PDQ Fudge

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PDQ Fudge is an alternate version of the PDQ (Prose Descriptive Qualities) system that uses specialty Fudge dice to simplify the game's math. Most of the details are similar, but have been reproduced here for ease of comprehension.

The Scale

Everything in this game is rated on the following scale:

Poor -1 Very Easy
Average 0 Easy
Good 1 Medium
Expert 2 Hard
Master 3 Very Hard

Character Creation

Characters are composed of Qualities, which are two things - a word or two describing the Quality, and a number representing the Rank of the Quality. A sample quality might be Fist 1, or Good Fist. When a player uses their character’s Qualities, they choose a Quality to use and make one of the three types of rolls using its Rank (described in the next section).

To create a character, you have a pool of points the DM allots (usually 3 to 5). You can spend these points on Qualities on a one to one basis, gaining as many or as few Qualities as you like. In addition, the standard character has one point of Weakness, a Quality at -1 (Poor). A sample character with a 4-point pool might look like this:

Herbert West
Scientist 1
Brilliant 1
Reanimator 2
Insane -1

Conflict Resolution

There are three forms of conflict resolution in this game - simple, complicated, and conflict. Each is composed of two opposed numbers, the character’s number and the target’s number (Character vs. Target). If the character’s number is equal to or greater than the target’s number, the character wins. Often, these resolutions require a roll of Fudge dice (known as dF). Fudge dice are a special type of six-sided die that has two blank sides, two plus sides, and two minus sides. The common roll is 2dF, which is two Fudge dice added together (for example, a roll of [++] equals 2, and a roll of [0-] equals -1).

Simple Rank vs. Rank
Used if a character’s rank is above the target’s Rank, or if a situation is unimportant and lives are not on the line.
Complicated Rank + 2dF vs. Rank
Used if a character’s rank is equal to or below the target’s Rank.
Conflict Rank + 2dF vs. Rank + 2dF
Used if a character’s rank is actively opposed by the target’s Rank.

Modifiers

Depending on the situation, resolutions may be changed by Modifiers, which come in two varieties - Upshifts and Downshifts.

Upshift - An Upshift gives a character a +1 bonus to their roll. Qualities cannot be Upshifted past 3 (Master) - for each Upshift past that point, the player rolls an extra dF and can ignore a single - on the roll.

Upshifts are granted when a player has done exceptionally well in describing an action, or when the DM thinks that the character would be more successful than normal because of good planning or other circumstances.

Downshift - A Downshift gives a character a -1 penalty to their roll. Downshifts that degrade a Rank to below -1 (Poor) result in automatic failure.

Downshifts are given when characters are at a disadvantage, or when characters are damaged through combat.

Combat

Depending on the action, most resolutions in combat are complicated or conflict. Characters use Qualities to do damage to each other by making a Conflict roll with attack Quality vs. defense Quality. If the result is positive, the target takes a number of lasting Downshifts equal to the result. These Downshifts can be spread out between the target’s Qualities as the target pleases, but if any Rank is decreased below -1 (Poor), the target is out of the battle. If the result is 0, both the attacker and the target take 1 lasting Downshift.

At the end of the battle, the characters can remove some of their lasting Downshifts. If they are completely out of danger, they lose all Downshifts. If they are still in danger, but not in immediate danger, they can remove dF + 2 Downshifts. If a character has a Quality or Weakness that applies, add its Rank to the Downshifts removed.

Experience

As characters adventure and experience things, they gain more points to spend on Qualities. After each session, each character gains 1 experience point. A player can purchase 1 Rank to add to their character by spending experience points (the amount is determined by the DM - usually, between 2 and 4 experience for 1 Rank). Ranks bought like this can be added to any current Quality (or Weakness), or can be used to buy a new Quality at Rank 1.