Solar System

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This is the system behind The Shadow of Yesterday, a pulpy, romantic RPG, tending toward powerful, driven characters.

The Solar System is copyright 2005 Clinton R. Nixon. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


Characters consist of four basic things - Pools of bonus dice, Abilities used to resolve conflicts, Secrets to enhance those Abilities, and Keys to drive the conflicts.

Creating a character is a simple process of choosing these four things, and character advancement is a matter of accumulating experience, earned through Keys, converting experience into 'advances' and spending the advances on the traits listed above. There are also several examples of characters.


Resolution is typically a matter of rolling three FUDGE dice (a six-sided die with two pluses, two minuses, and two blanks on it), totalling the result with the Ability in question, and comparing it to a difficulty or another character's roll. This is called an Ability check, which can be expanded. Resolution is also where weapons and armor can come into play.

This resolution is to resolve a conflict, and as such, is not 'task' resolution - using your Sword Ability is akin to saying you want to beat someone up. Succeed in your roll, and you do. This means bad things can happen quickly to your character - in this case, a round-by-round or task-versus-task resolution can be brought into play, called Bringing Down the Pain.

Because Resolution works in this way, the GM is encouraged not to simply go for the players' throats, but to work their Keys. Character Transcendence deals with players that achieve remarkable success in-game: a built-in power limit.

Crunchy Bits

'Crunchy bits' refers to the elements that players can grab for their characters, and includes lists for Abilities, Secrets, and Keys.

Tips and Tricks

There is also an outline of tips and tricks, consisting of advice and encouragements, both for the Storyteller (the GM) and for Players.