Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland

Dragonmeet and the Future of Forgotten Futures

Yesterday's Dragonmeet was, as always, extremely good fun. Also exhausting, since I had a sore throat from the start.

I made a big mistake in the pacing of the first Flatland / Forgotten Futures adventure, which ended up lasting just under two hours instead of nearly three - the problem was that I originally designed it with a Forgotten Futures detective phase which given the time constraints would have had to be done entirely by NPCs; instead the players (as Flatlanders temporarily occupying 3D bodies) got to cross London, destroy things and frighten the horses, then rescue someone and destroy a nameless evil (with rugose tentacles). I think everyone had some fun, but it was a lot shorter and more linear than originally intended. I'll write it up properly when I'm a bit better. One possibility is that some of the players could run two characters, one human and one Flatlander, with the human leaving the stage in the second act.

I'd compounded my timing error by allowing an hour's break between sessions, instead of half an hour, so ended up sitting and talking to passing friends for nearly two hours between games. Fortunately doctor_toc is now resident in the UK and made it to the con, and helped me out by table-sitting while I got lunch and had a fast mooch around the dealers. Also saw Phil Masters, Mike Cule, pwca, karohemd and other familiar faces.

The afternoon Diana Warrior Princess session in which Diana and Elvis characters (through a bureaucratic mistake during a silly-season crossover episode) ended up in the afterlife - it went well, but I think the plot needed more work. It seemed to go down well enough, but I hadn't quite thought through some of the things the players might do, so a lot of improvisation was needed. Such as coming up with a version of Death - yes, with the scythe - whose idea of playing Rock - Paper - Scissors was to materialise a boulder over the head of the person challenging him. The Supreme Being (a John Cleese clone, of course) seemed to go over well, as did various undead barmen, talking lizards, etc. Again, I'll write it up eventually.

After that I nipped home and dumped my stuff, and got back in time for the auction where I singularly failed to get any of the things I bid on - I only had 50 quid left, and that wasn't nearly enough for the things I wanted. It raised £1600+ for children's charities, which I think is a record for Dragonmeet. Highest price was the last item, signed and dedicated copies of the recent Dork Tower cartoons about Dragonmeet - bought by Angus Abranson for I think £400. Unfortunately muskrat_john didn't make it over this year, so he'll have to wait on the transatlantic post. After that I was pretty shattered and ended up going home for an early night. Didn't even make it to the post-con booze-up today because I just didn't feel up to it.

Later edit - sorry, that was £450 for the cartoons, and it's Angus who'll have to wait, of course, since muskrat_john will be sending them from the USA.

My big disappointment was that all of my sales were Diana and Elvis material - none for Forgotten Futures or Flatland, despite lots of people admiring the plastic cutout characters for Flatland and apparently liking the game concept. Again, it would really help if the game got more publicity, higher ratings on e23, etc., so if you've bought it and liked it please say so. Remember that all proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders.

I've been thinking about the long-term future of Forgotten Futures, and one possibility I'm considering is to make the core rules mechanisms (in the PDF version up to page 37) available on a free basis - anyone would be able to use them for their own games, add additional rules, etc., subject only to an acknowledgement of their source - and to allow anyone to write and sell worldbooks and adventures based on the complete rules (but not to print the entire 100-page rule book unless they want to pay royalties) if they don't want to develop their own game. I won't make money out of this directly, but Forgotten Futures is a reasonably flexible system and it ought to work reasonably well as an "engine" for most types of game, and encourage people to look at my material. At this stage this is still a "something I might do" idea, not a firm proposal, and I'd be grateful for comments.
Tags: diana, elvis, flatland, forgotten futures, rpg

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