I love Fudge. I love that lovely bump in the probabilities, making it likely to roll near your character’s actual trait. But I wanted to do something different. I actually want a result, from my fudge dice, that was randomly linear.
So I’m working on character creation for Lost Heroes and I’m putting into the system this idea I had a while a go. Essentially Magic-using characters are burdened with “Magic Rules” or rather consequences that go off when they use magic.
But when the player is picking the conseqence for their character, I wanted it to be randomly selected.
So I hit apon the idea of using a number of tables. Roll on one table/column, then the next and then next and then create a consequence from the three random elements. (Technically this is called Morphological Forced Connections apparently).
In my example:
||Remains depending on how powerful the effect
||Remains for x
||Until it grows back or dies off
So a player may roll on column A, get “Limb” and then on column B, get “Material” and then finally on column C and get “Until it grows back or dies off”. The player then use this as a constraints to come up with a consequence, for example: “A characters Limb transforms into a Material and remains Until it grows back or dies off”.
But I can’t use a standard 4dF (four fudge dice) as this one mean most people would get something in the middle of the column, every time.
So I asked on Fudge’s yahoo page and the answers were great!
The one I liked the best came from Tim Hall:
I’d just roll fudge dice of different colours, and make each die
significant rather than adding them up. 2 dice give 9 options, 3 dice
gives 27, 4 dice 81 and so on.
So two Fudge dice would give you a sequence of values like this:
This gives a very simple linear gradient from 0 to 9. It’s simple and it’s visual and it also constrains me to limit to either 3 or 9 or 27, etc.
But Mike Harvey suggests another interesting technique. Using 5dF, but treating anything greater than 2 as 2 (and anything less than –2 as –2). This gives a surprisingly linear gradient. (I plugged it into anydice if you want to see it visually).
If you look carefully at the 4dF probability table and “squint your eyes”..
18.519% +2 or more
18.519% -2 or less
…notice that these steps are very close to even 20% increments. Close enough for horseshoes or FUDGE!! That there’s a linear d5! In fact you can get even closer rolling 5dF:
20.988% +2 or more
20.988% -2 or less
(Original yahoo groups thread here)
I keep having thoughts about what I want to get from the system, but the more I think about it, the more it gets fuzzy and, well, complicated (but in a good way I think).
Let me explain. People love roleplaying systems that appear simple and elegant but offer up potentially limitless (or more than easy to handle) complexity. That the system everyone aims for, easy to get into but endlessly flexible. But what is not necessarily obvious is that they also what a system that plays well. And you can come up with any sort of funky simple system, but it may not work when it gets into strangers hands.
So I dwelt on this problem for a while and decided that when I put together the “lost heroes” system, I’ll lob in all the ideas I can or want to include. Fill it up and having it overflowing with much of muchness. Because it’s easier to cut away than add later once you put something in the public (and the sad thing is, I picked this little piece of wisdom up from a reality TV show). The plan then is to play test it, either in person with friends or possible online over at the Fudge IRC chat room on otherworlders.org, cutting back on what doesn’t work until I have something that, well, does.
The system is going to be ostensibly Fudge. And there has been some recent free systems based on Fudge, like Marvellous Superheroes and Fudgepark2/SLUDGE that have come to my attention. (I plan to digest them for ideas! Muhahahahahah). And quite recently a new iteration of Now Playing in The Unexplained from Carnivore Games. So a nice little trove of stuff to dig through.
Thankfully much of the pieces of my system are already there or I’ve done work on them in parts. I still foresee a lot of work getting everything together in a system that appears coherent and aligns with the intents of the setting.
- One of the core parts of the system will be Fudge Passions. This is a system I developed to replace Fudge Points but more importantly as a way to link supernatural powers to characters emotions and environs. Something that makes the powerful lost hero characters part of the world.
- And then there is Story Hooks. This is tied to Fudge Passions but also to other ideas that have been knocking about in my head for years. I started them before I had heard of Fate and in many ways they are similar to Aspects but not as powerful as Aspects in play but are more malleable in the long term.
- I also wanted to do something about conflict and be able to turn any roll of the dice situation into a form of combat. TDO Combat is my first attempt. It suffers in that it’s hard to understand from the text, yet I know what I want from it. It pulls in ideas from Riddle of Steel and Shadows of Yesterday games, the old Fudge Factor and discussions from the old FudgeList. It provides a criteria for when to do “combat” and when just make a single roll, handling group and one-on-one combats and should be applicable to most types of situations from chases and battlefields to political gatherings and socialising.
- Another little titbit, but much more recent, was some thoughts on making Magic Characters interesting. It’s quite generic in that you could add it to any system: Magic Character Add-on. In principal it’s a way to turn a character who can do magic to a magic-based character. The difference is subtle, but IMHO important.
- And finally, at least publically, is a blog post on what I call The Big Pile of Skills Problem. Your character isn’t just a big list of skills you know and I really like idea of “professions” a character has. It’s more defining/descriptive though more abstract and harder to design for.
So I hope you’re now getting the impression of how much of a mix-bag the system is going to be.
Of course, if your more interested in setting-specific bits of the rules, I’d recommend checking back over some of these older blog posts,  and , for some idea what characters you can play and what sort of powers they may have.
I’m taking another break from Lost Heroes.
But what am I going to be doing on this break? Writing an adventure based on Lost Heroes!
After the Day of Fudge community event last Saturday (something I was unable to contribute to), the community has started a new project. Write a Fudge adventure for a month (also called The One Month Fudge Adventure Challenge!). Results to be uploaded to the Yahoo page. This isn’t a competition and you don’t even have to have a complete adventure. The point is to enjoy creating (and sharing) something with the community.
And hence, I’m writing one. I had planned all along to do three adventures for Lost Heroes, but they were always low priority and I put them completely out of mind last week, when I laid out my current plans for three “books”. However I had tons of ideas and so I’m picking up the first one to do. It’s going under the working title of “What is Lost” and it’s actually part one of a two-parter. It’s set in a pseudo-Celtic-historic period (a mix of Celtic romanticism, heroic age and historic elements i.e. you can make it up). Best to think of it as Celtic-fantasy. In contrast the second part adventure (with the working title of “What is Found”) will be set in the modern day. The purpose of the two part adventure was to give an introduction into some of the themes of Lost Heroes RPG. From the end of the second adventure, players and GM could start their own campaign.
I don’t what to give away too much yet, however I can say I have the plot down already. It’s rather simple, without much variance and also quite predictable (though I believe in this case it’s good). The important part is the actually player characters and they will take some careful preparation and thought.
I also want to make the game as pure Fudge as I can so as long as you’re familiar with Fudge, you can pick it up and play it or easily adapt it to you’re way of using Fudge. Once I’ve done the Book of Heroes and/or Book of Rules, I’ll probably produce an updated version of this adventure using Lost Heroes RPG system (which is a Fudge derivative).
Watch this space for the results of my efforts!