So last week, I gave you a solid wall of text about FUDGE, and I missed one of the most important, most innovative things about it: How it works.
So, instead of my previously-planned post for this week, I'm going to talk more about FUDGE.
I mentioned that FUDGE doesn't have a pre-set Attribute and Skill list. I even touched briefly on how some GMs will provide appropriate lists for their players.
What I didn't mention is that FUDGE characters don't have numbers for stats. You could have read between the lines for my quick character generation example, but it wasn't explicitly spelled out.
FUDGE has a scale, ranging from Terrible to Superb. Your character's stats are all rated on this scale.
For reference, the default scale is TERRIBLE, POOR, MEDIOCRE, FAIR, GOOD, GREAT, and SUPERB.
There are other versions of the scale which have been used in a number of FUDGE-based games. Some games add "AVERAGE," some extend the upper limit to SUPERNATURAL and LEGENDARY.
The exact scale depends on the GM and what style of game they wish to run.
Every roll in the game involves a character's active trait and four FUDGE dice.
Have you seen FUDGE dice? They look like this:
They are six-sided dice which are blank on two sides, have plus signs on two sides, and have minus signs on the remaining two sides. They come in a bunch of colors. Not pictured are my Deryni Dice and my Olympic (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) dice. Or the Wizard dice from Evil Hat, or my Q-Workshop set for that matter ...
Side note: I really need to get a light box for photography.
To make a roll in FUDGE, you grab four dice and roll them. And modify your trait by the results of the roll.
If I'm a GOOD swordsman, and I roll +++-, then my result is +2, for a SUPERB result.
If I have GREAT Surgeon and I roll ----, then my result is -4, and ... well ... let's just say I wouldn't want to be the patient at that point.
As the GM, you can complicate that. Make them all opposed rolls. Require "GOOD or better." Apply their Margin of Success (or Failure) to their Effect roll.
There are other ways to roll, and they're covered in the book - but the default is FUDGE dice.
It's pretty slick and easy. Once you've learned it, you won't forget it, either.
It makes FUDGE a fairly quick pick-up-and-play game.
Moreso than nearly anything else in my collection which wasn't specifically designed for that purpose.