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We are moving right along through the Fudge "core" set of choices, and the next is Gifts and Faults. There are a lot of ways to go here, so for us, trying to define a fairly standard fantasy set of rules, we will have to give a number of examples, and warn the person running the game. But for now, we will focus on describing this for the players. To faciliate that, I am going to avoid giving the Faults or Gifts levels of their own. These traits can possibly help to add dimension and life to a pile of stats, or at least hint to the player that their character isn't a killing machine with a personality of carboard and a cookie cutter shape. 

The Gifts and Faults will also, when we get around to listing them in one of the big data dump lists later (along with the skills and equipment and such) be of a decent strength.  A character may only have two or four of these, total, so they should speak to the character, and not be something mild, useless, or worse, boring. Some of them will have tactical or combat effects, to be sure, but we want to help inspire when we can. 

So without further ado, Gifts and Faults 101:

Gifts and Faults are two broader traits that a character can have. Their names are pretty big hints as to what they do. A Gift, like Night Vision, or  Absolute Direction, are certainly a positive for a character. A gift is a trait that usually doesnt' have a default. It is something that, well, you either "got it" or you don't.  In the description of the gift will be the blatant "rules" effect, like "sees in the dark" or "+1 to Navigate" but they also can help you define your character and give the person running the game a better idea of who your character is, and they may find more ways you can apply your Gift than just the "textbook" definition.  
Faults are the flip side of the coin. They work. mechanically, or rules-wise, very much like Gifts, but usually to a characters detriment. Clumsy, or greedy, or sensitive to light would all make a characters life harder in different ways.  They have their "rules" effect, that will get in the way of the character, challenging them with themselves. It also  rounds out your character, making it mre real, and gives the person running the game another way to involve your character. 

Gifts and Faults have one other useful function. They can be used to fill in the spaces missed by attributes and skills. Gifts can give characters unique and interesting abilities (in some cases, Magic!) thats makes the character more than the sum of the skill list. Faults can be taken, as needed, during character creation, to add more than the normal number of Gifts or skills, and let the character's accounting balance out. 

Thank you for reading!


# Paul Dupuis 2011-04-06 23:52
Skills are essential, but as a GM I find my players choices of Gifts and Faults to be the most value is connecting their characters and motivation to the adventure during play. GURPS had a system of "Limitations" and "Enhancements" to Gifts (Advantages) and Faults (Disadvantages) . Although that systems was originally developed for GURPS Supers, I have found a simplified (more freeform) variant to be useful in FUDGE to allow players to further customize Gifts and Faults.
# JonathanS223 2011-04-07 14:05
I personally like adding gifts and faults to try to make the characters more unique. That's the thing that attracted me the most to fudge. Characters can be portrayed with all their flaws and virtues.
# Paul Dupuis 2011-04-07 14:50
I really likes the GURPS improvement on the idea. Take a fault like Enemy. You could then add a 'enhancement' such as 'appears infrequently' or a 'limitation' that 'seeks to discredit rather than kill'. GURPS of course had a precise point based model. Enhancements increased the cost of the Gift or Fault and limitations reduced it (less valuable). For gifts, enhancements mad it better, more powerful. For faults, it was reversed, an enhancement made the Fault less severe or bad (or at least that's what I recall from memory). In Fudge you don't need precision, but just thinking of the idea of enhancements and limitation to a gift or fault can help define it in richer detail. "I have the Enemy Fault, the enemy is rich and powerful, but appears infrequently and seeks to discredit my character rather than kill me." is much more interesting than just "enemy".
# slockard 2011-04-18 13:58
Excellent point, and one I did completely overlook. Revisions forthcoming. :) I avoided giving faults/Gifts trait levels of their own in this version of the rules, to keep it simple, but would include it in the full version of Fudge 101.

And Paul, I'd agree that Fudge Characters, overall, can be described with more words and not less, so tweaking that would certainly work. I'll see how it fits into this project as I go along.

Thanks to both of you!

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