It all started with a discussion with a Dungeons and Dragons player about the differences between our two systems and it was a very lively conversation. The thing that made me stop and think was when he asked, “Well, what do you do about traps? Avoiding them or when they trigger? Do you just make it a story element or do you have stats like D&D?”
Though my answer was both, it made me think that there were not any rules out there governing traps more than a story element. Could rules like that be made if a GM wanted more than just “This is a spear trap? Roll minimum of a Fair to get away”?
When it comes to Fudge, the nicest thing I have found about it is that rules can be easily added to the system without it causing other rules to bunch up or fail to work. A GM can choose to make his game as rule crunchy or rule creamy as he or she wants.
I decided to take it upon myself to write a set of rules that would govern traps reminiscent of Pathfinder trying to find a way to present the information in a Fudge way but with enough crunchy to give concrete information but loose enough to not stop the flow of the story (like going to initiative rounds).
For those who are not familiar with the D20 or the Pathfinder system, traps are dictated by their actuation method and delivering the attack while the player would be required a saving roll against one of the skills to either avoid or halve the damage.
With Fudge, there are no hit points in the sense of “You have 50 hit points and you take 4 damage leaving you 46” but more of a “Your Margin of Failure is 2, so you are scratched.” It was important to find a way to inflict damage without having to give every trap a type of skill.
The rules that I did come up with (which can be found in the FudgeRPG repository once approved) took in the idea of each trap having an advantage when it came to being sprung with acted like a skill. When the 4DF dice are rolled for the trap in a simultaneous combat round, adding the advantage will help act like a skill and get a total MoS or MoF.
Once that was figured out, the rest of the rules came simply and so far, they have been popular among those who have read them.
What do you think about traps? Is there a way you handle them in your Fudge adventures and campaigns? Come let me know in the Official Fudge Forums and discuss it!
So, did you like my pun? Yes, I know it was pretty horrible, but the title was what made me think about writing this article to cover. For those of RPG experience, you have probably already had this discussion and so I wanted to gear this toward the newer GMs that may have asked themselves this question. So, is it alright to fudge results in your RPG?
This question came up when my brother was designing his own session and was very concerned about the difficulty level of the bad guys. He was designing with the Pathfinder system so he was taking in to consideration the Average Party Level (APL), the mixture of Challenge Ratings (CR), and all the movement and maps needed. With all the rules, he had asked me, “Is it alright to fudge the rules in case my enemies are too powerful?”
The answer is yes. The reason that I say this is because the point of roleplaying is the excitement and the adventure. If your players are not being challenged enough (or being to challenged) then it is quite alright to adjust or “fudge” the results so that they do not instantly die or waltz through your dungeon. A total party kill is not good for a GM as they have to handle the fallout among players, while it can depress or upset the players who have vested a lot of time and consideration in to the design of their characters.
Some game systems are inherently friendly toward the player and the GM when it comes to this because the dice system is made in a way that allows for adjustments on the fly. The Fudge System specifically has the fudge point to even give players a chance to change the results. It is a very important give and take between the player and the GM.
The important part is the feeling of adventure and comradery. One of my fond adventure memories was a battle against the undead to protect a city and in the end we lost one of our companions. I do not remember the dice rolling or the mechanics, but the epic battle and loss of our good friend. Even the character’s player was in a good mood in the end because how well our GM handled the death allowing him to be epic in the end.
This is the point of a roleplay, to experience an adventure like no other. If you, as GM of the game, have to fudge the results here and there to bring that about, it is perfectly acceptable!
Have fun gaming!