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The Many Uses of FUDGE Scale


FUDGE Scale is a powerful game mechanic to handle creatures (or objects) of different sizes (or Mass) in game terms. When dealing with interactions between creatures of similar size, no size related modifiers apply. However, when dealing with creatures of different sizes, scale provides reasonable modified for combat and other opposed actions. FUDGE Scale need not apply just to size and can be used as a powerful game mechanic to cover a multitude of scaled abilities, such as speed, strength (unrelated to size), and more.

In FUDGE, scale is usually used to represent a mix of mass, size (height, width, depth or overall volume) and strength, but in a number of genres these characteristics need not be linked. A small creature from a heavy gravity planet may have substantial mass. A normal human in size and mass, may have supernatural strength. Consider a Cheetah. An adult cheetah weighs from 40 to 65 kg (88 to 140 lb). Its total body length is from 115 to 135 cm (45 to 53 in), while the tail can measure up to 84 cm (33 in) in length. From a mass perspective, this places it in the same class as a small human, yet for short bursts, it can reach speeds of 70-75 mph. If a Speed scale uses the same 1.5 multiplier, this puts a Cheetah at around +3 over the fastest humans. Or in a opposed action of the human to escape from the chasing Cheetah, the human would be at a -3 just for the speed difference.

FUDGE Scale can even be applied to non-physical traits in some settings. In a Lovecraftian setting a Thing-Man-Was-Not-Meant-To-Know could be scale +10 or more on an Intelligence scale making a Human investigator's ability to deduce it's evil unfathomable plans for destroying the human population of the planet very difficult to reason out. It adds a challange for the players that goes beyond what ever clues they have and their own intellect at figuring them out (and takes a burden off the GM to invent unfathomable plots!). It simply presents such monstrosities as the incomprehensible creatures they are.

These are just a few of the reasons why Scale is my favorite FUDGE game mechanic.


# JonathanS223 2010-11-18 12:44
Excellent description of the mechanic. It had me stumped for quite awhile until I read this. :D
# Paul Dupuis 2010-11-19 00:36
Gee! Thanks! If I can find the time I plan a follow up on the use of multiple Fudge scales for civilizations. Most game systems when address the evolution of civilization use a single "Tech Level" sort of scale and it is generally a much richer picture than that. No only do classes of technologies develop at potentially different times, but evolution in social customers, governance, human awareness, etc. evolve over long periods of time and some of these changes are precursors for certain tech developments.
# Knaight 2010-11-23 01:31
This sounds very interesting. Lets see if this can come out soon, eh?
# JonathanS223 2010-11-19 06:19
Sounds like an excellent article. Look forward to reading it, Paul.

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