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Last updated: Apr 30th '97
Subject: Mechanics

FUDGE SYSTEM

FUDGE RPG-system is a universal freeform system which is easy to export to any campaign environment. The acronym stands for Freeform (simple, laid-back, not rules-heavy) Universal (usable with any genre) Do-it-yourself (customizable to taste) Gaming (role-playing gaming, that is) Engine (it's just the basic mechanism for character creation and development, as well as action resolution. No world details are provided).

The basic premises of FUDGE are:

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Task resolution in FUDGE

In short the FUDGE system works as follows:

  1. There are eight attribute levels: Terrible, Poor, Mediocre, Fair, Good, Great, Superb, Legendary. Myself, I have added one at the bottom: Miserable (or Gothic).
  2. Dice is a special D6 with two sides labeled '-1', two sides labeled '0' and two sides '+1'. Typically you roll 4 dice, so you get results from -4 to +4. The distribution approximates normal distribution rather well.
  3. To resolve an action the GM assigns difficulity (for example 'Fair'), the player rolls dice (for example -1,-1,-1,+1 = -2) and adds them to his skill/attribute/whatever (for example 'Good' -2 = 'Mediocre') and the difference between required and accomplished action gives the result (in this case the action would fail, since the result 'Mediocre' was lower than required 'Fair').

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Attributes

The attribute levels have numeric values, but using the descriptive values instead gives the game a certain flavour. The attribute values, levels, associated benchmarks and task difficulities are given in table below.

   Value   Skill             Benchmark     Task
   -----------------------------------------------------
    +4     Legendary         Guru          Epic
    +3     Superb            Master        Huge
    +2     Great             Expert        Very hard
    +1     Good              Professional  Hard
     0     Fair              Journeyman    Normal
    -1     Mediocre          Amateur       Easy 
    -2     Poor              Beginner      Routine 
    -3     Terrible          Ungifted      Trivial 
    -4     Miserable/Gothic  Cursed        Insignificant 

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Fudge dice

The fudge dice is six-sided with two sides labeled "-1", two labeled "0" and two labeled "+1". One fudge dice (1DF) therefore gives either -1, 0 or +1 with equal probabilities. Normally more than one dice is rolled. For 2DF, 3DF, 4DF and 5DF the probabilities are:

         2DF         3DF         4DF        5DF
  -----------------------------------------------------
  +-5:    -           -           -       1/243 = 0.4%
  +-4:    -           -       1/81 = 1.2% 5/243 = 2%
  +-3:    -       1/27 = 3.7% 4/81 = 5%  15/243 = 6%
  +-2: 1/9 = 11%  3/27 = 11% 10/81 = 12% 30/243 = 12%
  +-1: 2/9 = 22%  6/27 = 22% 16/81 = 20% 45/243 = 19%
    0: 3/9 = 33%  7/27 = 26% 19/81 = 23% 51/243 = 21%

This dice system has the nice property that as the number of dices (=N) increases, the probability distribution approaches normal distribution with zero mean and variance of 2N/3.

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