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Old 06-13-2018, 08:06 PM   #31
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Default Re: Examining "Once Per Day" in TFT: Solution or Problem?

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Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
Ty,... our entire system is founded on precision with values and numbers, and exactly when things happen in the game. That was part of the original impetus of motivation in creating Melee - back when all weapons in D&D did 1d6 damage.

I can see no good reason worthy of violating that standard 41 years later; can you?

JK
I don’t believe I’ve ever argued here for a Vancian magic system. However, for the record, I think that the Vancian system, however “illogical” it might be, works very well in practice. The designer doesn’t have to agonize over ST costs for each spell; he can rank them in rough order of power and be done with it.

But I also think that a Vancian system works best with a level based RPG like D&D. I’m skeptical that it would add much to TFT. Equating D&D levels (which are overal assessments of power) to IQ doesn’t really get it for me. Starting characters can have extremely high IQs if they’re willing to skimp on ST and DX. Giving them Vancian spells (which typically require no success roll) might be too much.

On a tangent, I do think that TFT’s magic is overly tactical in nature. It would be nice to have some longer duration spells like D&D’s Light spell that don’t cost a fortune in ST.

Oh, and differing damage amounts (and the unplayable weapon types vs armor types to hit modifiers) arrived with Greyhawk, D&D Supplement 1 in 1976. And they were mentioned (I think) in the Strategic Review well before then.

1st edition Tunnels and Trolls had differing damage amounts in 1975, along with armor that absorbed damage. Well, sort of. It added points to CON, which were also hit points (ala Melee later). Weapons also had minimum ST requirements. And the game used d6s only.

Interestingly, in 1976, Monsters Monsters, a “play the monster” RPG using the T&T mechanics, published by Metagaming and edited by Steve Jackson, had armor and shields that reduced damage. I suspect that this inspired Melee, to some degree. And Steve may well have devised the “armor absorbs damage” system.

Obviously, there was a lot of cross-pollination among non-TSR game designers.

I don’t think that Melee’s damage system was particularly innovative. Rather, its point based quasi-chargen system, its movement system and basing to hit rolls directly off DX (thereby getting rid of combat matrices) were the BIG breakthroughs.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 06-13-2018 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:12 PM   #32
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Default "Once Per Day" in TFT is a Solution. Is it the right solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
Ty,... our entire system is founded on precision with values and numbers, and exactly when things happen in the game. That was part of the original impetus of motivation in creating Melee - back when all weapons in D&D did 1d6 damage.

I can see no good reason worthy of violating that standard 41 years later; can you? JK
Hi Jim, everyone.
Lots of TFT things were measured in regular units of time. The Trailtwister lasts 'one day'. I have never since I started playing TFT in 1978, had to account for every turn of a 24 hour period.

If the GM cares he can write down, "Spell started at 8 minutes, 10 seconds after 16:00 hours". Or he can say, "Spell started this afternoon." What the one loses in accuracy, it gains in speed of play.

A Light spell lasts 24 hours. I've never felt the need to say "this spell started at 23:11:25". So trying to claim that there is some great reduction in accuracy if someone now says a spell can be cast once per day, is inaccurate I feel.

TFT has optional rules about shields wearing out. I do not want to be bothered by keeping track of this damage, so on New Years day, everyone in my campaign enjoys the "Great, Shield Burning Celebration". This reminds people that shields wear out and putting some grand magical enchantment on one is a dumb idea. Is this simplification less accurate than tracking that my Agis shield has 38 points of wear on it? Sure. But it is fast, simple, and funny.

***

I think that the new TFT healing spell will heal people too quickly. I've said so. I'm going to continue to use my healing spells where you heal in days rather than weeks, and they allow you to adventure while healing.

So I have little interest in the threads where people say "the healing spells are too powerful, let's nerf them by making them work once per day".

But claiming that spells with durations of 1 day (or more accurately that spells than can't be cast again for 1 day), represents some vast reduction of the accuracy of TFT is a bit much.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:19 PM   #33
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Examining "Once Per Day" in TFT: Solution or Problem?

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Originally Posted by Dave Crowell View Post
To me "once per day" means "once every 24 hours". Note the time when the ability or spell is used and in 24 hours it can be used again. The time can be noted to the fraction of a second if that degree of precision is required. Describe it as requiring a 24 interval to elapse instead of saying "once per day" if you prefer.
I would agree with you Dave, because if the term "per day" were to be interpreted as: "at the start of a new day", a wizard could hold a spell in reserve until 11:59pm on "day one" and cast, and then, 1 min later, cast again at 12:00am on "day two", or cast a spell 1 minute before dawn, and then again 1 minute after dawn, etc.

As far as rest, I would try to seek out a playable method with as little bookkeeping as possible; and again, accurately and easily inform the GM that this is the combat-turn when Kov, the wizard, is ready to cast again. I do not envision the rule to be accurate in the sense of attempting to time it to a clock on the wall, but rather, accurate in terms of informing precisely which combat-turn the spell is ready to go, or terminates on.

I want to repeat that proviso, as by the content of some of the suggestions, it seems this point was taken to an extreme meaning...I do not envision the rule to be accurate in the sense of attempting to time it to a clock on the wall, but rather, accurate in terms of informing precisely which combat-turn the spell is ready to go, or terminates on.

I hope that clarification helps to move us toward a reasonable answer.

JK

Last edited by Jim Kane; 06-14-2018 at 02:25 AM. Reason: Addendum: Clarification
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:22 PM   #34
Rick_Smith
 
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Default Jack Vance's style of magic - good or bad?

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
I don’t believe I’ve ever argued here for a Vancian magic system. However, for the record, I think that the Vancian system, however “illogical” it might be, works very well in practice. ...
Hi everyone, Ty.
I read one fellow arguing that the Vancian magic system in D&D was more fun than a fatigue cost system like most other games, because it forces the player who is playing the wizard to think on his feet.

The wizard has prepared a lightning bolt, but he ends up fighting a being with an immunity to shock damage ring. So the wizard lightning bolts the supports holding up the roof to try to bury the monster in a cave in.

To me this makes sense, and matched my experience when I played wizards in D&D.

I've never felt that Jack Vance's style of magic was better or worse than the one in TFT. They were different, and variety is good.

That said, I've sometimes seen similar things happen in TFT. A wizard HAD to put out a fire, but didn't have Magic Rainstorm. So he summoned a Cave Bear, had it soak itself in a near by stream, then try to smother the fire with its body!

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:35 PM   #35
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: Examining "Once Per Day" in TFT: Solution or Problem?

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Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
As we have no established incremental time-keeping system beyond the 5 second combat turn - of which there are 17,280 of these "per day". How then would a GM easily and accurately track exactly which combat-turn *on the next day*, Kov, the wizard, can finally cast again - now, finally re-charged 24 hours later - when down in the labyrinth?
You could do it easily enough by recording it as a time.

Then its exactly the same problem as determining exactly which combat turn you need to arrive to, for example, be allowed through a gate that closes at 7 PM sharp. Which you've probably never needed to do. Even if you did the GM likely had to decide exactly how many turns there were until the deadline - nobody after all runs games on combat time *all the time*, and placing the "start" of a stretch of it relative to the world's clocks is exactly the same arbitrary process you seem to be worrying about.

Of course the other alternative is to do it the way we generally do in reality - pick a transition instant (in the per diem case usually midnight) and use that.

And yes this theoretically sets up a situation you can use your ability twice in one fight but again it's fairly theoretical - how many fights are you going to get into that split just across midnight, never mind where using the ability twice in a row would be a good choice?
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:36 PM   #36
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: Jack Vance's style of magic - good or bad?

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Hi everyone, Ty.
I read one fellow arguing that the Vancian magic system in D&D was more fun than a fatigue cost system like most other games, because it forces the player who is playing the wizard to think on his feet.

The wizard has prepared a lightning bolt, but he ends up fighting a being with an immunity to shock damage ring. So the wizard lightning bolts the supports holding up the roof to try to bury the monster in a cave in.

To me this makes sense, and matched my experience when I played wizards in D&D.

I've never felt that Jack Vance's style of magic was better or worse than the one in TFT. They were different, and variety is good.
Agreed. As I noted above, spells that almost always succeed are going to need to be keyed to a character’s overall power level. D&D has that metric - levels.

But there’s no such metric in TFT.

IQ works as a proxy for spell power in TFT because the other attributes are required to make a wizard effective. A beginning wizard with IQ 16 will be nearly useless. He’ll fail to cast spells most of the time and will only be able to power a few if does successfully cast them. But if you grant Vancian spells that increase in power with the IQ of the caster, you can have a high level wizard from the beginning. Not great.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:38 PM   #37
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: Examining "Once Per Day" in TFT: Solution or Problem?

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
You could do it easily enough by recording it as a time.

Then its exactly the same problem as determining exactly which combat turn you need to arrive to, for example, be allowed through a gate that closes at 7 PM sharp. Which you've probably never needed to do. Even if you did the GM likely had to decide exactly how many turns there were until the deadline - nobody after all runs games on combat time *all the time*, and placing the "start" of a stretch of it relative to the world's clocks is exactly the same arbitrary process you seem to be worrying about.

Of course the other alternative is to do it the way we generally do in reality - pick a transition instant (in the per diem case usually midnight) and use that.

And yes this theoretically sets up a situation you can use your ability twice in one fight but again it's fairly theoretical - how many fights are you going to get into that split just across midnight, never mind where using the ability twice in a row would be a good choice?
Nice use of the term per diem. <golf clap>
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:04 PM   #38
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Examining "Once Per Day" in TFT: Solution or Problem?

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
...Then its exactly the same problem as *determining exactly which combat turn* you need to arrive to, for example, be allowed through a gate that closes at 7 PM sharp. *Which you've probably never needed to do.*[/B]
If that assessment is true, I would consider that a real shame for TFT adventure design philosophy; as the entire "trick of the tale", behind what is considered by many as Star Trek's greatest episode (and a HUGO award winning story), is Harlan Ellison's: City on the Edge of Forever - which dramatically hinges on getting the adventure party through a time-portal at *exactly the correct instant*; or the characters risk never being able to return to their own time again and having themselves and their old world destroyed.

Now, if we could just get Harlan Ellison to write some TFT adventures!

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
(To Malloyd) Nice use of the term per diem. <golf clap>
Ty,... apparently you missed the usage of: "per diem", when it was used in the OP; along with "per usum", even though you quoted me using both earlier. (?) So if you are <golf clapping> Malloyd for using the one term once, as I used both terms more than once, I figure you owe me a double-round of the golf clap ;-D

JK

Last edited by Jim Kane; 06-14-2018 at 12:00 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:13 PM   #39
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Default Re: Examining "Once Per Day" in TFT: Solution or Problem?

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Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
If that assessment is true, I would consider that a real shame for TFT adventure design philosophy
The normal solution is 'arrive early'. If all else fails, you can use synchronized watches or something. If it's contested, you might just say "combat starts N turns before the gate opens" (I've done adventures with specific timers, and a midnight reset is actually moderately exploitable, though probably exploitable by both sides).
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:41 PM   #40
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Examining "Once Per Day" in TFT: Solution or Problem?

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Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
I would agree with you Dave, because if the term "per day" were to be interpreted as: "at the start of a new day", a wizard could hold a spell in reserve until 11:59pm on "day one" and cast, and then, 1 min later, cast again at 12:00am on "day two".
That's a good point. Sometimes, especially with magic, the limit can be astrologically based, so that might be the case, leading to midnight-oriented tactics. Without a thematic reason to do so, in TFT I would assume it means 24 hours after the spell is cast.
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