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Old 05-30-2018, 03:34 PM   #21
David Bofinger
 
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Default Re: Placement of Talents in the Rules

The reason this was such a problem is the lack of an index, which I really hope will be corrected.
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Old 06-01-2018, 02:41 PM   #22
JLV
 
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Default Re: Placement of Talents in the Rules

According to Steve, both the Table of Contents AND the index will be vastly improved (of course, simply creating an index will be a "vast improvement," but I'm hoping for a really good one from SJGs this time around).
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Old 06-01-2018, 06:31 PM   #23
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: Placement of Talents in the Rules

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Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
Who knows the way Howard Thomson's mind was working back then. I doubt the way the books came out was according to Steve's intentions in any event.
I recall that Thompson got frustrated over the amount of time it was taking to get TFT to press, so he denied Steve a final proofread after it was typeset and laid out. So TFT's books contained numerous errors and typos, including the infamous "for Greeks only" witticism in the "Pinning a Foe" section of Advanced Melee. None of them really hindered play, but the absence of an index and even tables of content in AW and AM made the game seem more amateurish than it really was.

I do know that In the Labyrinth was a LONG time coming. If I recall correctly, it was first announced in 1977 (or was it 1978) in The Space Gamer. Howard's impatience may have been justified, but it was unfortunate that he didn't allow a final proofread.

And the original format was to have been a $20 boxed set with rules, thick counters, maps, and a full color map of Tollenkar's Lair. HT then decided fairly late to change that to the 3 books and separate adventure costing $18 total instead. In 1980, $20 was a significant amount of money to come up with at one time.

With TFT, you could buy ITL for $6 and if you already had Wizard and Melee, you could start playing. I can see Thompson's view on that, but I do wish they'd been able to do a "deluxe" edition then.
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Old 06-01-2018, 06:35 PM   #24
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: Placement of Talents in the Rules

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Originally Posted by JLV View Post
According to Steve, both the Table of Contents AND the index will be vastly improved (of course, simply creating an index will be a "vast improvement," but I'm hoping for a really good one from SJGs this time around).
Since AM and AW didn't even have a table of contents, that's a pretty low bar :)
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Old 06-01-2018, 11:28 PM   #25
ak_aramis
 
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Default Re: Placement of Talents in the Rules

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I was always under the impression that Advanced Wizard was a beefed up Wizard with more and advanced rules relating to the stuff in Wizard (and the spells for Wizards are in Wizard), Advanced Melee was a beefed up Melee with more and advanced rules relating to the stuff in Melee (and Weapons, Shields, Armor and tactics are in Melee), while In the Labyrinth was supposed to pull them both together and give the overarching rules that tied the disparate elements into one unified whole by adding completely new elements (such as Talents, how to GM, jobs, etc.) to the mix. Seemed pretty straightforward at the time...
AM also worked well as a D&D "drop in replacement" for the rather lackluster combat mechanics of D&D. By not incorporating talents, it just required figuring out how to "convert levels" for use as a drop in - had it done so formally, I suspect it would have had wider fan acceptance (and it had a great fanbase even then). Being a BX/BECMI kind of guy, I simply allowed a DM-1 per 3 levels for fighters, dwarves, halflings, & elves, per 4 for clerics and theives, and per 5 for wizards.

Wizard was harder to integrate into D&D.
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Old 06-02-2018, 12:16 PM   #26
JLV
 
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Default Re: Placement of Talents in the Rules

Steve said somewhere that Melee was first written due to his extreme dissatisfaction with the combat rules in existing RPGs (and let's face it, D&D style combat rules were all there were, even if they were re-skinned as blasters and ablative armor). So it makes perfect sense that you could easily do that. (And good on you for doing so! I was always too lazy!)

Wizard, on the other hand, was created more to fit in with Melee than to work as a substitute for the existing Vancian magic system. So it makes sense it would be a lot harder to use as a substitute unless you simply ripped out the existing system and replaced it wholesale with Wizard.
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Old 06-02-2018, 03:07 PM   #27
ak_aramis
 
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Default Re: Placement of Talents in the Rules

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and let's face it, D&D style combat rules were all there were, even if they were re-skinned as blasters and ablative armor
Not true.
RuneQuest (1978) had attack and parry, damage and HP both general and to the body location, HP by attributes only, and no easy ways to raise attributes. Armor was non-ablative, and reduced damage taken, if present on that location.

T&T (1975) went the other direction - no rolls to hit, only relative damage, winners doing the difference, which was divided over the loser group evenly. Armor was still non-ablative, and reduced your individual damage taken.

Traveller (1977) had Rolls to hit, with armor as a modifier to be hit. And had damage to attributes.

Many did use close variants to D&D, but there were already options - tho' not everyone had access to them.

Dallas (1980) didn't even have physical combat .

While Melee was 1977, RuneQuest was in playtest, and shows that SJ wasn't the only one diverging. There was variation, and it was good.
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Old 06-03-2018, 12:48 AM   #28
JLV
 
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Default Re: Placement of Talents in the Rules

So basically, my statement WAS true, since at the time Melee was published, only T&T was actually already in print. And prior to 1977 (when Traveler came out -- with ablative armor) the only thing we really had was D&D, given that most of us had never heard of T&T at that point.

But nice try.
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