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Old 02-09-2018, 04:02 PM   #11
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: TFT and GURPS - where is the line between them?

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Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
Exactly. TFT felt like "second generation" Tunnels and Trolls to me. It took the basic ideas of T&T; no character classes (OK, two), saving throw v attribute resolution, power point magic system and added tactical combat and a simple Talent system. That was all I wanted then, and all I really want now. I don't like GURPS or other rules heavy systems and don't want TFT to move in that direction.
I heartily agree. I love a game where I can generate characters in literally a few minutes, then play with a very engaging combat system. I never really thought about the T&T connection. SJ did edit Monsters Monsters I think. And Mercenaries Spies and Private Eyes has a skill system that’s definitely inspired by TFT (and might be worth adapting).
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: TFT and GURPS - where is the line between them?

"This is an interesting thread," said Steve, interestedly.

I am too close to both of them to value my own opinions very much!
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:08 PM   #13
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: TFT and GURPS - where is the line between them?

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"This is an interesting thread," said Steve, interestedly.

I am too close to both of them to value my own opinions very much!
Well, most parents love all their children.

I am curious - were there any decisions you made with GURPS that were motivated by a desire to separate GURPS from TFT?
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: TFT and GURPS - where is the line between them?

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Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
Exactly. TFT felt like "second generation" Tunnels and Trolls to me. It took the basic ideas of T&T; no character classes (OK, two), saving throw v attribute resolution, power point magic system and added tactical combat and a simple Talent system. That was all I wanted then, and all I really want now. I don't like GURPS or other rules heavy systems and don't want TFT to move in that direction.
While I never played T&T and thus can't agree or disagree with any of that; I totally agree with your last two sentences here, Chris!
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:22 PM   #15
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: TFT and GURPS - where is the line between them?

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Good points as well. Except I'd call GURPS and Champions half-sibling children of TFT.
This made me think of something - in many ways GURPS is a blend of TFT (small number of stats; 3d roll vs attributes in particular) and Champions (points used to buy everything). That is meant as a compliment, by the way, as both systems are excellent (in my opinion). I don’t think the GURPS combat system is as complex as Champions, but it’s more complex than TFT. And while the GURPS character generation system is more complex than TFT, I don’t think it is as complex as Champions. At least this is applicable to the mid-1980s versions of both games.

I seem to recall that a lot of time passed between the announcement of GURPS and the publication of Man to Man. And a fair amount of time between Man to Man and full blown GURPS. This implies that Steve took a lot of time to polish GURPS and “get it right”. From what I infer from articles in the Space Gamer, ITL was a much more rushed project.

Also, GURPS was explicitly a universal RPG. Just guessing, but I imagine that this required far more robust testing of the mechanics than a fantasy only RPG. It really wasn’t the game I wanted to play, but it’s obviously a strong design. And while the number of “splatbooks” exploded when the d20 OGL arrived, through the late 80s and 90s, GURPS provided a huge resource of supplements that could be adapted to any RPG. Oh, and Steve brought back the Third Imperium...a personal thanks for that. To this day, my GURPS supplements are a valuable resource.

But I digress.
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:35 PM   #16
Chris Goodwin
 
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Default Re: TFT and GURPS - where is the line between them?

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Agreed. You know, it's interesting to consider how Champions handled the 3d6 bell curve and the issue of how quickly the probabilities change (i.e.an 8 has a 26% chance of success on 3d; a 12 has a 74% chance).

As I recall, the success roll was 9 + (attribute/5). (?) This allowed you to have very high attributes without having virtually automatic successes on 3d rolls.
There were a couple of interesting additional effects, particularly relating to different divisors and different usages for different stats. Success rolls for skills and "saving throws" (stat rolls, in other words) were based on the 9 + (stat/5) formula, but combat was based on a different one: 11 + attacker's Offensive Combat Value, or OCV (DEX/3) - defender's Defensive Combat Value, DCV (also DEX/3), with bonuses and penalties from maneuvers, skill levels, and so on. The Ego Combat Value (EGO/3) would substitute for OCV and DCV when using mental powers. Also, initiative order in combat is by Dexterity, from high to low, so a single point can matter there.

There's also a general rule for rounding of fractional values: below .5 rounds down, above .5 rounds up, and .5 exactly rounds in the character's favor. So characters get the benefit of hitting different breakpoints. Dexterity 13 is a breakpoint for stat rolls, but for combat it's just shy of hitting one, so Dexterity 14 is more common. But sometimes someone will go Dexterity 15, in order to go before all the folks who went with 14. 23 is an even better breakpoint; it's both a combat value (DEX/3) and stat roll (DEX/5) breakpoint. But again, that makes 24 a tempting target, to go ahead of the 23's. And 25 to go ahead of the 24's. And so on.

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I'm not advocating for such a system (yet), although it does address one of my key issues with TFT. So a ST15 character in such a system would need a 12- on 3d. 74% chance rather than 95% chance. A ST20 character would need a 13-. And so on. Of course, you do lose some distinction between ST levels. But high ST has advantages besides a better 3d roll - damage, weapon use, health. DX could be an issue, since it mainly is used as a 3d roll. IQ includes talents/spells, so it might be okay. (And you could make spellcasting a 3/IQ roll without overpowering IQ).

And of course, you can change the equation. 7 + (attribute/3) for instance, or 8 + (attribute/5), both of which give an average person a 50% chance of success on 3d.
Fuzion came along as a sort of descendant system of Champions, explicitly with R. Talsorian's Interlock (Cyberpunk 2020). It generally irons out the stats so that every point matters. Instead of dividing by one breakpoint value for stat rolls and another for combat, it reduces the values overall. A base human might have DEX 3, which might be roughly the equivalent of DEX 13 in Champions; combat there would be 3d6 + attacker's DEX - defender's DEX. Stat rolls are done with 3d6 + stat against a difficulty value.

Fuzion was not well received by the general Herodom, but not for anything to do with the system. Fuzion has often been called Hero Games' New Coke; it's a decent system, fixing a number of problems people have had with Champions and the HERO System over the years, but it was a Big Announcement at exactly the wrong time, and as a result it didn't really get a fair shake by Hero gamers.

All of that is to say... applying math to a stat value to get a roll works for Champions, but people who dislike the system hold the quite reasonable position that having to do extra math to play a roleplaying game can be a barrier to entry. Not much of one by itself, but with Champions especially, it's one of a number of them that add up.
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:44 PM   #17
tbeard1999
 
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Default Re: TFT and GURPS - where is the line between them?

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Originally Posted by Chris Goodwin View Post
There were a couple of interesting additional effects, particularly relating to different divisors and different usages for different stats. Success rolls for skills and "saving throws" (stat rolls, in other words) were based on the 9 + (stat/5) formula, but combat was based on a different one: 11 + attacker's Offensive Combat Value, or OCV (DEX/3) - defender's Defensive Combat Value, DCV (also DEX/3), with bonuses and penalties from maneuvers, skill levels, and so on. The Ego Combat Value (EGO/3) would substitute for OCV and DCV when using mental powers. Also, initiative order in combat is by Dexterity, from high to low, so a single point can matter there.
Ah, yes, it all comes flooding back. It’s amazing what we’d tolerate when we were young and limber...

Quote:
...

Fuzion came along as a sort of descendant system of Champions, explicitly with R. Talsorian's Interlock (Cyberpunk 2020). It generally irons out the stats so that every point matters. Instead of dividing by one breakpoint value for stat rolls and another for combat, it reduces the values overall. A base human might have DEX 3, which might be roughly the equivalent of DEX 13 in Champions; combat there would be 3d6 + attacker's DEX - defender's DEX. Stat rolls are done with 3d6 + stat against a difficulty value.

Fuzion was not well received by the general Herodom, but not for anything to do with the system. Fuzion has often been called Hero Games' New Coke; it's a decent system, fixing a number of problems people have had with Champions and the HERO System over the years, but it was a Big Announcement at exactly the wrong time, and as a result it didn't really get a fair shake by Hero gamers.
Thanks for the rundown. I’ve got C2020 somewhere. I think I’ll pull it out and take a look, for curiousity’s sake.
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:58 PM   #18
Chris Goodwin
 
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Default Re: TFT and GURPS - where is the line between them?

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
This made me think of something - in many ways GURPS is a blend of TFT (small number of stats; 3d roll vs attributes in particular) and Champions (points used to buy everything). That is meant as a compliment, by the way, as both systems are excellent (in my opinion). I don’t think the GURPS combat system is as complex as Champions, but it’s more complex than TFT. And while the GURPS character generation system is more complex than TFT, I don’t think it is as complex as Champions. At least this is applicable to the mid-1980s versions of both games.
True. Champions wasn't the originator, but it really made the design trend visible. It was very successful, to the extent that a lot of games that were coming out afterward were of the "base points plus points gained from flaws to buy stats, powers, skills, etc." pattern. The specific implementation for Champions came from Wayne Shaw's attempts to turn Superhero 2044 into a playable game; S2044 was contemporary with TFT, or at least Melee (1977 for both). As I've said elsewhere, the Champions designers were playing a lot of TFT, and I could see TFT's influences all throughout Champions when I was writing my TFT retro-clone.

GURPS first edition's character creation wasn't anywhere near as complex as GURPS' is now; it has evolved over the years. The GURPS system of advantages with modifiers (enhancements and limitations) was most likely directly influenced by Champions, as it first appeared in GURPS Supers (in a somewhat different form in that book's first edition, but more like its current implementation in its second). That particular subsystem is no less complex in GURPS than it is in Champions and Hero, but I think GURPS is generally a good bit less complex overall, and that subsystem isn't ingrained into GURPS the way it is in Champions. (Edit for clarity: Advantages existed in GURPS from the beginning, but enhancements and limitations came along with GURPS Supers.)

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I seem to recall that a lot of time passed between the announcement of GURPS and the publication of Man to Man. And a fair amount of time between Man to Man and full blown GURPS. This implies that Steve took a lot of time to polish GURPS and “get it right”. From what I infer from articles in the Space Gamer, ITL was a much more rushed project.
I think I wasn't following the announcements at the time; the first I'd heard of it was, I think, seeing Man To Man on the shelves. I bought it instantly, because I'd played TFT before and loved it, was a Car Wars player as well, and because it had Steve Jackson's name on the cover. Still have it, and my Roleplayer #1. :) (Still wishing SJG had gotten a license for Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures... the magic system in GURPS Magic was very nearly perfect as is for that.)

Quote:
Also, GURPS was explicitly a universal RPG. Just guessing, but I imagine that this required far more robust testing of the mechanics than a fantasy only RPG. It really wasn’t the game I wanted to play, but it’s obviously a strong design.
True. The HERO System started out as Hero Games' house system, rather than explicitly a universal system, first appearing in Champions but shortly after in Espionage, Justice Inc., Fantasy Hero, and Danger International (the update of Espionage, itself taking influence from Mercenaries, Spies, and Private Eyes). My group treated it as a universal system, though, and it de facto was one. Just wasn't explicitly sold as one.

Quote:
And while the number of “splatbooks” exploded when the d20 OGL arrived, through the late 80s and 90s, GURPS provided a huge resource of supplements that could be adapted to any RPG. Oh, and Steve brought back the Third Imperium...a personal thanks for that. To this day, my GURPS supplements are a valuable resource.
Agreed 100%.
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Old 02-10-2018, 12:45 PM   #19
ak_aramis
 
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Default Re: TFT and GURPS - where is the line between them?

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From a philosophical standpoint, where does TFT end and GURPS begin? I suggested starting a thread to talk about this, so I'm going to do so.

If I have any authority to set ground rules in this thread: speak positively about both games. TFT is a fine game; so is GURPS. We wouldn't all be here if at least one of those weren't true. I'm not trying to knock GURPS or pump TFT at its expense, and I don't want anyone else to either.

I've seen lots of house rules for TFT that make it more like GURPS: separating fatigue from damage. Adding a HT attribute. Spending points on talents (or spells) separately from those provided by IQ.

So... what is TFT that GURPS is not? What is GURPS that TFT is not?
For me, the distinction is in how skill is represented.

TFT, skills (properly, Talents) adjust the dice thrown
GURPS, skills increase effective attributes
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Old 02-10-2018, 01:28 PM   #20
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Default Re: TFT and GURPS - where is the line between them?

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For me, the distinction is in how skill is represented.

TFT, skills (properly, Talents) adjust the dice thrown
GURPS, skills increase effective attributes
Many talent related modifiers adjust the attribute. E.g., Thrown Weapons, Missile Weapons, or the penalty for not having a weapon talent.
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