Monday, 26 February 2018

Making Judge Dredd fit the Starblazer Rules

I make no apologies I love Starblazer Adventures (SBA) because its Fate 3.0 is so simple and lends itself to fast cinematic play. I had long fallen out of love with the clunky GW rules for Judge Dredd and never bought into the Mongoose era so I naturally turned to SBA when it came to choosing a new system for my Judge Dredd Campaign.  

Starblazer Adventures
(sadly out of print)
My concept for the PC Judges is that the Justice Department mercilessly churns them out through the Cadet system removing any personality weaknesses and indoctrinating them with a core set of skills and knowledge which will serve them well on the streets of Mega City One.  SBA has no physical stats system and relies on a system of Skills, Stunts and Aspects to allow for a huge amount of character variety with little recourse for complex game grinding math.


Looking through the list of 31 skills, it was obvious that some of them would be innapropriate for Judges and I narrowed this down to a subset of 16
  • Alertness - perception based stunts
  • Athletics - agility and speed based stunts
  • Contacting - access to friends, connections and personal reputation stunts
  • Drive - vehicle stunts
  • Empathy - insight and intuition based stunts
  • Endurance - physical stunts
  • Engineering - technical stunts
  • Fists - unarmed combat stunts
  • Guns - missile combat stunts
  • Intimidation - human interaction stunts
  • Investigation - detective stunts
  • Leadership - command and legal knowledge stunts
  • Might - physical strength stunts
  • Mysteries - psychic powers (Psi Judges only)
  • Resolve - determination and will power stunts
  • Weapons - Melee combat stunts

The Skills Pyramid

Standard SBA allows players to allocate PC skills in a pyramid of 5 levels from Average (5 skill slots at +1 dice) to Superb (1 skill slot at +5) totalling 15 skills.  Given that there were only 16 skills to choose from and I wanted this to be a gritty game I reduced every level except superb by 1 slot giving players a choice of 11 skills for their character.
  • Superb (+5) - 1 skill slot
  • Great (+4) - 1 skill slot
  • Good (+3) - 2 skill slots
  • Fair (+2) - 3 skill slots 
  • Average (+1) - 4 skill slots


Pretty much all the stunts for all the above skills are available to players with the exception of some of the unique / special / magical objects or tech which aren't standard issue.


Remain unchanged from the standard SBA although these are dependant largely on how each PC is going to be played.  For exmple Dredd himself might have the aspect "I am the Law" and Walter the Wobot might have "Live to serve".  As long as it doesn't provoke an immediate psyche evaluation by the Justice Dept, I am fairly easy going.  

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