Traits, Ranks, and Fudge Points (Oh My!)

Yesterday I wrote about my “Day of Fudge”, and I mentioned that I used a highly simplified version of Fudge for this event. Today I am going to share with you how I handled traits and their ranks. I will also explain how Fudge points impacted the game.

Every player character started the game with a concept that was merely used for flavor and direction. The players came up with two different traits in the manner of aspects. Each of these traits was of the rank of Mediocre. Any dice roll in the game where the players attempted an action but that the character’s traits were not applicable was rolled at the rank of Poor. The default target was Fair for most rolls.

That was it. No trait was greater than Mediocre, and if your character didn’t have an appropriate trait you were rolling at Poor. Seems pretty lame and limited, until you add Fudge points!

Every PC began the game with five Fudge points. Fudge points could be spent in four ways:

  • Spend them as an individual or as a group to take partial control of the narrative (e.g. “For two Fudge points can there be a bus stopping at this intersection that my PC jumps on while running away?”).
  • Buy gear (e.g. “Can I spend a Fudge point so that my PC has 50’ of rope?”).
  • Spend three Fudge points to buy a new trait with.
  • Spend one Fudge point to temporarily bump a Mediocre trait by one rank for one dice roll (maximum of four Fudge points to gain the trait at Superb).

The first three were all subject to GM approval, but the last option required nothing more than for the player to have the Fudge points to spend. Players acquired Fudge points by two methods:

  • Do something that made the game more fun like make people laugh, or do something cool in the game.
  • Have a trait compelled by the GM. Such as if a PC had a trait like “coward” I would offer the player a Fudge point to have the PC behave like a coward in the game at that moment.

The bidding rules were a little bit more complicated though. A player could refuse the Fudge point offered for a compel, but this would cost the player a Fudge point in addition to losing the one that was refused. The GM could keep raising the bid by one Fudge point but could not bring the player down to zero Fudge points. If the player had only one Fudge point left the GM had to take the player’s counter offer.

So if a player had three Fudge points and wanted to refuse a compel the most that the GM could bid would be two Fudge points. At that point if the player countered the offer with two of his or her own Fudge points the GM had to take the counter offer because the player was reduced to having only one Fudge point.

That is about 90% of the rules that I used for my DoF event. They worked great, and they are so simple that game play was easy for even first time players of Fudge. I’m not entirely happy with the damage rules yet, but I’m working on them still.

Did you create any custom rules for your DoF game? If so share them here with the rest of us by leaving a comment below.