May 23rd, 2006


Flatland vision revisited

Here's my Flatland vision thing from the Serious Science section - PLEASE pick holes... or suggest things I've missed. I'm actually starting at the end of the previous section since it's a good lead into it. Square brackets are footnotes. The "coinworld" mentioned is a 2D world which is a flat disc, with gravity pulling towards the centre and natives living on the rim. See e.g. The Planiverse. Apologies for the length.

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What do you think?

Character record?

This is mostly for the RPG enthusiasts, especially anyone who is familiar with Forgotten Futures because Flatland is essentially an FF variant.

My Flatland RPG has

Three characteristics
Fifteen possible skills
Five possible advantages (you can take as many as you like but you don't start off with many points to buy them, and two are mutually exclusive, you can only have one of them)
Nine disadvantages (of which a group of three and a group of two are mutually exclusive, you can't have more than one of them.

In practice a typical character looks something like this:

Gunga Thin: SIDES [2], MIND [2], BODY [6]
Brawling [7], Stealth [5], Thief [5], Weapons [4]
Advantage: Good sight
Disadvantage: Eccentric; constantly swearing
Equipment: Lock picks, rope, water, food
Quote: "Ruby? What ***** ruby?"
Notes: Gunga Thin is an Isosceles native bearer, originally from the Eastern border of The State, attached to Sharp's regiment. He is the servant for all the officers. He is reasonably loyal, but primarily interested in loot and other "perks" of army life. He isn’t an official member of the army; his status falls somewhere between servant, mascot, and pack animal. And in a pinch he’s probably edible…

The question is, do I need to bother including a character record sheet? My gut feeling is no, but I just drew one with spaces and base values for all skills, advantages, disadvantages, etc., not very big type, and it filled a page. The trouble is it looks boring, like a tax return or something, and I really doubt I can make it much prettier. There may be some people who feel that they need this sort of record form rather than jotting characteristics onto a piece of paper, but I'd really rather like to avoid it.

What do people think?

Flatland record sheet

Okay, having taken on board Matt and Chris's suggestions, and tried to figure out to explain them in less than three or four pages, I've decided to go with a slightly snazzier version of the character record I originally designed, adding a grid for drawing characters from 25 degree isosceles up to 8 sided - if people want more than that they can design their own grids.

It's here as a PDF, about 72k:

Comments, as always, greatly appreciated.

Elvis (remember him?)

Just when you thought I was all Flatland and no Elvis, I'm finally able to breathe a huge sigh of relief and say that the final PDF is ready. It appears to be working well on all platforms, but as usual I'd appreciate it if the beta testers could take a look and let me know if they spot any problems. I've a window of a couple of days to fix any problems and start the process of putting it on sale, otherwise it'll be a couple of weeks, so a fast response would be greatly appreciated.

The final version is again at

About 2.5 Mb - Same user name and password as before.

The sampler is at

About 460k - No password needed.