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Old 07-01-2019, 12:23 PM   #21
MikMod
 
Join Date: May 2019
Default Re: Starting with a Mana Staff?

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
By the time they both advance through play experience to, say:
ST 13 DX 12 IQ 11 Ax/Mace, Shield, Ax Expert/Master,
both will have had to add 4 attribute points (for 700 XP), but Mr. Normal would need to spend 1500 more XP than Mr BeginnerExpert (total 700 vs. 2200, i.e. Mr. Normal needs enough XP that he could instead get to about 38 attribute points to get here).
That is true, however, if we use the Adding-One-IQ-Also-Gives-You-500xp-For-Talents rule, then that is totally fixed, and maybe Mr Normal will actually get there first?

I do understand the feeling that it is somehow short-cutting the development process you want to see your characters going through. :/

Are you planning on limiting starting spells as well?
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Old 07-01-2019, 12:31 PM   #22
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Starting with a Mana Staff?

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I can see several reasons to not allow starting PCs to start with Expert/Master weapon talents, and perhaps other combat-aiding talents.

1) It feels thematically off to me. What is a beginning fighter who's not as good as other beginners in terms of ST & DX, has had no adventures, and before being a master would not be a good fighter at all, but is already a master? How did that happen, and why did it only happen to the not-so-capable beginning fighters?

2) I want Expert and Master combat talents to represent people who have exceptional levels of experience and training. That doesn't match typical starting characters, or 32-point characters, or fighters with ST + DX totaling 20 or less. If people want to start as exceptionally trained weapon experts/masters, then I'd want those PCs to have appropriate backgrounds and higher attributes, too. In short, I think the listed requirements are too low and should probably include years of exceptional experience and training, like Captain and Strategist do.

3) For a game where PCs start as 32-point beginners, I want Expert and Master combat talents to be challenging goals that can be earned through much successful play. Something to strive for and to reward survival of the combat experiences that are what develop a superior fighter.

4) Using the Legacy experience/talent-learning system RAW, it's a bypass of what otherwise would be the need to spend 500 XP of actual play experience per talent point. i.e. In addition to my reason 3, if a PC starts with these talents by taking enough IQ and getting it for no XP, they avoid spending XP on the talent and so can just jack up their combat attributes, which is a big XP advantage of doing it this way that seems backwards and like an exploit to me.

Compare:

Mr. Normal Starting Warrior
ST 13 DX 11 IQ 8 Ax/Mace, Shield

Mr. BeginnerExpert
ST 9 DX DX 12 IQ 11 Ax/Mace, Shield, Ax Expert/Master

By the time they both advance through play experience to, say:
ST 13 DX 12 IQ 11 Ax/Mace, Shield, Ax Expert/Master,
both will have had to add 4 attribute points (for 700 XP), but Mr. Normal would need to spend 1500 more XP than Mr BeginnerExpert (total 700 vs. 2200, i.e. Mr. Normal needs enough XP that he could instead get to about 38 attribute points to get here).
Blades & Black Magic addresses exactly these issues:
  1. Starting characters cannot have expert skills
  2. Each starting character has the same number of skill points

But TFT (both original and Legacy) explicitly allows different characters to start with different amounts of talent points and has no restrictions about starting characters taking talents with prerequisites.

This sounds to me like TFT actually doesn't fit your concept of the rarity of expertise (but B&BM does). TFT does, however, support the concept of the cloistered warrior, trained from birth, who starts out as an expert, and that's a trope just as well-trodden as the know-nothing village kid who has to learn everything the hard way.

You could say that TFT supports both but given the simulation results, it seems to favor the experts.
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:24 PM   #23
Shoug
 
Join Date: May 2019
Default Re: Starting with a Mana Staff?

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Originally Posted by Tywyll View Post
If I used the Staff Mana rule, I would allow players to trade attribute points, not talent points, for the xp they need to buy mana. It's punitive, but I don't think starting talent points are = to 500 xp. Maybe if you played that starting talents were unlinked to IQ, but as is, I think the disconnect between starting IQ granting talents but later IQ not creates a weird disconnect.
I give every character 8 talent points at chargen and then give them a massive discount on talent points until their talents equal their IQ.
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:17 PM   #24
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Starting with a Mana Staff?

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Originally Posted by MikMod View Post
That is true, however, if we use the Adding-One-IQ-Also-Gives-You-500xp-For-Talents rule, then that is totally fixed, and maybe Mr Normal will actually get there first?
Yes, that does correct that one issue completely.

And yeah, I'd kind of expect Mr Normal to be a better fighter with better life expectancy than the Hatchet expert.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MikMod View Post
Are you planning on limiting starting spells as well?
No, as I would not use the RAW "500 XP is the only way to learn a spell" thing, and I have never experienced high IQ starting wizards to actually be an issue unless they team up with a bunch of people willing to cast Aid on them.

What I do usually do (unless I am running a more by-the-book game) is edit what spells are known and available and in what versions, how they work exactly, etc.
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:44 PM   #25
MikMod
 
Join Date: May 2019
Default Re: Starting with a Mana Staff?

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
What I do usually do (unless I am running a more by-the-book game) is edit what spells are known and available and in what versions, how they work exactly, etc.
Like Regeneration might not be available? Or Summon Lesser Demon.
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:55 PM   #26
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Starting with a Mana Staff?

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Originally Posted by MikMod View Post
Like Regeneration might not be available? Or Summon Lesser Demon.
Yes. Very much like no one knows of any Regeneration spell, at least not where the PCs start out.

And summoning demons have alternative mechanics, stats, personalities, limits, etc.
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Old 07-02-2019, 03:57 AM   #27
Tywyll
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Re: Starting with a Mana Staff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I can see several reasons to not allow starting PCs to start with Expert/Master weapon talents, and perhaps other combat-aiding talents.

1) It feels thematically off to me. What is a beginning fighter who's not as good as other beginners in terms of ST & DX, has had no adventures, and before being a master would not be a good fighter at all, but is already a master? How did that happen, and why did it only happen to the not-so-capable beginning fighters?
TFT pcs aren't beginners. An average human is 30 points. All TFT characters have experience under their belt compared to the masses of people in the world.

Also, Olympic athletes are the best in their fields and they are rarely over 20 (depending on the sport). You are looking at someone who dedicated themselves to fighting from a young age, that's all the talent represents. The Talent is not that much superior to skill without it, despite its name.

Quote:
2) I want Expert and Master combat talents to represent people who have exceptional levels of experience and training. That doesn't match typical starting characters, or 32-point characters, or fighters with ST + DX totaling 20 or less. If people want to start as exceptionally trained weapon experts/masters, then I'd want those PCs to have appropriate backgrounds and higher attributes, too. In short, I think the listed requirements are too low and should probably include years of exceptional experience and training, like Captain and Strategist do.
But a) the talent doesn't represent that and b) people in the real world do have exceptional experience and training, often at a young age. This is no more strange than a starting wizard.

Quote:
3) For a game where PCs start as 32-point beginners, I want Expert and Master combat talents to be challenging goals that can be earned through much successful play. Something to strive for and to reward survival of the combat experiences that are what develop a superior fighter.
Again, not beginners. Master is effectively unattainable (I mean you could buy it but your build wouldn't survive combat). Expert isn't that powerful. If you want something for them to strive for, make new talents that further their abilities.

Quote:
4) Using the Legacy experience/talent-learning system RAW, it's a bypass of what otherwise would be the need to spend 500 XP of actual play experience per talent point. i.e. In addition to my reason 3, if a PC starts with these talents by taking enough IQ and getting it for no XP, they avoid spending XP on the talent and so can just jack up their combat attributes, which is a big XP advantage of doing it this way that seems backwards and like an exploit to me.
Yeah, and? That's the system. That's the benefit of investing into IQ at the start of character creation instead of making an IQ8 Normal as you have below. If that incentive isn't there, then why bother? Your rule basically says, don't invest in IQ, I won't make it worthwhile for you.

Do you limit wizards to IQ 8 spells? Your argument equally applies to them.

Quote:
Compare:

Mr. Normal Starting Warrior
ST 13 DX 11 IQ 8 Ax/Mace, Shield

Mr. BeginnerExpert
ST 9 DX DX 12 IQ 11 Ax/Mace, Shield, Ax Expert/Master

By the time they both advance through play experience to, say:
ST 13 DX 12 IQ 11 Ax/Mace, Shield, Ax Expert/Master,
both will have had to add 4 attribute points (for 700 XP), but Mr. Normal would need to spend 1500 more XP than Mr BeginnerExpert (total 700 vs. 2200, i.e. Mr. Normal needs enough XP that he could instead get to about 38 attribute points to get here).
A) Mr. Expert can be killed by a single hit from a broadsword, Mr. Normal can survive it. Pros and Cons to each build.

B) Mr. Expert needs to spend that 1500xp to buy talents he couldn't afford as well, they just don't impact combat. The xp still has to be spent.

C) Mr. Expert does +1 damage with his ax/mace, which doesn't come near to equalling mr. Normal. He inflicts a -1 to be hit (which is good) but that just brings Normal down to 50% to hit him, a hit which will likely end his career. he can also inflict a shrewd blow (if he's lucky enough to get behind an opponent or attack one that is knocked over). In essence...wheeee? I mean, is that so powerful you have to hide it behind a gate?

And again, everything you are saying applies even more to wizards. Do you penalize them equally?
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Old 07-02-2019, 11:28 AM   #28
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Starting with a Mana Staff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tywyll View Post
TFT pcs aren't beginners. An average human is 30 points. All TFT characters have experience under their belt compared to the masses of people in the world.
I usually interpret starting characters as just having somewhat more-adventurer-relevant gifts and orientations compared to average people, though sure, some could have some experience to start with.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tywyll View Post
Also, Olympic athletes are the best in their fields and they are rarely over 20 (depending on the sport).
That's true... but I wouldn't tend to call Olympic athletes 32-point starting TFT characters.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tywyll View Post
But a) the talent doesn't represent that
In games where you're the GM, ok.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tywyll View Post
and b) people in the real world do have exceptional experience and training, often at a young age. This is no more strange than a starting wizard.
Sure, but again, that's not what I think a typical 32-point starting character is. They're just somewhat above-average.

Now, I can stretch that and say ok to an occasional character concept that is stretching to get Sword Expert, but:

a) it's a weird person with an unusual background who despite being below-average ST and the minimum DX 12 needed for weapon expertise, is somehow a very well-trained weapon expert despite having been a below-average fighter otherwise.

b) if the game is using the RAW talent-learning rules, is essentially getting a 1500 XP head start and hoping the GM will let his PC not face difficult enough combat situations to survive long enough to be given enough XP (probably for roleplaying well and avoiding getting killed) to capitalize on it.


If I WERE running a game where the starting PCs were supposed to be the equivalent of Olympic fencers, then I would allow Expert and Master weapon talents, but they would also start with more than 32 points!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tywyll View Post
Master is effectively unattainable (I mean you could buy it but your build wouldn't survive combat).
Actually I think Master is one point away from being possible for even any of the low-ST races (thankfully).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tywyll View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg
4) Using the Legacy experience/talent-learning system RAW, it's a bypass of what otherwise would be the need to spend 500 XP of actual play experience per talent point. i.e. In addition to my reason 3, if a PC starts with these talents by taking enough IQ and getting it for no XP, they avoid spending XP on the talent and so can just jack up their combat attributes, which is a big XP advantage of doing it this way that seems backwards and like an exploit to me.
Yeah, and? That's the system.
It's the new system, which I see as problematic in various ways I have explained here and elsewhere many times.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tywyll View Post
That's the benefit of investing into IQ at the start of character creation instead of making an IQ8 Normal as you have below. If that incentive isn't there, then why bother? Your rule basically says, don't invest in IQ, I won't make it worthwhile for you.
No, the new massive 500 XP advantage per IQ point is not needed to give reasons to put some points in IQ. The effects of many talents themselves provide reasons to do that.

The new extra 500 XP per point incentive seems to me a little-if-at-all-considered side-effect of the new way to learn talents, whose stated purpose was to give something for PCs to consider spending XP on instead of attributes when attributes start getting really expensive. That's why the value is so out-of-whack for closer-to-average characters.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tywyll View Post
Do you limit wizards to IQ 8 spells? Your argument equally applies to them.
No I don't.

The argument about taking advantage of high IQ to save massive amounts on spell learning costs does apply equal to them, and does seem to me nearly-equally problematic for wizards.

But as for the topic of disallowing expert combat talents to beginners, it does not apply, because my argument is that it is inappropriate in terms of what I think those talents represent and what starting characters represent. Wizards represent people who are focused on magic, and to me even a ST 8 DX 8 IQ 16 starting wizard just represents a very learning-focused wizard who has neglected their physical aspects and their spellcasting skill. (i.e. They are not thematically inappropriate, but if using the RAW spell-learning system, they are ridiculously advantaged if they survive and get given XP to get their DX up.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tywyll View Post
B) Mr. Expert needs to spend that 1500xp to buy talents he couldn't afford as well, they just don't impact combat. The xp still has to be spent.
Both characters are fighters, so no Mr. BeginnerExpert doesn't need to spend any XP on non-combat talents. In fact he starts with enough IQ to have various other good high-IQ non-combat talents and also start a weapon expert, while Mr. Normal is limited to crappy IQ 8 talents and will also need to shell out 500 XP for anything IQ 9 or higher.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tywyll View Post
C) Mr. Expert does +1 damage with his ax/mace, which doesn't come near to equalling mr. Normal. He inflicts a -1 to be hit (which is good) but that just brings Normal down to 50% to hit him, a hit which will likely end his career. he can also inflict a shrewd blow (if he's lucky enough to get behind an opponent or attack one that is knocked over). In essence...wheeee? I mean, is that so powerful you have to hide it behind a gate?
Yes I already mentioned the same thing. Yeah, he's not a very effective fighter when he starts out. My objection is about what he supposedly represents, not that he starts out with a practical advantage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tywyll View Post
And again, everything you are saying applies even more to wizards. Do you penalize them equally?
Again, only in terms of changing the system for learning talents and spells so it doesn't give a huge XP advantage to starting with high IQ.

Otherwise I would only restrict spells if there were some reason to, such as the spell was supposed to require some particular experience or training or source to learn that a beginner would not have access to. Sometimes I do do that, particularly when I have charted out which groups know and teach which spells in the campaign world. In which case, if a beginning wizard's background would not have given them access to such learning, then yes, those spells would be unavailable.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:35 AM   #29
Tywyll
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Re: Starting with a Mana Staff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I usually interpret starting characters as just having somewhat more-adventurer-relevant gifts and orientations compared to average people, though sure, some could have some experience to start with.
That's just one interpretation. Regardless, they are not 'beginners'.


Quote:
That's true... but I wouldn't tend to call Olympic athletes 32-point starting TFT characters.
Really depends on the sport.

Quote:
Sure, but again, that's not what I think a typical 32-point starting character is. They're just somewhat above-average.
So being an expert at something isn't outside the realm of imagination. They aren't a master.

Quote:
Now, I can stretch that and say ok to an occasional character concept that is stretching to get Sword Expert, but:

a) it's a weird person with an unusual background who despite being below-average ST and the minimum DX 12 needed for weapon expertise, is somehow a very well-trained weapon expert despite having been a below-average fighter otherwise.
Being an expert fencer is 'weird'? I don't think so. Certainly not weirder than someone who can summon a bear from thin air.

Quote:
b) if the game is using the RAW talent-learning rules, is essentially getting a 1500 XP head start and hoping the GM will let his PC not face difficult enough combat situations to survive long enough to be given enough XP (probably for roleplaying well and avoiding getting killed) to capitalize on it.
Well, in part, that would be their choice to take that risk. Also, those 1500 theoretical xp couldn't in any way improve their concept (fighter), so instead you are forcing them to buy outside their concept? I mean, what if they wanted to start with a spell?


Quote:
It's the new system, which I see as problematic in various ways I have explained here and elsewhere many times.
Oh, I agree. Which is why I don't use it.

Quote:
No, the new massive 500 XP advantage per IQ point is not needed to give reasons to put some points in IQ. The effects of many talents themselves provide reasons to do that.
There is no reason if your concept is be the best fighter I can be. You are prioritizing attributes and forcing the players too as well.

Quote:
The new extra 500 XP per point incentive seems to me a little-if-at-all-considered side-effect of the new way to learn talents, whose stated purpose was to give something for PCs to consider spending XP on instead of attributes when attributes start getting really expensive. That's why the value is so out-of-whack for closer-to-average characters.
Sure, sure. So ignore it? Give free talents with increased IQ like the old days? Use a different xp system?

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No I don't.
Check. Wizards can be special however they want, but forget it if you want to be special and mundane.

Quote:
The argument about taking advantage of high IQ to save massive amounts on spell learning costs does apply equal to them, and does seem to me nearly-equally problematic for wizards.
so why not levy similar penalties?

Quote:
But as for the topic of disallowing expert combat talents to beginners,
Not beginners

Quote:
it does not apply, because my argument is that it is inappropriate in terms of what I think those talents represent and what starting characters represent. Wizards represent people who are focused on magic, and to me even a ST 8 DX 8 IQ 16 starting wizard just represents a very learning-focused wizard who has neglected their physical aspects and their spellcasting skill. (i.e. They are not thematically inappropriate, but if using the RAW spell-learning system, they are ridiculously advantaged if they survive and get given XP to get their DX up.)
There is nothing thematically inappropriate about a fighter being good at fighting.

Quote:
Both characters are fighters, so no Mr. BeginnerExpert doesn't need to spend any XP on non-combat talents. In fact he starts with enough IQ to have various other good high-IQ non-combat talents and also start a weapon expert, while Mr. Normal is limited to crappy IQ 8 talents and will also need to shell out 500 XP for anything IQ 9 or higher.
Yes, but he's bought all he can buy (short of increasing IQ) that makes him a better fighter. So at that point he either rounds out his character or he starts the arduous climb to master. It's still a journey. Mr. Normal just...survives? Doesn't die from a single hit. Starts hitting the books I guess?

Quote:
Yes I already mentioned the same thing. Yeah, he's not a very effective fighter when he starts out. My objection is about what he supposedly represents, not that he starts out with a practical advantage.
So is it really just the term? Is it calling it 'Expert' and 'Master' that bother you? Did you have a similar problem with Fencer in the old days?

Rename the talent if what you think it represents bothers you. Call it Weapon Focus and call master weapon expert. Boom, problem solved.

Quote:
Again, only in terms of changing the system for learning talents and spells so it doesn't give a huge XP advantage to starting with high IQ.
Then what is the advantage of starting with a high IQ as a FIGHTER character? None from what I can see.
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:42 AM   #30
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Starting with a Mana Staff?

Apologies for my part in utterly going off topic in this thread.

The last few posts now cover about a dozen topics, none of which are "Starting with a Mana Staff?" at all.

There are now multiple back and forth posts covering several topics each. I don't mind continuing to discuss them, but I feel like I've posted my positions twice here already. If you're interested in going into more detail on any of them, I think they should be broken out into their own threads rather than trying to have a dozen off-topic back-and-forth discussions at once.
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