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Old 03-10-2018, 12:52 PM   #701
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: All talents get more levels.

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
In my various mods, if I fiddled with talents, I generally went with what you suggest - competent, expert and master levels. Generally, expert level reduced the success roll by 1 die and master by 2 dice. I always thought that this was a reasonable compromise between a binary “either you have it or you don’t” system and a system that rates each skill level individually.

Another approach would be the TFT inspired skill system of Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes. Generally, skills cost a certain amount of IQ points and required minimum IQ levels. Additional levels in the skill generally cost less than the base skill (usually 1 point) and added a +1 to the applicable roll. Not exactly a Runequest-style skill system, but perhaps a proto-GURPS system?
It seems to me that when there are talents that give entire +1 die adjustments (especially to something not otherwise available, like making yourself difficult to hit), that yeah you get distinct tiers of ability like David suggested, but that also becomes a clear "everyone at this tier is in a different class from everyone in that tier" effect. It's a bit like if you could only buy up DX in increments of 3.5 points, not 1.

Since TFT (especially Melee) is supposed to be interesting even at the level of one fighter facing one other fighter, I'd think we'd probably want more precision and variety than having four clear tiers like basic, pro, expert, genius, and more gradual transitions as characters improve.
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:57 PM   #702
bookworm562
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Default Re: All talents get more levels.

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Hi Jim, everyone.
Jim, if you look at George Dew's TFT knock off "Legends of the Ancient World", you will find he does do this. If you play it, you will see the strengths and disadvantages of this idea.

I think it works pretty well, but any talent that does not have a logical way to say, "each level of this gives a +1 bonus", is awkward in his system.

*****

As for it being 'better' that ST 0 = Totally Dead, I disagree. In the real world it is easier to be knocked out rather than killed. In the real world it is easier to be mortally wounded rather than killed outright.

So some rules which blurs the line between the quick and the dead are A) more realistic, B) more dramatic, and C) more fun. Almost all other rpg agree with this. I don't know of ANY which make it so easy to die and so hard to fall unconscious as TFT.

The main advantage of ST 0 = Totally Dead, is that it is easy to write in a 24 page, micro game rule booklet. However, in a full sized rpg, I hardly think that easy death is a goal to aim for.
Warm regards, Rick.
Well, I've read Legends of the Ancient World and I enjoyed it a great deal. I am reminded of Chaosium's RuneQuest design requirement for Characters; If it doesn't fit on a single page, it is probably too complicated to play.

While I like the deadliness, I've evolved over time and I suggest that a "Roll the body," rule really works. If you get knocked to zero, you can be revived by someone else (6 dice versus IQ), saved by a Physicker (5 dice versus IQ) or Master Physicker (4 dice versus IQ) by a good roll. You can even tailor the exact roll required to the desired mortality level of your game and any permanent penalties that might result.

I also had some ideas to improve survival by tweaking the Warrior and Veteran talents (reducing ST prerequisite) and by creating an Armor talent (reducing penalties for high ST characters.)

I tend to prefer my changes to incremental and as small as possible. Has anyone actually tried and liked or disliked the results of House rules like these?
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Old 03-10-2018, 01:09 PM   #703
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Lowering memory cost of talents doesn't fix everything.

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
My superscript rules (and expended talent list) do fix all of these. (Except for one, see below.)
Yep, I agree.


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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Making talents cheaper is a easy fix for some of the problems you listed.
Yes, though only a couple of them.


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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Reducing the amount of experience given out is an easy fix for some of the other problems you listed.
Yes. And the experience system has problems which can be fixed in a way that also reduces EP awards. In particular, doing things that are challenging for beginners but easy for you, shouldn't earn so much EP. (e.g. making a 4/DX roll when your DX is 16, or killing an unarmored ST+DX=24 foe when you do 3d+1 damage, adjDX 16, and your armor is 8.


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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
A few different, easy fixes would make the new TFT significantly better than the old.
Yep.


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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
The 'problem' you listed (that I did not cut out above), where people with talents are more capable than those without. I don't think this is a problem.

Talents are good to have. Spending 1 memory on Knife gives you effectively +4 DX for that 1 mIQ. People want to have talents and people should have talents. Everyone has the potential to gain exactly the same advantages with talents as anyone else. I see no reason why characters with talents should get less experience than those without, since everyone will have them.

Now some people with pick talents that work well together and make them more dangerous. Other people will pick talents without these synergies, or non-combat talents, and therefore get less experience in fights.

Is this a big problem? It seems to me that TFT has much bigger problems which should be addressed. Most GM's I know will reduce the experience given by the TFT formula if the fight seems too easy.
It's not a big problem, but:

* IF (as I was suggesting) the limit of total talent points to IQ is removed, and extra talents are added which can be bought for EP, in order to create a juicy option to represent experienced characters by giving them more talents rather than just adding more and more DX & IQ, and we want an experience curve of some sort, then I think we probably do want to take into account talents, at least when they exceed the basics.

* If we care about accurate assessments of how strong a character is (as I do when I give out EP for defeating opponents, or for assessing difficulty of surviving a programmed adventure) then I'd want to take relevant talents into account. Fighters who use ITL talents well are worth a few more points in combat than Melee fighters or those with only basic talents.
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Old 03-10-2018, 01:51 PM   #704
JLV
 
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Location: Far northern California
Default Re: All talents get more levels.

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Hi all, JLV.
I was thinking about talents like Armorer, or Architect Builder. Some talents are binary, you have an ability or not. You would need to write them in such a way that they now have 4 (or an indefinite number as in Legends of the Ancient World), different values.

Warm regards, Rick.
Rick,

It still works the same way -- you have to roll for success in one way or another, whether you're actually building something or merely identifying the architectural style. Those talents thus work in the exact same way:

at Level-0, you roll 3/ATT instead of 4/ATT;

at Level-1 through Level-3 you add the indicated number to your attribute when using that talent only to determine if you succeeded.
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Old 03-10-2018, 03:59 PM   #705
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default How well tested are new dying rules in Rick's game?

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Originally Posted by bookworm562 View Post
...
I also had some ideas to improve survival by tweaking the Warrior and Veteran talents (reducing ST prerequisite) and by creating an Armor talent (reducing penalties for high ST characters.)

I tend to prefer my changes to incremental and as small as possible. Has anyone actually tried and liked or disliked the results of House rules like these?
Hi Bookworm, everyone.
For a couple of decades I've been playing with rules that have lowered the deadliness. In the last 5 years, I've moved to my current system. The big changes in the last 5 years are:

-- Easier to remember.
-- More deadly once hurt person is at -5 ST or more.

I would say my rules are very well tested. They do exactly what I want them to do. Now if you want the dying rules to behave differently, they WON'T be perfect. I've decided I like about a 5 to 6 point gap where you are too hurt to fight, but can likely be treated and saved. I want more dramatic things to happen when people are badly hurt. And I want it to be HARD to save people who are at -6 ST, or worse.

Now, I do not say my rules are perfect for the new TFT, because I have completely dealt with attribute bloat with my superscript rules. It is a non-issue for me. If little is done to deal with attribute bloat in the new TFT, then perhaps making it really hard to save people at -3 ST would work better.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:27 PM   #706
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: All talents get more levels.

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
In my various mods, if I fiddled with talents, I generally went with what you suggest - competent, expert and master levels. Generally, expert level reduced the success roll by 1 die and master by 2 dice.
Sounds like the difference is that I generally assume the talent in TFT is the middle of the three, and you seem to assume it's the lowest of the three. I actually think the game needs talents at the bottom every bit as much as talents at the top.
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:54 PM   #707
Bayarea
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Default Re: How well tested are new dying rules in Rick's game?

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Hi Bookworm, everyone.
For a couple of decades I've been playing with rules that have lowered the deadliness. In the last 5 years, I've moved to my current system. The big changes in the last 5 years are:

-- Easier to remember.
-- More deadly once hurt person is at -5 ST or more.

I would say my rules are very well tested. They do exactly what I want them to do. Now if you want the dying rules to behave differently, they WON'T be perfect. I've decided I like about a 5 to 6 point gap where you are too hurt to fight, but can likely be treated and saved. I want more dramatic things to happen when people are badly hurt. And I want it to be HARD to save people who are at -6 ST, or worse.

Now, I do not say my rules are perfect for the new TFT, because I have completely dealt with attribute bloat with my superscript rules. It is a non-issue for me. If little is done to deal with attribute bloat in the new TFT, then perhaps making it really hard to save people at -3 ST would work better.

Warm regards, Rick.
I could certainly live with 0 knocked out and -5 death the problem is 1 unconscious and 0 death. I of course will leave this up to Steve as to how big the gap should be.
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:55 PM   #708
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: All talents get more levels.

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Originally Posted by ecz View Post
everyone can try [...]
Most talents represent professional level expertise. If I have Priest, that's enough to get me a job as a Priest. To be a thief requires the Thief talent, etc.

But it's often an important element of a character that they have a basic knowledge of something that other characters might lack. Suppose Groo the warrior and Sergio the Scholar go out in the woods together. This is something Sergio never does, whereas Groo is on campaign all the time. To represent this difference at the moment, Groo will need a decent IQ to buy Naturalist and Woodsman. But then Groo will be an expert in a way his player probably didn't envisage.

The question is whether the game would benefit from representing a level between professional expertise and total ignorance. I think it adds a great deal of texture to characters, particularly in small parties.

Applications include languages, Literacy, Physicker, Tactics, Bard, Swimming, Animal Handler ("I know dogs"), New Followers, weapon talents, lots of things.
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:09 PM   #709
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Groo level competence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Bofinger View Post
...
Suppose Groo the warrior and Sergio the Scholar go out in the woods together. This is something Sergio never does, whereas Groo is on campaign all the time. To represent this difference at the moment, Groo will need a decent IQ to buy Naturalist and Woodsman. But then Groo will be an expert in a way his player probably didn't envisage. ...
Hi David, all.
LOL, yes! Groo and Sergio! For those who don't know, Groo is a barbarian warrior like Conan, but, unlike Conan, he is butt stupid. Groo should NOT be smart enough to get Naturalist.

There are a number of very funny comic books about Groo.

Warm regards, Rick

p.s. I thought Sergio was an artist?
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:56 PM   #710
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: All talents get more levels.

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Originally Posted by David Bofinger View Post
Sounds like the difference is that I generally assume the talent in TFT is the middle of the three, and you seem to assume it's the lowest of the three. I actually think the game needs talents at the bottom every bit as much as talents at the top.
I really don’t. The current talents are fine for starting (32 point) characters.

I don’t run adventures with weaker characters (nor would I think that they’d be much fun). But if someone wanted a basic familiarity with a talent, I’d handle it on a case by case basis. And I can’t ever recall that being requested. But if someone wanted a basic level of (say) Sword, I’d let them apply 1 point to the Sword talent and have them hit with -2 DX (or somesuch). When they added another point to Sword, it would behave normally.

But in probably hundreds of TFT games, this has never come up.* Therefore, I’d be reticent to clutter the game up with an additional tier of talents. However, TFT does have issues at higher levels. So I have introduced the expert and master he and weapon talents - they roll 1d less to hit and add 1d to an opponent’s hit number. They were ok, but nothing earth shattering.

TFT always hit a sweet spot for me. I would only add detail if I thought it addressed a serious issue.

*I suppose a Wizard who desperately wanted to wield a sword might see some benefit in a 1 point basic Sword talent (which would cost him 2 points). But I really think that this can be handled with a short rule - “Talents costing 2+ points can be bought at a basic level. They cost 1 less IQ point and have a -2 to attribute rolls when using that talent. They can be brought up to full strength by spending an extra IQ point later.” Note that an average figure with a 10 in the talent’s applicable attribute would have a 25% chance of success with the basic talent and a 50% chance with the standard talent (assuming 3d rolls). That seems about right to me.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 03-10-2018 at 07:15 PM.
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