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FU: The Freeform/Universal RPG
by Sophia B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/13/2013 10:39:38
-----ursprünglich erschienen auf spacebeyondreality.de------
Heute möchte ich Euch FU vorstellen, ein einfaches Rollenspiel von Nathan Russell. Ich bin ja ein großer Freund von kleinen, feinen Systemen, die sich schnell spielen lassen.

FU beschreibt sich selbst als ein Spiel für Action, Spaß und Abenteuer. Es ist generisch und soll möglichst einfach zu spielen sein. Es ist ein freies System, allerdings liegt das Urheberrecht komplett beim Autor. Hacks und Mods sind jedoch willkommen. Der Autor selbst hat einen Matrix-Hack und einen Star-Wars-Hack bereitgestellt. Das Spiel bietet ehen narrativen Ansatz.

Präsentation
Das Buch ist kostenlos als 23-seitiges PDF erhältlich. Das Layout ist ansprechend. Leider ist teilweise die Schrift ein wenig klein, aber dank Zoom sollte dies keine Hürde sein. Der Regelteil passt auf schlanke 14 Seiten. In dem Werk enthalten ist ein Beispielabenteuer mit vorgefertigten Charakteren.

Charaktererschaffung
Die Charaktererstellung geht in 6 Schritten vor sich. Zuerst überlegt man sich ein Konzept, z.B. "Paranormaler Detektiv". Archetypen und Clichés sind gute Anhaltspunkte. Danach bekommt jeder Charakter vier Beschreibungen (im Englischen "Descriptors"), unterteilt nach Körper, Geist, Gabe und Makel. Die Beschreibungen sollen kurz und knackig sein, z.B. Körper: stark.
Jeder Charakter erhält zudem zwei Teile Ausrüstung, welche Boni beim Würfelwurf geben.
Man soll zudem seinen Charakter beschreiben (Aussehen, Hintergrund etc.) und ihm Antrieb ("Drives") und Beziehungen ("Relationships") geben.
Diese Art der Charaktererstellung bietet den Vorteil, dass man einen guten Überblick über seinen Charakter hat; Stärken und Schwächen, Hintergrund etc.
Gewisse Ähnlichkeiten mit z.B. FATE lassen sich hier erkennen. Russell hat eine optionale Regel zur Verfügung gestellt, bei der die Descriptors wie Fate-Aspekte beschrieben werden, also anstatt Körper: stark dann Körper: der stärkste Mann der Welt.

System
Mechanik

Die Mechanik beruht auf einem Würfelpool-System mit sechsseitigen Würfeln und nennt sich "Beat the odds". Man stellt seinen Pool aus einem Standardwürfel und eventuellen Bonus- und Maluswürfeln zusammen und nimmt dann den besten Wurf (bei Bonuswürfeln) oder den schlechtesten Wurf (bei Maluswürfeln). Wenn ein Charakter agiert und das Resultat nicht absolut offensichtlich ist, erfolgt ein Wurf.

Mögliche Ergebnisse:

6 Yes, and... You get what you want, and something else. (Ja, und... du erreichst, was du willst und noch etwas dazu.)
4 Yes... You get what you want. (Ja,... du erreichst, was du willst.)
2 Yes, but... You get what you want, but at a cost. (Ja, aber... du erreichst, was du willst, aber es kostet dich etwas.)
5 No, but... You don’t get what you want, but it’s not a total loss. (Nein, aber... du erreichst nicht was du willst, aber es ist nicht ein totaler Verlust.)
3 No... You don’t get what you were after. (Nein,... du erreichst nicht, was du willst.)
1 No, and... You don’t get what you want, and things get worse. (Nein, und... du erreichst nicht, was du willst und es wird noch schlimmer.)

Wenn ein "... und" oder "... aber"-Ergebnis erfolgt, hat der Spielleiter die Möglichkeit, Details oder Konditionen einzuführen. Konditionen sind körperliche, geistige oder soziale Effekt wie wütend oder bewusstlos. Details sind Teile der Spielumgebung, die sich ändern, z.B. wenn ein Vorhang Feuer fängt.

Modifikationen

Jeder/s Descriptor, Ausrüstungsgegenstand, Detail oder Kondition, der einem Spieler einen Vorteil gewährt, gibt einen Bonuswürfel. Wenn ich versuche, eine Tür aufzustemmen, kann mir mein starker Körper dabei helfen. Ich nehme dann zwei Würfel und darf das beste Ergebnis behalten. Wenn ich aufgrund meiner Descriptors, Ausrüstung, Konditionen oder der Umgebung Maluswürfel erhalte, muss ich das schlechteste Ergebnis behalten.

FU Points

FU Points sind Bonuspunkte, von denen jeder Charakter am Anfang zwei Stück erhält. Diese erlauben es, einen Wurf zu wiederholen oder einen Bonuswürfel zu erhalten. FU Points sind im Prinzip wie Bennies bei Savage Worlds oder Fate Points.

Gutes und Schlechtes
Das Rollenspielsystem ist schlicht und einfach zu erlernen. Es erfordert so gut wie keine Buchhaltung, da es keine Lebenspunkte, Wunden etc. gibt. Auf der anderen Seite ist jede (Kampf-)Situation stark vom Fokus abhängig. Es ist legitim, einen Kampf entweder detailliert zu gestalten ("Kann ich Bösewichts Attacke ausweichen? Schaffe ich es, Bösewicht mit meinem Gewehr zu treffen?") oder mit einem Würfelwurf abzuhandeln ("Besiege ich Bösewicht?"). Dies erfordert vom Spielleiter, dass er die Spieler geschickt in das an sich einfache Regelsystem einführt und Spieler, die das System nicht austricksen wollen.
Harte Regeln für das Ausscheiden eines Charakters aus dem Kampf fehlen, hier wird an die Spieler und den Spielleiter appelliert. Das kann funktionieren, muss aber nicht.
Des Weiteren ist man sehr von der Wahl seiner Descriptors abhängig. Sind diese breit gestreut, sind die Charaktere sehr kompetent und ein Fehlschlag kommt nicht häufig vor. Falls jedoch die Descriptors unglücklich gewählt wurden, kann das Ganze wiederum in eine Abwärtsspirale führen. Kurzum: ein "Sicherheitsnetz" durch eine zusätzliche Spielmechanik wie Fertigkeiten, Stunts o.ä. fehlt hier.
Als Spielleiter muss man sich bei FU daran gewöhnen, nicht selbst zu würfeln. Mir kommt das entgegen, da ich mich dann darauf konzentrieren kann, die Szenerie zu gestalten, NPCs zu verkörpern oder mir Gedanken über die nächste Szene zu machen. Ich weiß allerdings, dass dies nicht jedermanns Sache ist.

Fazit
FU hält, was es verspricht: Es handelt sich um ein schlankes, einfach zu erlerndes Regelsystem. Es ist ein abstraktes Spiel (keine Lebenspunkte, Rüstungswerte, Initiativereihenfolge etc.), welches kaum Vorbereitung benötigt und für ein "Schnelles-Spiel-für-zwischendurch" gut geeignet ist. Grundsätzlich ist es auch möglich, Kampagnen zu spielen, die meisten Spieler wird jedoch abschrecken, dass die Möglichkeiten zum Stufenaufstieg nicht vorhanden sind. Auf der anderen Seite sind die Charaktere bereits in der Grundausrichtung sehr kompetent, so dass es für mich kein Manko ist, dass ich nicht "aufleveln" kann.

FU erfüllt sicherlich die Nische der einfachen, regelarmen und erzählerischen Rollenspiele.
Powergamer und Freunde des Simulationsrollenspiels, die realistische Regeln und ein komplexes Regelwerk mit vielen Talenten, Fertigkeiten etc. erwarten, werden keine Freude an FU finden.

Mir gefällt an dem System, dass die Geschichte immer ein Stück voran kommt, da das Würfelergebnis das Rollenspiel narrativ einfärbt.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
FU: The Freeform/Universal RPG
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FU: The Freeform/Universal RPG
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2012 04:37:59
FU has a few things working for it. 1) You can't beat free for cost. 2) It's easy to read and understand quickly. 3) You truly can run any universe you like, if your imagination is broad and fluid.

There are a few things FU will need help with, if you play it. 4) It needs a lot of love and attention -- you will need more creativity than math skill, just like any other narrative rpg. 5) The rules need to have a little more "meat" on them, because they don't cover many instances of playing a game and sacrifice detail for efficiency. 6) FU basically has only one roll mechanic, which is only a good thing for experienced role-players who want to have less chance / game mechanics and more narrative / story-telling within their game sessions. 7) The artwork for the book is limited; it needs more "window dressing" - though the layout is functional and simply pleasant. The character sheet is a graphic design disaster; it's like driving an Edsel on the interstate. It needs to be redesigned to reflect the efficiency and simplicity of the game mechanics. (I am a professional graphic designer, so I designed my own sheets for my own game.)

The star rating pertains to providing broad information quickly to the general audience of how this game will appeal or not appeal; it should not only apply to narrative rpg players. It also reflects the cost (which helps immensely in this case). Unless you are entirely convinced that story-telling supersedes all game mechanics in rpgs, you will like this game system initially but later on, you will want the game to do more while remaining simple to play. If you like to "house rule" your games, and you are willing to take the time to do so with FU, then you will like this game for awhile longer.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Beast of Limfjord
by Michael C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/22/2012 11:36:10
There is nothing really wrong with the product, but I found the description misleading. I was under the impression I was buying a rich adventure. Instead I got 17 pages of rules, 2 pages of adventure and 3 pages of appendix with extra monster write-ups, etc.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Beast of Limfjord
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FU: The Freeform/Universal RPG
by Matthew B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/13/2012 18:36:40
As a free system you expect that the rules will be a little light...

This is one of the best narrative systems I've ever encountered! The system is all but diceless and an entire character can be described in a few bullet points and a couple of sentences of descriptive text.

I think this is just the thing to get my group back into role-playing.

Excellent work.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FU: The Freeform/Universal RPG
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HBG! Episode 25 - Women!
by Anton M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/31/2011 00:37:05
Tabletop Role-Playing Games are not generally considered a "women's hobby;" I was really hoping this podcast would go into this issue in depth, because I very much enjoy discussions of feminist politics, and I long for ways to give my RPG hobby a wider appeal. Besides this, making RPGs appeal to women is a big marketing issue lots of game companies would love to solve. Surely this (roughly) 3-hour recording would provide ample insight into this topic, right?

I listened and listened, but halfway through this podcast, I gave up on it. It's basically a bunch of British people talking about their FRPG characters and what games they played since the previous podcast. Apparently, this is the "women" episode because a woman joined in the discussion. It might be interesting if I cared about these personalities, but I felt like I was eavesdropping on some random peoples' casual conversations at a cafe. The poor sound quality did not help endear me.

In contrast, please consider the "3.5 Private Sanctuary" podcast, or even "Fear the Boot," both of which are FREE and quite good at identifying a topic and clearly attempting to educate their audience regarding that topic.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
HBG! Episode 25 - Women!
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FU: The Freeform/Universal RPG
by Steven L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2011 11:52:06
Absolutely superb. Rules light, but what rules! This game really knows what works and applies it to the utmost.

The dice mechanic drives the games narrative and Conditions are simply sublime, they are applied tags to characters, scenery, NPCs, you name it! They work almost the same as Fate's Consequences but Conditions can be beneficial and are far more versatile without breaking the dice mechanic.

The dice mechanic gives out Yes and..., Ye,s and Yes but... results with corresponding No answers. This means that not only does my character suceed or fail but the margin of that success and a narrative push to embelish this. It is so simple and elegant I cannot praise it enough.

But the absolute best thing, is that as well as being superb it is also FREE!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FU: The Freeform/Universal RPG
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Verge 24
by Ray W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/11/2011 23:09:30
For a 14 page Fantasy Punk RPG that was written in 24 hour you couldn’t ask for much more. The first few pages give you a real sense for the world how it looks and feels. As I was reading the description of ‘The City’ where everyone lives, I had scene from Dark City and V for Vendetta flash through my mind which later on the Author recommends players watch for inspiration and it is clear that he has done the same.

From there the book describes how the day to day society is run and breaks down the social classes down in to groups explaining how they work together. This gives you as a GM or as a Play a solid but open idea of the setting and how you can build upon it.

The rules are simple roll a handful of D6’s equal to your stats + modifiers and look for successes. This enables both the player and the GM to shape the outcome of the challenge that was being faced. The author himself notes that he didn’t get to the magic section but to be honest with the rules the way that they are it is not hard to add in your own magic system.

Character creation is well laid out and easy to follow. There are a few examples given as well, not that they are really needed but it is always nice to see some included in any RPG. All in all it shouldn’t take more then 10 minutes to create a character and the hardest part of that will be picking a name for them.

Summing up, I highly recommend Verge 24. This is a well laid out, rules light RPG that could be brought to any table taught to the players, have them create a character and be ready to go in about half an hour. While it is missing a magic system it’s not the end of the worlds and the author does acknowledge this right at the front of the book. As it’s free you can’t really complain about the price either. Maybe with any luck in time the author will go back and complete a 2nd edition including a magic system but till then. Download it, Read It & Play it.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Verge 24
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The Green and the Tan
by Miguel d. L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/15/2010 10:09:18
I played the game, right out of the box, so to speak, and the first thing I did was to tinker with the rules to include a major river; which was as easy as "the river is impassable" except through the bridges, which made for a very interesting little game.

In other words: boy it was fun. It made me remember my own green vs tan battles back in 1981 :)

I also used the optional rules which include objective areas to seize and hold. I suggest you to always use these and just tinker with the rules yourselves.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Green and the Tan
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The Green and the Tan
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/10/2010 06:40:49
This is a fine introduction to wargaming. The author explains what he means throughout the text, in terms simple enough for a youngster or newcomer to grasp without difficulty, and the game mechanisms are great.

I would suggest some changes, however, which are not complicated, and do not violate the spirit of the rules: (1) Terrain is basically irrelevant, except as cover. I would suggest adding the rule that going through woods, across a stream, or crossing over obstacles cuts movement in half. (2) Add an Armored Car as one of the Special Vehicles available as an alternative, if for no other reason than bags of army men frequently come with one. It is armed with an MG, and has slightly better armor than a jeep or truck. (3) Add a sample scenario to the rulebook. Experienced gamers will know what to do, but a newcomer might not. Providing a map and a little background story would make things clearer, and would add to the excitement about "getting started" as soon as possible. (4) Change the victory conditions from getting points only for what you have left, to adding points for what you have killed, and subtracting the points for what you have lost. I have run many games for young people, and unless there is a reason for them to go out and attack the enemy, they will hunker down and try to avoid all combat--which is not what we want!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Character Hotseat #1
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/28/2009 00:57:31
If you want a fun (but, admittedly, limited) tool for quasi-randomly generating information about your fantasy character's background, you might want to consider adding "Fantasy Character Hotseat: Warrior, Spellcaster & Rogue" to your character-building toolbox. The idea here is that you roll 1d20 to find a question about your race (human, halfling, elf, or dwarf), appearance (male or female), training (warrior, spellcaster, or rogue), and drive (also warrior, spellcaster, or rogue). You're supposed to answer each question "Yes, and …," adding details about that element of your background or experience.

So imagine that I want to play Vandros Craghammer, dwarven warrior. I roll d20 on the Background: Dwarf table and get question 8: "Did your family brew a legendary ale?" I answer, "Yes, and I started my adventuring career as a guardsman for delivery runs taking Craghammer Stout to the big human city down by the river." Then I roll d20 on the Appearance: Male table and get question 16: "Do you have soft, smooth hands?" I answer, "Yes, much to my chagrin. Some oafs have even called my hands 'effeminate' … but only once." Next, I roll d20 on the Warrior: Training table and get question 13: "Were you chosen to lead your fellows in battle?" I answer, "Yes, I distinguished myself many times against brigands seeking to seize barrels of Craghammer Stout by force of arms, so that I quickly rose to command our small brigade." Finally, I roll d20 on the Warrior: Drive table, getting question 3: "Have you sworn to kill your master?" I answer, "Yes, if the foul fiend should ever resurface. 'Lord' Rockwind was himself the master of the brigands, if you can believe such duplicity from a dwarf! And his dastardly scheme worked far too often, especially on deliveries where I was not among the defenders. He would have his brigands steal Craghammer Stout from the delivery caravan, charge the caravaners for his 'loss,' and then sell the stolen ale through his agents, reaping a double profit! Indeed, I am not sure that 'Lord' Rockwind was really a dwarf after all. If we ever meet again, I shall knock off his boots, and expose him for the fat halfling he really is."

If this sort of random backstory generation appeals to you, then by all means invest a couple of dollars in "Fantasy Character Hotseat #1." The "#1" in the title implies that additional installments might be forthcoming, perhaps treating different races, adventurer archetypes, and so on. If you already have a great backstory for your character, you can safely bypass this product. But if you want to give the dice some control over your character's prior history, or you just want to have a little fun, this product offers you that chance. I can even see myself using this product to add a bit more depth to NPCs' backstories, with very little effort.

On the negative side, the product certainly does rely on quite a few clichés, and some campaign worlds may not easily enable you to answer "yes" to certain questions. For example, question 8 on the Background: Human table is "Are you a gypsy?" If your campaign world has no gypsies or comparable population, you really lose access to this question. There are plenty of stereotypes, too: "Were your parents captured by orc slavers?" "Did a dragon destroy your village?" "Did your [dwarven] family brew a legendary ale?" And so on. If you can look past these clichés or spin them inventively with the "and …" portion of your answer, though, you can still have a lot of fun with these tables.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Character Hotseat #1
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Verge 24
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/13/2009 17:21:07
For a free game that was written in 24 hours, Verge is really impressive! Okay, that's faint praise. Let me try again.

Verge is a simple, quick game that comes with an evocative setting halfway between Dickens and steampunk. Essentially the system consists of rolling a pool of d6s and counting "successes", which are those that come up 4, 5, or 6. Each of those successes permit the narrator or the player to state one thing about how the conflict goes, which can lead to some interesting back-and-forth, particularly since the areas in which your characters are highly skilled are likely to have more highly detailed narrations and attention from the players.

An excellent start, Verge gives you a lot of different directions that you can go. By its 24-hour, 14-page (plus covers and an ad) nature, it doesn't go into great detail about anything, but it should spark some fun at the table.

The free price adds to the value and the layout is effective. There are no special PDF features.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Verge 24
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Verge 24
by Steven W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/29/2009 15:48:31
16 pages of goodness! Verge 24 gives a bit of background color, a bit of rules, and a lot of flavor. The genre is fantasypunk - think Charles Dickens writing Shadowrun in the 19th century - and the setting is more a "tone palette" then a concrete game world, so you can let your imagination go wild. The rules system is very light and narrative, with players and GMs trading facts back and forth based on the number of successes rolled.

Verge 24 is perfect as a "quick-and-dirty" RPG to carry around in your notebook and run on the spur of the moment. Two more things would have given it a perfect 5.0 from me - 1) at least a mention of a magic system and 2) a few more sample characters to get a better feel for the bredth of the game.

Steve W
Baltimore, MD

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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