25 October 2020

In Memory of Fan Sites

One of the things I really miss about the 1990s and the early 2000s was the proliferation of dedicated RPG fan sites. Before the blogs, gaming hobbyists built their own sites through which they could share their house rules, settings, and variants, and they often reached their audience with the help of Web rings whereby sites could link with other sites of the same interest. Fudge was one of those games that benefited from the creativity and prolificacy of its fan-maintained sites, and my own Fudgery.net was my modest contribution (unfortunately close to the end of the Golden Age of RPG fan sites).

Fan sites were surpassed by Web logs, and link pages were rapidly made obsolete by broken links, just as Web logs were, in time, eclipsed by Google+. Now that Google+ has been relegated to the dustbin of bittersweet nostalgia, blogs are making a comeback. I recently started a fifth gaming blog (as if trying to post regularly to four of them were not difficult enough), and although I enjoy the medium (even as I acknowledge that I am really just whispering into the hurricane), I still find myself yearning for those oases of the Internet where hobbyists shared their lore, their expertise, and their passion with likeminded explorers. Most of those well-loved sites are gone, like the fanzines of yore, but they are not forgotten. Rest in peace, Fudge fan sites in particular. You were Superb.

03 October 2020

Return of the Optional Wound Gauges

I just rediscovered one of my old articles from Fudgerylog and added it to the Elaborations tab. Read about some alternative ways to handle injury in Wound Gauge Options for Fudge.

01 October 2020

Return of the Glossary

I just thought I would point out that a new tab has been added to Creative Reckoning, namely the Glossary or, as it was originally known in Fudgery.net, the Glossary of Fudge and General Role-Playing Terms. First posted in 2007, it slipped my mind that I had not yet transferred it here. So, here it is.

30 September 2020

How to Adapt the Palladium Compendium of Contemporary Weapons to Fudge

The Palladium Weapon series of books is a resource requiring a bare minimum of effort by the GM to adapt to Fudge. As it states on the cover of every book in the series, it is "For use with any game system" and as such, it seems perfectly suited for Fudge. Even the game-related abstractions can be used with little or no conversion necessary.

The Compendium of Contemporary Weapons

The information presented in this article will enable you to use the Palladium book The Compendium of Contemporary Weapons, written by Maryann Siembieda (with additional writing by Matthew Balent and Kevin Siembieda) and published by Palladium Books, in your own Fudge game. The Compendium of Contemporary Weapons is required to make use of this information.

The first section deals with firearm ammunition, including definitions of terms, descriptions of different types of ammunition, prices, and suggestions of how to translate firearm damage into game terms. Much of the material can be used without modification.

Ammunition Damage and Penetration Tables

Tissue Damage Rating: The Tissue Damage Rating system offers a numerical damage value for each type of round rather than each type of weapon. Thus, any weapon that fires a .45 bullet will cause the same amount of damage, although other characteristics of the weapon (such as effective range, capacity, etc.) may vary. A table lists the ratings as General Damage Ratings (a number followed by a description) and Tissue Damage (a suggested die roll). Both refer to tissue damage, but the first can be used in Fudge as the offensive factor of the weapon. This number (in parentheses) is used in the cartridge descriptions.

Penetration Values: The Penetration Value of a round refers to its ability to penetrate hard (i.e. non-flesh) substances, such as armor. A table lists the ratings as numbers followed by descriptions, both of which can be used in Fudge as the penetration factor of a weapon.

Incorporating Tissue Damage and Penetration Values

In summary, one can refer to a firearm as having both an offensive factor and a penetration factor. The offensive factor is the ability of the bullet to cause injury to a target. The penetration factor is the ability of a bullet to penetrate hard substances such as armor. If the penetration factor is lower than the defensive factor of a piece of armor or other substance, the bullet is deflected by or embedded in the armor or substance even if the bullet's offensive factor is higher. If the penetration factor is higher than the defensive factor, then the bullet uses whichever factor is higher to determine damage: offensive factor or penetration factor (plus relative degree). The defensive factor of the target is then subtracted from this number.

Damage Ratings by Cartridge Type

This section is divided into Revolvers: Caliber Cartridges & Damage, Automatic Pistols: Millimeter Cartridges & Damage, and Rifle Cartridges & Damage. In all cases, the Tissue Damage (offensive factor) is listed in parentheses, and the Penetration Value (penetration factor) is denoted by the initials P.V. A brief description is provided for each cartridge.

The section Special Cartridges, Bonuses & Penalties may be used unmodified.

Firearms & Damage in RPGs

Shock Rules (optional): Use unmodified if so desired.

Blood Loss (optional): This could be adapted by simply having each wound increase to the next higher severity per minute.

Hit Location, Damage & Penalties (optional): This can be used as is, for the most part, but it could slow combat considerably more than other Hit Location rules that have been designed for Fudge.

Damage at Point-Blank Range (optional): Use unmodified if so desired.

Body Armor

For Fudge purposes, it is probably best to simplify the way body armor is handled by reducing it to defensive factors. Each type of body armor is described as belonging to a particular class with various characteristics. The characteristics most relevant to Fudge follow.

Class I/IA: defensive factor +4

Class II/IIA: defensive factor +5

Class IIIA: defensive factor +6

Class IVA: defensive factor +6 (also resistant to many special rounds)

Class IVB/C: defensive factor +6 (also resistant to all special rounds)

Class V: defensive factor +6 (also resistant to all special rounds and .30-06)

Statistics of Firearms

Firearms are divided into sections on Revolvers & Pistols, Rifles, Shotguns, Submachine Guns, and Machine Guns. In all cases, replace the listed damage with the offensive factor derived from the cartridge used.

Statistics of Other Weapons

The remaining sections are devoted to Combat Hand Grenades, Light Support Weapons, Special Support Weapons & Anti-Tank, Anti-Aircraft, Mortars, Pyrotechnics, Surveillance Equipment, and Tanks & Armored Vehicles. Most of the information can be used as is, but the damage ratings will have to be adapted according to the needs of one's particular Fudge game. Structural Damage Capacity (along with the damage ratings listed for anti-tank, anti-aircraft, and other heavy weapons) may be used as a parallel method of combat resolution for use with vehicles and buildings, or it may be modified to one's own Fudge game or ignored entirely.

[Originally posted in Fudgery.net in 2007.]

29 September 2020

How to Adapt the Palladium Book of Weapons & Castles to Fudge

The Palladium Weapon series of books is a resource requiring a bare minimum of effort by the GM to adapt to Fudge. As it states on the cover of every book in the series, it is "For use with any game system" and as such, it seems perfectly suited for Fudge. Even the game-related abstractions can be used with little or no conversion necessary.

Weapons & Castles

The information presented in this article will enable you to use the Palladium book of Weapons & Castles, compiled by Matthew Balent and published by Palladium Books, in your own Fudge game. Weapons & Castles is required to make use of this information.

The first section of the book deals with the subject of ranged weapons prior to the era of gunpowder. The main categories are Bows and Crossbows and require little work for adaptation to a Fudge game. The remaining sections, Castles and Sieges, require no modification at all and can be used as is. Skills such as Weapon Use (Siege Engine) or Engineering (Siege Engine) and the determination of Ranged Combat Difficulty Levels are all that need to be added.

The terms used in the first section (and their Fudge interpretations where appropriate) follow.

Missile Weapons

TYPE: For bows, the categories are: Self, Built, Backed or Composite. For crossbows, the categories are: Wood, Composite, Backed, or Steel.

LENGTH: Use the metric measurement or convert as desired.

MASS: Use the metric measurement or convert as desired.

PULL: This is a measurement of the force required to draw the bow.

EFFECTIVE RANGE: This is the typical range limit of the weapon's accuracy. Hitting a target beyond this range is possible only if firing en masse at a target.

MAXIMUM RANGE: This is the absolute range limit of the weapon.

DAMAGE: Adjust this number by +1 to account for the sharpness of arrows, bolts, and darts. For blunt projectiles such as rocks, stones, and lead bullets, leave the listed number unmodified.

Arrows and bolts have two types of damage factors: offensive factors and penetration factors. Offensive factors consist of the listed damage +1 (to account for sharpness as noted above). Penetration factors are identical to offensive factors except for Scythian bows, Turkish bows, and long bows. For these bows, the penetration factor is calculated by doubling the listed damage and then adding +1 for sharpness.

The offensive factor is the ability of the projectile to cause injury to a target. The penetration factor is the ability of a projectile to penetrate hard substances such as armor. If the penetration factor is lower than the defensive factor of a piece of armor or other substance, the projectile is deflected by or embedded in the armor or substance even if the projectile's offensive factor is higher. If the penetration factor is higher than the defensive factor, then the projectile uses whichever factor is higher to determine damage: offensive factor or penetration factor (plus relative degree). The defensive factor of the target is then subtracted from this number.

In cases where armor is described as possessing a variety of defensive factors, the penetration factor of hunting arrows and hunting bolts are compared to the armor's thrust defensive factor, whereas the penetration factor of military arrows and military bolts are compared to the armor's impact defensive factor.

SHOTS PER MINUTE: The typical length of a round in Fudge is pi seconds long (or approximately 3 seconds), so the rate of fire becomes the following:

SHOTS/MINSHOTS/INTERVAL OF ROUNDS
.671 per 30 rounds
11 per 20 rounds
1.51 per 15 rounds
21 per 10 rounds
41 per 5 rounds
121 per 2 rounds

[Originally posted in Fudgery.net in 2007.]

28 September 2020

How to Adapt the Palladium Book of Weapons & Armour to Fudge

The Palladium Weapon series of books is a resource requiring a bare minimum of effort by the GM to adapt to Fudge. As it states on the cover of every book in the series, it is "For use with any game system" and as such, it seems perfectly suited for Fudge. Even the game-related abstractions can be used with little or no conversion necessary.

Weapons & Armor

The information presented in this article will enable you to use the Palladium book of Weapons & Armour, compiled by Matthew Balent and published by Palladium Books, in your own Fudge game. Weapons & Armour is required to make use of this information.

The book is divided into two sections in which the various types of weapons and armor are illustrated and their vital statistics listed. A simple description of how the terms are used and how they might be interpreted in Fudge follows.

Weapons

TYPE: The weapon types by which all weapons in the book are categorized may be used as skill groups or as broad weapon skills themselves. The weapon types are: Hafted, Knives, Miscellaneous, Polearms, Spears, and Swords.

LENGTH: Use the metric measurement or convert as desired.

MASS: Use the metric measurement or convert as desired.

DEX: This number indicates the speed of the weapon when it is used relative to other weapons. Since a low number is considered best, one may, if one is taking weapon speed into account, apply this number as a melee modifier (namely, a negative penalty to one's skill unless the weapon's rating is 0) in simultaneous combat rounds, or as a modifier to one's Speed or Reflexes (or a similar trait) in initiative rolls in alternating combat turns.

PARRY: This number indicates the weapon's usefulness at parrying attacks. A high number is considered best. It could be applied as a melee modifier for the defender if alternating combat turns are used.

0: Virtually no ability to parry.
1: Minimal ability to parry. (-1 to parry)
2: Adequate ability to parry. (+/-0 to parry)
3: Excellent ability to parry. (+1 to parry)

ATTACK TYPES: The various methods of inflicting damage are cut, chop, thrust, and impact. When a weapon is capable of more than one attack type, the type being used should be described in the attack. This information is useful because it can be compared to the armor of an opponent or the special vulnerabilities or immunities of a creature. It can also help to determine if a certain action is possible given space constraints or other special circumstances.

SYMMETRY: This number indicates the weapon's effectiveness when thrown. Since a low number is considered best, one may use this as a ranged combat modifier (specifically, a negative modifier to one's skill) with the following modifications:

1: +/-0 to attack
2: -1 to attack
3: -2 to attack

DAMAGE: This number is used as the weapon's offensive factor. Alternatively, one may use the standard Fudge method, which incidentally parallels the listed damage values very nicely, i.e. small weapons cause +0, medium weapons cause +1, large weapons cause +2, two-handed weapons cause additional +1, sharp weapons cause additional +1.

Armor

TYPE: Armor may be layered, in which case the defensive factors are added together. The coverage of hit locations may vary.

CUT RF: The cut resistance factor is translated as the cut defensive factor. This is the armor's effectiveness at protecting the wearer against weapons used for cutting attacks.

CHOP RF: The chop resistance factor is translated as the chop defensive factor. This is the armor's effectiveness at protecting the wearer against weapons used for chopping attacks.

THRUST RF: The thrust resistance factor is translated as the thrust defensive factor. This is the armor's effectiveness at protecting the wearer against weapons used for thrusting attacks, including arrows, bolts, and darts.

IMPACT RF: The impact resistance factor is translated as the impact defensive factor. This is the the armor's effectiveness at protecting the wearer against weapons used for impact attacks, including firearms.

DEX: This number indicates the extent to which the armor may restrict the wearer's freedom of movement. A low number is considered best. This number may be used as a modifier to one's movement rate, lowering one's trait accordingly, or it may contribute to action penalties based on one's encumbrance. Personally, I favor the former, and would limit action penalties to actions that would not be performed in battle and which would logically be hampered by the wearing of heavier armor, such as stealthy movement, acrobatics, swimming, and the like.

MASS: Use the metric measurement or convert as desired.

[Originally posted in Fudgery.net in 2007.]

31 August 2020

Brief Update

I have added Difficulty Level Conversions for Fudge to the Elaborations page. At the moment, it only converts Risus: The Anything RPG and The D6 System, but I might add others in the future. (This is one of the pages I forgot to transfer from Fudgery.net.)

30 July 2020

Fudging It in Non-Fudge Games

If all role-playing games used the action resolution rules of Fudge, would it change those games fundamentally (for good or ill), or would it simply make more sense? Even if a given role-playing game yields only binary results — success or failure — one could ignore the finer aspects of the trait ladder and simply indicate success or failure based on whether the roll equals or exceeds the difficulty of the action. Translating a character's ability to the appropriate trait level is easy, and if you need a conversion chart, you can consult my Trait Conversions for Fudge for suggested equivalents.

It may even encourage players to try Fudge itself...

30 June 2020

The Role of Fudge

If Fudge had been introduced to the world in only its rules-light, subjective form, I think it would have had greater long-term popularity. I think it would have lived up to its prophecy of becoming the universal translator of role-playing games, and it would have preserved and promoted a freeform style that has become increasingly rare. There is a growing void in the hobby that neither D&D nor story games are filling. Risus and a few other games still have their lanterns lit against the darkness, but Fudge ought to be a brighter flame than it is now. The recent publication of The Princess Bride Roleplaying Game is a step in the right direction, but can it overcome the rules-heaviness that still weighs down Fudge and many of the discussions that surround it? I hope it can. Meanwhile, I'd like to see more of us take advantage of the ability of Fudge to facilitate role-playing unseen, rather than focusing on the rules themselves. The rules are the means, not the end, and in the case of Fudge, they are meant to be as unobtrusive as possible. Please, just fudge it.

30 May 2020

Fudge Haiku

If anyone is wondering where I fall on the spectrum of light to heavy rules where Fudge is concerned, the following haiku sums up what I consider the bare essentials of the game. This was originally posted in Fudgery.net in 2006.



Fudge Haiku


Play roles. Rate some traits
from Terrible to Superb.
When in doubt, fudge it.



Fudge Legal Notice
About Fudge

Fudge is a role-playing game written by Steffan O'Sullivan, with extensive input from the Usenet community of rec.games.design. The basic rules of Fudge are available on the internet at http://www.fudgerpg.com and in book form from Grey Ghost Games, P.O. Box 838, Randolph, MA 02368. They may be used with any gaming genre. While an individual work derived from Fudge may specify certain attributes and skills, many more are possible with Fudge. Every Game Master using Fudge is encouraged to add or ignore any character traits. Anyone who wishes to distribute such material for free may do so - merely include this ABOUT FUDGE notice and disclaimer (complete with Fudge copyright notice). If you wish to charge a fee for such material, other than as an article in a magazine or other periodical, contact Grey Ghost Press.

Disclaimer

The following materials based on Fudge, entitled Fudge Haiku, are created by, made available by, and Copyright © 2006 by Gordon A. Cooper, and are not necessarily endorsed in any way by Grey Ghost Press or any publisher of other Fudge materials. Neither Grey Ghost Press nor any publisher of other Fudge materials is in any way responsible for the content of these materials unless specifically credited. Original Fudge materials Copyright © 1992-2004 by Grey Ghost Press, All Rights Reserved.