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Old 08-24-2018, 07:43 AM   #41
Dominator
 
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Default Re: Future support for TFT

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...and we have five authors working on adventures that we plan to release in PDF before the game ships in March 2019...
Very nice to hear!
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Old 08-24-2018, 09:17 AM   #42
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Default Re: Future support for TFT

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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
Agreed; the core rules of the game line should not be opened up for a bunch of monkeying around in the semi-official, semi-regulated world of W23 publications.
(shrug) even if it did, as long as the three sets of core rules are available it will wind up like the OSR. Some playing RAW, some adding a little, some modifying a lot.

Like classic D&D, TFT stats are so basic that even if one's campaign is wildly different as long as I am still telling you that the characters have ST 11, DX 16, IQ 11, materials will still be useful for hobbyists devoted to RAW.

Frankly what needed at first is adventure, setting, and supplement that show how to make TFT work in a campaign not rules supplement that focus on expanding or altering the system. So I don't have an issue of limiting scope of the license to produce that kind of material.

Eventually to diversify TFT that will need to be relaxed but for now from reading the vintage copies I have there is more than enough to do all kinds of different styles of fantasy roleplaying campaign.
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Old 08-24-2018, 09:41 AM   #43
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Default Re: Future support for TFT

People do get confused as to how they are supposed to translate their play habits from games where PC's are invincible and murder 50 people a night to one where any competitive fight is seriously dangerous to you. And honestly the 'core' adventures (Deathtest I, II and Tolenkar's Lair) perpetuate this issue because they are fundamentally multi-fight dungeon crawls. Fun, but quite challenging unless you approach them with over powered parties.

I believe TFT really sings as a campaign roleplaying game when the sessions are more like a 'sandbox' version of the Three Musketeers, Elric of Melnibone or Fellowship of the Ring (if you can deal with the fact that D'Artagnion, Moonglum and Aragorn all have a ~1 in 10 or worse chance of getting killed in any serious combat). Characters interacting with each other, exploring, getting caught up in all kinds of crazy japes, and having one or two or three dramatic, dicey fights per night - that is the sort of TFT adventure that works. Contemplating your 7th fight of the night with another gooey monster is not a great model; for that, you should just play D+D. My hope is that the slate of setting materials and adventures people are working on is made with an understanding of this.
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Old 08-24-2018, 09:48 AM   #44
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Default Re: Future support for TFT

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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
I believe TFT really sings as a campaign roleplaying game when the sessions are more like a 'sandbox' version of the Three Musketeers, Elric of Melnibone or Fellowship of the Ring (if you can deal with the fact that D'Artagnion, Moonglum and Aragorn all have a ~1 in 10 or worse chance of getting killed in any serious combat). Characters interacting with each other, exploring, getting caught up in all kinds of crazy japes, and having one or two or three dramatic, dicey fights per night - that is the sort of TFT adventure that works. Contemplating your 7th fight of the night with another gooey monster is not a great model; for that, you should just play D+D. My hope is that the slate of setting materials and adventures people are working on is made with an understanding of this.
Bingo! I like to run my TFT campaigns as occupying the sweet spot between D&D bloodshed and Call of Cthulhu "everything will destroy you"-ness. Combat is there, but it isn't the be-all-end-all reason for playing, and there are a lot of situations where better approaches are called for.
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Old 08-24-2018, 09:55 AM   #45
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Default Re: Future support for TFT

TFT is awesome for CoC sorts of scenarios. Which includes most of the R.E. Howard Conan stories, so there are good models out there for swords and sandals versions of the same thing.
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Old 08-24-2018, 10:47 AM   #46
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Default Re: Future support for TFT

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TFT is awesome for CoC sorts of scenarios. Which includes most of the R.E. Howard Conan stories, so there are good models out there for swords and sandals versions of the same thing.
I'd argue that original TFT is not awesome for CoC scenarios, especially compared to modern games like Fate, which handles discouragement, phobias, social stigma, and physical wounds in a qualitative way (not with just a point total), all using the same, simple mechanic. Here are some of the problems that interfere with using TFT for horror and intrigue (I suggested fixes for most of these over the past few months):
  1. The conflict rules only handle physical violence
  2. IQ is used as a representation for courage, which it shouldn't be (save vs IQ to resist fear from a ghost)
  3. IQ is used as a representation for social ability, which it shouldn't be
  4. Social mechanics are too simplistic, being entirely limited to reaction rolls
  5. There are no rules for contests, social or otherwise
  6. There is no way to represent lasting impairment (physical, social, psychological, or otherwise, like scars, maiming, phobias, social stigma)

Compare TFT's rules used in combat to rules that are used elsewhere to see where the heart of original TFT is. It has a ton of rules support for hack and slash and not much else. There are some skill rolls that can come up but there are no rules for any type of struggle except physical violence.

The net effect of this is that most of your character sheet is devoted to combat and physical things, like detecting traps, climbing, moving silently, etc. Almost all social talents only affect reaction rolls.

So game play has two strict modes: "physical" mode and "role playing" mode. Social rules are limited to reaction rolls, so "role playing" mode might start with the GM rolling a d6. Other than that, social struggles are left entirely up to the GM -- there's no "game" rules for it.

By contrast, systems like Fate have deep support for social conflicts (and other types of conflict, too). CoC has SAN points and phobias but systems like Fate operate on an entirely different plane from CoC.

I'm seriously hoping the new version will overhaul most of these problems but I didn't sense a lot of concern about them so I'm not betting too much on it.

If not, I'm hoping it will at least have 2-of-3 contest rules like I advocate in my contests document.
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Old 08-24-2018, 10:55 AM   #47
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I respectfully disagree, on the principle that the sorts of things we're talking about (fear, reactions to fear, etc.) have to do with the character's emotional states and reactions, and so fall under an umbrella that some games relegate to ad hoc player decisions and role playing rather than concrete rules. There are games that funnel these situations through rules and games that don't, and I'd say its a question of taste as to which is better. Rules for fear, madness, etc. can be interesting. But no amount of them is as good as a skilled, involved role player.

Edit: also, at least the original ITL provides a suggested auxiliary set of rules for this sort of thing; all you have to do is assign characters 3-18 scores for things like Bravery, Sanity, etc. and perhaps buff up the suggested rules for using those kinds of secondary stats. I don't know if this stuff will make it into the new edition, but it is there in the 1980 version.
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Old 08-24-2018, 10:58 AM   #48
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Default Re: Future support for TFT

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I'm seriously hoping the new version will overhaul most of these problems but I didn't sense a lot of concern about them so I'm not betting too much on it.
I can get why you and others would have a desire for rules formulating these kinds of interactions, but personally I would be afraid that such things would GURPS-ify TFT. I like that TFT provides a light but robust framework. It's not as nebulous a gaming system as, say, The Dying Earth, but it's also not as overwhelmingly spec'd out as D&D or Aftermath. It's a solid foundation that GMs can take in any number of directions, and to me that's the beauty of it.

I'd welcome supplement books provide more detailed (and completely optional) guidelines to cover cases that the core TFT rules don't, but at the same time I'd like the core itself to remain sleek and beautiful.
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Old 08-24-2018, 11:07 AM   #49
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Default Re: Future support for TFT

TFT falls into a traditional concept of roleplaying game design, where physical activities and events are mostly very well described by rules but social interactions, emotional states, etc. are mostly handled by roleplaying (plus a rule or three for reactions, leadership, recruiting henchmen, etc.)
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Old 08-24-2018, 11:20 AM   #50
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Default Re: Future support for TFT

My opinion is that it is sufficient that a human referee involved to adjudicate what player do while interacting with a setting as their character. Rules are a tool. If something like Fate or GURPS Social Engineering works with how one thinks about social conflict great.

However the assumptions of the fantasy setting that underlies TFT is more than sufficient for myself to adjudicate complex social conflict in an interesting way for my players. Even with light touch the TFT social mechanics have.

But given the diversity of how people think about running campaign, I don't see a problem with somebody doing a TFT Social Engineering down the line. However since TFT has been moribund for 35+ year except for a small handful of third party efforts, focusing first on what can be done with the TFT RAW would be wise.

And I think it will prove to be more expansive than people think. If the license turns out the way I hope, I don't see any issue reworking my Scourge of the Demon Wolf adventure to work with TFT RAW. Nor any of the other fantasy adventures I have in various drafts like Deceits of the Russet Lord.

Keep in mind while there was different things tried right away, much of the OSR in the early days (2006 to 2010) consisted largely of traditional dungeon crawls and adventure similar to what Judges Guild, and TSR published in the 70s and 80s.

A lot of the promotion done by bloggers and forums was explaining how to use OD&D and other classic D&D to handle the things that GURPS and other RPG with more detailed mechanic handled.

I had no difficulty in translating my Scourge of the Demon Wolf from GURPS to OD&D. It a roleplaying heavy adventure where the conflict between the different inhabitants of the region is as much an issue as the Demon Wolf itself.

I had some of the TFT books prior to the kickstarted and obtained a copy of In The Labyrinth since. I think it going to be fine and going to diversify quickly even without being able to add new core mechanics. The nice thing I found with RPG with straightforward mechanics like TFT is that one can spend more time on thing about other aspect of the setting and adventure.
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