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Old 06-12-2018, 02:13 PM   #31
JLV
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Default Re: Experience Points

Correct me if I'm wrong, folks, but hasn't Steve done exactly that by capping total Attribute Points at "initial + 8?"

If you're suggesting something different from what he said, I'm not understanding it at all...
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:47 PM   #32
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Experience Points

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Originally Posted by David Bofinger View Post
[*]The system encourages an evening-up of attributes, and for experienced characters talents are cheap so an experienced character will probably buy lots of them. That might reduce the variety of characters, especially at the upper end. This is something to worry about.
I think it deserves looking at, testing, running some examples and looking at the math. My first impression though from the cases that come to mind is that there's a tension decision between going for several lower attributes sooner (e.g. 13/13/14), versus going for something less even more slowly, but it seems to me that the slower targets (at least, many of them) tend to be more powerful. Certainly fighters at 40 points tend to be more formidable with more points in ST and DX than IQ: 15/15/10 tends to have a very strong advantage over 13/13/14 in weapon combat, and wizards get more and more impressive spells the higher they can get their IQ.


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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
It's always a problem when the xp system doesn't match the character creation system, because it encourages you to take a dump stat as it reduces the xp cost to reach your final goal. For example, let's say my goal is stats of 16/16/8.

If I start at 12/12/8, it will cost me 6,600 xp to reach my goal. If I start at 16/8/8, it will cost me 4,700 xp.
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Originally Posted by JLV View Post
That's a very good point...except for the fact that a starting DX of 8 has never been a very successful survival trait in most of the TFT games I've played (you can't hit anything very well, and you sure can't wear any armor, which makes you the one voted "most likely to die" at the start of the game). Of course, you could go with 8/16/8 and get the same effect, except that if the enemy gets a good double-damage hit on you at any point, odds are you'll die... I'm guessing, in other words, that given the lethality of TFT combat, the odds of such a "min/max" character surviving are not great.
Yes, 16/8/8 is clumsy and dumb. 8/16/8 gets easily one-shotted to death and can hit but does little damage. It's a trade-off of survivable balance versus precarious concentration, which seems ok to me, though as you already wrote:
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Originally Posted by JLV View Post
Still, it's a good point, and should probably be playtested some. Redmond Simonsen, the father of modern wargame graphics, once said that a lesson he'd learned in the early days at SPI was to "playtest the crazy plans and ideas too" because they were often the ones that would reveal a big loophole in the rules that were written with the normal outcome in mind... (Which is not to say that Steve might not already have fully considered that, but simply that I don't know if he did or didn't!)


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Originally Posted by JLV View Post
I'm wondering if a flat rate for all spells isn't making them too easy to acquire... (Of course, not seeing the totality of Steve's revisions, it's hard to say what the reality is, and making Spells easy to acquire might be a "feature" and not a "bug" in the system.)

But, if Spells are "too easy," maybe it should be something like a Flat Rate times the IQ Level of the Spell.

So, for example, you could pick some standardized flat rate in XP (say, purely for example, "20," or "25," or "50") and multiply that times the IQ Level of the Spell.

Just working with 20XP as our flat rate, that would make an IQ 8 Spell worth 160 XP to learn, while an IQ 20 Spell would cost 400 XP to learn. Which seems like a reasonable progression to me...

That might help push back the cross-over point at which Wizards become the all-powerful characters and Warriors are comparatively "less" capable...
Yeah, I think that's a good idea. There are already rules in Advanced Wizard for the variable amount of time it takes to learn a spell (and I would definitely keep those rather than have EP be usable to instantly learn things), so it would seem consistent to have the EP cost vary in a parallel way. I also think it might help reduce the amount of fighters who tack on spells, which I expect will be more common and possibly an issue at some point.
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:56 PM   #33
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: Experience Points

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLV View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, folks, but hasn't Steve done exactly that by capping total Attribute Points at "initial + 8?"

If you're suggesting something different from what he said, I'm not understanding it at all...
Yes, he has. And for characters that start with 32- points, that's fine. However, does a Lizardman (for example), who starts with 38 points, max out at 46? That seems kinda strong to me. Or does he max out at a lower number - say 42? Or even 40?
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:14 PM   #34
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Experience Points

I strongly approve of the new approach to spending EXP, though we should recognize it will mean quite a bit of the old material is inconsistent with the new edition (i.e., lots of NPCs in Tolenkar's Lair violate the 40 point maximum)

I have to disagree regarding the handing out of awards. My experience is that people enjoy the feeling of having earned a specific EXP award through some action or accomplishment, and dislike feeling as though they advance at the arbitrary pleasure of the GM. The system could well be simplified and stream lined from the original, but I would personally prefer that EXP still be linked to tangible accomplishments and events.
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:48 PM   #35
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: Experience Points

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
It's always a problem when the xp system doesn't match the character creation system, because it encourages you to take a dump stat as it reduces the xp cost to reach your final goal. For example, let's say my goal is stats of 16/16/8.

If I start at 12/12/8, it will cost me 6,600 xp to reach my goal. If I start at 16/8/8, it will cost me 4,700 xp.
Yes, I'm also concerned that this system is vulnerable to serious min-maxing.

I ran the exact analysis you did and concur with your conclusions. And there's no easy fix - I tried to mitigate this by reducing the rate at which attributes get more expensive. No matter what I did, the 16/8/8 character had a 20%+ advantage. At the end of the day, if you use the classic TFT chargen system with an XP system that makes higher attributes more expensive, you will incentivize maxing out one stat at the beginning.

Nor do I think conforming character creation with the XP system will produce a desirable result. You'll end up with a system that looks much like GURPS. One that will require much more time to generate a character. And you'll simply trade one set of dubious incentives for another.

Here's what such a system might look like (Steve's XP amounts have been divided by 100 and normed to make the totals bearable):

Stat - Points
8 – 0 pts
9 – 2 pts
10 – 5 pts
11 – 9 pts
12 – 14 pts
13 – 20 pts
14 – 27 pts
15 – 36 pts
16 – 47 pts
17 – 62 pts
18 – 82 pts
+1 - previous points +25 (i.e., 107 for a 19)
+2 - previous points +30 (i.e. 137 for a 20)

Etc.

For simplicity, talents and spells omitted.
(You can equate this to Steve's xp system by multiplying my points by 100 and adding 100. However, the numbers are inconveniently huge).

The $50 Question: How Many Points do you Start With?


Cost of various 32 point characters:
A ST11 DX11 IQ10 starting character will cost 9+9+5 = 23 points
A ST12 DX10 IQ10 starting character will cost 14+5+5 = 24 points
A ST12 DX12 IQ8 starting character will cost 14+14+0 = 28 points
A ST13 DX11 IQ8 starting character will cost 20+9+0 = 29 points
A ST14 DX10 IQ8 starting character will cost 27+5+0 = 32 points
A ST15 DX9 IQ8 starting character will cost 36+2+0 = 38 points
A ST16 DX8 IQ8 starting character will cost 47+0+0 = 47 points

Indeed, the 47 points spent on the last character would pay for a ST13 DX14 IQ8 character - 35 attribute points.

Using the XP system - or any system that assigns higher costs to higher stat level - to buy starting attributes will produce different initial attribute totals.

I dunno about this...

It may be a better idea to stay with XP costs to raise attributes being based on the total attribute points. Here's a system that would cost 5500 xp for 8 extra attribute points (around the average number of xp that Steve's system would require):

Attribute Cost
1st extra point - 100 xp
2nd extra point - 200 xp
3rd extra point - 300 xp
4th extra point - 500 xp
5th extra point - 700 xp
6th extra point - 900 xp
7th extra point - 1200 xp
8th extra point - 1600 xp

Endless variations are possible of course.

After the third attribute point, talents (at 100-300 xp) start looking attractive instead of increasing attributes.

Encouraging de-dumping of dump stats is a dubious endeavor, in my opinion. It invariably boils down to making attributes of 9 and 10 cost less. And that creates the incentive to max out one stat at chargen.

A simpler solution is start humans at ST9 DX9 IQ9, with 5 extra points. Or even ST10 DX10 IQ10, with 2 (!) extra points. Of course, I don't care for either one.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 06-12-2018 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:02 PM   #36
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Experience Points

I'd probably just make the cost of additional stat points depend on your total stat points, without any encouragement to round out 'dump' stats, concern about being hyper specialized, or specific cap on improvement. If dump stats are a problem, rebalance stats so being hyper focused is not all that valuable.
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Last edited by Anthony; 06-12-2018 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:28 PM   #37
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: Experience Points

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
I'd probably just make the cost of additional stat points depend on your total stat points, without any encouragement to round out 'dump' stats, concern about being hyper specialized, or specific cap on improvement. If dump stats are a problem, rebalance stats so being hyper focused is not all that valuable.
Personally, I couldn’t care less about “dump stats”. I have no problem with fighters emphasizing ST and DX (at the expense of IQ) and wizards IQ and DX (at the expense of ST)*. Or with rogues really needing DX and moderate ST and IQ.

I certainly wouldn’t foul up a game system just to encourage players to take minimum stats of 9 or 10.

*Although we never had the Conan the wizard problem, the new mana rules and limiting figures to 40 points pretty much makes Conan the wizard unlikely, I think.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:24 PM   #38
Some Guy From Mars
 
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Default Re: Experience Points

Quote:
It's always a problem when the xp system doesn't match the character creation system, because it encourages you to take a dump stat as it reduces the xp cost to reach your final goal. For example, let's say my goal is stats of 16/16/8.

If I start at 12/12/8, it will cost me 6,600 xp to reach my goal. If I start at 16/8/8, it will cost me 4,700 xp.
Quote:
That's a very good point...except for the fact that a starting DX of 8 has never been a very successful survival trait in most of the TFT games I've played (you can't hit anything very well, and you sure can't wear any armor, which makes you the one voted "most likely to die" at the start of the game). Of course, you could go with 8/16/8 and get the same effect, except that if the enemy gets a good double-damage hit on you at any point, odds are you'll die... I'm guessing, in other words, that given the lethality of TFT combat, the odds of such a "min/max" character surviving are not great.
During the commute home from work this afternoon I was thinking along similar lines about creating a very high ST but low DX and low IQ character. I also know from experiences that such characters suffer a significant attrition rate.

So my workaround the situation in order to help such a character survive TFT combat is to NEVER attack but ALWAYS defend. Now, such a scenario would not work under the old rules, which rewarded XP based upon combat results (ie: one XP for each point of damage inflicted on an opponent, receiving XP equal to the DX of a vanquished opponent).

Under the new rules, however, I see such a strategy being potentially successful from how XP is rewarded arbitrarily by the GM, with (for example) 50 to 100 XP awarded per campaign, you could gradually accumulate XP and slowly raise said characters DX and IQ.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:16 PM   #39
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Default Re: Experience Points

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Yeah, I think that's a good idea. There are already rules in Advanced Wizard for the variable amount of time it takes to learn a spell (and I would definitely keep those rather than have EP be usable to instantly learn things), so it would seem consistent to have the EP cost vary in a parallel way. I also think it might help reduce the amount of fighters who tack on spells, which I expect will be more common and possibly an issue at some point.
Aren't there rules that already double the cost of spells for non-Wizards? E.g., you have to declare yourself a Wizard or Warrior going in, and if you're a Warrior, Spells cost twice as much to learn, while if you're a Wizard, Talents cost more to learn? I mean, I realize that the rule was predicated on "IQ slots" as the controlling factor and all, but wouldn't that be likely to translate into higher XP costs under the new system?

Of course, we don't know that, because Steve didn't include it in our brief glimpse of the new rules, but it would certainly seem logical...
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:36 PM   #40
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Default Re: Experience Points

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLV View Post
Aren't there rules that already double the cost of spells for non-Wizards? E.g., you have to declare yourself a Wizard or Warrior going in, and if you're a Warrior, Spells cost twice as much to learn, while if you're a Wizard, Talents cost more to learn? I mean, I realize that the rule was predicated on "IQ slots" as the controlling factor and all, but wouldn't that be likely to translate into higher XP costs under the new system? ...
Hi JLV, everyone.
Actually heroes have it worse than that. Wizards only have to pay double for talents, but a whole lot of useful talents they pay 1:1 for.

One of the things I found charming about the old TFT was that heroes and wizards were well balanced compared to each other (certainly more than D&D).
These new suggested rules do nothing to fix it, and actually make it worse given most wizards now will have a staff with several points of extra fatigue in it.

Maybe, all spells would require 200 experience points to get. That would make learning a reality warping spell, more difficult than picking up (say) Swimming.

Warm regards, Rick.
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