Kingbeast's Lair

Growling about the RPG industry and my gaming life. RPG and anime reviews from a passionate fan. (Formerly John's Hero HQ.)

Fudge 10th Anniverary By Grey Ghost Review

November 21, 2008 By: John Taber Category: Games, Product Reviews

Fudge Cover-== What is it? ==-

Fudge 10th Anniversary Edition is the latest print release of the Fudge universal role-playing game system from Grey Ghost Press. As a universal system it is intended to be used for modeling many different genres. Fudge was previously an acronym for Freeform Universal Do-It-Yourself Game Engine.

The book has a color hard cover and an entirely black and white interior. The book is full sized and is 319 pages in length.? I have been running my first Terra Incognita Fudge based campaign now for roughly a year. I started playing Fudge by buying Terra Incognita and this book. I have read the book cover to cover.

-== What I Like ==-

I think my favorite thing about Fudge is the simplicity during play. Fudge is a very fast system. Combats move quickly and player actions are very easy to model. If something isn’t clear in the rules you do as the rules suggest and “fudge it”.? This is pretty easy to do once the fundamentals of the systems are learned. At a high level Fudge is a success based system where two results are compared. The person with the highest result wins.

As the system is universal once learned your players can move with you from campaign to campaign and all they have to worry about are any rule changes you plan on making.

As a GM I love the ease in creating bad guys. My Terra Incognita game has a heavy monster hunting flair and I find it very simple to make even the most complex beasties in minutes with only minor cracks of the book.

-== What I Don’t Like ==-

One key thing to remember about Fudge is part of the old acronym…”Do-It-Yourself”. That is really key. Fudge not only gives the GM the tools for changing the rules they really expect it. They expect the GM to set skill lists and stats. They expect the GM to choose a character creation method. Etc. For the “tinkerer type” GMs this is a really great thing but for others it may at first be daunting. I have a LOT of experience with the Hero System but in my opinion Fudge is another rung down the “GM as game designer ladder”. In the future I plan to do an entire article about universal systems and Fudge will be a part of it for sure.

As laid out the combat system works alright but it has some strange bits that take some time to get used to. For example, when two targets attach eachother in HTH combat they role against eachother. The one who roles highest hits and the one who rolled lower misses. The guy who hits does more damage based on the differences in the rolls. On the surface this is simple but in play it really shows differentitation issues. If someone is really good with knives there might be no chance for the other person to ever hit the target. Even the distinction between someone who is Good versus someone who is Mediocre is critical. Another odd situation occurs if a ranged attacker goes up against a HTH attacker. In this situation both attackers go against very low targets values. The result is that both completely blow away eachother. There are some house rules to help out but out of the book this is how it plays.

It is blatantly obvious that the book was created by piecing together various Fudge articles from different authors. In makes the book very difficult to read and utilize in some respects. The tone changes…sometimes the implementation of various concepts is handled differently. The effect is jarring.

The artwork on the cover and interior is very poor. This is a book that a consumer would not pick up unless prompted by a friend or store clerk. The interior art is mostly stolen from publically available sources and it very inconsistent.

-== Summary ==-

Overall Fudge 10th Anniversary is an interesting product to get if you want something quick and dirty but are willing to make some changes to the system. The $35 price tag is a bit steep but not insane.

I give it 6 out of 10 paws.

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