GreyGhostGames

VG Fudge

VG Fudge

Howdy,

This is just an announcement that I've now changed the word ladder in my games of Fudge.  Nothing official, only affects my games.

Details at http://www.panix.com/~sos/rpg/vgfudge.html

-Steffan

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Re: VG Fudge

Interesting - I may have to give this a shot after Gen Con.  You've already addressed any thoughts I have before playtesting in your comments!

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Re: VG Fudge

Interesting indeed! I will try this out at home. Thanks and good to hear from you! current/smile

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Re: VG Fudge

Looks like an interesting change. I'll give this a shot at some point, after a wee bit of renaming. Something about a single two word phrase in the word ladder really annoys me for some reason.

The [-] die.

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Re: VG Fudge

When I saw this, I found myself singing "Accentuate the positive!"

I actually like the idea of having a wider spread of positive traits and only two "negative" ones. I tried it, but went in the other direction. Instead of adding "Very Good" to the mix, I pulled a page from FATE's book and replaced Mediocre with Average and made that the starting point. I rewrote a couple of my Oz characters and found it allowed me to fine-tune them a little more. It also helps my game in other ways, so I'm keeping this ladder.

I am a little concerned this might affect compatibility with existing Fudge games, but conversions would just require a little bit of tweaking, really.

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Re: VG Fudge

MikeConway wrote:

Instead of adding "Very Good" to the mix, I pulled a page from FATE's book and replaced Mediocre with Average and made that the starting point.

"Average" was one of my original choices for the word ladder, back in 1992.  But too many people (probably left-brain oriented) complained it confused them, as a Good fighter will get an average result of Good.  So I found "Fair".

Oddly, Fair, Average and Mediocre really mean the same thing: middle of the pack.  But it's very clear that people would rather be called Fair at something than Mediocre at something.  I'm less certain about Fair and Average - I don't think you'll get universal agreement which is better.  But I could be wrong about that.

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Re: VG Fudge

Yeah, for me, Mediocre means "Meh", kind of a below-average thing. "Fair" hits me as "better than average" so, why not? I think those people were, like you said, left-brained, or maybe they were just thinking too much.

I am, however, open to suggestions. Maybe in another thread. :-)

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Re: VG Fudge

Average is pretty much literally 50%ile, but we know intuitively that nobody is  exactly the average of everyone (no family has 1.87 children), so the various synonyms (normal, middling, medium, moderate, typical, ...) usually reference a fuzzy range in the middle.  Amongst the "so-so" adjectve, I think Mediocre has a derogatory use (barely achieving normal expectation) whereas Fair has many secondary definitions beyond ability (Beauty, Justice, Honesty, Balance/Impartiality) which are generally favorable and color our thinking about Fair as the upper end of normal (good enough though could be better).

But, I think the long-ago decision to not include "Average" on the Fudge ladder bypassed the confusion between the distribution of an Ability in a population (or the frequency of a task to challenge it) and the adequacy of a performance/exertion needed/achieved for a task.  We might expect "on average" an adult citizen has Fair Strength/Dexterity (adequate to do most "normal daily tasks") but have only a fumbling (Poor, but not nonexistent) Juggling ability (inadequate to impress anyone most of the time).   Juggling might be Easy to learn, but "on average" most (more than half) people cannot adequately do it.  "Mediocre" sounds like an assessment of an individual (as do the other ladder words), not a statistical threshold.

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Re: VG Fudge

Vermonster wrote:

But, I think the long-ago decision to not include "Average" on the Fudge ladder bypassed the confusion between the distribution of an Ability in a population (or the frequency of a task to challenge it) and the adequacy of a performance/exertion needed/achieved for a task.  We might expect "on average" an adult citizen has Fair Strength/Dexterity (adequate to do most "normal daily tasks") but have only a fumbling (Poor, but not nonexistent) Juggling ability (inadequate to impress anyone most of the time).   Juggling might be Easy to learn, but "on average" most (more than half) people cannot adequately do it.  "Mediocre" sounds like an assessment of an individual (as do the other ladder words), not a statistical threshold.

I'm inclined to agree on this point. Granted, there are obvious connotations between the Fudge ladder and population level statistics -not the least of which is the use of a -3 to 3 numerical scale that fits perfectly with standard deviation- but it fundamentally works as a qualitative assessment of capability, or of difficulty, or of a whole host of other things. This qualitative assessment can stand on its own, whereas terminology along the lines of Average, or usage of the formerly noted standard deviation inherently connects placement on the scale to capacity within a group. Granted, that is implicit anyways, but the extent to which it is explicit is important, and the use of the term Average changes it.

The [-] die.

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Re: VG Fudge

The relationship between Scale levels and the Ladder adjectives (same Ladder rung up a Scale level = up a Ladder rung on the Scale level below) in expanding Attribute ranges across several/many relativistically defined Ladders "within groups" to cover Tiniest to Hughest (Simplest to Complexest, etc) orders of those groups supports the concept of the Ladders as quantifying a capability much more than describing a frequency distribution.  A character needs X amount of some Attribute (plus/minus luck) to achieve some task.  If the most Legendary two-ounce critter (without metaphysical superpowers) can lift it, there is not an Scale+25 (base mouse) one-ton animal who cannot do so also (if it can muster the microDexterity to handle it).  But there is no frequency ratio implied about universal count of those Legendary mice/etc capable of the feat and the number of one-ton draft horses/etc.

It is the convergent calculus performed between the ears of the GM that may find a convenient way to place Ability levels side-by-side with Task difficulty by thinking (within the context of the character's society/species/whatever) of "what portion of people could usually do this".   But even there we change the idea about the base/default Ability level of the majority of the population without specific  training/history in a Skill dependent on the Ease-Difficulty with which it can be learned.  Easy Skills that most people never learn (Juggling) can be often "faked" by the Untrained with some non-zero chance of success, while Very Hard skills (also never studied by the majority of people) have defaults of None that do not even permit a dice roll attempt.

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