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Simple Character Conversion Between
FUDGE & Shadow Bindings RPG(TM)

Copyright (C) 1998 By Joseph W. Teller

Non-Commercial Redistribution is granted to All Fans of Roleplaying.

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  • One of the recent popular ways of presenting character information, for NPCs and characters within 'generic' modules on the Internet and in some fanzine and professional publications is to use the terminology of Steffan O'Sullivan's FUDGE RPG Mechanics.

    The reason is that the FUDGE mechanic is distributed on the Internet freely, and that its usage is encouraged by the author as a bridge to translate between many game systems.

    By presenting here a simple representation of translation, I hope to open more material to players and GMs of both Bindings and FUDGE. Expanding one's available gaming material is always important, from a GM's point of view, and having a organized way of doing this will make things easier if players want to bring their favorite character from another game system into Bindings or to use their Favorite Bindings Worldbase or characters with a different gaming mechanic (such as FUDGE).

    This is not intended to be an absolute set of translation rules, these are suggested rules, and should be expanded by a GM to fit their own world bases. We are trying to deal purely with the basics of character translation.

    Additionally, making the translation stay true to CONCEPT is more important then simple mathematics, and this must always be taken into mind when translating. A translated character or creature will NOT always fit within the parameters of basic construction in a particular Bindings worldbase. The important thing is that they remain true to their concept, not number-crunching.

    Generally there are TWO value ratings of measurement used in FUDGE. The more well known is the 'standard' system, which uses eight word descriptions and adds the concept of 'Scale' to achieve ratings beyond this range in attributes and skill abilities. The second system is the one used in WOW FUDGE, labelled here as the 'Expanded' system, that uses ten word descriptions and then if necessary adds the concept of scale.

    The differences between the two value ratings also reflects the differences in dice mechanics. Whereas the FUDGE system now uses a new system of dice mechanics that use special 'Fudge Dice', WOW FUDGE took the original method for FUDGE of using two ordinary six sided dice of different colors. The WOW FUDGE system is also designed with a larger scale to deal better with superhero concepts, which it we felt the standard system didn't handle as well.

    When translating attributes from FUDGE to Bindings, first decide which attributes are equivalent to the standard one's used in Bindings, since FUDGE has no standard attributes. The following table gives the numeric equivalents to the verbal descriptions.

    Translation Numeric Values

      STANDARD FUDGE         EXPANDED FUDGE     Bindings Attribute Rank
      --------------         --------------     --------------------
      Legendary+4             Legendary+3             24
      Legendary+3             Legendary+2             23
      Legendary+2             Legendary+1             22
      Legendary+1             Legendary               21
      Legendary               Incredible              20
      Superb                  Superb                  18
      Great                   Great                   15
      Good                    Good                    10
      Fair                    Fair                     7
      Mediocre                Mediocre                 5
      Poor                    Poor                     3
      Terrible                Terrible                 1
      Terrible-1              Awful                    0
    If an attribute does not exist in the FUDGE description, then the GM should generally assign a value of 10 to said attribute (except for FAME).

    Calculated Values (such as Mortality, Allure etc) should be recalculated for the character when converting to Bindings.

    Skills in Bindings as they are valued on a scale of 0-20 that becomes a percentile value. Thus no skill can exceed a value of 20.

    Do not worry if a translated character ends up with more skills than a standard starting character, or less. This is not vital, since these values are only suggested for a worldbase, and are not a rule 'set in stone'.

    Aspects must be generated fresh, based upon the player's concept of what the personality of the character is.

    Gifts and Flaws in FUDGE become Traits in Bindings, and it is best to ignore any point values involved here and simply carry over the concepts of these when translating. Point balance between the two systems is quite different and there is just no way of presenting a full way of translating between them. Concept, again, is the important thing that stays intact.

    Remember that, as GM, one must consider a character fully before allowing it to be translated. If a character is considerably off balance compared to the rest in a campaign, then it will be a cause of friction within a game between players. An overpowering character quickly becomes too much in control of a game (ex: playing Superman(TM) with a party of normal humans), an underpowered character can become frustrating to the player running them (ex: playing a country peasant with agricultural skills in a party of mages and swashbucklers).

    This same caution should be applied when using a scenario/adventure or setting that someone else has written for a particular worldbase and adapting it into your own. Make sure the culture, economics, religions and concepts fit into your worldbase effectively and that the characters won't find themselves overly crippled, overly limited or too easily able to overpower the locals. An adventure should usually have elements of mystery, excitement, danger (though it does not have to be physical), romance and a motive for the player characters to be involved.

    Thus, above all, be sure that what you translate will help to make a game both interesting and fun for all players and GM involved. If its not, then why bother?

    Original FUDGE materials are Copyright (C)1992-1995 by Steffan O'Sullivan (sos@oz.plymouth.edu)

    Superman (TM) is a trademark of DC Comics, and use of the name in this product does not challenge the trademark status in any way.

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