Fallen London Tabletop: Homebrew Edition?

So we recently had a Fallen London tabletop discussion, but that thread seemed to pertain mostly to someone’s Savage Worlds system. I’m sorry in advance if this thread is redundant, but I felt like this had the potential to deserve its own thread. I don’t know what state the Savage Worlds game is currently in currently in, but I realized that it might be missing the forest for the trees. Fallen London has a pretty comprehensive system in there that could be crunched down a bit and adapted to tabletop play. We’ve got four stats that encompass most of what you’ll be trying to do and four damage types that add a little nuance to failing rolls. I feel like this could be made into something that preserves the spirit of the game and allows it to be used for games of this kind.

Unfortunately, I’m terrible at this. Simply awful. I’ve never had the head for systems like this and I’ve been at a loss for what other systems I can crib from to try and get a basis. I’ve shied away from dice pools; ideally, I was thinking something along the lines of rolling a d10 and succeeding if you roll under the stat you’re checking. Dice pools are usually cumulative of multiple stats or stats and skills and I feel as if that’s not in the spirit of the source material. It doesn’t sit right with me to be rolling, say, watchful and shadowy simultaneously for a task.

I’m sure this is doable, but insofar as figuring out ratios and (ideally) point-buy for the four main attributes I’m rather lost. Moreover, the role of skills is kind of a sticking-point for me. I’m not at all sure how to handle them in the context of this system. If anyone here is a little better at this sort of thing and wants to help this take shape or can think of a system that does what I’ve got in mind (I know there’s one! I just can’t remember what it is for the life of me) I’d be deeply appreciative.

Currently I’m also thinking of borrowing the Risus system, which allows for dice pools determined by individual stats rather than combinations of stats or stats and skills, but it’s limiting and it was never meant to be used with separate HP/damage mechanics. I’m hesitant about fiddling with it because, as I said, I’m dismal at this.

As my aching eyes indicate either Correspondence-related studies or a desperate need for sleep (or both…), this is mostly a drive-by posting, but: Have you checked out the original/&quotclassic&quot Deadlands system? It drew on dice a bit, but also a deck of cards. Given the setup of Fallen London, having a deck of cards is pretty appropriate, and the system made things pretty interesting.

Helping that, a standard deck of cards has four suits, matching either the four stats or the four damage types. I know the suit in Deadlands also determined certain special things; strongest to weakest they were arranged Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs. When you were drawing stats, the die type you used was determined by the number of the card (aces were d12s, 10-K d10s (I think), and so on), but the suit determined the number. So the Ace of Spades meant you were rolling 4d12 to meet the check or attempt to exceed a Target Number, while the 3 of Diamonds would mean you had 2d4.

I can’t remember all the other quirks right now, and I’m not sure I still have the book in any format, but it’s at least an idea worth kicking around. I have to go heap now.

(End note: I know Deadlands was converted to Savage Worlds when it was revamped. I don’t know how much, if any, of the original mechanics carried over, but my impression was very little, and definitely not the fun times with every player having a deck of cards for conflict resolution. As for the current Savage Worlds system, I don’t know much of anything about it. I’ve mostly done D&D incarnations from the beginning, with minor dabbling in Shadowrun and a couple other (usually d100/d%) systems along the way.)