Steffan O'Sullivan's Fudge
published by Grey Ghost Games

Fudge Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated February 4, 2002:

Last Changes: updated Answers 6 & 7.

The Fudge Legal Notice has been changed: it now gives more assurance to someone who creates a derivative work that such work can be copyrighted by them.

(Answers by Steffan O'Sullivan, sos at Check out his Fudge Links Web Page)


Q1. What is the Current Version?
Q2. What is Fudge?
Q3. Who is the target audience?
Q4. What genres is it for?
Q5. Where can I get it?
Q6. I meant how can I get it for free?
Q7. Can I post or otherwise publish Fudge-based articles?
Q8. What's this about Fudge Dice or 4d3?
Q9. Are there any known errata?
Q10. Where can I discuss Fudge?
Q11. What other Fudge products are available?
Q12. Is Fudge a complete RPG?

Q1. What is the Current Version?
A1. Electronic Version: June, 1995 . . . BUT LOOK!
There's now an updated file of my latest thoughts on Fudge, as of April 5, 2000.

The Grey Ghost Games printed version: May 2000. The Fudge Expanded Edition contains essentially the same text as the June 1995 electronic version, with:

  • some minor updates to reflect some of my "latest thoughts on Fudge," and
  • some additional characters added to Chapter 6, Tips & Examples.
The Expanded part of the book includes
  • "What's Fudge?" (a collection of responses from Fudge fans to the question, "What is Fudge to you?"),
  • "Fudge in a Nutshell," and
  • "Fantasy Fudge."
Fantasy Fudge is a pre-customized, ready-to-run version of Fudge by Ann Dupuis. It features choices made for the GM in character creation (based on my Five Point Fudge easy character creation system), action resolution, and character development. It also includes:
  • some sample characters,
  • a fantasy adventure, and
  • a bestiary.
You can use this for your first few games of Fudge without having to define rules for yourself. Once you've got this system under your belt, you can easily see how to customize Fudge to your own tastes - nice work, Ann!

All this in a professionally typeset and illustrated book you can fondle.

Q2. What is Fudge?
A2. Fudge is a free role-playing game . . .
. . . (face-to-face table gaming, that is - not a computer game or Live Roleplaying Game). It is just a gaming “engine” - each GM must provide the “body” of the RPG in order to make it work. A certain amount of customization work is necessary in order to use Fudge, and many things are left unstated: the GM will have to fudge a lot.
  • No fixed attributes - the GM chooses attributes appropriate to the campaign.
  • Skill-driven system, with sample expandable skill list included.
  • Word-based traits and action resolution make it easy to know just how good any character is at anything. This also allows Fudge to be a “universal translator” between gaming systems.
  • Simple action resolution system. Fudge is very easy to run no matter what the genre - no tables to look up.
  • It's easy to import good mechanics from your favorite game into Fudge.
Fudge can, if you want, stand for: moteur de jeu non directif et universel à faire vous-même

Or, in English:

  • Freeform (simple, laid-back, not rules-heavy.)
  • Universal (usable with any genre.)
  • Do-it-yourself (customizable to taste.)
  • Gaming (role-playing gaming, that is.)
  • Engine (it's just the basic mechanism for character creation and development, as well as action resolution. No world details are provided.)

Or it can just stand for the fact the GM will have to fudge a lot of rules - this was, in fact, the origin of the name. The acronym came later, and thus I now prefer the name to be spelled with only the first letter capitalized.

Fudge was written by, and is copyright by, Steffan O'Sullivan. Much valuable aid was received from many people on, most of whom are credited in the actual Fudge manuscript.

You can read the Designer's Notes if you have any interest in the history and design goals of Fudge.

Q3. Who is the target audience?
A3. Fudge is for experienced GMs . . .
. . . though it can be used with novice or experienced players. You must enjoy making decisions on the fly in order to run Fudge - it's rules-light. It's also not for those who want extreme detail. You must enjoy either creating or adapting your own world background, as none is provided (but sample characters from a number of genres are included).
Q4. What genres is it for?
A4. Any . . .
. . . of course, it hasn't yet been tried with every possible genre, so only time will tell if it really works with any genre. So far, it works for every genre tried (and we've tried some wild ones!), though not to everyone's tastes, of course - that would be impossible.
Q5. Where can I get it?
A5. You can buy a copy from:
...the good folks at Grey Ghost Press, though they'd prefer you to ask for it at your local retail store (and you save the shipping cost). The Fudge Expanded Edition version is a 128-page paperback book including the basic rules, the addenda, "Fantasy Fudge," and some additional materials. The price is $19.95. Order at your local retail shop or from the Grey Ghost Games web site:

They also sell Fudge dice (recommended - see Q8) - enquire if interested.

Q6. I meant how can I get it for free?
A6. Oh. Lots of ways. Take your choice:
  1. World Wide Web (WWW) - full hyper-text
  2. WWW - in big chunks, but not true hyper-text
  3. Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file (warning - big file!)
  4. Download zipped file
  5. LaTeX and Postscript versions
  6. Palmpilot version

Q7. Can I post or otherwise publish Fudge-based articles?
A7. Yes! I even like it when you do!
You can contribute alternate rules, or an adventure setting, or whatever. If you've got a web page, put all the Fudge material you want on it - the more the better. Just be sure to include the “About Fudge” and “Disclaimer” sections of the Fudge legal notice, and it's legal!

And be sure to notify me so I can add a link to it from my web page. You might also want to notify the Grey Ghost webmaster for a link from their resources page. See my Fudge page or the Grey Ghost Fudge resources page for many examples of what others have done.

If you don't have a web page, consider submitting your work to Fudge Factor, a webzine devoted to Fudge - check it out!

If you want to sell your work, you need a royalty-free license from me - see the Application for a Commercial License for details.

In addition, Grey Ghost Press is seeking creative, quality Fudge sourcebooks to publish - with royalties for the author. While the basic Fudge rules will always be freely copyable, authors published through Grey Ghost Press may choose to retain their copyrights. Currently, Grey Ghost Press is soliciting small- to medium-sized tidbits and articles for two upcoming sourcebooks; a "mega-Addenda" for Fudge, and "Friend or Foe," a sourcebook for gamemasters looking for help in populating their game worlds. Contact Grey Ghost Press at this web link for more information.

And finally, you can become a Fudge publisher yourself! That's right - you can publish supplements for Fudge (though not the basic book) and even charge money for them! If you do, though, you'll need to get a royalty-free license from the author - read the Fudge Licensing Instructions and follow the directions.

Q8. What's this about Fudge Dice or 4d3?
A8. Special d3s are now available from Grey Ghost Games . . .
. . . but you don't need them to play the game. You can use regular D6s or d10s. Some people think Fudge Dice make it easier to play, though. A Fudge Die is actually a d6, with two faces containing a plus sign (+), two faces containing a minus sign (-), and two faces blank. Each plus represents +1, each minus -1, and each blank 0. Rolling 4 of these dice gives a lovely distribution of results from -4 to +4, with easy to figure math, and no table. In addition, they are very flexible, allowing other uses, such as as a damage roll, and as dice in other games. Contact Grey Ghost Games if interested: ghostgames at or use their web page order form.

Read more about Fudge Dice.

Q9. Are there any known errata?
A9. Sadly, there are . . .
... but none that we know of yet in the new Fudge Expanded Edition!

But if you have the older print edition or online edition ...

... while there are minor typos, they are for the most part insignificant. The three errata that could be confusing are:

The first sentence in Section 3.5, Opposed Actions. This should read:

“To resolve an Opposed action between two characters, each side makes a normal Fudge dice roll against the appropriate trait and announces the result.”

In section 4.54, there are two references to “Section 4.68.” There is no Section 4.68, so I suppose that could be confusing. Change these to “Section 4.58.”

The Fudge Legal Notice has been changed. Specifically, the DISCLAIMER section, which now grants more assurance to a writer of derivative works that such works can be copyrighted by the author. If you have an electronic version of Fudge, please update the legal notice with the new DISCLAIMER section. Thank you!

Q10. Where can I discuss Fudge?
A10. Usenet discussion should be on . . .

Fudge is a genuine RPG, and deserves to be discussed there. Simply put the the word Fudge in the subject line and have fun! If you really want to do a major redesign of some section of Fudge, you might try posting to

There is also a Fudge mailing list, maintained by Carl D. Cravens. To subscribe to fudge-l, send an e-mail message to

Messages meant for the mailing list itself should be sent to Once you are subscribed to the list, you control the features of the list at the web page Shortly, Carl will have a web page online with more information about the list, and presumably an archive as well.

Q11. What other Fudge products are available?
A11. Quite a few items, and growing all the time!
There are actually too many for me to list and hopefully too many for me to keep up with. So rather than attempt that here, I have instead, on my regular Fudge page, a list of Commercial Fudge publishers which you should check. Check all their websites to see what's new!

As a service to Grey Ghost Games for being the official publishers of Fudge itself, I'll try to keep up with their ambitious schedule. Check their web site to be sure, but at this point they've also published some complete worldbooks (no customization required) as well as a magic supplement and some adventures:

  • Gatecrasher
  • Magical Medley
  • Another Fine Mess
  • Terra Incognita
  • Santa's Secret
  • Fudge Dice & Dice Bags
Q12. Is Fudge a complete RPG?
A12. Yes, of course it is! But there's some assembly required.
However, I'll grant you that you have to shift your idea of what an RPG is in order to believe that. But I assure you that it has all you need to run a game. You'll have to make some choices and do some thinking, but you won't have to construct a game or make up or collect rules from other games - all you need is included.

I admit some people (one or two of them even intelligent) contest this view of Fudge. But it's just semantics - we just disagree on some basic definitions. If you wish, you can read my rant on this (it can't really be called anything else). Warning: there are references to bodily wastes in this file - if this bothers you, even though the references are oddly appropriate, don't read it!

Back to The Fudge Page
Back to SOS' Gameviews
Back to Steffan O'Sullivan's Home Page