WHY REVIEW A FREE PRODUCT?
It will still cost you some time to read and some ink to print if you choose. I'd like to know if it's worth it and I thought someone else might as well. I will not hesitate to spoil the adventure (SPOILER ALERT).
This is a three page black and white PDF. It's definitely printer friendly but because it is one column, it's not very easy to read on a phone. I printed the first two pages. The last page is an Open License.
I'm definitely interested in making sure that the non-social and social aspects of an RPG are at least as emphasized as the combat part of the game, so I'm always looking for clever ideas on handling relationships and social interaction.
This adds a separate stat block to fudge in terms of a scale of +1 to +3. There are no negative values. The rules encourage you to write down the relationship and its associated bonus.
It's not clear what this bonus is used for however.
The first example given is using multiple relationships to "inspire" you to life "for your family". Does this mean you can apply the bonus for BOTH family members? So all you have to do is say it's "For the Children" and you can essentially stack all your bonuses? I don't know and the rules don't say.
It's recommended that you describe the relationship with the reason that you have the bonus.
It recommends starting PCs with a pool of 6 levels.
It also says that you should automatically start out with a +1 relationship with each other player character. It doesn't say if the fellow PC relationship is taken out the pool of 6 or in addition to the pool of 6.
It says that after three sessions together a +1 relationship must be added (or more if you want to spend EP or Fudge Points). Is this to EVERY other PC? Only to the ones you 'bonded' with? Just because? Whether you grow to hate your fellow PCs or not? It doesn't say.
It does say you can leave some levels to be filled out later if you are not sure. But it doesn't say if this is from the initial pool of 6 or from the 'free' levels given to the other PCs.
It talks about changing relationships as well. Apparently this can happen at any time. The example given is "Sold me out to Snitcher, Joe Pearson +2".
So wait? Dude sold you out and you STILL get a +2 bonus? When do you get that bonus? When you're about to stab him in the back?
It suggests that when a relationship deteriorates you can get an extra level to add to another relationship or add a new one.
So, dude sells you out and that will make another relationship stronger or introduce you to a new friend? WTF. But apparently you STILL get the bonus with the dude that sold you out.
It recommends that the GM approve all changes to relationships.
This is followed by six examples.
One of which is "Her death haunts me to this day, Natalie Landon +2".
So apparently, you can just get a +2 bonus for someone you used to have a relationship with, who is now dead.
And nowhere does it say what this bonus (or ANY bonus) can be used for or if there are any limits at all on how you can use them.
I suppose it’s possible that there is something in FUDGE that makes this make sense, but I doubt it.
This is the kind of "Free" crap that should never have been anything but a web page at worst and a note in the GM's note book at best. Even FUDGE fanatics would refuse to publish this in a FUDGE fanzine.
It raises far more questions than answers and I can't possibly see this surviving a single character creation session.
There is no reason even given as to WHY these rules should be used.
A complete waste of time.
SHOULD I CHECK OUT THEIR OTHER PRODUCTS?
NO. This kind of hand-wavey, half-baked idea should be removed from the internet as a public service.