30 July 2020
It may even encourage players to try Fudge itself...
30 June 2020
30 May 2020
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.
Play roles. Rate some traits
from Terrible to Superb.
When in doubt, fudge it.
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.
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.
12 April 2020
Plus or Minus also has a Facebook page, Plus or Minus Podcast; and a Twitter account, @plusorminus_pod.
09 April 2020
When your role-playing game of choice lacks rules for called shots, or its rules are cumbersome or unsatisfactory concerning the deliberate targeting of specific hit locations, consider using the Universal Called Shot Table. Utilizing only a single Fudge die, this simple option can be used with any role-playing game. Anytime a character makes a successful attack on an opponent and decides to hit a specific location, merely roll 1dF (one Fudge die) and consult the table below:
|Universal Called Shot Table|
|+||Attacker names hit location struck.|
|0||Defender names hit location struck.|
As you can see, there is an added element of risk when attempting to make difficult shots. For a 1 in 3 chance of hitting one’s opponent exactly where desired, the price is a 1 in 3 chance of missing the opponent entirely.
This is an option for reflecting the difficulty of hitting small targets in the midst of combat, which at the same time preserves the possibility of causing the full range of damage, from a graze to a lethal wound, by separating the called shot mechanics from the attack and damage roll mechanics.
I haven’t playtested this yet, since I just thought of it. If you try it, please let me know!
[Originally posted in Fudgery.net/fudgerylog on 7 May 2011.]
07 April 2020
It is all well and good to rename levels of the trait ladder in order to maximize emotional comfort (q.v.), but some may find the notion of describing "Poor" as "Fine" to be a trifle too cloying. To amend this (and simultaneously tilt the ladder even more toward the positive pole), a new and improved optimistic “trait ladder” has been devised, known as…
The New & Improved Optimistic Trait Ladder
|Fudge Traits||#||Optimistic Traits|
|Terrible||-3||Almost Marginally Fine!|
As you can see, the less wonderful levels have been renamed to reflect their decreased desirability, and the upper levels have been lifted to the loftier heights they deserve. Also suitable for game adaptations of Candide.
[Originally posted in Fudgery.net/fudgerylog on 31 August 2011.]
05 April 2020
For those players who are disturbed by the idea of selecting a skill or attribute at a beginner’s level of competency due to the perceived stigma attached to not being an expert in all things, and for those GMs who haven’t the heart to describe a player’s failures in negative terms, I offer the following optional trait ladder scientifically designed to remove the taint of merely fair performances, general mediocrity, poor self image, and consequences deemed “terrible.” Instead, all trait levels are specially chosen to encourage positive reinforcement and cushion the trauma of disappointment. In fact, I predict the next step in the evolution of role-playing will be to eliminate the possibility of failure entirely! Won’t that be exciting?
The Positive Reinforcement Trait Ladder
|Fudge Traits||#||Happy Positive Traits :-)|
Alternatively, for those who have difficulty memorizing words, I present…
The Good Trait Ladder
|Fudge Traits||#||Good Traits|
As you can see, there is only one word in this trait ladder, modified upwards by adding exclamation points and downwards by adding vowels. In play, exclamation points are vocalized by increasing volume accordingly, and additional vowels are expressed by lengthening the word as it is spoken. It is nothing if not Goooood.
[Originally posted in Fudgery.net/fudgerylog on 30 August 2011.]
04 April 2020
31 March 2020
In bosses and archvillains, the fault of Unabating Overconfidence leads them to hatch overly ambitious plots, dismiss any question of the success of their plans, and have excessive faith in their ability to delegate tasks to appropriately qualified henchmen (who are usually incompetant in reality). This tends to be the Achilles Heel of most diabolical masterminds.
In henchmen, lackeys, and goons, Unabating Overconfidence takes the form of a steadfast refusal to believe that any meddlesome do-gooder could possibly be a persistent threat (despite evidence to the contrary), which leads them into careless confrontations. Any temporary victory is considered a total victory, and precludes the necessity of any further measures.
In heroes, Unabating Overconfidence leads them to tackle enemies without waiting for backup, with the usual result of needing to be rescued by a comrade at the last second before being run over by a locomotive, thrown over a cliff, handcuffed to a bomb, or left in a burning building.
29 February 2020
I won't delve at length into the kind of character creation that reminds me more of homework than heroics (GURPS). In fact, I'll leave it at that.
There are two kinds of character creation I like in a role-playing game. One is the procedural method of developing a character chronologically, charting their lifepath (and their acquisition of abilities and perhaps material things) based on the player's decisions and a certain amount of chance. Classic Traveller and FASA's Star Trek: The Role Playing Game are two good examples. It's a sort of preliminary mini-game for linking a character's abilities and back story, and it's fun.
The other kind of character creation I like is the one that allows for the most creativity for the least amount of time. I want to imagine a character, to whatever degree of detail, with as little fuss as possible. I don't want to juggle points between multiple categories, or add characteristics and divide them to generate secondary or tertiary characteristics, or min-max in any way. Essentially, I just want to use subjective character creation rules as one might find in, say, Fudge. Par example:
An easy way to create a character in Fudge is simply to write down everything about the character that you feel is important. Any attribute or skill should be rated using one of the levels Terrible through Superb.
How easy is that? If you, as a player, have an aversion even to that level of rules knowledge, there's this:
Instead of the player writing up the character in terms of traits and levels, he can simply write out a prose description of his character. This requires the GM to translate everything into traits and appropriate levels, but that's not hard to do if the description is well written. This method actually produces some of the best characters.
Now, if you're worried about players abusing the system, there's a section on that, too, but I think most players of good will and at least moderate intelligence are able to operate within the limits set by the GM. The main challenge for the GM is deciding what those limits are.
And that may be a subject for a future article...
(Combining lifepath character creation with Fudge might be worth exploring, too...)