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Mudge - Forword

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Mook's Fudge, version 1.0

Copyright 2001 by Warren "Mook" Wilson

Based on Fudge, the Freeform, Universal, Do-it-yourself Gaming Engine A Free Role-playing Game (RPG).

Copyright 1992, 1995 by Steffan O'Sullivan Version: June, 1995

i. Legal Notice

Fudge is a role-playing game written by Steffan O'Sullivan, with extensive input from the Usenet community of The basic rules of Fudge are available on the internet via anonymous ftp at, and in book form or on disk from Grey Ghost Games, P.O. Box 838, Randolph, MA 02368. They may be used with any gaming genre. While an individual work derived from Fudge may specify certain attributes and skills, many more are possible with Fudge. Every Game Master using Fudge is encouraged to add or ignore any character traits. Anyone who wishes to distribute such material for free may do so - merely include this ABOUT Fudge notice and disclaimer (complete with Fudge copyright notice). If you wish to charge a fee for such material, other than as an article in a magazine or other periodical, you must first obtain a royalty-free license from the author of Fudge, Steffan O'Sullivan, P.O. Box 465, Plymouth, NH 03264.

The following materials based on Fudge, entitled Mudge, are created and made available by Warren "Mook" Wilson, and are not authorized or endorsed in any way by Steffan O'Sullivan or any publisher of other Fudge materials. Neither Steffan O'Sullivan nor any publisher of other Fudge material is in any way responsible for the content of these materials. Original Fudge materials (c) Copyright 1992-1995 Steffan O'Sullivan, All Rights Reserved.

ii. Acknowledgements

These rules are the logical culmination of all my role-playing experiences to this point- so here's a big "Thanks" to the dozens of players I've been lucky enough to run games for over the past 18 years, most especially: the Thursday night gang, a better group of kindred spirits than I could have hoped to find, and the Scarecrow, whose sharing of his own search for the perfect rules system helped me clarify a lot of my own thoughts. You've all taught me a lot about gaming and a lot about having fun.

iii. About the Author

Mook has been gaming more-or-less continually since 1983, starting with (as many did) AD&D before becoming addicted to GURPS in the '90s. Today he spends the majority of his free time thinking of ways to get more free time. On the rare occasions he pulls himself away from this vicious circle, you can usually find him playing some kind of game (RPG, CCG, PC, PS2).

iv. Terminology and Format

To avoid confusion, "he, him," etc., are used to describe a player or PC, and "she, her," etc., are used to describe a Game Master or NPC.

Mudge is divided into six Chapters, each of which is divided into Sections. The decimal point in Section numbers is a true decimal. For example, Section 1.35 comes between Section 1.3 and Section 1.4.

Section headers are denoted four different ways:

X Chapter

Chapter header (no decimal point).

X.1 Section

Major section header (one digit after decimal point).

X.12 Section

Minor subsection header (two digits after decimal point).

X.123 Section

Very minor subsection header (three digits after decimal point).

Mudge is currently available in RTF, PDF and HTML format. For the latest version, visit:


Thank you for your interest in Mudge, my personal tweak to the wonderful Fudge rules set. This document's format is identical to that of the original Fudge- in fact, in preparing this text I merely started with a copy of Fudge, deleted those portions I don't use, and inserted my own text here and there to fill the gaps. The original Fudge rules by Steffan O'Sullivan are fantastic, and I urge you to download them (for free!) from

The following is a little history of Mudge and my own brief thoughts on role-playing in general. If you'd prefer to just get to the meat of the rules, by all means skip this section and head down to Section 1, Character Creation.

Mudge version 1.0 is the end result of my search for a radically simplified and streamlined rules system for role-playing games. These rules have been through dozens of incarnations and modifications so far, mostly in my fevered brain, and will hopefully continue to evolve in the future. Sooner or later, however, the idea must take form, so Mudge is now presented here for your enjoyment, criticisms, and opinions. I heartily welcome any suggestions for making these rules better- please feel free to email me at

First, a bit of background. I started playing in 1983 with, like many of you, Dungeons and Dragons, which I enjoyed immensely for a decade or so. Quite literally it opened up whole new worlds for me, and profoundly changed the way I thought about the role of the imagination in one's life. At some point in the mid-90's I got hooked on GURPS, which quickly supplanted AD&D as my game of choice. GURPS has many of the things I'm looking for in a rules system: its basic mechanics are fairly simple to learn, adaptable to a wide variety of genres, and strive for a good balance between realism and playability. It also has a lot of excellent support and worldbooks (which, of course, I now use to run Mudge games!). But GURPS can become cumbersome, particularly at higher Tech Levels when firearms and other modern equipment are introduced.

To me, Fudge has all the best of GURPS with none of the drawbacks. It has the same types of modifiers GURPS does, just fewer of them, almost a "lite" version of GURPS. In the future I plan to use Mudge for all the games I run, constantly tweaking over the years to make it better and better.

For a short time I was leaning towards running Mudge diceless, as group storytelling. Then for a longer time I was going to use an ultra condensed version I wrote, with all of the basic rules fitting on two sides of a page. But my 'final' decision (at least this month) is to just use my own version of the vanilla Fudge rules- very simple, very fast, nothing to really get in the way of telling the story. These Mudge rules are as 'rules light' as I can comfortably go before my fingers start twitching for dice.

One last note, the campaigns I run are very flexible, and often multidimensional, so I have attempted to include at least bare bones rules for any possible character within. The magic, psionics, super powers, etc. rules have all been left intentionally vague, to encourage the GM and player(s) to work out their own systems, as simple or complex as they desire. Admittedly this is a bit of laziness on my part, but anyone with access to the 'net should find no shortage of Fudge-compatible rules for all those things.

I invite you to send any thoughts about Mudge, positive or negative, my way. You can reach me from, or email directly to I look forward to hearing from you!

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