FUDGE Conan!

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FUDGE Conan!

Postby thelevitator » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:27 pm

OK, so first off, I'm a latecomer to FUDGE. But I've been reading everything I can get my hands on for the last couple of months and I gotta say that this might be the most amazing thing I've ever seen in gaming. The dice mechanic is simple and elegant and the system lends itself to any amount of customization you desire.

To that end, I'm working very hard on a Conanesque version of FUDGE. I worked very hard on converting DM Genie to run Conan, but as I got into it, I found myself frustrated with D20. I've been running multiple 3.5 campaigns for the last 5 years or so, and it took me a long time to realize that it's just not the system for me.

I've spent my entire RPG life trying to cram my GM'ing style into various systems and trying to beat them into submission with houserules. I think I've finally found a way to design a system around my GM'ing style. I am convinced that this will be a much more fun game for my players, because I'll be more comfortable with it.

So now that my long-winded introduction is out of the way; I'd love to know if anyone here has tried FUDGE, especially with a Conan setting?

I hope I don't get into trouble by talking about another system here, but it seems to be one of the only Conan RPG forums I can find. :)
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Postby Ichabod » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:29 pm

Used FUDGE for a Camelot campaign I ran. My mistake was not thinking through combat better. I could never get the combat mechanics to work the way I wanted them to. FUDGE allows for a huge amount of customization, but that just means you need to know what you are doing up front rather than having a system in place that may or may not be broken. I also didn't have a magic system, just assigning ranks for things as if they were skills.

For rules light resolution, it should work fine. If you want to have a detailed combat or magic resolution system, you may want to playtest different rules.

Note that Spirit of the Century seems to be an in game and it is a FUDGE variant. I find it to be needlessly complex, failing to capture why I would use FUDGE in the first place.
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Postby kintire » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:56 am

I find Fudge is great for a rapid on off game. If you have a few friends, you want to play something and you don't want to spend more than five minutes on chracter generation, it rocks.

Its a little limited for a full campaign though.
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Postby FuryMaster » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:31 pm

The forthcoming Dresden Files RPG using the Fudge/Fate system will add an awsome magic system and gritty combat that should easily be usable for Conan and other fantasy settings. For my money though I think Savage Worlds is the system for Conan if you don't want to use D20
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Postby thelevitator » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:19 pm

While I haven't been much interested in modern settings, I'm definitely looking forward to taking a look at the Dresden File RPG.

I agree that the standard FUDGE isn't really set up for long-term campaigns. Most of what has been written by its creators and contributors supports this. That said, it is a very easy system to modify to accommodate a long-term campaign.

I think someone used to the "gimme! gimme! gimme!" feel of D20, where acquiring things like levels, HP, magic items, and feats is considered character development, might have a hard time with a FUDGE-based system at first. In FUDGE, you start out as someone who can actually make a difference in the world. You aren't quite as squishy as a beginning character in most D20 games. I've also read that many people used to a class/level RPG often struggle with classless/levelless RPG's, and vice-versa.

Personally, I feel like FUDGE does a better job of addressing a long-term campaign because of its modularity, and the fact that you don't have to play 3-4 levels before you actually start to feel like a hero. Part of my frustration with D20 in general is its reliance on acquisition of new things, rather than improving existing traits. I've been running multiple 3.5 games for almost 5 years now, and I'm still amazed when characters froth at the mouth for a particular feat or spell or item, only to get it and rarely use it. It's especially frustrating for me as a GM because I design every session around what my characters have as tools at their disposal. So it's not like they aren't getting the opportunity. It just seems that for some people, it's more about the build, or "collecting" things for their characters, rather than character development. I'm not against that style of gaming, but I have come to realize that it's not my strong suit.

The bottom line is that I feel like I've been trying to cram my GM'ing style into a game not designed for my gaming style and that I've been trying to force it into submission with house rules, in order to run a game that matches my GM'ing style. Of all of the D20 games I've played, Conan definitely comes the closest to my gaming style, but it still has inherent qualities (like classes and levels) that I struggle with from a conceptual point of view.

I believe that any system can be used to create any type of game a GM wants to run. But I also believe that there are different design philosophies that will appeal more to some GM's than others.

And for me, I feel like it's time for me to design a game system around my GM'ing style, rather than try and force a game system into working with my GM'ing style. If nothing else, I think it will be an eye-opening experience for me and will teach me even more about myself as a gamer. At the worst, I may find some ways to further tweak D20 to work better with my gaming style.

I've heard fantastic things about Savage Worlds, and just picked up the Savage Worlds Explorer Edition. I can't wait to take a peek under the hood. :) :)

Part of the beauty of FUDGE is the fact that you can make it as ambiguous or grainy as you like. For me, the true beauty of FUDGE lies in it's dice mechanic and it's relativity philosophy. Those are two features that have actually made creating a magic and combat system easy and fun for me. For some people FUDGE is about a no-frills system that allows quick character creation and fast play. But others have created fantastically detailed and well-developed versions of FUDGE that rival some rules-heavy systems. I think there is a popular misconception that FUDGE only facilitates rules-light fast play for one-shots. While the standard version of FUDGE leans this way, it actually takes very little to add what you need to create a fully-fledged gaming system that takes advantage of FUDGE's elegant dice mechanic and philosophy of relativity. It's easy to forget that FUDGE isn't really an RPG anyways. It's really a toolkit with which to design your own RPG.

I can understand why it's not as popular as it is, because it's not a "play out of the box" RPG, but rather a set of guidelines to assist you in creating your own RPG. And that takes work that some people would rather not deal with. I personally have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of molding and shaping an RPG around my GM'ing style, but I can certainly see that aspect lacking appeal with other GM's who don't have the time or desire to create a system.

But some pretty decent systems (of course, just my opinion) have been built on the FUDGE chassis like Fate and Spirit of the Century. I think if there were a few more "play out of the box" games based on FUDGE, it would be a more popular game.

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I wasn't sure what kind of response I would get here, but this forum never disappoints me. :)
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Postby Style » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:22 pm

thelevitator wrote:I've heard fantastic things about Savage Worlds, and just picked up the Savage Worlds Explorer Edition. I can't wait to take a peek under the hood. :) :)
I also run Savage Worlds, and am extremely happy.
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Postby Hervé » Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:46 am

Savage Worlds deserves its motto: Fast, Fun & Furious. I like this.
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Postby Hervé » Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:54 am

Savage Worlds deserves its motto: Fast, Fun & Furious. I like this.
The SW Solomon Kane book realy rocks, and it's Howard stuff. Don't miss it! :wink:
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Postby kintire » Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:57 am

I think someone used to the "gimme! gimme! gimme!" feel of D20, where acquiring things like levels, HP, magic items, and feats is considered character development, might have a hard time with a FUDGE-based system at first.
I think you should be wary about this type of argument. There are some people who have rather more thought out reasons to prefer one system over another, and branding them as "gimme gimme" players is not very constructive.
Personally, I feel like FUDGE does a better job of addressing a long-term campaign because of its modularity, and the fact that you don't have to play 3-4 levels before you actually start to feel like a hero.
Well, you don't actually have to play those levels in Conan either. We routinely start games with level 5 characters.
Part of my frustration with D20 in general is its reliance on acquisition of new things, rather than improving existing traits.
As far as Conan is concerned, when you develop your character you get access to different things you can do. There are those of us who like that. A Conan character at level 10 can be using very different tactics than he was at five. If you just improve his existing traits, he'll be doing exactly the same thing, but with bigger numbers.
While the standard version of FUDGE leans this way, it actually takes very little to add what you need to create a fully-fledged gaming system that takes advantage of FUDGE's elegant dice mechanic and philosophy of relativity.
I am not certain what you mean by philosophy of relativity, but Fudge's dice mechanic, while elegant, is not without problems. Most notably, it is very granular. In D20, with a variance of 20 points on a falt spread, a character with even a five point difference in skill still has a chance of victory, and a group of weaker attackers still pose a threat to a strong one. With Fudge, even a one point difference in skill spells probable defeat, and a two point difference is more or less at the "don't even bother rolling" level. That has a tendency to make all contests either random (for even matches) or predetermined. I prefer a slightly more sliding scale.
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Postby thelevitator » Mon Jun 09, 2008 4:52 pm

Sorry about that Kintire. I didn't mean it as a slam. I mean, I've been playing D&D since 1981, so it's not that I dislike it as a system. But I've also been playing it long enough to feel like I do have a valid opinion on the acquisitional nature of D20. The game is built on classes and levels, and the way to improve your character is to acquire new levels and abilities.

My point was that a system with such a wide range in power levels (1-20 and even higher for some groups) pretty much requires an acquisitional mindset as a player. I never said this was wrong. My point was that I felt that personally I was looking for something with a different structure. It seems to me that FUDGE emphasizes a different play style. There wouldn't be much point to trying a different system if it was just like the system you are already playing.

Starting at higher than 1st level does bring the power spread a little closer together; that's a great point. In a way, I think that pretty much emulates level-less games a bit in that the characters aren't so squishy out of the gate. The only problem I've had doing that in D&D is likely due to the fact that I have a lot of newer players in my games. And D&D 3.5 is a pretty intense system in the rules department, so handing a fairly new player a 4th level character can be a bit overwhelming for them. There's just so much to know with 3.5, and playing a mid-level character well almost requires a solid knowledge of the game, its rules and its mechanics. When I've tried starting out newer players higher than first, many times they end up neglecting a lot of things their characters can do because they are unfamiliar with them.

In FUDGE, you can add gifts and skills to your character, just like D&D. So, it's not true that a FUDGE character is the same from start to finish. The primary difference between the two is that FUDGE is modular, and you have much more choice as to how the character is developed. In D&D, levels handle much of the advancement of the character. Once again, I don't believe there's necessarily anything wrong with that. I just want to try something a little different, where players have a little more control over the evolution of their characters.

You are dead on in regards to the granularity of FUDGE in comparison to D20. But to me, that is its elegance. And many people would argue that FUDGE's system is a little closer to "the real thing", where a Good swordsman will be a Mediocre swordsman in most cases. And I agree, that with Vanilla Fudge, there aren't a whole lot of variables involved with determining success or failure.

That, to me, is the beauty of FUDGE. It's not really an RPG, but more a GM game designer's toolkit. There are tons of versions of FUDGE out there with highly detailed combat systems, including Armor as DR, advanced initiative systems, weapon speeds, etc. A GM has the tools available to make their combat as simple or complex as they like.

One thing I've always liked about D20 is that you can customize it. I am currently running a highly modified version of D&D, with dozens of houserules. I think that being able to tweak a system is key to a GM who wants to run a game that most closely mirrors his/her gaming style and the type of campaign they wish their players to experience. D&D is a good system for tweakers, but I feel like FUDGE is a bit better because it was specifically designed with tweaking in mind. In fact, I don't think I would enjoy Vanilla FUDGE at all, because its a bit too ambiguous for my tastes.

I didn't mean to offend people who are in love with the D20 system. I've been running 3.5 D20 for almost 5 years with a tabletop group and 2 online groups. I will always run at least 1 D&D game, because it was the first system I ever played, and I have a sentimental attachment to it. I've also been playing D&D for almost 30 years, so it has a high comfort level for me.

I just personally feel like I want a little something different than D&D right now, and I think FUDGE has a design that really caters to my playing style. I was hoping to find others who have tried FUDGE that might have some feedback on adapting it to the Conan game world. It was not my intention to ruffle feathers.
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Postby kintire » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:08 am

Sorry about that Kintire. I didn't mean it as a slam.
That's okay. Similar slams have been done so often in the past that I may be getting a little oversensitive...
My point was that a system with such a wide range in power levels (1-20 and even higher for some groups) pretty much requires an acquisitional mindset as a player. I never said this was wrong. My point was that I felt that personally I was looking for something with a different structure
Depends how you run it. One of my favourite Conan games, for example was a short campaign where we began at level 7 and never gained a level.
The only problem I've had doing that in D&D is likely due to the fact that I have a lot of newer players in my games. And D&D 3.5 is a pretty intense system in the rules department, so handing a fairly new player a 4th level character can be a bit overwhelming for them. There's just so much to know with 3.5, and playing a mid-level character well almost requires a solid knowledge of the game, its rules and its mechanics.
Well, this is certainly true. Especially for spell casters. For a first time roleplayer I would seriously consider FUDGE there's no doubt about that.
In FUDGE, you can add gifts and skills to your character, just like D&D.
Yes, but the problem is that they matter too much, and too little. Too much, because even a slight alteration of The Number is a major thing, and too little because actually The Number is all that matters, and it isn't really important how you got there. In Conan, a Thief with a low attack but high Sneak Attack bonus, a barbarian with high attack and damage but low defense and a soldier with high attack, low damage and high DV and armour fight in very different ways. In fact, even that soldier will fight differently if he has different feat layouts. In FUDGE, its about being Good, great Superb or Legendary, and however you get there its the same.
You are dead on in regards to the granularity of FUDGE in comparison to D20. But to me, that is its elegance. And many people would argue that FUDGE's system is a little closer to "the real thing", where a Good swordsman will be a Mediocre swordsman in most cases.
I'm not totally happy with the d20, its true. Its a large variation, and its a flat distribution too, so a 20 is as likely as a 10. I have utterly junked the system in the latest version of Conan where you roll magic attack and the save: With bonuses around the 5-10 mark a 40 point variation in the random element is far too big.

With FUDGE, though, the pendulum has swung too far the other way. Its inflexible. For example, in Conan you can have some interesting manipulations of the figures. Take Power attack for example. Lower chance to hit vs increased damage? interesting tactical choice. In FUDGE, any similar idea is out the window. Lower skill for... no.. stop right there. Lower skill = Death. Its also quite hard to have enemies at any threat level apart from Little/Exactly Even/Huge.
I didn't mean to offend people who are in love with the D20 system.
Well, lets not go mad here. I am not in love with the base D20 system, and though the Conan system is much better, I have my reservations!
I just personally feel like I want a little something different than D&D right now, and I think FUDGE has a design that really caters to my playing style. I was hoping to find others who have tried FUDGE that might have some feedback on adapting it to the Conan game world.
A worthy goal. And here's some feedback for you: I have played a good deal of FUDGE, and I think you will find it excellent for scenarios in the Conan game world. It is simple, easy to design characters and very fast paced. But I think you will find it too limited to sustain a longer campaign.
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Postby rabindranath72 » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:33 pm

I have been quite happy with Castles & Crusades, rules light and flexible.
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Postby Style » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:44 pm

rabindranath72 wrote:I have been quite happy with Castles & Crusades, rules light and flexible.
Players who are big D20 fans would argue with you that it's not flexible. From a character build perspective, they've got a point. You have three options: race, class (with no multi-classing available), and prime abilities. That's it.

A friend sent me a class-less C&C one time. It was pretty brilliant.
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Postby thelevitator » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:36 pm

Thanks for the great discussion everyone! In regards to FUDGE, I fully plan to implement a lot of the additions out there to make it a bit crunchier than Vanilla FUDGE or even the Fantasy FUDGE. There are combat systems out there that have a little more range, so that you can create a combat system that allows for a lot more modifiers. Just by adding +'s to each level (Good, Good+, Great, Great+, etc.), you double the effective range of FUDGE. I read that they even have a special die for this set up.

The tight spread does make modifiers more signifigant, but for complex tasks, I think I'd like this as it does take some of the randomness. We use complex rolls a lot in our 3.5 game. Multiple rolls with a lower target make the game a little more suspenseful. Instead of having a thief have to beat a DC25 once, you have the thief make 3 rolls at DC15. In my narrative, it creates suspense because I can describe it as tripping each tumbler. It feels like it puts more emphasis on proficiency, and it "slows down" the moment and makes it a bigger moment. I plan to do this with my version of FUDGE as well, and the internal consistency and tighter spread might make this style of conflict resolution a little most accurate.

One easy solution to the tight range of FUDGE dice that I was considering was to actually just add a 5th die roll, that is not counted in the pool. The 5th die would represent the -,0, or + on an expanded scale. My only problem with this would be in creating enough adjectives to cover the expanded scale. One of the things I like about FUDGE is that it uses words in the ladder, like Mediocre and Great. Even though the words really just stand for numbers, I would prefer to use words wherever possible as "gamespeak" kinda breaks the mood for me. My biggest problem with 3.5 is how much "gamespeak" slips into the games. I'm hopeful that FUDGE will minimize and nearly eliminate game terminology leaking into the game. I think that gamespeak is more prevalent in rules-heavy systems because there are so many things to account for, that it's almost necessary in order for a player to accurately describe what their character is doing. I think gamespeak is also part of a player's style, in that some people just prefer to use gamespeak in character, and some just describe their actions and let the GM figure out all the math. My experience has been though, that my 3.5 games have more gamespeakers than other games I've either run or participated in as a player.

Like kintire, I do really like occasionally running short campaigns that are designed to hover around a particular power level. I've always preferred gritty sword and sorcery over epic high fantasy as both a player and GM. I really do think that Conan D20 does a pretty damn good job of toning 3.5 down from high fantasy and making it more Sword & Sorcery. But I still find the system (Conan D20) to be a really "big" system compared to others out there. That's I wanted to try something like FUDGE. But I know that Vanilla FUDGE or even FUDGE Fantasy is TOO light for my tastes. I'm currently borrowing ideas from Spirit of the Century and FATE in addition with ideas from other FUDGE gamers to create a FUDGE system that closely mirrors Conan D20's idea of the Conan world.

I still love some aspects of 3.5. I am just at a point where I want to try out some other systems and see what kind of feel they lend to the game. I am definitely interested in checking out Savage Worlds, and I recently joined a PBP game using the Action! ruleset.

I am playing a C&C PBP game right now. I can't say much about the system itself, because it is a very intrigue/story driven group, so we don't have a lot combat. What I have seen so far has been a lot of fun, and it does seem "lighter" than standard 3.5.

If nothing else, designing my own game with the help of the FUDGE ruleset has taught me a lot about my own gaming style and also what I like and don't like about other systems. If I never complete it, I can at least take away that experience and apply it to other games. :)
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Postby Ichabod » Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:00 pm

It pains me what other people consider high fantasy. I would never associate D&D, for instance, with high fantasy.
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Postby thelevitator » Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:04 pm

While I didn't mean to cause anyone any pain, I don't see how calling a game where you can gain superhuman powers and fight the gods themselves "high fantasy" is such a stretch that it would pain someone at the thought.

If D&D isn't high fantasy, I'm scared to know what qualifies for the title. :roll:
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Postby thelevitator » Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:37 pm

Sooooooo.....getting back to the topic of the thread.

kintire, are you familiar with a .pdf called "Getting the 'Edge' Over Your Opponents" by Lee Valentine?

It basically outlines the issue of granularity in FUDGE and addresses it with the Edge Concept. Basically, instead of the Good, Good+, Great, Great+ idea of adding range to the ladder, you instead go to thirds. So you have Fair-, Fair, Fair+, Good-, Good, Good+, etc.

It seems like a pretty easy addition, and the beauty of it (for me) is that it only has to be used in areas where the standard ladder doesn't give enough of a spread.

It apparently makes it easier to determine bonuses as well, because you can differentiate between major (+1 or better) bonuses and "Edges" that add an incremental bonus.

I think this might do a decent job of handling situations like combat, where you want a little more range to account for lots of situational modifiers.

If you haven't read it and are interested, I'd be happy to send it to you. It's a free .pdf, I just can't remember where I downloaded it.
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Postby Ichabod » Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:17 am

thelevitator wrote:While I didn't mean to cause anyone any pain, I don't see how calling a game where you can gain superhuman powers and fight the gods themselves "high fantasy" is such a stretch that it would pain someone at the thought.

If D&D isn't high fantasy, I'm scared to know what qualifies for the title. :roll:
Have you ever seen D&D played in a way that comes remotely close to simulating fantasy fiction written prior to its existence?

High fantasy is not about defined power levels. This is exactly why D&D is a horrendous system for simulating it. Frodo is not a 20th level anything, he's an everyman who also happens to have unique qualities that cannot be defined in a game like D&D that make him the only one who can save the world. He's entirely typical in high fantasy in this regard. Characters in sword and sorcery, or even low fantasy (which seems to have hardly any definition), are more likely to be of a higher competence level with more impressive abilities than many a key character in high fantasy.

Then, even when the characters do demonstrate abilities far beyond the norm, it's not in a "I just levelled up, now I can do this" way. Characters can transform to where the analog in D&D would be going from 5th to epic levels in the length of a scene.

As for rolling your eyes, it scares me to think that people can't see the difference between a considerable amount of fantasy fiction typified with Lord of the Rings and the playing of D&D. This is what pains me - that there's no common language or context to put discussion in to where discussion then becomes meaningless. By calling videogame fantasy high fantasy, you deprive high fantasy of any special meaning.
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Postby thelevitator » Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:02 am

Sorry about the rolling eyes emoticon, I meant to use the :shock: emoticon. I get what you are saying to an extent, but I tend not to think of terms like "high fantasy" and "sword & sorcery" from an all-encompassing sense, but more from strictly an RPG sense. I don't read a lot of fantasy fiction, and I don't rely on them for ideas or as a basis of definition. That is probably where our disconnect is coming from.

I can see where avid players may find the distinction more important. I, as an example am much more particular about names, definitions and titles in drumming, because it is a passion of mine. While I consider myself an avid gamer, I'm not nearly as passionate as many that I meet in person or online. I haven't played a ton of systems. I haven't read shelves of fantasy fiction. I guess I consider myself "seriously casual". So, to me, high fantasy is a world with lots of magic and fantastical creatures. High fantasy, to me, is a world filled with heroes who are superhuman and can do things that nobody in the real world can do.

That said, it's not like you can't have an everyday normal person be the hero in a high fantasy world, or a sword & sorcery world, for that matter.

The terms themselves are subjective, and open to personal interpretation. My focus in defining something as either "high fantasy" or "sword & sorcery" has very little to do with the individual characters. My perspective comes from the world itself, and what composes it. By those conditions, a world where eloquently speaking dragons are a commonality is to me, high fantasy. A world with elves, dwarves, gnomes, and pixies is, to me, high fantasy. A world where magical items abound and there are spellcasters in every city is, to me, high fantasy. While D&D may not make the grade as High Fantasy in the fantasy fiction world, I personally feel that it more than qualifies in the RPG world.

I don't think that defined power levels have anything to do with whether or not D&D is High Fantasy or not. Defined power levels are not necessary in fantasy fiction, and I doubt that many writers even consider defined power levels as any kind of criteria for writing their stories. Game designers, however, seem to place some importance on the ability for a game to define its world, in order to make it playable. How in the heck do you roleplay if you don't know how the world works in which your character exists? I mean, I can understand if you are doing interactive storytelling, but most roleplaying games are that; games. And games need rules and precedents in order for the players of those games to understand how the world works and know what to expect when their characters take certain actions.

I'm not trying to openly disagree with you. It's just my opinion that RPG's are designed differently than fantasy fiction stories and are meant to serve different purposes. Fantasy fiction is one-way. There's a story, and you read it. The author doesn't have to concern themselves with defined power levels or how combat works. RPG's are two-2way. In order for it to work, people playing the RPG need to have a general understanding of the physics ans nature of the world, because they can affect what happens to their characters, unlike a fantasy fiction novel. Defined power levels help to "make sense" of the world and give the players an overview and feel for the game. And it's a game, using some kind of random mechanic that is modified by whatever the rules need in order to give the world consistency. They each have a different goal, so I don't really understand the relevance of using the idea of defined power levels as a way of comparison or as a way to define what is or isn't High Fantasy.

I think the main problem we are currently having is that I'm talking about RPG's and you are talking about fantasy fiction novels. I personally believe that High Fantasy carries a different definition for each medium.

But once again, all of this drolling on is just my opinion and doesn't mean anything to anyone but me. I'd rather not have academic discussions of subjective terms in this particular thread. I'm mostly interested in getting feedback on how to create a Conanesque world using the FUDGE mechanic. Whether it ends up being seen as a High Fantasy game or a Sword & Sorcery game, really doesn't matter to me. By my personal definition, Conan is a Sword & Sorcery RPG. My intent is to capture that same feel with the FUDGE game mechanic.
kintire
Greater Spotted Mongoose
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Postby kintire » Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:57 am

High fantasy is not about defined power levels. This is exactly why D&D is a horrendous system for simulating it. Frodo is not a 20th level anything, he's an everyman who also happens to have unique qualities that cannot be defined in a game like D&D that make him the only one who can save the world. He's entirely typical in high fantasy in this regard.
Yes, but Lord of the Rings isn't very high fantasy. It isn't gritty either, but magic is on the rare side and most people, while heroic, operate within credible human limits. Unlike the Belgariad, for example, where the protagonist can literally reshape geography on a massive scale and sorcerers are like gods.
Characters in sword and sorcery, or even low fantasy (which seems to have hardly any definition), are more likely to be of a higher competence level with more impressive abilities than many a key character in high fantasy.
Higher competence level, maybe, but not more impressive abilities. R.E Feist's protagonists in his later series can reshape reality at whim, and Belgarion can level cities with a single word.
As for rolling your eyes, it scares me to think that people can't see the difference between a considerable amount of fantasy fiction typified with Lord of the Rings and the playing of D&D.
Well, calm yourself. I suspect this is a very rare condition, and I've seen no sign of it around here.

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