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Old 07-16-2018, 04:19 PM   #11
RobW
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Re: Another Approach to Spell/Talent Cost

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
Rob, anything that allows unlimited increase of attributes will, by definition, lead to attribute bloat. Since the basic 3d6 roll is wedded to the attribute scores, anything that gets attributes up above 16 leads to characters that cannot be challenged without bumping all rolls up by a die or two - and the cycle continues.
Thanks for the explanation. At first I was thinking that talents which boost attributes might themselves create a similar problem. But I seem to remember that bonuses to hit were removed from weapon expertise. Was this to avoid a similar bloat from talents?
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Old 07-16-2018, 05:12 PM   #12
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Another Approach to Spell/Talent Cost

Something like this will be required so that characters continue to evolve over the time scales of long campaigns. But it will be a bit tricky for two reasons: 1) If a 'typical' experienced hero has 10-15 talents, the game will start to take on the complexity of GURPS, which I think everyone agrees would damage TFT's unique feel. And, as the system of talents expands and folds in new, less play tested ideas, it becomes increasingly likely that you accidentally include an 'ideal build' to which all characters drift. This is a problem in many complex games. Your instincts in this regard are obviously pretty good, but as characters become more and more defined by their talents rather than their stats, it will become more and more important that those talents conform to a well defined 'trade space', such that any special advantage you get is in exchange for some opportunity cost of a similarly valuable advantage you didn't get. The concept is simple but there are tons of games that can't stick to it as characters become more complex.

So, short version: I think the decision to limit characters to 40 attribute points makes it absolutely necessary that talents provide a 'release valve' for character development. But don't make the release valve too big or all the gas will go out of the games tires! If I were in your shoes I'd be thinking about an additional ~2-3 dozen talents total, with few that 'stack' or progress to power levels much greater than equivalent to 2-3 stat points. That way a super experienced character might have a great diversity of interesting abilities, but can't just walk all over everyone else.
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Old 07-16-2018, 05:47 PM   #13
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Another Approach to Spell/Talent Cost

Hi larsdangly,

I get your concept. However, while I don't think it materially affects what you're saying, I think you greatly overstated this detail:
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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
1) If a 'typical' experienced hero has 10-15 talents, the game will start to take on the complexity of GURPS, which I think everyone agrees would damage TFT's unique feel.
* I think that number is off. My old TFT campaign's experienced non-wizard heroes, let's see ... while some of them only had 5 to 8 talents, quite a few did have 10 - 12 talents. As I cranked out NPCs trying to make them interesting, I often gave them higher IQ mainly so they could have a few interesting talents, even though I didn't like having to give them that high an IQ. Practically every character I fully made out to be an interesting person rather than just a soldier or non-hero was topping out their IQ and wishing they could have a few more talents. PCs were going to the wizard's guild so they could learn new talents, sadly erasing interesting abilities from previous phases of their adventures.

* 10 - 15 talents for an experienced interesting person in no way seems complex or excessive to me. In fact, I think it's needed to have characters who are both quite skilled AND also have some room for individual background/hobbies/whatever.

* The complexity of GURPS is hardly just the difference of possibly having 5-10 more talents on some experienced characters.

* I actually don't mind adding some more complexity to TFT at all, especially if it extends in interestingness of higher-level play without making basic starting situations more complex. In fact, the reasons I and my friends stopped playing TFT and lovingly embraced GURPS was because we had played TFT to the point we knew it every which way, and were grasping for ways to make it interesting and satisfying, particularly with more developed characters.
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:24 PM   #14
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Another Approach to Spell/Talent Cost

This looks exciting, with Guy's suggestions. Being able to reach that Legendary level would be as impressive as it is improbable, but at least it would be possible. Even with a flat rate, it would be improbable--at least in the games I was in--due to the lethality of combat.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:18 PM   #15
ak_aramis
 
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Default Re: Another Approach to Spell/Talent Cost

Already more complex than I care for for what will be a "Pickups and Solos" game for me most of the time.
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Old 07-16-2018, 09:05 PM   #16
John Brinegar
 
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Default Re: Another Approach to Spell/Talent Cost

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Starting a new thread because some of the old ones have been going in different directions.

What if spells and talents did not have a flat cost, just got more and more expensive, but there was no ceiling on how many you could know? (Yes, this would make the new edition the flat reverse of the old one, where spells/talents were limited but attributes had no ceiling."

The XP cost, regardless of your IQ, is the number of spells or talents you know now, times [arbitrary WAG number] 400, times the “difficulty” of the spell or talent. All spells have a difficulty of 1; talents range from 1 (most) to 4 (Unarmed Combat V). [Difficulty equals current "momory slots" used.]
Perhaps I am reading this wrong, but it seems to erase the difference between heroes and wizards. There is no longer any mention of higher talent costs for wizards or higher spell costs for heroes.
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Old 07-16-2018, 09:14 PM   #17
John Brinegar
 
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Default Re: Another Approach to Spell/Talent Cost

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That “times the number of talents spells you already have” does escalate the cost pretty fast. On the one hand, I like flat costs because they are easy to keep track of. On the other, being improbably multitalented should be hard to accomplish. Can we find a middle ground there? How about doubling the flat rate once you pass a fixed number of talents/spells we would consider “normal” for an adventurer (higher than an average citizen, lower than a reknowned hero).it would double again after passing a certain point where the character is hitting the level of “legendary”. I’d consider the Mouser legendary.

So, that would be:
Adventurer: 300 XP buys 1 Spell or 300 X Talent Level buys 1 Talent.
Notable: 600 XP buys 1 Spell or 600 X Talent Level buys 1 Talent.
Legend: 1200 XP buys 1 Spell or 1200 X Talent Level buys 1 Talent.

Assuming those figures just as a place to start, where would we put the cutoffs for the three categories?
What about making some of the more powerful talents only available to characters with a certain number of total attribute points (hence closer to being legendary types)? Does this have any merit, or is it needless complexity? Or has it already been suggested somewhere? I admit that I have lost track of all the branches of this discussion.

Last edited by John Brinegar; 07-16-2018 at 09:15 PM. Reason: Fix typo
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Old 07-16-2018, 09:18 PM   #18
Rick_Smith
 
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Default Re: Another Approach to Spell/Talent Cost

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
Starting a new thread because some of the old ones have been going in different directions. ...

The XP cost, regardless of your IQ, is the number of spells or talents you know now, times [arbitrary WAG number] 400, times the “difficulty” of the spell or talent. All spells have a difficulty of 1; talents range from 1 (most) to 4 (Unarmed Combat V). [Difficulty equals current "memory slots" used.]

For comparison: the cost for increased attributes in the current draft:
Added attribute point - XP cost
33rd or lower – 100 XP - deliberately cheap to encourage the new character!
34th – 200
35th – 400
36th – 800
37th – 1,200
38th – 1,600
39th – 2,000
40th – 3,000
41st and later – Magic is needed.
Hi Steve,
I think that this is a great idea!

But the numbers seem way off to me. Let us say I write up a starting character with an IQ of 10 and begin with 10 memory worth of talents. Using your formula, if I want to buy Running (2), it would cost me...

XP needed for the next talent = # of talents I know now x WAG XP x Difficulty #

XP needed for Running = 10 x 400 XP x 2 = 8,000 XP.

This is far to high. I think it should be around 1/20 or 1/25 of that value.

CONCLUSION: You might consider making the WAG number 20 rather than 400. Even a WAG of 15 might work.

EDIT:
Is "the number of talents you know now" equal to (the total difficulty number), or is it equal to (the flat number of talents)? If the latter, then it punishes people who buy cheap talents. I would rather have the former and a lower WAG number to compensate.

Warm regards, Rick.

Last edited by Rick_Smith; 07-16-2018 at 11:59 PM. Reason: Added question at the bottom.
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:53 PM   #19
zot
 
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Default Re: Another Approach to Spell/Talent Cost

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Originally Posted by guymc View Post
That “times the number of talents spells you already have” does escalate the cost pretty fast. On the one hand, I like flat costs because they are easy to keep track of. On the other, being improbably multitalented should be hard to accomplish. Can we find a middle ground there? How about doubling the flat rate once you pass a fixed number of talents/spells we would consider “normal” for an adventurer (higher than an average citizen, lower than a reknowned hero).it would double again after passing a certain point where the character is hitting the level of “legendary”. I’d consider the Mouser legendary.

So, that would be:
Adventurer: 300 XP buys 1 Spell or 300 X Talent Level buys 1 Talent.
Notable: 600 XP buys 1 Spell or 600 X Talent Level buys 1 Talent.
Legend: 1200 XP buys 1 Spell or 1200 X Talent Level buys 1 Talent.

Assuming those figures just as a place to start, where would we put the cutoffs for the three categories?
Legendary characters should be accessible to players who play by the rules as written. 3 years to make one is more than enough -- that's a flat 300 XP per talent point with the current attribute rules (Rick Smith's Ranger Prince character is about 2 1/2 years to make).

You don't want house-ruling XP to be the only practical way to get to play legendary characters.

They may be one in a million in the world but you don't want them to be one in a million for players.

Otherwise, the stories about playing legendary characters won't come from people who play the game as written.

Last edited by zot; 07-17-2018 at 12:46 AM. Reason: elaboration
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:26 AM   #20
JLV
 
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Default Re: Another Approach to Spell/Talent Cost

I think that this idea (including Guy's suggestions) could work very easily, and still keep to the spirit of TFT.

As far as cut-offs go, somebody mentioned that the number of talents available in the old TFT was 196 or so. Perhaps that tells us where the cut-off should be.

While almost no one would have any desire to get all 196 talents, maybe after 30 or so talents and spells, the character would move up to the "notable" level, and after 60 to the "legendary" level. Just throwing a number out to kind of start the discussion.

However, I also agree with John Brinegar, I don't like the erasure of the difference between Warriors and Wizards and think the progression should still reflect the differing costs for Spells and Talents between the two.
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