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Character Points

Character Points

The Five Point Fudge system of character creation organizes skills into skill “groups” to help players decide which skills are best for the characters they wish to create.

There are eight skill groups in Fantasy Fudge: Athletic; Combat; Covert; Knowledge; Magic; Professional; Scouting; and Social (see below).

Fantasy Fudge recommends that players be granted 5 points to purchase skills from these various skill groups.

A player can spend his points in any of the groups that he chooses, up to four points in any one group. (He must spend points in at least two groups.) Each quantity of points spent provides a certain number of skills (of the player’s choice) from the appropriate group, at the levels shown below.

Because a character with too few skills may be weak in a given campaign, the GM may limit the number of points you can spend on narrowly focused skill groups. (Suggested limit: two points, either 1 in each of 2 Groups or 2 “narrow focus” points in a single Skill Group.)

Spending One Point on a Skill Group

Examples of point expenditure: if a player wishes his character to be a dabbler at Combat, he could spend one point on the Combat group. Using a broad focus, he could then choose any three Combat skills at Fair and any one at Mediocre. Using a narrow focus, he may choose any two

Combat skills: one at Good and one at Mediocre.

Example 1: one point in Combat

One-handed Sword: Fair Fast-draw Sword: Fair Shield: Fair Brawling: Mediocre

Example 2: a different way to spend one point in Combat

Spear: Fair Throw Spear: Fair Tactics: Fair Knife: Mediocre

Example 3: one narrowly focused point in Combat

Bow: Good

One-handed Sword: Mediocre

Spending Two Points on a Skill Group

If a player spends two points in a skill group, he can choose two skills at Good, and four more at Fair (using a broad focus), or one at Great, one at Good, and one at Fair (using a narrow focus).

Example 4: two points in Combat

One-handed Sword: Good

Fast-draw Sword: Good

Bow: Fair Tactics: Fair Brawling: Fair Read Opponent: Fair

Example 5: two narrowly focused points in Social

Fast-talk: Great

Parley/Negotiate: Good

Camaraderie: Fair The more points a player spends in a given skill group, the more his character gains both familiarity with a number of skills and greater expertise in some of those skills.

For example, a Combat specialist is a professional soldier who will be an expert with a few weapons, but will have also used many other weapons over the course of his career.

Tips on Point Spending

The player may choose any skills within a given skill group, up to the number listed for the points spent. The player may decide which of those skills are at the listed levels. If the GM doesn’t want a character to know a given skill, she should make sure the player understands this before character creation.

Thus there are thousands of player character types available in this system, yet all are easily customized to the player’s desires. If you want your character to be a Jack of All Trades, don’t spend more than two points in any skill group. If you want a specialist, spend at least three points in a skill group.

The possible combinations of spending five points are:

  • 5 different skill groups: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1
  • 4 different skill groups: 2, 1, 1, 1
  • 3 different skill groups: 3, 1, 1 or 2, 2, 1
  • 2 different skill groups: 4, 1 or 3, 2

Points Spent Skills in that Group, in a Group at which Levels (maximum 4 pts) Broad Focus Narrow Focus 1 3 at Fair 1 at Good

1 at Mediocre 1 at Mediocre 2 2 at Good 1 at Great

4 at Fair 1 at Good

1 at Fair 3 1 at Great

3 at Good

4 at Fair 4 1 at Superb 2 at Great

3 at Good

3 at Fair General Skills Point: Skills at Level: 3 at Fair, from any two or three groups.

Trading Allowed:

  • 1 skill for 2 skills at one level lower
  • Attribute levels (lower one to raise another)
  • 1 Attribute levels for 1 Gift (or vice versa)
  • 1 Extra Fault = 1 Gift or 1 Attribute Level

General Skills Point

A player may spend a maximum of one point as a General Skills point. This means you may spend one point and take any* three skills at Fair. These skills can be from two or three different skill groups, if desired (there is no point in taking them all from the same group).

Note that a General Skills point does not get you as many skills as a broadly focused point (four), but more than a narrowly focused point (two).

* = The GM may restrict certain skills, such as Magic skills, from being taken with a General Skills point.

Trading Skills

During character creation you may trade one skill for two skills of lesser value. Thus you could trade one Good skill for two Fair skills, or one Great skill for two Good skills. For example, spending two points in a skill group normally gets you 2 Good and 4 Fair skills. You could instead choose 2 Good, 3 Fair, and 2 Mediocre skills.

Skills involved in the trade must all be from the same skill group. Exception: with a General Skills point (see above), you can trade a Fair for two Mediocre skills from two different groups. Thus a character could take six Mediocre skills from six different groups with a General Skills point.

No other trading of skill levels is allowed, unless using the expanded trading option in Campaign Power Levels (see the full version of Five-point Fudge online).

Customizing Skill Points

The Gamemaster may customize skill points and character creation as desired. If narrowly focused points seem too costly (giving up half the skills of a broadly focused point for an increase of one level in one skill), add another skill at Fair. Do skill levels seem too low for your epic campaign? After they’ve created their characters, let your players raise five skills of their choosing one level each (subject to your approval).

See Campaign Power Levels in the full version of Fivepoint Fudge online for more tips on customizing character creation.

Character Creation Tips

There are many ways to create a character. If you have a concept in mind, scan the skill lists that seem most likely to fit your character. A fighter will obviously need to spend some points in Combat skills, and a thief in Covert skills.

Since you must spend points in at least two skill groups, try to think of what other skills would be helpful or perhaps simply fun for your character to have.

Once you’ve decided which skill groups to choose from, jot down the most appealing skills in these groups. The number of skills you want from a given group will tell you how many points you need to spend in that skill group.

For example, if only two or three skills appeal to you from a group, spending 1 or 2 narrowly focused points is sufficient. If you really want eight or ten skills all from the same group, you’re creating a specialist character: You’ll probably have to spend three or four points in that skill group to get that many skills. (Another way to get eight or ten skills, if you don’t mind low skill levels, is to use the “trading skills” option.) A Jack of All Trades character rarely spends more than two points in any one group, and is interested in skills from three or more different skill groups.

Once your skills are chosen, you can then set your attributes, Gifts, and Faults. At that point you’ll easily be able to see what levels your attributes should logically be, and which Gifts and Faults would go most appropriately with your character.

It’s best to consult with the Gamemaster and the other players when creating characters. This can prevent problems with characters that are unsuited for the planned campaign, or PCs that encroach on one another’s “spotlight” time because their skills and abilities compete with rather than complement those of the other characters.

The Gamemaster should approve all characters before play begins.

The Skill Groups

Each genre has its own skill groups. Listed here are eight skill groups for a Fantasy setting. The GM may customize these lists, of course, and may even add or delete an entire skill group if desired.

Following the lists is an alphabetical list of the skills, with descriptions and which skill group they appear in.

Note: although four of the skill groups have multiple titles, such as Athletic/Manual Dexterity Skills, for simplicity they are referred to outside this list by the first part of the title, such as Athletic Skills.

Skills marked with an asterisk (*) appear in more than one skill group. These may be learned by spending points in either skill group there is no reason to learn the same skill from two different groups.

Athletic/Manual Dexterity Skills

Acrobatics/Tumbling

Aerial Acrobatics

Balance

Boating *(Scouting)

Climbing *(Covert)

Equestrian

Acrobatics

Juggling

Jumping

Knot-tying

Move Quietly *(Covert, Scouting)

Riding

Running

Sleight of Hand

Swimming

Team Acrobatics

Throwing

Whittling

Various Sports Combat Skills

Bow

Brawling

Club/Mace

Crossbow

Fast-draw

Flail

Knife

Knife Throwing

Lance

One-handed Axe

One-handed Sword

Pike

Read Opponent

Shield

Sling

Spear

Spear Throwing

Staff

Tactics

Two-handed Axe

Two-handed Sword

Other weapon skill if GM permits

Covert/Urban Skills

Barroom Savvy *(Social)

Climbing *(Athletic)

Detect Lies

Detect Traps

Disarm Traps

Disguise

Find Hidden

Forgery

Infiltrate

Lip reading

Move Quietly *(Athletic, Scouting)

Pick Locks

Pick Pockets

Poisons

Shady Contacts

Streetwise

Tailing

Urban

Survival

Ventriloquism

Knowledge Skills

Alchemy *(Scholarly Magic)

Arcane Lore

Area Knowledge

Astrology

Botany

Evaluate Goods

First aid

Geography

Heraldry/Court Rituals

Herb Lore *(Hedge Magic, Scouting)

History

Language (each is a separate skill)

Legal Process

Legends/Stories

Literacy

Medicine

Politics/International

Thaumatology

Theology/Myths/Rituals

Veterinarian

Weather Sense

Zoology

Other fields of knowledge if GM permits Magic Skills See Magic, below.

Note: Scholarly Magic skills cost more than normal skills (or other Magic skills); see below.

Professional Skills

Note: If a player spends 3 or 4 points in Professional Skills, he may take skills from any skill group as part of his Professional skills, provided he can make a case for their inclusion in his profession and the GM accepts this.

Not all skills will qualify! A 3-point Animal Handler can make a strong claim that Riding (an Athletic skill) should be in his Professional skill group, but he’ll have to spend at least one point in Combat to get any combat skills.

Animal Handling

Animal Training

Armorer

Artist (each medium separate)

Basketry

Bookkeeping

Bowyer/Fletcher

Carpentry

Cooking

Counseling/Priest

Courtesan

Dancing

Engineer

Falconry

Farming

Gambling

Inn Keeping

Jeweler

Leatherwork

Masonry

Merchant

Musician (each instrument separate)

Performing

Pottery

Seamanship

Shiphandling

Shopkeeping

Smithy

Tailor

Teaching

Teamster

Theater

Weaving

Many others possible. . . .

Scouting/Outdoor Skills Boating *(Athletic)

Camouflage

Camping

Fishing

Herb Lore *(Knowledge, Herb Magic)

Hide Traces

Hunting

Map Sketching

Mimic Animal Noises

Move Quietly *(Athletic, Covert)

Navigation

Observation

Survival

Tracking

Trail Blazing

Woods Lore

Social/Manipulative Skills

Barroom Savvy *(Covert)

Barter/Haggle

Bluff

Camaraderie

Con

Etiquette

Fast-talk

Flatter

Flirt/Vamp

Interrogate

Intimidate

Lie/Pretense

Oratory

Parley/Negotiate

Persuade

Repartee

Salesmanship

Savoir-Faire

Storytelling