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Old 03-09-2018, 01:59 PM   #681
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

It seems to me the main talent issues are:

* Some reasonable character designs need higher minimum IQ than seems appropriate to be able to fit the talents in their heads.

* Increasing IQ to be able to fit enough talents leads to more characters with high IQ, which blurs the distinction of which characters are smart and observant etc.

* Increasing IQ for experienced characters leads to IQ ability-level inflation which applies to all sorts of IQ rolls.

* Characters with talents tend to be more capable than those without, but that isn't taken into account for EP costs or estimating character ability level, unless/until someone spends EP on IQ.

* Character development is always about increasing attributes since there's nothing else to spend EP on, leading to powerful characters tending to have rather high attributes, making them generically good at everything and making most any sort of 3d6 roll, which become dull. It'd be nice if there were something else to do with EP, so that might not happen so much.

* Some fighting styles have an expert-level talent (sword, missiles, thrown) and some don't (axe, pole, shield, peculiars), and then Unarmed Combat has five and requires 11 memory points and IQ 14. Seems off.

* The rules for forgetting talents and forgetting talents being studied are a bit weird.

To me, it seems like reducing talent costs doesn't solve many of those, but that all of that could be neatly addressed by adding some nice talents (more expert talents, armor-wearing talent that reduces armor DX penalty, other tricks), and then letting EP be spend on getting talents without raising IQ but with some revised study rules, and adjusting the EP curve for increasing attributes so it starts getting really steep at about 38 points.
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Old 03-09-2018, 02:31 PM   #682
JLV
 
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
It seems to me the main talent issues are:

* Some reasonable character designs need higher minimum IQ than seems appropriate to be able to fit the talents in their heads.

* Increasing IQ to be able to fit enough talents leads to more characters with high IQ, which blurs the distinction of which characters are smart and observant etc.

* Increasing IQ for experienced characters leads to IQ ability-level inflation which applies to all sorts of IQ rolls.

* Characters with talents tend to be more capable than those without, but that isn't taken into account for EP costs or estimating character ability level, unless/until someone spends EP on IQ.

* Character development is always about increasing attributes since there's nothing else to spend EP on, leading to powerful characters tending to have rather high attributes, making them generically good at everything and making most any sort of 3d6 roll, which become dull. It'd be nice if there were something else to do with EP, so that might not happen so much.

* Some fighting styles have an expert-level talent (sword, missiles, thrown) and some don't (axe, pole, shield, peculiars), and then Unarmed Combat has five and requires 11 memory points and IQ 14. Seems off.

* The rules for forgetting talents and forgetting talents being studied are a bit weird.

To me, it seems like reducing talent costs doesn't solve many of those, but that all of that could be neatly addressed by adding some nice talents (more expert talents, armor-wearing talent that reduces armor DX penalty, other tricks), and then letting EP be spend on getting talents without raising IQ but with some revised study rules, and adjusting the EP curve for increasing attributes so it starts getting really steep at about 38 points.
I have to agree -- this pretty nicely summarizes both the issues and the issues with the potential solutions to the issues. I'd like to see something similar.
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Old 03-09-2018, 05:43 PM   #683
Jim Kane
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Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
* Some fighting styles have an expert-level talent (sword, missiles, thrown) and some don't (axe, pole, shield, peculiars), and then Unarmed Combat has five
This is something I would like to see re-examined to determine if there is any desirability/feasibility to have Tiered Levels for ALL Talents.

Consider if you will: FLAIL III, WOODSMAN V, SHIELD II, or PHSYCKER IV - could this be used in some way to keep ST 0=DEAD as the rule, AND yet, satisfy those who are asking for a DEAD=FULLY NEG ST Rule change - as a better way to improve the game overall with a high-level of detail, without having to re-work the root-design, and define the distinction between characters more fully, while also expressing how characters play more efficiently?

.
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Old 03-09-2018, 05:54 PM   #684
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: Problems with Illusions in Adv. Wiz.

My main problem with illusions was that generally they weren't really there but occasionally they were. For example, illusions would walk over pits of which the wizard was unaware, but wizards could see through their eyes and therefore use them as scouts.

I would prefer if wizards couldn't see through the eyes of illusions.

I would oppose making illusions real knots of force that do real damage, this makes them just another kind of summoned monster.
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Old 03-09-2018, 06:31 PM   #685
Bayarea
 
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Default Re: Two simple ways to get more talents.

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Hi Bayarea, everyone.
Actually my superscript rules don't require rewriting everything. The half page of rules and half page of examples pretty much do it.

I show costs that are paid in fatigue ST as fST, but that can be done without the superscript rules at all. It just shows costs more clearly.

I've added a lot of new talents, and I think Steve should as well. Someone pointed out that most jobs in TFT had two levels of talents. Thief and Master Thief. Sword and Fencing. Bow and Missile Weapons, etc. But I like to have more skills to distinguish beginners from true masters.

Anyway, I've played a long time with talents being cheaper and it has not harmed play. I'm used to people having twice as many talents as the base game.

Looking at two of my examples, Knife going from 1 memory to 1/2 a memory is a 50% drop in price but Master Thief (3), INCLUDING Thief (2), reduces 4 memory to 3, or 75% of the current cost. I certainly don't think any harm would be done to TFT if the talents cost 3/4 to 1/2 of their current price. In fact it would be a great good: heroes would be less overshadowed by wizards and Conan could have a decent number of talents at reasonable IQ for him.

Of course, the cost is that you would have to learn new memory prices.

8-O

Warm regards, Rick.
Hi Rick and all,

Everyone is always bringing up Conan, if you read the books he get pretty smart. Sure as a youth he is strong and not particularly educated, but in the later books he is in his 30's with a ton of experience. So it wouldn't outside the realm that he could have a 15 or better IQ score.

Also he is in armor plenty of the time in the books (Maille or leather jerkin, but a least once in full plate) plus he probably is strong enough to wear it without much penalty.

If your running that type of a campaign then a little fudging is probably required, but my 12 year old and 8 year old twins are learning how to make new characters on a regular basis. They learned last week not to shoot arrows into the HTH pile with the Gargoyle and 2 PC in it. ;-O.
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Old 03-09-2018, 06:36 PM   #686
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: The Fantasy Trip

I'm not a big fan of weapon-specific talents and here's why:

Hypothetical A: Two equally capable heroes, Gladius the swordsman and Hastatus the spearman, are captured by the villains, who take away their sword and spear respectively. When the heroes escape, they have to fight their way out with spears taken from defeated guards.
  • Case A1: Gladius is just as good as Hastatus.
  • Case A2: Gladius is not quite as good as Hastatus.
  • Case A3: Gladius is nowhere near as good as Hastatus.

Hypothetical B: Ericius is a simple character design with one weapon, a spatha, used under all circumstances. Vulpes is modelled after a professional warrior of the Greek, Roman or Viking period and carries a wide variety of weapons: a javelin he throws before contact, a spear for the initial contact, a shield, a spatha-like sword for whacking people over the shields, a short stabby sword for between the shields, a dagger for just in case, etc.
  • Case B1: Ericius and Vulpes are equally good at fighting with a spatha, Vulpes gains flexibility for nothing.
  • Case B2: Ericius is a little better at fighting with a spatha, Vulpes only pays a modest cost for flexibility.
  • Case B3: Vulpes has paid a fortune for flexibility, and is much less capable than Ericius.

For my taste, A2 and B2 are preferred from a role-playing point of view and probably also more realistic. I'd prefer to see a system where this is true.

Standard TFT is more toward the A3/B3 end of the spectrum. In addition, some GMs introduce higher levels of talents that are specific to particular weapons (Sword 3, etc.). These push the game even more toward the A3/B3 end of the spectrum. It's really expensive to buy the high levels in lots of different weapons so characters get strongly committed to their preferred weapon.

In a game I ran I introduced All Weapons as a cheap talent that reduced the -4 DX modifier for not having a weapon talent to -1 DX. (It had as a prerequisite having learnt some weapon talents, I think two points worth.) This was an attempt to push the game back to A2/B2. If anyone has any other thoughts on the subject, in particular what worked in real games, I'd like to hear them.
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Old 03-09-2018, 07:56 PM   #687
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: Two simple ways to get more talents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayarea View Post
Hi Rick and all,

Everyone is always bringing up Conan, if you read the books he get pretty smart. ...
Hi Bayarea, everyone.
I actually agree with you. King Conan was no dummy. However, mentioning his name was a short hand for "I want to play a tough fighter who is not a brain trust, but has lots of talents. Can't be done in TFT."

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:10 PM   #688
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Lowering memory cost of talents doesn't fix everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
It seems to me the main talent issues are:
...
* Characters with talents tend to be more capable than those without, but that isn't taken into account for EP costs or estimating character ability level, unless/until someone spends EP on IQ.
...

To me, it seems like reducing talent costs doesn't solve many of those, but that all of that could be neatly addressed by adding some nice talents (more expert talents, armor-wearing talent that reduces armor DX penalty, other tricks), and then letting EP be spend on getting talents without raising IQ but with some revised study rules, and adjusting the EP curve for increasing attributes so it starts getting really steep at about 38 points.
Hi Skarg, everyone.
My superscript rules (and expended talent list) do fix all of these. (Except for one, see below.) However, I think that they are too different from basic TFT for Steve Jackson to go for them.

Making talents cheaper is a easy fix for some of the problems you listed.

Reducing the amount of experience given out is an easy fix for some of the other problems you listed.

A few different, easy fixes would make the new TFT significantly better than the old.

*****

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.

Warm regards, Rick.

Last edited by Rick_Smith; 03-09-2018 at 08:18 PM. Reason: Spelling error.
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:15 PM   #689
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default All talents get more levels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
This is something I would like to see re-examined to determine if there is any desirability/feasibility to have Tiered Levels for ALL Talents.

Consider if you will: FLAIL III, WOODSMAN V, SHIELD II, or PHSYCKER IV - could this be used in some way to keep ST 0=DEAD as the rule, AND yet, satisfy those who are asking for a DEAD=FULLY NEG ST Rule change - as a better way to improve the game overall with a high-level of detail, without having to re-work the root-design, and define the distinction between characters more fully, while also expressing how characters play more efficiently?
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.

Last edited by Rick_Smith; 03-09-2018 at 08:25 PM. Reason: Added argument about ST 0 = dead.
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:38 PM   #690
JLV
 
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Default Re: All talents get more levels.

Quote:
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.

Warm regards, Rick.
Though actually, I extrapolated it for my own amusement, and it's really not as hard as it would appear to make all talents work at four different levels.

For the purposes of my look at this (generally speaking) I had Level 0, Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 talents. Level 0 was the "Student" level, where you learned enough that when you tried to do something (say, use a sword) you now could roll for success on 3/ATT (where "ATT" is whatever the appropriate attribute was), instead of 4/ATT (remember, if you don't have the talent, you roll an extra die against the appropriate attribute to succeed).

At Level 1, you were at the "Apprentice" level and received a +1 bonus of some kind (in weapons, you could either take it as a +1 to your DX, or a +1 to the damage dealt, but not both at the same time, you had to pick one or the other; everything else it was generally a +1 to the attribute you needed to roll against for success for the use of that talent only. At Level 2 "Journeyman" you received a +2 bonus, and at Level 3 "Master" you received a +3 bonus.

For weapons, at the +2 and +3 levels, the question was always can you split the bonuses (i.e., do +1 damage while rolling against your DX+1 for the "+2" bonus situation). Personally, I don't see any problem with doing that.

There were a few other special cases, by talent, in there too (e.g., Medic-1 would either allow you to heal an extra HP, or would allow you to increase your attribute for success by one, but not both -- you had to pick and choose).

That also explains where I originally came up with the "10x IQ level of the Talent" for an XP cost for the talents. The way you learned the higher levels of talents was to simply double the cost for each level. So if Sword is an IQ 7 talent, then it would cost you 70XP for Sword-0, 140 XP for Sword-1, 280 XP for Sword-2, and 560 XP for Sword-3, all of which would have to be paid in order. The total cost to become a master swordsman would thus be 1050 XP, which seems pretty reasonable for that level of expertise...and also made for interesting choices when deciding whether to increase or add a talent, or add an attribute point.

You'll note that the above XP cost system tends to flatten the skill levels over the course of the game -- as a new character, you tend to pick up a lot of Level-0 skills pretty rapidly, but that simultaneously delays your attribute increase and still doesn't provide you with much of an advantage in skill. If you really want to go hog-wild as an "early" character (that is, one that has just started his adventuring career), you can bump up Sword-0 to Sword-1, but that costs a bit more in XP than bumping up your DX, say, would. The trade-off is that while bumping up my DX by one accomplishes half of what increasing my skill level would, increasing my skill level ALSO gives me the advantage of increasing my damage instead, if I so choose; so the cost of 140 for Sword-1 is not really out of line with the cost of attributes at that point in your career, and now you are confronted with a meaningful choice on how exactly you want to spend your XP.

Arguably, for the non-weapon talents, it would still be better to take the DX point, but that choice varies more than you think simply because of in-game events, the need to boost IQ for new talents you want to gain, and so on; so again, the choices aren't either/or even in that case...instead you are confronted with competing choices to increase existing skill levels, acquire new skills, raise ST for obvious reasons, raise DX for obvious reasons, or increase IQ to gain new opportunities -- all of which have to be weighed against one another and what is actually occurring in the game itself.

I am NOT suggesting this system for talents, by the way, merely explaining a mental exercise I undertook with TFT Talents based on the DCG's skills method, and showing how it would work in a hypothetical game. Additionally, the description above is neither exhaustive nor complete, so as you pick holes in it, remember, there was more to the idea that what I wrote here. And I think I covered most (if not all) of the problems you will all quickly identify when I wrote this out for myself... ;-)

Last edited by JLV; 03-09-2018 at 08:58 PM.
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