FUDGE Conan!

Discuss Mongoose RPGs here, such as the OGL rulebooks, Jeremiah, Armageddon 2089 and Macho Women with Guns
thelevitator
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Postby thelevitator » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:12 pm

Well I've been working my butt off to get ready for our first test run tonight. I'm keeping things very simple, just to kick a the tires a bit. This is just a one-shot to get my players familiar with the FUDGE mechanics (that should take about 5 minutes), and a skeletal background story, so we can test out using skills, gifts, and faults in game. I also want to try the combat, because I've never run a game that uses simultaneous rounds before. I'm excited, because with the help of a couple of pro-level FUDGERs, I've got a pretty decent combat system with a ton of options. I'm hoping it plays as good as it reads.

The storyline is pretty straightforward. The PC's are pit fighter slaves, on their way to tournament. Along the way, they discover that they are going to be sold to a real bad guy, who buys slaves wtih which to conduct some kind of unholy experiments. I like to stick with a basic premise, and leave the rest of it pretty wide open.

I'm pretty damned excited! :twisted:
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Postby warzen » Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:34 am

Please give us some feedback.
I'm really interested in finding a proper system for my Conan game... and I still have Fate and Reign in my testing list.

BTW, can someone tell me the difference between FUDGE and Fate ?
I'm not that familiar with those systems.

W.
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Postby thelevitator » Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:47 pm

Holy Crap! What a blast! We ran our first test session with my version of FUDGE and we collectively agreed that it was probably our most entertaining session yet! And that's saying something since this group is in it's 20th session with me. We've been playing 3.5 previously.

The biggest comment by everyone was how easy it was to visualize what was happening and just try things. My players joked about how long we would have been sifting through the rules if they would have played the same way in 3.5.

Simultaneous round combat is a blast! With 3 second rounds, and a single roll determining, initiative, action result and damage, the rounds fly. I made a ton of mistakes during the game and we stopped often to clarify things, and it was still faster than running combat in 3.5. The Non-Linear wound system is BRUTAL! Everyone loved just how gritty the game played, and the system allows for nice and juicy descriptions of every blow.

We even had a grappling moment and it was resolved in about 30 seconds. One of the players, after freeing their chains from their bunks, jumped a guard who was checking in on them and used his arm shackles to choke out the guard while the other two pummeled him.

All in all, despite my newbiness and my player's unfamiliarity with the system, we had a blast. I was really surprised too because I just kinda whipped up a scenario to give us something to play with. I wanted something simple at first, so the slave/pit fighter idea worked really well.

I still have work to do on the system; namely finishing the magic system. I'm getting as close as I can to capturing Conan magic as I can. While it's pretty easy to do in FUDGE, I am taking my time as I learn the system, so that I can hopefully minimize problems down the road.

TO WARZEN:

I'm not an expert with either FUDGE or FATE, but I can kind of give you an idea of the differences. FATE is built on the FUDGE engine. FUDGE itself is not really a roleplaying game. It's more like a GM game designer toolbox. It gives you the base die mechanic and "the ladder", and how to create traits like Attributes, Gifts and Faults. The GM still has to put all these things together in a way that makes sense for their game. So, I think any lack of popularity in FUDGE may be due to the fact that it's not really a "play out of the box" kind of system. It takes some work to build your game. But I can say from personal experience that it has been a very rewarding experience.

FATE is built on the FUDGE chassis, with a couple of major changes. The first of which is phase-based character creation. FATE breaks down character creation into phases, so you basically start at your character's childhood and then use your backstory to build the character, one important life event after the next. There are usually 5-10 phases of character creation. I can see this being a very cool system for players who like to have detailed characters that "make sense". FUDGE also uses an Aspect system. An aspect is just something that is important to the character. It's a free-form system that allows a player to create their own aspects. Aspects are kind of like combining Gifts and Faults together. An Aspect can be voluntarily invoked by the player, or involuntarily invoked by the GM. For exampe, the character may have an Aspect called Contacts. In the character's story, he is friends with the local Duke. The player may invoke this Aspect to ask the Duke for some help in tracking down an individual, using the Duke's resources to help them. Or, the GM may invoke this Aspect involuntarily and have the Duke contact the player for a very important task he'd like the player to complete at an inopportune time. Basically, a player invokes an Aspect for a positive result, and a GM can invoke an Aspect for a potentially negative result.

My group is very interested in the Aspects that FATE uses. So we are going to try creating some new characters using Gifts, Faults and Aspects and see what happens.

Like I said, I'm no expert on FUDGE, but I've read dozens of articles and bought several FUDGE-based games and downloaded a ton of homebrews, so I've learned a lot. And actually playing the game gives you a ton of insight on how it all comes together. The beauty of FUDGE (to me), is that you can make as heavy or light a game as you like.

I'm using a bunch of combat ideas from Mike Harvey, who I consider a FUDGE-Pro. He really helped me create a detailed system that allows for a lot of combat options. My players even stated that they felt they could do a greater variety of things during combat than they could in 3.5.

Part of my excitement is likely "new game smell", but I have also been role-playing long enough to know when I've had a great time with a game. And last night, I had a GREAT time with a game that I barely know and had never run before. That's gotta be a good thing! :D
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Postby warzen » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:18 am

That's really interesting !
Do you think you could post your Conan Fudge modifications somewhere ?

Thx,
W.
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Postby thelevitator » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:42 pm

I'm getting pretty close to having a PDF completed with all of the rules we are using. I've already implemented all of the combat maneuvers and special attacks in Conan to this system, and added more from other FUDGE-based combat systems. The difference though is that in FUDGE combat, anyone can "try" any maneuver, as there won't be prerequisites to attempt them. But some of them will require very high rolls, so a peasant trying to perform a Leaping Charge will likely fall flat on his face and be very vulnerable. I'm also almost finished converting the Conan magic system, which looks like it is converting very easily into the FUDGE system. I also want to implement the racial differences as well, to give the different races the same diversity they have in the ConanD20 game. This is pretty easily done with racial Gifts.

I'm hoping to have the 1st draft in pdf form by next week sometime. To get a handle on the basics of FUDGE, you can download the FUDGE1995 version for free here: http://www.fudgerpg.com/files/pdf/fudge_1995.pdf

If you download this, I can also just send you the changes I've made to the existing system. One of the biggest is the Non-Linear Wound system. It's potentially very brutal! The damage done is based on the individual strike, so a peasant still has a chance of taking down a seasoned warrior with a single blow, albeit a very very small chance. Wounds don' accumulate, but they can have devastating effects on characters and our initial testing shows that fights only last a few rounds; and FUDGE only uses 3 second rounds! :twisted: It has a mook system too, so it's very easy to recreate Conan wading through an army of mooks, taking out 3-4 a round.
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Postby Style » Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:04 pm

That's great, I'm happy for you...and intrigued! Can't wait to see your modifications. Always good to see fellow gamers discover the joys of breaking loose of the D20 straight jacket.
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Postby thelevitator » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:36 am

I'm just getting into the "typing it all up" phase, and this is what I have so far. I'm only about halfway into my outline, as you can see by the headers with no content at the end. As far as Conan-specific stuff, here's what I'm planning on using:

Setting

Geography

Races

Many of the Feats (converted to Gifts)

Equipment

Combat

(Parrying and Dodging is built into the combat
FUDGE uses stances for added tactics, from +2 Attack/-2 Defense to -2 Attack/-2 Defense. DR is also built into the system. I also plan to incorporate the Special Attacks and Combat Maneuvers.)

Magic System

Here's the PDF I'm working on. It's far from complete, but it has an overview of the FUDGE system and some of the character creation process.

http://www.driveway.com/p5i0w2g7k9
warzen
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Postby warzen » Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:03 pm

thelevitator wrote:
Here's the PDF I'm working on. It's far from complete, but it has an overview of the FUDGE system and some of the character creation process.

http://www.driveway.com/p5i0w2g7k9
That's really good !
Thx for sharing.

W.
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Postby rabindranath72 » Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:04 pm

The link is dead :cry:
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Postby thelevitator » Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:44 pm

Oops, sorry about that. I've updated it with the Gifts and Faults. I've also converted the 3.5 standard special attacks (like trip and disarm) and the Conan Combat Maneuvers.

Here is the updated link: http://www.driveway.com/x8r3i9k8v2

I still need to update the grappling rules. I'm going to be using FUDGE Fu as a base. It's much simpler and faster than 3.5 grappling rules to me. But I want to customize it a bit to have more of a Conan flavor.

I'm also getting close to being able to add the magic system. I'm getting as close as I can to the Conan Magic system. It has the same schools of magic, works with Power Points and sorcerers must roll for failure. I am also incorporating Insanity and Corruption as well. I hope to have that finished up and in the PDF by next week.

We are doing some play testing tonight of the combat system. Our last test was a blast; combat was very quick and brutal, even though we didn't have a mastery of the system. Our online group is 23 sessions into a 3.5 campaign, and I think last week, testing CinEpic, was their most fun session. While I'm sure that part of has to do with CinEpic's "new car smell", I also think that we are all getting a little burned out on the d20 mechanic a bit. I don't think anyone in our group dislikes d20, but we've all been pretty d20 faithful for the last 5 years or so. And as most of the players in my online group are more into the roleplaying aspects than the game aspects of RPG's, I think we are all looking forward to a game that is designed to be more character-driven with a simpler dice mechanic, looser rules, and no classes. It's not necessarily better, just different, and I think we are ready for a change of scenery.

I'll report back our experience with the Conan Combat Maneuvers effects in our system. :)
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Postby thelevitator » Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:56 am

For anyone who has been taking a look at what we've been developing, this posts includes the link for the latest version.

At the moment, I have Code of Honor and Reputation in place, but they need polish. Reputation is simplified to go work better with FUDGE. I like the concept of a Code of Honor in relation to the Conan setting, but I'm going to make these Aspects, instead of a separate stat, which means a Code of Honor will work very differently, mechanically speaking, in CinEpic than it does in Conan.

I've been doing a lot of work on this system and I've actually gotten some interest in quite a few people on seeing a finished project. I wasn't originally putting this together with the thought that other GM's may want to run it. My first intention was to port the D20 Conan over to a FUDGE-based system. But now that I have people interested in my system as possibly one they might try, I don't want to just clone the Conan game.

For one, I have too much respect for the people who designed the Conan D20 game, and I wouldn't feel right to just take their game and convert it to a different system. Plus, I'm not sure about the legalities of distributing a system, even a free one, with other people's system ideas in it. The FUDGE license is free, as long as you include the disclaimer. I think I would only try to do a straight Conan conversion with the permission of the folks here at Mongoose. Man, would I be thrilled if they actually wanted to explore that! :)

So now, I'm scaling things back and going more generic with the system. Some of the core ideas will be there, like having cool combat maneuvers for characters to try in combat, but they will be different in both name and mechanics to avoid stepping on any toes.

We ran another combat test tonight and it was really fun. I introduced Hedge Magick and Clerical Magick to my game. These are more subtle, skills-based versions of the regular magick of the game, which are Supernatural and Natural Magic. They worked well, and their freeform nature provided some really interesting ideas. For example, with Hedge Magic, you can combine your Healing Skill and your Herb Lore Skill to make a healing salve. Or you can combine your Craft Skill and your Camouflage Skill to create a Camouflage Cloak. Or you could combine your Detect Lie and Herb Lore Skills to create a truth serum. It's a system that encourages player creativity and doesn't restrict them to a strict set of spells.

Supernatural and Natural magic will have spell effects, but the aspects of each spell will have many variables to allow the caster to manipulate the magick and customize it to the situation at hand. You'll be able to alter many things like casting time, range, duration, area of effect, etc. This will make the system a little more free-form, but still have structure to keep things consistent. I'm hoping to have the magick system completed by next week, in time for our next game test.

So, my goal is still very much a "Conanesque" Sword & Sorcery game, but with the increased interest in it, I don't want to just rip off other ideas. I'm going to make the game a bit more generic and setting-free for now. I think that once I get the system solidified, I will be able to crank out a setting for it, or at least supply enough information for people to create their own settings or use whatever published settings they like.

While my players haven't played ConanD20 yet, they are all playing in my highly bastardized version of 3.5 which is much more Sword & Sorcery than the Core 3.5 system. They have all said that the FUDGE system feels better suited to a gritty and realistic Sword & Sorcery playing style than a D20-based system. I even had a FUDGE pro jump in our test tonight and he said the system has a ton of potential and "felt" very "Conanish". That really meant a lot to me and has encouraged my to really flesh this thing out as quickly as I can.


I haven't had time to strip out all of the Conan-inspired stuff, but here's the latest version of the PDF, if anyone is interested.

BTW, if anyone wants to see it in action, I'm having another playtest next Monday, from 4-7 PST. We usually go a little longer than that, but I don't want to be committed to anything longer than a few hours. Just PM me here and I can send you all the info you need to join us!

The only 2 things you need are Skype for voicechat, and MapTools, which we use for our virtual tabletop. Here are all the links:

Latest CinEpic pdf (still far from finished): http://www.driveway.com/j9d4b0s1s8


Skype for voice chat (it's free, you just need to set up an account): http://www.skype.com

My Skype handle is: thelevitator

And Maptools (also free, don't need a user account):http://rptools.net/doku.php?id=home

Just look down the left-hand side for the Development version of MapTools. It's version 1.3.b34. This is the "quickstart" version of Maptools. it loads with the default 256Mb allocated. You need at least Java 5 for it to work.

Or, you can download the full version from this link: http://www.driveway.com/l1i7t4z7f4

This version has a 512Mb version and a 1Gb version, for those of you who have the memory available to run them.

I come to this forum every day, so feel free to ask any questions about the game or for help in getting everything set up to join us next Monday. :)

One quick warning (my players have mentioned that a warning may be necessary) CinEpic is a much "looser" system than D20. It was specifically designed to give the players more options and choices with how to play their characters and as such, plays very differently from 3.5. The biggest change to get used to is the Simultaneous Rounds system, and honestly; it's my favorite part of FUDGE, next to the dice mechanic. Simultaneous Rounds, at first glance, appears to be a simplified version of the much more popular (and used by ConanD20) Alternating Rounds system. But in actuality, Rounds are only 3 seconds in CinEpic, so you could view it as even a bit more detailed than standard D20 combat. What makes it play much faster is that everything is determined with a single opposed roll. A single roll determines if you hit, how well you hit, how much damage you dealt, if your opponent hit, how well they hit you, and how much damage you took. It's basically several different sets of modifiers using the same roll, which feels more realistic to me. The combat in FUDGE-based games is based on Relative Degree, and the granularity of the mechanics makes it easy to determine quickly.

OK, I'm babbling again. Please come and check it out if you are interested. And you can just observe if you like, you don't have to run a character. Although, I highly recommend it!

:D
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Postby Voltumna » Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:54 am

I have been trying to download the pdf, but the link seems to be dead. Any chance of making it available somewhere? Thanks.
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thelevitator
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Postby thelevitator » Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:02 am

Oh wow! I had nearly forgotten that I even had a thread here related to my game. :)

Just a couple quick things. The first of which is that my Driveway account had some problems after they had some server issues. Since then I've switched to Dropbox, which is way easier to use and a much more direct connection with my game testers.

The other thing is that the game has evolved a lot since last July. The combat system is much "heavier", using the FUDGE Martial Arts system as a basis for the entire melee combat system. This allows for complete combat styles with moves and combos. The system allows players to create their own combat styles too. I've also replaced Gifts/Faults with Aspects. After play testing with both ideas, people just really seemed to enjoy Aspects more. I also found them using them more often than Gifts/Faults. I'm using the same basic Aspect system as FATE, but the resource management is different. The magic system is also refined a bit too, using a combination of the 4-by-5 magic system (home brew system) and the "Door To Shadow" magic system in FATE.

I have created new editable character sheets. I've also come up with a phased method of character creation that has gotten a really good response. I've created a worksheet for players to create their characters using this method.

If you are interested in taking a look at the game, just PM me with an email address that I can send it to. I hope for some feedback when you get a chance. :)
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Postby Mankcam » Fri May 08, 2009 12:57 pm

FUDGE would be a great fit for a Hyborian campaign, probably moreso than the D20 system. But Savage Worlds would do it even better, its got the simplicity of FUDGE, with fast crunchy combat, and its easy for players to learn. Kudos for FUDGE, but you can't go wrong with a Savage Worlds Conan
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Postby zorlak21 » Sat May 09, 2009 4:50 pm

True20 is the d20 system for beginning get a look at it
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Postby Mankcam » Sat May 09, 2009 11:43 pm

Yep, True20 is another good system, much better than D&D, simplified and logical - its quite easy to convert Mongoose Conan to True20 Conan, although its so similar that there wouldn't be much point really.

I don't own any D&D anymore, my True20 is the closest I have along with Mongoose Conan; both systems show what can be done with D20 OGL.

I do tend to prefer Savage Worlds these days for even more simplicity, as it allows me to focus on story over stats (as far as a GM goes). From a PC point of view, however, True20 is just as fun as SW in my opinion.

Both systems works great for Hyboria.
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Postby Mankcam » Sat May 09, 2009 11:54 pm

I'ld just like to add that I'ld love to see Hybora officially tweaked for use with either Savage Worlds or FUDGE; they both are loose systems and suit pulp action sword'n'sorcery very well.

You never know, Mongoose may be interested in branching out; they've got all the great backround resources already there, it wouldn't take much to have stat changes; its getting the licenses unfortunately

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