Marcus L. Rowland
Copyright © 1998, portions Copyright © 1993-7
This rules change is added to FF V onwards, and can be retrofitted to earlier versions without problems:
OPTIONAL RULE: Adding Skills Below Base Values
Under the usual rule, 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  for 6 points, rather than Marksmanship  for 12 points; just enough to shoot for the pot, not to shoot for the British Olympic team.
Once acquired such skills can only be improved by the normal process, and one point at a time.
Referees are 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 in section 1.3.5 may not be acquired this way.
This rules change was suggested by Joerg Baumgartner.
Previous Rules Changes
Forgotten Futures III
The list of films in FF3 omits another version of The Lost World (1992, Harmony Gold Pictures), which is distributed as "Jurassic Adventures - The Lost World". There are some changes to the plot;
Not even a turkey; it's bad, but not so bad it's funny or memorable! On the other hand, it is genuinely based on Doyle's book and acknowledges the fact; the Jurassic Park sequel of the same name takes the names of some minor characters and its general background from Doyle, but makes no acknowledgement of this rather important source.
Forgotten Futures I
Another VERY tiny glitch in the Worldbook for the first FF collection; the Timeline shows China joining the A.B.C twice, in 1964 and 1967! The "explanation" is simple:
After China joined, the Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front seized power in 1966; they were politically opposed to the free movement of 'digs, and withdrew from the A.B.C.Thanks to Paolo Marino for spotting the duplicated entry.
China's economy promptly collapsed, and the PRDF was ousted and replaced by a pro-A.B.C. anarcho-syndicalist government in 1967, who promptly rejoined the A.B.C.
Chris Williams has discovered an article which may have been a source of ideas for With The Night Mail; "With Her Majesty's Mails to Ireland", by Edward John Hart, appeared in The Strand Magazine in April 1895 and is an account of a mail packet journey from Holyhead to Kingstown. There are some very striking similarities, and I hope to add it to the Forgotten Futures Library collection eventually.
A:Yes, provided you don't charge for it, but please read the copyright terms and let me know what you are doing. This also applies to translations etc.
A: Two of the collections are set in worlds in which psychic phenomena occur, and there are some magic rules in FF4. It's unlikely that there will ever be a "pure" fantasy version of Forgotten Futures, but a collection based on Victorian and Edwardian fantasies for children is a possibility. If I can find some suitable material I may look at this eventually, but no earlier than FF8 or 9.
Any superhero stories that are even remotely useful for RPG purposes are covered by copyright and/or trademark laws, either of the original story or subsequent material such as comics or films. For example, the first Superman story appeared nearly sixty years ago, but if DC stopped publishing Superman tomorrow the copyright would continue until at least 2067! If you know of an exception, please tell me about it.
Having said this, I should add that I like superhero stories and RPGs, and have considered writing a worldbook based on my own stories (in Temps and Eurotemps, published by Roc UK), changing the background to avoid copyright problems. If you like this idea, comment when you register.
A: When I designed this game it seemed a good idea to give players a few points to spread around a limited range of characteristics and broadly-defined skills, rather than a large number of points and a lot of very specific skills. This is one reason why character generation is very fast for a points-based game.
Add new skills if you want them, but if possible use or modify an existing skill instead. The "Scholar" skill was added to cover most possibilities that don't correspond to existing skills; for instance, in FF4 it is possible to be a scholar of magic.
An archaeologist might use the Scientist skill and assume that it is limited to this specific field of study, plus associated fields that aren't normally covered by the skill such as history in general, specialised eras, and so forth; alternatively, take the skill Scholar (Archaeology). A vet would use the Doctor skill; in this case I'd suggest that there should be a -1 penalty if humans are treated, and a +1 bonus when treating the most common domestic animals.
A: See the index! OK, email@example.com if you're too lazy to look. Please note that I cannot take registrations by e-mail.
Unfortunately Wells is still out of the question; the H.G. Wells estate holds his copyright, and actively defends it. While it is possible to get their approval to write material based on his work, such as Stephen Baxter's novel The Time Ships, it is unlikely that a game would be approved. The estate has already blocked plans to release a new edition of his Little Wars. A couple of days in court would bankrupt me, so I'm not going to try to bend the law. This WON'T change until 2016, when the 70 year copyright period finally releases his work, and it might then be possible to do something. Until then PLEASE stop asking...
FF4 contained a story-telling card game; reactions were mixed, with players split fairly evenly between loving it, hating it, and not using it. I may try this idea again.
Here are the main points of the survey:
Apart from these games, there are now up to three users each for AD&D, Albedo, Amazing Engine, Battletech, Bushido, Cyberpunk, DC Heroes, Doom, Earthdawn, Fringeworthy, Ghostbusters, Harn World, James Bond, Lost Souls, Marvel Super Heroes, Midgard, Middle Earth Role Playing System, Paranoia, Pendragon, Nethack, Omega, Primal Order, Rolemaster/Middle Earth, Runequest, Shadow World, Shadowrun, Shatterzone, Space Master, Star Wars, Storyteller (Mage, Werewolf, and Vampire), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Time Lord, Toon, and Traveller, and one for a German game whose name I can't decipher.
More replies suggested Frankenstein; an interesting idea, but on its own not really ideal as a background for a role playing game. Dracula also got more votes, but 'Vampire: The Masquerade' and the Dracula RPG (published by Leading Edge, now apparently defunct, and based on Coppola's film) already cover this ground exhaustively. Early plays based on Frankenstein and on The Vampire, one of the earlier British vampire stories, will be appearing in FF6. Abbot's Flatland has been suggested in the past, but there are inevitably a few problems associated with a game whose characters are (literally) two-dimensional. I own a copy, and I'm thinking about it.
If you register or re-register, please take the trouble to fill in the survey form again; some of the questions are different.