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Old 06-13-2018, 08:25 AM   #1
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Capping Attributes for Non-Human Characters

One of the things that bugs me about non-Human character generation in TFT is this: there's nothing really to stop them turning out exactly like humans as far as Attribute scores are concerned. The reason for this is the method used to create them is the usual "starting scores then add points". So although the starting scores may be different the "add points" mechanic means you can effectively ignore the starting scores by adding points.

I had the idea of capping Attributes for different races to give them meaningful limitations. Some examples off the top of my head:

Halflings. Max ST11 (I don't like the idea of them using weapons heavier than a short sword)

Elves. Max ST13 (No heavy 2 handed weapons)

Dwarves. Max DX16 (Not sure about this one yet)

Lizard Men. Max IN13 (no high level spellcasting!)

Giants. They already have their IN and DX capped at 10 so the "capping" precedent has already been set.

What do you guys think?
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:09 AM   #2
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Capping Attributes for Non-Human Characters

This sounds like a good complement to the recent proposal from SJ that human stat totals have a 40 point cap, and resonates with the original rules for giants.

Edit: But... I would tread a bit more lightly here. Hobbits shouldn't have high ST and similar restrictions on giants, lizard men, etc. make sense. But I would not limit elves, dwarves, orcs in the same way. They are quite close to humans in initial stat distribution and identical in stat total. Imposing a restriction like ST 13 max feels too punitive for whatever small advantages they get. And, perhaps too narrow of a description of what they can be. I want my Gil Galad to have ST higher than 13!

Last edited by larsdangly; 06-13-2018 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:11 PM   #3
michaeltaylor
 
Join Date: May 2016
Default Re: Capping Attributes for Non-Human Characters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
Giants. They already have their IN and DX capped at 10 so the "capping" precedent has already been set.

What do you guys think?
Because of that I could support it.

Otherwise I'd feel like it's none of the rules business if we want to play silly, so it doesn't need to be there.
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:42 PM   #4
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Capping Attributes for Non-Human Characters

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Originally Posted by michaeltaylor View Post
Because of that I could support it.

Otherwise I'd feel like it's none of the rules business if we want to play silly, so it doesn't need to be there.
Hey, if you want battleaxe wielding Hobbits in your games who am I to judge! In the system I regard as the precursor to TFT (Tunnels and Trolls) there's nothing to prevent a Halfling becoming as strong as a Balrog. It's all a matter of personal taste.
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:54 PM   #5
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Capping Attributes for Non-Human Characters

All games have to decide how physical reality intrudes into their fantasy game; no one answer to this is 'right', but I would say that once you've made your choice you should try to be consistent. Does falling farther hurt you more than falling a short distance? Do people often die when a piece of metal goes through their head? Can a person lift an oxcart or pin an elephant to the ground? These are all questions that can be answered in several ways, but your collective answers to the whole set of them should at least 'rhyme' with each other. That principle leads me to say that 3' tall, 30-40 pound people can never be as strong as a healthy, athletic 6' tall, 200 pound person. It is just physically ridiculous. Some games treat the physical world ridiculously, but TFT isn't one of them.
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Old 06-13-2018, 02:11 PM   #6
schoon
 
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Oakland, CA, USA
Default Re: Capping Attributes for Non-Human Characters

The simplicity of Fantasy Trip is what attracts me to it.

Want to house rule things in your game - have at it - but I'd prefer the core rules stay as unencumbered as possible.

...but mine is just one opinion.
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Old 06-13-2018, 02:59 PM   #7
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Capping Attributes for Non-Human Characters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
I had the idea of capping Attributes for different races to give them meaningful limitations. Some examples off the top of my head:

Halflings. Max ST11 (I don't like the idea of them using weapons heavier than a short sword)
Personally, I'd leave them as-is, but it isn't unreasonable.

It would, however, eliminate an early and favorite TFT character, the wizardly swordsman Lars et Karn (nee Barlow Hangbelly; he changed his name to sound more wizardly). Lars spent 4 IQ points to learn the sword talent. Eventually, he wound up with ST13 and acquired a silver, +2 damage bastard sword that was as long as he was. Since this wasn't strictly prohibited by the rules, the GM allowed it. Lars/Barlow eventually retired and bought a bar. "Barlows" is a common tavern in my campaign. The sword hangs across the back of the bar. But I digress.

Quote:
Elves. Max ST13 (No heavy 2 handed weapons)
Dwarves. Max DX16 (Not sure about this one yet)
Lizard Men. Max IN13 (no high level spellcasting!)
Giants. They already have their IN and DX capped at 10 so the "capping" precedent has already been set.
The other adjustments are interesting and might represent reasonable penalties for the benefits these races get. However, they also depend on a specific interpretation of what an "Elf" or "Dwarf" is. Limiting DX for dwarves is tricky because dwarves stereotypically wear heavy armor. Limiting their DX might make them less likely to choose heavy armor.

I am troubled by the fact that some of the non-human races get significant advantages, yet pay no extra cost for them. In my campaigns, I compensated humans with better gear or more money at start. Not an ideal solution though.

This may have been addressed to some degree in the new chargen system.

Halflings get a +3 DX bonus with thrown/missile weapons *and* a +1 damage. They start with 2 less attribute points, though. If they pay the same for extra attributes as humans and if they are limited to 38 points total, I can live with that. I'm not sure that I'd let halflings also get the full benefit of missile weapons and thrown weapons talents, though. And hopefully, the Mark 2D Tactical Nuclear Boomerangs have been eliminated.

Elves get a +2 movement, which is pretty useful in a tactical game like TFT. The -3 DX against crawly things slightly offsets that, but wasn't worth much in my campaigns.

Dwarves get a +1 damage with hafted weapons and can carry twice the weight.

I think that the halfling's special abilities are probably worth 2 attribute points.

The elf's movement bonus is worth *something* but maybe not a whole attribute point. If you think it is worth 1 attribute point, then make elves start with 31 attribute points instead of 32. If the extra 2 movement isn't worth one point, you can eliminate the crawly things DX penalty, and maybe give a +1 to hit with bows. Surely that's worth a point?

Dwarves could have their MA reduced by 2 (short legs). I wouldn't let their MA be reduced below 6 however. That seems like a fair trade for the +1 damage. If you disagree, give them a +1 dmg with hafted weapons. It's tempting to reduce their DX bonus for wearing armor, but that's incredibly potent. Moreso, with the new limits on total attribute levels.

Many, many moons ago, I said <bleep it> and ran a campaign where starting Elves and Dwarves were clearly superior to humans, but only earned 1/2 XP.

So an Elf might start with ST8 DX12 IQ10 and 6 additional points (36 points). He gets a +1 damage and +1 DX to hit with bows, and a +1 when casting illusion or charm type spells.

A Dwarf might start with ST12 DX8 IQ8 and have 7 additional points (35 points). He gets a +1 damage and +1 DX to hit with hafted weapons, and suffers a DX penalty of -4 when wearing half plate, -5 when wearing plate and -3 when wearing fine plate. Dwarves cannot use tower shields however. (I suppose a dwarf version of the tower shield is plausible, but hey, I was rolling). Dwarves can carry twice the normal load per ITL.

This solution is suboptimal unless you're planning to run a long campaign, and the players believe it. In my experience, players are simple creatures who respond to immediate rewards. When *everyone* was an Elf or Dwarf, I knew I needed to do more work.
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Old 06-13-2018, 03:53 PM   #8
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: Capping Attributes for Non-Human Characters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
One of the things that bugs me about non-Human character generation in TFT is this: there's nothing really to stop them turning out exactly like humans as far as Attribute scores are concerned. ...
I had the idea of capping Attributes for different races to give them meaningful limitations. Some examples off the top of my head:

Halflings. Max ST11 (I don't like the idea of them using weapons heavier than a short sword) ...

What do you guys think?
Hi Everyone, Chris.
I think that this is a fine idea. I prefer if the different races feel and play differently from each other.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:38 PM   #9
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Capping Attributes for Non-Human Characters

I like interesting racial differences.

I think a list of suggested maximums would make sense, but I think these limits feel low to me. The 40-point limit in the new EP system would already add a kind of limit, but much higher.

I like more the idea of "shifting" the new EP system's cost table using the racial offsets.

So if raising to ST 12 costs a human 500 EP, that's what it costs to raise a Dwarf to ST 14, or an Elf to ST 10, or a halfling to ST 8. So if applied that way, a Hobbit COULD get to ST 14, but the rise from 13 to 14 would cost the same as a human's rise from 17 to 18 (under the current new system's EP table, 2000 EP).
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Old 06-19-2018, 03:16 AM   #10
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Capping Attributes for Non-Human Characters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I like interesting racial differences.

I think a list of suggested maximums would make sense, but I think these limits feel low to me. The 40-point limit in the new EP system would already add a kind of limit, but much higher.

I like more the idea of "shifting" the new EP system's cost table using the racial offsets.

So if raising to ST 12 costs a human 500 EP, that's what it costs to raise a Dwarf to ST 14, or an Elf to ST 10, or a halfling to ST 8. So if applied that way, a Hobbit COULD get to ST 14, but the rise from 13 to 14 would cost the same as a human's rise from 17 to 18 (under the current new system's EP table, 2000 EP).
I can see that as a sensible option. For me it doesn't work because I don't use EP which was why I decided on the cap. Thanks to all for your input.
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