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Old 06-19-2019, 03:01 AM   #21
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I hate to mention it, but I think the GM needs to do something to shut down Wish farming and/or Shapefhifting, or else unless I'm missing something, someone could shapeshift a subject into a flying squirrel or something with ST 1, then apply 13 wishes to increase ST to 14, then back to original form, then back to a ST 1 animal, then another 13 wishes... then back to another form which can have nearly any equal combination of ST + DX, for theoretically unlimited ST + DX.

Of course, it only takes one ruling or house rule (or no one knowing one of those spells) to shut that down, but I think it does need something other than RAW.
Simple solution: rule that a specific wish can only be made once. Stops this sort of nonsense.
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Old 06-19-2019, 03:28 AM   #22
Shoug
 
Join Date: May 2019
Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

You've actually got it backwards. MMOs are characterized by weak early game that reward you with a strong end game. You have detailed reasons why TFT has a weak late game. This is because TFT is about making a character and taking them on a journey that ends in either their death or retirement. It's not about figuring out how to make them ascend to the stars as cosmically powerful aliens
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:11 AM   #23
Tywyll
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
* Overall, I think this will not be a common issue in practice, because almost no one will ever get to these pinnacles of ability. <snip>
It may not be common, but it will exist. The rules for creating this stuff goes back to the original edition. Maybe people didn’t get there back then, but in my experience, the gaming world is far different now. How us old guard might run the game based on how we would have run it originally is of little consequence compared to the larger number of new players with newer expectations. Heck, when Gary wrote the xp tables back in the day, he didn’t really think any PC would reach the lofty heights of 20th level, but the rules were there (and in fact only one pc ever reached 14th level in the original Greyhawk campaign). But because it existed, it was used and is now a baked in expectation of gaming.

One of the arguments against what I was pointing out is the idea that as characters develop they start to gain greater social power and responsibility (becoming lords and dukes and kings) and that sort of social cache is exactly what would lead to them being able to pull this stuff off. Whether its because they trade favours/money/perform quests to get the wizards on side or simply enslave them with military might, it can be done.

Will some GM’s nix it and deny players the ability to do it? Sure, of course. But the truth that it is RAW is right there. Heck, in the magic item creation section there is an example of a magic item with three enchantments being created.

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* The game and setting as written don't really encourage wizards collaborating to make and give powerful magic items to a few people. <snip>
I don’t agree. There is nothing in the rules that says that and Cidri is basically a blank slate. Look at Thorz’s dungeon in Death Test with magical curtains and all the nonsense that is in there. If one non-magical king can pull that off, why couldn’t a party of adventuring world shakers? Another way to look at it is maybe this is what the Mnoren did, how they became transhuman…they embraced these developments and perhaps had secret ways to make it easier. Perhaps such characters are following in their foot steps.

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* Also the rest of the population and the combat and magic systems aren't like D&D or MMOs where if you are the best character, you can overpower the strongest forces in the world. If there were a ST 16 DX 16 IQ 24 wizard with piles of super-valuable magic items in a world I were GM'ing, I'd be thinking about how many powerful armies/organizations/aristocracies/guilds etc would be very interested in taking those magic items for their own purposes <Snip>
And eventually the PCs will be or lead those powerful armies/organizations/guilds etc. If it happens that those group take people’s stuff, try and do that to your PCs and see how quickly it turns into a war against organization X. Sure, the players may lose. But if they’ve gained both intrinsic and social power (which they should from becoming powerful characters with lots of do-dads) they should be able to fight back at least to some degree.

The very fact that these organizations would do that implies that THEIR leaders will end up looking like the characters I described. So again, these type of characters will exist in world and you’ll have the issue of answering the question, ‘Why can an NPC do it, but I can’t?’

I mean, alternatively you could just say ‘rocks fall’ and you die, but that’s ****** GMing.

Quote:
* That is, TFT isn't really a game about "getting to the end" of character development, and even with the original XP table, it took years of dangerous play to get up very high.
Maybe to you and your group. But that doesn’t encompass all gamers and all tables. It especially doesn’t encompass any new bloods that may get pulled into playing TFT (I’ve just introduced 5 new players to the game, two of which have only been gaming for 2+ years and cut their teeth on 3.X…I imagine their expectations are very different from most grognards).

Quote:
* I was in some 5+ year TFT campaigns back in the day which did get some bloated attribute level characters, but none of them had PCs who could summon a demon or enchant a magic item, and none of the PCs ever got any Wishes or Attribute Adder items or Charms <snip> The real problem was the magic item bloat and the way combat gets less interesting when there are characters with very high DX and high armor and normal low-attribute warriors start to be like mere speed bumps and/or XP prizes.
That’s an issue of character build and goals. If I were in a long term campaign and playing a wizard, I would be working towards INT 20, even back in the old days. As to magic items, I’m perfectly happy with them in my games. You may not have liked them, but I find I’m unsatisfied with how few there are in the existing adventures. Advanced Wizardry spent a lot of page space on magic items and I want to see them in play.

I do agree that combat will change with high dx/high armor characters. However, I wouldn’t expect such champions to be bothered by low-attribute warriors. That’s not my experience in nearly any game system (other than maybe Runequest). So I would be fine with that. And that kind of goes against what you were saying up above. If your PCs have DX 19 and 10 points of armor, it would be damn hard for an organization with mundane resources to take them on directly. Far better to engage with them socially or diplomatically…you know, good fodder for game sessions!

This is also a problem with the system not being built with 'high level' options. I hope that TFT eventually gets them. The new Exper and Master Talents are a good example of stuff in that direction. I think if we got more of it, this would be less threatening to GMs.

Quote:
However, I do share some of your concerns, albeit in slightly different ways. In particular:

* Greater Wishes have been made a LOT easier to get in Legacy edition. <snip>
Honestly, this doesn’t bother me that much. I LOVE the conceptual idea of mortals ‘mining’ the spirit world for magical resources. Summoning Demons and making them their bitches, raiding heaven for its treasures. This again feels very ‘Mnoren’ to me, and it might have been the reason for their disappearance. Maybe there are Demon Princes, Queens and Kings who don’t take kindly to this sort of activity and who might, eventually, launch a punitive assault on the mortal plane…forcing the players to clean it up (whether it was their fault or not). You know, a cool campaign basis.

Quote:
* The high XP cost of gaining a talent point, the low cost difference between a normal talent like Swimming or Knife versus a master-level talent like Expert Sword, combined with the high costs of higher attributes, the invitation to GMs to award any amount of XP and not have it be related to doing anything in particular in the game, and the common orientation of new players from other games towards "getting to the end" of character development and constant gratification by steady character improvements, does seem like it will tend to end up with some confused players and/or weird situations, which seems unfortunate to me.
Totally agree.

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* The issues with magic item bloat are as in the original game, and take restraint and/or experienced GMs to avoid. Basically, there are several types of magic items the power of which can easily dwarf the differences between different levels of human ability. If these are at all common and available in a game, they tend to be what determines who can kill whom, more than attribute levels do. And that has some effects that I and my friends didn't like much, because we liked having characters and their differences be important and relevant, not what magic items someone had. And, because of the general way loot works - if some NPC has a magic item, the PCs kill them and take it and use it or sell it and buy other powerful gear with it. If a PC will magic items die, they take their magic gear and use it. This tends to mean ever-increasing amounts of magic gear and/or wealth unless the party gets wiped out or captured and/or all their magic stolen.
Sadly this is an issue with all games that use magic items. It’s been a problem with D&D since the early days (see the Drow and their magic items that only work in the underdark as an early attempted solution to this problem). The real issue comes from having PCs and NPCs follow the same rules. If you avoided the simulationist desire to have everything work the same, you could create challenging encounters that worked uniquely based on special abilities rather than expecting everything to be built the same (though then you’d have players want to get those special abilities somehow so it’s not a perfect solution). But if you need to give items to a baddy to challenge the PCs, then yes, those items will end up in the PCs hands.

Quote:
* There is one welcome new tool for limiting that in Legacy Edition, though, which is the adjusted rules for lightning destroying magic items.
True…but why on earth would a villain use that? I mean, if you blow up mr. Christmas tree and all his stuff…YOU don’t get it…

But some desperate sorts will do that, sure.

What I’m interested in is whether there is some sort of lightning protection that can be added to magic items. If something that cost 300K could be wiped out easily, you would expect people to develop a countermeasure.
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:15 AM   #24
Tywyll
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

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Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
These (potential) problems also exist in other systems which include mechanical character advancement. However, only a small percentage of GMs and Players will explore or exploit these limits so it is often just a theoretical problem.

In my many years of play, most characters were in the 32-42 point range and the game seemed to play best at about 36-38 points, where characters were a bit tougher than starting out but not too much that normal foes weren't any danger. I also wasn't a fan of (multiple) permanent magic items, preferring one-shot boosts like scrolls and potions.

Even original D&D, which was renowned for high level gaming, actually played best at levels 5-7 (in my opinion) and characters were expected to retire at level 9.

I don't think TFT was ever really designed for high level play. If you look at the way the Attributes work; at ST14 you can use a heavy (3 dice) weapon, at DX14 you have a 90% success chance, and at IQ14 you can know the most difficult Talents. Sure, you can have attributes above that level, but the benefits become less, so I'd suggest 42 points is a reasonable cap.

That's if you want a cap. If you don't, just use the old system, or your own system.
No argument that the system wasn't designed for high level play! However, it was built in with IQ 20 spells, so those are a thing as are the item creations rules, meaning it is going to be used by some players at least.

And this isn't really about whether I want the cap or not. This is about the impact the RAW rules have on the game and the game world. This is something that players will perform (if they desire longevity in their characters) and that NPCs have arguably already done. Perhaps this explains the ridiculously high stats of Tollenkar, for example, something that has caused more than one poster to scratch their heads in confusion.
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:24 AM   #25
Tywyll
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

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Originally Posted by Shadekeep View Post
As others have said, it's up to the GM as to how all this plays out in their game universe. You can have one where the halfling running the corner shop sells every flavour of +5 ring, or you can have one where magic items are insanely rare, or anything in-between. No system is without compromises and potential exploits, which is why it's useful that RPGs have a powerful and capricious god in the form of the GM.

As for the attribute cap, I think that's actually pretty realistic. There are practical upper limits to human strength, dexterity, and intelligence in reality, no reason there shouldn't be in the game as well. But I can understand the frustration some people might feel about progression not being very rewarding later in the game. My own personal experience was that my players were more interested in the story of the adventure than the level-ups at the end. Which is probably a big part of why most the adventures I write nowadays are all for the same party attribute average spread (32-36).
The story is what is important for my players to, but they are also interesting in developing, as they see that growth as part of their story. I've been running a campaign (the system has changed) with some of the same characters for almost 30 years...two of the players still play their original characters. One of them has only been involved for about 10 years, but she still asks me about level ups after significant campaign events (all the while being super focused on her character getting married, having kids, ruling her kingdom, etc).

Also, I don't rock up to a fantasy game to play something realistic. What is realistic about throwing lightning bolts and flying, rubbing shoulders with gargoyles and lizard men? Why is that lack of realism acceptable, but having humans performing incredible feats of strength or dexterity (you know, like Conan who regularly did the impossible) 'unrealistic'?
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:26 AM   #26
Tywyll
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

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Originally Posted by MikMod View Post
This has been nerfed as well though. ITL p143. Greater wishes cannot raise any attribute over 14 now. So your 14,14,12 character could only gain 2 points by wishes.
Weird, I could have sworn it was 16...maybe that was the old version.

Still, that's not that big of a deal nor does it chance the character's activities, all it does is change the optimal character build (16, 14, 10 for example, or 18, 13, 9 or something).
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:28 AM   #27
Tywyll
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

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Originally Posted by HeatDeath View Post
Wow.

This style of play is almost completely alien to me. I spend all my time mucking around with 32 point Melee characters. I'm starting to look seriously at playing with some basic wizards. When I get bored of that, I may eventually throw in some ITL fun-ness like dual-wielding weapons in just for kicks, maybe throw some 40 point characters into the mix to get at higher level spells, but this "I WILL BE AS A GOD" stuff? Really? Nah. Not for me.

Don't get me wrong, the Ogre Mk VI and the Doppelsoldner are fun to break out and throw at each other once in a while, but they're just not what the game engine was designed to do.

[Taken to it's extreme, not that anyone's doing that here, it reminds me of some people I knew in high school who thought Battletech was criminally incomplete, because 'Mechs topped out at 100 tons. They wanted bipedal landships and dropship-LAMS.

Heh. Left to their own devices they'd probably have invented Gurenn Lagann: "Well I throw the Local Group at you. Let's see, roll on the 20 column of the cluster table. 12 hits for 10 quadrillion hit points each." "T'is but a scratch! You haven't even breached my armor yet!"]

But it's a big game, and there's room for a lot of different ways to play it. You do you.
Interesting. It sounds like you mostly play it as an arena game? I only play it as an rpg with all the expectations that brings, specifically character growth being a big part of that.
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:33 AM   #28
Tywyll
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Yeah, there are many ways to rule or house rule that exploit out of possibility, just no explicit ones.

Shapeshifting is relatively cheap, easy and safe RAW once you have someone with the (albeit IQ 19) spell. Squirrel is just a cheap example, but the spell says you can rearrange ST and DX as long as the values aren't unreasonably low for the species (so you could do the same thing going back and forth between any two humanoid races, just making one attribute relatively low and then pumping it up), and that you must preserve the total of ST + DX. So there needs to be some rule or ruling in the way. It's easy to make up one, or make a ruling, but RAW there's an exploit there.
I'll have to read that spell more closely but wow, that's some super trans-human stuff right there!

And see, if I hadn't shown this thought experiment people probably wouldn't have noticed that exploit!
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:35 AM   #29
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

TFT isn't really well suited to long term play with "levelling up" or mechanical character advancement. That's because advancement is via attribute increase and since there are only three attributes there's not many places to level up. Powerful characters have high scores in all three attributes and so get a bit samey.

Legacy Edition has tried to address this by putting a cap on attribute increase and allowing increased Talents beyond the IQ limit. I'm not really a fan of that because it seems to break the simplicity of the basic game, but it's certainly one solution.

I'm unlikely to be able to play a long running campaign game again like I did in the past so it probably won't be an issue for me. But if I did, I'd rather have more attributes so there are more places to put the XP points. That's what I did in my long running games of the past.
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:43 AM   #30
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: The (Unintentional?) MMO End Game of TFT

As an example, instead of Tollenkar being ST12 DX16 IQ20
He could be: ST8 CN12 DX16 AG9 IQ20 KN20+

Since he's fuelling spells with Constitution (CN) he doesn't need to be physically strong this ST8. Since he's casting spells with DX he doesn't need to be Agile (AG). And, although he needs IQ20 for Word of Command, his Knowledge (KN) or number of spells and Talents known is potentially unlimited.

I prefer this approach to "levelling up"
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