Is that smoke coming out of the Lost Heroes forge?


I keep having thoughts about what I want to get from the system, but the more I think about it, the more it gets fuzzy and, well, complicated (but in a good way I think).

Let me explain. People love roleplaying systems that appear simple and elegant but offer up potentially limitless (or more than easy to handle) complexity. That the system everyone aims for, easy to get into but endlessly flexible. But what is not necessarily obvious is that they also what a system that plays well. And you can come up with any sort of funky simple system, but it may not work when it gets into strangers hands.

So I dwelt on this problem for a while and decided that when I put together the “lost heroes” system, I’ll lob in all the ideas I can or want to include. Fill it up and having it overflowing with much of muchness. Because it’s easier to cut away than add later once you put something in the public (and the sad thing is, I picked this little piece of wisdom up from a reality TV show). The plan then is to play test it, either in person with friends or possible online over at the Fudge IRC chat room on otherworlders.org, cutting back on what doesn’t work until I have something that, well, does. :)

The system is going to be ostensibly Fudge. And there has been some recent free systems based on Fudge, like Marvellous Superheroes and Fudgepark2/SLUDGE that have come to my attention. (I plan to digest them for ideas! Muhahahahahah). And quite recently a new iteration of Now Playing in The Unexplained from Carnivore Games. So a nice little trove of stuff to dig through.

Thankfully much of the pieces of my system are already there or I’ve done work on them in parts. I still foresee a lot of work getting everything together in a system that appears coherent and aligns with the intents of the setting.

  • One of the core parts of the system will be Fudge Passions. This is a system I developed to replace Fudge Points but more importantly as a way to link supernatural powers to characters emotions and environs. Something that makes the powerful lost hero characters part of the world.
  • And then there is Story Hooks. This is tied to Fudge Passions but also to other ideas that have been knocking about in my head for years. I started them before I had heard of Fate and in many ways they are similar to Aspects but not as powerful as Aspects in play but are more malleable in the long term.
  • I also wanted to do something about conflict and be able to turn any roll of the dice situation into a form of combat. TDO Combat is my first attempt. It suffers in that it’s hard to understand from the text, yet I know what I want from it. It pulls in ideas from Riddle of Steel and Shadows of Yesterday games, the old Fudge Factor and discussions from the old FudgeList. It provides a criteria for when to do “combat” and when just make a single roll, handling group and one-on-one combats and should be applicable to most types of situations from chases and battlefields to political gatherings and socialising.
  • Another little titbit, but much more recent, was some thoughts on making Magic Characters interesting. It’s quite generic in that you could add it to any system: Magic Character Add-on. In principal it’s a way to turn a character who can do magic to a magic-based character. The difference is subtle, but IMHO important.
  • And finally, at least publically, is a blog post on what I call The Big Pile of Skills Problem. Your character isn’t just a big list of skills you know and I really like idea of “professions” a character has. It’s more defining/descriptive though more abstract and harder to design for.

So I hope you’re now getting the impression of how much of a mix-bag the system is going to be.

Of course, if your more interested in setting-specific bits of the rules, I’d recommend checking back over some of these older blog posts, [1] and [2], for some idea what characters you can play and what sort of powers they may have.

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