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Old 01-05-2018, 09:24 PM   #101
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
Ty Beard had a high-tech adaptation and traveller crossover.

ISTR Ty hangs out here.
I do now :) Hey Wil; how have you been?

My sci-fi rules were designed explicitly to avoid the problem of equating penetration and damage (which leads to poorly armored characters typically being killed outright when hit by a modern weapon).

Basically, high tech weapons do a certain number of dice damage. High tech armor reduces each die by the armor’s rating. But it acts normally against Melee weapons. For instance, a heavy pistol does 2D damage. Heavy ballistic cloth armor stops 3 points of damage. It will reduce each die by 3 (but only to zero). Against melee weapons, it stops 3 points of armor. Primitive thrown/missile weapons doing 1 die or less damage are treated like melee weapons. Missile/Thrown weapons are treated like guns, with bonuses treated as a separate die. So the cloth armor would affect a longbow doing 1d+2 by stopping the +2 entirely and reducing the die by three. The armor would affect an Arquebuss (3D+3 damage) by stopping the +3 entirely and reducing each die by three points.

If you don’t like subtracting from each die, an easy way to handle hi-tech armor is to treat a 6 as no damage for 1 point hi tech armor, 5-6 for 2 point high tech armor, 4-6 for 3 point high tech armor, etc.

This system also allowed melee weapons to be reasonably effective against high tech armor...if you got close enough.

I’m not sure that this system is wildly realistic, but it was a reasonable approximation for 1982. And it played very fast, once you got used to it.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 01-05-2018 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:27 PM   #102
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
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I appreciate and agree with much of what you've written, but:

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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
1) Perhaps the most awkward element of the original game concerns modifiers to die rolls: Perhaps 2/3 to 3/4 of all such instances call for a reduction or bonus to the controlling attribute, and the remainder call for an increase or decrease in the number of dice rolled. Thus, there are two different mechanics in play, and a very large number of modifiers to keep track of. A better design would condense these into a smaller number of more coarsely 'chunky' modifiers. My advice would be to use a modification to the number of dice rolled for any modifier larger than 2, keep the attribute modifiers only for circumstances that lead to small modifiers (1 or 2), with the only exception being the armor and shield DX penalties (because the power balance in the game depends significantly on the trade off between protection and DX penalty). A very large number of modifying factors (lack of a talent; attacking from the rear; attacking in HTH; casting spells in HTH; etc.) would be reduced to a much simpler rule: add or subtract a die from the pool you roll. I would also recommend doing the same thing with ranges of thrown and missile weapons, making coarse range 'bands' where you roll 3d, 4d, 5d, etc. All of this will simplify learning, the volume of rules on the page, and speed play.
The number of die-roll modifiers is on your list of the top quibbles you have with TFT?

That sounds like a change to a non-problem that creates some new questions, reduces the grain of the system, and actually seems more complicated to me than the existing modifiers.

For example, what about auto success/failure, double and triple damage, or the chance to drop or break a weapon? Particularly for 2-die rolls, which would become common (attacking rear and downed foes) - triple on 2 and double on 3 would make those more juicy, but are we going to do 10 auto-miss, 11 drop, 12 break too? Is this "simplicity" worth it to either lose or increase those possibilities? The new players you hope to help will now more frequently need to know the six crit result ranges for each of at least 2d, 3d, and 4d rolls. That seems to me certainly harder to memorize than the existing DRMs, the most common of which are listed in Melee and don't seem that numerous to me.
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:39 PM   #103
tbeard1999
 
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Originally Posted by David L Pulver View Post
The main problem I found in TFT combat was that, barring the silly Unarmed Combat rules, it was "all offense." You couldn't play something like a cinematic swordfight involving light armored or unarmored fighters, because fighters only increased in attack ability (higher DX) but DX never improved your defensive ability. This is not a fault in the rules _as a game_ but it is a problem as a roleplaying game, because it makes certain common characters hard to play.

I've seen various fixes for it -
Agreed. I used various fixes until I came up with my Evade/Blitz mechanic. Basically, after movement but before combat, any figure can “Evade” by reducing his adjDX by any number of points (max was 6 I think). Any melee attackers also reduce their adjDX by the same amount. The initiative loser states what he’ll do first.

So a high DX figure could reduce his DX and make himself much harder to hit, while retaining enough DX to have a decent chance of hitting.

The Blitz mechanic worked the same way except a figure could add to his adjDX, giving the same bonus to any melee attackers. The maximum was 4 I think.

This allowed a low DX figure to increase his chance of hitting at the cost of being easier to hit.

Evading/Blitzing figures all attack in the same order they would have before the DX modifier was applied.
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:49 PM   #104
tbeard1999
 
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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
I wonder if perhaps the "roll more dice for more difficulty" mechanic should be done away with entirely, in favor of stat penalties.

When you roll 4 dice the result is very often going to be within a few points of 14.

When you roll 5d, the significant majority of results will be from 16 to 19. The bell curve gets way steeper...
Yep, that was a major problem with Tunnels and Trolls. I usually ditched the additional dice mechanic and replaced it with a -3 modifier for 4d, a -6 modifier for 5d, etc.

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Old 01-05-2018, 10:15 PM   #105
tbeard1999
 
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HERESY ALERT

Although megahexes gave TFT its distinctive look, I ditched them early in my gaming career. For range calculation, I converted each megahex to 3 hexes.

I also refused to map my dungeons on a hex grid (what the heck is a “trefoil” anyway?). The hexes worked well enough for natural caves but were a chore for mapping man made tunnels. So I mapped on graph paper and treated 3 hexes as 10’. “Half hexes are playable, partial hexes are not” was something all my players heard.

That said, I think I’d include the megahex rules and hex-mapping rules as written, but offer these alternatives as optional rules.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:20 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
I wonder if perhaps the "roll more dice for more difficulty" mechanic should be done away with entirely, in favor of stat penalties.
Not that it's up for a vote, but I would much prefer this. Simple, portable. I didn't grumble too much when X dice was introduced in the advanced game, but I felt it needlessly complicated the system. Granted, I've never approached most games in a statistician fashion, just assumed that the designer and playtesters knew best. But, personally, I find adjustments easier to interpret and apply than trying to determine the number of dice to apply to a situation.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:01 PM   #107
Anthony
 
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I would use either dice or stat penalties, not both. If you need more granularity, can always roll 3d+2 or w/e. Note that more dice is *more* random than stat penalties, not less.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:53 PM   #108
Skarg
 
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While Steve is correct about the steeper curve with more dice, what more dice do add is more range of possible values. With higher possible values, it extends the potential risk higher than the average adjustment is.

So for example, if your GM converts all 5-die rolls to 3-die rolls with a -7 modifier, the average point may be equivalent, but if someone has a DX of 22, that makes a 15, and 16+ (a 4.6% chance) is an auto-miss or worse anyway, so the -7 has no effect on anything. But with 5d6, the roll can be up to 30, and the chance of rolling over 22 is 9.8%.

That's more significant the more extreme the characters' stats get. If the experience system somehow makes really-high-stat characters much less likely, it could be less important (and things in general would probably work better.)

Another thing to keep in mind for this is the spotting roll rules in ITL, where nothing can be impossible to spot, but there are talents that can shave multiple dice off the difficulty roll, which it seems to me is pretty well modeled by a large pile of dice, since it gives you a LOT of precision for really-unlikely things that don't get overpowered by high stats. On the other hand, it also means rolling a ton of dice, and if the GM wants to not give away that's what he's doing (which he should), he would need to either cleverly roll them three at a time, or occasionally make decoy rolls of a pile of dice when there's nothing interesting. ;-)
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:05 AM   #109
JLV
 
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I have to say I'm with Skarg on this one -- it seems to me that oversimplification would harm the system just as much as over-complicating it would.

TFT was pretty darn close to my sweet spot for pretty much everything that it did. Some tweaks -- like adding new talents or spells, updating equipment lists, unifying/reorganizing the XP system, adding an index (MANDATORY*) and much better Table of Contents, and LOTS more fun stuff like Cidri background, adding recommended stats for the Mnoren as a "monster" species, putting together splat books a la Land Beyond the Mountains (though without the annoying and childishly bad puns), THOSE are the things I'm hoping for! Lots of Splat Books (go ahead; you can dual-stat them for GURPS AND TFT! (Oh, and a great GM screen!) (And more ADVENTURES!)

* The good news is that the Fantasy Master's Codex already does a lot of the hard work on that front in terms of digging out the relevant entries; though I don't think Metagaming could have chosen a worse form of presentation for the info. Of course, now you'll have to double-check all those page numbers and get it into a modern computer system for easy updating and layout...

Last edited by JLV; 01-06-2018 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:20 AM   #110
tbeard1999
 
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HERESY ALERT

I actually stopped using 3d6 as the resolution mechanic and went to 1d20.<ducks for cover> Before being burned at the stake, I’d like the chance to at least make the case.

First the actual mechanic:

Easy rolls (comparable to 2 die rolls) are +4 to the attribute.
Average rolls are the attribute.
Hard rolls (comparable to 4 die rolls) are -4 to the attribute.
Very hard (comparable to 5 die rolls) are -8.
Impossible are -12. And so on.

A natural 1 always succeeds and natural 20 fails. If you roll a natural 1 in combat, roll 1d6 1-3 automatic hit. 4-5 double damage. 6 triple damage. If you roll a natural 20 in combat, roll 1d6 1-3 automatic miss. 4-5 dropped weapon. 6 break weapon.

Combat DX Modifiers [This is an early treatment; I’ll hunt down the final treatment and post it]

Missile or Thrown Weapons:
Missile Weapons: -2 per 6 hexes after the first 6 hexes (or per 2 megahexes)
Thrown Weapons: -2 per hex
Opponent dodging: -6 (or should it be -4??)

Position (only one applies):
Opponent is higher than you: -4
Opponent is lower than you: +4
Hitting opponent in the side: +4
Hitting opponent in the rear: +8
Opponent is on the ground: +8

Tactics:
Opponent defending or dodging: -6 (or should it be -4??)

Your Status
You are stunned (just took 5-7 hits): -4

Comment: After many years of fiddling with TFT, I finally determined that the 3d6 bell curve is too steep and causes players to overvalue DX (i.e. an adjDX of 12 = 74% chance of success; adjDX 13 = 84% and so on). Replacing the 3d6 roll with a d20 will simultaneously make lower attribute characters more capable and expand the opportunities for more powerful characters. Obviously, converting monsters will require some effort (like recognizing that IQ 6 animals would have a revised IQ of 2).

OK, you may now set me on fire...

Last edited by tbeard1999; 01-06-2018 at 04:32 AM.
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