Fudge was originally written 1992-1995 by Steffan O'Sullivan with help and feedback from many gamers on the Usenet newsgroup rec.games.design. It was published online in 1993 with a ``Legal Notice'' allowing for free distribution and creation of derivative works under a limited, royalty-free license. (As far as we're aware, Fudge was the first roleplaying game system to be published under an ``open content'' license.)
In 1994, Ann Dupuis, doing business as ``Wild Mule Games,'' published the first Fudge book under a commercial publishing license from Steffan O'Sullivan. The ``Wild Mule'' Fudge book contained the 1993 version of the rules. In July 1995, Grey Ghost Press, Inc. (Wild Mule Games' successor) published the first widely distributed Fudge book, containing the June 1995 version of the rules (the version that Steffan was satisfied enough with to stop tinkering ).
Six years later, Grey Ghost Press published a new Fudge book-- the Expanded Edition. The Expanded Edition had everything from the 1995 edition, plus additional material including Fantasy Fudge, a pre-customized version of Fudge for use in a fantasy setting. This Fudge System Reference Document contains the text from the 2000 Fudge Expanded Edition.
Now in 2005, in celebration of the company's 10th anniversary, Grey Ghost Press is releasing a hardcover edition of Fudge. In addition to most of the material in the Expanded Edition (and in this Fudge System Reference Document), the 10th Anniversary edition of Fudge has extensive lists of gifts, faults, skills, and attributes, alternative rules, advice on ``fudging'' Fudge games, and more-- more than twice as much material as in the Expanded Edition. Much of that new material will also be released under the Open Game License (although not as part of the core Fudge System Reference Document).
For more information on the history of the Fudge roleplaying game, please visit Steffan's Fudge Designer Notes webpage at
For more information on Grey Ghost Press and commercial Fudge publishing, please visit http://www.fudgerpg.com