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Old 02-21-2018, 09:17 AM   #541
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Berserking Rules.

Hi all,
I think that some thought should be given to the Berserk rules. (Page 20 AM.)

I do not like that they require an IQ roll to enter and leave the Berserk state. My feelings of berserkers is that they are not brain trusts. Also if they ARE high IQ, it all seems far too easy.

Other thoughts:
-- I wouldn't mind if berserk figures did +1 or +2 damage with Melee weapons.
-- When a berserker comes out of berserk they lose 2 ST. Is this real damage or fatigue ST? (I assume that it is fST loss.)
-- Are berserkers allowed to use missile weapons? It seems untraditional, but it should be spelled out either way.
-- If a wizard berserks, what spells and actions can the wizard take?

I enter / exit berserk status, I suggest:
-- To enter berserk, a character must roll 1d6 and spend an action. On a 1 or 2 they go berserk. Thus they may have to spend several turns shouting, gnawing on their shield, etc. to work themselves into this state. (As a GM I sometimes allow automatic berserking, if they see their family attacked, or if something dramatic happens.)

-- To exit berserk, at the start of movement they roll 1d6. One a 1 thru 4, they exit the state. This DOES NOT use their action, and if they fail to exit berserk status, they will then move and attack their friends.

I welcome any comments.
Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 02-21-2018, 09:33 AM   #542
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Toning down Exploding Gems.

Hi Everyone,
I think that Exploding Gems should be nerfed. Having an 8 die exploding gem just makes too many problems easy to solve. (The same can be said of 12 fST Wizard Wraths.)

I suggest that the rule of 5 applies to them and the largest gem that can be made is 5 dice.

The cost of the better gems should go up fast. I double the fST cost for each level of gem. For example, 3 fST, 6 fST, 12 fST, 24 fST and 48 fST for 1 die to 5 dice gems respectively. (Incidentally, this makes the gems behave like Note A on the Magic Item Enchantment Tables, which is logical.)

I like that gems do area damage. So I suggest that 4 dice gems do 1d-2 damage into all adjacent hexes and 5 dice gems do 1die of damage into adjacent hexes.

(Altho, I wouldn't object if Exploding Gems were simply eliminated from new TFT. My players always hate NPC's with the damn things.)

I welcome any comments.
Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 02-21-2018, 11:48 AM   #543
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Engagement rules - "You don't engage me!"

Hi all,
On page 3 of Advanced Melee there is a rule that says, "... the GM may declare that a figure is not engaged - i.e., a knight in plate mail is not engaged by an unarmed 13 year old girl..." However, edge cases are harder to handle. If I stop 10 hits, and a goblin is doing 2d-1, should it engage me? (Not really I think. But what if I only stop 8 hits?)

I have added a tactic for characters to take. They may declare in movement that an enemy doesn't engage them, and move as if that enemy does not exist. (Or declare that several enemies do not engage them.)

The enemy so ignored gets a free attack with either +2 damage or +2 DX (enemies' choice). If you are chopped down as you try to leave the hex, ... well I guess you were engaged after all!

I'm not campaigning hard to have this rule included in the new TFT, but it is pretty simple and plays well. (I've been using it for years now.) It also removes some of the arbitrary force field 'feel' of the engagement rules. It might be worth a paragraph as an optional rule.

Comments are welcome.
Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:48 PM   #544
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

It's a bridge too far, but my positive experiences playing AH's Gladiator have always made me think Melee would be even more tactically juicy and interesting if no one 'engaged' anyone and long-ish weapons had greater reach. If you want to run into someone, run into them; if you want to step back, step back; if you want to grab someone so they can't get away, do that; but no one is a velcro patch that sticks to others.

The only trouble with this sort of movement and engagement change (in addition to it being just generally radical) is that it only works as a game if movement is broken down into smaller increments, so you have time to respond to what people around you are doing in a realistic way.
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Old 02-21-2018, 01:03 PM   #545
JLV
 
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Location: Far northern California
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
It's a bridge too far, but my positive experiences playing AH's Gladiator have always made me think Melee would be even more tactically juicy and interesting if no one 'engaged' anyone and long-ish weapons had greater reach. If you want to run into someone, run into them; if you want to step back, step back; if you want to grab someone so they can't get away, do that; but no one is a velcro patch that sticks to others.

The only trouble with this sort of movement and engagement change (in addition to it being just generally radical) is that it only works as a game if movement is broken down into smaller increments, so you have time to respond to what people around you are doing in a realistic way.
Based on that last sentence alone, I'd have to be against the change, then. Here's why: I've played games like Dragonquest, Sniper, and others that used an "action points" system to allow precisely that sort of detail. Such systems are, inarguably, more accurate and simulationist than even GURPS is, but they are also far more nit-picky, time consuming and rules driven than TFT is or ought to be. One of the key attractions (to me) of TFT is that we can get through combat fairly quickly, with a good feel for the action, and without measuring everything with a micrometer caliper. Changing to a system that requires that much more work to complete a combat situation is precisely why I decided that I still preferred TFT to Dragonquest in the first place. Naturally, I only speak for myself in this regard, but I suspect I'm not alone in this feeling.
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Old 02-21-2018, 01:19 PM   #546
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Engagement rules - "You don't engage me!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Hi all,
On page 3 of Advanced Melee there is a rule that says, "... the GM may declare that a figure is not engaged - i.e., a knight in plate mail is not engaged by an unarmed 13 year old girl..." However, edge cases are harder to handle. If I stop 10 hits, and a goblin is doing 2d-1, should it engage me? (Not really I think. But what if I only stop 8 hits?)

I have added a tactic for characters to take. They may declare in movement that an enemy doesn't engage them, and move as if that enemy does not exist. (Or declare that several enemies do not engage them.)

The enemy so ignored gets a free attack with either +2 damage or +2 DX (enemies' choice). If you are chopped down as you try to leave the hex, ... well I guess you were engaged after all!

I'm not campaigning hard to have this rule included in the new TFT, but it is pretty simple and plays well. (I've been using it for years now.) It also removes some of the arbitrary force field 'feel' of the engagement rules. It might be worth a paragraph as an optional rule.

Comments are welcome.
Warm regards, Rick.
A good test would be to ask what the average damage would be, tripled. If it can cause injury, then the opponent is dangerous enough that he can't be ignored.

I don't like "free attack" rules ala D&D 3rd+. They slow the game down. Worse, they exploit knowledge that the character might not have. The player may clinically know that the opponent is a minimal threat, but in the heat of combat it's hard to imagine an experienced warrior exposing his back to *any* armed opponent.

Engagement was one of those concepts that "just worked". It enforced reasonable behavior and prevented player omniscience from generating unreasonable tactics.
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Old 02-21-2018, 01:20 PM   #547
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLV View Post
Based on that last sentence alone, I'd have to be against the change, then. Here's why: I've played games like Dragonquest, Sniper, and others that used an "action points" system to allow precisely that sort of detail. Such systems are, inarguably, more accurate and simulationist than even GURPS is, but they are also far more nit-picky, time consuming and rules driven than TFT is or ought to be. One of the key attractions (to me) of TFT is that we can get through combat fairly quickly, with a good feel for the action, and without measuring everything with a micrometer caliper. Changing to a system that requires that much more work to complete a combat situation is precisely why I decided that I still preferred TFT to Dragonquest in the first place. Naturally, I only speak for myself in this regard, but I suspect I'm not alone in this feeling.
At least I agree with you, so no you're not alone. Action points systems never really did it for me either.
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Old 02-21-2018, 01:34 PM   #548
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Engagement rules - "You don't engage me!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Engagement was one of those concepts that "just worked". It enforced reasonable behavior and prevented player omniscience from generating unreasonable tactics.
That said, a referee might want a more cinematic combat system that resembles the swordfights in the 1982 Conan the Barbarian film or 300. Engagement does restrict that kind of fluid action.

A fast and playable system could probably be created that would model those movies; but it explicitly wouldn't be "realistic", so fiddly mechanics can be ignored.

Playtesting would be required, but here's how I could see it working. (Acknowledged that it has stuff that others have mentioned).

To start with, you could ignore engagement completely and go to a quasi-action point system. Figures would move, strike (maybe at say 2 movement point cost), move, strike, etc.

Allow non-moving figures to face any foe before the foe strikes. However, a figure must not turn to allow a figure already in his front hexes to be in his side or rear. So foes can be pinned.

Allow a figure to guard a hex - he can only move 1 hex or less to do this. He gets a shot at everyone who tries to move past him.

To really capture these films would require a different to hit system. Opposed attack rolls, with winner hitting. This is best done by Pendragon in my opinion. Roll d20; high roll that also is equal to or less than skill wins. Rolling exactly the number for success is a critical. With 3d6, something different would be needed - maybe whoever makes the roll by the most or somesuch.

This system might be interesting to play around with, but I always liked the tactical issues in TFT games. I don't think I'd want to replace it with this system.
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:16 PM   #549
JLV
 
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Location: Far northern California
Default Re: Engagement rules - "You don't engage me!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
That said, a referee might want a more cinematic combat system that resembles the swordfights in the 1982 Conan the Barbarian film or 300. Engagement does restrict that kind of fluid action.

A fast and playable system could probably be created that would model those movies; but it explicitly wouldn't be "realistic", so fiddly mechanics can be ignored.

Playtesting would be required, but here's how I could see it working. (Acknowledged that it has stuff that others have mentioned).

To start with, you could ignore engagement completely and go to a quasi-action point system. Figures would move, strike (maybe at say 2 movement point cost), move, strike, etc.

Allow non-moving figures to face any foe before the foe strikes. However, a figure must not turn to allow a figure already in his front hexes to be in his side or rear. So foes can be pinned.

Allow a figure to guard a hex - he can only move 1 hex or less to do this. He gets a shot at everyone who tries to move past him.

To really capture these films would require a different to hit system. Opposed attack rolls, with winner hitting. This is best done by Pendragon in my opinion. Roll d20; high roll that also is equal to or less than skill wins. Rolling exactly the number for success is a critical. With 3d6, something different would be needed - maybe whoever makes the roll by the most or somesuch.

This system might be interesting to play around with, but I always liked the tactical issues in TFT games. I don't think I'd want to replace it with this system.
I'll agree that such a system might be interesting to fiddle with, but frankly it would defeat the purpose of TFT, and I'll also agree that I would not want to replace the existing system with this one.

A more fruitful look at a more complex combat system might be done by taking a look at how En Garde! manages sword fights. The system is simple, plays quickly and is very effective in simulating renaissance style sword fights. However, it is also extremely limited in that it doesn't really deal with armor, shields and weapons other than swords, which means some serious effort would need to be made with that system as a whole in order to allow it to cover all the nuances that Melee/Advanced Melee deals with in Combat.

Still, there might be something useful there, especially in the way they deal with opponents of differing skill levels (which is also why it's so important to actually train during down time in En Garde!). I could see adapting that system to the existing TFT system so that once figures are "engaged" they would deal with their actual combat using a psuedo-En Garde!-ish system for the specific rounds of combat. It would still lengthen combat, but not tremendously, and it would definitely add a sense of differing skill levels and excitement to the individual combats (which are now basically a die roll per player per turn...).
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:49 PM   #550
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLV View Post
Based on that last sentence alone, I'd have to be against the change, then. Here's why: I've played games like Dragonquest, Sniper, and others that used an "action points" system to allow precisely that sort of detail. Such systems are, inarguably, more accurate and simulationist than even GURPS is, but they are also far more nit-picky, time consuming and rules driven than TFT is or ought to be. One of the key attractions (to me) of TFT is that we can get through combat fairly quickly, with a good feel for the action, and without measuring everything with a micrometer caliper. Changing to a system that requires that much more work to complete a combat situation is precisely why I decided that I still preferred TFT to Dragonquest in the first place. Naturally, I only speak for myself in this regard, but I suspect I'm not alone in this feeling.
There is a pretty straightforward solution to this: resolve action in turns that follow the same decision/action sequence as melee, but shorten what can be done during each. I.e., movement is 0, 1 or 2 and an action is just that - 1 action. I've toyed with this sort of variant and it is not slow. It is just a bit like playing chess, with a quick back and forth between sides. It is relatively inappropriate for combats with a half dozen combatants on a side, because you end up having to juggle too many decisions per combat. But it is not a slow or difficult way to resolve a duel.
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