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Old 08-08-2018, 11:08 AM   #21
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Orcs as player characters

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Dwaves - Jim, that is a good question, and the reason is: (1) the hammer bonus is a combat thing and those are likeliest to be munchkined;
Yes, I see what you are attempting to quell; however, I suppose a GM who is secure in his ability to govern things from getting out of hand, will simply put the +1 back in; and those who enjoy a munckin expression of the game, will also munckinize things anyway, regardless of how the rules might try to guide them in their play.

Thanks for sharing your thinking.

Is the *weight carried* advantage alone now enough of an incentive to cause a player to explore this race? I always felt it was specifically the +1 weapon bonus that *sold* the dwarf as PC; but that's my perception.

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(2) the weight bonus is a nod to Tolkien, who first imagined the Dwarven race as it was adapted for D&D and thence the gaming hobby.
Right, and I am sorry my post to Skarg crossed in timing to your response, as it might have saved you some typing regarding the origin of the troupe.

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Here is a related question not yet answered in my own mind. Elves get a running bonus. Should I (a) simply give all Elves the Runner talent, so of course they can't get it again, or (b) allow for Elf Runners with MA 14?
Here you are stuck dealing with the same general pickle as in the question of altering the Dwarves.

If you take Option A, by default this in turn says there can be no extra fast individual Elves - as they cannot reach MA 14 now by taking running - and, as a result, what was once a unique racial advantage, now becomes a unique racial limitation.

Is that a good thing, or a bad thing; I cannot say.

Whereas, if you take Option B - as it always was - you as Designer have to feel good that this is the reflection of Elves as you intend(ed) when you release the rules back into circulation.

And if you didn't feel *something* was a-miss, I presume you would not be posing the Elf question in the first place.

OR, do you split the difference, and change the innate Elf racial advantage to a natural MA of 10, but with a +1 for all movement (1/2 move and full move), netting a Elf-normal 6/11 MA, and still let the players who wants to, then additionally add the running talent, to take an enhanced Elf to an effective MA of 13; being a 10 + 2, plus an additional +1?

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(Either way, Elves' racial enmities and -3 DX squickitude at crawly things tend to balance the running bonus.)
Yes, I always personally loved this rule, as it really was a workable and effective disadvantage for the player and caused the player to consider carefully before selecting the Elf as PC.

And it now causes me to pose the following question along the same lines: Would you consider putting the +1 weapon damage for Dwarves back in - or give the race your new Weapon Specialty Talent, for that matter - IF they had to take an equally debilitating counter-balance disadvantage (like the Elf/Bug thing), such as making Dwarves extra prone to drowning in water (due to their disproportionate weight to size ratio) or some such reason like their extra mass, invokes a constant -1 MA or -2 MA to all movement (the opposite of an Elf MA bonus) for the race, or *both*?

Or, are you already pat on the Dwarf question at this time?

JK

Last edited by Jim Kane; 08-08-2018 at 01:14 PM. Reason: Correction for Clarity
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:18 PM   #22
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Orcs as player characters

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I suppose it "comes from" Tolkien, the Brothers Grimm, or perhaps Gygax, or perhaps Walt Disney even;

JK
Check out Three Hearts and Three Lions (Poul Anderson, novella in 1953) for what very well might be the origin of why dwarves all seem to have scottish accents. :-)
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:38 PM   #23
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Orcs as player characters

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Check out Three Hearts and Three Lions (Poul Anderson, novella in 1953) for what very well might be the origin of why dwarves all seem to have scottish accents. :-)
Thanks. Now I know who to send my time travel special ops team back in time to stop.

Dwarves could logically have base MA 8, due to short legs. In GURPS they have the equivalent. They could have the +1 damage but not let it stack with the weapon Expert talent's +1 if they get that.
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:21 PM   #24
Jim Kane
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Dwarves could logically have base MA 8, due to short legs.
And by the same thinking, would you agree that it is equally logical to accept that Halflings - also having shorter than human legs - as a race, *should not* suffer a MA penalty due to the established overt nimbleness of the species; where their natural nimbleness makes up in speed what they lack in leg length?

JK

Addendum - Another key thing to consider from a GM-perspective which is really important is: A party can only travel as fast as it's slowest member.

So, while regular travel in the labyrinth is at 3MH's per turn (MA of 3 on a Labyrinth Map - which is slow enough to map and spot things), but when it comes time to "Run Away" from Big Bad, the Dwarf will *experience* the disadvantage, and will have to deal with the *risk* of enjoying the Dwarf weapon/weight bonuses... and his "friends" will also have to decide how they - as a group - will have to cope (or not) with the moral/loyalty-issue of dealing with the slow, heavy guy in the rear... as Big Bad chases the Adventurers through the tunnels.

*This* is a role-play quandary I personally like. :::insert maniacal laughter:::

Last edited by Jim Kane; 08-08-2018 at 01:31 PM. Reason: Add addendum
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:24 PM   #25
JLV
 
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Default Re: Orcs as player characters

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Here is a related question not yet answered in my own mind. Elves get a running bonus. Should I (a) simply give all Elves the Runner talent, so of course they can't get it again, or (b) allow for Elf Runners with MA 14? (Either way, Elves' racial enmities and -3 DX squickitude at crawly things tend to balance the running bonus.)
I'm thinking that it should *not* be the Runner Talent. If Elves are genetically more nimble than Humans, an Elf should be able to train to become even more nimble, just as Humans can -- and thus retain their innate advantage...
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:35 PM   #26
Rick_Smith
 
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Default Elves as fast runners?

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
... Here is a related question not yet answered in my own mind. Elves get a running bonus. Should I (a) simply give all Elves the Runner talent, so of course they can't get it again, or (b) allow for Elf Runners with MA 14? (Either way, Elves' racial enmities and -3 DX squickitude at crawly things tend to balance the running bonus.)
Hi Steve, everyone.
I prefer that the different races be ... different from each other. Sure a campaign could have every race being the same except the paint job, but I would rather than each race is significantly different from each other, with real advantages and disadvantages. Ideally the races should be roughly balanced.

In TFT as written, the +2 MA for Elves was a huge advantage. Their -3 DX penalty for crawly things does not come up as often as the MA helps them, and is a weird disadvantage for Elves. (Elves live in the woods and freak out over insects???)

Anyway, an Elf with Running moving 14 is fine to me. But cool advantages need to be balanced somehow.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:52 PM   #27
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Orcs as player characters

Elves with Running at MA 14 seemed ok to me in practice. To me it's more about what their MA 12 is supposed to represent, and that it make sense.

pardon the howitzers...

I'm curious what the new answer will be about Running talent (and/or elf bonuses) combining with armor and encumbrance. I see pros/cons of doing it in any combination of ways. I guess I'm slightly partial to having plate/chain set your MA to 6 ignoring elf/running (I'd also ignore innate MA 8 for that), since MA 4 seems awful and if you can get MA 8 in chain/plate with Running, it seems like it'd be one of those "only somewhat lame people wear heavy armor and don't get Running" things.

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And by the same thinking, would you agree that it is equally logical to accept that Halflings - also having shorter than human legs - as a race, *should not* suffer a MA penalty due to the established overt nimbleness of the species; where their natural nimbleness makes up in speed what they lack in leg length?
No, I think that is somewhat less logical, because I think the rationale is mainly about leg length, and I think (?) halflings tend to be even shorter than dwarves. (GURPS nicely takes both agility and height into account in calculating running seed.) But on the other hand, if elves are getting MA 12 for being nimble faster runners, maybe halflings have both so it works out to 10.

Really I'm not especially attached to any of it.

At most, I'm interested in the dwarves, and was sort of attached to their +1 damage with ax/mace/hammer, even though I wasn't sure how to make sense of it unless there's a talent that could do the same thing. Though I liked it, I also had to admit it was probably the strongest of the racial bonuses unless you contemplated halfling-abuse.

There's also the thing about elves (and giants, reptile men, and centaurs) having double lifespans... though the attribute point cap will help GMs figure out how to stat out really old/experienced elves.

Last edited by Skarg; 08-08-2018 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:34 PM   #28
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Orcs as player characters

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Elves...To me it's more about what their MA 12 is supposed to represent, and that it make sense.
Yes, agreed; as well as MA 8 for Dwarves (which we used), and that is why I am surprised you also don't also subscribe to the *small, but quick* rational for the Halflings MA - as they are indeed smaller than Dwarves, and yet they move just fine.

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Really I'm not especially attached to any of it.
Your legs? Oh, I am quite fond of mine ;-)

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At most, I'm interested in the dwarves, and was sort of attached to their +1 damage with ax/mace/hammer, even though I wasn't sure how to make sense of it unless there's a talent that could do the same thing. Though I liked it, I also had to admit it was probably the strongest of the racial bonuses unless you contemplated halfling-abuse.
I too was under the impression that the +1 Weapon Bonus was the key benefit that *sold* the Dwarves as a PC race.

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There's also the thing about elves (and giants, reptile men, and centaurs) having double lifespans... though the attribute point cap will help GMs figure out how to stat out really old/experienced elves.
Yes, the *Genetics of TFT* is a big subject, but the thing is, if we look back at '74 OD&D we see that the base-line figure is the human. So the first big game decisions a player makes begins in deciding if one wants to "play it down the middle with a human", or, taking the racial advantages and disadvantages of a specific race - as they all play (in theory) differently, and deciding to let's say give up 2 MA in order to pick up +1 Weapon Dam, really made players want to explore the benefits (and risks) of playing one of these other-than-human races.

I like the original concept of the advantage/disadvantage variety as defined by "race" a lot more than the idea making the races more homogenized in terms of operational mechanics. So if anyone was to ask me, I would actually suggest even greater variety in the bonuses/limiations of each race, than less.

But that is what *house rules* are for.

JK
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:52 PM   #29
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Default Re: Orcs as player characters

I liked the differential races, and not every PC being 32 points + 10 MA.

Elves with running at MA 14? Yep! Was a huge advantage, but it SHOULD be one.
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:53 PM   #30
Skarg
 
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I too was under the impression that the +1 Weapon Bonus was the key benefit that *sold* the Dwarves as a PC race.
Dwarves were an easy sell to me at age 11 having just read The Hobbit. But who's "selling"? I had no "investment" in players taking non-humans, and in fact I tend to prefer when they mostly do take humans (which mine did, despite I think us all seeing that dwarves had an advantage).

Although I enjoyed the dwarf +1 damage, I thought it was pretty clearly like Dwarves are just better than human fighters as long as they use those weapons, and my issue with that is/was that it seemed "simply better". I don't particularly want dwarves to have to be MA 8 but it makes sense and would have them interestingly different rather than just better. (I sort of want there to be a +1 damage axe talent, so I can give dwarves a discount on it so I can keep the old-TFT-style dwarves in a way that makes good sense to me. That may be how I end up house-ruling it.)

To me the most important thing is that races feel appropriately different. So I tend to prefer races be statted to mainly match their descriptions functionally. I don't really want them to be particularly "balanced" against each other, as long as some aren't better or worse in a way that feels off. Instead I'd like them to be interestingly & appropriately distinct, which the TFT races did.

I mainly just hope TFT races retain their unique general flavor (which it seems to me is largely that they are individuals and not caricatures) and its distinctness from the flavors they have in other games.


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I liked the differential races, and not every PC being 32 points + 10 MA.

Elves with running at MA 14? Yep! Was a huge advantage, but it SHOULD be one.
I liked that too! I like the original ITL stats & descriptions, and would rather keep their imperfections than have them become overly balanced/bland. And I certainly don't want 32 point + 10 MA gargoyles or reptile men.

One quibble for me is that the starting minimum attributes have no real effect except on lopsided characters. How many PCs are ST 6-7 elves or DX 6-7 dwarves? So mainly the effect is you don't get to have a DX 8-9 elf or a ST 8-9 dwarf, which again is barely noticeable.

Last edited by Skarg; 08-08-2018 at 08:01 PM.
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