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Old 06-09-2018, 05:09 PM   #1
Steve Jackson
President and EIC
Join Date: Jul 2004
Default Interviewing the Fans #2

How did you use TFT, back in the day? Stand-alone combat games, combat module for other RPGs, or a full RPG system of its own?
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Old 06-09-2018, 05:21 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Default Re: Interviewing the Fans #2

Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
How did you use TFT, back in the day? Stand-alone combat games, combat module for other RPGs, or a full RPG system of its own?
When we just had Melee and Wizard it was mostly a stand alone combat game. Then it turned into a reg style adventures (where each adventure as a set of running combats fitting on a single wizard map).

After we had tried out D&D, it turned into a stand alone RPG with lots made up and stolen from D&D.

When ItL, AM and AW eventually came out, we used those rules as a rpg.

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Old 06-09-2018, 06:13 PM   #3
Jim Kane
Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Re: Interviewing the Fans #2

We followed the growth of the system; beginning as stand-alone combat games, and then full-blown RPG. After the release of TFT:ITL, we only used Melee and Wizard as stand-alones for teaching the basics of movement and combat to new players wishing to join our group. We did try to integrate TFT as the substitute combat system for Gamescience's: Superhero 2044, by Donald Saxman, 1977 - but being aged 15 or so, we failed miserably, as we basically had to re-write the entire system to work for supers - we were way out of our league for that task; but we had fun trying.

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Old 06-09-2018, 06:39 PM   #4
Dave Crowell
Join Date: Jun 2012
Default Re: Interviewing the Fans #2

We mostly played Melee and Wizard as stand alone arena combat games. Much fun was had. We used our collections of 25mm miniatures on the maps instead of the counters where possible.
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:12 PM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2018
Default Re: Interviewing the Fans #2

We played Melee when it came out as a tactical combat system, and when news of the magical component was announced, waited with baited breath. I tried to design a magical component in the interim as an 18 year old, but it was overly simple and used IQ as the base roll for magical attacks.

With both Melee and Wizard, we started using geomorphic wargame mapboards to run adventures through forest and towns and along roads of Europe.

With Death Test, we saw how much fun a programmed adventure could be, as well, and once Tollenkarīs Lair and the advanced modules were available (after university) we primarily would create longer running adventures for times we could get together, primarily holidays.

We never tried to attach it to some other game system, there seemed no reason to do such a thing.
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Interviewing the Fans #2

I basically used them as stand alone combat games. With the release of the programmed adventures like Death Test, some rpg elements were overlaid, but it was still ultimately a stand-alone system (albeit very enjoyable as that!) for me.

I never played Tollenkar's Lair, and was full into AD&D for a fantasy rpg.

I never used them as substitutes for other game systems.

The solo aspect was key - I had not discovered T&T yet, and enjoyed the ease of playing a game on my own when my AD&D group wasn't meeting.

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Old 06-09-2018, 09:38 PM   #7
Join Date: Dec 2017
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When Melee was recommended to me at the local hobby shop back in '81, the resident gamer handed me Melee and Death Test. Soon after that, I collected the remaining microquests as the store re-stocked them. I was hooked.

My 2 older bros and I would play D&D when we played an RPG. We never used Melee/Wizard as a replacement for combat. When we played TFT, we played TFT. When we played D&D, we played D&D.

However--TFT stuck, while we lost interest in D&D as time went on.

My bros were 7 and 8 years older than me, so most of the year I was a solo gamer playing MicroQuests. Or I was collecting/playing other solo-friendly games (T&T, Barbarian Prince, etc.) And then the golden age of computer games dug its claws into me... Wizardry, Ultima, etc.

But TFT was always the one non-computer game that held my attention in-between sessions on my Apple IIe.
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:49 PM   #8
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Location: Far northern California
Default Re: Interviewing the Fans #2

We pretty much followed Jim Kane's paradigm; used Melee as a standalone game, but when Wizard came out, we made little mini-adventures that used both for combat and followed the generic AD&D "system" for the larger aspects of adventure for a series of one-shots. When ITL came out, we went full TFT for our adventuring fix, and had a blast with each of us running a campaign of our own that all the others played in. It got confusing sometimes, but oh, so much fun!

I've never really enjoyed any Fantasy RPG system as much as I do TFT, though I play a lot of Call of Cthulhu -- frankly, if TFT had some suitable rules (fright checks, sanity, etc.), I'd probably convert Call of Cthulhu over to TFT too! Complicated and complex isn't always better! ;-)
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:27 PM   #9
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Idaho Falls
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My group was deep into a D&D campaign from 1976 until 1980 (Palace of the Vampire Queen)

I had created a small campaign setting of my own to place this game and by 1980 my friends were getting a little bored of the game and my setting (which was a bit to traditional "high fantasy")

I read, but did not run Death Test, and then when The Advanced Wizard, Advanced Melee and The Fantasy Trip books came out I was sort of inspired to create a new setting

The thing I got really charged up about was a city setting where the Player Characters had regular lives, regular responsibilities, but at times they would get together and head off into the "wild" usually to recover some lost person. My new setting involved a lot of stories with university professors going off to some newly found ancient discovery and disappearing, so that the university would have to hire "heroes" to go and find them and bring them back. I ran this trope into the ground but the players never seemed to mind.

We had a regular campaign going for about a year - and then I enlisted in the US Navy - and I could not find people interested in this game to play with

Once I was back home, in 1983, I started up again with the same city but with new adventures.

I never really played one off battles, except by myself.
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:46 PM   #10
Join Date: Dec 2017
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I used it exclusively as an engine for gladiatorial combat 1978-1979 or 80, and since 1980 have used it ~3/4 as a full blown roleplaying game and ~1/4 as a combat engine (stand alone gladiatorial combats, or a series of fights where we track surviving combatants for a while. I've never really pasted TFT in as a combat engine for another game system, though I do have 3 or 4 editions of my house ruled version of TFT, the biggest of which is more like a fantasy heart breaker that has TFT as its core system.

I would say the funnest thing I've done with TFT, just measured by how many howls and laughs happen at table per hour, is to run 'rumbles' of all the group's main roleplaying game PC's. A 'rumble' is an all-against-all fight to the last survivor, in a good sized arena (usually about the size of 2 or 3 Wizard maps, but using a Chessex battle mat). The important point is that all the combatants are the player's long standing PC's, so people actually care what is going on. But, these basically take place as an activity separate from the campaign, so when all but one of the party is dead it doesn't actually mean anything; everyone is automatically revived when we return to 'real' campaign play. the point is just to have some thrills and earn some bragging rights. My group has done this with 1E AD+D, Runequest and TFT. TFT is by far the funnest engine for this sort of game. You learn a lot about tactics in the game when both sides are really trying to win. A lot of the stuff that seems to work when you are playing against the DM's mooks doesn't turn out well when the opponent is trying his or her best.
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