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Old 01-05-2018, 11:15 PM   #101
tbeard1999
 
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HERESY ALERT

Although megahexes gave TFT its distinctive look, I ditched them early in my gaming career. For range calculation, I converted each megahex to 3 hexes.

I also refused to map my dungeons on a hex grid (what the heck is a “trefoil” anyway?). The hexes worked well enough for natural caves but were a chore for mapping man made tunnels. So I mapped on graph paper and treated 3 hexes as 10’. “Half hexes are playable, partial hexes are not” was something all my players heard.

That said, I think I’d include the megahex rules and hex-mapping rules as written, but offer these alternatives as optional rules.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:20 PM   #102
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I wonder if perhaps the "roll more dice for more difficulty" mechanic should be done away with entirely, in favor of stat penalties.
Not that it's up for a vote, but I would much prefer this. Simple, portable. I didn't grumble too much when X dice was introduced in the advanced game, but I felt it needlessly complicated the system. Granted, I've never approached most games in a statistician fashion, just assumed that the designer and playtesters knew best. But, personally, I find adjustments easier to interpret and apply than trying to determine the number of dice to apply to a situation.
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:01 AM   #103
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I would use either dice or stat penalties, not both. If you need more granularity, can always roll 3d+2 or w/e. Note that more dice is *more* random than stat penalties, not less.
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:53 AM   #104
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While Steve is correct about the steeper curve with more dice, what more dice do add is more range of possible values. With higher possible values, it extends the potential risk higher than the average adjustment is.

So for example, if your GM converts all 5-die rolls to 3-die rolls with a -7 modifier, the average point may be equivalent, but if someone has a DX of 22, that makes a 15, and 16+ (a 4.6% chance) is an auto-miss or worse anyway, so the -7 has no effect on anything. But with 5d6, the roll can be up to 30, and the chance of rolling over 22 is 9.8%.

That's more significant the more extreme the characters' stats get. If the experience system somehow makes really-high-stat characters much less likely, it could be less important (and things in general would probably work better.)

Another thing to keep in mind for this is the spotting roll rules in ITL, where nothing can be impossible to spot, but there are talents that can shave multiple dice off the difficulty roll, which it seems to me is pretty well modeled by a large pile of dice, since it gives you a LOT of precision for really-unlikely things that don't get overpowered by high stats. On the other hand, it also means rolling a ton of dice, and if the GM wants to not give away that's what he's doing (which he should), he would need to either cleverly roll them three at a time, or occasionally make decoy rolls of a pile of dice when there's nothing interesting. ;-)
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Old 01-06-2018, 01:05 AM   #105
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I have to say I'm with Skarg on this one -- it seems to me that oversimplification would harm the system just as much as over-complicating it would.

TFT was pretty darn close to my sweet spot for pretty much everything that it did. Some tweaks -- like adding new talents or spells, updating equipment lists, unifying/reorganizing the XP system, adding an index (MANDATORY*) and much better Table of Contents, and LOTS more fun stuff like Cidri background, adding recommended stats for the Mnoren as a "monster" species, putting together splat books a la Land Beyond the Mountains (though without the annoying and childishly bad puns), THOSE are the things I'm hoping for! Lots of Splat Books (go ahead; you can dual-stat them for GURPS AND TFT! (Oh, and a great GM screen!) (And more ADVENTURES!)

* The good news is that the Fantasy Master's Codex already does a lot of the hard work on that front in terms of digging out the relevant entries; though I don't think Metagaming could have chosen a worse form of presentation for the info. Of course, now you'll have to double-check all those page numbers and get it into a modern computer system for easy updating and layout...

Last edited by JLV; 01-06-2018 at 01:14 AM.
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Old 01-06-2018, 05:20 AM   #106
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HERESY ALERT

I actually stopped using 3d6 as the resolution mechanic and went to 1d20.<ducks for cover> Before being burned at the stake, I’d like the chance to at least make the case.

First the actual mechanic:

Easy rolls (comparable to 2 die rolls) are +4 to the attribute.
Average rolls are the attribute.
Hard rolls (comparable to 4 die rolls) are -4 to the attribute.
Very hard (comparable to 5 die rolls) are -8.
Impossible are -12. And so on.

A natural 1 always succeeds and natural 20 fails. If you roll a natural 1 in combat, roll 1d6 1-3 automatic hit. 4-5 double damage. 6 triple damage. If you roll a natural 20 in combat, roll 1d6 1-3 automatic miss. 4-5 dropped weapon. 6 break weapon.

Combat DX Modifiers [This is an early treatment; I’ll hunt down the final treatment and post it]

Missile or Thrown Weapons:
Missile Weapons: -2 per 6 hexes after the first 6 hexes (or per 2 megahexes)
Thrown Weapons: -2 per hex
Opponent dodging: -6 (or should it be -4??)

Position (only one applies):
Opponent is higher than you: -4
Opponent is lower than you: +4
Hitting opponent in the side: +4
Hitting opponent in the rear: +8
Opponent is on the ground: +8

Tactics:
Opponent defending or dodging: -6 (or should it be -4??)

Your Status
You are stunned (just took 5-7 hits): -4

Comment: After many years of fiddling with TFT, I finally determined that the 3d6 bell curve is too steep and causes players to overvalue DX (i.e. an adjDX of 12 = 74% chance of success; adjDX 13 = 84% and so on). Replacing the 3d6 roll with a d20 will simultaneously make lower attribute characters more capable and expand the opportunities for more powerful characters. Obviously, converting monsters will require some effort (like recognizing that IQ 6 animals would have a revised IQ of 2).

OK, you may now set me on fire...

Last edited by tbeard1999; 01-06-2018 at 05:32 AM.
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Old 01-06-2018, 05:48 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by JLV View Post
I have to say I'm with Skarg on this one -- it seems to me that oversimplification would harm the system just as much as over-complicating it would.

TFT was pretty darn close to my sweet spot for pretty much everything that it did.
I couldn’t agree more. 40 years of fiddling with the system has produced an insane number of house rules. I would NOT simplify TFT. And I’d reject almost all of the brilliant house rules (though including the good ones as optional rules would be fine). If I were Steve Jackson, I’d try real hard to remember what I would’ve wanted the game to be like IF I could’ve published it the way I really wanted to in 1980. I’d try hard not to let post-1980 game mechanics taint my thoughts.

I don’t think I’d fool around with miniatures if they’d significantly increase the time required to get TFT to market. Most folks who’d buy TFT have been playing RPGs for decades and likely have all the miniatures they’ll ever need. In addition, there are plenty of fantasy minis available today. That said, it might be fun to have some “classic” style fantasy miniatures - perhaps inspired by the Grenadier AD&D minis from the late 1979s or even the Martian Metals official TFT minis. I would stay with 25/28mm. That allows players to leverage the ridiculous amount of dungeon terrain that came out after D&D 3E.

Just my $.02...
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:09 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
I wonder if perhaps the "roll more dice for more difficulty" mechanic should be done away with entirely, in favor of stat penalties.
"Roll more dice for difficulty" is one of the things that makes TFT what it is. "3d6 with mods you want to roll low" brings it too close to GURPS.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:14 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
If I were Steve Jackson, I’d try real hard to remember what I would’ve wanted the game to be like IF I could’ve published it the way I really wanted to in 1980. I’d try hard not to let post-1980 game mechanics taint my thoughts.
Exactly! Just picking up the game takes me back to a simpler time in rpging. You get to see how raw it is, but in that rawness there is a certain charm, and a flexibility one seldom sees today.

I'd be happy to see reprints of Melee, Wizard, DT 1 & 2, and Tollenkar's Lair. And then with TFT:ITL, I'd love to see it all gathered together in one book or box, like I was expecting to see originally.
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Last edited by pyratejohn; 01-06-2018 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:17 AM   #110
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
HERESY ALERT

I actually stopped using 3d6 as the resolution mechanic and went to 1d20.<ducks for cover> Before being burned at the stake, I’d like the chance to at least make the case.

Comment: After many years of fiddling with TFT, I finally determined that the 3d6 bell curve is too steep and causes players to overvalue DX (i.e. an adjDX of 12 = 74% chance of success; adjDX 13 = 84% and so on). Replacing the 3d6 roll with a d20 will simultaneously make lower attribute characters more capable and expand the opportunities for more powerful characters. Obviously, converting monsters will require some effort (like recognizing that IQ 6 animals would have a revised IQ of 2).

OK, you may now set me on fire...
I would like to hope that there is absolutely no chance of replacing 3d6 with d20. I cannot stand d20 based systems. There is nothing wrong with the probability curve of 3d6, in fact I find it perfect for this sort of game. The problem is that rolls are not opposed. This leads to a situation where, once a character's adj DX reaches 14, the success chance is about 90% whether the opponent has an 8DX or a 14DX. Clearly that makes no sense at all.

As I've posted before, both here and on BGG/RPGGeek, there is an easy fix for this which does not require any other changes to the rules. Basically it's this; "2 fighters of equal DX have a 50% chance to hit one another." So if two fighters of 14 DX meet, they don't both have 90% chance to hit, they both have 50%. Where there is a difference, divide it between the two combatants. So if 14 DX meets 12 DX, the higher has a (10+1) or 11 chance and the lower has a (10-1) or 9 chance, and so on. You can use a table for this but I quickly found we could make the calculations in our heads almost instantly after a little while.

I found this worked very well for us and I've used it consistently over the years. The only problem that can occur is where you give monsters (such as Giants or Ogres) very low DX scores and then have them fighting high DX characters. Once the difference between scores becomes 6 or greater the chance for the lower DX character or monster to hit goes to 7 or less which is a very low probablilty of success.

You can either live with this, and have the huge, but clumsy Ogre who does 4d6 or more of damage, or you can bump up the opposition DX slightly to offer a challenge to your players.
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