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Old 10-27-2021, 09:14 PM   #1
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default FUDGE: starting character design

One of the campaigns I'm getting ready to start will use a version of FUDGE. The basic tradeoffs in FUDGE are one double-valued or supernormal gift trades for two normal gifts; one normal gift for two attribute levels; one attribute level for three skill levels.

I'm aiming to have characters who have a special trait (they share their dreams) but otherwise are more or less "everyman": their special abilities will grow out of their involvement in dreams.

So I was thinking of starting them out with the normal attributes at Fair and skills at Poor, and with one supernormal gift. They can take a fault for a comparable gift, or buy an attribute down to gain an attribute level, or buy a skill down to gain a skill level.

Does this sound like it could work?
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Old 10-27-2021, 10:54 PM   #2
thrash
 
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Default Re: FUDGE: starting character design

Unless the point is that "everyman = incompetent" or these are schoolchildren, I don't think it's reasonable to start with all skills at Poor and no levels at all. That puts your player-characters in the position that in order to be even Fair in one skill, they have to be Terrible in two others. How do you expect them to survive long enough to long enough to develop their abilities? Are the adversaries and obstacles they will face similarly weak?

I would want to immediately exchange the supernatural gift for one normal gift (or maybe two attribute levels) plus six skill levels, just to have one or two skills at Good without everything else being Terrible. Depending on how broad the skills are, starting with one Good and two Mediocre and the rest Poor would be more workable. It might also help defining niches among the party.
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Old 10-28-2021, 05:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: FUDGE: starting character design

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Originally Posted by thrash View Post
I would want to immediately exchange the supernatural gift for one normal gift (or maybe two attribute levels) plus six skill levels, just to have one or two skills at Good without everything else being Terrible. Depending on how broad the skills are, starting with one Good and two Mediocre and the rest Poor would be more workable. It might also help defining niches among the party.
That exchange is exactly what is intended.

A typical "ordinary person" might have two attribute levels and six skill levels. And skills are going to be somewhat broadly defined; for example, "police officer" or "doctor" would be a skill. Even deducting two skill levels for Fair Lucid Dreaming would allow one Good skill and one Mediocre skill.

I'm also envisioning that a typical player character will have a fault.

This may be too limiting; I'm looking for opinions here, especially on that.
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Old 10-28-2021, 05:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: FUDGE: starting character design

How powerful or mundane do you and the players want the game to start?

How much flavour do you want? Limited options give limited flavour, which might be what you want. This is why I think it depends on what you and the players want.

It's like a 50pt GURPS game versus a 150pt or 500pt. All are valid choices.

What you're proposing seems at the lower end of options and therefore flavour. If that's to develop, then it could be the perfect starting point where dreams are so much more than their mundane, awake lives. If you want more variety and flavour to start, though, aiming for giddy heights later then some additional capacity for options to start could take you there.

Also, if you're expecting an exchange to occur, then why not just start there?
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Old 10-28-2021, 07:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: FUDGE: starting character design

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Also, if you're expecting an exchange to occur, then why not just start there?
Well, because we have one player whose character concept very likely does call for a supernormal gift. I don't want to limit the players' options in terms of KIND of traits.
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Old 10-28-2021, 07:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: FUDGE: starting character design

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
This may be too limiting; I'm looking for opinions here, especially on that.
Your campaign pitch sounded as if every player-character needed a supernatural gift to participate in a meaningful way. This would make the exchange a choice between being half-way competent and being able to join in the action at all.

My experience with FUDGE (scant and long ago as it was) is that flaws are very limiting. I would normally not take one unless forced to do so.

I vote for too limiting. If two levels of traits and six levels of skills are what you expect, start there and hand out the supernatural gift and flaw together as campaign requirements.
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Old 10-28-2021, 07:59 AM   #7
whswhs
 
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Default Re: FUDGE: starting character design

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Your campaign pitch sounded as if every player-character needed a supernatural gift to participate in a meaningful way. This would make the exchange a choice between being half-way competent and being able to join in the action at all.
It's not quite that limiting.

* Being in the shared dream realm is free; it's a campaign assumption.

* Player characters need to be capable of lucid dreaming, but that's an average skill; taking two skill levels will get it to Fair.

* I've looked over my handout, and it has eight different normal gifts that could be useful in this type of campaign. Note that "supernatural" doesn't necessarily equate to "supernormal." There are perfectly natural traits that count as supernormal gifts; there are supernatural traits that count as normal gifts.

That's not to say you're wrong. I am concerned that you may be right. I've also invited the players to look at character concepts and see if they can fit them into my scheme; if they consistently find it frustratingly difficult, that will be solid evidence of the need for more starting traits. In any case, I appreciate your commenting.
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