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Old 01-10-2018, 08:01 AM   #261
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Regarding classes and classless systems, Iíd add that I consider TFT to be functionally classless. The Hero vs. Wizards distinction could be replaced by making a Wizard talent that would let wizards buy spells a lot cheaper, but itís a much easier and cleaner solution to have the Wizard and Hero distinction.

This is a good thing in my opinion. I think that mechanics and systems should be selected because they work. I donít mind harmonized systems, but I donít think thereís that much virtue in harmonization in and of itself. Thatís why I donít object to 5 levels of Unarmed Combat, when most other weapon talents have 1 or 2 levels. Yes, itís inconsistent with the treatment of other weapon talents. Yes, it works (in my opinion). And no, I donít care about the inconsistency. (Not trying to reignite the debate on Unarmed Combat; just using it as an example).

That may be one of the qualities of Old School gaming - use whatever it takes to get it done. And yes, needless inconsistency can, at some point, be a bad thing.
As you say, the system is functionally classless, so I decided to make it completely so. This was, in large part, because I was introducing a third character type - the Devoted, and rather than create a third set of distinctions seperare from attributes/talents, I decided to put everything into the talent system. This for me was much simpler.

Whether it's simpler to distinguish between characters beyond Attributes and Talents, as presently happens, is debatable. I also don't agree with your idea that "whatever it takes to get the job done" is acceptable. That's what happened with Dungeons and Dragons - a huge morass of inconsistent rules, and why I moved on to something much more logical like TFT.

I do agree however, that the unarmed combat talents always worked for us, and I see no reason to change them. I don't think anyone got beyond UCIII in any case.
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:22 AM   #262
Charles G.
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

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Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
Whether it's simpler to distinguish between characters beyond Attributes and Talents, as presently happens, is debatable. I also don't agree with your idea that "whatever it takes to get the job done" is acceptable. That's what happened with Dungeons and Dragons - a huge morass of inconsistent rules, and why I moved on to something much more logical like TFT.
My point exactly, which is what I've been trying to beat through to Ty. I must not be using a heavy enough crowbar...

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Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
I do agree however, that the unarmed combat talents always worked for us, and I see no reason to change them. I don't think anyone got beyond UCIII in any case.
Well, actually, they didn't, if no one got past UC III... Admittedly, cramming everything into two talents is a bit much, I suppose. Though a three talent progression could probably do it, like this:

(IQ 9) UNARMED COMBAT I (2). Basic martial arts knowledge, similar to wrestling, boxing, krav maga, judo, karate, la savate, etc. DX 13 or better is required. A figure with this skill does one extra hit of damage whenever he fights with bare hands in either HTH or regular combat. You also have the ability to "shield-rush" without a shield - you throw your foe, knocking him down. Use the shield-rush rules.

Notes: combines current UC I and most of UC II and adds mention of other related martial arts systems. Biggest change is elimination of requirement to be unarmored or only in cloth armor - these low level techniques can in fact be executed in full plate.

IQ 12 TALENTS
UNARMED COMBAT II (2). An intermediate level of ability. Prerequisite: U.C. I and a DX of 14 or better. Like U.C. I, except that you do two extra hits of damage in any bare-handed combat and can knock a foe down as described under U.C. II. Because of his great skill, his opponent must make a 5-die roll vs. DX to avoid falling (4 dice if the opponent has more than twice the ST he does). A figure with this talent may attempt to "throw" any foe whose ST is less than 3 times his own. He can also choose the "defend" option bare-handed.

Notes: Combines rest of UC II with most of UC III. Again, these techniques can be executed while in armor.

UNARMED COMBAT III (3). Prerequisite: U.C. II., DX of 15 or better. A figure with this ability is a master of martial arts. He does 3 extra hits of damage when he strikes with bare hands, and has a natural "eyes-behind" (like the spell) at all times. His side hexes count as front hexes, and his rear hex counts as a side hex. If he takes the "defend" option bare-handed, you must roll FIVE dice to hit him. If the figure with U.C. III is either unarmored, or wearing cloth or mail AND has an adjDX of 15+ and MA of 10+, the attacker must roll FOUR dice to hit this figure in normal combat - FIVE if he is dodging, and SIX if he is defending. Additionally, if unburdened as previously described, the figure with U.C. III strikes an armed foe and does more than 3 hits of damage, that foe is hit on a nerve and automatically drops his weapon.

Notes: Combines the rest of the UC abilities, though the true highest level is not attained (i.e. six dice to hit if dodging, seven if defending, which seemed gratuitous to me). Some of the techniques that involve real agility do require one to be un- or lightly armoured. I included chain mail since that is really quite flexible if fitted (plate is pretty good, actually, but there are some things you just can't do), but with the caveat that one is either strong enough to avoid penalty or has very lightweight form of it (i.e. a "Mythril" hauberk or perhaps using partial armor rules). Note that all the main elements of the UC talents are present here - I've changed relatively little of that. All that's really changed is to make them a bit less irrational and unrealistic and more accessible.
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:35 AM   #263
Charles G.
 
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

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Originally Posted by JLV View Post
I think we are verging on establishing "classes" of character here, and while I'll happily tolerate (and even indulge in a little) heresy, this is outright blasphemy! ;-) To me, one of the big selling points of TFT, simplicity wise, was not having to deal with all those nitpicky "class" capabilities and special rule exceptions!
You are misreading me *badly* here - I am not proposing classes for TFT. Please reread the earlier posts between Ty and myself to get the proper understanding of what is really being discussed. Your interpretation is wrong and takes my post utterly and completely out of context.

Here is what Ty said that got us going in this (perceived) direction, which was in reference to the UC talents:

Quote:
Well, again, I think that the objective was to provide an analogue for the AD&D Monk class.
So Ty is the one who got the ball rolling - he wanted "Monks" for lack of a better model to cite. My counterpoint was simply that only this character type, and Wizards, can really advance to "High levels" of power through talents. Fighting men types (human tanks, etc.) cannot since the talents don't let them. I can know how to use a variety of weapons, reduce damage with Warrior/Veteran, etc., but can't do much else talent wise to gain ability, even though in the real world there are high levels of skill involved in the use of poll axes, war hammers, etc. None of that is reflected in TFT, but ought to be, particularly if you are going to deify Oriental martial arts to goofy degrees.

I understand how you got to the conclusion you came to, but you're seriously misunderstanding this. Thx.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:22 AM   #264
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

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Originally Posted by Charles G. View Post
Y...particularly if you are going to deify Oriental martial arts to goofy degrees.

I understand how you got to the conclusion you came to, but you're seriously misunderstanding this. Thx.
Heh. I like "deify Oriental martial arts". We sorta did that a lot in the 70s and early 80s, didn't we?

I think you also agreed that it might be acceptable to add expert and master level weapon talents in lieu of nerfing Unarmed Combat. That would be my preference.

As an alternative, perhaps an explicit comment that GMs should feel free to eliminate Unarmed Combat 3+ talents if they don't want Bruce Lee style characters. UC 1 and 2 make decent general purpose brawling talents. I would, however, either reduce them to IQ 8 talents or provide IQ 8 Fisticuff or Brawling talent(s) that would allow a figure to do 1-2 extra points of damage.
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:07 PM   #265
JLV
 
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

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Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
Note that Dragons was my gateway to a "full TFT"...
I had played melee, but couldn't find wizard, nor ITL. I got AM, AW, and the 1981 FMC because I found Dragons of Underearth, and saw it as an RPG

You're angry that it covered the same material - but for me, it was the gateway to the rest of the game, and the only RPG rules chunk I had access to.
See, I found TFT in fall of 1983, courtesy of a friend, and then went looking. The Book Cache (Anchorage, AK) had Melee, Dragons, and several solos; later they got wizard. But none of the "full sized books" - for those, I had to make my way (3 busses) to Spenard Hobby, but first I had to know they existed.

I didn't find ITL until about Spring 1987.
Well, not angry. Just disappointed! But yeah, circumstances DO make a difference. I was fortunate enough to have a couple of good hobby stores close by, back in those days (in El Paso, Texas), and got them all as they came out (mostly because I'd stumbled across Ogre and Stellar Conquest at one of them and thus learned about both Metagaming -- who did have some excellent games -- and microgames all at the same time!
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:24 PM   #266
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default TFT - Highly skilled characters.

Hi all,
I am totally charmed that TFT is coming back! Great work Steve!

When I was playing TFT long ago I was reading the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories by Fritz Lieber, and they had two swords, "Grey Wand" and "Scalpel". I assumed that they were awesome weapons. Fine +2 Damage, & + 1 DX. Super magics too! +2 Charm for sure. Then I read that the blades were broken several times and the heroes always replaced them with similar blades.

This blew my mind! F. & the G.M. were awesome not because they had kick ass blades, but because THEY were good.

I tried to think how TFT would handle that and nothing really came to mind. Other than just getting more and more DX, how did great swordsmen distinguish themselves from OK ones?

I decided then that I would add a bunch more talents to TFT, which would allow more specialization for heroes. More thief talents so great thieves could distinguish themselves from OK ones. More fighting talents. More ranger type talents. etc.

This also had the added benefit that high attribute heroes were better balanced with high attribute wizards.

So #1 on my wish list for new TFT, is more talents - especially some awesome ones which are hard to get.

Warm regards, Rick.

Last edited by Rick_Smith; 01-10-2018 at 12:40 PM. Reason: Fixed Grammar
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:27 PM   #267
JLV
 
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Location: Far northern California
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
As you say, the system is functionally classless, so I decided to make it completely so. This was, in large part, because I was introducing a third character type - the Devoted, and rather than create a third set of distinctions seperare from attributes/talents, I decided to put everything into the talent system. This for me was much simpler.

Whether it's simpler to distinguish between characters beyond Attributes and Talents, as presently happens, is debatable. I also don't agree with your idea that "whatever it takes to get the job done" is acceptable. That's what happened with Dungeons and Dragons - a huge morass of inconsistent rules, and why I moved on to something much more logical like TFT.

I do agree however, that the unarmed combat talents always worked for us, and I see no reason to change them. I don't think anyone got beyond UCIII in any case.
I tried a different, but essentially similar approach. I analyzed the Talents list and came to the conclusion that there were "talents," in the sense of things people are born with, and either have or don't have (things like better hearing or sight, innate toughness and resistance to disease, and yes, basic "charisma"); and "skills" which were trainable/teachable abilities. Among those things in the "talents" category, I thought (based on the way it was described in the game) was magic talent. So that's the way I broke it out. "Talents" -- the inborn things -- you took at creation, Humans and Orcs could take up to two of them, while the other normal player species (elves, dwarves, etc.) only got to take one, because their unique characteristics equated to an extra talent in my opinion (the "talent" of being an Elf with the advantages an Elf is given). Among those talents was the capability to use magic. Once you selected your talents, that was it, that was all she wrote. These talents conferred small, but useful advantages in things like "perception rolls," or healing rolls or resistance rolls to poisons/diseases, or whatever. Skills, you could learn normally (IQ levels, all that other stuff -- which later was morphed by me somewhat by letting players buy skills with XP separately from Attributes. ("Warrior" and "Veteran" were sort of the odd men out, but they worked fine the way they were, so no tinkering...though I had a "toughness" talent that was like a milder form of warrior...)

You'll note a couple of things here -- one, I moved to what was essentially the GURPS advantages/disadvantages system, except I only provided a very limited number of "advantages" (the Talents) that players could take, and no disadvantages. You had to pick and choose. And they didn't change for the rest of the character's life. One of those talents was what GURPS called "Magery" (and what I, in a spurt of sheer poetic imagination, called "magic using ability"), which meant that fighters could take two "useful" talents, but Wizards only got one -- and the ability to use magic, which might be the best one of all. And anyone could learn skills, but Wizards were at the usual disadvantages (the talent of magery forced their minds into different channels and it was hard to cross-over and learn things that other people found relatively easy to learn).

And I did all of this before I found GURPS (I was out of the gaming world at large for a number of years, thanks to being stationed in Berlin doing shift-work during the Cold War, followed almost immediately by numerous multi-month deployments to vacation spots like Panama, Saudi Arabia, and the jungles of Honduras, for various wars and other assorted foolishness -- which really limited my ability and time available for gaming of any kind; so I kind of missed GURPS, and most other new games, until about 1993 or so).

Last edited by JLV; 01-10-2018 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:37 PM   #268
Steve Jackson
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The topic "Ogre Archaeology" contains some mention of recovered TFT stuff, too.
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:56 PM   #269
JLV
 
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

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Originally Posted by Charles G. View Post
You are misreading me *badly* here - I am not proposing classes for TFT. Please reread the earlier posts between Ty and myself to get the proper understanding of what is really being discussed. Your interpretation is wrong and takes my post utterly and completely out of context.
Ummm...this turns out not to be the case. What I wrote was pretty clearly intended as a joke. I understood your comments perfectly.

Last edited by JLV; 01-10-2018 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:34 PM   #270
JLV
 
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The topic "Ogre Archaeology" contains some mention of recovered TFT stuff, too.
It is way cool that you found the original Ogre material still more or less intact. That's a huge boon to us Ogre players out here -- I really look forward to seeing it.

I shudder to think of the loss of TFT material...that would have been fascinating to see. Still, I wonder how much the beginning concepts in the magic notes you mentioned changed as you playtested the games...
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