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Old 01-04-2018, 06:40 PM   #81
Carnifex
 
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

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Originally Posted by Dave Crowell View Post
My primary experience of a game with seperate attack and parry was Stormbringer and combats between well matched, skilled opponents could drag on in an endless dance of Attack-hit, Parry-blocked (or Dodge-miss), lather, rinse, repeat until finally someone landed a critical hit and it was game over for one of the fighters. Realistic, maybe, but it made for boring game play after a while.
This is what I am afraid of. Those types of scenarios might make for funny scenes in movies, but make for really boring and frustrating games.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:15 PM   #82
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This is what I am afraid of. Those types of scenarios might make for funny scenes in movies, but make for really boring and frustrating games.
That's a reasonable fear and would definitely happen if a parry were added as a sort of automatic thing you get to do without any attendant penalty. There are several game systems where this is what happens when highly skilled and well matched combatants run into each other.

This does not happen in the rules set I described on p. 4 or 5 of this thread for a simple reason: You pay a 1d penalty for every extra action you attempt, and you can trade that penalty for either better defense (say, a parry as well as your attack) or for more offense (say, an attack with an off handed weapon, or two cuts with a balanced weapon, etc.).

Consider 2 combatants who each have adjusted DX of 18 and a sword and buckler:

If each simply delivers a single normal attack (the normal TFT rules) they are nearly assured a successful hit and will do each other 6 pts of damage per turn (on average). This will happen until one of them runs out of ST and dies - probably on the 2nd or 3rd turn.

If each performs one attack and one parry per turn, they will each be rolling 4d for every action and still have pretty good chances of succeeding at both attack and parry every turn, and on average will do each other 2 pts. of damage per turn. The fight will last roughly 5-6 turns, depending on who has more or less luck on the rolls to-hit, to-parry and for damage.

Say one of the combatants decides to be more aggressive, doing 2 attacks and 1 parry, while the opponent fights just as vigorously, but does 1 attack and 2 parries. Both will now be rolling 5 dice for every action, failing half of the rolls. It is anyone's fight, but on average the aggressor will land an unparried attack once every other turn whereas the defensive fighter has a chance of catching each attack but only hits his aggressive foe with an unparried attack every 4th turn. Nevertheless, luck will figure heavily, and the fight will probably last only 3-4 turns.

If fighting defensively against a equally skilled aggressive foe is a losing proposition (which should be true, by the way, so our verisimilitude is working here!), then perhaps both will fight with great energy and aggressively: 2 attacks and 1 parry each. Now they will be landing fewer than 1 unparried blows per turn, but not by much - the fight will be quite unpredictable because each roll will fail half the time, but it is sure to end within 2-3 turns.

Other combinations of DX, gear and strategy will differ in detail, but the only way a deadlock ensues is if neither combatant attacks the other, or if no one has a weapon that can get through the other's armor. I'm o.k. with that.
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:19 PM   #83
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

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The strength of TFT is that it came out of a pair of super well engineered board games, and when it was translated into a roleplaying game it didn't fundamentally change. That should remain the core idea behind any revisions that happen over the next year or three.
So much gold in your posts, but really wanted to give this, in particular, a thumbs up. I truly believe that TFT (including Melee and Wizard alone) needs only a light polish and updated presentation. There's a reason it remains so fondly remembered and still played to this day. It is easy to learn, makes sense and plays fast and fun. It relies more on the players than extensive rules to bring role playing to the table, to whatever degree they're comfortable. All it really needs to broaden its audience is to be back in print.
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:51 PM   #84
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I truly believe that TFT (including Melee and Wizard alone) needs only a light polish and updated presentation. There's a reason it remains so fondly remembered and still played to this day. It is easy to learn, makes sense and plays fast and fun. It relies more on the players than extensive rules to bring role playing to the table, to whatever degree they're comfortable. All it really needs to broaden its audience is to be back in print.
This is a perfect summation of why the news that TFT might come back in print is so exciting to me.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:44 AM   #85
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Yup. TFT is an easy-to-learn, fun game. Please keep it that way!
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:37 AM   #86
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Indeed! I'm sure most of the ideas us would-be creators/authors post are fine as house rules but terrible suggestions for the published game.

In that spirit, here are some things a responsible editor would suggest, in the way of actually simplifying and streamlining the original:

1) Perhaps the most awkward element of the original game concerns modifiers to die rolls: Perhaps 2/3 to 3/4 of all such instances call for a reduction or bonus to the controlling attribute, and the remainder call for an increase or decrease in the number of dice rolled. Thus, there are two different mechanics in play, and a very large number of modifiers to keep track of. A better design would condense these into a smaller number of more coarsely 'chunky' modifiers. My advice would be to use a modification to the number of dice rolled for any modifier larger than 2, keep the attribute modifiers only for circumstances that lead to small modifiers (1 or 2), with the only exception being the armor and shield DX penalties (because the power balance in the game depends significantly on the trade off between protection and DX penalty). A very large number of modifying factors (lack of a talent; attacking from the rear; attacking in HTH; casting spells in HTH; etc.) would be reduced to a much simpler rule: add or subtract a die from the pool you roll. I would also recommend doing the same thing with ranges of thrown and missile weapons, making coarse range 'bands' where you roll 3d, 4d, 5d, etc. All of this will simplify learning, the volume of rules on the page, and speed play.

2) Simply remove the condensed combat rules from the back of Advanced Melee. They are not really significantly simpler than the standard rules and I doubt ever get used.

3) At least 3-4 different versions of the experience rules are distributed across ITL, the GM screen and the various original small-format game booklets. Whatever you think is the right answer about XP costs for various things, condense it into a single rule.

4) Remove the random character creation from ITL; I don't think anyone uses it, and it is sort of unsatisfactory even in principle because it doesn't represent the full range of talents and spells and so forth.

5) The optional character 'personality' trait rules are a difficult case - the idea is under developed and I suspect rarely or never used. On the other hand, it is kind of a cool idea and might add a lot to the game with only modest changes/elaborations. So this is a case where you should fish or cut bait: remove it entirely (or relegate it to a zine' article), or reformulate it as an official part of the rules that actually has some practical consequences (influencing rolls, situational attribute bonuses, etc. - something beyond just color commentary on your character).

I'm sure one could think of other editorial pruning, but these are a good start!
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Old 01-05-2018, 12:26 PM   #87
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As a counter point, the first european fencing manual we have is the i.33 instruction for unarmored fencing with an arming sword and buckler. It was written right around 1300, and was probably intended as a training book filled with advanced techniques for people who basically understood how to attack with a sword. There are many techniques in this book, but if you were to abstract its over arching principles it is that you should fight in such a way that your opponent's weapon is always in your control when the two of you are in range of one another, and that this should be accomplished in a waltz-like '1-2-3' series of steps: first your sword contacts and controls your opponent's blade, then you replace your sword with your buckler as the primary point of control/suppression of your opponent's blade, then you strike with your now-free blade. In situations where you are in a guard, attacking or making that initial sword-to-sword contact, your buckler should always be very closely adjacent to your sword hand, effectively acting as a kind of complex guard for the sword.
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Old 01-05-2018, 12:29 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Charles G. View Post
YES - especially to No. 1, and 3-5. I vastly prefer "chunky" (i.e. + or - one or more dice) modifiers to attacks, talent checks, etc. Having endless +/- 1's, 2's etc. to DX or whatever gets messy. It's fine within certain limits, and has its place, but I like to be able to add or subtract dice as well.

#2 is where I mostly, but not completely, agree. Basically I would keep the streamlined rule about having all attacks conducted simultaneously, rather than in strict DX order. Following the full up rules takes a lot of added time, and is in fact /less/ realistic. In real fights a person can be mortally wounded, but still stay alive long enough to kill their opponent. I'll explain in more detail later, but it is a real "thing" and while the original rules seem to be more in line with "reality", the truth is they aren't.
If I were folding in advice for significant additions with this list above, I would say that the 'simplified combat' section should be re-written to provide a super-fast-playing skirmish combat system suitable for fights with a dozen or more participants. This would bring something new to the system that would make it more flexible and adaptable to a wider range of situations. What I would do is effectively like the role Chainmail played in earliest edition D+D.
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Old 01-05-2018, 02:32 PM   #89
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post

1) Perhaps the most awkward element of the original game concerns modifiers to die rolls: Perhaps 2/3 to 3/4 of all such instances call for a reduction or bonus to the controlling attribute, and the remainder call for an increase or decrease in the number of dice rolled. Thus, there are two different mechanics in play, and a very large number of modifiers to keep track of. A better design would condense these into a smaller number of more coarsely 'chunky' modifiers. My advice would be to use a modification to the number of dice rolled for any modifier larger than 2, keep the attribute modifiers only for circumstances that lead to small modifiers (1 or 2), with the only exception being the armor and shield DX penalties (because the power balance in the game depends significantly on the trade off between protection and DX penalty). A very large number of modifying factors (lack of a talent; attacking from the rear; attacking in HTH; casting spells in HTH; etc.) would be reduced to a much simpler rule: add or subtract a die from the pool you roll. I would also recommend doing the same thing with ranges of thrown and missile weapons, making coarse range 'bands' where you roll 3d, 4d, 5d, etc. All of this will simplify learning, the volume of rules on the page, and speed play.
I'm not going to completely agree with this -- one of the things that adds to the spirit of the game is the attribute adjustments. I can see figuring out a simpler way to describe applying these things, but coarsening the results would actually subtract from the game IMHO. Having both rules clearly gives the FM a broad palette of effects that he can choose from in order to better define specific effects for his traps, monsters, spells, etc., when he creates new ones. Flexibility, as we say in the USAF, is the key to Air Power -- and it's equally the key to good game mastering.

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2) Simply remove the condensed combat rules from the back of Advanced Melee. They are not really significantly simpler than the standard rules and I doubt ever get used.
I agree here -- the combat rules already ARE simplified! What I'd like to see in it's place is better mounted combat rules (including for fliers) and/or mass combat rules.

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3) At least 3-4 different versions of the experience rules are distributed across ITL, the GM screen and the various original small-format game booklets. Whatever you think is the right answer about XP costs for various things, condense it into a single rule.
Agree here -- and if, at the same time, you can solve Attribute Bloat, well, YAY!

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4) Remove the random character creation from ITL; I don't think anyone uses it, and it is sort of unsatisfactory even in principle because it doesn't represent the full range of talents and spells and so forth.
I totally disagree here. I use those rules as an FM all the time to add variety to NPCs.

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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
5) The optional character 'personality' trait rules are a difficult case - the idea is under developed and I suspect rarely or never used. On the other hand, it is kind of a cool idea and might add a lot to the game with only modest changes/elaborations. So this is a case where you should fish or cut bait: remove it entirely (or relegate it to a zine' article), or reformulate it as an official part of the rules that actually has some practical consequences (influencing rolls, situational attribute bonuses, etc. - something beyond just color commentary on your character).
Again, I want these to remain -- not only do they help beginning players get a handle on how to role-play their characters, but again, as an FM, I use these tables all the time to flesh out NPCs. I would like to see them MORE developed, not cut...
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Old 01-05-2018, 02:33 PM   #90
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Pendragon's opposed roll combat mechanic is clearly intended to be abstract rather than some sort of blow by blow simulation, but it is ironically closer than any of the 'attack/parry' game systems to the real dynamic of the longsword, arming sword and messer techniques from the 14th and 15th century manuals.
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