Fudge & Labyrinth Lord
This is an organization of my thoughts on using Fudge Dice, and theÂ Fudge resolution mechanic, to provide an easy way to make snap rulingsÂ based on PC ability scores and Levels using the Labyrinth LordÂ rule-system (and within the game systems it attempts toÂ emulate). Fudge and Labyrinth Lord are both released under the OGL, asÂ is this article if anybody finds use for it. These rules are alsoÂ written with some notes about fudge as I won't assume everyone hasÂ played it before, and it also assumes you enjoy tossing all manner ofÂ dice around the table.
In labyrinth Lord,Â ability scores provide bonuses to any rolesÂ relevant to them that run from +3 to -3 [pg. 6-7]. While the actualÂ ability scores give the Labyrinth Lord, and the Players, a roughÂ estimate of the characters abilities relative to other characters,Â they are not used mechanically much at all, except to determine theÂ relevant bonuses (and occasionally as a minimum level for some task inÂ a published module).
FudgeÂ uses a very simple mechanic for determining the success orÂ failure of an action called the Ladder:
Legendary Superb Great Good Fair Mediocre Poor Terrible *AbysmalYour PC has an ability score rated on this ladder, and when an actionÂ that needs randomized resolution is encountered the game Master ratesÂ the difficulty of that action on ladder as well, then 4 dice marked -,Â 0, +, twice are rolled, and the actual performance of the CharacterÂ represents their starting ability moved up the ladder once for each +Â and moved down the ladder once for each -. So if I have an Aim ofÂ good, and I want to shoot at a moving target the Game Master mightÂ rate that as requiring a Superb shot, if I roll at least +2 then I'veÂ made the shot, if not then I've missed it since Superb is two stepsÂ higher than Good. In the past I'd say I've probably played fudge moreÂ often then any other system simply because the Ladder makes it easy toÂ run a game entirely by the seat of your pants, once you've described aÂ scene you can use those words to make an instant inference of the gameÂ rules necessary.
When using fudge as an action resolution mechanic in Labyrinth LordÂ several assumptions are made, first your only using Fudge for thoseÂ tasks not covered by an existing mechanic (such as to hit or detectÂ hidden doors), and that you only resort to it when the playersÂ description and the environment don't seem to dictate a logicalÂ result. Each Labyrinth Lord character, for the purposes of theseÂ rules, has at least three things marked on their characterÂ sheet. Their ability score, their bonus for that ability score (+3 forÂ an 18, +2 for a 16-17, +1 for a 13-15, 0 for a 9-12, -1 for a 6-8, -2Â for a 4-5, and -3 for a 3), and their fudge descriptive word for thatÂ bonus (Superb for a +3, Great for a +2, good for a +1, Fair for a 0,Â Mediocre for a -1, poor for a -2, and terrible for a -3). In order forÂ these rules to work it is imperative that PC's are rolled with 3d6 sixÂ times, since any bonuses would break the ladder if every fighter has aÂ Superb strength and every Magic-User has a Superb Intellect, althoughÂ this is how I game anyways so it really doesn't change anything forÂ me.
A PC gets an Automatic +1 to any task with which he should reasonablyÂ have experience (such as something relating to his background or hisÂ class, the background should be limited to a single trade), and anÂ additional +1 for every three levels in their class should the task beÂ class relevant (such as a Fighting man trying to slap together armorÂ from found bits, or a Magic user trying to deal with the politics ofÂ the local school of magic). At higher levels The level based bonusÂ does mean that failing a fumble (----) the PC can succeed at almostÂ any class related task, but keep in mind the scale of higher levelÂ play, where PC's have to command entire domains, or are off fightingÂ Immortal gods, in these cases the characters ability can be scaledÂ down by a reasonable number of rungs. Bonuses can also be bled off ifÂ you allow players to lower their effective fudge ability descriptor byÂ one rung for one session in order to automatically succeed at someÂ reasonable task (for example a "good" strength could be reduced to aÂ "fair" strength until the end of the session (or some in-game timeÂ span) in return for being able to automatically lift a boulder off aÂ comrade, or some similar task). Another way to maintain the ladder inÂ the face of higher level PC's would be to use the Game Designers ownÂ house-rule for "very good fudge" sacrificing one of the negative rungsÂ for another rung just above good.
If you are the sort of Gamer who detests multiple special use dice youÂ could forgo the Fudge dice altogether and use two differently coloredÂ D6's subtracting one from the other, or two D4's in the same way,Â though this gives different results.