By Marcus L. Rowland
Copyright © 2005, portions Copyright © 1993-2002

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This document is copyright, but you are encouraged to make copies and print-outs as needed. You may make modifications for your own use, but modified versions MUST NOT be distributed. If you find any of these files useful you are asked to register.

The first release of these rules was originally converted to HTML by Stefan Matthias Aust, to whom many thanks.

This copy of the rules has been split into several separate files. A version consisting of a single large file is also provided. These documents should be accompanied by several files including larger versions of the game tables and a short summary of the main rules for the use of players.


APPENDIX - Children and Animals

SOMETIMES it's fun to take on a role outside the normal run of adult player characters. Forgotten Futures III included an adventure written especially for children; this was so popular that the rules it introduced are reproduced below, with some minor corrections. There is a greatly expanded version of this section in Forgotten Futures VIII, which is based on Victorian children's fantasy.

Children As Adventurers

Children should be generated using a number of points equal to the character's age. Thus an eight year old gets 8 points, a child aged ten gets 10 points, and so forth. Points can be spent in the normal way, except that a maximum of 2 points can be spent on any skill, and some skills are not available. While some children may have higher BODY than some adults, you should normally assume that any adult is more than a match for any child; high BODY is offset by smaller stature and poorer co-ordination.

Since the physical size of these characters is small, the Stealth skill should usually begin at a higher value than BODY/2. For children, this is best related to age. For a child aged 8 or less, the base value of Stealth should be BODY. For a child aged 9-12 the base value of Stealth should be BODY -1, minimum 1. After this age assume that puberty cuts in, with a spurt in BODY size, and Stealth drops to normal levels.

The Doctor skill is not available, and referees are strongly advised to prohibit the Driving, Martial Arts, Military Arms, and Pilot skills, or at least demand an extremely good rationale for their acquisition (cadet corps training is one possibility for older children). Unusually destructive use of skills should be discouraged; while real children with (for example) an extensive knowledge of chemistry may occasionally dream of blowing up their schools, very few actually do it.

Personal possessions and wealth should be limited to what is plausible and realistic for a child in the era under consideration; for instance, in the 1920s a pair of roller skates or a cricket ball is a plausible possession, but a car or a Game-Boy is not. In Britain children should find it almost impossible to obtain firearms; farm children and the aristocracy might occasionally be allowed to use shotguns or small-calibre rifles, under strict supervision, but they certainly won't be permitted to carry them in public. Air rifles are more plausible, but still illegal near any public area; the nineteenth century saw several air-rifle killings, and they are regarded as a potentially lethal weapon. While there are a very few illicit handguns in circulation, guns of all types are much less common in reality than they are in detective fiction of the period, and it is extraordinarily rare for them to fall into the hands of children. Whatever arguments players may use, the referee should ALWAYS refuse to allow access to firearms, explosives, alcohol, or anything else that isn't usually available to children.

The most useful piece of equipment that's readily available to most children is a bicycle; use BODY, or the Athlete or Riding skills, whichever is best, to ride one. Other useful possessions might include penknives, camping equipment, watches, and electric torches. A maximum of two or three pounds of saved pocket money is a good starting point for personal wealth; even if a child is the heir to a fortune, sensible parents won't dole out vast amounts of money. Children may optionally be accompanied by dogs; see below.

Optional Rule: Staying Awake

Children need plenty of sleep. If the time (pm) exceeds a character's age, start to roll age versus time every hour; after midnight add 12 to the time (am) for this roll. If the roll is failed, the character falls asleep. If the roll is exactly what is needed for success, the character stays awake but starts to yawn frequently and loudly, and makes all subsequent rolls at -1 to age; because yawning is infectious, everyone else trying to stay awake should also roll at -1!

Optional Rule: Attention Span

Children have short attention spans; if they are waiting for something to happen, they may lose interest. One way to simulate this is to ask for an occasional roll of the child's MIND versus the number of hours that pass. If this is combined with the Staying Awake roll, above, it can be almost impossible to accomplish anything at night; referees are advised to use one or the other, but not both.

Dogs As Adventurers

Usually dogs are run by the referee, but players may choose to run them as player characters. For either purpose they start out with 8 points, which can be used for characteristics or skills. No more than 2 points can be spent on any skill. The following skills are available; note that base values and descriptions are changed from human norms:

ActorAvM&SUseful for playing dead, begging, etc.
AthleteB *Swimming, running, catching sticks, etc.
BrawlingB *Biting, clawing, and tripping only.
Detective  AvM&SVia scent, keen eyesight, etc.
LinguistM/2 *Understand human commands, bark to warn of danger, howl to attract help, etc. High skill levels do NOT add extra languages. Regardless of skill level, it is NOT possible to talk to humans!
MediumS *Uncanny ability to sense danger, ghosts, etc. All dogs have it to some extent.
RidingAvB&SUsed to control other animals, e.g. sheep, but not to ride them unless the dog is circus trained.
Hiding, camouflage, sneaking, etc.
The base value of Stealth is BODY for puppies, BODY-1 (minimum 1) for adults.
ThiefAvB&M/2  Steal bones, keys, sticks, etc.
*Available free at base values.

Small dogs (BODY 1-2) take the following Wounds: B[ ] F[ ] I[ ] C[ ]
and bite with Effect Brawling+1, Damage A:B, B:F, C:F

Large dogs (BODY 3) use these wounds: B[ ] F[ ] I[ ] I[ ] C[ ]
and bite with Effect Brawling+1, Damage A:B, B:F, C:I

Huge dogs (BODY 4 or more) use these wounds: B[ ] F[ ] I[ ] I[ ] C[ ]
and bite with Effect Brawling+1, Damage A:F, B:I, C:C

Example: Nippy the Yorkshire Terrier
BODY [1], MIND [3], SOUL [2], Athlete [1], Brawling [1], Detective [5], Linguist [3], Medium [2], Stealth [1]
Wounds: B[ ] F[ ] I[ ] C[ ]
Attack: Bite, Effect 2, Damage A:B, B:F, C:F
Quote: "Snuffle, snuffle, snuffle, yap, yap!"
Notes: Nippy has been designed as a very intelligent pet who can aid his owners by getting help, sniffing out clues, etc. He is useless in combat; his most effective attack is probably to yap excitedly, widdle on someone's foot, or entangle his lead around legs.

Example: Towser The Wonder-Dog
BODY [3], MIND [1], SOUL [2], Actor [3], Athlete [3], Brawling [3], Detective [3], Linguist [1], Medium [3], Stealth [2]
Wounds: B[ ] F[ ] I[ ] I[ ] C[ ]
Attack: Bite, Effect 4, Damage A:B, B:F, C:I
Quote: "Arff, arff, arff, whine!"
Notes: Towser is a big strong mongrel, but a little lazy; no points have been spent to improve Athlete or Brawling over the norms for his BODY. One point each has been spent on the Detective and Medium skills; he is a good tracker, often senses danger before his master, and is large enough to knock someone down if he perceives a threat to his owner.

Example: Wolff (German shepherd)
BODY [4], MIND [1], SOUL [1], Athlete [5], Brawling [6], Linguist [1], Medium [1], Stealth [2]
Wounds: B[ ] F[ ] I[ ] I[ ] C[ ]
Attack: Bite, Effect 7, Damage A:F, B:I, C:C
Quote: "Grrrrrrrr....."
Notes: Wolff is an efficient killing machine. He is not a suitable pet for a child, unless the child's name happens to be Damien.

You are strongly advised NOT to allow players to take on the role of huge dogs, unless a particularly high body count is required.

Dogs don't automatically know everything that a human character might. For instance, a dog might recognise a person as "someone Master met recently", but not as "Mr. Jones, the barman at the pub". They certainly can't explain exactly what they have seen to humans. Without experience of weapons, they might mistake a gun for a stick, or a thrown hand grenade for a thrown ball.

These rules are easily extended to cover other animals, "intelligent" toys, talkative steam engines, etc.

See Free Nessie in FF III and all of FF VIII for examples of adventures for children and their pets. FF VIII also includes rules for nine-lived cats (possibly with magical powers) as player characters.

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Revised and converted to HTML 23/4/98, Revised and updated 1/2005 - If you have any queries or comments on these rules please contact the author.