Fallout Fudged

Fallout & Anxiety

This post first appeared on my blog: http://www.stargazersworld.com/2013/11/11/fallout-and-anxiety/

Last Friday I ran the first session of the Fallout Fudged game I wrote about. Character creation was pretty fast even though I had to translate a couple of terms for one of my players. The party consisted of a Albert, a good-natured Science guy, and his childhood friend Ares, who prefers fists to words when it comes to conflict solution.

My heavily-modified Fudge rule set worked pretty well, but I did some last minute changes to how character advancement works. In an earlier draft Fudge Points were also used to raise character skills and buy perks, but I changed it so that Fudge Points are only used during the game, while Experience Points can be used to improve one’s character. This change made sure that the players actually used their Fudge Points properly and didn’t save them for later.

Combats were fast and pretty lethal, but it still took them a while to take down the Rad Scorpions in the cave near Shady Sands. At the end of our first session they reached Junktown, spoke with Killian Darkwater, dealt with the assassin sent by Gizmo and managed to place a bug in Gizmo’s office. The next session will start off with Killian, the player characters, and a few guardsmen trying to arrest Gizmo. But I fear this might turn into another bloodshed. ;)

The players and I had a lot of fun. Even though we are all pretty new to Fudge, things went pretty smoothly. The rules never got into the way and the players really managed to immerse themselves into the game world. After the game the players told me that they had a blast and they can’t wait to see how things will progress. Hopefully we’ll be able to schedule another session soon.

In the title of the post I mentioned anxiety. For a long time I wasn’t able to run anything. Probably because of the depressive episode I had earlier this year, my confidence as a GM was totally shattered and I felt extremely anxious whenever I planned to run a game. But now I feel that my confidence is slowly coming back. I guess it might take a while until things are back to “normal” but at least my life is turning into the right direction again.

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Fallout Fudged

This post first appeared on my blog: http://www.stargazersworld.com/2013/11/06/fallout-fudged/

A while ago I had the idea to run a campaign based on the Fallout computer game series. I was actually just replaying the original Fallout computer game when I realized that it should be very easy to use the story of the game for a pen & paper campaign. The story is non-linear, quite interesting and has a good mix of combat, exploration, and hard decisions.

Since I wanted to keep the prep to a minimum I searched the internet for other people’s conversions. I quickly discovered both a conversion for Savage Worlds and one for GURPS but both weren’t what I was looking for. So I turned to Fudge, which I had been running with some success just recently. Alas I wasn’t able to find a Fallout-to-Fudge conversion anywhere, so I had to start working on my own.

Fudge is perfectly suited for such a task, since you can just use the attributes and skills from your source material. One of the mechanical aspects that make Fallout unique are the Traits and Perks. Traits are basically character backgrounds which are both a gift and fault at the same time. At first I thought about just using Fudge’s Gifts and Faults system, but then I decided to convert the Traits to Fudge. Here’s one example of what I came up with:

Fast Shot. You can shoot much faster than your fellow men, but at a price. You can fire an additional pistol or rifle during your combat turn without penalty, but all your weapons cause -1 damage.

Perks in Fallout work a lot like Feats in D&D 3.5 or Pathfinder. They either grant a bonus to certain actions or they allow the character to perform certian actions which are unavailable without the Perk. In Fallout you get a new Perk every few levels, but Fudge doesn’t use experience levels of any kind. So I decided that characters are allowed to buy Perks with experience points. This should be close enough to Fallout without moving away too far from the Fudge rules.

Converting weapons and armor were pretty easy with Fudge. I made things easier for me by not converting every weapon we’ve seen in the existing Fallout games but only picked a couple of iconic ones, like the 10mm Pistol. I am pretty sure that the balancing between weapons and armor is still a bit off, but I can easily fix that during play. Here’s an example of one of the weapons I created for my conversion:

10mm pistol
10mm Pistol. ODF +2, Base Range 20m, Ammo: 12, Notes: semi-auto

My players and I are currently trying to schedule a first session for character creation and perhaps even to start playing. Within one session they should easily be able to get to Shady Sands or perhaps even start exploring Vault 15. I have no idea how long the whole campaign will be, but I am hoping to get a dozen or so enjoyable evenings out of the story of Fallout 1. Currently I am still finishing the bestiary and working on some notes for the actual campaign. As soon as the bestiary is done, I might actually release my notes to the public. (Note: Which I have actually done in the campaign’s wiki today.)

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