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FGU's DareDevils. Two Fisted Tales from the Thirties.

FGU's DareDevils. Two Fisted Tales from the Thirties.

Continuing on the series of FGU games, Daredevils was my first Pulp RPG (released in 1982). It’s the classic “two fisted thirties” genre RPG where you play a variety of pulp heroes – the classic examples of the cloaked avenger, the technical wizard, the hard-boiled detective and so on. I remember watching a bunch of the old B&W serials on TV as a kid, and this was the first game to really try to bring them to the table for me.

Unfortunately, except for a quick bash at the game during the Indiana Jones craze, my players had little interest in the genre or the game. If I were to resurrect it today, I would try to hype my players up by watching Skycaptain first or something like that.

I find it interesting that although released in the 80’s, the game still presents the old-school d20 (the double d10). By 1982, it was already hard to find a double d10 instead of a true d20.

The game uses six attributes rated from 1 to 40, with 10 being average human. What’s interesting for an FGU game of it’s day is that Daredevils uses a point-buy system for the attributes, so I had better figure out what kind of character I’m making before I go any further. I tend to like the idea of the soldier of fortune character – someone like the main character in the Mummy movies, maybe with a bit of Skycaptain thrown in for good measure. Good with a gun, but more about bravery and wit. As with many of the RPGs of this format, there is no Intelligence stat or equivalent – that is determined purely by roleplaying.

We then determine his “Psychological Profile” which gives initial ratings in seven talents (Charisma, Combative, Communicative and so on). This determines that he’s a good communicator and fighter, but not mechanically inclined in the least, and not very scientifically minded or in tune with nature. I then get 24 more points to spend between these talents. Since I’m going for a free-wheeling mercenary type, I’m increasing his Combative and Communicative and Charismatic talents.

We roll for his size & looks, and then determine his age to see how many Development Points he gets to spend on skills. At 37, Scott isn’t the youngest man in the field, but has a fair amount of combat experience under his belt. It also means he has 37 Development Points to spend on skills as well as increases ability scores. Scott spends 7 of the points to increase ability scores by 7d3, and the remaining 30 points are spent on skills and skill improvements. What’s interesting is each skill’s base number is found by adding one stat, one talent and one other item (usually a second talent). If you invest multiple choices into a skill, you add 2d6 to this number for each time you choose the skill. Divide this final number by 5 to get the Basic Chance of Success, which is what you roll (or less) on a d20 to succeed.

Finally, a roll on the NPC reaction table (burried at the back of the book, nowhere near the character creation section mind you) adding the character’s age, gives us his financial status. A roll of 80, plus 37, gives us the maximum result of +6, which is a whole lot of money, and ownership of a special vehicle… Since Scott has a high Pilot skill, he’s got a cool fighter plane. He also owns a car, and a gun, but no house (so he’s not tied down, except that he has to keep renting a hangar somewhere for his plane).

Scott “Free” Bujold

Wit: 25
Will: 5
Strength: 15
Deftness: 25
Speed: 10
Health: 12

Charisma: +5
Combative: +12
Communicative: +10
Esthetic: +2
Mechanical: -2
Natural: -1
Scientific: -1

[CDA] Combat Dodge Ability: 3
[DRT] Damage Resistance Total: 22
[ENC CAP] Encumbrance Capacity: 12.5 kg
Off Hand Dexterity: 9

Height & Weight: Low (-0 Size) (5’2″, 55 kg)
Looks: Average

American Culture: 37 / 7
American History: 23 / 4
English Language: 74 / 14
Athletics (Running): 29 / 5
Athletics (Jumping): 46 / 9
Athletics (Climbing): 39 / 7
Autofire: 68 / 13
Demolitions: 48 / 9
Interrogation: 51 / 10
Knife Fighting: 51 / 10
Medical (First Aid): 59 / 11
Military Science: 36 / 7
Pilot: 68 / 13
Pistol: 86 / 17
Stealth: 65 / 13
Throwing: 62 /12
Tracking: 27 / 5

Cash on Hand: $1,500
Savings: $7,000
Annual Income: $16,000

Machine Pistol
Awesome Fighter Plane