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Old 05-15-2018, 01:06 AM   #1
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Skarg's Experience Point house rule

I'm starting a new thread to discuss the Experience Point (EP) house rule a friend TFT GM and I made and used (and liked) circa 1985.

It's designed to solve what we saw as the main problem with the ITL combat EP system, which is that it awards far too much EP for easy kills by superior fighters.

It keeps the EP the same as the ITL system for fair fights, but much less EP is earned for easy fights, and equipment and talents are taken into account.
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Old 05-15-2018, 01:07 AM   #2
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Skarg's Experience Point house rule

Detailed Experience house rules for TFT
=======================================

Each combatant has a calculated Threat Value (TV) determined during character creation (see formula below).

Experience points for defeating an opponent in combat is equal to the twice the TV of the opponent, minus the TV of the character receiving the experience, perhaps with a minimum of 1 or 2 EP.

Therefore:
* If two figures with the same TV fight, the winner receives EP equal to that TV.
* If your TV is less than your opponent's TV, you receive EP equal to the enemy's TV, plus the difference in TV.
* If your TV is more than your opponent's TV, you receive EP equal to the enemy's TV, minus the difference in TV.
* If your TV is double or more your opponent's TV, you receive the minimum EP for defeating them.

Experience for partial damage done or shared can be pro-rated either by math or GM discretion as to fairness.

Threat Value (TV) is calculated as the sum of:
* ST
* AdjDX
* Hits stopped x 2
* Weapon Damage above or below normal for a weapon of your ST (e.g. from magic, fine weapons, etc)
* + 3 for pole weapons
* 1 per spell known
* points spent in special combat talents, i.e.:
Thrown Weapons, Missile Weapons, Fencing, Two Weapons, Unarmed Combat, exotic weapon talents (e.g. Lasso, Whip, Boomerang)
but NOT: Warrior/Veteran, regular weapon talents
* GM may assess TV without using math, in whole or in part.


Examples:
* Two warriors with the same ST + DX fight each other with standard weapons and no armor. The winner will EP equal to ST + DX, as in ITL.
* A fighter has Iron Flesh cast on him, gaining 6 hits stopped per attack. His TV goes up by 12 during the spell.
* Someone using a weapon he doesn't have the talent for is at -4 DX. His TV is at -4 while at that penalty.

Extra explanation:

* Basically every character has a TV. A typical unarmored Melee opponent has TV = (ST + DX) = 24.

* EP = loser's TV x 2, minus victor's TV.

* This gives the same EP as ITL, except it's adjusted by the difference in TV.

* Note that this system gives more EP for the more difficult situations. And it actually nicely gives players a reason not to always use all their magic to overpower opponents.

* Note that it does NOT take into account the difficulty of being outnumbered - the GM may want to apply discretion for all factors that make a situation easier or harder.

* Warrior and Veteran actually do increase TV, but it's taken into account in hits stopped. Ordinary weapon talents are similarly taken into account because if you didn't have them, your AdjDX would be -4.

* Exotic weapon talents do count, because those weapons often have some intangible benefit that otherwise would not be taken into account. In cases where it doesn't, the GM can just assess an adjustment. Similarly, the GM might assess adjustments for bad designs. E.g., someone with DX 8 wearing chainmail might be given a lower TV because his equipment choice is fairly dumb. Adjustments can also be made for circumstances.

* In practice, GM's may want to only do all the math for PC's and special NPCs. Other NPC's may just be given an estimate of TV, if the GM doesn't like doing the detailed math. Basically TV for most fighters is simply ST + DX + armor x 2. It may seem complicated looking at the above list, but it's actually usually very easy to calculate once you get used to it, especially if you do it at the same time you make the character.

Last edited by Skarg; 05-15-2018 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 05-15-2018, 01:56 AM   #3
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Skarg's Experience Point house rule

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
SKARG - Our current TFT:ITL Experience Point Award Rules for Combat is one paragraph in length.

I think that is important.
It can be re-written as one paragraph. It's not rocket science. Only the bold lines above are the rules. The rest is comments/examples. I just pasted the write-up I did for another forum discussion of it in the past, but I thought it looked like a good format to post it in here too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
While you have some very sound and worthy concepts included throughout, I was expecting something more along the lines of an actual mathematical formula; simply stated as a variable equation, which would quickly reveal a ratio multiplier with which to equalize the relative value of unequal combatants.
It is a simple formula but it uses addition, not multiplication/division (imagine the complaints from math-averse people if it used division - the horror! ;-) ). In fact, the equasion was listed in the explanation above.

EP = 2 x loser's TV - victor's TV

Those concerned about the math can write both the TV of a character, and 2 x that TV, on the character sheet, so only one subtraction will be needed in play to find the EP to award.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
Illustrating: If 'A' is valued at 125% of 'B'; and, if 'A' wins the combat, his award is adjusted downward by 80% of the total EP value of 'B'; whereas, if 'B' wins the combat, his award is adjusted upwards by 125% of the total EP value of 'A' - Or something along these basic lines.
Ok, the adjustment is the difference between their TV. So if A is TV 125 and B is TV 100, instead of A getting 100 EP for defeating B, he'd get 75% of that (100 - (125 - 100) = 100 - 25 = 75), which I simplified to give you the above formula, so it's just 2 x 100 - 125 = 75. So in your format:

If 'A' is valued at 125% of 'B'; and, if 'A' wins the combat, his award is adjusted downward by 25% of the total EP value of 'B'; whereas, if 'B' wins the combat, his award is adjusted upwards by 25% of the total EP value of 'A'.

I.e. the difference in EP received (compared to the TV) is equal to the difference between their TV's.

Or, for a real TFT example, using the same percentages you mentioned:

Abe - TV 30
ST 13 Morningstar 2d+1
DX 15 Small Shield (1 hit stopped)

Bob - TV 24
ST 14 2-handed sword 3d-1
DX 10


If Abe defeats Bob, he gets 24 x 2 - 30 = 18 EP (instead of 24 per ITL).
If Bob defeats Abe, he gets 30 x 2 - 24 = 36 EP (instead of 28 per ITL).

In practice, we had a 46-point PC with a TV of IIRC 57, who stopped 9 hits/attack and attacked at DX 16 for 3d+3 damage (or would do sweeping blows...). He basically had to screw up NOT to kill at least one 32-point basic foe each turn, and any who survived had to be able to do 10 damage to even scratch him.

So if he kills one of those, in ITL he'd get 24 EP. In this system, he gets 24 x 2 - 57 = ZERO, or maybe 1 or 2 if the GM thinks there was a risk for some reason. In order to actually merit EP, you have to fight someone with at least half your TV.

And if a 32-point character did manage to defeat him, he'd get 57 x 2 - 24 = 90 EP. In fairness, maybe it should be more, but it's about learning not fairness, and should killing any one foe be worth an attribute increase by itself?

I don't know if it would be helpful for everyone, but although the simplest version of the formula is "EP = 2 x TV1 - TV2", what I tend to find easier for opponents of similar TV is "loser's TV, plus/minus the difference in their TV".


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
HOWEVER, I think many of your ideas of more than worthy of exploration and discussion, but let us look at a few things first - IF you really want to explore this, that is - and the VERY FIRST QUESTION I would want us to answer is:

The current TFT Experience Point Rules for Combat DO NOT account for IQ; therefore, a ST-12 DX-12 IQ-8 Fighter, and a ST-12 DX-12 IQ-12 Fighter - who are NOT equal IF the IQ-12 Fighter is loaded with Combat Talents - and a ST-12 DX-12 IQ-20 Wizard, are each still only worth 24 EPs dead either way.
...
So, that is where I would want to begin the discussion of calibrating the EP Award for Combat: How will we conceptually answer the question of the IQ variable and it relative value for purposes of awarding Combat EP?
IQ by itself usually does nothing for combat threat value, unless you're an illusion(ist). It's the spells and talents that are worth something, which are mentioned in the rule. Usually talents are worth about 1 per memory point if they are useful in combat.

I think the system does pretty well for combat talents, but spells is not ideal. Ideally, you might give a TV to each spell. Lightning is worth maybe 3-5, but Trailtwister and Lock/Knock are worth 0. But that would add tables, which might be good for guidelines, but in practice an experienced GM can just eyeball TV and compare to some known characters. But wizards and fighters are sort of apples and oranges and a "true" TV isn't really possible because combat, especially with magic, is much more complex than comparing two numbers. The idea isn't to get a perfect number but to have a decent number, and GM can overrule or be used instead of math.

The point is to address the problem where tons of EP is available from easy fights.
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:14 AM   #4
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Skarg's Experience Point house rule

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
... a ST-12 DX-12 IQ-8 Fighter, and a ST-12 DX-12 IQ-12 Fighter - who are NOT equal IF the IQ-12 Fighter is loaded with Combat Talents - and a ST-12 DX-12 IQ-20 Wizard, are each still only worth 24 EPs dead either way. ...
Here's an example of calculating TV for those three cases:

Fighter TV 26
ST 12 Broadsword 2d
DX 12 Small Shield (1 hit stopped) <-- +2 TV
IQ 8
Sword <-- +0 TV
Shield <-- +0 TV

Fighter w. Combat Talents TV 33
ST 12 Crossbow 2d, fires every turn Broadsword 2d
DX 12 (15 w. crossbow) Small Shield (1 hit stopped) <-- +2 TV
IQ 12
Sword <-- +0 TV
Shield <-- +0 TV
Crossbow <-- +0 TV
Missile Weapons <-- +3 TV
Unarmed Combat II <-- +4 TV

Wizard TV 44 (GM might assess more for deadly spells, or if he had zero combat spells, he'd be TV 24 with just the staff to fight with.)
ST 12 Staff of Power 2d
DX 12
IQ 20
20 spells <-- +20 TV
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Old 05-15-2018, 05:09 AM   #5
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Skarg's Experience Point house rule

SKARG - Okay, but again, I think before we begin to get into the merits and specific details of your rules, can we address and answer the question regarding the value of IQ in combat first?

Unless we are going to ignore IQ and the value of combat talents for ease of play-abilty, which TFT:ITL does, I think it is most important that we have a method to accurately measure the total independent combat value of the whole combatant first, before we can begin to compare one combatant's relative EP value to another, regardless of the rules which guide us in doing so.

In order to do that, I feel we must answer the question of the IQ variable and the value of the associated combat talents contained therein first and foremost.

The current TFT:ITL rules for factoring the EP value of a figure do not account for the IQ value and the associated combat talents contained therein, therefore, under the current TFT:ITL rules: A 45-point Character with ST-15 DX-15 IQ-15 and NO COMBAT TALENTS has a total EP value of 30; whereas, a 45-point Character with ST-15 DX-15 IQ-15 and MANY COMBAT TALENTS, also has the exact same total EP value of 30.

Do you agree these two figures are equivalent in potential combat effectiveness?
Do you agree these two figures present the same level of potential challenge in combat?
Do you agree these two figures should be worth the same EP award if defeated?

The current TFT:ITL EP rules for combat say they are.

If you do NOT agree with the above, then I say we must address and resolve the value of IQ and the combat talents first - being the only variable between the two fighters - before we can examine the merits of any EP rules set which is designed to to address the problem of: "awards far too much EP for easy kills by superior fighters."

What say you?

JK

Last edited by Jim Kane; 05-15-2018 at 12:44 PM. Reason: Typo; clarity
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Old 05-15-2018, 04:22 PM   #6
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Skarg's Experience Point house rule

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
SKARG - Okay, but again, I think before we begin to get into the merits and specific details of your rules, can we address and answer the question regarding the value of IQ in combat first?
Sure. Though, I think I've already mentioned it several times above, and we did consider that back in 1985, and the above was what we came up with. It's based on having looked at the combat talents and decided that the rules of thumb used in the sytem above were fast and close enough, especially as the GM is expected to use discretional fudging including ad-hoc deductions for unused equipment or skills (i.e. if "Fighter w. Combat Talents TV 33" above doesn't USE his crossbow or Unarmed Combat, which is likely often going to happen, then he should have the same TV for an encounter as Fighter TV 26, and without his shield, TV 24...). And, the GM can also tweak the EP up or down for hard or easy circumstances or fights.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
Unless we are going to ignore IQ and the value of combat talents for ease of play-abilty, which TFT:ITL does, I think it is most important that we have a method to accurately measure the total independent combat value of the whole combatant first, before we can begin to compare one combatant's relative EP value to another, regardless of the rules which guide us in doing so.

In order to do that, I feel we must answer the question of the IQ variable and the value of the associated combat talents contained therein first and foremost.
Ok, we can go over them in detail. I pretty well remember and even found our original notes on what we were thinking about the talents. They each are valuable in their own ways when used, and some are easy to evaluate (Warrior adds 1 hit stopped), but others not so much (Fencing, Running). We ended up deciding that 1 TV per memory point was roughly right, especially if the GM just tweaks the TV as he sees fit in each case, as opposed to having to consult a table to see Missile Weapons counts for 2.5 TV or something.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
The current TFT:ITL rules for factoring the EP value of a figure do not account for the IQ value and the associated combat talents contained therein, therefore, under the current TFT:ITL rules: A 45-point Character with ST-15 DX-15 IQ-15 and NO COMBAT TALENTS has a total EP value of 30; whereas, a 45-point Character with ST-15 DX-15 IQ-15 and MANY COMBAT TALENTS, also has the exact same total EP value of 30.

Do you agree these two figures are equivalent in potential combat effectiveness?
Do you agree these two figures present the same level of potential challenge in combat?
Do you agree these two figures should be worth the same EP award if defeated?

The current TFT:ITL EP rules for combat say they are.
No, no & no. If you study what I wrote above, you'll see I clearly agree with you and disagree with ITL EP about combat talents, as I already mentioned I agreed with you on that, the system I posted above does take combat talents into account, as shown in the example calculating the TV of the three characters you mentioned (fighter, fighter w. combat talents, wizard) shows.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
If you do NOT agree with the above, then I say we must address and resolve the value of IQ and the combat talents first - being the only variable between the two fighters - before we can examine the merits of any EP rules set which is designed to to address the problem of: "awards far too much EP for easy kills by superior fighters."
I think our approach works, which is to start with the ITL system as a basis, so the same EP is awarded as the starting point, and then modify for talents on the same scale.

Here's roughly what we thought:


IQ for its own sake usually is not worth anything unless Disbelieving is involved, or someone has a reason to make an important IQ roll. For the most part it has no effect so no effect on TV. (If someone somehow uses IQ to dominate someone, then that's a situation modifier and/or probably something to reward with EP anyway.)

Plain weapon talents (sword, ax/mace, etc) - the normal baseline expectation for a fighter, so it adjusts the value by zero. If someone DOESN'T have the talent for their weapon, the consequence is -4 DX, so that's worth the TV for that, i.e. -4 TV, but it's not about the talent, it's about the adjDX. TV is ST + adjDX + modifiers.

Peculiar weapon talents, as mentioned in the original post about the system, we didn't want to assess individually since they all offer some special thing or another that are apples & oranges and need to be nerfed anyway, and thought it was ok to just call them 1 TV per memory like the others. If you really wanted to rate the TV of someone abusing lassos and whips as written to be able to take out any character at range, they should be very valuable, maybe add your adjDX again as TV, with additional points for the other perks those tools give.

Warrior and Veteran, as mentioned, add TV equal to the value of the added hits/attack they stop. In practice they're better because they also have no weight, but that seemed more complex than we wanted and below the accuracy level we were going for.

Thrown Weapons we valued at 2 points because it gives +2 DX AND gives the unique ability to throw a weapon the same turn you ready it. In retrospect, maybe 1.5 points but again that's below the grain of our approximate TV system to come up with a perfect number.

Missile Weapons adds 3 DX but only for missile weapons, so might be thought to be worth less that 3 DX points. On the other hand, it tends to mean a dangerous missile user, which tends to be a strong fighter design, so seems worth 3 points anyway, especially since it just lets us write the rule as +1 TV per memory point.

Fencing actually seems worth a bit less than its 3 memory points, except when it pays offs. But people who have it tend to also be powerful anyway, and it makes thematic sense that fighting someone with great weapon skill should just be a better learning experience, so we let it be +3, the value of the memory points (again nicely seeming to be a rule we didn't need exceptions for).

Two Weapons seems usually not worth that much to me unless a powerful character is really taking advantage of it. However it also seems like it would be a good learning experience fighting someone using it, and naturally you wouldn't count it for someone not using the talent in the fight, so again we didn't think there was a reason to not have it be worth 3 TV. Especially since we explicitly mention that ineffective character designs can/should be rated lower TV by the GM.

Running and MA in general we did not give TV for, except in cases where someone wins a fight by running around someone due to higher MA, in which case we'd nudge the TV/EP a couple of points for someone who was getting an advantage due to higher MA.

Unarmed Combat I and II actually don't seem worth their memory unless you're actually using them. They higher ones sort of start to almost seem that value, but certainly are if actually used against other people in bare-hand & HTH situations. So we valued them at memory value for simplicity, but would tend to not count them in practice unless they were actually used in the fight in question.

Horsemanship talents similarly seemed worth about their memory points, but only when the combat was actually on horseback. Again it was pretty natural/easy for us to not count it in their TV except when used mounted, or note it as a separate TV(mounted).

Tactics and Strategist are another apples and oranges sort of thing. The side with an initiative disadvantage probably deserves to earn a few more difficulty EP regardless of who they're fighting, so I would actually give +0 TV to the leader with the talent, but tend to hand out a few extra EP to everyone winning a fight in the difficult circumstance of having an initiative adjustment for good enemy tactics, and/or for having their plans predicted by someone with Tactics.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:07 AM   #7
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Skarg's Experience Point house rule

SKARG I am glad we have agreed on that cornerstone first, as all to often I read long detailed discussions here about rule-variations, and in the end - because those discussing a rule did not first agree on the exact rule in question, b) state the exact problem with the rule - you stated both of these perfectly - and c) come to an mutual agreement about where everyone is philosophically first - the whole conversation just ends up as so much fruitless typing, which goes nowhere towards a real solution.

NOW that we are sure we are on the same page, and we are actually seeing things through the same microscope, we can dig in. ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Here's roughly what we thought:[/B]

IQ for its own sake usually is not worth anything unless Disbelieving is involved, or someone has a reason to make an important IQ roll. For the most part it has no effect so no effect on TV. (If someone somehow uses IQ to dominate someone, then that's a situation modifier and/or probably something to reward with EP anyway.)
Agreed that "IQ for it's own sake is usually not worth very much". Not many high-IQ NPC Jewelers or Latin Scholars will normally make for formidable melee opponents; therefore I will ask if we can consider a stated qualifier on IQ, such as: "The IQ Attribute as a stated numerical value is only worth considering for Combat EP Value inasmuch as the actual IQ Attribute value only reflects the POTENTIAL for containing a number of valuable combat talents, which WILL effect the Combat EP Value; but has no direct contributing value of its own; and has no bearing on the final Combat EP Value otherwise."?

Additionally, can we hold-off on the topic of Disbelieving until we - later down the road - bring-in the topic of magic and IQ, and keep our focus tight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Plain weapon talents (sword, ax/mace, etc) - the normal baseline expectation for a fighter, so it adjusts the value by zero. If someone DOESN'T have the talent for their weapon, the consequence is -4 DX, so that's worth the TV for that, i.e. -4 TV, but it's not about the talent, it's about the adjDX. TV is ST + adjDX + modifiers.
There are assumptions and factors here, along with a presumed alteration to the existing Combat EP Valuation method provided by TFT:ITL, which I feel should not be included AT THIS TIME in the dialog. Primarily, as we have not fully defined our own baseline yet; and we should refrain from projecting the effect on the sum as a net modifier at this point-in-time - Agreed?

Although I have read your whole post in it's entirety, I would like to ask if we can truncate and hold the rest in reserve, so that we can keep the conversation on a point-by-point basis, as we seek out the baseline.

I see where you are heading and with many other prospective rules, while you offer sound rational why you feel a specific talent should be worth X, and another talent is worth Y, I would like to explore another route which may also be available to us in our endeavor.

If you have read my other posts regarding my general philosophy on altering the TFT rules, or creating enhancements to those rules, you know that I am a staunch adherent to working outwards from the established rules as a base, and naturally growing outwards from there - rather than trying to superimpose an external rules-set into a per-existing TFT rule base. I want to reiterate, my highest goal is not to impose my own ideas into the system, but rather to create enhancements to the existing TFT rules, and introducing as little alien material as possible, specifically to preserve, while creating a pastiche of the original rules-set laid-down by SJ.

Again, withholding discussion of what and why your rules feel a specific talent is worth what it is to the Combat EP Value, can we first look at the values that the TFT:ITL Talents ALREADY offer us as canonical values?

Following that philosophy, the existing TFT Talent rules already inform us of specific values for each and every combat talent available; AND, if we methodically apply those same values - without arbitrary alteration - to the existing Combat EP Value, we would automatically generate the samples as shown below:

As we agree: IQ by itself offers no direct inherent value to the Combat EP Value; therefore, a "No Combat Talent" figure would be rendered as:

ST-12 DX-12 IQ-8
NO COMBAT TALENTS
Combat EP Value: 24

If we give the same figure the knife talent - reflecting the most base degree of weapon skill and proficiency - the figure would be rendered as:

ST-12 DX-12 IQ-8
KNIFE (1)
Combat EP Value: 25

And, if we flesh-out the figure with more training and talents, we get:

ST-12 DX-12 IQ-8
KNIFE/SWORD (2)
BOW (2)
SHIELD (1)
THROWN WEAPONS (2)
Combat EP Value: 31

THEREFORE, as a start:

1) Why can't we simply use the listed costs of the combat talents as informed by the existing TFT:ITL rules as the specific values added in calculating the total Independent Combat Value of a given enemy combatant?

2) Would this method generate a simple base system with which to achieve that goal, while working from the established rules base outwards?

3) Does this method in any way violate the feel, form, flow, flavor, or function of what makes TFT, TFT?

Survey Sez?

JK
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:57 AM   #8
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Skarg's Experience Point house rule

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
Additionally, can we hold-off on the topic of Disbelieving until we - later down the road - bring-in the topic of magic and IQ, and keep our focus tight?
Sure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
There are assumptions and factors here, along with a presumed alteration to the existing Combat EP Valuation method provided by TFT:ITL, which I feel should not be included AT THIS TIME in the dialog. Primarily, as we have not fully defined our own baseline yet; and we should refrain from projecting the effect on the sum as a net modifier at this point-in-time - Agreed?
Ok.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
Although I have read your whole post in it's entirety, I would like to ask if we can truncate and hold the rest in reserve, so that we can keep the conversation on a point-by-point basis, as we seek out the baseline.
Ok.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
I see where you are heading and with many other prospective rules, while you offer sound rational why you feel a specific talent should be worth X, and another talent is worth Y, I would like to explore another route which may also be available to us in our endeavor.
Ok.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
If you have read my other posts regarding my general philosophy on altering the TFT rules, or creating enhancements to those rules, you know that I am a staunch adherent to working outwards from the established rules as a base, and naturally growing outwards from there - rather than trying to superimpose an external rules-set into a per-existing TFT rule base. I want to reiterate, my highest goal is not to impose my own ideas into the system, but rather to create enhancements to the existing TFT rules, and introducing as little alien material as possible, specifically to preserve, while creating a pastiche of the original rules-set laid-down by SJ.
Ok. I would add that despite all the lines I wrote about it, the house rules I posted are essentially a one-line change plus some notes on how to assess TV (i.e. Combat EP Value). Basically the rule is just that you adjust the ITL EP formula for EP from defeating a figure, by adding/subtracting the difference between the values of the victor and the defeated figure. The rest is just how to calculate that: use adjDX, take into account armor and weapon damage, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
Again, withholding discussion of what and why your rules feel a specific talent is worth what it is to the Combat EP Value, can we first look at the values that the TFT:ITL Talents ALREADY offer us as canonical values?
Ok, except I've already thought about it and already explained why that is actually what we chose, except that it doesn't make sense for talents that just avoid a -4DX penalty, which using adjDX already takes into account automatically.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
Following that philosophy, the existing TFT Talent rules already inform us of specific values for each and every combat talent available; AND, if we methodically apply those same values - without arbitrary alteration - to the existing Combat EP Value, we would automatically generate the samples as shown below:

As we agree: IQ by itself offers no direct inherent value to the Combat EP Value; therefore, a "No Combat Talent" figure would be rendered as:

ST-12 DX-12 IQ-8
NO COMBAT TALENTS
Combat EP Value: 24
Yes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
If we give the same figure the knife talent - reflecting the most base degree of weapon skill and proficiency - the figure would be rendered as:

ST-12 DX-12 IQ-8
KNIFE (1)
Combat EP Value: 25

And, if we flesh-out the figure with more training and talents, we get:

ST-12 DX-12 IQ-8
KNIFE/SWORD (2)
BOW (2)
SHIELD (1)
THROWN WEAPONS (2)
Combat EP Value: 31
Not looking so good to me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
THEREFORE, as a start:

1) Why can't we simply use the listed costs of the combat talents as informed by the existing TFT:ITL rules as the specific values added in calculating the total Independent Combat Value of a given enemy combatant?
Because of what the different talents do, or do not do. As you've read, we do actually end up using the memory points as the point value for combat talents, but only the ones that actually improve a character's fighting ability, and only when they use that ability in the combat you're assigning EP for. Basic weapon talents just let you use your DX without a -4 penalty. That effect is nicely taken into account very accurately by just using the adjDX of the fighter to calculate Combat EP Value instead of their base DX (which has no direct effect on combat - fighting someone with no weapon talent is almost identical to fighting someone with the talent but who has 4 less DX, so why give the value a +2 instead for Ax/Mace talent?

Note that you've also already created a change to the effect of the ITL EP rule, which you said you wanted to change as little as possible. Now if a character with only basic weapon talents fights another, they get more EP than ITL would give, and the character with more basic weapon talents is worth more, even though it doesn't particularally increase how well they'll perform.

i.e.:

Chuck
ST 13 Halberd 2d
DX 11
IQ 8
Pole Weapons (2)
Your Combat EP Value: 26

is going to be valued 6 points (23%) less EP-worthy than:

Vince
ST 13 Halberd 2d
DX 11
IQ 8
Pole Weapons (2)
Ax/Mace (2)
Sword (2)
Shiled (1)
Knife (1)
Your Combat EP Value: 32

Main problem: These characters will usually perform the same, but one's valued more, and/or you have more work to do to adjust for all the talents that don't get used.

Another problem: EP inflation for beginning-point characters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
2) Would this method generate a simple base system with which to achieve that goal, while working from the established rules base outwards?
Well, you've got me to explain some of the reasons why we didn't do this, and why this is already further from the effect of the ITL rules than the system I posted is. ;-)

I much prefer a starting point where only talents which add something to a character's ability get counted on top of points from attributes. The goal should be to measure actual Threat Value, and not points that do nothing. I submit that counting basic weapon talents as 0, and the effect of using weapons without them by their -4 effect on adjDX, you get a quite accurate effect. It also balances with monsters that have no listed talents, but attack with their DX.


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Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
3) Does this method in any way violate the feel, form, flow, flavor, or function of what makes TFT, TFT?
Yes. To me, the "feel, form, flow, flavor, [and] function of what makes TFT, TFT" to me, is that stuff makes sense and works well. That's why I want to change the ITL EP formula in the first place. This suggestion adds stuff that doesn't make sense and doesn't have reasons for being the way it is, actually making the problem worse by giving more EP, and for things that mostly won't have any effect, and in a way that doesn't balance with monsters who have/need no talents. Thrown Weapons gives +2 adj DX for thrown weapons (so worth a little less than +2 DX for all purposes) but also the fast-draw ability (which is worth at least 1 point), so it's good at about +2. Including basic weapon talents just introduces error and increases EP rewards for nothing.
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:17 AM   #9
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Skarg's Experience Point house rule

Right SKARG, I got you. I just wanted to reiterate to you where I was coming from philosophically; as so many of these rules-discussion degenerate into one guy trying to jam his "argument" and "system" down the other guys throat while being wholly dismissive of his "victim's" point of view. If you have noted, I do not "engage" in these "+2DX, -2DX type-arguments"; as I seek to find a collective agreement on conceptual things mostly. I think the conceptually-based TFT rules, when reached, are the best TFT rules - and I am enjoying going through this with you. Thanks.

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Ok, except I've already thought about it and already explained why that is actually what we chose, except that it doesn't make sense for talents that just avoid a -4DX penalty, which using adjDX already takes into account automatically.
Understood, and we may very well end up right there, and for that very reason; but, we have to BUILD into that rational, proving it step-by-step, as we go, we just can't jump to it as an assumption - as correct as it may seem at first-blush. It's still a theory, and I believe we really should prove it out in development.

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Not looking so good to me.
It's not a final value, just a pre-calculation only - we have to wait for that. It is only the first factor, one of many such factors we may add and consider, as we build. We may add many, many more such factors - depending on the level of complexity we feel is desirable, and in the end, we may very well cut that BIG final factored total in half, or by a third, or fourth, to scale it properly. So, I am NOT saying that those sample fighters with combat talents - once actually armed and armored, etc - are worth those specific totals; what I am asking is: Can we agree that the values of 24, 25, and 31 are correct if we only add the prescribed talent cost to the base, AS A START to developing the method towards finding a final value? And, that this is a reasonable thing - and MAY NOT be the ONLY thing - to account for, in finding that final value?

You know SKARG, it's interesting, there has been a lot of talk of LEGO's on the board lately, and all we have here so far is 2 LEGO pieces joined together for consideration at this stage of building toward a potential new Combat EP Award Rule; but it's not THE RULE - yet.

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Because of what the different talents do, or do not do.
Again, "Too far, Too fast". Before we can properly account for what value a specific combat talent adds in function during play, can we agree that we should FIRST account for the value a combat talent adds by merely existing within a figure in the first place?

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but only the ones that actually improve a character's fighting ability
Agreed, we are considering "Combat Talents" only.

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
and only when they use that ability in the combat you're assigning EP for.
Okay, here we may have a different points-of-view. I will take the position that it is enough that the character has the POTENTIAL to use any combat talent he possesses, even if he doesn't actually use that talent in a specific melee; as he COULD use it, or MAY use it - who's to say - but the fact that he perhaps didn't use it in a specific melee, does not - in my mind - make the figure worth less as a kill in factoring the Combat EP Value.

So, if I am understanding you POV, you think ACTUAL is the way to go, and I think POTENTIAL is the way to go. Your thoughts on this at this point, please.


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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Basic weapon talents just let you use your DX without a -4 penalty. That effect is nicely taken into account very accurately by just using the adjDX of the fighter to calculate Combat EP Value instead of their base DX (which has no direct effect on combat - fighting someone with no weapon talent is almost identical to fighting someone with the talent but who has 4 less DX, so why give the value a +2 instead for Ax/Mace talent?
My reasoning is: Because the adj.DX of a figure is dynamic, not static; and the value of a figure's specific combat talent - if we follow the same values which are listed cost - is fixed, quantifiable, and consistent; and that should aid in making easier and consistent calculations as an overall method. Your thoughts on that, please. As an aside, I must point out, that I do not feel it is accurate to say that "base DX has no direct effect on combat", as base DX, by definition is: Skill with tasks; especially involving the hands - with combat generally being a thing one does with the hands.

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Note that you've also already created a change to the effect of the ITL EP rule, which you said you wanted to change as little as possible.
Changing the rule as to how the Combat EP Value is calculated and awarded is the point-and-purpose of what we are exploring as our goal, is it not? While we may end up doing a great many things to discover a rule worthy of stating, we actually haven't stated any "New Rule" yet. What we are doing here, at this stage of building, are pre-calculations - which, if we do a good, clean job - most of which, the player should never be aware of, or how we arrived at the rule; once one is actually stated.

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Now if a character with only basic weapon talents fights another, they get more EP than ITL would give, and the character with more basic weapon talents is worth more, even though it doesn't particularally increase how well they'll perform.
Again, "too far, too fast", we have only begun to build into a final calculable value. Hang on, we will get there; I promise.

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Chuck
ST 13 Halberd 2d
DX 11
IQ 8
Pole Weapons (2)
Your Combat EP Value: 26
Not correct. You have additionally armed the figure with an added weapon, and we have not come to the stage of adding an agreed value for the actual weapons an armed figure possesses. Slooooow down my brother, sloooow down. Details, details ;-)

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Main problem: These characters will usually perform the same, but one's valued more, and/or you have more work to do to adjust for all the talents that don't get used.
Again, we are back to our POTENTIAL vs ACTUAL philosophy difference. (q.v.) We are going to have to come to an agreed decision on that, or we will risk getting stuck in development.

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Another problem: EP inflation for beginning-point characters.
Yes, but to be discussed later in the dialog. Too many irons presented to the fire already. We need to come back to this; agreed?

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I much prefer a starting point where only talents which add something to a character's ability get counted on top of attributes
I understood we were in agreement that only Combat Talents will be counted on top of ST and DX values; and the main point regarding those are, we need to address the question of Potential vs Actual; am I in error?

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
The goal should be to measure actual Threat Value, and not points that do nothing.
Okay, "Threat Value", or, "Combat Value". I think we may need to define our terms to each other and check that we are saying the same thing. Also, I think this is just another way we are stating our different POVs on POTENTIAL vs ACTUAL, but as a term, as opposed to a narrative; yes?

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I submit that counting basic weapon talents as 0, and the effect of using weapons without them by their -4 effect on adjDX, you get a quite accurate effect. It also balances with monsters that have no listed talents, but attack with their DX.
I maintain the first part of your statement may very well be true, and then again, it may not, depending on one's POV - let us reserve judgement at this time, and find out for sure in the future part of our explorations; agreed?

Regarding the second part of your statement about "Monsters who attack with their DX and have no listed Combat Talents." THIS is a VERY interesting difference, and opens up a whole aspect to consider - and one I think will be quite exciting and fascinating to run-down when trying to balance for a game system which uses both methods (i.e. figures which attack with just DX, and figures which attack with DX+Talents), but let's get our basic figures down first, yes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Yes. To me, the "feel, form, flow, flavor, [and] function of what makes TFT, TFT" to me, is that stuff makes sense and works well. That's why I want to change the ITL EP formula in the first place. This suggestion adds stuff that doesn't make sense and doesn't have reasons for being the way it is, actually making the problem worse by giving more EP
Again, we are far from our final destination yet. We haven't changed or awarded anything; we are in pre-calcualtions only. "Too Far, Too Fast" - I think I will have that printed on a T-shirt for you, and send it too you as a gag-gift after we meet our goal ;-D

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
and for things that mostly won't have any effect,
POV, at play. We really need to come to an agreement on this sticking-point and alleviate it. In considering my POTENTIAL perspective, I am thinking that an empty gun can still threaten as well as a loaded one; and that, a fighter who is skilled in the Kicking, Punching, Trapping, and Grappling Ranges of Combat, is still a larger POTENTIAL threat, even if the fight never bridges into Trapping and Grappling ranges, or if they are going at it with rakes and shovels. But I will be anxious to learn where we end up on this point.

Okay, your turn ;-)

JK

Last edited by Jim Kane; 05-16-2018 at 11:00 AM. Reason: Typo - Moonster is a Monster from the Moon?
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:14 PM   #10
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: Skarg's Experience Point house rule - KISS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I think our approach works, which is to start with the ITL system as a basis, so the same EP is awarded as the starting point, and then modify for talents on the same scale.

Here's roughly what we thought:


IQ for its own sake usually is not worth anything unless Disbelieving is involved, or someone has a reason to make an important IQ roll..
Hi Everyone, Skarg.
Sorry I've not replied for so long Skarg. I agreed with you, but wanted to say something more substantial than 'you rock'.

Your basic system is great, and QUICK TO CALCULATE, which is key. I'm not sure that it is worthwhile to make a lot of adjustments for talents, most of the time, the small adjustments for talents on one side will be within a few points of canceling out the talents on the other side.

As for IQ adjustments... talents cost so much more memory (mIQ), than spells, and generally give a much lower bang for the buck than spells, that I would suggest that you simply give a bonus for the IQ of wizards. High IQ wizards in particular are powerful force multipliers.

Perhaps, for wizards, subtract 4 from their IQ and add the remainder to the Threat Value (TV).

If I was to use your system, it would have to be simple and fast to use. I agree that the fine adjustments you suggest make it more ACCURATE. However if it is too slow to use, it likely won't get USED much.

Warm regards, Rick.
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