Fudge Tags: ASCB Accelerated

A while ago I was chatting with Capheind (“Cap”), host of the Plus or Minus Podcast, about ASCB Fudge. While I thought the system had some good ideas while reading it, I also felt like the system needed to be simplified a bit for my taste. Mainly how it handled character creation and task resolution. And then Cap made an ingenious suggestion:

Capheind: “I was thinking about ASCB and thinking; what if you just picked a culture, two professions (indicating training), three aptitudes, and four specialties of your aptitudes. Then, whenever you need to make your roll you do so with a +1 for each of those that was applicable. You could (on rare occasions) get +4, but mostly it’d be +1 or +2.”

And from that message I made my own spin of the system to create a brand new way of playing Fudge.

Tagging Your Character

Background History

Think about your character’s concept, then boil it down to one sentence containing one culture and two professions. This sentence will provide you with your first three tags and the basis from which you’ll build the rest of your character. I’m planning to run a wild west solo game, so I come up with a character that suits this concept:

Joe O’Hare, [Texan] [Outlaw] turned Christian [Preacher]

Joe used to be a dirty bandit and your typical outlaw gunman. One day during a shoot-out, he ran inside a church, bleeding all over. He knelt in front of a statue of Mary and promised that if his life were spared, he would become a good man of God and never do a bad deed again. The other bandits that were chasing him that day were caught by the sheriff, who, for whatever reason, decided not to go into the church. Joe’s life was spared and he fulfilled his promise.

Aptitudes and Specialties

Next, you’ll have to choose your character’s Aptitudes and Specialties. Aptitudes are broad categories of skills related to a theme. The Animal Aptitude, for instance, deals with skills related to animal handling and knowledge, while the Covert Aptitude deals with sneaky and illegal skills like forgery and hiding in the shadows.

For a full description of each Aptitude check out this Dorkland! article

Specialties are the skills you will use in your rolls. Each Specialty is tied to a parent Aptitude: Meditation is a Spiritual Aptitude while Seduction is a Social Aptitude.There is no set list of Specialties, so players are free to choose whatever they want as long as it fits one Aptitude.

The default setup for character creation allows a character to have 4 Specialties under 3 different Aptitudes, like so:

Aᴘᴛɪᴛᴜᴅᴇ 1: [Specialty] [Specialty] [Specialty] [Specialty]
Aᴘᴛɪᴛᴜᴅᴇ 2: [Specialty] [Specialty] [Specialty] [Specialty]
Aᴘᴛɪᴛᴜᴅᴇ 3: [Specialty] [Specialty] [Specialty] [Specialty]

For Joe, this setup would look something like this:

Fɪɢʜᴛɪɴ’: [Brawlin’] [Dodgin’] [Revolver] [Rifle]
Sᴏᴜʟ: [Preachin’] [Blessin’] [Prayin’] [Bible Lore]
Pᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ Sᴍᴀʀᴛs: [Persuadin’] [Lyin’] [Intimidatin’] [Calmin’ People]

Alternatively: each player has 12 free Specialty tags to build their character with and they can arrange their set of tags in any way they want.They could have 3 aptitudes with 4 tags or 4 aptitudes with a 4, 3,3,2 pyramid of tags. It’s also possible to buy a +2 for double the points. I can make Joe’s tags look like this with this method:

Fɪɢʜᴛɪɴ’: [Brawlin’] [Dodgin’] [Shootin’ +2]
Sᴏᴜʟ: [Preachin’ +2] [Blessin’ +2]
Pᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ Sᴍᴀʀᴛs: [Persuadin’] [Lyin’]

This method can potentially generate characters with less specialties overall if the player opts for buying more +2 tags, reducing the range of situations that they could be useful in, but makes them better at dealing with specific situations.

Gifts and Faults

Optionally, Gifts and Faults can also be treated as tags in addition to other effects they may have. Gifts are treated as +2 tags and Faults are treated as -2 tags for price and effect. Instead of adding them to your roll as you would a normal tag, you have to invoke Gifts with Fudge Points and gain one point back when the GM invokes a Fault against you. I’ll pick one Fault and one Gift (Flaw and Edge):

Eᴅɢᴇ: [Heavenly Luck]
Fʟᴀᴡ: [Vice: Smoking]

Character Sheet

And we’re done! Joe’s sheet will look something like this now:

Joe O’Hare
Hɪsᴛᴏʀʏ: [Texan] [Outlaw] turned [Christian Preacher]
Fɪɢʜᴛɪɴ’: [Brawlin’] [Dodgin’] [Revolver] [Rifle]
Sᴏᴜʟ: [Preachin’] [Blessin’] [Prayin’] [Bible Lore]
Pᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ Sᴍᴀʀᴛs: [Persuadin’] [Lyin’] [Intimidatin’] [Calmin’ People]
Eᴅɢᴇ: [Heavenly Luck] Fʟᴀᴡ: [Vice: Smoking]

Tagging your Rolls

When one or more tags could apply we add them to the roll. But if we are adding two or more tags for a roll, but one of them is from a different Aptitude (such as mixing Bible Lore and Lyin’), we add a -1 for each mismatching aptitude.

Joe is walking along the streets of Blackwater. Suddenly he is pulled into an alley. A man is pointing a knife at him, demanding money from Joe. Joe notices that the man’s posture is terrible and that his voice is more frightened than frightening. He hopes to bring the man to salvation, so Joe tries to deescalate the situation.

Joe is wearing preacher’s clothes, and decides to use his religious authority to talk the man down. Joe attempts a roll with [Calmin’ People] and [Persuadin’] to bargain his way out of the situation; getting a total +2 bonus to the roll. The mugger rolls and a Mediocre; Joe rolls a Fair result, elevated to Great result.

Joe’s words are convincing and the man’s hand wavers. As the mugger trembles, Joe notices a pendant of the Virgin hanging off the mugger’s neck. So Joe he makes full use of his religious authority for his next move.

Joe rolls with [Persuadin’] in combination with [Preachin’] and [Christian Preacher] for his next roll, getting a +2 bonus this time because he is using 2 different Aptitudes. Both men roll and get a Good result, but Joe’s result turns into a Superb thanks to his tags.

Joe says that God himself is giving the man a choice: he can stab and rob him right there or he can recognize that in doing so he will go down a very bad path in his life. He adds that he can bless and redeem the man himself, right then and there, if he accepts the Lord’s second chance. The poor man looks deeply into his own soul and gets overwhelmed with guilt. He lets the knife drop to the floor, falling to his knees and begging Joe to forgive him.

More Uses for Tags

I will be doing a few follow-up posts about Tags. Including using tags to create more interesting equipment, and to give characters special techniques to add to their rolls. Stay tuned for more!

Open Game License v 1.0 Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
Fudge 10th Anniversary Edition Copyright 2005, Grey Ghost Press, Inc.; Authors Steffan O’Sullivan and Ann Dupuis, with additional material by Jonathan Benn, Peter Bonney, Deird’Re Brooks, Reimer Behrends, Don Bisdorf, Carl Cravens, Shawn Garbett, Steven Hammond, Ed Heil, Bernard Hsiung, J.M. “Thijs” Krijger, Sedge Lewis, Shawn Lockard, Gordon McCormick, Kent Matthewson, Peter Mikelsons, Robb Neumann, Anthony Roberson, Andy Skinner, William Stoddard, Stephan Szabo, John Ughrin, Alex Weldon, Duke York, Dmitri Zagidulin
This article Copyright 2019, Goat
The contents of this document are declared Open Game Content.