Damage in Fudge, Can it be Streamlined?
I have written how I streamlined the use of traits in Fudge for my “Day of Fudge” event. I was very happy with the results, but the one area of the game that I felt was lacking was the damage system. I used a default rank of Poor as the target to hit a PC with, and most NPCs rolled at a rank of Fair. If a target had an applicable trait I used that as the target rank bumping the rank up to Mediocre for a successful attack. A player could spend Fudge points to increase their trait’s rank in order to be a more difficult target.
The difference in ranks succeeded by -1 was the amount of damage done. So if a target had a rank of Poor to be hit, and the attack roll was a rank of Good the damage done would be 2 (attack succeeded by 3 ranks -1). A target with a rank of Mediocre to be hit that was hit by a Mediocre attack would take no damage (attack succeeded by 0 ranks -1), nor would it be damaged by an attack with a rank of Fair (attack succeeded by 1 rank -1), but in both cases the target would still be hit and might still suffer some sort of effect from the attack.
If a target took damage the damage translated directly into a negative modifier for the character, so taking 1 point of damage resulted in a -1 modifier to all traits. This damage could be healed by use of appropriate traits within the game, or by time passing.
The system worked well for the event that I was running, but it was a little difficult to apply quickly to the game. I had to stop and think “what is the difference in ranks?” and that slowed me down as a GM. Granted this was a pause of about 2 seconds, but any pause no matter how brief takes the GM’s mind off of the game. I want to avoid that whenever possible.
So my mission is to design a damage system that is highly streamlined for play to remain fast and loose. I welcome any ideas that others may have, so please feel free to leave a comment below and let me know what you would do to streamline damage in Fudge.