawling-2; if three are made, both are made with Brawling-4; etc. This penalty is incurred even if they are made against the same target.
Flame is used via MIND or Marksmanship as stated above, but for unknown reasons it can be used with normal accuracy even if the dragon is making several other attacks. It is not possible to use flame and bite or constrict in the same round; biting blocks the mouth, constriction uses the chest muscles normally used for flaming. Effect is reduced by 1D6 outside the radius shown, 2D6 outside twice the radius, etc.
Constriction is a good attack to use against another dragon, since it pinions the wings and (if done right) prevents the victim's claws from being used against the attacker. It can be combined with biting and clawing. But it doesn't do any damage until the round after the attack begins, and for each round that passes the attacker must make a fresh skill roll to maintain constriction.
Finally, tail strikes are more often talked about than done; the dragon swings his or her tail like a whip and (if successful) damages someone trying to attack from behind. It's sometimes useful in crowded conditions, but usually a last resort since it does less damage than most other natural weapons.
Example: Panic Attack
Segievel (BODY , Brawling , Mind ) is cornered by a mob of angry Yarge who have spotted his mesmerism experiments and want to teach him the error of his ways. Amazingly none of them have guns. Eventually four of the largest Yarge (all Brawling ) advance on him with improvised clubs. Although he has no combat training he stupidly decides to fight his way out, calculating that if he hurts some at the start the others will retreat. He uses his front claws on one of the attackers, bites at another, and flails his tail at a third. All three attacks are made at Brawling ; on rolls of 3, 5, and 8 he connects with his teeth and the claws, but misses with the tail. Both of the Yarge he hits are injured, the attackers manage to bruise him badly without doing much real damage. As blood sprays in all directions and the others retreat a little, Segievel finally shows a little common sense and springs into the air and flies off before they manage to do him some real damage. He resolves to get some combat training!
It should be obvious that until the invention of organized armies and gunpowder weapons a really large dragon could take on serious Yarge forces and would probably emerge unscathed.
Yarge can generally only make multiple attacks if they have the Martial Arts skill, or with some weapons such as shotguns. Following is a brief list of the most common weapons and forms of attack in the world of Tooth And Claw; weapons and rules irrelevant to this world have been omitted. For a larger list see the complete Forgotten Futures rules.
Note that most unarmed attacks and some weapon attacks don't show death as a possible outcome; it simply isn't very likely in the course of a fast-moving fight. Referees should feel free to ignore the suggested result in unusual conditions; for example, if someone is attacked by a mob while unable to resist, or is completely outmatched by his attacker.
Effect is based on BODY or skill.
Effect Damage Notes A B C Fist No  BODY  B B KO Yarge Only Kick No  BODY  B B F Yarge Only Wrestling No BODY  B KO KO / I Yarge Only  Using the Martial Arts skill it is possible to perform one fist and one kick attack in a single round against one target, or against two targets that are close together. Against two targets the attacks are at -2 Effect.  Users of the Martial Arts skill can use BODY or Martial Arts for Effect in these attacks, whichever is better. Club Max 2  BODY+1 F F KO/K e.g. chair leg Spear No Melee F I C/K e.g. bayonet on rifle. Axe No BODY+2 F I C/K Sword Max 2  Melee+1 F I C/K Dagger No Melee+1 F I I/K Whip No Melee/2 B B F Chair No Brawling B F I/KO Broken bottle No Brawling+1 F F I Staff Max 3  Melee+2 F I KO/C Whip No Melee / 2 B B F  Targets must be within 5ft. Multiple attacks are at -2 Effect. Multiple attacks are available with the Martial Artist skill ONLY. Range For all melee weapons, targets are TOO CLOSE if they block effective use of the weapon; within a couple of feet for swords and axes, within 6 ft for whips (a lousy weapon, despite Indiana Jones), and so forth. If unsure, give players the benefit of the doubt.
Effect is usually based on skill (for thrown weapons), on BODY (for longbows and thrown axes), or on the weapon rather than the user for firearms etc.
Effect Damage Notes A B C Axe No BODY+1 F I C/K Thrown Dagger No BODY+1 F I C/K Thrown Longbow No  BODY+1 F I C/K Hunting bow Crossbow No 7 F I C/K Military bow Spear No Melee F I C/K Thrown  Maximum 2 targets if attacking with Martial Arts skill. Typical handgun Max 2  8 I I C/K Typicak Yarge pistol Huge handgun Max 2  10 I I C/K Typical Dragon pistol Typical rifle No 8 F I C/K Typical Yarge rifle Big rifle No 10 I C K Large Yarge or small Dragon rifle. Huge rifle No 12 I C/K C/K Largest Dragon rifles Large Shotgun Max 2  7 F I C/K One barrel Large Shotgun No  14* / 7
* Short range ONLY
I C K Both barrels Small Cannon No  16 I C/K K Air-portable by dragons. Large Cannon No  22 I K K Towed by drafters.  Hand guns typically have two barrels and can be used to fire at two targets, or twice at one target. If firing at two separate targets each attack is at -2 to hit. If firing two shots at one target there is no modifier. Each attack is resolved separately. Shotguns can fire twice at one target (no modifier to hit, small effect), fire at two different targets (modifier -2 to hit, small effect), or fire both barrels at once (+1 modifier to hit, big effect at SHORT range ONLY). In all but the last case the two shots are resolved separately. The doubled Effect of firing two barrels simultaneously is felt at short range ONLY! Rifles typically have two barrels but can only be fired once per round, since the recoil prevents aiming.  Cannon fire one shot per four to five rounds of combat. The only ammunition routinely used is iron balls. Ammunition All firearms use percussion caps, paper-wrapped charges, and a separate ball or bag of shot. Loading takes at least a round per barrel. The Yarge are experimenting with pepperpot revolvers and have some working prototypes, but they are still rare and unreliable. Range Normal range for all hand-thrown weapons and handguns is 10-20 ft; for bows and rifles 50-100 ft; for cannon 250-500 ft. Anything closer is at short range, anything further away at long range. Targets are too close if they are closer than the end of the weapon!
Area Effect Weapons
All explosives damage everything at full effect inside the radius shown, at effect -1D6 to double that radius, at effect -2D6 to three times the radius, and so forth. The effect of these weapons is not reduced if there are multiple targets.
Effect Damage Notes A B C Barrel Gunpowder 10 ft 14 F I C/K Barrel Oil/Naptha 10ft 7+7/Round F I I/C Rocket 10 ft 7  F I C/K Gunpowder rocket.  Fired in volleys by Yarge and exploding in the air, an anti-Dragon defence.
Combat is the main cause of wounds in most RPGs, but characters occasionally run into other problems that can cause damage. For instance:
Falling: The damage hits automatically; the Effect number is 1 plus 1 per storey fallen, to a maximum of 20. For example, someone tripping and falling to the ground risks damage with Effect 2; someone falling 20,000ft takes damage with Effect 20. Note that falls of less than 10ft are a common cause of accidental death in Yarge homes. Needless to say most dragons can avoid damage from falls by flying if there is room to manoeuvre.
Train Crash: Effect 2 plus 1 per 5 MPH. Most dragons will fly clear if they see a crash coming.
Poison: Effects vary with type of poison as below. Most poison gases have an increasing effect with time as shown below.
Drowning, suffocation, etc: Characters (Dragons or Yarge) can hold their breath without harm for BODY x 20 seconds; after that take damage with Effect 1, +1 per 20 seconds submerged. If the character survives, any damage (other than death) is cleared in a few hours, not the days required for other forms of damage.
Fire: Effect varies with severity of fire, starting at 1 (a match) and working up to 7 (a barrel of oil dropped by a dragon) and onwards. The effect increases for each round of exposure after the first.
Execution: Numbers aren't provided for execution methods; it's assumed that they will always succeed unless someone sabotages them or the victim somehow escapes before the execution begins.
The main Forgotten Futures game includes optional magical rules, with a MAGIC characteristic and a Wizardry skill. The novel Tooth and Claw does not include any obvious use of magical powers; having said that, certain aspects of draconic biology make a little more sense if it's assumed that they are actually magical creatures, but use their magic unconsciously to maintain their own abilities and powers. How else could something the size of a dragon fly? How else could dragons convert the flesh of other dragons into their own so easily? Many dragons believe this to be the case, but have no proof.
If this is true, dragons are already using their powers unconsciously to give them many of the benefits that magicians crave: long life; strength; toughness; flight; etc. Some can breathe fire, or charm Yarge with their gaze. What else do they need magic for? Well, there's a type of mind that seems to think that more is better, and craves power and knowledge for its own sake, for personal gain, or to ensure that it is in "safe" hands. It's possible that some dragons have found the key to unlocking their real magical powers, and are secretly using them in ways most dragons can barely imagine.
If you want to allow players to go this route, you will need the main rules (available as a free download) and especially the Appendix It's a Kind of Magic. Most dragons should be unaware that magic exists; their magic is entirely internalised as BODY, and their MAGIC and Wizardry skill are zero. Certain dragons have learned the truth, and have found ways to use it beyond mere maintenance of their innate abilities. Of course there are snags - lots of them...
Dragon magicians must spend a quarter to a half of their initial character points on BODY and MAGIC. MAGIC is purchased for the same point prices as MIND or SOUL, and has a maximum value of 7. In other words, a dragon wizard is likely to start out unusually small and lacking in non-magical skills. At least one point must be spent on the Wizardry skill, whose base value is av. MAGIC and SOUL.
Every time a spell is cast, the magician must roll their MAGIC against the total value of the characteristics affected, or against the Difficulty of the spell, whichever is greater. If the roll fails the wizard loses BODY; at least BODY 1, optionally more. This is subtracted from the wizard's BODY or from the wizard's food; wizards have to eat dragon flesh to power their spells, or they will slowly dwindle to nothingness. This makes spell-casting a bloody business, and potentially very expensive if the wizard has to splurge on the meat market. There's another snag; because wizards are using their innate powers in ways that nature never intended, they lose out on some of the usual draconic benefits of eating dragon meat. It takes 2 BODY of meat and 2 Bonus Points to add 1 BODY to a wizard. If a meal would normally add only 1 BODY to the wizard, there is no gain. Optionally they may be unusually vulnerable to illnesses caused by diseased or tainted meat.
Want another snag? If magic exists, some Yarge must be wizards; they outnumber dragons at least fifty to one, and some of them will know how to gain magical power by eating dragon flesh. The flesh of dragon wizards is particularly prized, of course.
The spells that are most likely to appeal to dragon wizards include transformation (typically into Yarge form if there seems to be a chance of getting near a princess), teleportation and magical portals (especially into treasure vaults), weather manipulation, and clairvoyance (to find the hiding place of gold, of course). In other respects dragon magic should work much like that of wizards in any other world; for further details see the main rules.
So far these rules have said a lot about rolling dice, but little about the real meat of a role playing game; the opportunity to take on a completely different personality in a world of the imagination. Although the characters are dragons, the behaviour of dragons in this world follows certain Victorian stereotypes which may be useful.
I Know My Place...
Dragons in inferior positions accept that they are underlings. They are happy to be employed: the idea of bettering their position, over and above promotion within their workplace, is somehow abhorrent. This attitude is especially prevalent amongst servants and others in intimate contact with their social "superiors", who are often snobs.
You're A Toff, Guv...
Aristocrats are the cream of society: stern but caring, almost always wealthy and learned, always polite (especially to dragonesses and other inferiors), they are genuinely superior, and even savages know them as such. Even if an aristocrat goes bad he remains noble; if his crimes are discovered he will commit suicide rather than dishonour his family by standing trial.
A Woman's Place Is In The Home...
Dragonesses unfortunately tend to be treated as inferiors, second class citizens who must be protected from physical and moral danger. Campaigners for female rights are treated with great suspicion.
I Say, He's A Bally Foreigner...
Dragons really don't like Yarge much. Enough said?
And so forth...
Traits are versions of these stereotyped attitudes which can be added to characters to give them a little more personality. They fall into a few broad categories. Players should use some common sense when selecting and using traits - mostly they are just opinions, not psychopathic behaviour or raging phobias. The list that follows can easily be extended. Sometimes a character can hold contradictory opinions; for example, he might support revolutionary reform in the abstract, but still be a snob! Many of these traits, especially those relating to family or inheritance, can be used to generate plots, but referees should beware of getting too bogged down with any one character's problems. Adventures should involve all of the players wherever possible. For much more on traits see the most recent versions of the main Forgotten Futures rules, which include a section on melodramatic role playing.
Note: This section relates to character's attitudes to civil law, not criminal - most adventurers will find themselves on criminal ground at some point in their careers, usually in a good cause. Characters who wish to be professional criminals should begin by adding appropriate skills and a back-story that explains their activities.
By now you should understand the rules. Take another look at the example of game play in the introduction, and try to imagine how you would handle things if you were a player or the referee. This section is mainly intended for referees. It goes into more details on the running of games, backgrounds and NPCs, plotting, and the use of handouts and other aids. It's abridged considerably from the version in the main Forgotten Futures rules, and only deals with the world of Tooth and Claw.
Players should understand the basic details of Tiamath: the nature of society (or at least how it appears to the characters), the ways in which dragons are expected to behave, and important things that everyone would be aware of. While there's nothing to stop you giving players a long briefing, this can sometimes lead to information overload; players have too many facts to digest, and don't know where to begin. In a world as different as Tooth and Claw this can be a real problem.
It's more fun to establish these details in play. Tell the players about the world as they develop characters, then let characters loose in a non-threatening situation that shows them some more. The introductory scene at the start of the rules was written as an example of this sort of setting - until late in the scene there's actually very little chance of anyone getting hurt, short of one of the players deciding to do something stupid.
An important point in this section is the use of multiple cues to give players a feel for the world:
Soon the train's rattling between smoky-looking buildings, click-clacking over points as it finally slows to a halt in the grand Cupola station. There's a strong smell of smoke, and an interesting smell of freshly-killed muttonwools from the direction of the station food stalls. There are crowds everywhere, dragons of all colours and sizes and even an occasional Yarge, presumably tourists.
In a few words the referee describes the noise of the train, the smells, and what the characters see. If every scene appeals to two or three senses players visualise events more clearly. This is usually good, but don't spend so long scene setting that the players become impatient. Here's another example:
"A sombre plume of grey smoke rises sluggishly from the red brick chimney of the cottage, twisting and billowing over the slates as the breeze blows it towards you. The smoke has a strong aroma of firewood, probably cedar, but something else is added; the sickly miasma of burning flesh."
As descriptions go this isn't bad, but it might be more appropriate in a Gothic novel. Paring it to its essential elements, we get something a little shorter:
"Grey smoke blows towards you from the cottage chimney; it smells of wood, but there's also the sweet aroma of burning meat."
Once the referee has set the scene, good players will react to the description to show their characters' opinions and reactions. In our example Raetha got to show her fear of Yarge, Padiah his lack of sympathy for her and interest in the scene, and Shimmeth her common sense, shown again in the later encounter with Gevon and Keleg. Once the scene is set it's possible to cut back on the descriptions, reserving them for NPCs and important locations, and save a little time - but never omit them completely.
A picture is sometimes worth a thousand words - when it's relevant. If you're an artist, consider sketching some of the scenes the players are likely to encounter, or use newspaper and magazine photographs, downloads, etc. Maps and other plans are also very helpful. A word of warning; if you only prepare pictures of vital scenes, players will soon start to assume that nothing important is happening if they don't see a picture. A few extra pictures, produced to set the scene at less vital moments, can keep them guessing. Google Image Search and Wikipedia Commons are your friends in this; no matter how strange the search string you put in, someone somewhere probably has a picture, making it very easy to produce all the irrelevant imagery anyone could possibly want.
Most people get up in the morning with a fair idea of likely events in the day ahead and very rarely run into invading Martians, marauding dinosaurs, or deranged serial killers. It seems unlikely that in real life anyone reading this has fought a gun battle on the wings of a biplane, or unravelled a sinister web of deceit to unmask the machinations of an ancient cult and a nameless evil from beyond the stars.
Life is different in a role playing game, and characters don't lead routine lives. They are adventurers, encountering excitement wherever they go. Sinister cultists kill victims on their doorsteps, or decide that an adventurer is the reincarnation of their god. Their airliner is the one that is hijacked, their spaceship the one that picks up a strange alien parasite. They suspect weirdness in the most mundane events, and are usually right. The snag is that the referee has to prepare all this for the players.
The adventures that follow should give you some starting points, but it's important to remember one golden rule - don't micro-manage every detail. It's easy to get bogged down in minutiae. Sometimes a broad sweeping description will advance the plot much faster than precise details. Players rarely need to know the exact length, width and height of every room their characters enter, for example, or a ten-minute description of the ornaments on a shelf. Be ready to produce a little more detail if it's asked for, or if it's important to the plot (but again be ready with some irrelevant details too), but if you find yourself spending hours describing something that does little or nothing to advance the plot there's something badly wrong. For the same reason it's a good idea to get the players used to the idea that you will occasionally move the plot along without going into a lot of detail. But be prepared for the players to do the same thing to you!
The more work you put into planning things in advance, the more likely it is that your lovingly-crafted scene or setting won't be used, your favourite NPC never encountered, because the players have thought of something that bypasses that part of your plot, missed a clue, or gone off at a weird tangent you never expected. Although it isn't obvious, the example of play omits a scene the referee had originally planned; pursuit and capture of the thief at the station. This happened because the referee made noticing the theft too difficult. Never mind; the thief (actually an associate of Gevon) will appear in a later scene. Or not, if the adventure seems to be going too slowly.
Prepare the broad outlines, of course, and have a few important NPCs detailed, but be prepared to invent details and characters on the fly as the story mutates. And don't be afraid to mislead; while it may seem unfair to give players "clues" or "hints" that are likely to lead them off the right track, in real life there are countless distractions. This applies to any clues or pictures you prepare for adventurers, of course; a few spurious or irrelevant details are easily added, and will keep the players guessing.
Adventures set in Tiamath are likely to be driven by the details of draconic society; wills and inheritance, elaborate social conventions, and occasional crimes. It probably isn't the best setting for high adventure or battles against fearsome odds. A typical story might involve a comedy of errors, a country "house" murder as in The Affair at Copper Caverns, or a hunt for a missing will or hoard. There may well be an element of danger, but it will probably arise from the actions of individual NPCs, not monsters, elaborate death traps, or hordes of hostile natives. For that sort of thing adventures should probably visit Yarge territory, as in The Crimson Claw Assurance Society, where there's scope for all of the above.
One final suggestion; don't be afraid to steal plots, provided it's only for your own amusement, but always remember to change things a little. Unless the source is really obscure you can be reasonably sure that at least one of the players will have seen or read it, but a few plot twists or changes in role will do a lot to keep them guessing.
Many of the characters encountered in an adventure are essentially spear-carriers, sketched out in the minimum of detail needed by the referee - for example, "Old Goredigis the family's lawyer", "The Yarge Ambassador", "a platoon of Yarge soldiers". It can be useful to have a few statistics prepared for them, but they generally need much less than a player character; the basic stats and any relevant skills and traits. For instance, the lawyer described below might be used in almost any situation - he's been given one speciality, but that can easily be changed.
Goredigis: Solicitor specialising in inheritance cases, 35 ft, age 480, bachelor.
BODY , MIND , SOUL  Acting (pleading) , Brawling , Business , Scholar (law) .
Flame, Tough (3 pt), Armour -3
Quote: "It's a tricky point, but historically the courts have favoured this interpretation of the laws of inheritance..."
Possessions: Legal wigs, various law books, secretary. Occasionally employs a member of the city watch (illegally) as a hired investigator.
Notes: Goredigis isn't in business for his health - his aim is to prolong the case as much as possible, so long as he continues to receive the maximum possible fees. He really doesn't give a toss about the rights and wrongs of most cases, and thinks that generally the dear departed must have been a blithering idiot to leave his affairs in such a mess. Naturally he never admits any of this to clients!
Traits: Snob, Pious hypocrite, Lawyer, Miser
Note that it isn't usually necessary to list all attacks for an NPC dragon, since they can easily be extrapolated from BODY and Brawling skill etc. if needed.
Dragon NPCs, in general, should be played much like Victorian and Edwardian ladies and gentlemen (who just happen to have wings, scales and occasional cannibal urges). Focus on motives and personality, and worry about the teeth and claws afterwards. The full Forgotten Futures rules include a wide range of human NPCs whose personalities could easily be used for draconic characters; just raise the BODY and any related skills and add a special ability or two. Players will never know if you don't tell them. The adventures include sample characters and several detailed draconic NPCs; where possible they've been designed for maximum usefulness in a wide range of plots.
Yarge are more of a problem; it's obvious that their cultures aren't much like the traditional Victorians, and they will always be odd outsiders from the dragon viewpoint, and vice versa. It's important to emphasise this when dragons interact with them. They have odd and barely-pronounceable names, eat weird cooked food, have no patience, and look disgusting. See earlier sections and the second adventure for more on their personalities. Dragons should start off thinking that they all look and sound alike, and take a while to appreciate their differences. Similarly, Yarge NPCs will have trouble telling dragons apart; most know that females are gold, pink, or red but that's about it. This can be a running gag; whenever the dragons are in a Yarge area where any dragon has ever committed any sort of offensive act, someone will accuse them of being the dragons in question. Again, it probably isn't necessary to keep a full character record for every Yarge in an adventure; a list of characteristics and the most relevant skills, plus brief notes on their significance, should be all that's needed. For example:
Stross, the Evil Retainer, Age 55, Yarge servant
BODY , MIND , SOUL , Detective , Stealth , Thief 
Quote: "Will that be all..." [pauses and sneers] "...sir?"
Possessions: Heavy pistol, small bottle spirits, lock picks.
Notes: Stross knows at least three damning secrets about his master or mistress, and blackmails guests. An expert at oiliness, materialising just before he is called, skulking in shadows, eavesdropping, and general skulduggery.
For dragon and Yarge alike, the important point is that the referee should be able to "flesh out" such characters with some appearance of a personality as needed. For many minor characters much less is needed; for example, when describing a large group of soldiers it's probably enough to work out what equipment they all carry, and possibly prepare the name and other details of their leader, without going into much detail on individual soldiers. As always, the aim should be to minimise the work you do preparing adventures, and maximise your enjoyment.
This version of the rules has been rewritten especially for dragon player characters. If you're already familiar with the Forgotten Futures rules this synopsis of the changes may be helpful. It's recommended that you use the revised rules if you are running a game with dragon characters, the ordinary rules for all other settings. The main changes are as follows:
There have been nine previous Forgotten Futures releases, all of them describing at least one game setting. Most of them would not necessarily be improved by the presence of dragons, but that doesn't mean that they can't exist in some form. Perhaps they live in a hidden enclave on the very edge of civilization; perhaps they're around but disguise their presence. Maybe they're just waiting to be found. For example:
FF II is set in a solar system in which antigravity was discovered in 1900, and most worlds are habitable. For this setting it would be very easy to add dragons - Tiamath and the Yarge countries are on Venus! There's a minor difference in the length of the year, which can easily be ignored. The first Terran explorers visited one of the other continents, where they discovered a race of flying humans and concluded that they had never fallen from grace. Because the planet is shrouded in clouds they never saw any other part of the planet, and never realised that there were other intelligent species elsewhere. Later explorers could find them. In this sort of setting it's traditional that the Terran explorers take the human side in whatever war happens to be in progress; unfortunately this may mean that powerful flying warships will be deployed against Tiamath, with possibly catastrophic results. A neat twist on this might be that one of Tiamath's Yarge neighbours is attacked by the Terran invaders (there's ample precedent for this in pulp SF and in the source book A Honeymoon in Space), who have their own evil agenda; perhaps they're stealing beautiful Yarge princesses, or trying to convert the Yarge to their incomprehensibly alien cross religion. Dragons might be able to reach the Terran ships as they rain destruction down on the Yarge; if they don't help, it may only be a matter of time before the alien invaders turn their attention to Tiamath. Of course the Terrans have Maxim guns and other nasty surprises, so this won't exactly be safe or easy...
FF III is based on Doyle's Professor Challenger novels including The Lost World, and deals with some other weird science ideas including the Hollow Earth. Maybe Tiamath and the Yarge countries are somewhere in the Earth's interior, just waiting to be found when a sufficiently powerful subterrene digging machine is invented. The arrival of strange invaders from the Outside is likely to be a mixed blessing.
Finally, FF VIII is based on Nesbit's children's fantasies, and is the only other Forgotten Futures setting with dragons, somewhat different to those of Tiamath. Nesbit's stories include several different types of dragon, and one of the adventures includes a visit to a dragon world modelled on Imperial China. Many of the dragons in this setting can use magic and take human form; some are capable of travel between dimensions. They would undoubtedly regard Tiamath's dragons as primitives, cannibals lacking in many of the skills and arts that they take for granted. On the other hand they would soon realise that the Yarge are everything they hate about the humans of other worlds, violent savages who would think nothing of killing any dragon who gets in their way. Their most likely response is an offer to evacuate any dragon who wishes to make a new home under the Dragon Emperor's rule. Or if Tiamath's dragons can't learn to travel between dimensions, the Emperor may offer military aid. Since he has a large, well-armed and under-utilised army this may be his preferred solution; a few decades of war would get rid of the over-ambitious incompetents. Of course it probably won't do Tiamath much good, especially if the Emperor eventually loses interest and pulls out his troops without giving the dragons an escape route.
Human wizards in FF VIII are usually children, and may be able to reach Tiamath's world under their own power. Dragons ought to regard this as being as frightening, in its own way, as an alien invasion - strange Yarge hatchlings with weird powers appearing out of nowhere are the sort of thing that's usually only seen in the most lurid scientific romances. And in the scientific romances, of course, the plucky dragon hero eventually wipes out the evil little fiends before their invasion succeeds! Humans who have previously visited more welcoming dragon dimensions may be in for a nasty surprise.
|1993||First published in ASCII text form.|
|1997||First printed publication (abridged rules as free booklet with Arcane magazine).|
|1998||Revised and converted to HTML.|
|1999||Full-length printed publication (Heliograph Inc.)|
|2004-5||PDF versions of abridged rules (edited by David Bruns)
German PDF version of abridged rules (translated & edited by David Bruns)
|2005||Revised and expanded HTML version.|
|2006||Updated version converted to PDF.|
|2008||Draconic translation (PDF and HTML).|
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