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Old 06-10-2018, 08:23 PM   #91
Some Guy From Mars
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Glitches, Contradictions, Ambiguities

I always have felt TFT is a great game in and of itself and would have no cause for complaint if SJG re-releases ‘as is’ without any significant changes or revisions. That said, TFT is by no means perfect, and similar to many here, I helped develop ‘house rules’ to help address any issues that potentially found wanting, including but not limited to:

1. Death
I cannot think of a RPG in which death has such a feeling of finality than TFT. Once its strength reaches -0-, your character is dead. There are two ways to look at things here. On one hand, I always enjoyed going on a campaign with beginning 32-point characters because it forces everyone involved to exercise a certain element of strategic caution and work together in the process- despite an attrition rate often approaching 50%. On the other hand, it can be disconcerting to lose a character in which you have invested several years to a random max damage roll or ill-timed triple damage roll of the dice.

In my opinion, the current rules are a bit unforgiving in this regard and recommend minor tweaks in the form of breaking off Hit Points from Strength. How do the two differ? Hit Points would represent Strength + Strength divided by two and rounded down. A 13 Strength character, for example, would have Hit Points totaling 19. If said character takes anywhere from 13 to 19 points of damage it is unconscious. Death is at 20.

To avoid potentially abusing the rules I would cap out the number of Hit Points in excess of Strength at 10. In the unlikely event someone gets a character up to Strength 30, Hit Points would be 40 and not 45.

2. Defense
Modern day boxing reveals some fighters to be more difficult to hit than others, noting defensive specialist Floyd Mayweather Jr. Others such as Rocky Marciano, for instance, would eschew defense in order to absorb 3 or 4 blows from an opponent to land one telling blow of his own. It worked either way in that both fighters retired undefeated.

One of the few minor issues I have with TFT is how it has no rule provisions to account for defense. A character with an adjusted Dexterity of 16, for instance, is no more difficult to hit that one with DX of 8. Wouldn’t a higher DX character, similar to the as noted Mayweather, have the agility and quickness to fight defensively if it so wished?

The issue of defense in TFT is problematic in that you do not want to break the spirit of the game by including a Parry role, which can extend combat indefinitely. An old issue of ‘Interplay’ included an article about a series of Talents called Defensive Quickness. In terms of specifics, a character with DQ 1 would require a 4 die roll against DX to hit; 5 dice for DQ 2, etc. Our gaming group tested the rules and they did not prove playable due to the fact they also slowed the game down with too many roles of the dice.

So how do you add an element of defense to TFT without breaking the spirit of the game? My thought is to utilizes Defensive Quickness but in a significantly altered form. Following are how the talents breakdown:

IQ 8
Defensive Quickness 1 (1). This is the ability to fight defensively. When attacking a character with DQ 1, an automatic miss is rolled on a 15 and 16. Prerequisite is an adjusted DX of 14 or greater.

IQ 9
Defensive Quickness 2 (1). This is a greater ability to fight defensively. When attacking a character with DQ 2, an automatic miss is rolled on a 14, 15 and 16. Prerequisite is an adjusted DX of 15 or greater.

IQ 10
Defensive Quickness 3 (1). An even greater ability to fight defensively. When attacking a character with DQ 3, an automatic miss is rolled on 13, 14, 15 and 16. Prerequisite is an adjusted DX of 17 or greater.

One caveat: A character using a tower shield or wearing any form of plate armor (half plate, plate, fine plate) is unable to use Defensive Quickness. My thought is to avoid situations in which we have near invulnerable characters with fine plate + Warrior/Veteran + DQ 1, 2 & 3.

Restrict DQ to unarmed combat in addition to leather and chainmail. The following character, for instance, is potentially very formidable but also very fun to play: fine hand and a half sword (one handed) + fencing + chainmail + large shield + DQ 1, 2 & 3.
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Old 06-10-2018, 08:56 PM   #92
JLV
 
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Default Re: Fantasy Trip Glitches, Contradictions, Ambiguities

I just saw this Defensive Quickness idea somewhere else... Was it in Interplay? I can't remember, but I thought it had potential.

And I find the Hit Points idea intriguing. I wonder what the implications would be in game terms? Have you playtested these ideas any?
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Old 06-10-2018, 09:19 PM   #93
Some Guy From Mars
 
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Default Re: Fantasy Trip Glitches, Contradictions, Ambiguities

Quote:
I just saw this Defensive Quickness idea somewhere else... Was it in Interplay? I can't remember, but I thought it had potential.

And I find the Hit Points idea intriguing. I wonder what the implications would be in game terms? Have you playtested these ideas any?
I got the idea from the original Defensive Quickness article from an old issue of "Interplay" (cannot remember which one or even if I still have it).

Wish I could play test both DQ and Hit Points, but am not part of a TFT gaming group. Fact is, I do not know anyone who plays the game, but am looking forward to joining a group once the game is re-released.

In terms of Hit Points, I got the idea from one of the 'house rules' of the group I gamed with back in the 80's (a long time ago). The GM who ran our group introduced a fourth attribute called Constitution (CN), which acted as a hit points reserved. Problem, however, is that CN made characters too difficult to kill, almost impossible if you will.

Basically, CN would combine with your ST to equal your Hit Points. A character with ST 15 and CN 15 would be unconscious at 16 t 30 points of damage. Death at 31.

I liked the premise behind CN, but, again, it made characters too difficult to kill. So my Hit Points idea was based around our old CN rules but without introducing an attribute while making them a bit more susceptible to death.

Last edited by Some Guy From Mars; 06-11-2018 at 04:09 AM.
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:12 PM   #94
JLV
 
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Default Re: Fantasy Trip Glitches, Contradictions, Ambiguities

Well, I think it's a clever idea and probably worthy of some playtesting.
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Old 06-11-2018, 03:22 PM   #95
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Fantasy Trip Glitches, Contradictions, Ambiguities

We played with the Defensive Quickness talents from Interplay, but unlike the proposal just posted here, they are very high-end talents that require high attributes, so only a few people managed to get them, and instead of adding minor effects like those suggested above, they added one die per level to the dice required to hit the person.

I agree there's a need for something to take account of defensive abilities of targets, and more defensive fighting styles (not just the no-offense Defend option), but I think the Interplay version was too high-end (though about on par with the higher Unarmed Combat Talents that even fewer people got in my campaign), and the version above, while nicely accessible, isn't a particularly great effect, and also directly lowers the threshold of useful DX improvement.

Common house rules people have developed have often included systems where you can increase the difficulty of hitting for yourself and others, though I don't know of a perfect version of that.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:23 AM   #96
Tywyll
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Glitches, Contradictions, Ambiguities

Things I would like to see:

*Abstraction of damage/bonus from high strength.
By this I mean removal of the idea that there are progressively larger weapons within each category that does slightly higher damage with a point of strength increase. We don't need to progress damage through the arc of every historical iteration of 'broadsword with slightly different name' as though that is how they work, especially when the system works essentially on a 3d6 curve and characters with 14+ strength are less than 10% of the population.

TLDR-either make weapon damage wholly based on strength or make weapons do a base damage for size and a bonus for high strength

*More Xp for things other than killing

*No death at 0ST, especially from casting
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:21 PM   #97
michaeltaylor
 
Join Date: May 2016
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Glitches, Contradictions, Ambiguities

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Replace the “add dice as difficulty increases” mechanic with modifiers.

Consider some limit on the amount of ST that can be used in missile spells. If you think that such a limit is appropriate, increase the cost rather than impose an absolute limit. I.e., it takes 2 ST per extra die over 5 dice or somesuch.

Revise death and dying so a character does not die at ST 0.

Should wizards really die if ST drops to zero from spellcasting?
To me, these all fall into the "If it aint broke, don't fix it." bucket.
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:40 PM   #98
ak_aramis
 
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Default Re: Fantasy Trip Glitches, Contradictions, Ambiguities

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Replace the “add dice as difficulty increases” mechanic with modifiers.
Please DO NOT... The dice by difficulty is the biggest, and for a good many, best, conceptual difference between GURPS and TFT.

If anything, I'd prefer to see modifiers stripped down a bit and replaced with extra dice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Define experience costs in terms of extra attribute points. This keeps races that start with fewer points but considerable innate advantages (i.e., filthy hobbits) from dominating the game.
That one I agree with.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:27 PM   #99
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Default Re: Fantasy Trip Glitches, Contradictions, Ambiguities

Ty’s Ridiculously Simple Defense Rule

A figure with adjDX 11+ and a ready weapon can elect to reduce his adjDX (but he can’t reduce it below 10). For every -1 DX adjustment, all opponents are -1 DX to hit him with melee weapons. The character declares this at the beginning of the combat round, in initiative order (lowest initiative goes first).

This cannot be combined with the Defend option, which will become pretty useless for high adjDX figures.

A figure must have a ready weapon to use this option.


Those wanting to refine this rule can try the following enhancements:

1. You can combine it with defense. Your opponent rolls 4d to hit and suffers the defense modifier as well.

2. Defense can never reduce an opponent’s adjDX below 7. (This keeps high DX folks from mowing down low DX opponents, which may or may not be a good thing). Mechanically, apply all other DX modifiers before applying the defense modifier.

3. Defense can only be used by figures in leather or lighter armor. (I like this, as it makes swashbucklers useful).

4. Replace the main rule with this - a figure with adjDX 13+ and a ready weapon may take the defense option. He must roll 4 dice to hit his foes with melee weapons and his foes must roll 4 dice to hit him.

5. Or, as an alternative to number 4, a figure with adjDX 13+ with a ready weapon may take the defense option. He reduces his DX by 3 and his opponents’ DX by 3 in melee combat.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 06-14-2018 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:14 PM   #100
JLV
 
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Default Re: Fantasy Trip Glitches, Contradictions, Ambiguities

4 and 5 seem like the easiest choices to implement (no new math for the players and GM to remember, straightforward tactical decision). I might try those unless Steve does something with the Defend Option in the new rules...
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