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Old 07-08-2018, 11:32 PM   #51
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: New Skills

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
Any particular talents you feel are overpriced?
Here are some thoughts about several talents...

-- Languages. 1 mIQ each is too high. Many people know several languages and TFT does not handle that well. I suggest you get 2 languages per memory point.

-- Mimic: is too expensive. I've lowered it to 1 mIQ in my campaign and still no one takes it. This is a talent I would consider simply dropping.

-- Monster Followers i and ii: It has been ages since anyone took these talents. These and New Followers really need more space to describe how they work than there is room for in the Talent write ups. A lot of GM's just don't allow them. I think that they need to be supported with more rules. (I also multiply the value of the follower by the size in hexes, so a 2 hex Dire Wolf counts as two followers.)

-- Two Weapons (3): It does allow you to attack twice, but the second attack is at -4 DX. (Not like the hyper powerful Missile Weapons which gives you +3 to an attribute. And with +3 DX you likely can attack twice / turn with a bow, with +3 DX on each attack. To add insult to injury, Two Weapons requires a higher IQ than Missile Weapons.)

-- Boating: A typical human has 10 IQ. Does Boating really take up 1/10 of everything he or she can learn???

-- Horsemanship, Swimming, Climbing: Many physical skills seem to take a lot of memory. I would include Running in this, but the game effect of Running is so powerful that people are happy to pay that much.

-- Priest and Theologian: Unless these have some game effect, they are over priced. If you are intending to release a Cleric supplement that would give them holy powers their price is OK, or perhaps you could get both for 3 mIQ by including Priest in Theologian.

-- Spying: I think that this talent should be reworked. What the talent describes is not really what spies do. (And I have a hard time describing how someone can crack open a door to a lit room and not have people inside notice.) But being able to understands and use 'trade craft' is a lot easier than 3 mIQ would suggest.

-- Mundane Talents: A lot of these could be made 1/2 mIQ talents. Many of them are only for history / roleplaying effect and if they were cheaper they would be more likely picked.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:52 PM   #52
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: New Skills

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Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
I am probably going to be odd-man-out on this one, but I highly resist the idea of including "Quickdraw" into TFT, for the simple reason that nearly every member of the adventure party will take it.
Surely that problem can be fixed by making it more expensive?

It should be rare: when someone demonstrates it their opponent should be surprised and alarmed.
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:16 AM   #53
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: New Skills

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
After deep meditation and reading comments, I have slid back to the "memory limit" camp - your IQ limits the number of spells/talents you can have.
Does that mean an IQ 11 character can have 11 talents, using the new XP talent cost system?

Or does it mean to use the original talent point system?
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:17 AM   #54
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: New Skills

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
Any particular talents you feel are overpriced?
I think the IQ prereqs for the UC talents are too high.
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:25 AM   #55
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: New Skills

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Originally Posted by zot View Post
Does that mean an IQ 11 character can have 11 talents, using the new XP talent cost system?

Or does it mean to use the original talent point system?
After reading the other posts, it seems to me that making IQ limit the flat number of talents (IQ 11 allows 11 talents) would
  • address concerns about being able to make well-rounded characters
  • make IQ limit how well-rounded a character is
  • keep the new XP cost for talents.
I still can't quite tell from his wording if that's Steve's intent.
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:00 AM   #56
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: New Skills

Talents that allow a bonus attack with a primary weapon. To make whether to use this a tough decision sometimes, and to make high DX useful, make the modifier equal to his sideís initiative roll. (I like using the initiative roll this way because it means the talent will be used sometimes but maybe not always, it balances out the luck of getting a good initiative roll, and saves having to make extra rolls.)

A less powerful version might allow a bonus attack with a secondary weapon: a left-handed weapon, a kick, a trip by leg or polearm pole, a bash with a shield, a strike of the sword pommel, etc. DX modifier is initiative roll halved round down. Incidentally being punched by a character in plate armour hurts a lot more than being punched by someone unarmoured.

An extra die of defence, i.e. make them roll 4/DX instead of 3/DX. This might work against missile weapons too, it depends how cinematic you're being.

Fast Draw should be expensive enough not everyone gets it.

I think the game needs to represent the sneakiness of e.g. having a dagger hidden in your boot. This could be a talent Holdout, though I suppose there are other ways to represent it.

An effect similar to, but perhaps weaker than, Eyes Behind. Or maybe a strong and weak version of the ability.

Shield Wall allows you to lend your shieldís defence, less one, against attacks that hit certain allies. Actually itís quite hard to write the rule as to who those allies would be, especially to handle missiles and jabs correctly. Something like this works, but itís a bit technical, maybe there's a simpler way to do it. Figure A attacks and hits Figure B. Figure C may may use a shield to stop some of the hits, provided (a) Figure C has this talent, (b) Figure C has a shield that stops at least two hits, (c) Figure C is adjacent to Figure B, (d) Figure A is to Figure C's front, (e) Figure A is no further from Figure C than Figure A is from Figure B. The protection provided is one less than the shield's normal protection.

I donít like it that a character who usually carries a sword but today only has a spear is so severely penalised. Heroes should generally look competent in their field, and carrying multiple weapons, expecting to switch, was a common thing to do historically. All Weapons (IQ 8; memory 1, prerequisite: 2 memory of melee weapon skills) reduces the penalty from -4 DX to -1 DX.

Itís very difficult to learn to run a small business in TFT. You end up buying Business Management, which costs a fortune, has a huge IQ requirement and seems to be mostly about defrauding people. There should be a basic skill related to accountancy, possibly something mundane.

You might need more interpersonal talents. There's one to look sexy, and one to make people like you. There isn't one to Intimidate. Or one that makes people believe you when you Persuade them it's best to stay in the barn, even if it appears to be on fire. There should be a general penalty to interpersonal attempts if you're lying (it's easier to persuade if you believe it) and a Deception talent that reduces or eliminates the penalty.

The detect lies talent of Master Thief should be spun off on its own.

A Command or Leadership talent. When your minion is not closely supervised and the GM has to roll to see if they do what they should, rather than getting lazy, confused or whatever, the minion rolls one less die against their IQ than they usually would. This would be purchased by leaders in the army, navy, merchant navy, magic foundries, business empires, nobility, etc. How this interacts with New Followers I'm not sure: technically those characters are taken over and played by the player.

I agree First Aid is needed. It could work on animals too: no need for separate talents at this level.

Archers never miss, because they have high DX for two shots a turn benefits and also get bonuses from Missile Weapons. They should miss. Rather than +3 DX consider having Missile Weapons add 1-1 damage. (It also feels more in the spirit of huge English war bows wielded by people with distorted bodies.) Two shots a turn should cost a DX penalty, rather than being free when you achieve a threshold.
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:06 AM   #57
pyratejohn
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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Default Re: New Skills

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
-- Mundane Talents: A lot of these could be made 1/2 mIQ talents. Many of them are only for history / roleplaying effect and if they were cheaper they would be more likely picked.
If all they do typically is to lend color and support background stories, I'd be happy if each player could select one for free.
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:52 AM   #58
luguvalium
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: New Skills

This is what I had been thinking about: Someone who knows a weapon well usually trains with a particular weapon and they don't automatically have an an advantage with all weapons even if they are similar. A talent for Weapon Expert ( weapon ) This require a minimum DX of 13 and will give the character a +3DX to hit with that particular weapon and also limit the optional rules of Aimed Shots to only those with Weapon Expert () This will replace Thrown Weapons, Missile Weapons, and Fencing. Weapon is a specific weapon like Dagger, or Rapier, or Longbow. The GM can decide if another weapon is similar enough to qualify. Each Expert(weapon) talent cost 2 points

So Expert(Dagger) gives +3DX to melee use and throwing and the Dagger Marksmanship rule and quick drawing a dagger.

Weapon Expert (Longbow) gives +3DX and allows critical aimed shots.

Weapon Expert (Rapier) gives +3DX and allows critical aimed shots ( or damage like fencing rules if simplify is desired, but not both )

But it also allows for Expert of the various hammers and axes, or pole arms, which were not there before.

Two Weapons skill could also be replaced by just requiring that two different Weapon Expert skill be needed.

Steve Jackson Games is welcome to use these ideas.


As mentioned above new talents in Streetwise, Persuasion, Intimidation, and Deception could be useful.

Last edited by luguvalium; 07-11-2018 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:03 AM   #59
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: New Skills

Talents that increase your adj. DX with non-missile weapons would work in a peculiar way, as most of the people experienced enough to get them wouldn't need them (note all the threads about the crisis of high DX characters!). I think if you are going to have people 'trade' talent points for melee combat abilities, the trade off should focus on: making you harder to hit (following the model of unarmed combat), doing more damage (following the models of Fencing and Unarmed Combat), or opening up new tactical or equipment options (following the model of Two Weapons and the Peculiar Weapons talents).
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:44 AM   #60
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: New Skills

I don't think I have the time/energy available right now to properly break down and explain what I see is going on with TFT IQ / Talents / Spells, but I can't resist mentioning a few things that seem important to mention at this point:

* It seems to me that the main issue with just letting people buy as many talents as they can at a flat EP price (as SJ's previous two EP drafts did) is that it removes an important effect of the old ITL system, which is that characters can only choose a few of the specialized talents (including adding spells) before it becomes impractical due to the total memory needed. That meant that there was an important choice about what to specialize in, and even a 32-point character could have specialized talents that much more experienced characters likely might not have, etc.

* I think part (but not all) of the above problem may just be perception due to not enough experience/playtesting of what it's actually like to have to choose what to allocate EP to. There IS still a choice to make, but it's hard to get a feel for what it's like when it's 1500 EP instead of 3 memory points.

* There are several issues with the old ITL system that would be helped by dropping the memory cap at IQ. Knights needing IQ 14+, and several other reasonable character designs (including many PCs) who run out of memory seemingly too early, talents that are really gifts hogging memory (people with Acute Hearing can learn 3 IQ less?), people needing to be high-IQ just in order to be able to have some mix of talents that shouldn't need high IQ (such as physical training, gifts, and some mental talents).

* I think the best solution would be to add some other limit to solve the above problem (and the other remaining problems with Talents), rather than backing up to the old ITL memory system.

* One idea is that characters could add talents of types that can be learned with training/study, but the requirement is not IQ nor EP, but actually doing an in-game training program requiring a serious way to learn, adequate aptitude, and a serious amount of time spent training it. It would also be really helpful to have a way to think about what talents NPCs can learn and what it takes, and it'd be nice not to be able to "learn" Acute Hearing, so this sort of approach could be a win-win-win, it seems to me.


And, apparently I can't resist going on a rambling brainstorm either, so make what you will of this:

As for what Talents might be cheaper, well the problem I think is not that some are too expensive, but that TFT is so far stuck in one dimension for learning talents (which is also collapsed with the other uses/meanings of IQ). It shouldn't really be about IQ, but about fortune and opportunity and learning experiences.

Some people have Sex Appeal, Charisma, or Acute Hearing, and others don't, and only a few of the people who don't would ever be able to learn it, and it is NOT because they are "out of memory" to do so - it's because of their ears or genes or psychology or personality or genus or whatever. If anything, people with those "talents" have an easier time learning things, not a harder time, and the way to compensate is not to make them need to get higher IQ than characters who lack those gifts. (There IS a need to not have all characters have access to all talents, but the memory limit only has that result accidentally, not in a way that makes sense.)

Then there's the difference between physical and mental talents. Yes, there are some people who are mainly physical or mainly mental in their talents, but there are also people who manage to have both types, and their IQ should not need to be the sum of those - it's far too severe a trade-off, which can't be well-represented by just reducing the points needed and letting everyone take whatever they want.

Many talents take some time and opportunity and perhaps some (again, innate gift) aptitude to learn, but then don't require particular effort to maintain, nor do they fill up people's brains preventing further learning, nor does happening to have many of them mean that person needs to be above-average intelligence. Social skills, basic physical skills, languages - some of them might get rusty if you have some you don't use, but you're not going to forget how to behave, or how not to drown in water, etc.

I think part of the solution may be looking at the suggestion people sometimes make about "cultural norm" talents and assigning them zero memory to learn (the elf example above, and the several people in the previous thread where people were mentioning their own talents and assigning zero points to all their cultural-norm talents).

It seems to me what the "choice" of what talents a person has is not about memory but about opportunity. Everyone is born with different gifts and a genius but many people often don't know what their own ones are. Then we each get a family, a culture, peers, an education, and experience, and all those things can give us talents, and we can choose to maintain them or not. But it's not really like how smart we are gives us a memory pool and then we run out.

Last edited by Skarg; 07-09-2018 at 09:49 AM.
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