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Old 07-15-2018, 06:21 AM   #171
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: New Skills

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Originally Posted by pyratejohn View Post
Where is the balance point between too few skill points and too many?
Are we going for an old school “few skills” feeling? Where skill means your character is REALLY good at that thing? Or do we want the everybody has a bunch of skills situation? Where sometimes characters begin to feel a little “samey” because they all pick a bunch of like skills?
Hi PyrateJohn, everyone.
I've added a lot of new talents, and I assure you that characters in my campaign don't feel 'samey'. But in new TFT, you can't be a pirate AND a thief. Someone with IQ 12 is crazy if they take Horsemanship, that is 1/12 of everything they can ever learn.

That suggests that the sweet spot is on the side of more memory needed.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:24 AM   #172
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: New Skills

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Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
I know I've mentioned this before, but there was a simple fix for this in an old Space Gamer article.

Split attributes into their components: ...

This way, Rick's "Cadfael" character is easily possible without any other rule changes.
Hi Chris, everyone.
I have almost every issue of The Space Gamer (TSG), and I have no memory of that article. Do you happen to know which issue it is in? (If it is too much trouble to find, don't worry about it.) I would love to reread it.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:31 AM   #173
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: New Skills

I’m very opposed to turning TFT into a game where you can create characters who effectively can do everything (or almost everything) well. The fact that this *might* describe certain fantasy characters doesn’t matter to me for several reasons.

First, TFT is not attempting to explicitly model those milieus.

Second, these characters may be “one-in-a-million” characters; designing the rules to allow such characters anytime turns the game into a parody of Monty Haul campaigning.

Third, this type of approach is bad (very bad in my opinion) for gameplay. I’ve found that campaigns tend to work best when each PC can do at least one important thing significantly better than anyone else in the party. Allowing characters who can effectively do everything eliminates this and makes everyone more or less the same. BOOORING. It also robs us of what I consider to be a real TFT strength - players have to make serious tradeoffs.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:11 AM   #174
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: New Skills

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Hi Chris, everyone.
I have almost every issue of The Space Gamer (TSG), and I have no memory of that article. Do you happen to know which issue it is in? (If it is too much trouble to find, don't worry about it.) I would love to reread it.

Warm regards, Rick.
Ok, having spent a couple of hours going through on-line indexes for the Space Gamer, I came up blank. That's because it was actually in issue 15 of Different Worlds, "A Modest Proposal for The Fantasy Trip" by David R. Durham. In my defence, I will say it was a long time ago!
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:17 AM   #175
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: New Skills

I would say the correct number of talents, the number that makes the game feel richer than when originally published but still TFT, is a ~50 % increase. Much more than that and the whole thing starts to get pretty complicated. Fewer and we'll be left wondering what could have been done with a more ambitious new edition. But, I'm not terribly worried about 'bloat'. The fundamental rule that prevents TFT from getting to complex is the limit on how many talents each character can have, not the total number of talents in the game. TFT feels simple because each character typically only has 5 or 6 talents. Increasing the number of talents in the game just increases the diversity of character types, not the complexity of any one character.
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:39 AM   #176
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Memory cost of skills.

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Hi Zot,
You are totally right. The Mouser was impossible in the old TFT, but most TFT campaigns which have lasted 40 years, have ways to give more memory.

I've seen, education attributes, memory = 2x IQ, "Elves get Naturalist, Woodsman, Tracking and Bow for free, only makes sense", everyone gets certain talents for free. I've seen David Seagraves in this Thail campaign give people the ability to buy memory like a sub attribute, On this forum, people have said that they use the rule that every talent fits in one memory slot. If I remember correctly JLV has said that talents in his campaign require zero memory slots, and are bought with experience. I've reduced the price of talents by 1/2 in many cases, and allow 1/2 memory point talents & languages.
Limiting number of talents to IQ seems to be roughly a 50% increase in maximum talents (19 talents for 32 talent points in your Mouser example).

If you think a maximum of double IQ in talent points is the sweet spot, what about this?
  • Starting characters get IQ talent points (as with classic TFT)
  • Characters buy new talents by paying for talent points with XP (as with Steve's new XP rules)
  • Characters can have no more than 2 * IQ talent points, total

This would allow up to double the TFT-classic talent points instead of up to roughly 1 1/2 TFT classic talent points.
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Old 07-15-2018, 10:21 AM   #177
JLV
 
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Location: Far northern California
Default Re: Memory cost of skills.

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
***
I want to write up a Monk detective like Brother Cadfael. He started out as a successful noble military leader but grew sick at the violence and greed, and retired to become a Benedictine monk. With a surprisingly modern view of evidence and criminology, he solves murders. His talents include:

Sword, Fencing, Knife, Shield, Alertness, Priest, Theologian, Language Latin, Language French, Literacy, Gardener, Physicker, Master Physicker, Tracking, Naturalist, Woodsman, Detection of Lies, Scholar (Criminology, Healing/Poisoning Herbs), Chemist.

(I could give him more based on the novels. UC 1, Courtly Graces, & Diplomacy would likely fit.)

Playing a Monk/Detective like this would be fun. I can do it in Matt's TFT campaign, but it is not in the cards for new TFT.
Of course, Brother Cadfael is clearly NOT a starting character -- any more than Sherlock Holmes or Lord Darcy would be. If "memory slots" are still a thing, then no, you couldn't do this. But if we get rid of "memory slots" then you can be anything you want to be (and can get enough experience to become).
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:24 AM   #178
tomc
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Carrboro, NC
Default Re: Price of talents

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Originally Posted by JLV View Post
That's not actually how anyone defined "attribute bloat." That particular problem arose because the ONLY way to create Conan was to create Conan the Nuclear Physicist. The real issue comes when we tie the number of Talents/Spells to the IQ number in some arbitrary fashion. I can easily see keeping certain talents at a higher IQ, since some require more brainpower/will/concentration to learn than others, but saying you can only have X number of talents (where X equals the number of IQ points you have) is the root of the problem, and not how anyone actually learns anything.
Pardon my imprecision re: attribute bloat.

I agree that experience should determine how many talents you can learn, and IQ should limit which talents are available to you. Lots of people are never going to grok calculus, but have mastered enough skills to put their IQ in the upper teens (at least) in the old system.
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:49 AM   #179
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: New Skills

An observation: Limiting talent "slots" to IQ would tend to make it seem optimal to have as many talents as possible be 3's or 2's rather than 1's, which sort of reverses the way they were originally designed.

Slots would also seem to favor taking large chunky talents over ones that come in detailed levels (still mainly UC at this point), but it also discourages knowing a few different weapon talents. (I could learn Tactics and Strategy now, if only I hadn't learned Knife and Shield in addition to Ax/Mace... what?)

A few examples for comparison:

Bob (a farmer - become - man-at-arms - then Mercenary) learns Knife, Crossbow, Ax/Mace, Shield, Literacy, Horsemanship, Swimming, Climbing, Sex Appeal, Running, Farming, and Boating, that is 14 (learning) points in 12 talents (slots), all of which require only IQ 7 or 8. He's quite capable at many things but has no talents requiring IQ 9+, two 2-point talents, and no 3-point talents.

Gary (a combat-focused warrior), learns Sword, Bow, Running, Missile Weapons, Warrior and Veteran. He used 14 (learning) points 6 talents (slots), and the talents required IQ 9.

Emanuel (a scholar), learns Literacy, Scholar, Master Physicker, Chemist, Alchemy. He also used 14 (learning) points in 5 talents (slots), and the talents required IQ 14.

If the proposal is to let EP be spent for talents but only limited to slots equal to IQ, then:

Bob will need IQ 12 to get his talents. He could start with them only if he started with IQ 14. Bob is not allowed to learn any more talents because he is out of slots. (All those varied outdoor proficiencies apparently leave him incapable of learning anything else unless/until he jacks up his IQ.)

Gary only used 6 slots, and the highest required IQ is 9, so he could stay IQ 9, and go on to use EP to learn another 3 talents. If he had IQ 12 like Bob, he could learn 6 more talents (even 2- or 3-pointers).

Emanuel only used 5 slots, and the highest required IQ is 14. He can go on to learn another 9 talents (even 2- or 3-pointers, except there are not many more 3-pointers to learn except spells - if he did learn 9 spells, that would have required IQ 41 in ITL).

This doesn't seem very fair or logical to me.
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:27 PM   #180
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: New Skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by zot View Post
Limiting number of talents to IQ seems to be roughly a 50% increase in maximum talents (19 talents for 32 talent points in your Mouser example).

If you think a maximum of double IQ in talent points is the sweet spot, what about this?
  • Starting characters get IQ talent points (as with classic TFT)
  • Characters buy new talents by paying for talent points with XP (as with Steve's new XP rules)
  • Characters can have no more than 2 * IQ talent points, total

This would allow up to double the TFT-classic talent points instead of up to roughly 1 1/2 TFT classic talent points.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
An observation: Limiting talent "slots" to IQ would tend to make it seem optimal to have as many talents as possible be 3's or 2's rather than 1's, which sort of reverses the way they were originally designed.

Slots would also seem to favor taking large chunky talents over ones that come in detailed levels (still mainly UC at this point), but it also discourages knowing a few different weapon talents. (I could learn Tactics and Strategy now, if only I hadn't learned Knife and Shield in addition to Ax/Mace... what?)

A few examples for comparison:

Bob (a farmer - become - man-at-arms - then Mercenary) learns Knife, Crossbow, Ax/Mace, Shield, Literacy, Horsemanship, Swimming, Climbing, Sex Appeal, Running, Farming, and Boating, that is 14 (learning) points in 12 talents (slots), all of which require only IQ 7 or 8. He's quite capable at many things but has no talents requiring IQ 9+, two 2-point talents, and no 3-point talents.

Gary (a combat-focused warrior), learns Sword, Bow, Running, Missile Weapons, Warrior and Veteran. He used 14 (learning) points 6 talents (slots), and the talents required IQ 9.

Emanuel (a scholar), learns Literacy, Scholar, Master Physicker, Chemist, Alchemy. He also used 14 (learning) points in 5 talents (slots), and the talents required IQ 14.

If the proposal is to let EP be spent for talents but only limited to slots equal to IQ, then:

Bob will need IQ 12 to get his talents. He could start with them only if he started with IQ 14. Bob is not allowed to learn any more talents because he is out of slots. (All those varied outdoor proficiencies apparently leave him incapable of learning anything else unless/until he jacks up his IQ.)

Gary only used 6 slots, and the highest required IQ is 9, so he could stay IQ 9, and go on to use EP to learn another 3 talents. If he had IQ 12 like Bob, he could learn 6 more talents (even 2- or 3-pointers).

Emanuel only used 5 slots, and the highest required IQ is 14. He can go on to learn another 9 talents (even 2- or 3-pointers, except there are not many more 3-pointers to learn except spells - if he did learn 9 spells, that would have required IQ 41 in ITL).

This doesn't seem very fair or logical to me.

What about limiting it to 2x IQ total talent points?
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