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Old 01-06-2018, 05:48 AM   #111
tbeard1999
 
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I have to say I'm with Skarg on this one -- it seems to me that oversimplification would harm the system just as much as over-complicating it would.

TFT was pretty darn close to my sweet spot for pretty much everything that it did.
I couldn’t agree more. 40 years of fiddling with the system has produced an insane number of house rules. I would NOT simplify TFT. And I’d reject almost all of the brilliant house rules (though including the good ones as optional rules would be fine). If I were Steve Jackson, I’d try real hard to remember what I would’ve wanted the game to be like IF I could’ve published it the way I really wanted to in 1980. I’d try hard not to let post-1980 game mechanics taint my thoughts.

I don’t think I’d fool around with miniatures if they’d significantly increase the time required to get TFT to market. Most folks who’d buy TFT have been playing RPGs for decades and likely have all the miniatures they’ll ever need. In addition, there are plenty of fantasy minis available today. That said, it might be fun to have some “classic” style fantasy miniatures - perhaps inspired by the Grenadier AD&D minis from the late 1979s or even the Martian Metals official TFT minis. I would stay with 25/28mm. That allows players to leverage the ridiculous amount of dungeon terrain that came out after D&D 3E.

Just my $.02...
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:09 AM   #112
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I wonder if perhaps the "roll more dice for more difficulty" mechanic should be done away with entirely, in favor of stat penalties.
"Roll more dice for difficulty" is one of the things that makes TFT what it is. "3d6 with mods you want to roll low" brings it too close to GURPS.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:14 AM   #113
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If I were Steve Jackson, I’d try real hard to remember what I would’ve wanted the game to be like IF I could’ve published it the way I really wanted to in 1980. I’d try hard not to let post-1980 game mechanics taint my thoughts.
Exactly! Just picking up the game takes me back to a simpler time in rpging. You get to see how raw it is, but in that rawness there is a certain charm, and a flexibility one seldom sees today.

I'd be happy to see reprints of Melee, Wizard, DT 1 & 2, and Tollenkar's Lair. And then with TFT:ITL, I'd love to see it all gathered together in one book or box, like I was expecting to see originally.
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Last edited by pyratejohn; 01-06-2018 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:17 AM   #114
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HERESY ALERT

I actually stopped using 3d6 as the resolution mechanic and went to 1d20.<ducks for cover> Before being burned at the stake, Id like the chance to at least make the case.

Comment: After many years of fiddling with TFT, I finally determined that the 3d6 bell curve is too steep and causes players to overvalue DX (i.e. an adjDX of 12 = 74% chance of success; adjDX 13 = 84% and so on). Replacing the 3d6 roll with a d20 will simultaneously make lower attribute characters more capable and expand the opportunities for more powerful characters. Obviously, converting monsters will require some effort (like recognizing that IQ 6 animals would have a revised IQ of 2).

OK, you may now set me on fire...
I would like to hope that there is absolutely no chance of replacing 3d6 with d20. I cannot stand d20 based systems. There is nothing wrong with the probability curve of 3d6, in fact I find it perfect for this sort of game. The problem is that rolls are not opposed. This leads to a situation where, once a character's adj DX reaches 14, the success chance is about 90% whether the opponent has an 8DX or a 14DX. Clearly that makes no sense at all.

As I've posted before, both here and on BGG/RPGGeek, there is an easy fix for this which does not require any other changes to the rules. Basically it's this; "2 fighters of equal DX have a 50% chance to hit one another." So if two fighters of 14 DX meet, they don't both have 90% chance to hit, they both have 50%. Where there is a difference, divide it between the two combatants. So if 14 DX meets 12 DX, the higher has a (10+1) or 11 chance and the lower has a (10-1) or 9 chance, and so on. You can use a table for this but I quickly found we could make the calculations in our heads almost instantly after a little while.

I found this worked very well for us and I've used it consistently over the years. The only problem that can occur is where you give monsters (such as Giants or Ogres) very low DX scores and then have them fighting high DX characters. Once the difference between scores becomes 6 or greater the chance for the lower DX character or monster to hit goes to 7 or less which is a very low probablilty of success.

You can either live with this, and have the huge, but clumsy Ogre who does 4d6 or more of damage, or you can bump up the opposition DX slightly to offer a challenge to your players.
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Old 01-06-2018, 07:15 AM   #115
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I would like to hope that there is absolutely no chance of replacing 3d6 with d20. I cannot stand d20 based systems. There is nothing wrong with the probability curve of 3d6...
EDIT - my original percentages were wrong; post is now corrected.

<shrug> Well, I did say it was a heresy. :)

And actually, it appears that, like me, you were dissatisfied with the 3d6 system. You simply chose a different path than I did. Your system more or less replicates the old Runequest resistance table, which can be a very workable solution. But I explicitly wanted to retain the "roll the attribute or less" aspect of TFT and using the d20 seemed a simply, low footprint solution. And we did play it a lot and were quite satisfied with it.

I'd add that your system still preserves what I consider a negative feature of the 3d6 bell curve - a very modest difference in ability rating can create a significant difference in capability. Your example illustrates this quite nicely - a fighter with a DX of 14, now hits on an 11 or less (63% chance). His opponent, with a DX of 12 hits on a 9 or less (37.5%).

The original success percentages are DX 14 - 90.74%, DX 12 - 74.07%. In other words, the DX 12 guy will hit about 84% as often as the DX 14 guy.

But in your system the DX 12 guy hits about 60% as often as the DX 12 guy.

This doesn't preserve the original difference in capability. But my real objection is that it shows how the 3d6 bell curve can create a huge difference in capability with a modest difference in ratings. I don't think I like it.

The d20 system preserves this *particular* relationship quite well - the DX 12 hits about 86% as often as the DX 14 guy. However, I like a steady 5% increase in success percentage per attribute point. With the 3d6 system, the effectively useful attribute range is from 6 (~10% chance of success) to 14 (~90% chance of success). A 42 point character could have a base success of 90% on ST, DX and IQ rolls. With the d20, the same range is 2 to 19, which allows for more character points without breaking the system.

Of course, these things are highly subjective, so there's really not much to debate.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 01-06-2018 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 01-06-2018, 07:24 AM   #116
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Exactly! Just picking up the game takes me back to a simpler time in rpging. You get to see how raw it is, but in that rawness their is a certain charm, and a flexibility one seldom sees today.

I'd be happy to see reprints of Melee, Wizard, DT 1 & 2, and Tollenkar's Lair. And then with TFT:ITL, I'd love to see it all gathered together in one book or box, like I was expecting to see originally.
"Let's party like it was 1981 again..."

:D
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Old 01-06-2018, 07:45 AM   #117
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"Let's party like it was 1981 again..."

:D
Hey, between this and Triplanetary being re-released, I'm feeling like the proverbial kid in a candy store.
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:11 AM   #118
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I'm curious to know what do you believe are the elements that define Melee/Wizard/TFT? When you think of the game, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:18 AM   #119
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I'm curious to know what do you believe are the elements that define Melee/Wizard/TFT? When you think of the game, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
3 attributes.
Roll attribute or less.
Fast but flexible character creation.
No classes.
Fast but comprehensive combat system.
Megahexes.
Edit - hexes, not squares

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Old 01-06-2018, 10:47 AM   #120
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I'm curious to know what do you believe are the elements that define Melee/Wizard/TFT? When you think of the game, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
Map and counters/minis, and everything that comes with that. Hexes, megahexes, facing, tactics. I probably would have loved D&D4E if it hadn't been everything that TFT isn't: slow, hundreds of pages of rules, massive character sheet, exception-based, too many stats, too many dice...

I know plenty of people have played TFT as straight "theater of the mind" role playing without these things, but the thought has never occurred to me. I embrace the place it sits between boardgame and RPG.
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