Forgotten Futures

Rules Changes, Errata, FAQ, Survey Results, News, Etc.

Well, we all make mistakes...

Marcus L. Rowland
Copyright © 1998, portions Copyright © 1993-7

Note: Most of the rules changes, errata, etc. noted in this file have been incorporated into the appropriate documents in the CD-Rom release.

Rules Changes

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 [5] might add Marksmanship [3] for 6 points, rather than Marksmanship [6] 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


This list shows errata that have been discovered since Forgotten Futures IV was published, and any other material that might be of interest; see previous collections for earlier errata.

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;

Dinosaurs are seem for a total time of about 2-3 minutes and are crudely-animated models. There is even a cuddly pet pterodactyl, totally unaerodynamic, which is "rescued" from the zoo and liberated (presumably to drown flying back to Africa) at the end of the film.

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.

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.

Thanks to Paolo Marino for spotting the duplicated entry.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Survey Results

No new trends, apart from a few more Castle Falkenstein players, more people wanting something based on Wells, and a big rise in the number of people that wanted me to adopt a hypertext format. Hence the use of HTML.

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:

If you register or re-register, please take the trouble to fill in the survey form again; some of the questions are different.


Marcus L. Rowland
April 1998