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Old 01-13-2018, 03:15 PM   #291
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: Attribute levels in Rick's Campaign.

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Originally Posted by JLV View Post
My campaigns always allowed job rolls; plus I added in a bunch of "extra" off-time things players could do (reworked versions of the Down With The King prestige tables) which could also result in XP awards -- not solely from rolling on the tables, but also from the consequences of some of those rolls -- things such as duels, trials, escapes from prison, etc., etc. All of which meant that off-time could lead to some nice extra XP, as well as providing numerous plot hooks for "on-time" that led to fast and furious engagements and adventures. While "on-time" still gave more XP, off-time was no longer a dull job roll (unless that's all the player wanted) with minimal additional XP. It's amazing how fast XP can pile up in such a situation, even with a guy (like me) that was somewhat grudging with XP awards for things other than magic use or fighting. On average then, the player character loss:survival ratio was about 3:1, and even so, I routinely had player characters reach the 50s and 60s after a year or two of play, with some managing considerably more if they managed to survive all the way to the end of the campaign.
My campaigns were pretty lethal (particularly before I gave them a healing spell), so that probably restricted ultra high attribute characters.

Now, I would agree that TFT as written doesn't do well with 60+ point characters. Even my blasphemous and sinister d20 mechanic would break down at that point. A game that plausibly allows characters that powerful will require an opposed mechanic of some kind to work well. Someone - was it you - told that they had a system sorta like the Runequest the resistance table. Such a system would probably help in a super powered TFT game. I now see your point about attribute bloat.
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:28 PM   #292
Bayarea
 
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

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Originally Posted by JLV View Post
You really need to re-read the Experience section of the rules -- it's on pages 10 and 11 of ITL, and discusses the many ways that XP can be earned. Last time I checked, XP were cumulative, so sure, "no job roll" will earn you 10,000 XP, but every little point counts, and over time you can accumulate a lot of XP. Still, you're entitled to your opinion...as am I. More importantly, I think you're forgetting, or ignoring, the ways in which attribute bloat, even at mild levels, tends to skew the underlying systems, but sure, whatever. Finally, who cares if it takes more than one game session? If you play long enough, it can still happen, and "time" isn't the issue here. I note in passing that you still seem to be focusing on XP for kills, almost exclusively, though.


Yes, I was there for those discussions. And I still disagree. So there's that. There's also the the fact that you just tacitly conceded that there HAVE been a few 80-90 point characters running around, and that the occasional Conan the Wizard DOES come into play...




I think we can all agree that it's quite lethal. I think we can also all agree that some people get lucky and move their characters forward without dying, occasionally. Especially when, as noted earlier in this thread, they are running multiple characters at the same time (which TFT lends itself to doing). The bottom line is that while my experience may be "anecdotal," so is yours. And my experience has indicated that it IS possible to "break" the system through attribute bloat. And that it really only takes one character to do it. So everything you say can be quite true, and still not change the issue of attribute bloat being a potential game breaker. I'm sorry you feel that I'm exaggerating a minor or even non-existant problem for some reason, but that doesn't actually persuade me that I'm wrong or inaccurate in my concern.
No you are misunderstanding my point 10000 EP is still 10000 EP so lets say for the sake of argument you play the same character one session per week per year (taking 2 weeks vacation) and average 400 EP/session.

TFT dies in 1981 and you have your 55 point PC it will take 2 and a half years to get him to 60, a further 5 more years to get him to 65 and 10 more to get to 70. So now it is 1998 Joe Hartley starts Brainiac.com, you have a 70 point character now on that current pace you would get to 75 this year 2018. That is if he didn't get killed, if you played every week without any breaks and you didn't fudge anything. That is a lot of if's. Now your GM may have given a lot of discretionary EP but most EP still comes from Combat, good Roleplaying, Saving rolls.


Rick just corrected me on this site that it was 60 not 80 and Ty Beard also piped in that he never had a character over 50, and I know most of the other on the site had lower numbers than that with maybe on near 50. So the preponderance of evidence suggests that it is really hard to get a character to that high of level. The fact that their are super strong guys around on earth doesn't mean everybody can be, the guy on Game of Thrones is actually a strong man (has competed) that doesn't mean I can work up to that level. He is a statistical anomaly.


My problem with your argument is that if one character somehow got to a high level that it breaks the entire game. Move the campaign away from him or his area, split the party, where super tough guy goes nothing happens eventually he will get the hint.

99% of all PC and Non PC characters are under 45 attributes. If one player gets a character up to a level like what you are talking about a few things usually happen the player retires (maybe becoming a NPC Sponsor) because there are no challenges, the player becomes a political broker or fief holder so his attributes don't matter as much anymore or if he is obnoxious the GM takes care of him (rare wasting disease, bad mushrooms, Mnoren assassin and the like) and that is the end of that.
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:38 PM   #293
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Default Re: Attribute levels in Rick's Campaign.

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
My campaigns were pretty lethal (particularly before I gave them a healing spell), so that probably restricted ultra high attribute characters.

Now, I would agree that TFT as written doesn't do well with 60+ point characters. Even my blasphemous and sinister d20 mechanic would break down at that point. A game that plausibly allows characters that powerful will require an opposed mechanic of some kind to work well. Someone - was it you - told that they had a system sorta like the Runequest the resistance table. Such a system would probably help in a super powered TFT game. I now see your point about attribute bloat.
It wasn't me, but I do know that they've used the "resistance table" (opposed abilities as a percentage outcome likely to result) for decades with both Runequest and Call of Cthulhu. It wasn't until 7th edition that they got rid of the Resistance Table for CoC, and I think it's still in there with the latest version of RQ. And yes, that works very well for its intended purpose -- and allows a much wider variety of attribute levels to compete on a reasonably logical basis; but such a table would be a complete revamp of TFT's underlying mechanics, I think, so I'm not sure how popular that concept would be in SJG-land! ;-)

And boy-howdy, are you right about the lethality of TFT without some kind of readily available healing -- lots and LOTS of healing potions (a la Diablo/Diablo II), or a simple (and not tremendously effective) healing spell help a lot, but with the healing spell, you're really just robbing Peter to pay Paul -- it costs ST to cast the spell, and is effectively just shifting a ST point or two to another character. It's a viable tactic, but it suffers from quickly diminishing returns. Especially if you want your Wizard to do anything else! ;-) Of course you could always take another leaf from Diablo, etc., and add in "fatigue recovery potions" (as opposed to Mana Potions) that allow "fatigue" ST to be recovered more quickly...
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:00 PM   #294
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

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No you are misunderstanding my point 10000 EP is still 10000 EP so lets say for the sake of argument you play the same character one session per week per year (taking 2 weeks vacation) and average 400 EP/session.
Well, that's our disconnect right there. We play a LOT more frequently than that when I have a group -- usually the minimum is every weekend for multiple hours, and frequently one or more week-nights as well. That blows your theoretical numbers right out of the water from the start -- given that level of frequency, topping 1000 XP per week is not unlikely, which takes your "time" issue down to much more likely levels. Even assuming people take a month off (in the military you get 30 days of leave per year -- and if you accumulate too much, the higher-ups get cranky about it since it makes it look as if they are denying you leave...), you're still easily topping 30,000 XP per year, and probably getting closer to 45,000 to 50,000.

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My problem with your argument is that if one character somehow got to a high level that it breaks the entire game. Move the campaign away from him or his area, split the party, where super tough guy goes nothing happens eventually he will get the hint.
I'd like to take exception to the word "argument." I'm not arguing. I'm simply stating the observed facts in my campaigns. And punishing a player for exceptional play...isn't my style...

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Originally Posted by Bayarea View Post
99% of all PC and Non PC characters are under 45 attributes. If one player gets a character up to a level like what you are talking about a few things usually happen the player retires (maybe becoming a NPC Sponsor) because there are no challenges, the player becomes a political broker or fief holder so his attributes don't matter as much anymore or if he is obnoxious the GM takes care of him (rare wasting disease, bad mushrooms, Mnoren assassin and the like) and that is the end of that.
Killing off a player character as a "reward" for exceptional play seems...bad...somehow, to me. If the player wants to continue to play, he or she should be allowed to. Unless one of the house rules is that "no Player Character can ever surpass 45 points" or something. In which case the reverse effect takes place and after increasing by 13 points, the game is essentially over -- they can never improve, never gain new talents or spells, etc.

Most importantly, you're disregarding my explanation that Attribute Bloat has insidious effects long before you reach the 90-point wonder. The character essentially becomes a human threshing machine when his DX hits roughly 18, and his ST just continues to decrease his vulnerability as he increases it beyond 18 (which is easier to do since you can effectively stop increasing your DX at about 18-24), while his IQ grows to grotesque proportions as he plumps it up to gain new talents and/or spells. Eventually you would think his 40-pound head would wobble even on his massively thewed neck...

I'm wondering if some sort of sliding experience scale based on the current attribute point total of EACH ATTRIBUTE might not go a long way to addressing some of this. Perhaps each point of ST gain should predicated on the existing total of unadjusted ST for that character -- something along the lines of "it costs 100XP TIMES THE NEW UNADJUSTED ST LEVEL to increase ST by 1. Thus, if your ST is 8 and you want to go to 9, it'll cost you 900 XP, while if your ST is 17 and you want to go to 18, it's gonna cost 1800 XP (those numbers are not a "suggestion" btw, instead merely being thrown out to explain the theoretical process) -- similar numbers would apply for DX and IQ. That doesn't solve the fact that DX effectively tops out at roughly 18 (or at best, let's say 24, if you want to wear Plate Armor and carry a shield), whereas the ST and IQ attributes are essentially unlimited in any way, but at least it slows attribute bloat to the point where it takes longer to get to the point of skewing the system. (Edited to add: And naturally, you could use some sort of logarithmic scale here too, instead of the purely arithmetic one I used above. Say, doubling the cost for each ST point gained. Thus, you might pay 900 to get ST 9 (100 x the desired new ST level) while you would pay 2000 to get to ST 10 (200 x the desired new ST level) and 4800 to get to ST 12 (400 x the desired new ST level), and so on. Again, numbers are used solely for illustrative purposes and do not constitute a "suggestion" or "recommendation." Those numbers are probably too extreme in any case, but you get the point.)

Last edited by JLV; 01-13-2018 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:38 PM   #295
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

I just want to move this over from the other thread so that people can think about this too:

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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
So true. If there is one lesson to learn from the full arc of the history of roleplaying games, its that content is king.

D+D's rules were always oddly organized, drifted around and were constantly being hacked in major ways. The details of the rules are not what made it stay on top in the face of lots of well produced competitors.

The real content of the game - dungeons, monster manuals, spell books, items - were exceptional from the beginning and remain impressive. I can't think of another game in the last 40 years that put out the volume of meaty material that actually gets used at the table in such a short time.

Plus, good settings and dungeons are forever whereas most rules 'hacks' are just static that gets lost in the noise of the hundreds of game systems out there.
I think this is a really important point concerning plans for future development of the game system. I realize that our immediate goal is to get the rules and existing adventures back out on the street as soon as reasonably possible, but after that the next consideration has to be "whenceforth now?" And larsdangly makes an extremely valid statement here!
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:57 PM   #296
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I love the idea of using 54mm figures for a convention demo. Looking on eBay I found this guy:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/TIN-HISTORY...-/262905823176

How do you suppose he uses that weapon combo? Throws one spear, fights with the other one-handed? Shield is very passive in that case. Shield is for emergencies in case his second spear gets cut up? Hm.
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:07 PM   #297
JLV
 
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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
I love the idea of using 54mm figures for a convention demo. Looking on eBay I found this guy:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/TIN-HISTORY...-/262905823176

How do you suppose he uses that weapon combo? Throws one spear, fights with the other one-handed? Shield is very passive in that case. Shield is for emergencies in case his second spear gets cut up? Hm.
The figure appears to be a Thracian Peltast (as opposed to a "Tracian Plant"); and here's what Wikipedia has to say about them:

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Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Peltasts carried a crescent-shaped wicker shield called a pelte (Latin: peltarion) as their main protection, hence their name. According to Aristotle, the pelte was rimless and covered in goat or sheep skin. Some literary sources imply that the shield could be round, but in art it is usually shown as crescent-shaped. It also appears in Scythian art and may have been a common type in Central Europe. The shield could be carried with a central strap and a hand grip near the rim or with just a central hand-grip. It may also have had a carrying strap (or baldric) as Thracian peltasts slung their shields on their backs when evading the enemy. Peltasts' weapons consisted of several javelins (akontia), which may have had throwing straps to allow more force to be applied to a throw.

-snip-

When faced by hoplites, peltasts operated by throwing javelins at short range. If the hoplites charged, the peltasts would retreat. As they carried considerably lighter equipment than the hoplites, they were usually able to evade successfully, especially in difficult terrain. They would then return to the attack once the pursuit ended, if possible, taking advantage of any disorder created in the hoplites' ranks.
I would presume that they kept a ready supply of javelins somewhere where they could easily access more when they expended the ones they carried... And a javelin could be used in personal combat as a short spear, something like a Zulu's Assegai, if they were forced to fight man-to-man (though a Peltast's job was to get away and return again to harass the enemy further). (Edited to add: I believe they also used slings during the Roman Empire period, though they weren't comparable in expertise with Balearic Slingers in their use.)

Last edited by JLV; 01-13-2018 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:25 PM   #298
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
I love the idea of using 54mm figures for a convention demo. Looking on eBay I found this guy:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/TIN-HISTORY...-/262905823176

How do you suppose he uses that weapon combo? Throws one spear, fights with the other one-handed? Shield is very passive in that case. Shield is for emergencies in case his second spear gets cut up? Hm.
Have seen some use of a spear as a blocking weapon but it was a much shorter spear and he mentioned he needed a wrap for the hand. He was a Xhosa and mentioned the Zulus were fond of banging the spears together to distract.

You can also use the spear to lever the other one, similar to some Largo Mano techniques. I have always suspected this might have accounted for some of the speed of Zulu spear play.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:34 PM   #299
Bayarea
 
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[QUOTE=JLV;2149984]Well, that's our disconnect right there. We play a LOT more frequently than that when I have a group -- usually the minimum is every weekend for multiple hours, and frequently one or more week-nights as well. That blows your theoretical numbers right out of the water from the start -- given that level of frequency, topping 1000 XP per week is not unlikely, which takes your "time" issue down to much more likely levels. Even assuming people take a month off (in the military you get 30 days of leave per year -- and if you accumulate too much, the higher-ups get cranky about it since it makes it look as if they are denying you leave...), you're still easily topping 30,000 XP per year, and probably getting closer to 45,000 to 50,000.

Okay sorry for saying argument, I am just trying to have an civilized discussion here. Still to your point at 1000 EP/week still breaks down 56-60 takes a year, 61-65 takes 2 years, 66-70 takes 4 years, 71-75 takes 8, 76-80 takes 16 years. Or 31 years to get to 80 if you play the same character each and every adventure. If you have someone who put that kind of time in then as long as they still fit in the campaign then great.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:55 PM   #300
Bayarea
 
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[QUOTE=JLV;2149984]



Killing off a player character as a "reward" for exceptional play seems...bad...somehow, to me. If the player wants to continue to play, he or she should be allowed to. Unless one of the house rules is that "no Player Character can ever surpass 45 points" or something. In which case the reverse effect takes place and after increasing by 13 points, the game is essentially over -- they can never improve, never gain new talents or spells, etc.

Most importantly, you're disregarding my explanation that Attribute Bloat has insidious effects long before you reach the 90-point wonder. The character essentially becomes a human threshing machine when his DX hits roughly 18, and his ST just continues to decrease his vulnerability as he increases it beyond 18 (which is easier to do since you can effectively stop increasing your DX at about 18-24), while his IQ grows to grotesque proportions as he plumps it up to gain new talents and/or spells. Eventually you would think his 40-pound head would wobble even on his massively thewed neck...


I didn't say kill a character for exceptional play but I have seen disruptive higher level PCs (45+) get sanctioned by the GM usually after several warnings.

I do agree to some extent about Fritz the Fearless needing a 20 IQ for his human tank or Sven the Mage with 25 ST being my desired result but I can deal with that.

As for becoming invulnerable with 20+ DX and 20+ ST even using the house rule that reduce charge damage to one extra die instead of Double Damage (David O Miller I believe I don't want to take credit for something not my own), charges hit before anything else...

Also several times my PC have been surrounded usually by orcs and goblins but occasionally by the really bad stuff (Vampire Family outing still make my spine tingle we died but it was hilarious) this leaves a lot of die rolls to overcome armor so unless they have armor stopping 12 plus hits then it seems more stylistic than game mechanic.

I leave it at that we can always agree to disagree. Again I in no way meant to insult you or come of as brusque it might just be my way of typing.
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