I’m pleased to announce that with this update I’m releasing the document containing the Fugue system of game-narrative mechanics under a Creative Commons licence, as promised in the game' stretch goals. You can download it here: http://www.spaaace.com/cope/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Fugue-rules-document-released-under-CC-licence.pdf
This version of the Fugue system is broadly similar to earlier versions I’ve made available – it hasn’t been completely rewritten – but it has been extensively tweaked for mechanical balance, narrative building, and to make it more suitable for running games that aren't specifically Alas Vegas. I am extremely pleased with Fugue. I think it’s the best set of RPG mechanics I’ve ever designed. Being able to throw it out to other designers to go wild with is a fantastic thing, and I owe all the backers of Alas Vegas a debt of gratitude for making it happen.
The Creative Commons licence is at the end of the document, but it boils down to: anyone can use or reuse these rules, including in their own published games, as long as they (a) give appropriate credit, (b) note if they’ve made any changes, (c) make any changes available under the same CC licence, (d) include the licence or a link to it; and (e) don’t impose any additional legal restrictions on what people can do with the material.
The document itself is Layout Test 2 for the Alas Vegas core book. Actually it’s more like layout test 1540, my desk is inches-deep in test prints of different settings and formats, but this is only the second one that I’ve put in front of you. After a number of false starts and new directions that turned out to be dead ends I went back to the idea of making a book that looks like it was published around 1970. Specifically, I’m trying to make it feel like the first edition of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Not to look exactly like it, I’m not creating a facsimile, but I am borrowing its style and tone.
The problem is that I’ve never seen a first US edition of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and I don’t have the considerable amount of money I'd need to acquire one. I do own a first edition of Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, released a couple of years later, but that’s set entirely in a standard weight of Times New Roman. I’ve nothing against Times New Roman but it was designed for the needs of newspaper layouts, and its use as the default serif face on most computers has stripped it of any sense of place and time.
However, thanks to pictures on bookseller websites, I’ve deduced that Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was set in a variant of Century, probably Century Expanded. Century is an American face from the turn of the 20th century, an ideal body font for books with overtones of mid-century Americana, and it works really well here. Fear & Loathing doesn’t have many section headings and paragraph headings, it’s a novel, so I can’t copy that aspect of its design, and the font it uses for its chapter heads is pretty horrible. But the original front cover uses Avant Garde Gothic, a very 1970s font, for the author’s name and the subtitle, so I’ve used that – except I haven’t, I’ve used Century Gothic which Avant Garde Gothic was largely based on, and which complements Century Expanded slightly better. Body is set 10/12 to balance the face’s x-height.
I’m pleased with it. Unless someone gives me a very good reason why I should go back to square one, this will be the look of the finished Alas Vegas layout. Plus tweaks.
Please share the Fugue PDF with anyone you think might be interested. I hope you enjoy it.
I'm hoping to have a completed manuscript of the book to show people at Dragonmeet (5th December). Fingers crossed.