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The Flux

John Wick
Contents
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
About two weeks ago, the world died. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
How to Use the Flux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Memory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Modification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Recall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Magic, Super Science and Sorcery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Remembering Who You Are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Gaining Memory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Whiplash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Slippage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Narrator Advice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
What Changes? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Mister Finger/Lady Auriculaire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
The Charming Mary/Fogg, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
What Doesnt Change? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Can We Force it to Change? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
What Happens When I Throw a Fireball? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
How Many Worlds? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
How Often Should I Flux? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Finally . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Afterward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
1

Introduction
The Flux is an idea Ive had for a long time. A multiple reality roleplaying game where the players
dont jump from world to world, but instead, the worlds jump to them. The only problem was, the game
itself could be summed up on one or two pages. I could pad the game out with worlds of my own, but that
always felt like padding. Here, in this book, the game has finally found a home.
The Flux has many inspirations, but chief among them was a deep desire to run every game sitting
on my bookshelves. Chill, Torg, Inspectres, Over the Edge, L5R. But players want continuity. They liked the
stories I was telling and they liked the characters they were playing. If only there was a way for me to keep
continuity between games
And thats really where The Flux comes from. Players want continuity and I have short-attention
span disorder when it comes to roleplaying games.
(Even now, with the incredibly wonderful Changeling game Im running, Im just itching to run
Pendragon.)
My solution was The Flux. Every game I run has The Flux under it. Every game world is
really just a Fluxworld, waiting to shift into something else. Similar names, familiar faces, but
slightly different circumstances.
Also, if I switch to a new world and that magic chemistry isnt working, I can just flux to
another. Turns out we really didnt want to play Shadowrun? Flux. Were playing Ars Magica.
I also consider The Flux to be more than a game. Its a gift. Its a gift to all those other
Narrators who are just like me. They want to show players all those cool games on the shelves
but the players dont want to give up their characters. Well now, you can have both. You can
keep playing your favorite character... he just shows up in all kinds of different worlds. Like
Michael Moorcocks Eternal Champion: same character, just different names and faces.
So, here is my gift to you.
Use it wisely.
About two weeks ago, the
world died.
That sentence hangs in the air. He says it but I dont know what it means. I look at the beer on the
table because Im afraid to look at him.
You mean I start to ask the question, but he answers it before I finish.
I mean, he tells me, that two weeks ago, the world died.
I pick up the beer, feeling the cold glass under my fingers. I take a drink. Okay, I tell him. What
does that mean to me?
His eyes stared at me from across the table. He hadnt touched his beer. I was ready for my second.
The world is like everything else, he told me. Were all part of the same system. He started with
his hands together at the palms, slowly bringing them apart. Were born, we live, we grow old. He brought
his hands back together. We die.
Yes, I said, not sure what to say.
The world is the same way, he told me. And just two weeks ago, it died.
I nodded. All right. But were still here.
He pointed at me. Thats because the world lives in cycles. After it dies, its born again.
Like a phoenix, I said.
He nodded again, his eyes still wide. Yes. Like a phoenix. Exactly. Born from the ashes of the old
world. Made from the same stuff.
I assume then, reaching back to my philosophy classes in college, that since were made from
the same stuff, a lot of what we are is predicated on what we were.
He smiled. Yes, he said. Youre getting it now.
So two weeks ago, the world was reborn. Why didnt anybody notice?
Only a few people notice, he told me. And only a few people remember.
I dont remember, I said.
His eyes grew wider. I know. But you did. The world made you forget. You lost yourself
in the Flux.
The way he said the word made me hear the capital F.
Is that what its called? I ask, drinking more beer. The jukebox in the corner changed from
Ratt to Poison. That guy with the mullet who put his dollars in the box couldnt let go of high school.
Thats what we call it, he said. Those who remember. The Flux comes and the whole world dies
and is reborn in the span of a heartbeat. And most everybody doesnt even notice. They just keep on going
the same way theyve always been going, assuming the whole world has always been this way.
So, all my memories? Theyre all fake?
He shook his head. No, theyre real. The world is what its always been. Until the Flux comes along
and changes everything. Then, when the world is completely different, its still the way its always been.
But you remember the way it was?
Yes. And the way its been before.
I nodded. Tell me.
Oh, the last time before the world died, it was full of airships and steam-powered marvels. Mad
scientists and mystery men. It was amazing.
Sounds like it.

2
3

The time before? It was all horror show. Secret societies and occult workings andoh, it was just like
something out of Aleister Crowleys wettest, darkest, bloodiest dream.
And the time before that?
Thats a little fuzzy, he said, frowning just a little. I remember swords. A red dress. Something
about revenge
I nodded. I see.
He paused. Looked at me strangely. I dont think you do.
Oh, I do, I told him. I honestly do. I got my purse and stood. He stood with me.
I dont think that you do, he said again. He reached forward. I tried to avoid him, and he grabbed
my arm. But you will, he said.
I felt it, then. A rush through my skin like lightning and fire. I tried to breathe, but the whole world
was caught in my throat.
Worlds.
I was in a long dress on the deck of a ship. A skyship. And it was mine. Stolen from a man
with a broken heart. I was surrounded by lovely men. The sky was orange and red and the sun was
plump and sinking below the horizon
where a black castle stood. I had a sword strapped to my waist and a horse beneath
me. The dust of the road in my long, braided hair. I had only half a day left to go. And when I
reached the castle, I would have my revenge. Finally, I would have
the Opal. Once and for all. It belonged to my father and it belonged now to me. But the
man who stole it demanded a sacrifice. I let the gown fall from my shoulders and he watched in
that dark room. The bed loomed between us like an omen. Standing naked in the moonlight,
he held the Opal in his fingers. And I would have it. And I would make him pay for making
me
kiss him. Thats what my mind told me to do. Kiss him! I reached forward
and put my lips against his. His hands reached up and his fingers ran through my hair.
We stood together on the deck of the ship. Stars looked back at us from the view
screens. The AI can pilot us to Cygnus VII, he said. I smiled. Yes, I told him
yes.
That word hangs between us. From my lips. I say it again.
Yes.
His hand still on my arm. Now, he says. Now, you see.
Through all the worlds, I tell him. You and I are together.
He nods. Yes.
Sometimes enemies, I tell him.
Sometimes lovers, he says.
Sometimes both. One of us said that. I cant remember who it was now.
What is it this time? he says.
I smile.
Imagine for a moment that every roleplaying game you own is not a separate world but only an
expression of a single world. The world of cosmic horrors lurking on the edge of reality is really the world
of steampunk sorcery is really the world of ninja and samurai is really the world of transhuman science
fiction and on and on.
Its all the same world. Every once in a while, however, the world fluxes. It changes into something
else. The world changes and nobody notices. As far as the worlds conscious population is concerned, this
has always been the world of cosmic horrors, has always been the world of dragons and spells, has always
been the world of nethacks and cyber-samurai, has always been the world of swashbuckling sorcerous
pirates.
Nobody notices the change. They just keep on living their lives with the memories that came built in
with the current world. The world around them provides back stories and continuities. But if you were to
look with an objective eye, if you were to look with knowledge of what came before and what came before
that and what came before that youd see a deeper continuity.
Romances that span worlds. Revenges that cross realities. The seeds you sew in one existence you
soon come to reap in another.
This is the world of The Flux. A place where reality changes and nobody notices. Well, almost nobody.
There are a few who notice. A few who have a memory that stretches. A few who can recall who they
were when the world was different.
Also, sometimes the Flux doesnt quite wash over everyone. Every once in a while, things slip through.
People slip through. Places slip through. Sometimes, monsters slip through.

How to Use the Flux


The Flux isnt quite a roleplaying game unto itself. I have enough rules here for you to run
it as a self-standing RPG, but Ive always used it as a kind of meta-roleplaying game. A game
underlying any game Ive ever run.
First, start running any roleplaying game you like. Run it for a few sessions. Make sure
the players are comfortable in their new skins. Theyve made contacts, theyve established
relationships. Theyre emotionally invested.
Then, one day, in the middle of the game, describe a sound. Like a ringing in your ears
after youve gone swimming.
Then, slowly, the sound grows. Like horns. Distant horns. A symphony, out of tune. The
sound gets louder. Impossible to ignore. Its coming from everywhere.
Too loud now. You cant hear anything else. Nobody else can hear the sound but you. Its like a knife
in your skull now. Make it stop! Please
Make it stop!

Gone.
You open your eyes.
The world around you is no longer the world that once was. Instead, its something else. You
remember the world you once knew, and everything around you looks familiar. The people. The
circumstances. They match the world thats gone now. But theyre different. Slightly different.

4
5

You look down at yourself. Youre transformed as well. But you remember. You remember
Nows the time to hand out ringed binders to your players. Get those plastic slips that you can fit
inside the binder. Tell the players to fit their character sheets into one of those slips. And then, produce new
character sheets for a different roleplaying game.
(Yes, you make the characters. They can change the characters up if they want. Thats part of the Flux
Memory rule were going to learn about soon.)
Base the characters you make on the current characters. Make analogues for the sneaky character and
the combat character and the magic character and the knowledge character you know what I mean. Hand
them out.
And then tell the players, This is you.
Put the last worlds character sheet under the present worlds character sheet.
This is always the procedure whenever the Flux arrives:
Take the present worlds sheet from the stack of worldswherever it may restand place it on the
top. That way, the last world is just under the present world. And whenever you put the present world
on top of the stack, worlds get pushed down further and further away from the present, making
them more difficult to remember.

Memory
Now, give each player a Flux Sheet from the ones Ive provided in this book. Youll notice
each has a space for Memory. Tell them to stick this on the inside of the binder and write the
number 3 in the space provided.
(If you want to be a little unfair, have each of them roll a six-sided die. The number
they roll is their Memory.)
Memory represents your characters ability to remember past worlds. With that
memory, you can draw from skills your character had in past worlds as well as powers
and abilities. In other words, your samurai from Old Japan can reach into his Memory
and draw skills from when he was a spy working for a covert organization known as
Olympus 7. Or, your Blooded ven noble can reach into his Memory and draw abilities from when he was a
cat protecting humans from monsters they cant see.
Memory provides each character with a few little advantages in this new environment.

Modification
Whenever the Flux changes everything, players can modify a number of things on their new character
sheets equal to their Memory. If you have a Memory of 3, you can change three things on the character
sheet. They can add, subtract, switch or otherwise alter their character sheets to their liking. Issues such as
character points and balance are handled entirely by the Narrator. Every game is different and every game
group is different, so I leave it up to you.
As for myself, Im always very liberal about what the players change. I really dont care too much
about game balance. In my eyes, balance always lands in the Narrators hands, not the game system.
Game balance means giving every player an opportunity to do what they want their character to do.
Allow each player an opportunity to shine. Multiple opportunities. Likewise, sometimes you have to
pull players leashes to allow other players an opportunity. That has nothing to do with game design and
everything to do with Narrator techniques.
Recall
Characters can recall past lives and pull memories and abilities from them. Knowledge a character
once had in a past world may prove useful in a present world.
If a character wants to recall a skill or ability from a past world, the target number is 5 x pages. That
is, the target number is the number five times the number of pages you have to turn to get to the world you
want to remember.
For example, if a player wants to remember how to use a sword from a past world, he must count the
number of pages in his book he must turn to reach that world. In this case, the number of pages he must
turn is three. Each page he turns, he adds five to the target number.

First page turned = 5.


Second page turned = 10.
Third page turned = 15.
Fourth page turned = 20.

And so on.
The player makes this roll using a number of six-sided dice equal to his Flux Memory score. If he
succeeds, he can draw upon that memory. If he fails, he cannot draw upon that memory and his Flux
Memory score goes down by one rank.
Because a character is literally breaking the rules of reality to accomplish this goal, if he succeeds in
his Flux Memory roll, he succeeds in the skill roll as well. The Game Master narrates the outcome of
the roll as usual, but may throw in a few details. You see, not only does the character succeed, but he
also draws attention to himself.
Reality doesnt like to be broken. And it reacts in very violent ways. This is called Flux
Whiplash. Well talk about that in a moment. Suffice to say for now that whenever a character
succeeds in a Flux Recall roll, he gains a point of Flux Whiplash.

Magic, Super Science and Sorcery


Sometimes, a character wants to summon an ability or skill thats so far beyond the rules
of the current world that it creates terrible contradictions. A private eye throwing fireballs. A
medieval monk building suspension bridges. Those kinds of things.
Whenever a character uses Recall to bring an ability or skill that is inappropriate to the current reality,
the world notices. It notices big time.
Regardless of success or failure, the character gains two Whiplash points and must immediately test
for Whiplash (using the rules below).

Remembering Who You Are


Finally, Memory is used to hold on to your identity when the Flux wipes away the world and rebuilds
it into something new.
As the world changes, the Narrator rolls a six-sided die. She multiplies that number by five. The result
is the target number the players must roll with their Flux Memory to keep their current memories into the
new world.
If they succeed, they get to remember the world that was.

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7

If they fail, theyve forgotten everything.


Characters make this roll even if they failed the last Flux Memory check. For example, the world
Fluxes and my character fails his roll. Then, ten sessions later, the world Fluxes again and I make my roll. I
remember everything that happenedeven from the world where I was not aware of the Flux.

Gaining Memory
Whenever a character encounters another character who still has his Memory intact, he gains a
Memory point. In fact, whenever a character encounters anything that may remind him of the past, he gains
a Flux Memory point. Even if that item exists in the current world. Any itemmundane or otherwisecan
get your character more Flux Memory.
Dont abuse this rule. Im being generous here. And if you try taking advantage of my generosity,
the Narrator will let me know (via my website) and I will get on a plane, I will show up at your game and
I will kick your ass.
Serious.

Whiplash
Every world has its own rules. When you break those rules, the world notices and attempts
to fix the problem. The fix is getting rid of the source of the problem. Thats you.
We call this whiplash.
Whiplash occurs when the world notices you breaking the rules. You gain one Whiplash
for:
Using a skill, power or ability from a past world,
Restoring anothers lost Memory, or
Altering a current world
Every time you gain a rank of Whiplash, add it to your character sheet. (You
should start out with zero Whiplash ranks.) The Narrator secretly rolls a d6. If his roll
is lesser than your current Whiplash rank, the world hits you. Hard. Then, after the
catastrophe, your Whiplash goes back down to zero.
Whiplash is, essentially, an open license for the Narrator to throw stuff at your character. A car wreck.
A rope snapping when youre climbing a tall wall. A bomb going off at the very last moment. Losing the
one thing that gave the world any meaning at all.
In short, Whiplash is the worlds effort to get rid of you, once and for all. You are an unwanted
virus and the world sends antibodies to take care of you. Remove you from the system. It may fail. It may
succeed. But it is going to do its best.
Whiplash may not occur immediately. The world may wait for the best opportunity to get rid of you.
That may be a moment after you earn the rank, it may be an hour after you earn the rank or it may be a day.
Generally, the world tries to get rid of you as soon as possible.
But worlds are patient. They can wait for you to be careless.
Slippage
Occasionally, things slip through from one world to another. A vampire, a lake monster, a cybernetic
assassin, a sex witch some things slip from the old world through the Flux into the new world. This is
dangerous on many fronts. Those who know about it call it Slippage.
It is dangerous for the Slippage. The new world keeps an eye out for things like this and tries to get rid
of them fast.
It is dangerous for the world. Walking contradictions capable of things that make no sense in the
current world.
Whenever a Slippage character uses powers or abilities that dont fit in the current world, they must
make a Whiplash roll, as usual. However, the Narrator always subtracts one from the roll.
It isnt always other people or things that slip through the Flux. Your character can slip through. When
you make your Flux Memory roll, if you roll more sixes than anything else, your character slips through the
Flux as your current character.

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9

Narrator Advice
When I first presented The Flux to my players, they had a lot of questions. This section, for Narrators,
addresses some of the more persistent questions players have about the game, how to address them, and
how to use The Flux in ways your players will never anticipate.

What Changes?
When the Flux hits the world, what changes? How does it change?
The Flux offers a lot of narrative opportunities for both the players and the Narrator. First, it offers
the opportunity to get rid of some in-game problems and introduce new in-game fun. Also, it allows
players who are frustrated with the game to re-invent parts of their character.

Mister Finger/Lady Auriculaire


For example, in my Changeling gamethe one thats all womenone of the main
antagonists was a horrible vampire. I mean, a guy who just made the players skin crawl. He had
full on stalker vibe, kidnapped the girls, maimed them, terrorized them, murdered their friends
and did unspeakable things to their families.
But when the game Fluxed, I put them in the middle of a Pendragon campaign and that very
same horrific vampire fluxed into the epitome of chivalry, honor and courage. Except that she
was a woman. She was a Lady Knight. Lady Auiculaire (which is French for little finger).
Someone for the other girls could admire and respect. She was brave and valorous. She put her
life at risk to protect others and even though she was smaller and weaker than the men, she
compensated for it with cleverness and pure selflessness.
Why did this happen? Because Mister Finger (yes, him) was the ultimate vampire.
When the world Fluxed, he became the ultimate knight. He did not recognize or
remember who he was in the previous world. But the players did. They remembered
who he was and it influenced how they treated Lady Auriculaire.

The Charming Mary/Fogg, Inc.


I had a Yesterdays Tomorrow game (pulp adventure) where the Flux came in and changed everything
over to a cyberpunk world. In the pulp adventure world, they were pirates serving under Captain Odysseus
Fogg on his ship The Charming Mary. When the world Fluxed, they were spies working for a powerful
corporation, Fogg, Inc. Odessa Fogg, the CEO and inheritor of the corporation from her father (Odysseus)
gave them missions of a highly dubious and dangerous nature. They still had the same job: raiding and
pillaging. They were spies and saboteurs. Pirates in business suits. Corporate raiders.

Shadow Corps: The Stupid World


There was one world my players always hated. It was a world that was aware of the Flux and those
who retained memory through the change.
This world is ruled by shadow organizations: private espionage corporations who provide freelance
espionage to various countries in exchange for money, power, technology and influence. Theyve captured
individuals who retain Flux Memory and use them as agents for their cause. These agents have skills and
abilities above and beyond the norm. And these shadow corps do everything in their power to keep the
Fluxers from escaping their control.
Whenever the characters awoke in this world, they immediately felt sick. Throwing up, fever, shaking
hands. They were going through severe withdrawal symptoms from a drug that only the shadow corps even
knew existed. The characters had no choice: they could either find those people who had the drug or die
from withdrawal. Those were their only two choices.
This was the world my players called the Stupid World. They hated it. And it showed up every once
in a while just to screw with them. I suggest you do the same.

What Doesnt Change?


Everything changes, but the new world has echoes of the old. Enemies are still enemies and friends
are still friends. But motives change. Relationships change. Someone who has a close brother in one world
may have a close sister in another. Or, even more drastic, a close brother becomes a wife or a lover.
Things change when you need them to change. Or when a player wants them to change. If a player
tells you that theyre tired of their current character, talk to them about what they want in the new world.
They dont get to make their new character, but you can certainly listen to what they do want and help them
get there. You can even use the current character to set up the new character.
Sometimes, players get bored with their characters. The ideas they initially thought were intriguing
just dont work out. Usually, I encourage the player to make a new character. But, with The Flux, you can
do something different.
Let the player know the Flux is coming. Then, encourage the player to make a new character that
better fits what they want... but make the character from the new world, not the current one. Lastly,
take actions to drastically change the character in the current world to better fit the new character
from the new world. This way, the current character gains dynamic energy. The player feels the
character evolving into something new and has new enthusiasm for the world yet to come.

Can We Force it to
Change?
One of my players, my buddy Lee, got a rather dangerous idea. He saw that the Flux was a kind
of self-correcting system. If he did things that didnt belong, the world tried to fix it. He then speculated that
perhaps using powers and abilities and knowledge from a past world damaged the current world in some
way. Perhaps, when the world took too much damage to repair, it Fluxed.
Is his hypothesis correct? Can those who are aware of it force the Flux to happen? I have two answers.
Answer #1: Yes. You can force the Flux to happen. You can damage the world to such an extent
that it must repair itself by Fluxing. However, the world pays special attention to you when you try this kind
of stuff and makes a concerted effort to remove the problem. Be warned.
Answer #2: No. The players cannot do enough damage to the world to force it to Flux. But the world
does sense when youre trying to screw with it and it will come after you with a vengeance.
Personally, I like the first answer more but I can see how revealing such a truth to the players may
encourage them to try changing the world, thus distracting from the game at hand. We dont like this game
so lets just screw with things until it changes!

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11

Lee recognized that his plan was probably foolhardy and definitely dangerous. When he suggested
trying to force the Flux, he also knew it could doom his character. He was okay with that. He just liked the
idea of the question. So, I let them explore that option.
In fact, they were playing Pendragon at the time and they thought, If we murder baby Arthur in his
crib, maybe the world will Flux! The game became finding baby Arthur. And, along the way, half the group
was thinking, Were gonna kill a baby. I have to stop this! It became a fascinating intra-party conflict. As of
this writing, they havent found baby Arthur yet. Ill let you know what happens when they do.

What Happens When I Throw


a Fireball?
Whenever the players reach into another world for knowledge, skills or powers, a question lingers
in the air. It is an inevitable question but its a question thats really easy to answer.
What happens when I throw a fireball in a science fiction setting?
The question hinges on an expectation. The old world had rules for fireballs. This world
doesnt. What happens?
Well, whenever the players break the rules, you get to say what happens. You narrate the
results.
Rules are a means for the players to impose their will on the world. Its a kind of reassurance.
Its a static number they understand and that they can measure. A fireball does six dice of
damage. Always. It always does six dice of damage. But in this new world, theres no rule for
that. How do you translate it?
Heres your answer: you dont translate it with rules, you translate it with effect. You
give the player the intention he wants.
If a player throws a fireball, he has a particular intention. He wants to blow
things up. He wants them to burn. So, give him that intention. You dont have to do
it with hit points or injury ranks or wounds; you can give it to him by narrating the
outcome. He wants to do a whole ton of damage? Let him do a whole ton of damage.
Remember, when the players reach through the Flux, they are breaking the rules of the world.
The world doesnt know how to respond. Therefore, it is unprepared to deal with the effects. That means
whenever the players break the rules, the effects should be spectacular. They should overreach what the
player wants. Give him what he expected and a little more. This accomplishes two goals.
First, it kills the notion that games cant communicate. Thats nonsense. A fireball in one world is a
fireball in another regardless of what the rules say. Rules are just measurements to communicate intent and
outcome between players and narrators. If the players and narrator communicate well enough on their own,
you dont need rules.
Second, it reassures your players that youre looking out for them. You want them to feel safe reaching
back through the Flux. You dont want them asking, How will the rules translate from one game to
another? Instead, what you want them to ask is, How will this old world power work in the new world?
Keep them thinking as their characters. That way, theyll never worry about game rules. Instead,
theyll be thinking about world rules. And thats where you want them.
How Many Worlds?
Your players can fill up folders easily. I suggest using a maximum of six worlds. More than that, and
the whole Flux thing starts to lose its charm. In fact, I found four worlds was the best bet. But, then again, it
all depends on your own players comfort levels. Talk to them and figure out which number is best for your
group.

How Often Should I Flux?


Again, this really depends on your group. What you and your players want is something you should
talk to them about. Dont make assumptions. I know you want the Flux to be a surprise when it happens,
but sometimes, players can take things personally.
Well, hell. If your players take things too personally, it may be time to get new players.
But a considerate Narrator makes choices based on what the players want. He doesnt just screw with
them because he can. He screws with them in ways that are entertaining and fun. You know this. We both
know this.
I Flux the game at key moments. Climax events. I Flux the game just when something the players
want seems within reach. The Flux changes many of the circumstances, but not all of them.
One of my players wanted a romantic affair with an NPC but also wanted her character to come
to it gradually. He began to show interest in her and just when the affair seemed to be on the verge of
happening
flux
and they were lovers in the new world. Old lovers. And she was married to someone else.
Flux the world when the players least expect it. When theyre up and when theyre down.
Just when they think theyre completely doomed, the world Fluxes and enemies are friends,
friends are enemies. Up is down and black is white.

12
13

Finally
I felt the blood dripping from my lips. Felt the break in my wrist. I looked up, blood in my left eye, and
saw her. She didnt look much better than me.
Thats when the oranges hit me. Like a wall. Like a title wave. Crashing down on me. I could feel my
eyes go wide. I could see hers do the same.
Its coming, she said.
I nodded.
She looked at the swords in our hands. Looked out at the purple sunset. Waves crashing on the shore
below us.
I dont want to forget, she told me.
I shook my head. I dont
I couldnt finish.
I dropped my sword. She dropped hers. I was in her arms. I wrapped mine around her. My cheek
next to hers. Her breath in my ear, on my neck.
Its always like this, she told me.
I know.
It always goes bad. At the end. It always goes bad.
The oranges are almost unbearable. I can barely breathe. I hold her tighter.
It doesnt have to be, I say.
I can feel her tears on my neck and shoulder. She gripped me tight.
Find me, she said. If I forget, promise youll find me.
I nod into her shoulder. I will. I promise.
Theres thunder now. All around us. Swords forgotten at our feet. Like we just
dropped the violence between us. Left it there. Hoping it would get washed away. Left
behind in the old world.
Remember the bar? she said. I nodded. When you told me all about it?
That was a long time ago, I said. Many, many worlds ago.
She said something then, but the sound nearly drowned it out.
I cant hear you! I cried.
Her voice breaking against the thunder and her own choked throat. I guess at what she says.
I love you, too, I whisper. I know she cant hear me.
And then the thunder crashes. White all around me. Everything is gone.
I hope shes there.
I hope shes there.
I ho
Afterward
The Flux is the first game from the forthcoming Big Book of Little Games Ill be releasing in mid-2011.
Every month or so, youll see new games and revised versions of old games released through the JWP
website. Weve got old favorites like Cat and Enemy Gods and new things youve never seen before like Byron
Falls and Eldritch High.
If you have any feedback, critiques or questions, please send them to me at johnjwick@gmail.com. Ill
look them over, answer them as best I can and use that feedback to make the final version of The Flux in the
Big Book of Little Games even better. (I may even add some of your questions to the text.) When I update the
game, youll be able to download the new version at no extra cost.
Thanks for picking up a copy of The Flux. And keep your friends close. Its always later than you
think.

14
15

The Flux The Flux


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