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Old 09-05-2019, 09:19 AM   #1
hcobb's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Pacheco, California
Default Taming the three-eyed snake

Several dice games have the concept of snake eyes, i.e. rolling two dice and getting two ones for a game over.
The TFT version of this is when your party is sweeping aside some fodder and one of the fodder rolls triple damage. If for example this is a broadsword that then does three times seven damage, even 6 hits of defense is still going to leave you on the ground with 15 damage and out of the fight. Here's how to not lose your characters to the three-eyed snake.
  1. Don't let them roll to hit you. Take the enemy out at range and/or by surprise so they never roll to hit. Because if you do let them roll three dice then one time in 216 they'll triple on you.
  2. Use a lesser wish to reroll the hit or to nerf down the damage roll to minimum damage. At 500 XP each this is very expensive, but does the least disruption to your game plan.
  3. Stock up on healing potions. If each of the four party members brings three healing potions along then combined with your Master Physicker that's 15 points of healing. Since any number of healing potions can be used on the dying (ITL 10) this will recover you back to full ST after your budies win the fight.
  4. Play a wizard with Staff V and dagger expertise. The enemy is very very unlikely to roll triple damage on five dice and they need DX 13 to have better than an automatic chance of hitting at all. In return you are zapping them for 1d+2 past armor 95% of the time.
  5. Apply Crippling Hits from ITL 122. Ignore hits (but not fatigue) over the figure's base ST and assume the excess hits went into the lost limb.
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:04 AM   #2
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Taming the three-eyed snake

It seems to me that your #1 (don't let them hit you) is one of the main principles of TFT tactics and gameplay, and there are many ways to reduce enemies' opportunities to do that.

Which makes sense. If Conan had let himself be hit by sword, axes and spears, he'd be dead meat too.

It's one of the main things I love about TFT (and GURPS) combat, and it's also one of the main reasons I am rarely happy with other games (which tend to lack ways to avoid getting hit, being more designed to ensure that most attacks lead to some damage, but don't interfere with the victims getting to attack and do damage back).

If "your party is sweeping aside some fodder" and you're letting someone with a broadsword attack someone other than hired fodder, you probably could have moved more carefully, or you got unlucky in other ways leading up to that.

I can do without #2 through #5.
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:25 AM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2005
Default Re: Taming the three-eyed snake

after #1, I use #3 the most.

Also, get a Fine weapon so that it doesn't break as easily.

Cheaper to buy a Lesser Wish than use XP to get one - but that requires a cost be assigned. Now 1 XP = 1 GP = $10. (ITL 46 and 56) 500 xp = $5000. I definitely do not recommend that cheap a cost BUT it works.
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Old 09-06-2019, 11:04 AM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Re: Taming the three-eyed snake

Crippling hits are a great way to help an underdog overcome a more organised and clever foe through sheer luck.

So I would say, if you want the PCs to live longer, don't use crippling hits.

This thread reminds me, when we were first getting our new group going, I gave the PC party a "luck" item (inspired by GURPS) that let them re-roll once per session. Just to avoid killing their characters and their interest, and to let them explore the game a little without such deadly consequence. They never used it that I recall, conservative bunch always kept it in reserve.
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