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Old 07-07-2018, 11:44 AM   #1
Steve Jackson
President and EIC
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Default New Skills

I am not ignoring the call for new skills, but I really cannot think of many things that seem worth it.

Maybe:

Writing (11?) - prereq Literacy - ability to write in a clear and concise manner. Useful for researchers, military officers (to write orders), and who else? Combined with Bard, would let you write entertaining fiction.

Poetry - prereq either Bard or Literacy - ability to write a poem that is not merely a collection of rhymes, engaging emotion in a way that prose cannot. (A bard who lacks this talent can still compose amusing doggerel, of course, but a poet bard will write GOOD songs.) An illiterate poet/bard is quite possible - a Skald who has memorized thousands of lines of sagas.

Open suggestion time. Saying Howitzer! is okay if you have one.
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:04 PM   #2
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: New Skills - Awesome skills needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
I am not ignoring the call for new skills, but I really cannot think of many things that seem worth it. ...
Sorry all, for repeating some arguments, but think of this as collecting them into one place.

When read the Fafrd / Grey Mouser stories, I assume that these awesome swordsmen were great because Greywand and Catsclaw (their weapons) were awesome. Did those blades have +5 w/ae on them? Did they have a built in charm? Then Fritz Leiber mentioned in passing that several times their blades broke, and they replaced them with similar weapons.

This blew my mind. They were great not because of their equipment, they were great because they were awesome swordsman!!!

I tried to think how I would make them in TFT. They would take Sword, and Fencing and... nothing. The only way to distinguish them was endlessly raising their attributes. (Which won't work in the new TFT by the way.)


***
I also like the fact that heroes and wizards were nicely balanced in TFT. (Much more so than in D&D.) However, this breaks down at high levels. Experienced wizards in TFT out class experienced fighters.

In my campaign I added some very powerful, hard to get talents for heroes, and this solved both of these problems.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:07 PM   #3
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: New Skills - Awesome skills needed.

Hi all, Steve.
I would suggest the following classes of talents:

1) Second level of talents for orphans. Most skills in TFT have two levels of talents. (Sword & Fencing, Naturalist & Woodsman, Charisma & New Followers, etc.) However, some talents are 'orphans', with only one level. (Pole Weapons, Shield, Running, Guns, Spy, etc.) Give these single level talents a second level to back them up. (Shields in TFT are pretty weak, and an advanced Shield talent would be a welcome addition to TFT, and something that gives people some defence.)


2) A better stealth, a hiding, and an camouflage / ambush talent. The only thing for stealth is Silent Movement (which also makes it an orphan above). Give rules for contests of search and stealth, to make Thieves, Ninjas, and Rangers more interesting.


3) A half dozen kick ass talents. These are hard to get talents like Unarmed Combat v. They are awesome which gives heroes something to aspire to, and help keep these characters competitive with high level wizards. Some suggestions:

-- Strike Master. Vast knowledge of the weaknesses of many races, monsters, and animals. You do +2 damage, and have a much better chance of getting a critical hit when you hit if you are using those optional rules.

-- Trained Reflexes. Like UC v but for guys with weapons & armour. You are just harder to hit.

-- Expert Defender. The defend option is better for you, and if the enemy misses by a LOT, you get a free counter attack.

-- Logistics / Management. This can combine with any top level talent to allow you the abilities to run a major operation. This plus Spying makes you the Spy Master. This plus Master Seaman makes you the Captain. This plus Master Thief makes you a Thief Lord. This plus Strategist makes you a General.

-- Trained Judge of Character. You are much better at detecting lies, detecting attempts to manipulate you, and figuring out what motivates people.


4) Miscellaneous Talents. Some odds and ends. Suggestions:
-- A Judo talent that is for HTH. Makes it easier to get into HTH, or make it harder for someone to get you in HTH, making or avoiding pins. Being taken down into HTH is a frustrating random roll. This talent gives you some control over your fate HTH wise.

-- A talent for knocking people out with out killing them. To Kosh or sandbag someone. (Note that concussions can do permanent damage, but this is a cinematic talent that never does permanent damage.)

-- A Fast Draw talent.

-- A security / police talent to give top ninjas a minor boss.

***

I think that 20 well chosen talents would GREATLY improve TFT. They had a huge impact for a small cost in my campaigns.

Last edited by Rick_Smith; 07-07-2018 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:07 PM   #4
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: New Skills

Quickdraw Sword (or Axe/Mace or Pistol for modern campaigns): IQ8, 1 talent point. Allows figure to ready an unready sword (or axe/mace or pistol) and still attack it hit in the same turn.

An unnecessary flourish - the figure must make a 3/adjDX roll. If he succeeds he attacks normally. If he fails, he attacks after everyone else attacks. A 16+ means he drops the weapon.
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:16 PM   #5
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: New Skills - Awesome skills needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Sorry all, for repeating some arguments, but think of this as collecting them into one place.

When read the Fafrd / Grey Mouser stories, I assume that these awesome swordsmen were great because Greywand and Catsclaw (their weapons) were awesome. Did those blades have +5 w/ae on them? Did they have a built in charm? Then Fritz Leiber mentioned in passing that several times their blades broke, and they replaced them with similar weapons.

This blew my mind. They were great not because of their equipment, they were great because they were awesome swordsman!!!

I tried to think how I would make them in TFT. They would take Sword, and Fencing and... nothing. The only way to distinguish them was endlessly raising their attributes.
I don't think the solution to this is to have lots of Advanced combat Talents. Those two heroes will skillfull sure, but mostly they were lucky, that's why I moved towards luck/hero points for advancement beyond the medium level. I believe Steve has mentioned some sort of "Karma" points and I think that's the way forward.
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:25 PM   #6
JLV
 
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Location: Far northern California
Default Re: New Skills

Definitely a "Quickdraw" or "Iaijutsu" talent.

I'd also like to see something like a "Medic" or "First Aid" talent, that could at least stabilize a person on the verge of death, maybe even heal a single point of damage. Medics in the military go through months of training and are not considered to be as qualified as nurses or doctors are; despite that, they are far more skilled than the average soldier is.

A "Survival" skill, perhaps differentiated by type of environment (mountains, swamp, plains, forest, ocean, arctic, desert, jungle) which improves the character's chances of finding food and potable water in that environment. Something like this would be a very useful adjunct to role-playing I would think (certainly, I have found it so).

Some kind of "Tracking" talent -- that allows a character to follow a trail more effectively -- it would be separate from Naturalist (which should focus more on other things, in my opinion). Perhaps even a prerequisite for Naturalist.

A "Streetwise" talent, that would allow the character a better sense of alertness in an urban/village environment; maybe make it more like for the holder to find something the party wants in a town, or make it more likely they can find out rumors and information in a town/city. (This might be the urban equivalent of "Survival" in fact.)

A "Sleight of Hand" talent, that allows the user to switch things in plain sight, misdirect a viewer's attention for a second or so, or cheat in games of chance or something similar.

Perhaps even break out "Pickpocket" from "Thief." A Thief might be a great safe cracker or trap finder/disarmer, but not be able to steal something from someone else's belt pouch worth a darn; this talent would allow him to do so (and picking pockets, if we are to believe our Charles Dickens, is a complex skill requiring extensive training...). (Edited to add: "Pickpocket" might also allow the user to slip something into someone's pocket without being noticed...)

Last edited by JLV; 07-07-2018 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:32 PM   #7
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: New Skills - Awesome skills needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
I don't think the solution to this is to have lots of Advanced combat Talents. Those two heroes will skillfull sure, but mostly they were lucky, that's why I moved towards luck/hero points for advancement beyond the medium level. I believe Steve has mentioned ... "Karma" points...
You think that the only thing that distinguishes great swordsman from competent ones is that former are LUCKY??? Really???

Well, we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:47 PM   #8
JLV
 
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Default Re: New Skills

I don't think that's what he said at all, Rick -- I think he's stating that the only real difference between skilled opponents often comes down to luck. And presumably, the people who all have the various talents are roughly equal in skill in most ways.
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:53 PM   #9
tomc
 
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Default Re: New Skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLV View Post
Some kind of "Tracking" talent -- that allows a character to follow a trail more effectively -- it would be separate from Naturalist (which should focus more on other things, in my opinion). Perhaps even a prerequisite for Naturalist.
I was thinking the same thing, until I found it in ITL on page 13. Tracking IQ 10.

I guess great minds think (and forget) alike. :)
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Old 07-07-2018, 01:01 PM   #10
Kirk
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Default Re: New Skills

Well, after 40 years of playing this game I have the impression that perhaps, perhaps, some type of second level of skill might make sense, perhaps akin to the "orphaned" approach given prior.

To the point, once someone gets ax/mace talent only DX really affects how they do.

Archers can ramp up with Missile Weapons, Thrown Weapons is for guys that specialize in throwing stuff, UC I-V for those that practice martial arts, but there really is no progression past IQ 8 or 9 for becoming more skilled with a blade or axe. Fencing talent doesn't really do it, maybe it could be replaced.

Perhaps something aligned with aimed shots, where the skill reduces the DX disadvantage when an aimed shot is taken a point or two, making more pinpoint damage a possibility beyond just being "faster" and hacking generically at a foe.
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