The World of Psi-punk. A brief overview of the setting, its history, and the events leading up to present day in the year 2096.
Character Creation you will be given all of the information and tools necessary for creating a character suitable for play in this setting. You will also be introduced to the Fudge “trait ladder” and how it applies to everything you do in the game.
Equipment and Cybernetics is a character-focused section geared toward gear. Everything a character will need to enter the harsh world of Psi-punk, from guns to armor, magic devices to cybernetics, is presented in one chapter for ease of reference.
Playing the Game, you will find the majority of the rules and guidelines that will help both players and Game Masters make the most of the system. An introduction to Fudge Dice is given before describing all of the crunchy game mechanics including skill use, combat resolution, getting wounded, and healing those wounds. The chapter is rounded off with a helpful example combat that will illustrate how the game mechanics work in practice.
Psionics and Magic is an in-depth look at one of the defining aspects of Psi-punk. Presented therein is all of the information you will need to add psionics (and magic) to your game.
Hacking and When Worlds Diverge provide some additional insight into the rules and the game’s setting. Many of the presented rules are optional but can be utilized to add some flair to any campaign – by using these more complex skill systems and multiple planes of existence, you will experience much more of what the game has to offer.
Game Mastering is a guide to help both new and experienced GMs run a game of Psi-punk. New GMs will find advice on planning and putting together a campaign. Details about NPCs, encounters, and loot are provided for the new and experienced GM alike.
Additional appendices are also presented which contain a useful character sheet, an example of how you can substitute regular six-sided dice for Fudge dice, and a random adventure generator.
Common Game Terms
Following is a list of common terms you will find throughout this section. Don’t worry if they don’t make complete sense yet; we will be discussing them in detail in later chapters.
Game Master (GM): Most commonly referred to as simply the “GM,” the Game Master is the person responsible for crafting adventures and adjudicating rules. Each group of players needs only one GM at a time. GMing a game can be both a challenging and rewarding experience, as it is up to the GM to ensure that all players (including herself) are having a good time.
Player: Any real person playing the game (other than the GM, who “runs” the game). Players are the people behind the characters. It is recommended, though not required, that a group have at least three players.
Player Character (PC): usually referred to as simply “character.” Characters are in game personas developed and brought to life by players. Generally, each player will control a single character and control his/her actions during play.
Team: All of the player characters in a group are collectively referred to as a team. Teams can be comprised of two or more player characters, and occasionally they include some friendly non-player characters as well.
Non-Player Character (NPC): NPCs are characters that are controlled by the GM, not the players. These can include anyone (or anything) from random thugs and henchmen to shopkeepers, villains (or other antagonists), monsters, and any other conceivable being that the player characters interact with throughout the course of a game session.
Game Session (Session): Any amount of time set aside for players and GMs to come together and play a game. A typical game session lasts anywhere from 2 to 6 hours, but some groups opt to play for more (or less) time.
Campaign: An ongoing story arc comprised of multiple game sessions.
Mission: A scenario developed by the GM that involves the characters. Missions can be anything the group desires, from pulling off a simple heist to overthrowing a fascist regime. The possibilities are literally endless and limited only by the imaginations of those involved.
Scene: An abstract block of time that involves the players doing just about anything. A scene can be a chase, a firefight, an intense debate, or even just a round of pints at the local pub. Anything can happen during a scene, but in general a scene represents a smaller block of time than a mission. Missions are usually comprised of several different scenes.
Character Sheet: A convenient place to keep track of your character’s statistics. A sample character sheet is provided in the Appendix.
Check: In most cases, when a player rolls dice to determine the outcome of an action, he is said to be making a check (i.e., he is checking to see if his action was successful). Fudge commonly references “skill checks” (tests relating to a character’s skills) and “attribute checks” (checks relating to either a primary or secondary attribute).
Check Result: The sum of a dice roll and an appropriate skill or attribute; literally, the result of a check.
Difficulty Level (Difficulty): The target you need to meet or exceed to be successful at a check. In some cases the GM will set this difficulty, in other cases it will be set by an opponent’s check.
Degree of Success: The amount by which you exceed (or miss) the difficulty of a check.
Degree of Success = Your Check Result – Difficulty Natural Roll: The result of a dice roll before any allowed re-rolls are taken.
Initial Result: The result of a check before it is matched with the difficulty to determine a degree of success.
Re-roll: Rolling a certain number of dice again before observing the check result. Common uses of re-rolls are with Skill Specializations (re-roll 1dF) and via Luck Points (re-roll 1 dice + a number of additional dice equal to the skill’s Linked Attribute). Other Gifts and Faults, including equipment Gifts and Faults, may also allow characters to re-roll dice.
Power Rating (PR): All magic devices have a Power Rating. This is the bonus added to any check made to activate that device. It replaces the Attribute a character using a similar psionic ability would use.
Character Creation Terms
Trait: Anything that describes a character. A trait can be an attribute, skill, inherited Gift, Fault, psionic power, or any other feature that describes a character. The GM is the ultimate authority on what is an attribute and what is a Skill, Gift, etc.
Level (Trait Level): Most traits are described by one of nine adjectives. These nine descriptive words represent the levels a trait may be at. Refer to 0.1: The Trait Ladder (below) for examples.
Trait Ladder: A table which displays the levels available for attributes, skills, and other traits which use levels. See The Trait Ladder below for more details.
Build Points: Spent during character creation to increase Skill levels, buy additional Gifts, and otherwise “build” your character. Build Points, or “BP” for short, allow you to add traits to your character until the total number of available points is depleted.
Attribute: Any trait that everyone in the game world has in some degree. See Attributes, below, for a sample list of attributes. On the trait ladder, the average human will have an attribute at Fair.
Skill: Any trait that isn’t an attribute, but can be improved through practice. The default level for an unlisted skill is usually Poor, though that can vary a little; see individual skill descriptions for details.
Linked Attribute: Each Skill has a Linked Attribute – a Secondary Attribute which the Skill is associated with. Linked Attributes increase as the Skill Level increases. Linked Attributes also help determine how many dice are re-rolled when spending Luck Points.
Luck Points: Meta-game traits which allow characters to bend the narrative in their favor.
Gift: Any trait that isn’t an attribute or skill, but is something positive for the character. In general, if the trait doesn’t easily fit the trait ladder, it’s probably a Gift.
Fault: Any trait that limits a character’s actions or earns him a bad reaction from other people.
Psionic Power (Power): Although technically Gifts, psionic powers are treated separately due to their special rules. See Chapter 5: Psionics and Magic for more info.
The Trait Ladder
Psi-punk uses ordinary words to describe various traits. Nearly every trait in the game will reference this Trait Ladder in some way, so take time to become familiar with it.
These terms can be modified to use any adjective you desire. For example, if you would prefer to use “Awesome” instead of “Superb”, feel free to do so; it’s your game, and you should feel free to customize it.
Psi-punk Copyright 2012, Accessible Games; Author Jacob Wood