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Old 05-30-2018, 02:31 PM   #61
Jim Kane
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Yes Dave, but there is a another grouping of our friends who feel otherwise, and equally just as strongly as we do; like: Ty, Rick, and Kirk. That is why this topic of adding a healing spell to TFT is so *unbelievably* heavy. If SJ does in point-of-fact add Healing Spell(s) by any definition into the re-edit, one group or the other is most likely going to end-up feeling that the new magic shoes pinch their toes. And that's not good for TFT, regardless of who ends up on the happy-side.

Remember that post SJ made on March 3, 2018, on The Fantasy Trip News, about being: Trapped between two mirrors?

How apropos', no?

JK

Last edited by Jim Kane; 05-30-2018 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Reduction of Capitalization to Addressee's Name & Clarity
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:05 PM   #62
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: HEAL spell?

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Originally Posted by Terquem View Post
Limiting the total availability of "magical" healing has always seemed to me to give TFT a different feel altogether from other conventional role playing games

I like the idea that characters can survive, hopefully, one encounter, but need to make serious choices about what to do if they have another encounter before a time to rest is had.

I like, and have introduced, healing naturally in less time, and have always liked the "healer's kit" concepts of many games, with a limited number of uses that restore strength at a fixed rate, never random, per use.

It just seems to me that when magical, player character available healing spells are introduce it always leads to abuse of the system, or the feeling that someone must play a healer (which is a false premise, in my opinion). I like the feel of a game that puts serious decision making on when to fight and when to run away in the player's court.
Exactly! And as I mentioned in some posts above, there are ways to abuse the spell SJ suggested that require thinking about using the Aid spell and resting etc., which are also such heavy effects that once you realize them, it seems foolish not to, creating a similar feeling that not only would a party be foolish not to have a healing wizard, they'd be foolish not to have at least a couple of other people who know Aid, and dumb to not have a wagon they can rest in while marching, etc.

What I love about TFT is that almost all of its mechanics are about how the situation works. So you get a game about what's involved in going out adventuring and figuring out how to deal with situations including what tactics work and dealing with unpredictable consequences, and injuries are a big part of that.

Healing spells tend to remove serious lasting injury from the game. The degree depends on how the spells work (or can be made to work with help from Aid and rest etc), but beyond a certain point, you start to lose the experience of people having to deal with being seriously wounded and needing to recover. And, you lose some of the weight of making choices to avoid that consequence, and to prepare for it and work around it.

I like my adventures to be full of considerations and practical problems to face and overcome and natural consequences. I don't much care for too many magical solutions to those unless they introduce other interesting considerations. For example, magic Light items tend to remove lighting problems from the game. In other magic systems, there are items that produce infinite food an/or safe water out of thin air, removing supplies from the game. In some there are magics that remove encumbrance and logistics from the game (e.g. bag o' holding). In many there's so much easy healing and revival that non-TPK consequences of combat are more or less removed from the game.

So if a healing spell is added, I'd want it to at least have some risks and trade-offs that are interesting and limits that keep it from mostly removing serious lasting wounds as a part of play.

I'd also like to avoid adding new resulting tactics that could get annoying. Having the limit try to be the ST cost, invites getting around that with the Aid spell and having multiple low-skill assistants and other odd tactics. And smart NPCs would logically have their own schemes for healing their best people up, etc., which complexity ordinarily I like, but I don't much like the flavor of feeling like any fighting team is foolish if they don't have a healing wizard and a bunch of resting IQ 9 servants with Aid... I wouldn't mind playing that for a bit, but it seems a bit gamey and like it would get annoying to track and deal with.


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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
This is spot on. There are hundreds of fantasy roleplaying games on the market, and only a few lucky ones are distinctive enough in their feel during play that you would miss them if they were gone. TFT is one of those distinctive games, and part of what makes it distinctive is that you die when someone brains you with a pole axe, and there is almost nothing under the sun that will bring you back. I also find it distinctive and enjoyable that healing exists in the game, but it is modest in its effects and mostly in the hands of high-skill characters rather than magicians or priests.

Also, well armored characters should not turn their nose up at a master physicker; 3 points of healing per wound goes a long way when you have 5+ points of armor! It is quite plausible to play TFT as originally published and get into a half dozen or more fights per day. Its just that they have to be fights you win, and you have to be sufficiently well armored that you rarely take more than 3 points of damage per 'mishap'.

An important detail about the Physicker talents: it is ambiguous as to what constitutes a 'mishap', and therefore how many times per day one character can benefit from non magical healing. If you rule one 'mishap' means all damage you take from any source in a given fight or scene, then things get a bit tricky. If one 'mishap' is a single blow/fall/arrow/etc., then you are in much better shape. A simple house rule that lets you play the game as-is and dungeon crawl to your heart's content: Allow a physicker one attempt to heal each individual injury. If you are a goof ball who runs around without armor this won't keep you alive very long. But well armored characters will get patched up as good as new more often than not.
YES!

This came up in an earlier thread here. The people I played with tended to quickly notice the weirdness of the Physicker wording, and we all agreed it made no sense at all for it to be limited per combat. So we played it as a limit per wound, which did make sense, was very easy to do, and also generally made physicker healing stronger and only the people who took major wounds would have lasting serious injuries. It did mean it took longer to heal up a whole group with a bunch of minor injuries, but that was an interesting short-term effect.


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Originally Posted by Dave Crowell View Post
I think we are on the same page. I like that TFT combat is gritty, hurts, and is potentially deadly. Increasing the availability of healing between combats should have the efect of making longer periods of adventuring more survivable. If you can heal faster between fights you can afford to get in more fights between periods of extended rest and healing. It still keeps individual fights a significant risk to be weighed against the potential reward. No (or very limited) magical instant healing during the fight.

I like that combat hurts. I fighter who has taken most of his hits does not fight as well as he did when he was fresh. This is in sharp contrast to a lot of RPGs where a fighter fights just as well at 1 HP as he did at 50 HP. He is just more likely to die if he gets hit.
Yes, quite.
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:54 PM   #63
tomc
 
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Default Re: HEAL spell?

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
The people I played with tended to quickly notice the weirdness of the Physicker wording, and we all agreed it made no sense at all for it to be limited per combat. So we played it as a limit per wound, which did make sense, was very easy to do, and also generally made physicker healing stronger and only the people who took major wounds would have lasting serious injuries. It did mean it took longer to heal up a whole group with a bunch of minor injuries, but that was an interesting short-term effect.
I've been using this house rule with my dungeon generator, and it's an excellent solution to the dungeon crawl healing problem. Minor wounds can still contribute to your death in battle, but they're healed between fights, so your characters don't die the death-of-a-thousand-cuts. Major wounds hang around and contribute to the story. I like my heroes "cinematic", and this beats dragging along a cooler filled with healing potions.

Thanks Skarg!
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:11 PM   #64
Skarg
 
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Originally Posted by tomc View Post
I've been using this house rule with my dungeon generator, and it's an excellent solution to the dungeon crawl healing problem. Minor wounds can still contribute to your death in battle, but they're healed between fights, so your characters don't die the death-of-a-thousand-cuts. Major wounds hang around and contribute to the story. I like my heroes "cinematic", and this beats dragging along a cooler filled with healing potions.

Thanks Skarg!
Yes, it does help and may contribute at least partly to my impression that there really wasn't a need for magic healing.

Mainly though, our reasoning was about logic. It was intolerably nonsensical to us that if you had multiple small wounds, whether or not they could be treated individually for near-complete recovery was determined by whether "combat" had ended or not, or even by whether you got them healed between each hit or not.

And as a side-effect that also made sense, you can be effectively healed of a number of minor wounds, but a major injury can't just be patched up and becomes a consequence you need to live with until you actually rest and heal it.
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:11 PM   #65
Shostak
 
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Default Re: HEAL spell?

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Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post

IQ 13 or 14: LAYING OF EMPATHIC HANDS (S): Absorbs, as healing, 1 hit of injury for every (3, 4, or 5) hits of direct damage AND fatigue the caster is willing to incur by laying hands directly on another in a magical exchange of life-forces.

Because of the highly-dangerous and delicate nature of magically manipulating the active life-force energies involved which activates this special absorption spell, the cost to cast, is taken NOT ONLY as fatigue from basic spellcasting, but ALSO as DAMAGE FROM INJURY suffered DIRECTLY by the caster, just as if having been hit by a weapon in combat.

And no, armor, talents, and spells do not protect you.

For this same reason, the cost to cast CANNOT be drawn from the strength of others, nor from any type of stored strength battery, or magic item - the backlash of attempting to balance and control the complex energies of more than two people would kill any additional person involved in the attempted magical operation, the caster, and possibly even the injured person in need of healing.

Because this spell requires direct physical contact between two people adjacent to each other, and the manipulation of ACTIVE magical and life-forces, it CANNOT be "stored" in any type of magic item, such as a scroll or amulet. Empathic Hands WILL also restore lost fatigue from spellcasting, etc., but rarely is it practical to use it this way. Empathic Hands will cure hits already lost to disease and poison, but it will not cure the disease nor make a poison go away.
JK
I forgot to mention that this is an attractive idea. I might go for a simple 1:2 ratio of healing : damage to the caster.
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:38 PM   #66
Terquem
 
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Default Re: HEAL spell?

I might suggest a reduction in the caster's IQ - hear me out now, this is just off the top of my head

A caster can temporarily reduce their IQ to restore the Strength of an ally. This means the caster will be limited in the spells they would normally be able to cast, but still not risk an unexpected death from suffering a reduction in their own strength. The reduced IQ recovers quickly (more quickly than strength) and can help the party get out of a dangerous situation and back to safety.
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:54 PM   #67
Kirk
 
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Default Re: HEAL spell?

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Originally Posted by Terquem View Post
I might suggest a reduction in the caster's IQ - hear me out now, this is just off the top of my head

A caster can temporarily reduce their IQ to restore the Strength of an ally. This means the caster will be limited in the spells they would normally be able to cast, but still not risk an unexpected death from suffering a reduction in their own strength. The reduced IQ recovers quickly (more quickly than strength) and can help the party get out of a dangerous situation and back to safety.
Uh, yeah, I wouldn't want this. This is what we want to avoid, quickly getting out of dangerous situations. There are many reasons I like TFT as a game, even HT's atheism might have something to do with it (no demi-gods or 99 levels of hell, never-determinable abilities of priests, etc.), so the world works for me as a scientist, mathematician, martial artist, gamer, and more.

If we make difficult situations that the players put themselves in for some reason easy to survive, that kills the need for brainstorming, ingenuity, inventiveness, well-developed characters and adventure teams, and good tactical play.

IMO, TFT is SJ's work of genius when he was young. Not many people get a work of genius, and very few get more than one. The fact that he presented his contemplation of even adding "just" one healing spell tells me he knows he needs to tread carefully to avoid ruining his work.

Einstein spent a large part of his life trying to improve on his early relativistic insights and fundamentally failed at a unified field theory. Sometimes it is good to tidy up the edges and leave well enough alone. :)
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Old 05-31-2018, 12:52 AM   #68
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: HEAL spell?

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Originally Posted by Dave Crowell View Post
I think we are on the same page. I like that TFT combat is gritty, hurts, and is potentially deadly. Increasing the availability of healing between combats should have the efect of making longer periods of adventuring more survivable. If you can heal faster between fights you can afford to get in more fights between periods of extended rest and healing. It still keeps individual fights a significant risk to be weighed against the potential reward. No (or very limited) magical instant healing during the fight.

I like that combat hurts. I fighter who has taken most of his hits does not fight as well as he did when he was fresh. This is in sharp contrast to a lot of RPGs where a fighter fights just as well at 1 HP as he did at 50 HP. He is just more likely to die if he gets hit.
Yep, I agree completely. I think that the individual TFT combats should remain as deadly as they are now. Adding healing or additional hit points will turn the TFT combat system into a time consuming slog. I just want TFT figures to be able to engage in *more* combats.
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:18 AM   #69
Chris Rice
 
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Default Re: HEAL spell?

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Yep, I agree completely. I think that the individual TFT combats should remain as deadly as they are now. Adding healing or additional hit points will turn the TFT combat system into a time consuming slog. I just want TFT figures to be able to engage in *more* combats.
The best way to maintain TFT as it is, but still allow a D&D style dungeon crawl, is to have the means of healing be external to the party. So for instance, the party have a potentially deadly encounter where some are wounded and perhaps killed - normally, they'd have to exit the dungeon and return to base to heal up. But deeper in the dungeon is a magical healing pool or a Wizards study with healing potions or something of that nature. This allows the survivors to continue with their mission. As long as these sort of dungeons are an occasional foray this won't feel too contrived.
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:42 AM   #70
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
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Default Re: HEAL spell?

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
If you include me in that category, you have not read my posts very carefully. [...] I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic.
I'm not being ironic, and I'm not sure which category you mean (people who agree with my position or people who disagree). I think we're mostly in agreement on the nature of the problem, perhaps less so on the nature of the solution. But since there's been a misunderstanding let me try phrasing it differently.
  1. In order to be exciting/fun, fights have to be difficult. There should be at least a perceived risk of player characters dying and/or of the heroes being defeated and starting the next session in some unpleasant situation like being enslaved and trying to think of a way to escape from a salt mine.
  2. In order to avoid long boring pauses in the game, wounded characters need to more or less full health at the next fight. In particular we want to avoid a situation where some of the party is healthy and wishes to continue, but are held back by the most wounded members.
  3. For various reasons I can enumerate if required we don't want player characters dying very often.
But:
  • It's easy to achieve Objective 1 by making fights hard. It's easy to achieve Objectives 2 and 3 by making fights easy. It's hard to achieve Objectives 1 to 3 simultaneously. In practice it involves a good deal of suspension of disbelief.
  • But in the absence of healing it's pretty much impossible to achieve 1 through 3 simultaneously. If the fight is at all tough, serious wounds are almost bound to accumulate in substantial amounts.
  • Therefore, bring on the easy convenient effective healing as Steve proposes. In fact, make it easier and even more convenient.
  • It needs to work between battles. Having it work during a battle is optional but I think could be made interesting. Perhaps only the higher-IQ spells or talents allow it.

Maybe my phrase was a poor choice. I just meant that the party could keep fighting without pauses between battles. I adapted it from one someone else used, I thought to describe that concept.

Quote:
I think a 32 point physicker is a tough sell to a player.
It is. In some parties it might be possible to play a fighter-scout-skill monkey hybrid along the lines of ST 10, DX 11, IQ 11: Knife, Sword, Shield, Literacy, Alertness, Physicker, Tactics, a couple more points of talents. Or an archer-thief-scout-skill monkey character who gets Bow and Missile Weapons, doesn't bother with melee weapons, and grows into the skill monkey role with experience. But I think a character that sees Physicker as the core skill is unviable, it has to be one skill among many.

Fundamentally the cleric job isn't usually a lot of fun. For that reason I'd discourage trying to make it essential. Make healing an easy ability that anyone can pick up as an incidental hobby. If there is a healer then let them do other things most of the time, and be almost as good at them as they could have been if they hadn't bought healer.

Or just have a magic waterfall nearby that's all healing potion.
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