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-   -   The Immovable Foundation-Stone on which TFT Characters are Built (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=156467)

Jim Kane 03-18-2018 12:43 PM

Re: The Immovable Foundation-Stone on which TFT Characters are Built
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by vitruvian (Post 2166131)
ITL is part of TFT as well, so it's not always 24 or 32.

That is actually the point. As a TFT figure is not static, but dynamic - after acquiring EP and thereby increasing the value of a given attribute. In order to properly channel the expression of the root-power in back of a figure THROUGH the channels we call Attribute, we must understand the specific mathematical relations from a commutative, associative, and distributive perspective.

For if not, we will continue to suffer break-down in the form of distortion (i.e. Conan-the-Scholar) at the higher-levels.

The key is in the revelation that the attribute itself is NOT the source of the power over the trait it governs, but rather, attribute is only a CHANNEL for the root-power to manifest as a specific trait - which in turn only serves to describe and put a mathematical value on the root-power when channeled through attribute to an end source for expression in game-terms (i.e. Power in Combat as ST).

Your da Vinci Avatar and Member Name has caused me to undertake an even deeper pondering on the matter since your first post to me - and acted as a catalyst.

Therefore, I am in-process of composing a completely "non-math" oriented treatise; in which I will attempt to convey - through purely narrative means - the reason why we can never satisfactorily solve for Conan-the-Scholar, unless and until we can first define the underline algebraic premise - which may then reveal the proper routing algorithm for a TFT figure - without a total game-system overhaul... and maybe finally solve for Conan-the-Scholar; AT LAST!

The piece is to be entitled:The Vitruvian Melee Man. I thank you for your interest in my post, as your interaction has served as a potent catalyst in advancing my hypothesis.

I hope you will stand-by for the piece in the interim; and then, join me therein with your most welcome comments and criticisms at that time.

Thanks.

JK

David Bofinger 03-19-2018 07:02 AM

Re: The Immovable Foundation-Stone on which TFT Characters are Built
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tbeard1999 (Post 2165275)
First, a strong argument can be made that for heroes, DX is more useful than ST, up to a certain point. 2 additional points of ST will allow you to take 2 additional points of damage - once. 2 additional points of DX will allow you to take leather armor, which allows you to take 2 additional points of damage in every attack.

Of course, ST does govern the size weapon you can use. But I'd have a hard time agreeing that 2 additional points of damage done offsets the advantage of wearing leather armor.

In a duel it absolutely does. Consider a duel between
  • 13-11-8 bastard sword, small shield, no armour: damage 2+1, hits stopped 0+1: against opponent below, attacks with DX 11 and does 2-2, MA 10.
  • 11-13-8 short sword, small shield, leather armour: damage 2-1, hits stopped 3: against opponent above attacks with DX 11 and does 2-2, MA 8.
The guy with the extra ST is just better than the one with the extra DX: more hit points, more MA. And the slope of damage versus ST is actually a bit more than 1 so the example is arguably generous.

One reason armour is attractive is that most fights in an RPG involve the heroes winning with tolerable damage. Having armour tends to slow the fight down and minimise the chance it will suddenly get out of hand in a freak event, like a PC death. Also, it's a way to use attributes after the benefits of ST and adj DX have plateaued.

Kirk 03-19-2018 10:11 AM

Re: The Immovable Foundation-Stone on which TFT Characters are Built
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Bofinger (Post 2166285)
In a duel it absolutely does. Consider a duel between
  • 13-11-8 bastard sword, small shield, no armour: damage 2+1, hits stopped 0+1: against opponent below, attacks with DX 11 and does 2-2, MA 10.
  • 11-13-8 short sword, small shield, leather armour: damage 2-1, hits stopped 3: against opponent above attacks with DX 11 and does 2-2, MA 8.
The guy with the extra ST is just better than the one with the extra DX: more hit points, more MA. And the slope of damage versus ST is actually a bit more than 1 so the example is arguably generous.

One reason armour is attractive is that most fights in an RPG involve the heroes winning with tolerable damage. Having armour tends to slow the fight down and minimise the chance it will suddenly get out of hand in a freak event, like a PC death. Also, it's a way to use attributes after the benefits of ST and adj DX have plateaued.

Other considerations should be projectiles, small creature attacks, swimming, etc. Against a couple of archers with small bows, for instance, the armored character might have the advantage, as with insects, rats, spiders, fire, etc.
Swimming might be disadvantageous.

When choosing a bow to use, the unarmoured character might be at a disadvantage in this little duel, taking a crossbow doing effectively 2-3 every other turn vs. the armoured character's longbow at 1+1 every turn.

The guy with the bastard sword has the option to reduce his armour by dropping his shield and increase his attack to 3-5. The armoured guy can, depending on the situation, strip off his armour to increase his DX for whatever mission might need it.

My point is that the interesting aspect of TFT is that one can do a pure mathematical analysis of weapons, etc. but there are enough variables and game elements that blur what is the "better" character construction. :)

JLV 03-19-2018 12:24 PM

Re: The Immovable Foundation-Stone on which TFT Characters are Built
 
Which, I think, is EXACTLY the sweet spot Steve Jackson was aiming for when he designed the game. That he achieved it so economically (in terms of both rules and word count) speaks volumes for his skill as a designer...

Kirk 03-19-2018 01:25 PM

Re: The Immovable Foundation-Stone on which TFT Characters are Built
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JLV (Post 2166367)
Which, I think, is EXACTLY the sweet spot Steve Jackson was aiming for when he designed the game. That he achieved it so economically (in terms of both rules and word count) speaks volumes for his skill as a designer...

Yes, it is why I love TFT so much. And one could game up a ST-11 DX-13 character with only a shield, for instance. He can choose to disengage whenever he wants vs. both DX-11 guys, and the to hit is about 83% vs. 62% for the stronger armourless or similarly armed but armoured guys, quite a significant difference in avg. hits per attack.

All that interesting development option without having to deal with super details of armouring one wrist but not the other, slicing vs. smashing vs. bashing vs. crunching damage, and on.

It someone like more "realistic" fighting engagements, that's fine, but the well-done "wargamey" nature of encounters works just right, while still allowing progress in an adventure beyond the fight.

JLV 03-19-2018 05:31 PM

Re: The Immovable Foundation-Stone on which TFT Characters are Built
 
I totally agree. It hit my RPG sweetspot exactly. It was challenging enough tactically without being mind-numbingly detail oriented, and it allowed us to get right on with the roleplaying parts while still feeling the combat was exciting enough to be enjoyable (and not bogging us down in an hour-long combat that actually would occur in about 8 minutes of real time).

All in all, a triumph of designing for effect!

Jim Kane 03-20-2018 12:22 PM

Re: The Immovable Foundation-Stone on which TFT Characters are Built
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JLV (Post 2166483)
I totally agree. It hit my RPG sweetspot exactly. It was challenging enough tactically without being mind-numbingly detail oriented, and it allowed us to get right on with the roleplaying parts while still feeling the combat was exciting enough to be enjoyable (and not bogging us down in an hour-long combat that actually would occur in about 8 minutes of real time).

All in all, a triumph of designing for effect!

Well said, JLV. I hesitate to think where I would have landed in terms of a suitable FRPG for my style of expression had it not been for that $2.95 tactical-combat game that came in a little plastic baggie.

JK

vitruvian 03-20-2018 12:33 PM

Re: The Immovable Foundation-Stone on which TFT Characters are Built
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Kane (Post 2166144)
The key is in the revelation that the attribute itself is NOT the source of the power over the trait it governs, but rather, attribute is only a CHANNEL for the root-power to manifest as a specific trait - which in turn only serves to describe and put a mathematical value on the root-power when channeled through attribute to an end source for expression in game-terms (i.e. Power in Combat as ST).

See, that's the exact opposite of what the rules seem to say to me. A certain level of DX can do certain things, same for ST, completely regardless of how that level was generated. It could be by GM fiat as to what those levels should be for a certain encountered creature, monster, or person, it could be by generating a gargoyle thief using the ITL character generation rules, it could be by some other means... but it makes no difference to the effects of the attribute level in the game, according to the game's rules.

Jim Kane 03-20-2018 02:55 PM

Re: The Immovable Foundation-Stone on which TFT Characters are Built
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by vitruvian (Post 2166680)
See, that's the exact opposite of what the rules seem to say to me. A certain level of DX can do certain things, same for ST, completely regardless of how that level was generated. It could be by GM fiat as to what those levels should be for a certain encountered creature, monster, or person, it could be by generating a gargoyle thief using the ITL character generation rules, it could be by some other means... but it makes no difference to the effects of the attribute level in the game, according to the game's rules.

I understand what you are saying, and I understand where you are coming from.

As they say: "Been there."

As I stated in my previous response (see above), I will state my full hypothesis in "non-math" terms my forthcoming Trieste: The Vitruvian Melee Man.

In the meantime, here are the basic assumptions I went on:

1) SJ is an exceeding bright man and careful designer; and not likely to use words, terms, and phrases indiscriminately as misnomers - especially with the legal, statistical, and editorial training he acquired before and after attending Rice.

2) The dictionary definition of Attribute is as a noun: n. a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something; and as a verb: v. a piece of information that determines the properties.

3) The dictionary definition of Dexterity is as a noun: n. skill in performing tasks, especially with the hands.

4) The dictionary definition of Strength is as a noun: n. the quality or state of being strong, in particular physical power and energy.

5) The dictionary definition of Intelligence is, as a noun: n. the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.

Think those over for a while, and perhaps it will give you a glimpse into "Where we are going" with regard to what I have shared with you thus far.

Also, you may find it beneficial to bounce what we assume by inference of the rules, against what the rules specifically state in print and the accurate definitions as applied to the terms SJ employed in informing the rules; then take all that, and re-read my original post at the top of the thread.

You may sense your paradigm shifting well before I can post The Vitruvian Melee Man.

I'll hope to see you there, and I will anticipate receiving and fully addressing your comments at that time.

Thanks again for being a catalyst in advancing my hypothesis. As your Member Name served to fill-in the missing factor in completing my hypothesis - which you may, or may not, agree with in the end; and that's okay too.

JK


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