Friday, June 08, 2007

Good, Or Perhaps Great

I downloaded Fudge via FTP from in the spring (I think) of 1993 and have had in my possession a copy ever since.

I dug it right away. It clicked with me. I knew what to do with it.

14 years later, I'm finally getting a buncha buncha use out of it.

This isn't one of those "I Had Traveller For Ten Years And Couldn't Figure Out Blah Blah Blah" scenarios; no, this one is more about...well, impetus, I guess. Drive, intent, actual effort.

Or maybe just timing.

A few weeks ago I got the Fudge bug again, out of nowhere, for no good reason. Just...BINK! there it was. Cool by me.

I've collected Fudge articles for years, and really enjoy reading the stuff. I just never actually got around to using any of it. I paid good money for Terra Incognita, one of the best pulp RPGs which no one seems to be playing, and likewise haven't yet busted it out.

Ah. But.

One night, about a month ago or so, my wife wanted to play a game, and I said, "Let's do a cyberpunk scenario with Fudge." And she said, "OK, you'll have to teach me." And I said, "Done."

It was a very quick lesson. She threw together a character (no limits, just whatever she wanted) and we played. In two sessions, we completed a full scenario, wherein her character (a gun-toting sexy badass) rescued an annoying fixer-type guy from his Russian mafia captors.

It was bliss.

She kicked ass. NPC generation was a snap. Stunts, guns, running around, crashing trucks into fences...all of it easy to accomplish in-system. Zing!

So far, we've used it for that cyberpunk game, a Traveller/action movie crossover, Spelljammer: Shadow of the Spider Moon (where she fought a bunch of mummies!...

...and what may be the most ridiculous, gleefully-dumbest game I've ever run.

I call it The Hick, The Hooker and the Cross-Eyed Psychic Lesbian Alligator Wrestler.

Ya see, our friends Phil and Erin came down to visit last weekend, and we wanted to play a game but what I had planned was a little too serious. So I said, "Okay, you guys tell me what you want in the game and I'll throw something together."

"Goofy", said Phil.

"Space Cowboys," Erin added.

My wife, always helpful in these moments, simply said, "Giant green rabbits with fangs, that the cowboys ride around on."

Next thing you know, they had stats for their respective characters and a name for their ship -- the Gigolo Sunset, which was, incidentally, shaped like a heart. They also had a mission: deliver 53 cases of (illegal) Coors Ultra-Lightspeed to one Link Abrahms, who resides on a planet full of Puritans (yes, with muskets and goofy hats and buckles on their shoes). Moon-rock tossing, Puritan-arousing, gator-wrestling and Mexican Banditobots soon followed, not to mention a truck with a giant rubber duck on the back and the capacity to use refried beans for fuel.

Taught Phil & Erin the system in, like, 2 minutes. NPC stats? Easy, on the fly.

In fact, I did everything on the fly.

Now...I'm not gonna tell you that Fudge is the bestest RPG ever ever ever, because doing so would be a big fat lie and also this stuff is as subjective as art. I can say, however, that I finally found my groove with Fudge, and Fudge found its groove with me.

And today, my FLGS called to tell me that my copy of the 10th Anniversary Edition finally arrived. So as my wife leaves work tomorrow night, she'll snag it up and bring it home where it belongs.

Now. If only Ann Dupuis would get back with me about that Terra Incognita adventure she asked me if I wanted to write and which I e-mailed her about twice...