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Old 07-08-2018, 02:29 PM   #11
ak_aramis
 
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Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

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Originally Posted by philreed View Post
Disagree. Piling rules on rules on rules on rules . . . nope. I'd rather see the game kept tight and open to interpretation and expansion by individual GMs. Writing a rule for every little thing is unnecessary.
Not just unnecessary, but actively problematic for some of us. One of the appeals of TFT is that it's rules medium-light (say, 2 of 0-5 level of complexity). Increasing the complexity would be an active deterrent to continued play and further purchases.

Besides, SJG produces a much more crunchy game, using mostly the same basic assumptions: GURPS.
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Old 07-08-2018, 02:42 PM   #12
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Default New talents and complexity.

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Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
Not just unnecessary, but actively problematic for some of us. One of the appeals of TFT is that it's rules medium-light (say, 2 of 0-5 level of complexity). Increasing the complexity would be an active deterrent to continued play and further purchases. ...
Hi ak_aramis, everyone.
I agree with you, but adding a few more talents and spells does not actually increase the rule complexity significantly.

Let me give an example, for the last year or so I've been thinking that the Defend option is underpowered, especially against high DX figures. I've been playing around with new rules to beef it up. (Some of those suggestions are on this forum.)

But let us say that there is a hard to get talent that improves defending. (Expert Defender, which makes people roll an extra die to attack you and if they miss by more than 5, you get a free counter attack, for example.) The basic rules stay lean and fast to play. But once in a rare while, someone with this talent gets a bonus.

This allows great heroes to be distinguished from OK ones, makes better defence based on the skill of the defender, and keeps the base rules clean and fast. Note that new GM's and players are not troubled by these, because they are not something that comes up with new characters.

A second example: if someone tries to jump you in HTH, you make a one die 'HTH Defence' roll. 2/3 of the time you go down in HTH. This is totally random, you can not effect the chance of keeping people out (or going into HTH), no matter how skilled you are. Let us say, that you can learn a talent (Judo) that gives you a +1 or -1 adjustment to this roll anytime you enter, or try to prevent someone from going into HTH with you. Now, if a PC says, "Ugh, it is just random! Dumb roll!", you can reply, "No it is not totally random. This talent will allow you to adjust that roll. You just need the right skill."

I think that adding some talents is a good way to increase the depth of TFT in a very rules light way.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 07-08-2018, 03:36 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

I'd say the travel rules in ITL could be greatly improved with hardly any increase in "complexity".

Also, I expect that almost all players who wouldn't welcome more developed travel rules, are players who will tend to ignore or not even be aware of the existence of the travel rules even if left as is.

Are there players who actually know and use the ITL travel & getting lost rules in mapped campaigns, who also feel the existing ITL rules are a perfect sweet spot, which should not be improved and would spoil things for them if the rules were more developed???
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Old 07-08-2018, 04:11 PM   #14
Chris Rice
 
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Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I'd say the travel rules in ITL could be greatly improved with hardly any increase in "complexity".

Also, I expect that almost all players who wouldn't welcome more developed travel rules, are players who will tend to ignore or not even be aware of the existence of the travel rules even if left as is.

Are there players who actually know and use the ITL travel & getting lost rules in mapped campaigns, who also feel the existing ITL rules are a perfect sweet spot, which should not be improved and would spoil things for them if the rules were more developed???
That's a fair point Skarg. I do know the rules but don't use them as I prefer to either build the journey into the plot and story more directly, or I'll just gloss over it entirely if it's not germane to the plot.
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Old 07-08-2018, 05:33 PM   #15
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Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

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Originally Posted by philreed View Post
Disagree. Piling rules on rules on rules on rules . . . nope. I'd rather see the game kept tight and open to interpretation and expansion by individual GMs. Writing a rule for every little thing is unnecessary.
Not many extra rules. Just something to justify two levels for the woodsman talent. First clear penalties (under the generic form of fatigue points) for the prolonged exposure to hot/cold weather, lack of food or water, forced marches, sleep deprivation. Second how a woodsman in the group can alleviate them.

Consider that any not-lazy GM should create his own rules/tables for any of above events
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:54 PM   #16
Steve Jackson
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Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

I don't want to sound like I am splitting hairs, but if a multilevel Woodsman talent is not already justified, why write rules to justify it?

I don't see the need. I also tried drafting a Survival skill for multiple terrains, and then went back and looked at Woodsman, and found that I had only made it more fiddly. This may be time to repeat the "This is not GURPS" mantra.In GURPS I could create a whole party of "rangers" and make them all different. TFT is not that crunchy. (My goal for TFT is about a 2.5 on a ten-point scale of crunchiness, where GURPS is a solid 8+.)

I think ending Woodsman with the paragraph below does give some of what is being asked for, though.

"Normally, the knowledge of the Woodsman works automatically to protect the party. In very difficult situations, the GM can require a 3/IQ or harder roll from the Woodsman character, to see if they actually know what to do."

--

Added several more "mundane" talents to the list.

--

The proposed Artillerist skill is covered by Engineer, I now see.
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:17 PM   #17
Kirk
 
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Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

I'm for keeping things clean and neat. Maybe, maybe, talents for various areas of the outdoors would be a simple add, but little things add up.

Maybe Woodsman should track more as Survival for all standard non-urban type environments, and in the case of extreme situations, the GM can decide to require a roll or some such, granting someone with Survival a better chance.

When I was introducing TFT to three 14 year olds, one of the comments I heard was "There are too many rules...".

Many teens these days are used to games doing the thinking for them, while they joystick their way through it. We don't want to dumb things down to that level, but for TFT to have a chance at taking hold with the iPhone generation care needs to be taken to avoid destroying what made TFT great in the first place, which is a quick but precise tactical system in a common-sense adventure world.

To complicate it with even more text is to risk losing that advantage.
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:51 PM   #18
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Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
... if a multilevel Woodsman talent is not already justified, why write rules to justify it?
We just assumed that a combination of IQ and time spent using the woodsman talent made the difference between different "levels" of woodsman. Not very precise or consistent, but it served our needs.

We always played that the GM's word was law, even to the point of superseding the rules as written (which rarely happened). That was enough to let us wing it through pretty much anything in a way we all found reasonable.
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:24 PM   #19
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Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

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Originally Posted by philreed View Post
Disagree. Piling rules on rules on rules on rules . . . nope. I'd rather see the game kept tight and open to interpretation and expansion by individual GMs. Writing a rule for every little thing is unnecessary.
Yes, I have to agree. TFT's simplicity is a hallmark of the game. I see no reason to get more detailed here.

If a GM has a campaign centered heavily on outdoor survival, house rules should be easily adapted to cover any odd situations that need to be covered.
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:31 PM   #20
David Bofinger
 
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Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

It's true one of the reasons Woodsman is so basic is that TFT is a simple game. But another is that it assumes most adventures happen underground, in a labyrinth. (Among many other possible examples, see the section discussing horse riding.) In modern non-D&D role-playing, on the other hand, more happens in wildernesses (also cities) than does underground. So Woodsman is more important today than it was when TFT was written.

I find the connection of Woodsman to Naturalist bothersome. It makes gaining any skill in operating in the wilderness quite expensive, and you end up knowing about herbs and whatever, which a lot of woodsman character concepts wouldn't.

As I've said elsewhere, I also like the idea of distinguishing between the local hunter or expert scout, who really knows the forest, versus the person who just knows how to pitch a tent so he won't get scorpions coming in.

If I were writing from scratch I'd be inclined to something like Wilderness (IQ 9, 2) as a prerequisite to environmental expertises Forest, Desert, etc, all (IQ 10, 1). And push Naturalist off to IQ 11 as a more theoretical talent. But I'm far from certain what the best path is starting from the TFT baseline.
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