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Author Topic: Fudge and Risus reviews?  (Read 8336 times)
Kenway
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Posts: 98


« on: July 01, 2002, 05:52:22 PM »

Could somebody review Fudge and Risus?  These 2 games have been around forever (in indie rpg terms) and might be the most popular of the indie games (I could be dead wrong here).
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Jack Spencer Jr
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2002, 06:00:12 PM »

Popular, I don't know about that. But certainly well-known. Lots of people have heard of FUDGE and it seems like more & more people are talking about Risus for no good reason IMO. But I'm not sure if FUDGE can be strictly classified as indie anymore. Risus, maybe.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2002, 07:44:39 PM »

Hi Kenway,

Speaking for myself, here's the deal.

1) I've played a fair amount of Fudge. I should probably write a review for it. The problem is that  this game has a long history and a lot of mileage behind it, and frankly writing the review has been pretty hard. In a way, it would be like writing a review for a well-known movie, like Star Wars or The Godfather. From my perspective, reading an analysis of either movie is fun and interesting, but a review of either one, published now, seems ... well, odd. I've tried but I've never liked, or better, respected, what it seemed that I had to say.

Therefore a review of Fudge (or Amber, for that matter) is kind of problematic for me. The main purpose of a Forge review is promotional, and I somehow don't see myself as being any kind of helpful hand for either game. I'll have to get over that and focus on a more analytical or just plain "my game" approach.

2) Despite having wanted to for over three years now, I still haven't got around to playing Risus. So, no review yet, although it's not a matter of "rejecting" it or anything similar.

Best,
Ron
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Balbinus
Member

Posts: 290


« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2002, 03:03:31 AM »

I'm not sure there is a great need for a Fudge review here, Risus slightly more so but I'm still not certain.

As Ron says, these have been around a while.  I look to the Forge reviews to tell me about new indie games I might otherwise miss.  Fudge is very well established, anyone with much interest in Indie games most likely already knows about it.

Risus is not quite so well known, although it deserves to be.  I would see some use to a Risus review but I'm not convinced a Fudge review would add to the site when there are still so many interesting and new indie rpgs out there yet to be reviewed.

Finally, only Clinton and Ron review here.  That's fine by me, but both of course have particular tastes in gaming.  Fudge is basically simulationist which neither Clinton nor Ron are.  I'm sure they could still do it justice, but since the reviews here are all playtest reviews I'm more interested in reading reviews by them of games they're likely to actually have enjoyed playing in the style they were designed for.
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AKA max
Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2002, 04:33:47 AM »

Quote from: Balbinus
Risus is not quite so well known, although it deserves to be.  I would see some use to a Risus review but I'm not convinced a Fudge review would add to the site when there are still so many interesting and new indie rpgs out there yet to be reviewed.


Okay...is it just me or is Risus the same game as Over the Edge, minus Al Amarja?
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Balbinus
Member

Posts: 290


« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2002, 05:47:34 AM »

Quote from: Jared A. Sorensen
Quote from: Balbinus
Risus is not quite so well known, although it deserves to be.  I would see some use to a Risus review but I'm not convinced a Fudge review would add to the site when there are still so many interesting and new indie rpgs out there yet to be reviewed.


Okay...is it just me or is Risus the same game as Over the Edge, minus Al Amarja?


There are similarities, but some key differences.  Oddly enough I have spent a little time looking at this as I was deciding which of the two systems to use for a game I was thinking of running.

In OtE you have three traits, one central trait and two side traits.  The central trait is a very broad one with a multiplicity of uses while the side traits are more specific.  One trait (not necessarily the central trait) has four dice and the others have three each.  You then also have a secret, a flaw, a most important person and a motivation.  You have hit points calculated by reference to relevant traits.  Each trait (including here hit points and flaw) has a descriptor attached.

In Risus you divide ten dice amongst traits.  This may still be 4/3/3 but could be any other combination of dice right up to 10 one die traits.  Further, there is no concept of side and central traits.  All traits are potentially equal.

Before I go on to differences in resolution here's some character examples.  First, my PbeM OtE character who was actually played:

Concept:  Jaded tourist
Central trait:  Retired Texas consultant dermatologist (4 dice) (wealthy and relaxed manner)
Side trait:  Keen golfer (3 dice) (carries a set of clubs)
Side trait:  Well travelled (3 dice) (drops conversational anecdotes about exotic places he's been too)
Hit Points:  14 (out of shape)
Flaw:  Overweight (gets out of breath easy)
Secret:  Hates his patients and everything they stand for
Most important person:  His semi-estranged daughter, at bible college in the Midwest, product of a now failed marriage.
Motivation:  To do something more worthwhile than fixing rich folks' wrinkles.

Now an example character from a Renaissance Risus game I was working on.  Note, in Risus you have hooks instead of flaws and taking a hook gives you an extra dice to play with.  Otherwise the concept is similar:

Fausto Trevani, Genoese Crossbowman

Genoese Crossbowman 4
Financial Speculator 3
Racing Enthusiast 3
Amateur Horseman 1

Hook:  Risk prone

You will note that Fausto has a wider range of traits than Harvey and that he has no hit points.  This takes us onto resolution.  In OtE combats, each character rolls their combat trait (if they have one), the higher rolling character hurts the other, to an amount equal to the difference in the rolls multiplied by a factor representing the weapon used.

In Risus, the two characters roll against each other and the one with the lower roll loses one dice from the trait he is using.  He can switch traits at any time, but each time a round is lost a dice is lost from the trait in use.  This applies not just to combat, but any conflict situation.  When the loser runs entirely out of dice in any trait the winner's player narrates the outcome of the conflict.  

I don't think I need to point out to you how different in approach that is.  OtE is freeform but ultimately still rooted in simulationist thought.  You lose hit points, lose enough and you die.  Loss in Risus means transfer of Authorial power to the winning player.

They are other differences, but this should help.  The games are not nearly as similar as they look.  IMO, Risus is in a sense an advance upon the work done by OtE.

Finally, S John Ross freely credits OtE as inspiring much of Risus.

Hope that helps.
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AKA max
Kenway
Member

Posts: 98


« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2002, 06:57:47 AM »

Ron, and all:  Understood.  Thanks.
  I just thought since The Window had a review that the other 2 really old Indie games should get a review too.
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Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 2341


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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2002, 08:57:45 AM »

Nice analysis Max.

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2002, 09:38:56 AM »

Hey,

Agreed, Max, good call. I'm tempted to move this set of posts (Jared, Max, Paul) to its own thread in RPG Theory.

Kenway, I definitely think these two games should be reviewed at the Forge. I'm still wrestling with the difficult problem of writing them.

Best,
Ron
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Ace
Member

Posts: 204


« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2002, 09:20:00 PM »

This thread is a nice bit of synchronicity Ron. I was just getting back into FUDGE.

Curiously the game was the first thing I ever downloaded from the internet on my own connection.

Until I started messing about with Narrativist games FUDGE never seemed very appealing to me.

Now, however it seems like a very good addition to my Library.

Oh and a historical tidbit, FUDGE was inspired in part by a game called Melanda.

Melanda came out in 1981  and used a word descriptor for stat levels and a magic system very similar to Ars Magica.
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