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Old 07-11-2018, 11:53 PM   #41
JLV
 
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Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

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Originally Posted by guymc View Post
I had no trouble creating an entire overland adventure (GrailQuest) before ITL even existed. ITL as it stands wouldn’t restrict me too much, I think. I want to do overland adventures — big maps and lots of adventure hooks built in for campaigning — but I would probably be fairly satisfied with the level of detail we have now.

I’m by no means opposed to a wilderness rules expansion, but — now that I think of it — a short expansion with just a few tweaks and a bit more granularity could be a small one-page double-sided add on to a big-map adventure pack. I think that would be the way to go.
I agree -- it doesn't have to be a huge rulebook, but there do need to be a few extra things added mechanically, I think. And maybe a couple of new Talents as well.

But, combining all that into a big wilderness adventure pack? Brilliant! ;-)
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:08 AM   #42
Skarg
 
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Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

The Woodsman talent could use some improvement just to work better and be clearer. It also seems like an odd place to stick the rules it has, inside a talent description. Seems like such things belong with other rules about travel (currently stuck on the sample map key) and that they should cross-reference each other.

Issues include:

* it says having just one Woodsman seems enough to not suffer from lack of food or shelter (!?!)

* it collapses exposure with lack of food, giving the same effect for lacking one or the other, or both.

* it gives double/triple penalties for rain, swamp, desert & cold, but combined with the above issue, means you might have no problems with such if they have a woodsman or both food and shelter, but if they lose the woodsman and food, then they take double/triple damage even though they have shelter and the cause of the doubling/tripling seems to be about shelter, not food.

* It says you need half or more Woodsmen in your group or else wilderness travel speeds are halved. (If there's a reason for that, I wish I knew it.)

* Since many parties probably do not have 50%+ Woodsmen, the wilderness travel speed section should probably mention the half-speed effect of not having such.

* Woodsman and Tracking and the travel section also want cross-references to the Lost In The Wilderness section, and/or to have all such rules in one place and the talents & other spots just refer you to that section.

I'd say all of these things could be tidied up and improved, and the effect would, it seems to me, make the game easier to play rather than harder, because things would make more sense and/or be more findable and better explained.

I tend to think it'd help to have each terrain and weather type get a sentence or three that includes such things in one central place, and again I think this could be easier to understand, learn, and play with.

Last edited by Skarg; 07-12-2018 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:12 AM   #43
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

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Originally Posted by JLV View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by guymc View Post
I had no trouble creating an entire overland adventure (GrailQuest) before ITL even existed. ITL as it stands wouldn’t restrict me too much, I think. I want to do overland adventures — big maps and lots of adventure hooks built in for campaigning — but I would probably be fairly satisfied with the level of detail we have now.

I’m by no means opposed to a wilderness rules expansion, but — now that I think of it — a short expansion with just a few tweaks and a bit more granularity could be a small one-page double-sided add on to a big-map adventure pack. I think that would be the way to go.
I agree -- it doesn't have to be a huge rulebook, but there do need to be a few extra things added mechanically, I think. And maybe a couple of new Talents as well.

But, combining all that into a big wilderness adventure pack? Brilliant! ;-)
Yes, making themed books with extra talents and other resources would be most excellent!

With the attribute cap, new talents is the only way highly experienced characters can continue to grow and people will want to keep playing their favorite character once it gets to 40 (gee, I guess 36 is "over the hill" for TFT characters).
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:50 PM   #44
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Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

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Originally Posted by guymc View Post
I’m sorry, my friend, but that’s exactly what I do not want to do with TFT. Seven Talents (plus second-level Talents for some of those), devoted to sailing? Realistic, but just not appropriate for TFT core. At most, we need a way to say “this character knows the sea” and perhaps “this character knows how to command at sea”. It is likely to be a part of a character’s background that offers a chance for related adventure hooks and interesting relationships to come back and affect play.

If we ever did a TFT-based game that centered on high-seas piracy, with megahex deck plans, cutlassry, diving and drowning, ship’s justice, planks and keelhauling — that game would probably include a bit more granularity as suited the setting. But it would be intended for the people playing that game, and would not be necessary complexity for 99% of TFT players.

I appreciate the enthusiasm for all kinds of settings and adventuring, but it is not core TFT, and that’s what we have to build (and sell) before we can even consider that sort of depth in the line.
I'm not arguing you should do it, just saying that if you do, the logical and historical path is to follow the departments. Note that Carpenter is already covered, too — it's the same skillset as ashore. Same with Cook, and Surgeon. (Tho', historically, many ship's surgeons were not competent at all.)

And I concur with your reasoning, too - not that I'd mind a proper naval supplement down the road... provided it's compatible with history. (And that also excludes captains being axiomatically competent - historically, most weren't. It was a political and/or combat position. Which is why the QM and the SM ran the ship day-to-day.)
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Old 07-14-2018, 02:25 AM   #45
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Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

Thinking more on this, a list of jobs and existing talents they should require

Basic Seaman should be unskilled.
Able Seaman needs Sailor
Topman: Sailor and Climbing
Lookout: Sailor, Climbing, Awareness
Bosun's mate: Lasso, Sailor
Navigator: Mathematician (for the Astronomy and the calculations)
Carpenter: Sailor and Mundane Talent: Carpentry
Cook: Mundane Talent: Cook
Surgeon: Physicker
Officers: any two of: Seaman, Business Sense, Tactics
Captain: any 4 of: Seaman, Captain, Tactics, Business Sense, Charisma, Strategy
Ship's Warrants: as type, plus Charisma or Whip.
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Old 08-24-2018, 11:17 PM   #46
Tenex
 
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Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

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I don't want to sound like I am splitting hairs, but if a multilevel Woodsman talent is not already justified, why write rules to justify it?

I don't see the need. I also tried drafting a Survival skill for multiple terrains, and then went back and looked at Woodsman, and found that I had only made it more fiddly. This may be time to repeat the "This is not GURPS" mantra.In GURPS I could create a whole party of "rangers" and make them all different. TFT is not that crunchy. (My goal for TFT is about a 2.5 on a ten-point scale of crunchiness, where GURPS is a solid 8+.)

I think ending Woodsman with the paragraph below does give some of what is being asked for, though.

"Normally, the knowledge of the Woodsman works automatically to protect the party. In very difficult situations, the GM can require a 3/IQ or harder roll from the Woodsman character, to see if they actually know what to do."
I'll take a shot at justifying Woodsman 2. It's not entirely clear what the difference is supposed to be between Naturalist and Woodsman or how they are supposed to complement each other or what the specific skills of a Woodsman really are. Is the Naturalist more of a biology teacher's knowledge and Woodsman more of military survival instructor/professional hunter type of skill? This fuzziness makes it hard to articulate what should be in Woodsman 2.

I agree that for TFT survival should not be broken into different environments.

I'll just list some missing wilderness skills and see if you think they should be plugged into Naturalist or Woodsman (2?).

Set Wilderness Traps: This is distinct from Mechanician. Mechanicians know how to put spring loaded darts in treasure chests. This is not the same as what Rambo did in First Blood. Mechanician is too high a level of trap building skill and covers too broad a range. But the ability to build a deadfall for rabbits or a swinging spike trap for pigs or men should be available somewhere.

Camoflage: The classic D&D "hide in shadows" thief ability, but in a wilderness setting. Indigenous people have been using this against invaders worldwide for centuries. Perhaps this is covered by Spying, but this should exist in a less costly form only employable in rural settings. This could also cover making a blind, covering a pit of spikes, or otherwise concealing something physical other than a person.

Wilderness Awareness: This is a broader version of the naturalist ability, but for all creatures in a rural area, not just slimes. For instance, prairie dogs have a different alarm call for dogs, coyotes, hawks and snakes. Knowledge of bird and animal calls would make you aware (potentially pretty specifically) of other creatures nearby.

Cross talent skills: Expert Horseman allows training riding animals as if he was an Animal Trainer and healing them as though he were a vet. Could Naturalist or Woodsman make a narrow set of nature based poisons or healing or antidotes as if they were a Chemist? What about Mimic, but only for animal calls? Alertness, but for only 1 point instead of 2 because it only works in rural areas, not town or dungeon (like Wilderness Awareness above).


Aside from the skills above, I can't think of any more missing wilderness skills. But if Naturalist, Mechanician, Thief, Armorer, Seamanship, and Priest all have 2 levels, why not Woodsman?

Right now the only way to become better at Woodsman skill is to bump your IQ. If Woodsman 2 reduced the number of dice or gave a roll bonus you could have people who are great in the woods without having to be geniuses.(especially if you added some of the skills I noted above).

I really think it's reasonable to build up Woodsman a bit.

Last edited by Tenex; 08-25-2018 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:48 AM   #47
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
Thinking more on this, a list of jobs and existing talents they should require

Basic Seaman should be unskilled.
Able Seaman needs Sailor
Topman: Sailor and Climbing
Lookout: Sailor, Climbing, Awareness
Bosun's mate: Lasso, Sailor
Navigator: Mathematician (for the Astronomy and the calculations)
Carpenter: Sailor and Mundane Talent: Carpentry
Cook: Mundane Talent: Cook
Surgeon: Physicker
Officers: any two of: Seaman, Business Sense, Tactics
Captain: any 4 of: Seaman, Captain, Tactics, Business Sense, Charisma, Strategy
Ship's Warrants: as type, plus Charisma or Whip.
I think a very simple but powerful addition to the game as-is would be this sort of concrete treatment (and expansion) of the list of jobs. The list in the original ITL is too short and too heavily weighted toward jobs that don't have any connection to real world societies, or have abstract names. It will add a lot over built-in versimilitude to the game if the jobs list sounds like real jobs, has some substantial heft and diversity to it, and connects every job to an obvious prerequisite talent and/or stat.
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:50 AM   #48
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

Re. the original purpose of this thread, I agree with SJ's conservative take on this issue. There may be some precedence for certain skill groups to be represented as a half dozen inter-related things (e.g., the full package of traditional 'Thief' abilities requires 5 or 6 separate talents). But that doesn't mean the whole game has to be turned into this sort of granular approach. I'd mostly leave what is there as it is, and add only things that genuinely expand the scope and/or fun of the game. That is, if a Woodsman is assumed to have a suite of abilities, just say what they are in so many words and leave it at that.
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Old 08-25-2018, 01:59 PM   #49
Rick_Smith
 
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Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

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Originally Posted by Tenex View Post
I'll take a shot at justifying Woodsman 2. ...

I really think it's reasonable to build up Woodsman a bit.
Hi Tenex,
Very nice post, thanks. I especially like Wilderness Awareness.

A huge amount of wilderness survival is about finding water, finding food and staying warm. So a second level of Woodsman should make you better at doing all of these. In particular, you would require fewer hours to provide the basics, so you will have more time for other stuff.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 08-25-2018, 02:07 PM   #50
Tenex
 
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Default Re: The Woodsman Talent

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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
That is, if a Woodsman is assumed to have a suite of abilities, just say what they are in so many words and leave it at that.
I'd actually be good with a fleshed out Woodsman and no level two. But there are missing abilities, especially camouflage. that should be fleshed out in some woodsy type skill. It seems a bit much to just grant the Woodsman a bunch of extra skills, but maybe not.

However, people, including all the SJG staff, who are arguing against expanding certain skills 'cuz simplicity haven't explained how they can be against an extra level of Woodsman while slavering over UC freakin' 5 and multiple levels of Priest. Priest/Theologian don't even have any articulated abilities in them. Why 2 levels of something with NO actual abilities?

I'm very much for simplicity, but it needs to come with consistency! This new edition is supposed to be about clarifying the rules and eliminating conflicts and inconsistencies while still retaining the simplistic flavor of the original... right? Maybe I'm wrong and there's some other goal. So why so much inconsistency across skills that doesn't seem to be in the works for a fix?

Last edited by Tenex; 08-25-2018 at 02:11 PM.
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