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Re: [fudgecommunity] FUDGE Chargen Mechanics: Please Check Me On This

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  • Stephan Beal
    On Fri, Nov 25, 2011 at 3:22 PM, Scott wrote: ... A tip from someone who s been there, tried that : Assume we have two
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 2, 2011
      On Fri, Nov 25, 2011 at 3:22 PM, Scott <fourcolorfigs@...> wrote:
      <huge snip>

      > **
      >
      > I guess I am looking for confirmation that what I've done so far will work
      > system-wise. Am I missing anything? Do the starting points and costs work
      > out? I am going for fairly accomplished starting PCs.
      >
      > Should I assume that the skill level should start at the level of its
      > governing attribute? That's not explicitly in there, but I can certainly
      > add it if that is what makes most sense.
      >
      A tip from someone who's "been there, tried that":

      Assume we have two Intelligence-based skills: Nuclear Rocket Science and
      Reading (English). Reading is (in my experience!) a much simpler skill, and
      anyone can gain +2 proficiency in it with relative ease (==lower point
      cost) compared to Nuclear Rocket Science.

      The point being, unless you add another level of depth (e.g. GURPS-style
      easy/avg/hard), it's difficult to get the above system to be
      well-rounded/balanced, IMO. Whether or not your particular game wants/needs
      that extra level of detail is of course a decision best left to you and
      your players. i fundamentally like the simplicity of not having the
      easy/avg/hard distinction, but also find _not_ having it to be somewhat
      dissatisfying. A few years ago i put a great deal of time into trying to
      create a Great skill system for fudge, and found that binding attribute
      levels to skill levels very quickly results in superhuman skill levels in
      Fudge (which has a relatively small numeric curve compared to e.g. GURPS).

      In other words: i don't have any answers for you, except that i (in the
      context of a Fudge-like curve) recommend against tying attributes directly
      to skill levels.

      --
      ----- stephan beal
      http://wanderinghorse.net/home/stephan/


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • andrek
      ... If you folks don t mind I am jumping in on this as well. I vastly prefer to have attributes linked to skill levels as well. I have experimented with that
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 2, 2011
        > In other words: i don't have any answers for you, except that i (in the
        > context of a Fudge-like curve) recommend against tying attributes directly
        > to skill levels.
        >

        If you folks don't mind I am jumping in on this as well.

        I vastly prefer to have attributes linked to skill levels as well. I have experimented with that at length and it petty much does not work in FUDGE due to the narrow number range. I have actually gone back to an older crunchier system I'd been working on that does allow that and has a lot more detail. As playtest continues, I am not so sure that it is worth it. I have been toying with FATE a bit too, but that it another story. I must say that as time goes on I have become more enamored of the simplicity of the FUDGE mechanic, despite the fact that nearly everyone I talk to generally agrees that STAT + SKILL is ideal. It is always a compromise to get the desired flavor and keep the crunch down.

        I would be interested to hear how it goes! :)

        Good Gaming!

        - Andre

        http:\\www.GameSoapbox.com
      • John Rudd
        ... I think that right there is the problem. Not it s as easy to get a +2 in Nuclear Rocket Science as it is to get one is Reading ... instead, the problem
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 2, 2011
          On Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 05:08, Stephan Beal <sgbeal@...> wrote:

          >
          > Assume we have two Intelligence-based skills: Nuclear Rocket Science and
          > Reading (English). Reading is (in my experience!) a much simpler skill, and
          > anyone can gain +2 proficiency in it with relative ease (==lower point
          > cost) compared to Nuclear Rocket Science.
          >

          I think that right there is the problem. Not "it's as easy to get a
          +2 in Nuclear Rocket Science as it is to get one is Reading" ...
          instead, the problem is the idea that a +2 in Nuclear Rocket Science
          is as meaningful as a +2 in Reading. Or that "+2" is what a character
          has.

          A character has a "Fair" grasp of Reading, or a "Good" grasp of
          Reading, or a "Great" grasp of Reading. Similarly, they might have a
          "Fair" grasp of Nuclear Rocket Science, a "Good" grasp of it, or a
          "Great" grasp of it. A "Good" grasp of Reading is not necessarily
          just as rich as a "Good" grasp of Nuclear Rocket Science. Someone who
          has enough grasp of Reading to put themselves a standard deviation
          above the average population on a bell curve probably has a pretty
          noticeable increase in their understanding of literacy, literature,
          etc. Their "Good" should give them quite a lot of benefit when you
          decide "in order to accomplish X, you need a Good result".

          On the other hand, one standard deviation of understanding above the
          average populations knowledge of Nuclear Rocket Science ... probably
          isn't that significant an amount of information. What percent of the
          population can actually tell you something as simple as every
          sub-atomic particle, their charge, their mass, and their spin? How
          many of them can just tell you what a quark is, a boson, a neutrino,
          or tell you what string theory is. I'm not talking about applying
          these things mathematically on a test, much less building a test
          apparatus to verify their existence, I'm just saying "they can
          comprehensively enumerate what these things are". A "Good" Nuclear
          Rocket Scientist is probably not even a lab assistant... might not
          even be a student. A "Good" Nuclear Rocket Scientist could probably
          write this paragraph, and that's about it :-) Actually enumerating
          them and knowing what they are, and being able to apply them
          mathematically? Great. Apply them in a lab? Superb. Building or
          repairing devices that apply these theories in practice (for well
          known and well proven theories) Superb. Building devices that prove
          these theories for the first time, or find one of these particles for
          the first time? Legendary.

          Being able to practically apply Nuclear Rocket Science
          (building/repairing devices) should be at least a Superb. Being able
          to practically apply Reading? at least a Poor or Mediocre. The
          difference is not in how much it costs to get a Good skill level. The
          difference is in how much each skill level is worth (not in points,
          but in practical utility).
        • John Rudd
          ... In my opinion, the only way to do it, and not have a real level of inflation in total skill values, is to either do away with the traditional Fudge concept
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 2, 2011
            On Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 07:35, andrek <andrekruppa@...> wrote:

            > I vastly prefer to have attributes linked to skill levels as well. I have experimented with that at length and it petty much does not work in FUDGE due to the narrow number range. I have actually gone back to an older crunchier system I'd been working on that does allow that and has a lot more detail. As playtest continues, I am not so sure that it is worth it. I have been toying with FATE a bit too, but that it another story. I must say that as time goes on I have become more enamored of the simplicity of the FUDGE mechanic, despite the fact that nearly everyone I talk to generally agrees that STAT + SKILL is ideal. It is always a compromise to get the desired flavor and keep the crunch down.
            >

            In my opinion, the only way to do it, and not have a real level of
            inflation in total skill values, is to either do away with the
            traditional Fudge concept of "skills" or the traditional Fudge concept
            of "attributes". One or the other has to go from "a varying degree on
            the Fudge ladder" to a "binary bonus" (ie. either you get a +1, or you
            don't).

            Ex 1: No Attributes -- Just have a skill list, and no
            D&D/GURPS/RoleMaster/etc. style Attributes. If someone is "the Strong
            guy" of the party, he can buy a Gift that gives him a +1 to any
            strength related task. The "Smart guy" can buy a gift that gives him
            a +1 to any intelligence related task. Don't let these gifts become
            common (say, less than 20% of the population can have a particular one
            of these gifts, and at least 20% of the population must have the -1
            Flaw version of them). Don't let ANYONE buy one of these gifts twice.
            Essentially what this does is make your Skill list be "a measure of
            how well you are at X, without regard to how much of it is trained,
            learned, natural talent, etc." -- no matter how you got good at it,
            that's how good you are. The Gift/Flaw aspect is just there for a
            very minor nod to talent and they way SOME talents can have
            cross-skill benefit. If you MUST have actual Attributes, still don't
            have them be D&D/GURPS style. Have them be like D&D saving throws:
            Damage Resistance, Spell Resistance, and things like that.

            Ex 2: No Skills -- use a FASERIP or Dream Park style set of
            Attributes that are actually more like a short list of broad
            functional abilities (the F in FASERIP is "Fighting" .. all of your
            Melee Fighting is based on that Attribute, not on a skill). Instead,
            a skill is a +1 Gift you can buy once (maybe twice, in some systems
            like this). That's it. Either you have the skill or you don't.
            There's no variability of how much skill you have (unless you let it
            be bought twice, which I would not recommend). The variability all
            comes from your Attribute. And, you can still keep the skills
            completely removed from the attributes, by saying that they are
            cross-attribute applicable (Swords + Fighting is melee, Swords +
            Agility is swordsmithing, Swords + Intelligence is knowing the history
            of the development of swords and their heraldry like aspects and all
            of that, etc.).

            Those two ideas do let you have Attribute + Skill combinations in
            Fudge, without having an inflation problem. But they require that you
            think about Attributes and Skills in a fundamentally different way
            (different from both most other game systems, and different from
            Fudge).
          • Rodney E. Barnes
            I believe, in Fudge, you have to get out of the D&D mindset of what an Attribute (or Ability Score) is. The way I do it is to make Attributes the SAME as
            Message 5 of 11 , Dec 2, 2011
              I believe, in Fudge, you have to get out of the D&D mindset of what an
              Attribute (or Ability Score) is. The way I do it is to make Attributes the
              SAME as Skills, the difference being, Attributes are Skills the Everyone
              has. Stealing from d20; Reflexes, Stamina, Will, Perception, and Hit Points
              (if you use them), etc. If everyone in the setting has Tactics (say a
              Marine Unit game), then Tactics would be an Attribute, not a Skill. This
              system makes the most sense when using Fudge. If there is a set of Skills
              the GM wants everyone to have, then you make them Attributes. You then give
              the players a set of points that raise or lower their Attributes/Skills,
              with exponential cost for each level. Everything starts at Terrible, so for
              one point you get Poor. Two points for Mediocre, Four points for Fair, Eight
              points for Good, Sixteen points for Great, 32 points for Superb, 64 points
              for Legendary. Everyone starts with a number of points equal to two times
              the total of your Attributes/Skills list. Say you have six Attributes:
              Reflexes, Stamina, Will, Perception, Common Knowledge, and Health; and 15
              other skills. So you would give them 42 points to spend on their skills.
              This keeps Attributes and Skills in their proper perspective for a Fudge
              game, in my humble opinion. If someone has super-strength or is a
              super-fast, then they have a gift of super-strength or super-fast; no need
              for over bloated D&D style Ability Scores.

              Rodney
            • Mike Greene
              A bolt of lightening just struck and for a moment my brain worked. What if we used the Attributes to affect the cost of the skill, not the skill roll. This
              Message 6 of 11 , Dec 2, 2011
                A bolt of lightening just struck and for a moment my brain worked.

                What if we used the Attributes to affect the cost of the skill, not the
                skill roll.
                This could be combined with easy, average and hard base costs.

                ie: Rocky Balboa could learn Nuclear Physics, but it would cost him a lot
                more than it would Steven Hawkins.

                The other thoughts I have been working on is that skills are trees.
                At Average the skill must be narrowed to a specialty, again at good and
                again at great or ...

                For this to work, Doing a skill test on a specialized skill must
                automatically have several levels of penalty, or a higher target.

                For example: Science -> Physics -> Nuclear Physics -> Subatomic Nuclear
                Physics.
                For a character to calculate the yeild of a nuclear bomb with two kilos
                of Plutonium (numbers are a guess), it would take a good or great result.
                If our friend Rocky was fair in science, its not going to happen often.
                If Sir Darwin who has Science, Biology, ... evolution tried it, the best
                level of science he has that applies is Fair, just like Rocky.


                Mike G


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • jlcsusara
                Hi, Rodney! I like your method/mindset very much. Free-form Open Role-playing RuleS (FORRS) by Per Fischer is a good example. To quote: Traits The idea of
                Message 7 of 11 , Dec 3, 2011
                  Hi, Rodney!

                  I like your method/mindset very much. "Free-form Open Role-playing RuleS (FORRS)" by Per Fischer is a good example. To quote:

                  "Traits
                  The idea of FORRS is only to mention those traits that distinguish the player character form everyone else. Traits can everything from attributes, skills, abilities, faults, gifts, whatever. Which traits are general, experience and special depends on the individual game setting and perhaps narrator/player preferences.

                  General Traits
                  These are traits that every player character possesses because of physique, upbringing and culture. General traits are always Fair level unless otherwise stated. Therefore it is not necessary to list all these, just assume the player character has them. Only write those traits who are lower or higher than Fair.

                  Experience Traits
                  These are traits that depend on training, practice and study. Unless anything else is stated, every player character can attempt to test experience traits at Poor level.

                  Special Traits
                  These are traits that need special training. Only if the trait is mentioned on the character sheet, the character can actually use it."


                  And FORRS can be downloaded in our Files section (http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/fudgecommunity/files/Fudge-Builds/). :)


                  --fudgebob


                  --- In fudgecommunity@yahoogroups.com, "Rodney E. Barnes" <TheCastleKeeper@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I believe, in Fudge, you have to get out of the D&D mindset of what an
                  > Attribute (or Ability Score) is. The way I do it is to make Attributes the
                  > SAME as Skills, the difference being, Attributes are Skills the Everyone
                  > has. Stealing from d20; Reflexes, Stamina, Will, Perception, and Hit Points
                  > (if you use them), etc. If everyone in the setting has Tactics (say a
                  > Marine Unit game), then Tactics would be an Attribute, not a Skill. This
                  > system makes the most sense when using Fudge. If there is a set of Skills
                  > the GM wants everyone to have, then you make them Attributes. You then give
                  > the players a set of points that raise or lower their Attributes/Skills,
                  > with exponential cost for each level. Everything starts at Terrible, so for
                  > one point you get Poor. Two points for Mediocre, Four points for Fair, Eight
                  > points for Good, Sixteen points for Great, 32 points for Superb, 64 points
                  > for Legendary. Everyone starts with a number of points equal to two times
                  > the total of your Attributes/Skills list. Say you have six Attributes:
                  > Reflexes, Stamina, Will, Perception, Common Knowledge, and Health; and 15
                  > other skills. So you would give them 42 points to spend on their skills.
                  > This keeps Attributes and Skills in their proper perspective for a Fudge
                  > game, in my humble opinion. If someone has super-strength or is a
                  > super-fast, then they have a gift of super-strength or super-fast; no need
                  > for over bloated D&D style Ability Scores.
                  >
                  > Rodney
                  >
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