"Back Cover Blurb" and Introduction
FUDGE: Freeform Universal Do-it-yourself Gaming Engine
FUDGE is a unique role-playing game. The basic rules are for experienced Game Masters, but players can range from complete novice to experienced pro. FUDGE works with any genre. Sample characters from many genres are included.
FUDGE has some interesting aspects, including many new concepts in role-playing gaming:
- No fixed attributes. The GM chooses appropriate attributes depending on taste and genre played. Many sample attributes are included.
- FUDGE is a skill-driven system. Skills can also be defined by the GM, anywhere from finely defined individual skills to broadly defined skill groups. The choice is yours, even to mixing as you choose.
- Attributes and skills are word-based, making it easy to determine how good any given character is at anything. You'll never hear players say, "I'm a level (or skill) 14 Fighter." Instead, they'll simply say, "I'm a Great swordsman!"
- Inborn gifts and faults can be created and described by individual players, being as brief or lengthy as the player desires. Many examples are provided to get you started.
- Due to the word-based system, any campaign world or adventure written in FUDGE can be translated painlessly to any other system — and vice versa. This makes FUDGE extremely useful as the "universal translator" of gaming systems.
- A simple action resolution system allows players to know how well they performed an individual action — in words. Rules for six-sided dice, percentile dice, and special FUDGE dice are included. FUDGE can also be run diceless, if desired.
- You can integrate other role-playing rules with FUDGE. If an existing game has a brilliant game mechanism in an otherwise lackluster set of rules, you can easily import the brilliance into FUDGE without bringing along the mediocrity. Do you like the way game X handles psi, game Y combat, and game Z sanity? Use them all freely with FUDGE.
- The GM is given options to help her customize FUDGE toward either a realistic campaign or an "epic" (or "legendary" or "cinematic") campaign. Any genre can be played at any point between these opposing stances of realistic vs. legendary.
- The basic rules can be copied and given away legally. In fact, any publisher can publish FUDGE rules and add their own world backgrounds and adventures — see the Legal Notice for details.
- If you are thinking of designing your own home rules RPG, simply reading FUDGE can provide an excellent introduction to what you need to consider as a game designer.
FUDGE is specifically for people who want a good bedrock to build their own system on. It provides the building blocks you need to customize your own rules. If you haven't found a commercial role- playing game that suits your needs exactly, then FUDGE may be what you're looking for. If you have created a great game setting (or translated one from fiction), but no other game system's rules seem to do it justice, perhaps FUDGE can help you.
The basic FUDGE rules contain no campaign world information (except for samples). Future releases from Grey Ghost Games will include campaign worlds, generic resource books, and adventures. Due to FUDGE's flexible universal nature, these will be usable with any game system.