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Old 07-11-2018, 03:25 PM   #1
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default TFT is...

I just realized something...

TFT is one of the original "alternative" RPGs.

It's fast, lightweight, and doesn't require nearly as much memory or record keeping as the most popular one.

It's so easy to customize that groups start customizing out of the box.

It's been hacked by a small group of enthusiasts for decades and people are working on ways to make it friendlier for people who haven't yet heard of it.

Most things that are available for the most popular one don't work in TFT but it's usually pretty quick to roll your own and get something that works like it in TFT.

People who play it attempt to sell their friends on it and those who are willing to give it a try they get up and running super quick.


TFT is the Linux of RPGs.


-- authored on my Linux box
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: TFT is...

I'd just go with one of the original rpgs. It was certainly one of my first. White box D&D. Empire of the Petal Throne. Metamorphosis Alpha. Traveller. Melee/Wizard/TFT.
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:55 PM   #3
Skarg
 
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Default Re: TFT is...

To me, ever since starting in 1980 when I was 11 years old, TFT's appeal had almost nothing to do with its simplicity, though that certainly helped to learn it and hook new players.

In comparison to D&D, which I also tried later that year, the obvious massive advantage of TFT over D&D was not about simplicity, but about MAKING SENSE. Unlike D&D or the majority of other RPG's I've seen, played, or read about since then, pretty much all of the rules in TFT have some sort of self-consistent basis behind them. At 11, the combat rules seemed to all make sense and seemed pretty realistic, unpredictable and deadly, and the mapped combat system forced you to cope with the map situation and use tactics that make sense for logical reasons in order to survive (or likely suffer logical consequences). Your exact movements, choices and results directly determined whether you died or were injured, and you had to then face more situations with what your party had left. And because of all of that it was very immersive and challenging, and it had a satisfying substance to it. It felt like it was a game that was actually about being faced with the situation in play.

ITL extended the logically-consistent gaming to campaign play, and got us interested in all sorts of subjects so we could build interesting consistent campaign settings. The approach of having a hex-mapped world with detailed terrain, settlements, nations, organizations and NPCs, with travel rules and a persistent dynamic world that became more and more real & interesting the more you played it, was super-fun and rewarding, and not something most other RPGs gave you much for. (In fact, I think in several ways, ITL gives you a better intro to creating logical detailed campaigns than GURPS does.)

There are plenty of games that are simple and fast to learn, and most of them I have no interest in learning or playing.

What makes TFT a wonderful game to me, is that the rules more or less match my understanding of how things ought to play out, and that it provides enough detail that play is interesting AND plays out in ways that feel about right, and that it gives systems for that that include tactical combat, dynamic location exploration / invasion rules (hearing distance, labyrinth-scale movement tracking & mapping, door destruction, mining, etc), and world travel & exploration.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:46 PM   #4
luguvalium
 
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Default Re: TFT is...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pyratejohn View Post
I'd just go with one of the original rpgs. It was certainly one of my first. White box D&D. Empire of the Petal Throne. Metamorphosis Alpha. Traveller. Melee/Wizard/TFT.
and Runequest, and Tunnels and Trolls

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Last edited by luguvalium; 07-11-2018 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:27 PM   #5
pyratejohn
 
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Default Re: TFT is...

Quote:
Originally Posted by luguvalium View Post
and Runequest, and Tunnels and Trolls

--reply from my Linux box
Nice. I was never into either of those, but I had friends who were/are. I could also add Boothill (the pamphlet version) and Superhero 2044 to my list.

But here's the thing, of all of those early games, the only two that I go back and revisit to this day are Classic Traveller and Melee/Wizard. The amount of joy those games provided over the years is incalculable.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:16 PM   #6
luguvalium
 
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Default Re: TFT is...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
In comparison to D&D, which I also tried later that year, the obvious massive advantage of TFT over D&D was not about simplicity, but about MAKING SENSE.
I agree. I had seen the older brother of a friend, who we played various family and wargames with, tried to get us to play an 1st edition D&D and it didn't make any sense. I was turn off from playing RPGs until I played Melee. That it was made sense, I think, is why it stuck with many people for decades and why we have all tried to make our own variants.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:32 AM   #7
JLV
 
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Default Re: TFT is...

I agree with Skarg. To me (and my players), the enormous advantage of TFT was that the rules, with a few minor exceptions, were logical, consistent, and sensible.

The only other rules set (barring GURPS, of course) that's come close is Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying (which is the basis of Call of Cthulhu). However the big disadvantage of BRP is that is a LOT more complex and rules-intensive.

Which brings us to the other huge advantage TFT has -- it's simple, and easy to learn and remember during play. Over the years, I've spent very little time during game sessions flipping through the TFT rules books to find some obscure footnote or another that changes the way something has to be done.
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:38 AM   #8
John Brinegar
 
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Default Re: TFT is...

TFT (to be precise, Wizard) was the first RPG I ever played. It was 1978, I was 10, and I thought Wizard was the coolest thing ever. I wasn't that interested in Melee for some reason, though that changed when my new best friend turned out to be a Melee fanatic. We didn't actually get ITL and play TFT as an RPG until we had tried D&D (the Holmes version, which we decided was crippleware). Not caring so much for D&D, we got into TFT and Tunnels & Trolls, though we could never get many other people interested in those games. I'm thrilled that TFT is going back into print.
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:24 AM   #9
Steve Jackson
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Default Re: TFT is...

Interesting comparison(s).
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:26 PM   #10
CJM
 
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Default Re: TFT is...

To me it is what my son told me after I ran him, his brother, and my friend in a session that resulted in a TPK. I asked him what he thought of TFT. His response was, "It's simple but really hard" and I think that sums it up. It's easy to run as a GM and easy to play as a player, but hard to survive...a real challenge. You have to think about what you are doing. Go into a room without a care and you don't come out. If you are up for a challenge this is the game for you...if you want to walk around knowing that all is going to be OK then try a different game, there are plenty of those out there. That is what makes TFT so fun...the challenge to survive. And by the way my son loved it...he was talking about making a better PC. He was up for the challenge.
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