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Old 06-18-2019, 05:11 AM   #1
Tywyll
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

So it occurred to me yesterday that, intentionally or not, the new XP rules for TFT create an MMO-Like End Game for TFT Characters.

For those who are unaware, most MMOs have some sort of level cap, where characters stop developing after a certain point. Then, the character can continue to develop by going on raids against huge boss monsters to get better gear. Advancement is solely in the form of gear after their level cap is reached.

TFT does this with the new xp system. Characters hit a developmental wall around 38-40 stat points. They have reached their ‘level cap’ (unless GMs start giving out huge xp bonuses). Their ability to progress is now solely dependent on items and wishes.

‘High level’ characters now need to ‘grind’ greater wishes. This is difficult and dangerous (kind of like a Raid). But it results in them being able to improve stats (that are under 16) so they can continue to develop.

While this is happening, they of course will want to get items that also boost their stats. Preferably combined into a single item. A ring with +5 to all three stats would be optimal, but they will undoubtedly go through lesser stat boosting items as they continue towards their Final Form!

This actually has another hidden impact. A character has the most advancement potential if they put all their points into a single stat. A 24, 8, 8 character could get an additional 16 character points through wishes, where as a 14, 14, 12 could only get 8 extra points. However, such a lopsided character probably could not survive (unless they had a 24 Dex and even then, it would be dicey) so players will have to accept some degree of ‘suboptimal-ness’ if they hope to survive and see the end game. Still, it means players who desire to achieve the strongest characters will need to build in specific fashions to get the most out of wishes in the end game.

For example an optimal wizard probably has a 20 IQ, 12 DX and 8 ST. He can get 12 more points from wishes, for a 20 IQ, 16 DX, 16 ST, then he dons his Ring of the Wizard King for +5 to all three stats for a 25 IQ, 21 DX, 21 ST. That is what a very powerful high-end wizard or world threatening sorcerer king could reasonably look like with the new rules system.

Meanwhile, his dark lieutenant, a warrior with a more reasonable 14, 14, 12 stat block would end up looking like 21, 21, 21 after wishes and a similar ring (though honestly the warrior probably wouldn’t bother with an IQ above 14, saving 2 wishes or making that part of the ring enchantment much cheaper/easier).

So the new xp system doesn’t really prevent stat ‘bloat’, at least not as long as magic items and greater wishes are out there and the characters can generate or create them themselves. It just takes the character’s ability to be self-reliant away and instead puts a reliance on items and external sources of power…much like an MMO.

I am definitely not a fan. The new system doesn’t actually accomplish the goal of ending stat bloat, it just pushes the means to achieve it in a different direction. I think a better means of coping with it would have been to create ‘high-level’ options where characters roll 4, 5, 6D to accomplish super cool things, then the stat bloat wouldn’t matter because there would always be more to achieve. Maybe, hopefully, one day we’ll see some optional rules for that sort of play.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:01 AM   #2
kommisar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

Or the GM could just limit the number of wishes and powerful items handed out and make the game more reasonable?
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:29 AM   #3
Tywyll
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

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Originally Posted by kommisar View Post
Or the GM could just limit the number of wishes and powerful items handed out and make the game more reasonable?
Wishes and Powerful Items can both be created by the PCs. Also if all the players are saying they want to hunt for this stuff, the GM will quickly be without players if they consistently ignore them. Lastly, the rules imply this as the 'road to power'. Whether the GM allows their players to pursue it or not, in a white room, this is how people who desire power would gain it. The game isn't 'capped' at 40 attribute points like I've seen some people say when discussions about the xp system crop up, but how those points are gained are different than the old model (experience points).
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:53 AM   #4
oldwolf
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

It could be played that way but even a 12 IQ character has over 90 talents and over 70 spells available to learn. The talent and spell xp cost does not increase exponentially as attributes do. Plenty of character development potential there.

Also, and to me, this is the big difference between a human GMed game and a computer GMed game, the GM can make in world goals available that fit the players interests. Players can be given the opportunity to take on leadership roles: general, duke, etc and direct larger scale events. A game can develop layers. Experienced characters directing armies while starting characters go on scouting missions for those same armies.

MMOs may be forced to end with a succession of ever bigger stronger boss monsters that require ever more powerful PCs to take them on, but that is due to a computer games inability to handle much complexity. Real life boss monsters arent like that. A human GMed game can be much more realistic and interesting. No typical MMO ending required. Though certainly possible if that is what a group of players and GM wants.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:41 AM   #5
Tywyll
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

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Originally Posted by oldwolf View Post
It could be played that way but even a 12 IQ character has over 90 talents and over 70 spells available to learn. The talent and spell xp cost does not increase exponentially as attributes do. Plenty of character development potential there.

Also, and to me, this is the big difference between a human GMed game and a computer GMed game, the GM can make in world goals available that fit the players interests. Players can be given the opportunity to take on leadership roles: general, duke, etc and direct larger scale events. A game can develop layers. Experienced characters directing armies while starting characters go on scouting missions for those same armies.

MMOs may be forced to end with a succession of ever bigger stronger boss monsters that require ever more powerful PCs to take them on, but that is due to a computer games inability to handle much complexity. Real life boss monsters arent like that. A human GMed game can be much more realistic and interesting. No typical MMO ending required. Though certainly possible if that is what a group of players and GM wants.
That goes without saying. But most players I've encountered enjoy the sense of growth and development, of getting better. If your core concept is Fightsman, after you pick up the Master X talent, there isn't anywhere to improve that concept beyond the GM creating new Talents or increasing your gear and stats. Not everyone will be content to bottom out and spread. And in world, what I've described is how getting 'better' at your main job would work.

Sure, campaigns will end, characters will die or retire, but if it keeps going, if someone wants to get better at their main focus, there are only so many options they have.

I should also point out that nothing you describe precludes what I am describing. Characters can earn xp and buy talents and wishes as normal, all the while they will grind for wishes and crafting super items. They will evolve in both directions.

Last edited by Tywyll; 06-18-2019 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:54 AM   #6
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

Not everyone is content to insist on playing the same character even after they've run that concept into the ground, simultaneously insisting that they have a zero-to-hero development curve even while starting as "demigod". This problem may not be a flaw in the game system, but rather player expectations or desires.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:39 AM   #7
DarkPumpkin
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Cidri (exact location withheld)
Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

Good thing TFT is not a computer game. These types of issues just don't come up in any real campaigns.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:46 AM   #8
Shadekeep
 
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Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

In my experience very few TFT characters live long enough to even approach the implicit limits. It's a pretty deadly game. Those few who did reach high ranks in our campaigns essentially retired and took on NPC jobs outside of the regular flow of play.

Attributes are a way of mechanically defining your character's abilities within a role-playing framework. They shouldn't be the sole, or even primary, focus of the game.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:59 AM   #9
Tywyll
 
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Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

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Originally Posted by DarkPumpkin View Post
Good thing TFT is not a computer game. These types of issues just don't come up in any real campaigns.
I'd be curious to see which campaign of Legacy Edition has run long enough to hit the end game.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:02 AM   #10
Tywyll
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

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Originally Posted by Shadekeep View Post
In my experience very few TFT characters live long enough to even approach the implicit limits. It's a pretty deadly game. Those few who did reach high ranks in our campaigns essentially retired and took on NPC jobs outside of the regular flow of play.

Attributes are a way of mechanically defining your character's abilities within a role-playing framework. They shouldn't be the sole, or even primary, focus of the game.
I've never had the experience of characters achieving attribute bloat either, but many posters on these forums insist that it was a real issue in the old game.

Further, the tools to do what I'm talking about are in the rule book. This isn't some weird splat or crazy combo...it's in the core book. I won't be the only one to see it. And its 'necessity' is a creation of the new xp system that artificially caps growth.
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