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Old 01-09-2018, 09:49 AM   #231
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Rolling additional dice for more difficult tasks is obviously too coarse to rely of for all task rolls. Hence TFT had modifiers to the roll as well. I replaced the additional dice mechanic with modifiers for the following reasons:

1. The original system required me to have (and try to remember) different, non-intuitive numbers for automatic hits, double damage, triple damage, automatic miss, weapon dropped and weapon broken results. These numbers weren't provided in the original 3 TFT books as I recall. They had to be derived or gotten from the Codex or GM Screen (neither of which I could find until the mid-late 1980s). In an era where personal computers cost $2-4000 in 2018 dollars, this had to be done by hand. Ugh.

2. Fencing talent made automatic hits, double and triple damage more likely on a 3d6 roll. What were the comparable numbers for rolling more than 3 dice to hit?

As an aside, the only other game I saw that used the "roll more dice" mechanic was Traveller 4. It tried to avoid the granularity by introducing the half die (i.e. a d3). In TFT terms, you might replace a -1 or -2 modifier with adding a d3. I'm not sure that's a great solution but it does allow you to get rid of die roll modifiers.
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:51 AM   #232
Charles G.
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Yes, I remember (Interplay 8, page 9). We actually used those in our TFT campaigns but almost no one had them. As written, they have a similar issue as do the Unarmed Combat talents. IQ 14 / 3 points, DX 16+ for Defensive Quickness I, IQ 16 / 2, DX 20+ for Defensive Quickness II, IQ 18 / 2, DX 24+ for Defensive Quickness III. The notes suggest adding higher levels too. I.e. they were for characters with very attribute totals (and fighters with high-IQ) who would/could also use up the memory points for it. It's a high-level power talent which doesn't help other characters defend. The problem of "you will probably get hit unless you take down whoever you engage first" start closer to IQ 8, DX 13.

A few years ago, I played in a campaign run by Rick Smith using house rules which instead offered weapon mastery talents that were considerably more accessible and more common, but which sort of did the same thing. (He also had an automatic active defense calculation for everyone, which I liked a lot in my limited experience as a player.) But it was clear that his rules, which also added +1 (or +2 for level 2) dice to be hit, created a kind of stratified tier situation, where pretty much everyone with mastery was clearly superior to non-masters, and people with mastery II were a serious cut above those with level 1, well it was clear that was the path to mastery, all right. That part reminded me of martial arts films and D&D, where there are distinct levels that trump lower levels, which I didn't really like).

I ran and played in four TFT campaigns before GURPS, two of which ran from about 1980 to 1986 (and one continued as a GURPS campaign) and after those years of fairly frequent play with quite frequent combat, using the Codex experience table and adjustments for opponent difficulty, even the one PC who survived that whole span only reached 46 points, and was a fighter who did not get this talent and was 2-3 points away from being able to get the first one even if he focused on that next. Of the hundreds and hundreds of TFT NPCs I made, there were not very many fighters with IQ 14, very few with DX 16 too, and only a handful with even Defensive Quickness I. If I gave anyone Defensive Quickness II, it was probably as an experiment or to define the best fighter in all of Elyntia, or something, and no doubt I thought the IQ of 18 was weird, also because he was IQ 18 but probably had a peculiarly low level of mental talents with all those memory points used up by fighting talents (i.e. a good example of why buying talents with experience without increasing IQ and without having high IQ prereqs for physical talents could be good).
In fairness, I would modify the DQ as written to lower the IQ threshold. I see no need to have it be an IQ 14+ talent. DQ I would probably be IQ12, and DQ II IQ 14, and I would lower the DX required as well, though I may insist on a minimum MA since defensive ability has as much to do with agility as your nimbleness and reflexes. Though I did not state this, I really had in mind that the concept had been introduced quite awhile ago, even if it wonted for refinement.
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:55 AM   #233
Charles G.
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Rolling additional dice for more difficult tasks is obviously too coarse to rely of for all task rolls. Hence TFT had modifiers to the roll as well. I replaced the additional dice mechanic with modifiers for the following reasons:

1. The original system required me to have (and try to remember) different, non-intuitive numbers for automatic hits, double damage, triple damage, automatic miss, weapon dropped and weapon broken results. These numbers weren't provided in the original 3 TFT books as I recall. They had to be derived or gotten from the Codex or GM Screen (neither of which I could find until the mid-late 1980s). In an era where personal computers cost $2-4000 in 2018 dollars, this had to be done by hand. Ugh.

2. Fencing talent made automatic hits, double and triple damage more likely on a 3d6 roll. What were the comparable numbers for rolling more than 3 dice to hit?

As an aside, the only other game I saw that used the "roll more dice" mechanic was Traveller 4. It tried to avoid the granularity by introducing the half die (i.e. a d3). In TFT terms, you might replace a -1 or -2 modifier with adding a d3. I'm not sure that's a great solution but it does allow you to get rid of die roll modifiers.
One point here: I would not change the required numbers to achieve automatic hit/double or triple damage with the increase in dice difficulty. Reason being if someone is harder to hit, whether due to Defending or the upper level UC talents, then it should be harder or even impossible to score, say, a triple damage hit.

Put another way I wouldn't worry about the automatic hit type criteria for more than three dice.
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:10 AM   #234
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles G. View Post
One point here: I would not change the required numbers to achieve automatic hit/double or triple damage with the increase in dice difficulty. Reason being if someone is harder to hit, whether due to Defending or the upper level UC talents, then it should be harder or even impossible to score, say, a triple damage hit.

Put another way I wouldn't worry about the automatic hit type criteria for more than three dice.
But what about automatic misses? With 4d6, there's a 33% chance of an automatic miss; a 24% chance of dropped weapon and a 16% chance of a broken weapon. Seems to me that you'd be a fool to attack someone who selected the "defend" option, particularly if they're using an expensive or rare weapon.

On 4 dice, the chance of double damage is 0.8%; the chance of an automatic hit is 0.32%.

And the whole point of automatic hits and misses is to introduce a chance of uncertainty regardless of other conditions.
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:25 AM   #235
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
But what about automatic misses? With 4d6, there's a 33% chance of an automatic miss; a 24% chance of dropped weapon and a 16% chance of a broken weapon. Seems to me that you'd be a fool to attack someone who selected the "defend" option, particularly if they're using an expensive or rare weapon.

On 4 dice, the chance of double damage is 0.8%; the chance of an automatic hit is 0.32%.

And the whole point of automatic hits and misses is to introduce a chance of uncertainty regardless of other conditions.
Yes, it seems to me a very good point that these should be defined, and carefully while looking at the odds and what it does to the range of possible numbers.

There were multiple takes published, e.g.:

Melee 03-1-003 (glossy gargoyle):
Defend/Dodge 4-die roll -> No automatic hits, 20+ is a miss.

Advanced Melee:
Defend/Dodge 4-die roll -> 3 (sic), 4, 5 auto-hit, 20 auto-miss, 21-22 drop, 23-24 break.
Note no mention of any chance of a triple or double damage, though I'd think presumably at least a 4 would be double.

In The Labyrinth:
"use your imagination when determining the results of spectacularly successful (or incredibly bad) rolls"
1-die roll -> auto success
2-die roll -> 2 auto-success, 12 auto-fail
3-die roll -> 3-5 auto-success, 16+ auto-fail
4-die roll -> 4-8 auto-success, 20+ auto-fail
5-die roll -> 5-11 auto-success, 24+ auto-fail
6-die roll -> 6-14 auto-success, 28+ auto-fail
7-die roll -> 7-17 auto-success, 32+ auto-fail
8-die roll -> 8-20 auto-success, 36+ auto-fail
"The result is that any character, no matter how dextrous, has around a 4 1/2% chance of missing a roll - and even a clumsy or stupid character has the same chance of making it."
And GM can rule out automatic success (noted for repeated tries, also limited).

Codex:
Has a whole page-long table of what 3, 4, 5 and 16, 17, 18 mean for weapons, bare hands, and various types of spells.
Then spells out equivalents of 3, 4, 5 and 16, 17, 18 results for up to 7-die rolls, following a set pattern that could be extended to any number of dice for the crit successes, but a less regular progression for the crit fails.
Moreover it is not what ITL says. It says only the lowest (e.g. a 7 on 7 dice) is the equivalent of a 3 on 3 dice, and [number of dice]+1 is like a 4, and [number of dice]+2 is like a 5 on 3 dice. So, increasingly vanishing chances of those on hard tests.
It reads:
Code:
To Hit with more dice
      3     4     5     16     17     18
4     4     5     6     20     21&22  23&24
5     5     6     7     24&25  26&27  28-30
6     6     7     8     28-30  31-33  34-36
7     7     8     9     32-34  35-38  39-42
Which does not offer a parallel chance of auto-success or failure at all. I get the intention, which the GM could pick or choose if he wants an ITL increasing auto-success or a vanishing one for different sorts of events (though that might be best left to detail-oriented GMs who can house-rule for themselves anyway), and I think the double and triple damage results being kept in but vanishingly unlikely is fine.
The growing auto-failures rate is the same but the 17/drop and 18/break columns are irregular in progression - I haven't run the odds yet, but I think they were trying to keep similar odds with each number of dice.

One nice thing about the Codex version is there is more spread of possible values with higher dice. The ITL version preserves the ~4.5% auto-success/fail chances, but at the cost or reducing the range of possible values on both ends, making more attribute values equivalent.

Ty, your house rule had the feature of a second roll to see what sort of effect on extreme rolls, which IMO is nice (and especially wanted for your blasphemous d20's). An "exploding dice" system of some sort could also be a useful option, though of course original TFT had nothing like that so might be considered blasphemous too.

Last edited by Skarg; 01-09-2018 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:53 AM   #236
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Ty, your house rule had the feature of a second roll to see what sort of effect on extreme rolls, which IMO is nice (and especially wanted for your blasphemous d20's). An "exploding dice" system of some sort could also be a useful option, though of course original TFT had nothing like that so might be considered blasphemous too.
Well, I'm more of an apostate than a blasphemer, but I suppose the two aren't mutually inconsistent :D

And I warn you - the road to apostacy is paved with "minor tweaks".

Thanks for pointing out that this was somewhat addressed in ITL. I honesty had forgotten that. And interestingly enough, when I was reading your post, I also thought about the "roll a second die" thing. So it turns out that if you roll 5- on 3d6, here's are your odds:

10% chance of triple damage
30% chance of double damage
60% chance of automatic hit only

So you could simply roll a second die if an automatic hit or miss is rolled.

A less blasphemous d10 is the obvious choice for those unafraid of being burned as apostates. 1-triple or broken weapon; 2-4-double or dropped weapon; 5+ automatic hit/miss only.

Or 2d6 - 2-3 is triple damage; 4-6 is double damage; 7+ is automatic hit.

You'd still have to remember the two auto-success/fail numbers for 4, 5, 6 dice, etc. And there's an easily recalled progression: +3 and +4. I.e., add 3 to the auto success number for each additional die; add 4 to the auto fail number for each additional die.

But you wouldn't have to remember the four other numbers for each roll.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 01-09-2018 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:54 AM   #237
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

The rolls with larger numbers of dice are not hard to adjudicate; just calculate the odds and set equivalent thresholds. Or if you wish to increase or decrease the odds of good or bad outcomes for 4d, 5d, etc. rolls, you can nudge the numbers up or down from those base lines.
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Old 01-09-2018, 01:58 PM   #238
Steve Jackson
President and EIC
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

I hope everyone will be good with a LITTLE blasphemy as we edit the Holy Books . . .

/s/ the prophet
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:24 PM   #239
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
I hope everyone will be good with a LITTLE blasphemy as we edit the Holy Books . . .

/s/ the prophet
😂😂😂

Yes, go for it Steve!!!
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Old 01-09-2018, 03:58 PM   #240
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Get those creative juices flowing! I already own the ca. 1980 version and am interested to see what you do ca. 2018.

If I were in your shoes, I would be most tempted by the following possible paths to damnation:

- Develop the personality trait idea into 2-3 pages of material, looking at Prince Valiant and Pendragon for inspiration

- Look carefully through GURPS combat to see which innovations make sense as part of advanced Melee. I'm sure you wish to (and should!) avoid re-writing GURPS, but your treatment of armor, damage and parries and dodges in GURPS would have been terrific in Advanced Melee if you'd thought of them a couple years earlier.

- Develop the concept of jobs and their associated risk rolls into something more diverse and flavorful, looking at En Garde! and Flashing Blades for ideas.

- Organize the MH-scale exploration rules into something more structured, resembling the sequence and options of movements and actions in combat

- Ditto for exploration at coarser scales (km or so)

- Organize all the ITL discussion of economics and so forth into some sort of more structured, week-time-scale campaign play, also a'la En Garde!

- Strip out the alternative combat system from AM and replace with a tight little skirmish rules set, sort of aiming at the design space of Lords of Underearth

Good luck!
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