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Old 06-11-2018, 10:43 PM   #21
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Experience Points

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
I'm not sure that 'un-dumping the dump stat', is ideal tho. I like it when some characters have low ST and some have high ST. The rules give an experience bonus that encourages all humans to have 13, 13 and 14 divided up between their attributes.
Yes. Perhaps the cost scale should be relative to the character's starting levels? Hmm but then it would need a steeper scale, and it wouldn't impede going for the highest values. Not sure.


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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
This also makes it easier for goblins to get their 8 extra attributes than humans.
Not if racial variations were an offset.

Goblins do have a rough time in TFT as is. Goblins might have different maximums too, but if it's +8, well they'd still be 2 points total lower at maximum.



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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Since wishes are going to be VERY much in demand now,
Yeah, that part I'm not as excited about, as I never liked Wishes used that way and it gets into wealth and power being able to buy personal excellence. Except...


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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
I think it would be wise to look at how wishes are made, and the economics of wishes.
Yes, definitely, and...

This change also nicely addresses this problem, though probably not to everyone's satisfaction. The maximum IQ normal wizard would be ST 8 DX 8 IQ 24... in order to create a wish, such a wizard would need to roll 3d versus 24 - 20 = 4, or 6 if he has a +2 Charm item. Muahaha, would-be industrial wish-makers! Of course, probably that wasn't part of Steve's intention, but personally I dislike industrially-made Wishes enough that I really would not mind.


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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
In particular, I suggest that wish granting demons have variable IQs.

I wrote up an essay on the economics of wishes here...

https://tft.brainiac.com/RicksTFT/GM...illsInTFT.html
And yes, I think demons should definitely be much more individualized, and your demon/wish expansion is very nice!

And, your Psychic Combat talent therein would make wishes possible again - a theoretical human could get up to an 11 with it and a charm... though IQ 24 people might have to be forced by someone else who really want Wishes to do it, since it's still a huge risk of death.

Last edited by Skarg; 06-11-2018 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:48 PM   #22
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Default Re: Experience Points

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
...

Mana and the Wizard’s Staff
(Some of this goes elsewhere, notably under STAFF in the section on wizardry.)
Mana is a stat, not of the wizard, but of the wizard’s staff. When a wizard first creates a staff, it has 0 mana. By spending 100 XP, the wizard may add 1 to the mana of the staff, up to a limit of the wizard’s current IQ score. Each point of mana can be spent like a point of ST to power spells.
Once spent, the mana must be replaced. To “recharge” his staff, the wizard must either spend 5 ST points, or spend a half-day in contemplation, for each ST point replaced. (An exploit is clearly possible here using the Drain ST spell and a whole lot of prisoners. I don’t see it coming up enough in play to be a problem, and it encourages evil rulers to keep their prisoners alive so their evil wizards can farm ST. Maybe good rulers would do it too, at least as part of some punishments.)
If a staff is lost or destroyed, the wizard’s next one will have the same mana stat. The XP was spent, not to enhance a stick of wood, but to improve the wizard’s understanding of the spell.
A wizard may have only one staff at a time. If he loses his staff, the act of making another will disempower the old staff.
No one but the creating wizard himself may draw ST from a staff.
The “Staff of Power” spell doubles the mana that a staff can hold.

...
Hi everyone, Steve.
On my first read thru, I was paying the most attention to the experience part of the post. But thinking about the staff rules...

-- It sounds like a wizard can power spells with fatigue ST like normal, with damage (such as with the Death Spell type spells), and with mana from the staff. So a ST 10, IQ 14 wizard with a maxed out staff would effectively have 24 fatigue points to spend on spells. Correct?

-- I highlighted a section of Steve's post above. In a half day (12 hours), a wizard would regain 48 fatigue. Divide that by 5 (round down) and he can put back 9 fST. If I'm reading the rules right, in that half day of meditation, the wizard can recharge one mana point in the staff. This sounds wildly inefficient.

This is even worse because while resting the wizard could be talking to people, reading a book, watching a play, etc. But while meditating the wizard can do nothing else. Meditating is more restrictive than resting, so it should fill up the fatigue ST in the staff faster. But as written it is a lot worse.

How about, if the wizard does nothing but meditate for half a day, the staff is simply completely recharged?

Warm regards, Rick.

EDIT: Rereading what Steve wrote, I'm not sure if he means that you can spend 5 fatigue ST to recharge one point of mana in the staff, or if the wizard must sacrifice 5 damage to recharge one point. In that case, recharging the staff would be a long and painful task. If you have to sacrifice damage to recharge the staff, then using the staff's power is a last resort thing, and only having to spend half a day of concentration to put one fatigue into it makes more sense.

regards.

Last edited by Rick_Smith; 06-11-2018 at 11:13 PM. Reason: Added bit at bottom.
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:09 AM   #23
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Experience Points

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
-- It sounds like a wizard can power spells with fatigue ST like normal, with damage (such as with the Death Spell type spells), and with mana from the staff. So a ST 10, IQ 14 wizard with a maxed out staff would effectively have 24 fatigue points to spend on spells. Correct?
I read it as also requiring 100 EP per point, so that wizard would also have to spend 1400 EP to get Staff-14. I think a non-Wizard would need 3x that in EP. (It might be good if the cost ramped up as its level increases, too.)


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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
-- I highlighted a section of Steve's post above. In a half day (12 hours), a wizard would regain 48 fatigue. Divide that by 5 (round down) and he can put back 9 fST. If I'm reading the rules right, in that half day of meditation, the wizard can recharge one mana point in the staff. This sounds wildly inefficient.
Yes, compared to the other rate. Though it also means the wizard has to drop 5 fatigue 9 times during the day, and has to be resting, while it might (?) be that the contemplation can be done while hiking?
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:23 AM   #24
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: Experience Points

Trying to separate the new XP system into effects:
  • The game system trusts the GM far more, but also puts more responsibility on the GM to get the awards right. This is a matter of style. It might be nice to have both systems in the game but we can live with just one.
  • Maybe I haven't understood, but if the rate per session is 25 to 100, and the cost to improve an attribute is 500 XP, then it might take quite a few sessions to progress in attributes. Talents are cheaper, but there might not be a talent you specifically need at the moment.
  • The rate at which characters acquire experience points is now independent of how powerful they are.
  • The XP cost to provide a character with a particular level of attributes now goes up kind of polynomially rather than exponentially, i.e. much more slowly for high attributes. This might override the previous change and make attribute bloat more likely rather than less. Personally I never saw it as a huge issue anyway.
  • The addition of a channel for wizards to improve themselves (staff mana) is a benefit to wizards over fighters.
  • The separation of IQ prerequisites from memory for talents and spells is a small disadvantage for fighters. It's a more significant disadvantage for skill monkeys, thieves, scouts, etc.. It's a much nastier disadvantage for wizards.
  • The last two points might all cancel out, who knows.
  • I second someone's suggestion of dividing all XP awards by something, and I suggest "something" be between 10 and 25 inclusive.
  • As you get experienced, talents look cheaper and cheaper, whereas inexperienced characters will be relatively lean, purpose-built characters. That might be good or bad, it probably needs play test to know. Someone had a proposal like this where talent cost stayed flat while attribute cost rose exponentially and I said that was a problem. It's still an issue here but less of one because the cost of attributes rises more slowly.
  • The system encourages an evening-up of attributes, and for experienced characters talents are cheap so an experienced character will probably buy lots of them. That might reduce the variety of characters, especially at the upper end. This is something to worry about.
  • Comparison with standard TFT plus Rick's mIQ mechanism:
    • 32 to 36 point characters: attribute cost has gone from 125 to maybe 600; talent cost from 42 to 100.
    • 41 to 45 point characters: attribute cost has gone from 1000 to maybe 600; talent cost from 333 to 100.
    The actual numbers don't mean a lot because XP awards will differ between systems in an unpredictable way. But the attribute to talent ratio is always higher in the new system. This may reflect Rick having created many new talents, several of which will be must-haves for any particular character, so talents were more useful in that system and making them more expensive was reasonable.

Trying to construct the same example characters as I have in previous :

Swordsman: ST 13, DX 11, IQ 8; Knife, Sword, Shield, Running: something like 3400 XPs. Presumably that (or a bit more, since he's short on talents) is what characters start on?

Conan the Cimmerian: ST 24, DX 18, IQ 14; maybe 60 points of talents; something like 45-50K XPs, of course this is a complete joke. By comparison, a character with these attributes and a quarter as many talents would cost about the same in the old system. Go above this level and the new system is cheaper, even with lots of extra talents.

All in all, I think this system might work OK. It's hard to know before play testing. I'm maybe a little worried the variety of characters might decline. But it's giving me an encouraging feeling.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:39 AM   #25
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Experience Points

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
Yes; raising the low stat is cheapest. I want to tempt people to un-dump their dump stat!
It's always a problem when the xp system doesn't match the character creation system, because it encourages you to take a dump stat as it reduces the xp cost to reach your final goal. For example, let's say my goal is stats of 16/16/8.

If I start at 12/12/8, it will cost me 6,600 xp to reach my goal. If I start at 16/8/8, it will cost me 4,700 xp.
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:07 PM   #26
JLV
 
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Default Re: Experience Points

I'm wondering if a flat rate for all spells isn't making them too easy to acquire... (Of course, not seeing the totality of Steve's revisions, it's hard to say what the reality is, and making Spells easy to acquire might be a "feature" and not a "bug" in the system.)

But, if Spells are "too easy," maybe it should be something like a Flat Rate times the IQ Level of the Spell.

So, for example, you could pick some standardized flat rate in XP (say, purely for example, "20," or "25," or "50") and multiply that times the IQ Level of the Spell.

Just working with 20XP as our flat rate, that would make an IQ 8 Spell worth 160 XP to learn, while an IQ 20 Spell would cost 400 XP to learn. Which seems like a reasonable progression to me...

That might help push back the cross-over point at which Wizards become the all-powerful characters and Warriors are comparatively "less" capable...
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:17 PM   #27
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Default Re: Experience Points

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
It's always a problem when the xp system doesn't match the character creation system, because it encourages you to take a dump stat as it reduces the xp cost to reach your final goal. For example, let's say my goal is stats of 16/16/8.

If I start at 12/12/8, it will cost me 6,600 xp to reach my goal. If I start at 16/8/8, it will cost me 4,700 xp.
That's a very good point...except for the fact that a starting DX of 8 has never been a very successful survival trait in most of the TFT games I've played (you can't hit anything very well, and you sure can't wear any armor, which makes you the one voted "most likely to die" at the start of the game). Of course, you could go with 8/16/8 and get the same effect, except that if the enemy gets a good double-damage hit on you at any point, odds are you'll die... I'm guessing, in other words, that given the lethality of TFT combat, the odds of such a "min/max" character surviving are not great.

Still, it's a good point, and should probably be playtested some. Redmond Simonsen, the father of modern wargame graphics, once said that a lesson he'd learned in the early days at SPI was to "playtest the crazy plans and ideas too" because they were often the ones that would reveal a big loophole in the rules that were written with the normal outcome in mind... (Which is not to say that Steve might not already have fully considered that, but simply that I don't know if he did or didn't!)
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:26 PM   #28
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Experience Points

I have seen systems that much more heavily encouraged starting the game dumping stats and then building them up after character creation, so in practice this xp system might not create too many issues, but it's certainly the type of thing that needs to be thought about.
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:34 PM   #29
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Experience Points

One good approach might be to not permit stat raises above some total number, or another such constraint, like you can't more than double the initial value of any one stat (so, you Hercules with ST 32 is possible, but only if he/she starts with ST 16), and then provide one or more additional uses of EXP, like buying talents and spells (obviously, relaxing the IQ based cap on the talent/spell economy).
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Old 06-12-2018, 01:00 PM   #30
ak_aramis
 
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Default Re: Experience Points

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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
One good approach might be to not permit stat raises above some total number, or another such constraint, like you can't more than double the initial value of any one stat (so, you Hercules with ST 32 is possible, but only if he/she starts with ST 16), and then provide one or more additional uses of EXP, like buying talents and spells (obviously, relaxing the IQ based cap on the talent/spell economy).
I've done similar; one campaign the cap was initial + distributable points, the other was initial + 10.

I like the +10 limit.

Given the explicit mechanical roles each attribute has... I can see allowing splits (and have done so) in the same way GURPS does...

Each breaks down into 3, however, and a +1 to a sub is half-cost.
ST: Prerequisite/lifting, Fatigue, Hits
DX: Prerequisites, To-Hits, other rolls.
IQ: Prerequisites, Slots, Rolls.

Note, I've allowed prerequisite-only at half cost before. Making up the difference was half-cost, as well.
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