2 Supernormal PowersThose who play in games with non-human races, magic, psi, superpowers, etc., will need to read this chapter before character creation is complete. It should be noted that even if all types of supernormal powers are allowed in a given campaign, a character's history and background will need to detail how he came to possess these abilities- in other words, a character can't take the superpower flight just because he has enough free levels to spend; how the character came to have this power needs to be explained.
2.1 supernormal power terms
That which is beyond the capability of human beings as we know them. Supernormal powers are treated as powerful gifts. Some may have associated skills (which are taken separately, using the normal skill rules), such as a Flight skill for the Flying power.
Any supernormal power.
Magical energy. Mana is an invisible substance that magicians can detect (or even create) and manipulate to alter matter, time and space. It is also a Mudge attribute available only to mages; the current level of a mage's Mana usually affects his spells' damage and effectiveness.
The art of influencing events through manipulation of mana, or through compelling beings from another dimension, or channeling power from some other source.
Magic performed by a deity. Miracles are often subtle. Holy persons can attempt to work miracles by invoking their deity. Some religions call any non- or semi-material being greater than human a deity. Others believe there is only one Deity, and that these other beings are simply angels, demons, djinni, efriti, etc. In the former belief, magical results wrought by these superhuman beings are miracles; in the latter belief, they are not miracles, but merely a display of more psychic power than humans are capable of.
Psychic energy. Psyche is a measure of the energy psionicists can manipulate to generate psionic abilities. It is also a Mudge attribute available only to psionicists; the current level of a psionicist's Psyche usually affects his abilities' damage and effectiveness.
Any power that involves mind over matter, time or space.
Any supernormal power that is an inherent ability, whether because of mutation, exposure to radiation, a gift of space aliens, etc., or granted by a device, such as an alien-science belt. Examples of superpowers can be found in many comic books, and include super strength, the ability to fly, see through walls, cling to ceilings, become invisible, etc.
Any mechanical or electronic enhancement to a normal body that gives the character supernormal powers.
Certain fantasy and science fiction races (actually species) have abilities beyond the human norm, such as being much stronger, or able to fly, etc. Most of these abilities could also be classified as Psi or Superpowers, so they are not treated separately, except for Mass and Strength. Androids and robots are considered races for rules purposes.
Characters may have certain attributes that are well beyond the human norm, one way or the other, but that need to be related to the human norm. Prime examples include Strength, Mass, and Speed. Such attributes are rated in Scale. Human (or the default race of the game, such as Bunnies) Scale is 0. A race (or individual) of greater than human average strength, for example, would be Scale 1 Strength or more, while a race of lesser average strength than humans would be Scale –1 Strength or less. Individuals can then be of Fair strength, or Good strength, etc., relative to those of their own Scale.
A genetic enhancement may or may not give a character supernormal powers. If it does, then it must be treated like any other supernormal power listed above.
2.2 Powers at Character CreationThe best way to design a supernormal character is through close discussion with the GM. A player should describe what he wants the character to be able to do, and the GM will decide if that's within the limits she has in mind for the game. If so, the details can be worked out; if not, she'll make suggestions about how to change the character to fit the campaign.
Supernormal powers are treated as powerful gifts and skills, with availability and effects determined by the GM and player. Rather than attempt to provide an exhaustive list of every possible spell, psi talent, super power, etc., the details of each power should simply be worked out using any agreeable system and recorded on the character's sheet before the game begins.
For example, a player tells the GM "I want to play a wizard, using the spell list from GURPS Magic." The GM and that player would then select a number of spells for the character to know and determine the details of those spells' effects and costs in Mudge terms. If someone wanted to create a psionicist using the D&D rules for psionics, the more-or-less same procedure would apply.
When any new power is created, certain minimum details need to be determined for it. One of these is how it how it affects combat, so a brief synopsis of how successful hits and damage are determined is appropriate.
A successful hit is determined by the winner of an Opposed Action between the affected traits. Some spells may add a bonus to this roll, which will be noted under "Effect" in the description. Damage from a successful hit is determined by the formula:
TOTAL DAMAGE =
For magic and psionics, this is modified to:
TOTAL DAMAGE =
A spell or psionic ability's "Power Value" refers to its damage factor; this is simply the equivalent of a weapon's "Weapon Value", and is factored into the Total Damage. Note the above attributes are a character's current value; a warrior whose Strength is reduced from Great to Fair by poison will inflict less damage; so will a mage casting a spell if his Mana has been reduced from Superb to Mediocre.
Below is a generic template of items convenient to include when detailing a new power.
Name: a short name for the power, and its difficulty to learn
Cost: how many levels the power costs to use (usually 1, sometimes 2, 3 or more for very potent powers). This is the 'base cost', how much it takes to produce the power's usual effect- many powers will have ways of spending more for greater effect (this cost is paid with Mana, Psyche, etc.)
Target: What are valid targets for this power? How many targets can be chosen? Can extra cost affect this? Is there a maximum number of targets?
DF: If this is an attack or defense power, what is its Damage Factor; that is, how much of a bonus or penalty does it give? Can extra cost affect this? Note that these modifiers only affect damage, not the chance of successfully hitting.
Range: What is the base range of this power? Can extra cost affect this? What is the maximum range? Assume a power can be used at its base range or less at no extra cost (e.g., if a power's range is listed as Far, it can be used at Near or Touch range at no extra cost). Also see Section 3.1, Range.
Duration: How long does this power usually last? Can extra cost affect this?
Effect: What does the power actually do? This is where you would put notes on modifiers to skill, damage inflicted, wounds restored, the effects (if any) on spending additional cost, what defenses or resistances (if any) can be used to counter this power, what attributes are used for Opposed Actions, etc. Include as much as possible- the more precisely the power is defined before the game, the less trouble it will be to use during the game.
Example: An example of any power created would be very useful, not only in determining how to correctly use it, but also in finding any errors made during creation.
Not all powers will require all fields. Examples are provided below when possible. Undefined Powers have a default of non-existent - that is, they do not have a default like attributes or skills. If a supernormal power is not defined for a character, he doesn't have it.
2.21 Powers AvailableThe types of powers available in any given Mudge game are solely at the discretion of the GM and her players, based on what the players think would be fun to play and what the GM thinks she will be comfortable running.
2.22 Combat PowersIf a supernormal power can be used to attack a foe, the GM must determine the strength of the power for damage purposes - preferably during character creation. An offensive power is usually handled as a propelled weapon, such as a gun, or as being equivalent to a certain melee weapon. This can be expressed in terms of the ODF, such as Ball of Fire, +6 ODF, or large Claws, +3 ODF. (See Section 4.54, Sample Wound Factors List). When determining an ODF for a new power, it will be helpful to use the Section 4.54, Sample Wound Factors List for comparison – is the new power equivalent to a large knife, or an anti-tank weapon?
Unlike weapons, many supernormal powers can be used for either Melee or Ranged attacks, depending on the range of their target.
2.3 Non-humansSome campaigns will have characters (or animals, monsters, etc.) with traits beyond the human norm. In particular, characters with Strength and Speed well above or below the human range are common in role- playing games. Examples include giants, superheroes, pixies, aliens, ogres, intelligent rabbits, robots, etc. In Mudge, Strength, Mass and Speed are rated by the GM in terms of Scale for different races. Most other traits that may be different for non-humans are handled with a Racial Bonus or Penalty rather than being on a different Scale - see Section 2.35. Of course, the GM may assign any trait she wishes in terms of Scale. Humans are of Scale 0, unless some other race is the game-world norm (e.g., if all the PCs are playing pixies or giants. In these cases, the PCs' race is Scale 0, and humans would be a different Scale). Non-human races can have a positive or negative number for Scale, depending on whether they are stronger (or bigger or faster) or weaker (or smaller or slower) than humans.
2.31 Strength and MassThe word Scale used alone always means Strength/Mass Scale in Mudge - any other Scale, such as Speed, or Strength without Mass, will be defined as such.
Each level of Strength (from Terrible to Superb) is defined to be 1.5 times stronger than the previous level. A character with Good Strength is thus 1.5 times as strong as a character with Fair Strength. Note that this progression is not necessarily true for any other attribute. There is a wider range of strength in humans than dexterity, for example: Superb Dexterity is only about twice as good as Fair Dexterity.
Strength Scale increases in the same way: a Scale 1, Fair Strength individual is 1.5 times stronger than a Scale 0, Fair Strength individual. This holds for each increase in Scale: a Scale 10 Superb Strength creature is 1.5 times stronger than a Scale 9 Superb Strength creature, for example. At this point, it is tempting to say that a Scale 1 Fair Strength is equal to a Scale 0 Good Strength. This is true for Strength, but not for Mass. Scale really measures Mass, or Density, and Strength just goes along for the ride.
In Mudge, Mass has a specific meaning: how wounds affect a character. (This may or may not coincide with the scientific definition of Mass). It takes more human-powered hits to weaken a giant than a human, for example. She may not really be a healthy giant, but her sheer bulk means that human-sized sword strokes don't do as much damage relative to her as they would to a human - unless they hit a vital spot, of course. Likewise, a pixie can be healthy and robust, but not survive a single kick from a human. The difference is Mass, and the strength related to it.
A Scale 1 Fair Strength fighter has an advantage over a Scale 0 Good Strength fighter, even though their Strengths are equal. The Scale 1 fighter is less affected by the other's damage due to his mass. Therefore, do not blithely equate Scale 0 Good with Scale 1 Fair.
Of course, the GM may envision a less massive but harder to kill race than humans. This is best handled by a Racial Bonus (Section 2.35), either as a Toughness Gift (Tough Hide, or Density - either one would subtract from damage), or by a bonus to Constitution.
The GM may decide that increased Mass does not necessarily mean of greater size - the race may be of denser material. Dwarves in northern European legend were derived from stone, and are hence denser than humans. Such a dwarf hits harder and shrugs off damage easier than most humans: he is Scale 1, though shorter than a human. (Of course, the GM should define dwarves' attributes and Scale to her own requirements.)
Though usually the same, the Strength Scale can be separate from the Mass Scale. This allows Pixies of Strength Scale -6 and Mass Scale -4, for example. However, combat between two Pixies would not work the same as combat between two humans. In this case, they would have a harder time hurting each other than humans would, since their Strength Scale (ability to give out damage) is lower than their Mass Scale (ability to take damage). This may actually be what she wants: a super-strong superhero who can dish out punishment but can't take it can be represented by Strength Scale 10, Mass Scale 2, for example.
See also Section 4.58, Non-human Scale in Combat.
2.32 SpeedEach level of Speed (from Terrible to Superb) is defined to be 1.2 times faster than the previous level. A character with Good Speed is thus 1.2 times as fast as a character with Fair Speed. This is not the same progression as for Strength.
Speed Scale increases in the same manner: a Scale 1, Fair Speed individual is 1.2 times faster than a Scale 0, Fair Speed individual. This holds for each increase in Scale: a Scale 10 Superb Speed animal is 1.2 times faster than a Scale 9 Superb Speed animal, for example.
The Speed attribute is included primarily for creatures and vehicles significantly faster than humans. For comparison purposes, assume a Fair Speed human can run at about 10 mph over some distance, provided they are in shape, of course. Sprinting a short distance is somewhat faster. This comes to about 5 yards (meters) per second.
In a short race, you don't really have to roll the dice to see if someone of Superb Speed can beat someone of Good Speed - he can, and will, much more often than rolling the dice would indicate.
The Speed Scale rises too slowly for comparing such things as race cars or space ships to human movement. In these cases, either use a rough human Scale, or simply set the average space ship at Space Ship Speed Scale 0, and rate others relative to it. Thus, the average race car will be roughly human Scale 12 - or you can simply call it Race Car Scale 0, and compare other race cars to it. A Space Ship might be Human Scale 100, or Space Ship Scale 0.
2.33 Scale CorrelationsThe Game Master should refer to the following table when assigning a Scale to a race. This only has to be done once, at race creation.
First, the GM should decide how much stronger (or weaker or faster, etc.) the average member of race X is compared to the average human. For example, she decides that Ogres are three times stronger than humans, and pixies are eight times weaker (which equals 0.12 times as strong). She then needs to look up the closest numbers to these strength multipliers on the table below, and look in the corresponding Scale column to find the correct racial Strength/Mass Scales. In this example, Ogres are Scale 3 creatures, while Pixies are Scale -6. (You may envision Ogres and Pixies differently, of course.)
An even more complete Scale table can be found here (at Steffan O'Sullivan's website - this link will take you off TheMook.Net).
The Strength/Mass Scale number is figured into damage in combat, and all weapons and armor are assumed to be of the same Scale as the wielder. (These numbers have been rounded to the nearest useful number. They are only roughly 1.5 times the previous number, but close enough for game purposes.)
The GM can also use this table to determine relative lifting strength or carrying capacity of characters or beasts if she wishes.
The GM may require a Strength roll to lift a given object. This will depend on the Scale of the character, http://www.themook.net/rpg/mudge/index.php?id=mudge_3">Chapter 3, Action Resolution.)
2.34 Cost of ScaleEach step of increased Strength Scale for a player character costs one attribute level in the Objective Creation system; each step of increased Mass Scale for a player character costs one gift (so a character who wishes to be Strength Scale 1 and Mass Scale 1 would need to spend 1 attribute level and 1 gift level).
In a superhero game, this gets very expensive, very quickly. An alternative method: let one supernormal power equal a certain Scale. For example, the GM allows one Power to equal Scale 4 (five times as strong as the average human). A character buys three Powers of super strength and has Scale 12 Strength. Another GM allows Scale 13 (200 times as strong as the average human) to equal one Power. Since a character with two Powers in super strength would have Scale 26 Strength (!), the GM decides to limit the amount of super strength available to one Power.
A character then raises or lowers his Strength attribute to show how he compares to the average super-strong superhero. Strength can then be raised to Scale 13 Good, for example, at the cost of one attribute level.
The GM may also allow separate Mass and Strength for superheroes (or even races). For example, the superhero mentioned in Section 2.31 with Strength Scale 10 and Mass Scale 2 would only have to pay for two gifts and ten attribute levels. Or, with a generous GM, a single supernormal power covers the entire cost.
Other supernormal powers may have levels. Examples include Telekinesis (increased power allows greater weight to be lifted), Telepathy (increased power equals greater range), Wind Control (increased power allows such things as a jet of wind, whirlwind, or tornado), etc. In these cases, each level can be bought as a separate supernormal power, which is expensive. Or you could use the option given above for Scale: one supernormal power buys the supernormal ability at a middling power range, and a simple attribute (or even skill) level raises or lowers it from there. For Scales below the human norm, each step of Mass Scale includes a fault equivalent to Easily Wounded, and the GM may allow this to be used to balance other traits like any other fault - see Section 1.64, Trading Traits.
2.35 Racial Bonuses and PenaltiesThere is rarely any need to use Scale for traits other than Strength, Mass and Speed. It's easy to imagine someone wanting to play a race that is slightly more intelligent than humans, but a race ten times smarter than the smartest human is so alien that it would be impossible to play. This is true for most traits - we just can't grasp such extreme differences from our world view.
Actually, there is a way to use intelligence in Scale: in a non- quantified manner. For example, when creating a dog character, you can list:
Intelligence: Great (Scale: Dog)
Since no one is able to quantify inter-species intelligence accurately, do not expect to use it comparatively. It gives an indication that, relative to other dogs, this dog has Great intelligence. The word "Scale" isn't even necessary - "Great canine intelligence" works just as well.
The GM should usually use Racial Bonuses or Penalties for traits other than Strength, Mass and Speed. If the GM envisions halflings as being particularly hardy, she can give them a +1 bonus to Constitution: halfling Fair Constitution equals human Good Constitution. As another example, an alien race, Cludds, have a racial penalty of -1 to Intelligence.
It is best to use trait levels relative to humans on the character sheets, though you should put the racial-relative term in brackets. (Example: Grahkesh, Intelligence Poor [Cludd Fair].) However, always list Strength relative to the character's own race, with the Scale (if other than 0), so the Mass will be accurate. See the sample character, Brogo the Halfling (Section 6.31), for an example of both racial bonus and different Scale.
Racial bonuses and penalties can be used for any type of trait: attributes, skills, gifts, supernormal powers, or faults.
Each level of a Racial Bonus or Penalty is usually equal to one level of the specific trait raised or lowered normally. That is, if you are granting a +1 to Agility or +1 to Perception for a race, it should cost one attribute level. If a race has a bonus of a Perfect Sense of Direction, it should cost one gift. The innate ability to fly or cast magic spells should cost one supernormal power, etc.
If a race is at -1 to all Social skills, however, this should only be worth -1 skill level if you have a single skill called Social Skills. If you have many individual social skills, it should be worth one fault. The converse is true for Bonuses that affect many skills: it should cost one or more gifts.
2.4 Legendary HeroesSome genres allow human characters to develop beyond the realm of the humanly possible. Such campaigns eventually involve planes of existence beyond the mundane as the PCs require greater and greater challenges.
This style of gaming can be represented in Mudge by the Legendary level. Section 1.2, Levels, introduced the concept of a Legendary trait as a goal for PCs to work toward. This section expands that concept infinitely. If the GM and players prefer this type of gaming, any skill can be raised beyond Legendary. Instead of renaming each level, simply use a numbering system: Legendary +2, Legendary +5, etc. Attributes can also be raised, but (except for Strength) this is much rarer.
Each level of Legendary gives a +1 bonus to any action resolution. The character Hugh Quickfinger, for example, has a Longbow skill of Legendary +1. This gives him a total bonus of +5 (+3 for Superb, +2 for Legendary +1); a skill of Legendary +4 would give a total bonus of +8. In any contest against a Fair Longbowman (+0), Hugh should easily triumph.
Section 5.2 lists suggested experience point costs for attaining these levels.
These levels do not automatically exist in any given game: they are strictly optional levels for specific, non-realistic genres.
2.5 MagicIn order to use magic, a character must first take the Magery gift. Any character with the Magery gift gains access to a new attribute, called Mana, which is used to power spells when they are cast. This attribute's level is determined per the usual attributes rules. A mage's current Mana level will often affect the damage and effectiveness of spells he casts; the mage's Mana level is not lowered until after casting the spell. After this, the character can buy specific spells (which he and/or the GM create) to learn and to cast, each equal in value to one Hard or Very Hard skill (in the Objective Creation system).
Successfully casting a spell on an unwilling target is an Opposed Action, usually with a difficulty level of at least Mediocre. The target's defensive trait will usually be Dodge, Constitution or Willpower, depending on the spell's desired effect. Some spells are affected by armor or shields; this should be noted in the description. Casting a spell on oneself or on a willing target is usually automatic, no roll required.
Critical successes and failures (+4 or –4) that occur when spells are cast often produce spectacular effects, though not necessarily what the mage intended.
No specific magic system is used in Mudge, though general guidelines are given below. The GM and player are free to use any system mutually agreed upon. It is possible for a party to contain two different mage characters, each using a different magic system or different spell lists.
A sample magic system, Fudge Magic, can be found in Chapter 7, The Addenda of the original Fudge rules. GURPS Magic and Fudge Magical Medley also contain a good variety of magic systems, particularly The Gramarye in the Magical Medley.
The following sections outline a very basic, but workable, approach to using Magic.
2.51 Mana and Spell CostA spell's cost indicates how many levels the mage's Mana attribute is temporarily lowered when that spell is cast. For example, if a mage with a Great Mana attribute casts a spell with a final cost of 2, his Mana is temporarily reduced to Fair. Mana usually recovers at the rate of one level per minute, but this may be adjusted by the GM to make mages less or more powerful in the campaign. Also, the amount of mana in a campaign world may fluctuate, affecting this regeneration- perhaps recovering one level per minute in a 'normal mana' zone, but one level per ten minutes in a 'low mana' zone and one level per second in a 'high mana' zone.
Any time a mage's Mana reaches Terrible, he must roll a Fair check against his Constitution attribute or fall unconscious until his Mana regenerates to Fair (or its normal level, if lower than Fair). If a mage's Mana ever falls to Terrible –1 (the maximum) he automatically loses consciousness and will not begin regaining Mana for at least one minute.
Additionally, if a mage wishes (usually only in desperate situations), he can draw mana from his own body, gaining one level of mana per wound taken. For example, a mage could draw two levels of mana by checking off two Scratch boxes on his wound track, or five levels of mana by checking off all three Scratch boxes and both Hurt boxes. These wounds are no different than wounds suffered any other way in regards to healing time, penalties inflicted, etc. The GM should feel free in describing the physical effects of this type of spellcasting on the mage's body.
2.52 Designing SpellsIf you are playing a character with Magery, you will need to work out the details of at least enough spells to begin the game with. The GM may allow you to modify spells from any of your favorite lists (GURPS, AD&D, Ars Magica) or help you create your own. Regardless, certain characteristics of each spell will be helpful.
Name: a short name for the spell, and its difficulty to learn
Cost: how many levels of mana the spell requires (usually 1, sometimes 2, 3 or more for very powerful spells). This is the 'base cost', how much mana it takes to produce the spell's usual effect- most spells will have ways of spending more mana for greater effect
Target: What are valid targets for this spell? How many targets can be chosen? Can extra mana affect this?
DF: If this is an attack or defense spell, what bonus/penalty does it give to damage? Can extra mana affect this? This is essentially the same as a 'weapon value' for a warrior's sword, or 'armor value' from armor.
Range: is this spell Touch, Near, Far, etc.? Can extra mana affect the range? What is the maximum range? If a spell's range is listed as Far, assume it can also be used at lesser ranges (Touch and Near, for example) at no extra mana cost.
Duration: How long does this spell usually last? Can extra mana affect this?
Effect: What does the spell actually do? This is where you would put notes on damage inflicted, wounds restored, how many targets can be affected, the effect (if any) on spending additional mana, if the mage's Mana level is included in the spell effect, what defenses or resistances (if any) can be used to counter this spell, which attributes to use for Opposed Actions, difficulty level, etc. Include as much as possible- the more precisely the spell is defined before the game, the less trouble it will be to use during the game.
Example: An example of any spell created would be very useful, not only in determining how to correctly use it, but also in finding any errors made during its creation.
2.53 Sample SpellsBelow are some generic sample spells- note that these are based on a single mage in a single game world. Other mages could potentially have very different details for these same spells.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Name: Fireball, VH skill
Target: 1 target within range; 1 additional target per extra mana
DF: +2 ODF; +1 per extra mana
Range: Far, Very Far for +1 mana, target must be seen (max. Very Far)
Effect: This spell will inflict damage on any target it successfully hits (in addition to the normal difference between the characters' relative degrees). The mage's Mana level is also factored in to damage. Normal armor, Constitution and Mass scale apply. The usual Opposed Action will be Fireball skill vs. Dodge or Weapon skill.
Example 1: A mage with a Great (+2) Mana attribute wishes to cast a Fireball at a Near opponent, a man with a Good (+1) Constitution, in leather armor, which the GM decides is 'somewhat effective' against fire, for an armor value of +2. The mage spends the cost of 1, temporarily lowering his Mana from Great to Good. A ball of flame appears in his hand, and he rolls an Opposed Action of his Fireball skill vs. his opponent's Dodge skill. If we say the mage wins the Action by +1, with a "+" on his damage die, the final damage inflicted would be:
1 (relative degree) +1 (dam. die) +
The mage's opponent is now Hurt (checks off one Hurt box).
Example 2: A mage with a Good (+1) Mana attribute wishes to cast a Fireball at a Far opponent, a hill giant of mass scale +3 with a Fair (0) Constitution and no armor. For mana he spends: 1 for the spell cost, and 3 to raise the ODF from +2 to +5, for a total of 4 mana. This temporarily lowers his Mana attribute from Good to Terrible; he rolls a Fair check against his Constitution and makes it, so he does not fall unconscious. A ball of flame appears in his hand, and the mage rolls an Opposed Action of his Fireball skill vs. the giant's Dodge skill - let's say for this example that he wins the Action by +1, with a "blank" on his damage die. The final damage inflicted would be:
1 (relative degree) +0 (dam. die) +
The mage's opponent is now Hurt (checks off one Hurt box).
Example 1: A mage with a Fair (0) Mana attribute casts a Mystic Shield on himself before traveling into a forest. He spends the cost of 1, temporarily lowering his Mana from Fair to Mediocre, and casts the spell, automatically succeeding. For the next hour he will have a +2 DDF bonus against any physical (but not magical) attacks made against him. At the end of that hour he can choose to recast the spell.
Example 2: A mage with a Great (+2) Mana attribute casts a Mystic Shield on himself before traveling
into a forest. For mana he spends 1 for the spell cost, another 1 to raise the DDF from +2 to +3, and another 2 to make the Mystic Shield effective against magical energy, for a total of 5 mana. He spends the cost and casts the spell, succeeding automatically. This temporarily reduces his Mana from Great to Terrible, and he succeeds in making a Fair Constitution check to remain conscious. For the next hour he will have a +5 DDF (+3 from spell, +2 from Great Mana level) bonus for any physical or magical attacks made against him. At the end of that hour (assuming a normal mana zone) his Mana should have recharged to the point where he can simply recast the spell if he chooses.
Example 1: A mage with a Good (+1) Mana attribute casts Root on a Far opponent rushing towards him but out of melee range. He spends the spell cost of 1, plus 1 to reach Far range, plus 1 to increase the duration from 1 round to 2 rounds (plus Relative Degree), for a total mana cost of 3. This temporarily lowers his Mana from Good to Poor. He rolls an Opposed Action of his Root skill vs. the opponent's Willpower and wins (for example) by +2. The opponent immediately becomes stuck to the ground for 5 rounds (2 for the spell, +2 for the relative degree, +1 for mage's Mana level). He may now attempt to succeed at a Good Strength check, once each round until the spell wears off- if he fails, he remains rooted in place; if he succeeds, he can immediately move normally.
Example 2: A mage with a Good (+1) Mana attribute and a bracelet Fair Mana battery (see 2.55 Mana Batteries, below) casts Root on a Far opponent rushing towards him but out of melee range. He spends the spell cost of 1, plus 1 to reach Far range, plus 2 to increase the duration from 1 round to 3 rounds, plus 2 to increase the Strength check difficulty from Good to Superb, for a total mana cost of 6. The mage draws 3 levels of Mana from his bracelet, reducing it to Terrible, and draws the other 3 needed levels from himself, temporarily lowering his Mana from Good to Poor. He rolls an Opposed Action of his Root skill vs. the opponent's Dodge skill and wins (for example) by +2. The opponent immediately becomes stuck to the ground for 6 rounds (3 for the spell, +2 for the relative degree, +1 for mage's Mana level). He may now attempt to succeed at a Superb Strength check, once each round until the spell wears off- if he fails, he remains rooted in place; if he succeeds, he can immediately act normally.
2.54 Magic in CombatMost spells take effectively no time to cast- a warrior can swing his sword, an archer can shoot his bow, and a mage can cast a spell all in roughly the same amount of time (the nebulous 'combat round', often between 3-6 seconds). Against characters without Fast Draw for their weapons, this actually gives the mage a slight advantage, as he has nothing he needs to 'ready'. At the GM's discretion, certain powerful spells may have casting times of one round, ten rounds, two hours, one day, whatever.
Whenever possible the casting of a spell should be an Opposed Action, and the relative degree should alter the spell's effect (as it does for a weapon's damage roll). If the mage is successful, the spell is cast and takes effect- the mage got his spell off just before his opponent struck him, or his opponent failed to dodge out of the spell's path. If the mage loses the Action. the mana is still spent but the spell is ruined- his opponent struck him and broke his concentration, or simply dodged out of the spell's path. To make mages more powerful, the GM can decide that no mana is lost if the mage loses the Action.
2.55 Mana BatteriesA mana battery is any object that has been imbued with its own Mana attribute; mages can draw the mana from these batteries before having to draw Mana from themselves. Mana batteries can be anything, though some items are easier to enchant than others, and are rated on the same scale as a mage's Mana attribute. Some GM's may also allow familiars (magical animal pets) to fill this role, acting as living mana batteries for their masters. If a mana battery is ever drained completely (that is, reaches Terrible –1), a Fair (0) situational roll or better on 4dF is required to prevent the battery from being permanently disenchanted. Otherwise, mana batteries regenerate mana at the same rate as a mage (familiars suffer the same effects of a lowered Mana attribute as a mage does).
Example: Raphael the magic using turtle has a Mana attribute of Good; he is also wearing an enchanted belt (mana battery: Fair) and a magic ring (mana battery: Mediocre). Raphael gets caught up in a large battle, and quickly finds his Mana attribute down to Poor. He needs to cast another spell with a cost of 4 – he decides to take 3 levels of Mana from his ring (draining it completely to Terrible -1), and one level from his belt, temporarily lowering the belt's mana from Fair to Mediocre. Once the spell is complete he rolls a 4dF situational roll and gets a result of –1 (he needed at least a '0', Fair); his magic ring has been permanently drained of all magic.
2.6 MiraclesMudge assumes miracles are powered by a deity. Some miracles may happen at the deity's instigation (GM whim, or deus ex machina for plot purposes), and some may be petitioned by characters.
Miracles may take place in a startling fashion or in a mundane way. In fact, many people believe that miracles occur daily, but we don't notice them because they appear as simple coincidences. The stranger walking down the road who just happens to have the tools you need to fix your wagon might indeed be just a coincidence, or it may have been divinely arranged that he chanced by at that time. If the tools were simply to appear by themselves, or the wagon fix itself, there would be little doubt that a miracle had occurred. This is neither good nor bad - the GM can choose either method of granting miracles, and they need not be mutually exclusive.
There is no Mudge mechanic in place for characters petitioning miracles. If the deity actually exists in the setting, and the character is in relationship with that deity, then the deity will either choose to intervene or not, depending on each unique circumstance and the deity's relationship with the character. It thus behooves a character of this sort to always remain in his deity's 'good graces', or he may suddenly find himself alone when he needs divine assistance the most. Some GMs may wish to use a Faith attribute to give some concrete form to this relationship, and even design 'standard miracles' as described above for magic spells (using Faith instead of Mana).
A sample miracle system, Fudge Miracles, can be found in Chapter 7, The Addenda of the original Fudge rules. The D&D Cleric spell list may also be helpful.
2.7 PsiIn order to use psionic abilities, a character must first buy the Psionic gift. Any character with the Psionic gift gains access to a new attribute, called Psyche, which is used to power psi abilities. This attribute's level is determined per the usual attributes rules. A psi's current Psyche level will often affect the damage and effectiveness of psi abilities he uses; the Psyche level is not lowered until after using the ability. After this, the character can buy specific psi powers (which he and/or the GM create), each equal in value to one Hard or Very Hard skill.
Successfully using a psi ability on an unwilling target is an Opposed Action, usually with a difficulty level of Mediocre. The target's defensive trait will usually be Willpower or Intelligence; psi powers are rarely affected by armor or defensive weapons, though settings where psionics are common may have developed specific defenses against them. Using a psi ability on oneself or on a willing target is usually automatic, no roll required.
Critical successes and failures (+4 or –4) that occur when using psionics often produce spectacular effects, though not necessarily what the psionicist intended.
No specific psionics system is used in Mudge. The GM and player are free to use any system mutually agreed upon. It is possible for a party to contain two different psionic characters, each of whom uses a different system or abilities list.
A sample psi system, Fudge Psi, can be found in Chapter 7, The Addenda of the original Fudge rules. GURPS Psionics or the D&D Psionics Handbook also contain rules for Psionics.
The following sections outline a very basic approach to using Psionics.
2.71 Psyche and Ability CostA psi ability's cost indicates how many levels the character's Psyche attribute is temporarily lowered when that ability is used. For example, if a character with a Great Psyche attribute uses an ability with a cost of 2, his Psyche is temporarily reduced to Fair. Usually Psyche recovers at the rate of one level per minute, but this may be adjusted by the GM to make psionicists less or more powerful in the campaign. If high technology is available, there may also be drugs or cyberware which restores Psyche more quickly (though these will often have dangers of their own).
Any time a character's Psyche reaches Terrible, he must roll a Fair check against his Willpower attribute or fall unconscious until his Psyche regenerates to Fair (or its normal level, if lower than Fair). If a psionicist's Psyche ever falls to Terrible –1 (the maximum) he automatically loses consciousness and will not begin regaining Psyche for at least one minute.
Additionally, if a psionicist wishes (usually only in desperate situations), he can draw psychic energy from his own body, gaining one level of psyche per wound taken. For example, he could draw two levels of psyche by checking off two Scratch boxes on his wound track, or five levels of psyche by checking off all three Scratch boxes and both Hurt boxes. These wounds are no different than wounds suffered any other way in regards to healing time, penalties inflicted, etc. The GM should feel free in describing the physical effects of this type of psionic use on the user's body.
2.72 Designing Psi AbilitiesIf you are playing a Psionic character, you will need to work out the details of at least enough abilities to begin the game with. The GM may allow you to modify abilities from any of your favorite lists or help you create your own. Regardless, certain characteristics of each ability will be helpful to know.
Name: a short name for the ability, and its difficulty to learn
Cost: how many levels of Psyche the ability requires (usually 1, sometimes 2, 3 or more for very powerful abilities). This is the 'base cost', how much Psyche it takes to produce the ability's usual effect- many abilities will have ways of spending more Psyche for greater effect
Target: What are valid targets for this ability? How many targets can be chosen? Can extra Psyche affect this?
DF: If this is a physical attack or defensive ability, what is its Offensive Damage Factor or Defensive Damage Factor? Can extra Psyche affect this? ? This is essentially the same as a 'weapon value' for a warrior's sword, or as 'armor value' from armor.
Range: is this spell Touch, Near, Far, etc.? Can extra Psyche affect the range? What is the maximum range? If an ability's range is listed as Very Far, assume it can also be used at Touch, Near, and Far for no extra cost
Duration: How long does this effect usually last? Can extra Psyche affect this?
Effect: What does the ability actually do? This is where you would put notes on damage inflicted, wounds restored, how many targets can be affected, the effect (if any) on spending additional Psyche, if the psionicist's Psyche level is included directly in the effect, what defenses or resistances (if any) can be used to counter this ability, which attributes to use for Opposed Actions, etc. Include as much as possible- the more precisely it is defined before the game, the less trouble it will be to use during the game.
Example: An example of any ability created would be very useful, not only in determining how to correctly use it, but also in finding errors made during its creation.
2.73 Sample Psi Abilities- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Name: Clairvoyance, VH
Target: a 10' cube, +10' per extra Psyche
DF: not applicable
Range: Far, Very Far +1, Several Miles +2, Dozens of Miles +3, Hundreds of Miles +4 Psyche, etc; these costs are lowered by 1 for each (current) level of Psyche
Duration: 1 minute, +1 minute per extra Psyche
Effect: This ability allows the psionicist to mentally 'see' an area from a distance. The difficulty level of using this ability is determined by how well the psionicist knows the area he wishes to view- a general table might be:
Mediocre - Your home, an area very well known
Example 1: A psionicist with a Fair Psyche attribute wishes to use Clairvoyance to check on his house. He is 110 miles away at the time, which the GM treats as Dozens of miles. For Psyche he spends 1 for the cost of the ability and 3 extra for the range, for a total cost of 4. This temporarily reduces his Good Psyche to Terrible. He rolls against his Good Willpower and gets a result of '-1' (a Fair result), so he manages to stay conscious. He then rolls against his Clairvoyance skill, and gets a Fair result- this beats the difficulty level of Mediocre (since it is his home). The psionicist can view any 10' cube in his home for 1 minute (though once he chooses which 10' cube to view he cannot change the target; to view different rooms he would need to attempt the ability again when his Psyche recovers).
Example 2: A psionicist with a Superb Psyche attribute and a Great Clairvoyance skill is attempting to
sneak a peek into a cell deep within the Castle Aaarrrggghhh from outside. He has never been to the dungeons, but a prisoner who escaped a few months before has described everything he remembered about the place. He only spends 1 level of Psyche- the GM decides the range is only Far, so there is no extra cost for range. However, the difficulty level is Superb, since the psionicist himself has never been to the location and must rely on another person's description. Rolling 4dF the psionicist rolls '+1', for a Superb result- he just barely manages to center his 10' cube view on the cell he needed to see.
Mediocre - A family member, close friend
Example 1: A psionicist with Fair Psyche is attempting to call for help from his good friend Joe, who is
3 miles away. He spends 1 for the ability cost and 2 to increase the range from Far to Several Miles for a total cost of 3. The difficulty he needs to beat is Mediocre (for a close friend). If his current Psyche was Great (+2), the cost would only be 1.
Example 1: A psionicist with a Good (+1) Psyche attribute wishes to Psi Blast his opponent, a Near man with a Good intelligence and Fair Willpower. The target is attempting to hit the psionicist with his sword (Good sword skill). An Opposed Action is rolled: the psionicist's Psi Blast skill (Good) vs. the target's Willpower (Fair), and the target's Sword skill (Good) vs. the psionicist's Psi Blast (Good). The psionicist lowers his Psyche from Good to Mediocre (the unmodified ability has a cost of 2). Both characters roll 4dF. The psionicist gets a '+2', the target gets a '+1'. Comparing the results, we see:
Psi Blast skill (Good) vs. target's Willpower (Fair) = Superb vs. Good = +2 rel. degree
The psionicist successfully hit his target with a Psi Blast, lowering the target's Willpower by 5 levels (2 + relative degree of 2 + Good Psyche of 1= 5 total). This brings the target's Willpower to Terrible –2; he rolls 4dF against his (normal) Willpower, and rolls a '0', failing the check (needed a Good result). The target missed the psionicist with his sword (-1 relative degree), and now simply stands there in a daze for 5 combat rounds (the time it takes his Terrible –2 Willpower to return to Fair).
2.74 Psi in Combat
Most psi abilities take effectively no time to use- a warrior can swing his sword, an archer can shoot his bow, and a psionicist can use an ability all in roughly the same amount of time (a combat round). Against characters without Fast Draw for their weapons, this gives the psionicist a slight advantage, as he has nothing he needs to 'ready'. At the GM's discretion, certain powerful abilities may have readying times of one round, ten rounds, two hours, one day, whatever.
Whenever possible, the using of a psionic ability should be an Opposed Action. If the psionicist is successful, the ability is successful and takes effect- the psionicist used his ability before his opponent struck him, or his opponent failed to successfully defend. If the psionicist loses the Action. the Psyche is still spent but the ability doesn't work- his opponent struck him and broke his concentration, or simply resisted the effect.
2.75 Psi Batteries
A psi battery is a technological device (or crystal, etc.) that supplements the psionicist's Psyche with its own energy. Psionicists can draw the Psyche from these batteries before having to draw Psyche from themselves. Psi batteries are rated on the same scale as a psionicist's Psyche attribute. If a psi battery is ever drained completely (i.e., Terrible –1), a Fair roll (0) or better on 4dF is required to prevent the battery from being permanently disabled. Otherwise, psi batteries regenerate Psyche from the environment at the same rate as the psionicist himself.
Example: Ziegfried the psionicist has a Psyche attribute of Good, but has already lowered his own Psyche to Poor and doesn't want to risk lowering it further to Terrible. Luckily for him, he is wearing a psi battery in the form of a watch on his wrist. Ziegfried needs to use another ability with a cost of 3, and his psi battery is a Good model. He uses 3 levels of Psyche from his psi battery, temporarily lowering the battery's Psyche from Good to Poor.
Most superpowers are treated as expensive gifts (unless they are psionic or magical in nature, in which case they can be created using the magic and psi rules, above). A common treatment of superheroes involves faults related to powers, which makes more powers available to the character. For example, a super hero is able to fly, but only while intangible. The accompanying fault lowers the cost of the power 1 or more levels (if using the Objective Character Creation system).
Critical successes and failures (+4 or –4) that occur when using superpowers often produce spectacular effects, though not necessarily what the character intended.
No specific superpowers system is used in Mudge. The GM and player are free to use any system mutually agreed upon. It is possible for a party to contain two different superpowered characters, each of whom uses a different system or powers list.
There are far too many powers to list here - browsing through a comic store's wares will give you a good idea of what's available. Most superpowers are equal in value to 2 gifts, some are 3 or even more (in the Objective system). Some superpowers may require separate skills to be taken as well- for example, the Flight superpower allows a character to fly, but a Flight skill check might be required to perform any complex maneuvers.
Like Magic and Psi, the GM and player should discuss each Superpower taken to determine its exact details and game effects. Super Strength, Speed, and Mass are treated as separate scales- see Section 2.3, Non-humans. Other superpowers that come in levels are discussed in Section 2.34, Cost of Scale.
2.81 Designing Superpowers
If you are playing a superpowered character, you will need to work out the details of at least enough superpowers to begin the game with. The GM may allow you to modify superpowers from any of your favorite systems (GURPS, Marvel Superheroes) or help you create your own. Regardless, certain characteristics of each superpower will be helpful.
Name: a short name for the superpower
Cost: unlike magic and psi, many superpowers don't require a cost; they're either 'on' or 'off'. If a power is going to have an associated cost it can be drawn from whichever attribute seems appropriate.
Target: What are valid targets for this ability? How many targets can be chosen?
DF: If this is an attack or defense superpower, what is its Offensive Damage Factor or Defensive Damage Factor? This is essentially the same as a 'weapon value' for a warrior's sword, or as 'armor value' from armor.
Range: is this superpower Touch, Near, Far, etc.? What is the maximum range? If an ability's range is listed as Far, assume it can also be used at Touch and Near for no extra cost, etc.
Duration: How long does this superpower usually remain in effect? ('always on' superpowers are possible, but may be very expensive in the Objective Creation system)
Effect: What does the superpower actually do? This is where you would put notes on damage inflicted, wounds restored, how many targets can be affected, what defenses or resistances (if any) can be used to counter this superpower, which attributes to use for an Opposed Action, etc. Include as much as possible- the more precisely it is defined before the game, the less trouble it will be to use during the game.
Example: An example of any superpower created would be very useful, not only in determining how to correctly use it, but also in finding errors made during its creation.
2.82 Sample Superpowers
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2 (for relative degree) + 1 (for damage die [for example]) + 3 (ODF) – 2 (DDF) = +4
The character's opponent, according to the wound chart, is Hurt.
Artificial limbs, organs, implants and neural connections to computers are common in some science fiction settings. As with all other powers, the GM and player will determine the specific game effects of any cyberware together.