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Old 06-13-2018, 02:49 PM   #31
schoon
 
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Location: Oakland, CA, USA
Default Re: Expansions and Splat books for TFT.

While I want lots of things, I don't want them at the expense of complicating the system.

So my list would be heavier on background and adventures, and lighter on things that need new rules.

However, many of the suggestions I've seen above could easily be fit into the basic framework, and not require much in the way of complexity - thankfully.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:41 AM   #32
Rick_Smith
 
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Default Re: Expansions and Splat books for TFT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tywyll View Post
Oh so many good ideas!

*Mass Combat/Domain Rules

*Overland stuff (probably part of Domain Rules)

*Religious magic

*New Talents (expanding on concepts to include modern gaming sensibilities)

*New Kinds of Magic

*New Combat Rules (including stuff to improve survivability at high levels)

*Psionic Rules

*Mythic Level Play (playing heroes and demi-gods in mythic settings)
Hi Tywyll, everyone.
I agree with virtually everything on your list. That said...

-- I'm not sure what you mean by Overland stuff.
-- I super agree with new talents, as they will help mid to elder campaigns.
-- I am a bit iffy on Mythic Level play. My reason for this are below.

I've always have had an active TFT campaign since 1979, and gradually my campaigns have grown in power levels. Players last longer, and characters in the mid to late 40 attributes are common. Characters in the low 50's attributes are fairly rare but certainly not unknown.

If TFT out of the box works well up to ~42 to 45 attributes, I've gradually tweaked many different things to let the system work well at higher power levels. This has taken a long time... many different experiments over the years. New talents, spells, a massive alchemist / chemist expansion, new monsters. And most of all, dozens of rules tweaks or pretty major revisions.

It has taken so long to get (what I think is) a really nice system that plays well into the 50 attribute level, that I think that an expansion that tries to be 12 times beyond that would be really, really hard to do well the first try.

If the new TFT had 3 or 4 expansions that made the game better at the 45, then 50, then 55 attribute levels (speaking metaphorically, since those are no longer possible except with wishes and mass attribute adders), then I think that SJG would have a much better chance of doing a Mythic level expansion well.

Warm regards, Rick.

Last edited by Rick_Smith; 06-14-2018 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Grammar.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:31 AM   #33
Rick_Smith
 
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Default Re: Expansions and Splat books for TFT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
... While I don't believe I would personally be interested in a TFT Mass-Combat System which used 100 counters per-side, on a turn-by-turn basis, ...
Hi everyone, Jim.

The entirety of Jim's post is here. He says he likes what I'm calling #1 below.

http://forums.sjgames.com/showpost.p...1&postcount=25

I'm not quoting it at length to keep this post shorter.

***

I have not seen the GURPS 4th edition mass combat rules, but I've seen several of the GURPS 3rd edition mass combat rules. For example, in Swashbucklers there was a system where you rolled some dice, and players found out if they were killed, or wounded, or what ever. I studied it fairly carefully.

I USED the similar system once when I was running a GURPS Space campaign.

I found that these systems sucked a lot of the joy of roleplaying out. My players preferred when I just described the battles and had them attempt damage control jobs, adjusting the aim of laser turrets manually, or what ever.

It comes down to what do you want the system to do.

*** TYPE NUMBER ONE:

The first system like this that I came across was in En Garde. The game was about duels over pride and women, but a sub system simulated bigger wars. You went off to war, said how brave you would be (very brave was more dangerous, but would garner promotions and honour) and rolled the dice to see if you survived and what you got. It worked because those wars were secondary to what the PC's were concentrating on.

The GURPS system we played also did that. Players could say they would be brave. This increased the risks & rewards.

But in our groups, the big battles were the cool part. Rather than automating them, players wanted to fight out the war, (at least their tiny slice of it).


*** TYPE NUMBER TWO:

Another thing you could use the mass combat for is see which side wins. Sauraman's Orcs come to Helms Deep to try to wipe out the Riders of Rohan and kill once and for all the women and children. Sauraman wanted to eliminate them as a people.

The GM could simply rule on this. (Sauraman loses.) Or he could concoct some sort of war game where the PC's actions can impact the play.

Imagine if the PC's have a mercenary company and hire out to one side. Their whole company becomes a single counter! The enemy has 30 counters, the good guys have 22. The qualities and strengths and weaknesses of your company change what numbers are on your counter! Play the game and see what happens! Cool!!!

(If you enjoy war-games that is totally cool. If you dislike war-games, you are likely cringing.)


*** TYPE NUMBER THREE:

Another thing a mass combat system could do is provide background information. Are you familiar with the game Kingsmaker? It had groups of nobles and under each noble you would put, title cards, office cards, mercenaries, ships, town levies, religious offices, etc., etc. I planed a campaign (which sadly never got off the ground) where I would have a custom game of Kingsmaker going on, with the results of the battles and bribes and deals in the big game, providing rumours and news of events happening in the game world.

Eventually the players might become important enough to influence that game, but I saw this mass combat system as mainly being used as making a very dynamic and dangerous political background to the campaign.

*******************************

There may well be other purposes for a mass combat system I've missed.

As for my preferences, I would be more interested in #2 or #3 than the first one.

Warm regards, Rick.

Last edited by Rick_Smith; 06-14-2018 at 11:58 AM. Reason: Grammar and improved word choice.
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:12 PM   #34
JLV
 
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Default Re: Expansions and Splat books for TFT.

I'd say that's a pretty good summation of the different purposes for which a "Mass Combat" system can be used:

If you want to focus on the micro-level more than anything else, the abstraction of Type One is perfect -- En Garde! did it really well, I always thought. Similarly, the "Crisis" system in Down With the King abstracted a lot of this sort of thing (and also allowed the players to prolong the crisis for their own benefit -- which could backfire in a serious way if you allowed things to spin out of control too long).

If you want to know how the actual big battle went, Type Two would be the preferred choice (or, if you're just an unreconstructed wargamer, like yours truly is here -- my brother and I once fought a month or two of the entire Eastern Front, using War in the East as the macro level, and then fighting out the tactical engagements using PanzerBlitz, so clearly we were crazy!)

Type three is just so intellectually appealing that I'd really LIKE to see someone come up with that version, just so I could see how it worked. In many ways, it's the same inspiration as my using Trailblazer for the macro-econcomics of my world -- and believe me, things like that really DO make your world feel more alive. Sadly, I never owned or played Kingmaker, but it sounds like it would be just about perfect for this sort of thing.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:10 PM   #35
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Default Re: Expansions and Splat books for TFT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
Exactly my experience Skarg. I agree; it can be done *and* much better.

While I don't believe I would personally be interested in a TFT Mass-Combat System which used 100 counters per-side, on a turn-by-turn basis, I try very hard not to let me personal tastes color my contributions to the forum Think-Tank when discussing potential futures for TFT; and I think those who want that type of TFT game should definitely have it.

It's all about options Gentlemen.

With that said: I can envision a Mass-Combat system made-up simply of a Scripted Combat Results Table, operating a on quick plug-in formula and dice-rolls, which instantly informs the end result of a confrontation between any two opposing forces.

And when I say *simply*, by that I mean, a brief Scripted Results Report, with general results such as:
  • Defenders are decimated; all defenders are slaughtered, none remain alive; the territory is yours for the taking.
  • Defenders are conquered; half their numbers are slain, half have escaped the battle; half the territory is you now open for the taking - if you can hold it from a future rejoinder battle.
Futhermore, I would create a sub-table, which when consulted, would inform the final disposition of a specific PC or important NPC; and thereby reflecting your character's participation in a battle; providing a Scripted Results Report returned, such as:
  • PC was killed during Battle.
  • PC survived but took 2/3rds ST as damage from injuries from battle.
  • PC was captured by enemy forces and dragged from the Battlefield in chains

That sort of thing; just a few quick calculations, some die rolls, and consult the charts - very Avalon Hill/SPI-esque in form and function. However,... we can't get there without rules to quantitatively define Nations, City-States, or Armies as a single unit-of-force first.

JK
Chivalry and Sorcery 1st and 2nd edition had a miniatures based mass combat system that was a modification of the WRG Ancients rules popular at the time. But the sourcebooks (Sword and Sorcerors for 1st edition and Sourcebook #2 for 2nd edition as I recall) had a mass combat system that was equation driven and could be resolved in a few minutes. Each troop type was assigned a point value, modifiers were applied for leadership, terrain, etc., then a die roll determined casualties and winner/loser. There were rules for character interactions as well. It was a very elegant system and I used it in any FRPG if the PCs found themselves in a mass battle. Often, we’d play out the immediate tactical battle that the PCs were in and I’d use the system to determine how the rest of the battle went. In the few RPGs I ran that had domain level play, this would be used to determine the outcome of most battles.

It’s worth looking up. Somewhere, I have a seriously modified version that I used for TFT.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 06-15-2018 at 02:36 AM.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:04 PM   #36
ldorn
 
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Default Re: Expansions and Splat books for TFT.

What I want to see is army lists for Melee. Ronald Pehr and others just generalized what historical troops would be like in Melee but never gave us any concrete lists to work with. What I'm referring to would be something like this:

Italian League Wars

French Gendarmerie, Italian Men-at-Arms

1. ST: 13 DX: 8 IQ: 8 MA: 6 +3 pts
(Sword, Ax/Mace, Pole Weapons, Shield, Horsemanship)

Weapons ST Damage Notes
Dagger - 1-1 Can be thrown
Broadsword 12 2
Mace 11 2-1
Cavalry Lance 13 3-1 Only usable mounted

Armor DX- Hits Stopped MA Notes
Fine Plate 4 6 6 French Gendarmerie
Plate Armor 6 5 6 Italian Men-at-Arms
Large Shield 1 2 -

Has Warhorse with full barding.

French Horse “Archer”, Spanish Jinetes

2. ST: 12 DX: 8 IQ: 8 MA: 6 +4 pts. Dagger, Broadsword, Lance (Spear), Mace (Spanish replace Mace with Small Ax)
(Sword, Ax/Mace, Pole Weapons, Horsemanship)

Weapons ST Damage Notes
Dagger - 1-1 Can be thrown
Broadsword 12 2
Mace 11 2-1
Small Ax 11 1+2 Spanish Horseman Ax
Lance (Spear) 11 1

Has Warhorse with no barding

Armor DX- Hits Stopped MA Notes
Plate Armor 6 5 6 Italian Men-at-Arms
Large Shield 1 2 -


Swiss Mercenaries, German Landsknecht, French Ordonnance, Spanish Veteran, Italian Condotta Infantry

3. (Pikeman) ST: 13 DX: 8 IQ: 8 MA: 6 3 pts Dagger, Halberd or Pike, Chainmail (Germans add: Shortsword)
(Knife, Pole Arms (Germans replace Knife with Sword)

4. (Shield and Buckler Infantry) ST: 12 DX: 8 IQ: 8 MA: 6 +4 pts Broadsword, Knife, Chainmail, Small Shield

5. (Crossbowman) ST: 15 DX: 8 IQ: 8 MA 6 +1 pts Lt. or Hvy Crossbow (Germans add: Shortsword), Chainmail, Tower Shield
(Dagger, Crossbow, (German adds: Sword))

6. () ST: 8 DX: 8 IQ: 8 MA: 6 +8 pts. Arquebus, Chainmail, Tower Shield (Germans add Shortsword)
(Knife, Guns (Germans replaces Knife with Sword))

7. (German Zweihander) ST: 8 DX: 8 IQ: 8 MA 6 +8 pts. 2-handed Sword, Chainmail

Weapons ST Damage Notes
Dagger - 1-1 Can be thrown
Halberd 13 2 Two Handed
Pike 12 2+1 Two Handed
2-handed Sword 14 3-1 Two Handed, German Zweihander
Broadsword 12 2 German Kriegsmesser
Shortsword 11 2-1 German Katzbalger
Light Crossbow 11 1+2 adjDX 14: fire every other turn
Heavy Crossbow 15 3 AdjDX 16: fire every 3rd turn
Arquebus - 3+3 Two Handed

Armor DX- Hits Stopped MA Notes
Chainmail 3 3 6
Small Shield 0 1 -
Tower Shield 2 3 - Pavise Shield

List Notes: All figures are 32 pts. A Pavise Shield has a spike on the bottom that was driven into the ground allowing Crossbowmen and Arquebusiers to use the shield as cover when they were firing.

Something like this could be handed out to who I was playing against for a quick game of Melee, or be used as the basis (when combined with the Heroes ideas) for a ITL character.

While I imagine the first such book would be for the various forces of Cidri, it would be nice to have some historical books as well.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:27 PM   #37
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Expansions and Splat books for TFT.

What I've done and generally prefer is like Rick's approach #2 (make/use a wargame and if there are PCs involved, know what unit they are in and see if they adjust its stats or what/how it does).

However unless the whole campaign is mainly a wargame, in an RPG with PCs people care about, I never just apply a mass combat result to directly kill or even wound a PC. Instead I always describe the situation, ask the players what they do about it, and then game out whatever action the PCs are directly threatened by using the tactical system. But it can be a challenge to do well and quickly. Fortunately, mostly in non-wargame campaigns, my players have almost always stayed well away from military units during battles.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:38 AM   #38
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Expansions and Splat books for TFT.

Well here is the good news:

IF, after the re-launch, we see some real traction in the market-place for The Fantasy Trip - *and the demand is there* - there is no legitimate reason why we can't have all of these things and more. After all, just look at the sheer volume and variety of the GURPS product-line.

And there is no shortage of highly-experienced TFT design-talent around here - we are overflowing!

In fact, provided a given thing can translate at some point to the individual figure - if even only as a result - there is no reason why any platform (consider Rick's Kingmaker example) could not bear The Fantasy Trip masthead - *provided it can logically and seamlessly tie back to the individual figure in some meaningful manner.

So rather than worrying about *which*, just let your desires and imaginations fly as we explore *all* the possibilities.

JK

Last edited by Jim Kane; 06-15-2018 at 12:39 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:25 AM   #39
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Expansions and Splat books for TFT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
-- I am a bit iffy on Mythic Level play. My reason for this are below.

I've always have had an active TFT campaign since 1979, and gradually my campaigns have grown in power levels. Players last longer, and characters in the mid to late 40 attributes are common. Characters in the low 50's attributes are fairly rare but certainly not unknown.

If TFT out of the box works well up to ~42 to 45 attributes, I've gradually tweaked many different things to let the system work well at higher power levels. This has taken a long time... many different experiments over the years. New talents, spells, a massive alchemist / chemist expansion, new monsters. And most of all, dozens of rules tweaks or pretty major revisions.

It has taken so long to get (what I think is) a really nice system that plays well into the 50 attribute level, that I think that an expansion that tries to be 12 times beyond that would be really, really hard to do well the first try.

If the new TFT had 3 or 4 expansions that made the game better at the 45, then 50, then 55 attribute levels (speaking metaphorically, since those are no longer possible except with wishes and mass attribute adders), then I think that SJG would have a much better chance of doing a Mythic level expansion well.

Warm regards, Rick.
Trollbabe is a mortal-to-mythic game that has a general concept of "scale" measuring "how big" an attribute point is. The 7 levels of scale start from personal and go up through village, all the way to country-level. As scale increases, villages and even countries become NPCs that your character deals with. Scale in Trollbabe is the main way you increase in power, not attributes. Attributes can change relative to each other but they really just represent where the character's specialization is: fighting, magic, or social interaction.

Another way to model scale is simply to pick a level and not deal with scaling from normal to godlike. Nobilis is a great example of this, more or less based on the Sandman comics, where characters have demigod or god power levels. An attribute value of 1 (the lowest legal value) equates to Olympic performance or genius IQ and it goes up from there. Mortals can't stand up to the player's characters.

A mythic TFT splat book could pick either of these approaches (and there are probably other approaches) and still start godlike characters at 32 attribute points.
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