Fudge Roleplaying Game Alternative Rules


Firstly the important bit…

1.1        About Fudge

FUDGE is a role-playing game written by Steffan O'Sullivan, with extensive input from the Usernet community of rec.games.design. The basic rules of FUDGE are available on the Internet via anonymous ftp at ftp.csua.berkeley.edu, and in book form or on disk from Grey Ghost Games, PO 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, you must first obtain a royalty-free license from the author of FUDGE, Steffan O'Sullivan, PO Box 465, Plymouth, NH 03264.

1.2        Disclaimer

The following materials based on FUDGE, entitled Alternative Fudge Rules are created by Chris Smith and made available by Chris Smith, and are not authorised or endorsed in any way by Steffan O'Sullivan or any publisher of other FUDGE materials. Neither Steffan O'Sullivan or any publisher of other FUDGE material is in any way responsible for the content of these materials. Original FUDGE materials © Copyright 1992-1995 Steffan O'Sullivan, All Rights Reserved.

1.3        Alternative Damage System

1.3.1        Damage capacity

These rules replace the standard rules on damage capacity. They are still a characteristic system but they avoid the 'high damage capacity acts like plate armour' rules. Damage capacity now adjusts the number of hits a character can take using the table below (which like most other rules can be adjusted to suit your own game).

Damage Cap Scratch Hurt Very Hurt Incapac Nr Death
Superb O O O O O O O O O O
Great O O O O O O O O O
Good O O O O O O O O
Fair O O O O O O O
Mediocre O O O O O O
Poor O O   O O O
Terrible O   O O O

1.3.2        Damage protection

The damage protection part of the damage capacity rules is generated using an agility, reactions or similar characteristic again using the table below. This uses the theory that an agile character shifts 'at the last moment' potentially reducing the level of the wound.


Agility Unencumbered Light encumbrance Medium encumbrance Heavy encumbrance
Terrible 0 -1 -1 -2
Poor 0 0 -1 -1
Mediocre 0 0 0 -1
Fair 0 0 0 0
Good +1 0 0 0
Great +1 +1 0 0
Superb +2 +1 +1 0
Legendary +3 +2 +1 0

Although a little abstract this rule gives a feels right result to a combat, tends to steer characters away from the traditional tanks and allows an agile skilful character to take on an armoured foe.

1.4        Alternative Experience System

This system works on the theory that for someone to improve in a skill or area of knowledge they need to work at it and the higher you are up a skill ladder the harder it is to improve.

As part of a characters record they are required to record in which areas they wish to improve. It is up to the GM how many areas the character can work on at any given time, for example she decides that at any time a character can only be concentrating on improving 4 parts of his character (eg. 2 skills and 2 attributes or 3 skills and an attribute). When a character has achieved their improvement they may then choose something else to improve. It may be that a character wishes to drop training in an area to start learning something more important, if so he loses all the points so far collected towards that goal.

In essence experience is a reflection of the time that is allocated improving.

1.4.1        Cost of increase

The base cost of the increase of skills is derived from the cost of skills table in the main rules, values of less than 1 are worth 1. This number is then modified by:


For increasing characteristics count the characteristic as a hard skill for level and apply an additional modifier of X3.

Example: Bob as mentioned above wishes to improve sword from good to great.
Base cost 4,
skill higher than attribute X2,
Bob is a Mage so but does usually resort to a sword when needed so GM applies a X3.
There are plenty of training opportunities and he uses the sword a fair amount so X1
Total cost to increase 24 experience points.

1.4.2        Allocating experience

Experience needs to be given out at the 'between adventures' periods. There are no hard and fast rules to how much to give but the following should be taken into consideration.
How long in game terms has passed since the last time experience was given out or will be available before the next adventure? While characters are not adventuring they will be spending time honing their skills.
How well did the character perform and how well were they role-played?
How active was the player?
Did they make any active efforts to practice/improve their skills?

At the end of the day it is up to you how much experience you hand out and how fast you want the characters to progress. I doubt I need to tell any GM the importance of fairness and consistency.

1.4.3        Spending experience

When a player receives experience he may spend it only on the areas that are flagged for improvement. He must however spend a minimum of 10% of the experience in each area and then may allocate the remainder as he sees fit.

1.4.4        Optional extras

1.4.4.1        Learning by doing (the tick rule)

When a character uses a skill they are trying to improve a significant amount (example: riding all day, receiving training they role-play through or a relying on a weapon during a running battle/adventure) they may tick that skill. When they have collected 3 ticks they gain a bonus experience point.

Note:
I use a wait to be told rule to help avoid the too much "can I tick that?" during the game however I am fallible, do forget and am therefore lenient on the "I want don't get" policy.

1.4.4.2        Practice or become rusty

This works well with the tick rule above and works on the theory that if you are a master of your craft then it costs time to stay there (and time is experience points).

Any skill of great or more or most characteristics of superb or more requires the character to spend an experience point to maintain. A character can however apply ticks, as above, to gain the experience point required (3 ticks per point).

If at any time a character either does not pay his experience point or, due to the game situation, cannot maintain training then put a cross against that skill. If a skill collects 2 crosses it drops one level but only costs half the normal amount to re-learn. It costs 2 experience points to remove a cross (plus the one you have to spend for a total of 3).

Example:
Bob above has gained great sword skill and now must spend 1 experience point to maintain the skill per allocation received from the GM.
The player will not be available to play for a few weeks so he decides that Bob wants to learn the Magical discipline of light magic and will need to go away to meditate at the Temple of Boo. The GM agrees but reminds Bob that the Temple worships light and healing and does not allow weapons. While away he will gain a starting level in light magic but all fighting skills above good will become rusty. Later, on return Bob will need to collect 12 experience points (half 24) to get his sword back up.

1.5        Combat

1.5.1        Advantage

Any character who can demonstrate a position of advantage is said to be advantaged. He may apply a +1 modifier to any equivalent opposed action (eg magic v magic, combat v combat etc) during that round.

Possible advantaged positions are:

Unless there is a very good reason only 1 advantaged level counts but you can become advantaged and then all out attack.

1.5.1.1        Leadership

Before combat the players should decide upon a combat leader. During combat, at the beginning of each combat round, he rolls a contest of tactics with the opponents leader. For every level of relative degree the winner may advantage one of his allies or counter a disadvantaged. If however the leaders group tends toward being undisciplined and do not follow orders then for each character not following orders an advantage bonus is lost.

1.5.1.2        Feint

Instead of attacking during a combat round a character can choose to feint. Upon success the character, instead of hitting his opponent, will be advantaged next round.



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Page and text © 1998 Chris Smith
Email: cris.smith@virgin.net

Revised 05/98