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Old 03-12-2018, 10:09 AM   #21
Jackal
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: New England
Default Re: priest and theologian

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Originally Posted by rwforest View Post
I just want to put in a vote for leaving Priest and Theologian as is. The D&D Cleric is a very D&D invention ...
All good points. But a counter-argument occurred to me this weekend.

I am in the closed Alpha test of the new version of WOW. As I was testing out the latest changes, I was bummed that there weren't enough people on to group for an instance.

And of course, in MMORPGs, a group = Holy Trintiy: tank, healer, DPS.

Thing is, there's a ton of MMORPG players. They're all used to the Holy Trinity in some form or another.

Would TFT be an easier sell if it also had the Holy Trinity?
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:29 PM   #22
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Default Re: priest and theologian

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Originally Posted by rwforest View Post
I just want to put in a vote for leaving Priest and Theologian as is. ...It's part of what gives TFT its own feel.
Oh, I agree; I wasn't suggesting that they be added to TFT. I was simply musing about a clerical magic system that's consistent with the "No Active Gods" theme of TFT. As noted, the powers I listed could be magic. Or they could be placebo/hypnosis.
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:49 PM   #23
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Default Re: priest and theologian

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Originally Posted by Jackal View Post
All good points. But a counter-argument occurred to me this weekend.

I am in the closed Alpha test of the new version of WOW. As I was testing out the latest changes, I was bummed that there weren't enough people on to group for an instance.

And of course, in MMORPGs, a group = Holy Trintiy: tank, healer, DPS.

Thing is, there's a ton of MMORPG players. They're all used to the Holy Trinity in some form or another.

Would TFT be an easier sell if it also had the Holy Trinity?
Well, you can get the Holy Trinity in TFT with the physicker and master physicker talents. The ability to heal 3 points of damage (30% of an average human's ST) per fight is pretty nice.

A favorite in one of my campaigns was the legendary Doctor Jack. He had Physicker, Master Physicker and a number of other non-combat talents. He was mostly useless in combat. He did have the Guns talent and used an arquebus. However, it took 4 turns to set up (and the player rolled an unlikely number of misfires), so its effect was mostly negligible, with a few memorable exceptions.

A starting party could have a "healer" type like this - ST10, DX11 IQ 11; Literacy(1), Physicker (2), Shield (1), Axe/Mace (2) or Sword (2), with 5 more points of talents. (He'd get Master Physicker (3) by adding 3 points of IQ, so no talent points have to be saved up).

The 5 points of other talents could create several archetypes:

For a priest or friar - Priest (2); Charisma (2); Recognize Value (1)

For a member of a medieval fighting order: Take Sword instead of Axe/Mace. Add Horsemanship (1), Pole Weapons (2), Thrown Weapons (2) or Bow (2) or Priest (2), if particularly devoted.

For a druid-type character: Naturalist (2); Tracking (1); Woodsman (1); delete Literacy and add Animal Handler (2).

Last edited by tbeard1999; 03-12-2018 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 03-12-2018, 06:43 PM   #24
Jackal
 
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Default Re: priest and theologian

@tbeard1999: I like those archetypes. Thanks for posting that.

But I think keeping heals to just P+MP talents will limit the long-term viability of TFT.

Perhaps our games were excessive. But we found that adding 3 ST to each figure (which is effectively what P+MP does) didn't make much of dent in damage.

We did add some additional talents to augment P+MP: they upped the ST +5 all told. Better, but still problematic.

It wasn't until we broke down and added full-on healing that the dungeon crawls could really start. The situations a party can face are just too limited otherwise -- or at least that's what we found.

Now granted, we were balancing encounters from a D&D perspective: having a Cleric throwing Heal Light/Serious/Critical/etc Wounds pretty much whenever we needed it meant our combats were over the top, perhaps.

But I suspect that younger players coming from MMORPGs or combat-heavy games like 4e or Pathfinder may expect to play the same sorts of scenarios. And if that's the case, P+MP ain't gonna cut it at all.

I would also note that P+MP doesn't scale with level. So our toons get squishier just as we get more attached -- not a good balance for longevity, me thinks.

Thoughts?

Last edited by Jackal; 03-12-2018 at 06:44 PM. Reason: speeling
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:12 AM   #25
JLV
 
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Default Re: priest and theologian

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Originally Posted by Jackal View Post
@tbeard1999: I like those archetypes. Thanks for posting that.

But I think keeping heals to just P+MP talents will limit the long-term viability of TFT.

Perhaps our games were excessive. But we found that adding 3 ST to each figure (which is effectively what P+MP does) didn't make much of dent in damage.

We did add some additional talents to augment P+MP: they upped the ST +5 all told. Better, but still problematic.

It wasn't until we broke down and added full-on healing that the dungeon crawls could really start. The situations a party can face are just too limited otherwise -- or at least that's what we found.

Now granted, we were balancing encounters from a D&D perspective: having a Cleric throwing Heal Light/Serious/Critical/etc Wounds pretty much whenever we needed it meant our combats were over the top, perhaps.

But I suspect that younger players coming from MMORPGs or combat-heavy games like 4e or Pathfinder may expect to play the same sorts of scenarios. And if that's the case, P+MP ain't gonna cut it at all.

I would also note that P+MP doesn't scale with level. So our toons get squishier just as we get more attached -- not a good balance for longevity, me thinks.

Thoughts?
You know, that's a pretty good point, and one which I and others made a couple of months ago on these threads.

Under the rules as written, dungeon crawls are pretty much a non-event (unless the dungeon has racks of healing potions in various rooms scattered throughout the place), because basically you wind up getting wounded pretty badly in fairly short order and have to disengage and return to town for a few weeks of leisurely healing. By the time you come back, at least some of the rooms you "cleared" previously have been reoccupied, perhaps had new traps set up and old ones re-set, maybe even had some new construction in the form of new walls or doors put up. In short, you would NEVER be able to clear a dungeon like Castle Greyhawk or Rappan Athuk under TFT rules -- at least not with a "normal" party of say, six to eight PCs (unless attribute bloat had had several hundred hours of play to rear its hoary head). The only way it could be done with even "mid-level" characters (say 40 attribute points or so) would be to just keep feeding characters by the hundreds into the meatgrinder non-stop in a steady war of attrition...

I sincerely hope that Steve comes up with some clever way to help "fix" this; healing spells will help, but honestly not as much as in other games, because the caster needs to then rest up for a while to "recharge" his fatigue. So even with them, "dungeon crawling" will become more like "dungeon peristalsis;" with frequent stops and starts, given the overall greater lethality of TFT as compared to say, D&D...
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:08 AM   #26
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: priest and theologian

Moved to new thread.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 03-13-2018 at 03:30 PM. Reason: Moved to a new thread.
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:26 AM   #27
Jim Kane
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Default Re: priest and theologian

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
My campaigns had a *lot* of healing potions (and I allowed them to heal 1d6 ST). Perhaps not realistic, but what are you gonna do?
Agreed.

Sounds like what might help would be a re-evaluation of the overall scale of the opposition-force in play, as to the play-ability within the labyrinth in question; or if already in-game, an "on-the-fly magical tweaking" in favor of the players, to help level the field towards a more reasonable degree of toughness in the opinion of the GM.

On the other hand, when players (in general) are not paying attention to the fact that they have traveled too deeply down into the labyrinth by the signs and clues around them, or, they are not taking the gravity of their injuries into consideration for what they actually represent (assuming the labyrinth is properly scaled)... well, I guess it's lunchtime for the Trolls.

"I'll have that heavily injured fighter, you know, the one with -3DX due to being at ST-3 who is about to come down the shaft into the fourth-level,... and ah,... medium-rare, if you please."

Oh well. "Ya pays your money, Ya takes your chances."

As far as your abundant potions are concerned, provided your players don't figure out that you are "carrying them" through the adventure enough to escape back to the surface and safety - if it turns out the labyrinth-design is unbalanced too heavily against the players at all levels of the labyrinth - why not!

I guess that's why, over all others, I personally still like the OD&D term of: Referee and/or Judge. It always helped me - as the person presenting the labyrinth and running the game - to always think: BALANCE; and kept my head squarely in an overview perspective as the "official with the whistle", acting BETWEEN the players and the monsters (i.e. all non-PC's be they human, inhuman, or beast).

Last edited by Jim Kane; 03-13-2018 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:27 AM   #28
malloyd
 
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Default Re: priest and theologian

While I never tried in in TFT, one thing I have done in other games where I didn't want to add straight out clerical magic was to make whatever "useless" trait was required for priesthood equivalent to whatever trait was used for mundane healing but without the requirement of gear (e.g. you pray over the injured and lay hands on the wound and you can get the equivalent of First Aid without needing to have any bandages on you).

It's a sufficient benefit within the theme of what players tend to expect of fantasy clerics to make it at least marginally worthwhile, without actually forcing actively interventionist gods into the setting, and adapts easily enough to some different ability should you have gods around for whom healing isn't really appropriate.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:37 AM   #29
Jackal
 
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Default Re: priest and theologian

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Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
As far as your abundant potions are concerned, provided your players don't figure out that you are "carrying them" through the adventure, why not!
That's exactly the problem tho, isn't it? Stuffing a room full of potions removes player agency. Healing spells *add* player agency. As a player, I never wanted to be "carried" thru the dungeon: I wanted to beat it myself.

Healing spells also add player choice. You don't have to be a healer. You don't have to be a Physicker. But giving players the option of either is a win.

So why bother being a Physicker when you can just be a healer? Because you get more bang for the buck. Heal spells are expensive to cast and expensive to learn. And they take time to learn and money to learn if you don't take them at start. Physicker/Master Physicker are cheap in comparison: cheap to learn (at start) and free to use.

A game with healing spells requires more fine-tuning, yes. It drove a lot of the design decisions behind the house rules that eventually evolved into a full TFT OSR.

But in the end, I think it was worth it: more player agency, more player choice and more player play-time resulted in a funner game.

Cheers!
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:45 AM   #30
Jackal
 
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Default Re: priest and theologian

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
While I never tried in in TFT, one thing I have done in other games where I didn't want to add straight out clerical magic was to make whatever "useless" trait was required for priesthood equivalent to whatever trait was used for mundane healing but without the requirement of gear (e.g. you pray over the injured and lay hands on the wound and you can get the equivalent of First Aid without needing to have any bandages on you).

It's a sufficient benefit within the theme of what players tend to expect of fantasy clerics to make it at least marginally worthwhile, without actually forcing actively interventionist gods into the setting, and adapts easily enough to some different ability should you have gods around for whom healing isn't really appropriate.
Good points. One of the DCC RPG innovations I love was Joe Goodman's insight that ALL magic is supernatural. Making a distinction between "Gods" as sources or some "magical field theory" or "mana" or whatever is arbitrary. Magic is fickle in DCC RPG, and so are the Gods & Demons the grant magical power!

re: "Useless trait", we ended up splitting out 6 attributes, one of which was a pre-req for all healing spells. It forced players to sub-specialize, and allowed us to decouple the magic system as a whole from ST.
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