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Old 09-08-2018, 09:39 AM   #201
Nils_Lindeberg
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: Experience Points

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Bofinger View Post
Two things bother me about Nils' idea:
  1. I don't like ruling out unarmoured insane barbarian characters (i.e. making them simply inferior to armoured ones) because unarmoured insane barbarians are fun. But: if you are going to have a system like this:
  2. From ST 8 to ST 13/16 or so, increasing ST causes an increase in damage. From ST 16 to ST 25 or so, increasing ST causes an improvement in defence. That feels gamey to me: why would it switch from one to the other? As an alternative, interleave the offensive and defensive benefits. Even if that means some weapons are available at higher ST than they are in canon TFT.
Ok new suggestion:
For Exceptional ST, that is ST above 13. You can chose one of these advantages per extra ST. That way each GM and player can chose their own version of what Great ST should be.

(These are only useful for 1-h fighters):
Shield Wielding*: 1 less shield penalty.
Sword and Board*: Mighty Blow but only with 1-h weapons.
Monkey Grip: Lower ST, 2-handed weapon, can be used in one hand. -1DX for being unwieldy.

At ST above 16 you can chose from this table as well.

(These are useful for all):
Toughness*: +1/2 Armor. Round down.
Ignore Armor*: 1 less armor penalty.
Mighty Blow*: 1 more damage if the weapon is made for it. Otherwise +1/2. Round down.
Great Constitution*: +2 vs. Disease, poison and biology attacks.
Hardy*: +2 vs. Exhaustion and endurance tests.
Broad Shoulders*: 2 Less MA penalty from armor.
Roll with it: 12 damage before knockdown. 8 damage before -2DX.
Long Stride: +2 MA.
Power Jump: Can jump over a 1-hex enemy if they charged him.
Strong Man: Throw big objects, break objects with you hand, etc. -1 die versus such tests. +2 damage with such attacks.
Whirlwind attack: Sweeping Blow in side hexes.
etc.
(* can be chosen multiple times.)

This way both 1-h fighters and 2-handed fighters can benefit from higher ST than 13 and 16 in a way that fits their style.

I could see a similar table for exceptional IQ above 16. With "great feats of IQ" Like Photographic Memory, Exceptional Beauty, Common Sense (GM helps you to play a genius by giving warnings), Back Up Plan (Retcon certain minor things or add things to a story with a flash back), Fast Learner (learn new talents in less time, but same XP requirement) and other similar neutral advantages that doesn't really need to be learned as a talent but shows off exceptional abilities. But the best would be to increase the talents all the way up to 20, just like wizard spells.


Another solution would be to give Great IQ characters some talent points as a bonus. So if you invest in IQ above 14, you get better at some old talents when your IQ increases, and you learn some new talents as well, say 2 bonus talent points per IQ above 14, but you don't get access to any new talents. The balance of this would be that you sacrifice some of your few precious attribute increases instead of just spending XP to get talents. Now you get a compensation for that. Otherwise we will never see a Hero with higher IQ than 14, ever.

Feats of Great DX is not as important since there already are a lot of ways to trade DX around for other advantages. I would like to see a few more though, like better rules for Aimed attacks and maybe some sort of bypassing armor or expertiseless poor man's Shrewd attacks. Otherwise armor stacking might be a problem.
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Old 09-08-2018, 01:14 PM   #202
Nils_Lindeberg
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Armor efficiency -Wall of Text-

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Originally Posted by warhorse11h View Post
Could this work. It seems that a consensus is that the armor penalties are too severe. There is no consensus on a solution. A talent is an idea for some, but others indicate it is not difficult enough to learn to wear armor and the loss of movement is not too severe for lighter forms of armor.

Would it be possible for a fighter, as he advances, to purchase a bonus for his armor/shield familiarity, reducing the DX penalty for his armor/shield by 1. The cost would be equal to a talent with a value of (1). Allow him to purchase a second and greater level of armor familiarity with experience point cost as a talent of (2). This would reduce the armor/shield DX penalty by 2. And a third would allow him to purchase a third level of familiarity at a cost equal to a talent of (3) and reduce the armor/shield DX penalty by 3. The maximum penalty reduction would be 3, each higher level replacing the former.

Set a minimum ST requirement for each level of this familiarity, say ST 12 for the first, ST 16 for the second and ST 20 for the third.

And provide one last requirement, you have to wear armor and/or carry a shield the whole time. You can't become familiar with anything by looking at it, you have to do it.
I am pretty sure the consensus is a little bit wrong here. Armor penalties are not too high over all. In my sim armor builds do quite well.

At 40p level the top 20 builds (out of a total of 380 builds) have 5.35 points of armor on average. 6 plate builds, 2 Chain builds, 3 leather, 3 cloth and 6 No armor.

At 36p level the top 20 builds (out of a total of 336 builds) have 3,9 points of armor on average. 0 plate builds (2 in the top 30), 1 Chain builds (number 21 and 22 were both chain builds), 4 leather, 4 cloth and 11 No armor. At this level Shields are preferred over armor that lower MA.

At 32p level the top 20 builds (out of a total of 162 builds) have 2.0 points of armor on average. 0 plate builds (1 half-plate and 2 plate builds at 60, but still with a better than 50/50 win rate), 0 Chain builds (first one comes at number 40), 2 leather (3 in the top 30), 6 cloth and 14 No armor. 7 out of those top builds were Pole Arm builds and they prefer Cloth as a maximum for MA purposes.

Over all the armor balancing is almost spot on. The cost of armor is either about 1 to 1.5 less damage from swinging a one handed weapon instead of a two handed one. But you get a bonus of 1 for your shield, so that pretty much evens out. Especially since you have Shield Expertise that cost you very little if you already have the IQ for it because you have Expertise with you main weapon and after that you are ahead.

Armor with the new changes, so they are are 1 for 1 all the way up to plate are also spot on. The whole trick is to get your bell curve adjDX to a reasonable number. And you use armor to adjust that. Armor for a DX 10 character is usually bad. But if you have a DX of 14, armor is a very good investment, at least until you bring your adjDX down to about 12. If your DX is 16 it is a super investment, since you will lose very little for that first point of DX that goes to armor.

This is not my opinion it is from the simulation. The results made me reevaluate the worth of armor a lot. I used to think that armor sucked as well. But my sim only handles one vs one. In a battle situation where we have five PC vs. one bad guy, armor do suck. The well armored guy will be attacked last, and his armor will not absorb much in the fight. But in the reverse situation with 3 PC vs 15 weak minions, your armor will be a game winner three times over. And in a campaign setting with a physicker and healing per wound (common home brew rule), armor makes the physicker many times more effective. With out that rule, he will still be a lot better, but not astoundingly better.

The only bad thing with armor is that if everyone go 9/13(8)/10 with double expertise they do about 1+1 damage and have adjDX vs each other of 6 and 7 points of armor and can't hurt each other unless they crit. The battles will be very looong. We are talking 30+ turns easily. So people will resort to Shrewd attacks with adjDX of 1, hope for auto hits and crits instead.

Armor stacking on the other hand might be a problem. It will not get better by allowing people to buy it cheaper. The solution would be that all 5 point hits give 1 non lethal damage, if all of the normal damage was absorbed. Or an aimed attack that by-passes some or all of the armor like dagger marksmanship, etc. Then you could jump a tin can, get them into HTH so their shield is out of play and start aiming for their weak spots.

One more thing. The worth of armor is not linear. You need a certain amount to get the most out of it. Your adjDX is the big difference of course. But the opponents average and max damage is another bell curve. Going from 5 to 7 armor in the example above is a huge difference when the max damage is 1+1(7).

But one point of armor against a Great Sword wielder is hardly noticeable if you have ST 9. 11.5 damage versus 1 armor gives you about a 10% increase in survival, but since most hits will take you out anyways it is almost of no use.

But 1 more point of armor when you go from 8 to 9 armor will make a huge difference. Now the average great sword hit do 2.5 instead of 3.5 which is a 25% improvement. If you pay with adjDX in the 10 to 11 range every point cost you about 20% effectiveness (62.5% down to 50% hit chance).

But in order to reach 8 or 9 armor you probably already have an abysmal adjDX around 8. And so the cost is higher, about a 33% loss of effectiveness (30% down to 20% hit chance). So against a Great Sword wielder, armor is usually not a winning strategy. Better to attack first, hit and try to do 5 or 8 hits and hope the great sword never connects.

If we still have a high adjDX around 14 (high attribute characters) and go down to 13 we lose less than 10% effectiveness (91% down to 84%). And still gain a 25% increase in survivability. All of sudden it is worth it.

So even against a Great Sword wielder we can find a tipping point where armor might be a good trade-off. Against dagger wielders, Cloth and an expertise tower shield will shut them down.

But I am not against the idea to have a talent that can shift IQ and XP into a more defensive build. But I don't feel it is needed because armor is inherently weak, but I like build options, so as long as the talent is balanced it might be a good idea. Armor is sliiightly weaker in a one on one arena fights if the opposition is unknown. But as a dungeon delver build they are very competitive. I am not too fond of the lower MA from armor though. It goes out side the normal balance equation and it comes in at certain levels a little haphazardly making Leather and Chain a lot worse.

And Running is not enough to counter it. Maybe a "running in heavy armor"-talent? That costs a lot (probably 3), reduces armor penalty with 1 and also reduce MA penalties by 2. Maybe at IQ 11 or 12 so there is something for pure fighters between Expertise and Mastery levels. Two weapon fighting is a little weak and not for everyone. (Builds come in at 50-55% win rate. Not really viable. -2 or -3 on second attack maybe? Or parry for 3 damage, since we now have Shield Expertise.)

I would rather have nice rules for custom fit armor that are costly but gives 1 less adjDX that would give the cheaper base cost armors Leather and Chainmail a little boost to compensate for taking a hit on MA.

As for your suggestion for talent prereqs. I like them. I just disagreed that armor is undervalued. I thought so to, but not anymore. :-) We need something for Great ST. Be it chosen feats, talents or a table with set bonuses or a general rule of oversized weapons or damage bonuses.

Last edited by Nils_Lindeberg; 09-08-2018 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 09-10-2018, 12:50 PM   #203
brettd
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Default Re: Experience Points

I agree that armor is not prohibitive to use as is. If people had more armor then a lot of lighter weapons would become effectively worthless. A big part of the charm of TFT is that such a broad spectrum of choices are workable. We don't want extremely strong characters walking through hordes of goblins like they're driving through a no-touch carwash.
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:25 PM   #204
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Experience Points

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Originally Posted by brettd View Post
I agree that armor is not prohibitive to use as is. If people had more armor then a lot of lighter weapons would become effectively worthless. A big part of the charm of TFT is that such a broad spectrum of choices are workable. We don't want extremely strong characters walking through hordes of goblins like they're driving through a no-touch carwash.
Agreed. In general, heavier armor translated to better battlefield performance historically. (A few exceptions, such as the French at Crecy' and Agincourt can be explained by bad tactics and terrain). But fantasy literature (and artwork) is filled with depictions of lightly armored or unarmored warriors.

TFT might be "unrealistic"* in that it gives some incentives to not wear armor, but it's more faithful to the genre in my opinion. Without the DX penalties, *everyone* would wear the heaviest armor they could, ala D&D.


*Or not, since Steve stated that Melee reflects his own experience in the SCA.
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:33 PM   #205
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Experience Points

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Without the DX penalties, *everyone* would wear the heaviest armor they could, ala D&D.
Except that they don't, in my many years of experience with GURPS, where the only DX penalties for armor are -1 for un-tailored plate limbs, and -1 for a fully-visored helm. They don't because of the encumbrance and (mainly) its effects on your movement, your ability to dodge and retreat effectively, and (if the optional rule is used) how quickly you can stand up after falling.

I expect if you lowered or removed the DX penalty for armor in TFT, but kept the encumbrance and MA effects (and possibly added a minor bonus to be hit), that the balance and behavior would not be nearly as upset as you expect (except maybe more people would wear cloth and leather than go au naturale).
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:38 PM   #206
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Experience Points

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Except that they don't, in my many years of experience with GURPS, where the only DX penalties for armor are -1 for un-tailored plate limbs, and -1 for a fully-visored helm. They don't because of the encumbrance and (mainly) its effects on your movement, your ability to dodge and retreat effectively, and (if the optional rule is used) how quickly you can stand up after falling.

I expect if you lowered or removed the DX penalty for armor in TFT, but kept the encumbrance and MA effects (and possibly added a minor bonus to be hit), that the balance and behavior would not be nearly as upset as you expect (except maybe more people would wear cloth and leather than go au naturale).
For what it's worth, my players tended to gripe about the DX penalty; I can't ever recall anyone griping about the movement penalty. I certainly never considered it. If heavy armor is realistically expensive, this could reduce usage as well. (The TFT price of $500 seems for plate armor seems awfully low to me.)

Interesting idea to allow opponents a "to hit" bonus, though.
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:44 PM   #207
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Experience Points

MA is decisive in situations where you need to catch enemies who are smart enough to run when outmatched, or who use tactics that deny engagement using MA, or where you're smart enough to do the same, or need to flee someone. It's possible to not realize that, though.

The reduction do dodging & retreating is nicely baked in to GURPS 4e. It also works well in the combat system used by Illwinter's Dominions series of computer games, which is great & accidentally somewhat TFT-like, but instead of DX figures have Attack & Defense scores. Armor tends not to affect your Attack but does reduce your Defense (ability to not get hit), while adding Protection like armor does in TFT. It's interesting because usually it's better overall to have more Protection, except against attacks which do so much damage that you really want to not be hit at all (especially telling when fighting giants, for example).
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Old 09-20-2018, 03:38 PM   #208
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Experience Points

I have a suggestion with two goals: Keep early starters from just dominating forever and also keep all the characters from simply converging to a single model.

Make the cost to advance any attribute point or talent level to be 100 + 50 XPs for each attribute point (but not talent) that you've advanced before.

This makes it a lot more cost effective for early character development to "discover" hidden talents (at a potential survival risk of having low attributes) while more developed characters will stay in their own lanes.
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Old 09-20-2018, 03:56 PM   #209
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Experience Points

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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
I have a suggestion with two goals: Keep early starters from just dominating forever and also keep all the characters from simply converging to a single model.

Make the cost to advance any attribute point or talent level to be 100 + 50 XPs for each attribute point (but not talent) that you've advanced before.

This makes it a lot more cost effective for early character development to "discover" hidden talents (at a potential survival risk of having low attributes) while more developed characters will stay in their own lanes.
I'm not certain why the new basic Melee lists the cost at 100 XP per attribute up to 8 after starting.

Last I heard, Steve had a much steeper scale in mind after the first extra point. So, probably yes, and then some.
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:49 PM   #210
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Default Re: Experience Points

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I'm not certain why the new basic Melee lists the cost at 100 XP per attribute up to 8 after starting.

Last I heard, Steve had a much steeper scale in mind after the first extra point. So, probably yes, and then some.
Perhaps there is a BASIC level of Experience Points just for Melee Arena Battles and a different Experience Point level for the full RPG of In The Labyrinth?
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