Fudge Lite is a rules-light modular RPG system found at fudgelite.com. Fudge Lite: OSR Edition is a modification to the base Fudge Lite rules. It turns the game into a medieval fantasy class-based dungeon crawl where characters improve their abilities by killing monsters and obtaining treasure. It's meant primarily for old-school gameplay where character death is common, though the optional rules included may be used to reduce character mortality rates.
These rules are stand-alone; you don't need to be familiar with Fudge Lite to play Fudge Lite: OSR Edition.
A Fudge die (or a Fate die) is a 6-sided die with two "+" sides, two "-" sides, and two blank sides. 4dF means 4 Fudge dice are rolled for a result from -4 to +4.
If you don't own any Fudge dice you can roll 4d6 instead. Treat a die roll of 1 or 2 as a minus, 3 or 4 as a blank, and 5 or 6 as a plus. Thus, a roll of 1, 1, 2, 5 would be equivalent to [-][-][-][+], which adds up to -2.
All Player Characters have 6 attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Players roll Fair+3dF for each attribute, going strictly in order. The first stat rolled must be Strength, then Dexterity, etc.
Players that prefer rolling d6 for their characters can roll 3d6 and use the following conversion table:
The probabilities are virtually identical, so it doesn't matter which one you use.
Instead of placing the results into the attributes strictly in order, players may place each result into any open attribute as they are rolled. Once placed, the attribute cannot be changed.
Instead of rolling strictly in order, players may make all the rolls first then set the results into the attributes in any order they choose.
Instead of rolling for attributes, the players may assign the following scores to the different attributes in any order: Great (+3), Good (+2), Fair (+1), Fair (+1), Mediocre (0), Poor (-1).
For better attributes players may do the following: If rolling fudge dice, players may roll 4dF, dropping the lowest die. If rolling d6, players may roll 4d6, dropping the lowest die. If using the pregenerated attributes, players may add 1 level to each attribute, for attributes of Superb (+4), Great (+3), Good (+2), Good (+2), Fair (+1), and Mediocre (0).
All PCs roll 1 hit die each level and add the result to their max HP. The die size is determined by their class. Instead of rolling for their HP gain, the player may instead choose to add the average roll of their hit die, rounded up. (d4=3 HP, d6=4 HP, d8=5 HP).
Players may start with the maximum possible hit points at their first level.
Players may add their Constitution bonus to the hit points they gain each level.
Damage done on a successful non-magical attack is determined by the class's weapon die.
Combat skill starts at Mediocre and increases one Fudge level every 3, 4, or 5 levels.
Wizards start with Mediocre spellcasting skill and improve every 2 levels (Fair at 3, Good at 5, etc.) Spellswords start with Mediocre spellcasting skill and improve every 4 levels (Fair at 5, Good at 9, etc.) Both wizards and spellswords are limited to 4 spells cast per day. Damage dealt by spells, as well as damage healed, is 1d8 for each level of the spellcaster. A fourth-level spellcaster would be able to cast a fireball that does 4d8 damage, or cast a spell to heal 4d8 points of damage.
Hit die: d8
Weapon die: d8
Combat skill improves once every 3 levels (Mediocre at level 1, Fair at level 4, Good at level 7, etc.)
A fighter may select one special ability at character creation.
Great Cleave: Upon bringing a foe to zero HP the fighter may immediately attack a nearby enemy. The number of cleaves (killing an enemy then attacking another) the fighter may make in a row is equal to the fighter's level. When cleaving, the fighter gets to attack without fear of retaliation on a failed attack roll.
Berserker Rage: A fighter can rage once a day at level one. A raging fighter cannot do anything but engage enemies in melee combat. Rage ends at-will or when no more enemies are visible. A raging berserker does an additional die of damage when attacking. Berserkers gain another daily rage every three levels (4, 7, 11, etc.)
Battle Trance: As Berserker Rage, except the fighter gains +1 to attack rolls instead of extra damage.
Backstab: When attacking an unaware opponent the fighter deals an additional die of damage for every four levels the fighter advances (+1d8 for levels 1-4, +2d8 for 5-8, etc.)
Magical attack: At character creation the player chooses an element (fire, ice, lightning, poison, mystery meat, etc.) The fighter gains a medium-range magical attack of that element that deals 2d8 damage to one target or 1d8 to a small group of enemies. The attack roll uses the fighter's combat skill. The magical attack may only be used once per day. Every 4 levels the fighter adds another d8 to the damage roll.
Extra damage: The fighter may add half their level, rounded up, to every damage roll they make.
Impossible Leap: The fighter can leap incredibly high in the air, though they cannot move horizontally any further than normal. If the fighter can land on an unaware foe the fighter can attack as per the backstab special ability. The fighter will not take damage when landing unless they land on something harmful.
Hit Die: d4
Weapon die: d4
Combat skill improves once every 5 levels (Mediocre at level 1, Fair at level 6, Good at level 11, etc.)
Spellcasting skill improves once every 2 levels (Mediocre at level 1, Fair at level 3, Good at level 5, etc.)
Wizards may choose to specialize in a domain and gain a +1 bonus to spells within it. Domains are freeform and are generally chosen by the PC. Wizards can only have one specialty at a time. It's up to the GM to decide if the specialization is permanent or if it can be switched out, and if it can be switched out, if there are any requirements to doing so.
Actions: Attacking, Creating, Communicating, Controlling, Healing, Moving, Sensing, Strengthening, Protecting, Transforming, Weakening
Realms: Air, Animal, Body, Earth, Fire, Food, Image, Light, Magic, Mind, Plant, Sound, Spirit, Water
Spellswords can engage in combat and cast spells, but cannot do either as well as the classes that specialize in them.
Hit Die: d6
Weapon die: d6
Combat skill improves once every 4 levels (Mediocre at level 1, Fair at level 5, Good at level 9, etc.)
Spellcasting skill improves once every 4 levels (Mediocre at level 1, Fair at level 5, Good at level 9, etc.)
In a departure from typical old-school adventuring, adventurers are assumed to have whatever non-magical equipment would be reasonable for them to have; a weapon or two, rations, and assorted other odds and ends. If the GM prefers, they may intead use an equipment list from any existing retroclone.
If the GM allows players to purchase potions, cities tend to stock the following as basic wares:
Potion of Partial Healing: 50 GP.
Restores a number of hit points equal to half the character's maximum, rounded up, or automatically stabilizes an unconscious character.
Potion of Full Healing: 100 GP.
Restores all of a character's hit points or automatically stabilizes an unconscious team member and brings them to 1 HP.
Potion of Repeated Spell: 50 GP.
Allows a spellcaster to attempt to recast the last spell cast without using up a spell slot. The spell must be cast immediately after drinking the potion or it goes to waste.
Potion of Extra Spell: 100 GP.
Restores a caster's spell slot.
Potion of Full Spellcasting: 400 GP.
Restores all of a caster's spell slots.
Additionally, other potions may be available for purchase at the GM's discretion.
Start with the character's skill or attribute. Roll 4dF and shift the trait up or down the Fudge ladder by the number of steps indicated. If the action is unopposed, the player compares the result to the GM-decided difficulty level. If the action is opposed, the player compares the result to the opponent's relevant attribute or skill plus an optional GM-decided modifier. Ties go to the PC.
*Intelligence can be rolled the first time a character encounters a new language. The difficulty depends on how likely it is that the player has encountered the language before. Obscure languages have a high difficulty, while common languages in heavy circulation have more reasonable difficulties (though never easier than Fair difficulty). If the roll is a success, the character retroactively knows the language well enough to communicate in. If the roll is a failure, the character does not know the language in question and cannot make another attempt.
Alternatively, a player may choose the extra languages their character knows at character creation, based on their intelligence score, not going below 0. Fair Intelligence is 1 extra language, Good Intelligence is 2, etc. If languages are selected at character creation, the player does not also get to roll for languages known.
The GM describes a threat and asks a player, "what do you do?" The GM shifts the spotlight between the different players as needed.
When a character attempts to inflict damage on another character that can defend themselves, the attacker must make an opposed roll. If the defender chooses to retaliate, the attacker rolls their combat or magic skill against the defender's combat or magic skill (plus or minus an optional GM-decided modifier). If the defender reacts in a way that won't directly damage the attacker, the attacker must instead roll their combat or magic skill against the defender's relevant attribute (plus or minus an optional GM-decided modifier). If the roll favors the attacker, the attacker deal damage to the defender. If the defender engages in combat with the attacker and the roll favors the defender, the defender deals damage to the attacker instead.
An unmodified roll* of +3 or +4 when making a combat or magic skill check counts as a critical hit and automatically deals max damage. -3 or -4 means the character made a critical failure and will take max damage from an enemy counterattack.
*the 4dF roll before applying it to the attribute
The GM may choose have the PC always be the one to roll regardless of if the PC is attackng or being attacked. The odds are the same regardless of who rolls the dice, so it comes down to personal preference.
PCs may add their Strength bonus to the damage done by non-magical melee attacks, their Dexterity bonus to the damage done by non-magical ranged attacks, and their Intelligence bonus to the damage done by magical attacks.
Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a player roll should use an attribute or their combat or magic skill. In this case the GM can (but doesn't have to) have the player roll the attribute first, then use the result of that roll to affect the fictional positioning of the combatant(s), potentially creating situational modifiers for the subsequent combat or magic skill roll.
Combat rolls are only required in situations where the opponent is able to respond to the threat. If a character is caught unaware the attacker can just roll damage directly. If the character is incapacitated or otherwise unable to defend themselves the attacker can straight-up kill them without requiring a combat roll or a damage roll.
When a character loses all of their hit points they die.
When a PC loses all of their hit points they are unconscious and require immediate medical attention or they will die (Healing check (Wisdom) of Fair difficulty).
When a PC loses all of their hit points they must make a death saving throw of 0 or higher on 4dF. A successful saving throw means the character stabilizes and is unconscious but not in danger of dying. A failed saving throw means the character cannot stabilize on their own and either dies or requires immediate medical attention (depending on which rule is being used). A critical success (+3 or +4 on the saving throw) means the character regains consciousness and is at 1 HP. A PC may choose to forgo their death saving throw in exchange for taking one last action.
Sometimes a player will have bonuses and/or penalties that could affect their roll. +1 is a good bonus, +2 is a very good bonus, and +3 is a very rare, very large bonus. The same modifiers also apply to penalties. Only the single largest bonus and the single largest penalty apply to any given roll.
Players that do nothing but rest will regain HP equal to their level every 10 minutes (one exploration turn). In unsafe territory (enemy territory, wilderness, dungeon) resting cannot increase player HP to more than half the player's total HP, rounded up. Resting overnight in safety and comfort heals full HP.
The ability to cast freeform magic is an attribute that spellcasters have but fighters do not. Fighters can, however, gain combat bonuses from enchanted weapons.
The following spell difficulty guidelines are adapted from Daneel's Simpler Magic System for Mini Six (https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?531361-Mini-Six-Simpler-Magic-System)
Short Range (touch)
Short Duration (one action)
Single Target (one creature/object)
Cantrips/Orisons, See Auras, Speak Languages, Burning Touch
Medium Range (bowshot)
Medium Duration (several actions)
Medium Area (several people)
Charm People, Mystic Armor, Heal Wounds, Fire Ball, Polymorph
Long Range (sight)
Long Duration (entire scene/encounter)
Large Area (crowd)
Resurrection, Group Teleport, Earthquake, Anti-magic Zone
Any Range, Duration, Area & Effect
Increase the difficulty if the spell being cast meets more than one criterion of a spell of that level. Both healing and damage are 1d8 per level of the spellcaster. "Instant death" and "Resurrection" spells are more difficult than regular healing and damaging spells.
Buffing and debuffing spells start at Poor/Mediocre difficulty for +/-1, and each additional point increase bumps the difficulty up by one full category.
The GM may introduce items that can cast rigidly-defined spells a limited number of times before running out. Fighters cannot use magic items. Spellswords can use them with a successful Intelligence check. Wizards can automatically use such items.
Any or all of those limitations may be altered by the GM as deemed appropriate. Perhaps fighters can use the items freely while a spellcaster's natural magic would interfere with casting the stored spells. Perhaps even a wizard needs to make an Intelligence check to use a magic item. Perhaps any PC can use magic items. It's really up to the GM.
Player characters cannot increase their attributes above Superb, but a lucky and dedicated player may increase his spellcasting skill or combat skill above Superb at a high enough level. Additionally, high-level monsters may have traits that go above Superb. For these situations there's the trans-superb scale. Superhuman is a qualifier that adds +4 to a trait. Beyond Superhuman is Planetary (+8) and Cosmic (+12), but at those levels you're talking about planet-ending threats and galaxy-ending threats, respectively.
PCs gain XP for defeating or otherwise overcoming monsters. XP is divided among party members, rounded up.
PCs gain XP for retrieving gold from a dungeon at rate of 1 XP per GP (gold piece). XP is divided equally among party members (rounded up) regardless of how the actual gold is split up.
Total amount of XP needed to get to each level:
Level 1: 0
Level 2: 100
Level 3: 300
Level 4: 600
Level 5: 1000
Level 6: 1500
Level 7: 2100
Level 8: 2800
Level 9: 3600
Level 10: 4500
Players may only gain one level per session. If a player would gain XP enough to bring them up more than one level, their XP gain would stop just short of the second level. For example, if a level 4 PC with 900 XP gained an additional 1,000 XP, they would be stuck at level 5 with 1,499 XP (1 XP short of level 6) and any extra XP that session would go to waste.
Upon levelling up the player may increase one of their attributes by one level, to a maximum of Superb. Increasing an attribute to higher than Fair requires a cooldown period of additional levels. Fair to Good has a cooldown period of 1 level, Good to Great has a cooldown of 3 levels, and Great to Superb has a cooldown of 5 levels. When increasing an attribute that requires a cooldown, the player must record on their character sheet the next level at which they can increase an attribute.
As an example, a PC at level 2 with a Fair attribute could advance it to Good, but then they wouldn't be able to advance an attribute again until level 4 (level 3 acting as the cooldown period). The player would then make a note of this fact on their character sheet.
Every level-up, the following happens:
GM: The cultist waves his staff ominously over the altar, but the more immediate threat is his warg rider bodyguard who is rapidly approaching you. The goblin has a wicked curved blade and he cries for your blood. How do you react to the charge?
Player: I cast a Flash cantrip to blind him.
GM: What's your Spellcasting skill?
GM: I'm gonna say casting Flash in this context requires a Mediocre magic skill, so you just need to roll 0 or higher on the Fudge dice.
Player: *rolls 4dF*
Player: Ouch. -1.
GM: Poor result. The spell fizzles. The warg rider has closed the distance and swings his blade at you. What do you do?
Player: I jump out of the way.
GM: Make a Dexterity check.
Player: Mediocre Dexterity plus my roll equals...
Player: *rolls 4dF*
Player: That's... one level below Terrible! I did so poorly on my roll that there isn't even a ranking for it!
GM: You're knocked to the ground and land on your back. As you scramble to get to your feet the warg-rider sees his chance and attacks. Roll your combat skill at a -2 penalty. You're trying to tie or beat the goblin's combat skill of Mediocre.
Player: *rolls 4dF*
GM: Okay, you have Mediocre combat skill, minus the two point penalty... you did Terribly. You feel the blade slice through your armor. You take...
GM: *rolls 1d6 for damage*
GM: 6 damage.
Player: But I only have 4 health!
GM: Had. You're dead now. Sorry.
PC: *grumbles and rolls up a new character*
An exploration turn is a unit of time roughly equal to ten minutes. It takes the PCs an exploration turn to do most things, such as exploring an area, moving through an area, fighting monsters, or resting to regain one level's-worth of HP.
Before play, the GM should generate a table of possible monsters encountered on each level of the dungeon. During play, the GM should roll 1d20 each exploration turn to see if the players encounter any wandering monsters. Depending on how populated that level (or area) of the dungeon is, the chances might be anywhere from 1/20 to 3/20. Wandering monsters generally don't have much (or any) treasure on them.
When creating the dungeon the GM should create monster lairs. Lairs generally contain more monsters than are normally found wandering, though they usually only house one type of monster. Lairs usually contain treasure.
Treasure in a monster's lair is measured in gold pieces, but it may also contain treasure of lower value (silver coins, copper coins), treasure of higher value (platinum coins, gems, jewelry), and treasure that's not included in the value evaluation (magic items, maps). The total value of treasure found in a lair (not counting magic items and maps) should be worth, on average, 15 GP for each hit die of each monster in the lair. Monsters that hoard a lot might have more than that (up to 30 GP/HD for dragons) while monsters that don't care about collecting treasure might have less than that (down to 0 GP/HD for skeletons and zombies). For more random results, the GM may start at 15 GP/HD and use the following table to adjust the treasure amount:
1: +10 GP/HD
2: +5 GP/HD
3-4: no change
5: -5 GP/HD
6: -10 GP/HD
Whenever PCs encounter monster(s) and the GM isn't certain how the monsters would react, the GM should roll a single die (not multiple dice) of arbitrary size. A high result means the monsters have a positive reaction to the PCs, a low result means the monsters have a negative reaction to the PCs, and a result in the middle means the monsters are uncertain or apathetic. This mechanic may also be used in any other situation that is outside of the players' control.
Each group of combatant NPCs has a Morale trait ranked on the Fudge ladder. By default this is the same as the NPCs' Threat Rating but it could be different. Morale is generally checked in critical combat situations. Two recommended times for morale checks are:
A morale check has a default difficulty of Fair, though this may be adjusted to account for the circumstances. Morale is checked for the entire monster group at the same time. If the NPCs succeed at the morale check they will continue to fight. If they fail they will try to retreat. NPC groups that successfully check morale twice will fight to the death.
If the PCs grind for experience points on weak monsters, the GM should reduce or even remove the XP award for those monsters.
NPCs have a threat rating, hit points, and any other traits the GM wants them to have. Any undefined ranked trait defaults to the NPC's threat rating. NPC Threat Ratings also have an associated amount of damage dealt on a successful attack.
Fair Superhuman: 6d6
Good Superhuman: 7d6
Great Superhuman: 8d6
Superb Superhuman: 9d6
Terrible: 1d4 HP (average 3)
Poor: 1d8 HP (average 5)
Mediocre: 2d8 HP (average 9)
Fair: 4d8 HP (average 18)
Good: 6d8 HP (average 27)
Great: 9d8 HP (average 41)
Superb: 12d8 HP (average 54)
Fair Superhuman: 16d8 HP (average 72)
Good Superhuman: 20d8 HP (average 90)
Great Superhuman: 25d8 HP (average 113)
Superb Superhuman: 30d8 HP (average 135)
5 XP per d8 of Hit Dice.
Threat Rating: Mediocre (d6 damage)
Hit Points: Mediocre (9 HP)
Threat Rating: Fair (2d6 damage)
Hit Points: Good (27 HP)
Gift: Paralyzing venom in fangs
Threat Rating: Good (3d6 damage)
Hit Points: Superb (54 HP)
Threat Rating: Great (4d6 damage)
Hit Points: Fair Superhuman (72 HP)
Threat Rating: Mediocre
Pyromancy skill: Great (4d6 damage)
Combat skill: Poor (d4 damage)
Hit Points: Fair (18 HP)
Gift: 10 points of fire immunity.
Threat Rating: Good Superhuman (7d6 damage)
Hit Points: Good Superhuman (90 HP)
Attack: Fire Breath. The dragon exhales a blast of scorching flames.
Attack: Magma Breath. The apocalypse dragon vomits up a stream of molten lava.
Breath weapons are usable a total of 3 times a day.
Attack: Flame Meteor. The dragon generates an enormous fireball in the air, which descends to the ground and explodes, affecting an area up to 160 feet in diameter. Usable once a day.
Attack: Dive bomb. The apocalypse dragon wreathes itself in flames and smashes into the ground from a large height, causing a minor earthquake and incinerating anybody who gets too close. The apocalypse dragon takes no damage from this attack.
Attack: Claws and teeth.
Attack: Air toss. The apocalypse dragon has a nasty habit of tossing people high into the air once it's done savaging them. It's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop at the end. Good luck surviving that one.
Trait: The Apocalypse Dragon has an affinity for earth, in addition to the usual fire and air affinities that dragons possess. Exactly what this means is up to the GM.
I... might have gone overboard with that last one. Still, I regret nothing. Just don't place PCs in front of the Apocalypse Dragon until around level 20. 15 at the earliest. To make it appropriate for lower-level parties, reduce the Hit Points until the dragon's hit dice are at about the party's level, then reduce the Threat Rating by the same amount. For a level 10 party, for example, the dragon* might have Superb HP and Superb TR.
*it doesn't deserve the title Apocalypse Dragon at that level.
I cannot, for legal reasons, claim compatibility with any edition of D&D. I can, however, claim broad compatibility with OSR retroclones, which just happen to be virtually identical to several early editions of D&D.
Nice legal loophole, isn't it?
This conversion system should work for monsters from any OSR retroclone.
less than 1: Poor (d4 dmg)
1-2: Mediocre (d6 dmg)
3-4: Fair (2d6 dmg)
5-7: Good (3d6 dmg)
8-10: Great (4d6 dmg)
11-14: Superb (5d6 dmg)
15-18: Fair Superhuman (6d6 dmg)
19-23: Good Superhuman (7d6 dmg)
24-28: Great Superhuman (8d6 dmg)
29-34: Superb Superhuman (9d6 dmg)
Armor Class is completely disregarded.
For monsters with multiple attacks you have two options.
Option 1: Replace the multiple attacks with the single damage roll associated with the NPC's threat rating.
Option 2: Every time an NPC with multiple attacks succeeds, the GM deals the damage of the first attack then makes attack rolls for each of their subsequent rolls at the same difficulty. If the first attack was a retaliation for a failed PC attack, the PC instead rolls to see if they can defend against the ensuing multiple attacks. Either way, an NPC failure or a PC success does not mean the PC dealt any damage in retaliation. It merely means the PC did not take any additional damage.
Hit dice are unchanged from the source.
XP is converted to 5 XP per hit die.
Attack damage can be kept the same or converted to the amount of damage associated with the Fudge Lite threat rating.
Spells and spell-like abilities can be kept as-is or converted to the freeform spellcasting system. If converted, the monster's spellcasting skill is generally the same as its threat rating. Monsters should be limited in the amount of spells they can cast a day, but the exact amount is up to the GM.
Saving Throws are replaced with attribute checks; usually the monster's Threat Rating, but if the GM decides that the monster has another, more relevant attribute, they are free to use that.
2 - NPCs will never engage in combat
3 - Terrible
4 - Poor
5 - Mediocre
6 - Mediocre
7 - Fair
8 - Good
9 - Good
10 - Great
11 - Superb
12 - NPCs never check morale
20: Fair Superhuman
Source: Swords and Wizardry Monster Book
The aboleth is a revolting fish-like amphibian, primarily subterranean, roughly the size of a killer whale. It vaguely resembles a catfish, but has four long tentacles and four orifices along its belly. The tentacles can be used to drag its bulk across dry land.
Threat Rating: Great
Hit Points: 9d8 (avg 41)
Damage: 4d6 dmg plus disease
Special: natural spellcaster (mind and illusion domains only), 4/day.
Special: Charm monster (3/day), Phantasmal force (3/day)
Special: mucus cloud in water surrounding the Aboleth (Constitution save or cannot breathe air for 3 hours)
Special: disease upon successful hit (Constitution save or must be immersed in water every hour or suffer 1d6 damage).
When casting from a magic item, the item's spellcasting skill is based on the level of the spell stored within the item. When the item is activated the spell is automatically cast. The item's spellcasting skill is only referenced in situations where a saving throw is called for. The conversion from spell level to spellcasting skill is identical to the Wizard's spellcasting growth; spell levels 1-2 are Mediocre, spell levels 3-4 are Fair, etc.
Magic items that give PCs bonuses or penalties can be converted using the following table:
-8 to -7: -4
-6 to -5: -3
-4 to -3: -2
-2 to -1: -1
+1 to +2: +1
+3 to +4: +2
+5 to +6: +3
+7 to +8: +4
Magic items that would give PCs bonuses to offense or defense instead apply to combat overall.