Banned

The Immovable FoundationStone on which TFT Characters are Built
The Immovable FoundationStone of TFT
As new approaches to defining a TFT Character are suggested and presented by their respective independent re designers to the forum members for purposes of evaluation and feedback  along with the associated subsystems which attempt to redesign how Talents and Spells are assigned to a character in order to avoid the ConantheScholar and MerlintheMuscleman effect  I feel it may be important to take some time to examine some fundamental mathematical realities which are at the foundation of the TFT design.
The original premise, as stated in Melee, was simple, elegant, and satisfied within it's originally intended scope and purpose.
As originally published in Melee: "... thus each figues begins with a total of 24 points  13 to ST and 11 to DX, or any other combination adding to 24."  Jackson, Steve. "Character Creation." In The Fantasy Trip: Melee, p5. Austin: Metagaming, 1977.
The Character Creation premise under the Melee definition could be expressed Algebraically as: [(a+b)=(b+a)]=24.
To best illustrate the premise, a coin will be used as an example.
The original premise contained three Defining Key Concepts, being:
1)"... each figure begins with a total of 24 points..." (Example: a Coin),
and,
2)"... or any other combination adding to 24." [(H,T)=24=(T,H)],
and,
3) "... combination ...". noun 1. a joining or merging of different parts or qualities in which the component elements are individually distinct.
{[(H)+(T)]=24=[(T)+(H)]}
If one were to consider only concepts 1 and 2 together, and independent of 3, we might reasonably arrive at the understanding stated as: 24 points is the sum expression of the values belonging to an individual and indivisable character  of which ST and DX are NOT truly independent values and separate unto themselves, nor are they modularsectional parts of your character  but is simply stated as:
"...a unified twotiered description of one character."
The Commutative Law of Addition (a+b=b+a) which was stated as part of the original premise of the character definition would seem to demand this be so. After all, the head and the tail of a coin, are NOT independent values unto themselves, but merely the obverse and reverse descriptions of one individual and indivisible single coin.
Or so it might seem.
The "Commutative Coin" rational sounds convincing until we consider Key Concept 3:
Combination: noun. 1. a joining or merging of different parts or qualities in which the component elements are individually distinct." Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 20 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
If one focuses on the first part of the definition as the qualifier, "joining or merging", the Commutative Coin rational would still stand.
However, if we shift our attention to the second part of the definition as the qualifier, we would be focusing on: "individually distinct".
This could reasonably lead one to an understanding that ST and DX are individually distinct elements which are unique modularsectional parts of a character, which are then described as 24 points in sum as a total; whereas: total, being defined as: (a sum + b sum)=c total.
ST and DX when viewed from this Independent and "IndividuallyDistinct" perspective  such as when attempting to redesign how Talents and Spells are assigned to a character  are treated as unique residual values, often as a result under the operation of subtraction; and occurring when one of these variables is subtracted from the whole to reveal the other.
The IndividuallyDistinct Understanding perspective is the inverse of the Commutative Coin Understanding perspective.
The IndividuallyDistinct Understanding perspective is also the usual understanding employed by independent redesigners when trying to solve for the ConantheScholar and MerlintheMuscleman problem.
Problems begin to arise when employing the "IndividuallyDistinct" perspective  or any of it's various disguised permutations, no matter how heavily camouflaged, or finely separated in formandformat, they may be  for the very simple reason that the principles of mathematics informs us by declaring that:
"The Commutative Laws of Mathematics DO NOT work for either subtraction nor division."
Some independent redesigners put their talent, time, and effort into developing systems and subsystems for The Fantasy Trip which are  if one looks deep enough  invariably based around the centralpremise of bifurcating (dividing) Talents and Combat Skills into some form of independent subattribute system and out from under the original attribute which governed it. This amputation is done so a specific Talent or Combat Skill is no longer directly linked to the governing attribute to which it was assigned in the original premise.
All this is done, in an attempt to stay (stop) increases of the ST or DX attribute on a commutative level, so that the new substat can be defined and grow independently; or, to eliminate having to directly increase the ST or DX attribute in order to accommodate an increase or adoption of a new Talent or Combat Skill. (i.e. Solving for ConantheScholar and MerlintheMuscleman).
Taking smaller things out of, and away from, a larger thing is called subtraction, and:
"The Commutative Laws of Mathematics DO NOT work for either subtraction nor division."
This is the first basic problem to this approach in finding a solution to ConantheScholar and MerlintheMuscleman; it attempts to subtract from the sum (bifurcate and stay) by design.
Therefore, aside from attempting to bypass the laws of mathematics,
The Second Basic Problem with these approaches are:
Much like a gamblingsystem which is built upon a gamblingfallacy, or which attempts to simply dazzle with detail  they are ALL guaranteed to breakdown at some point and hit the mathematicalwall  they will invariably exhibit their own unique problems and quirks which will eventually manifest over time and with growth.
Again, this is simply because:
"The Commutative Laws of Mathematics DO NOT work for either subtraction nor division."
The Third Basic Problem with these approaches is that they can be operationally incredibly detailed, and/or highly complex.
This is in direct contrast to:
"the original premise, as stated in Melee, was simple, elegant, and satisfied within it's originally intended scope and purpose."
Therefore, no matter how fantastic a new redesign may be in it's own right, it will not fit the description of the original premise; nor will it fit the mathematical statement at the very heart of TFT; and therefore it can never qualify in terms of consistency and continuity as TFT in form, feel, and flow.
The question then becomes one of:
"If a redesigner cannot subtract nor divide from the original premise [(a+b)=(b+a)]=24, because "The Commutative Laws of Mathematics DO NOT work for either subtraction nor division.", what can be done to enhance the system?
You can add.
You can add, but you cannot subtract; the Principles of Mathematics will arrest your efforts for attempting to break the Commutative Law of Addition.
In 1979, Wizard was published and introduced the concept of IQ to accommodate the addition of spells into the combat arena; and occupied the:
The Third Side of the Commutative Coin.
Some may decry: "There is no third side to a coin!!!"
Some may feel this little treatise I am presenting is proofpositive of what you have always suspected, that this Jim Kane guy is really on the edge.
And that, is precisely where a person can find the third side of a coin;
On it's edge.
The introduction of the IQ attribute added a third value to the definition and sum of a character, and with it, an expansion to the premise was stated as: "Thus, each figure begins with a total of 32 points  for instance, 9 ST, 12 DX, and 11 IQ."  Jackson, Steve. "Creating a Figure." In The Fantasy Trip: Wizard, p3. Austin: Metagaming, 1979.
This newly restated Charactercreation premise under the Wizard definition could be expressed mathematically as: [(a+b+c)= (c+b+a)]=32, from a Commutative Law of Addition perspective;
or,
Building directly onto of the original Melee premise as: [(a+b)+c=c+(b+a)] from an Associative Law of Addition perspective.
Or,
with accent on "individually distinct" {[(a)+(b)+(c)]=[(c)+(b)+(a)]}
Perhaps an analogue from the basic rules of punctuation would best illustrate the possible implications when translated into written English, as:
1) "What's that in the road ahead?"
versus
2) "What's that in the road, a head?"
As an aside, one has to wonder if it is by design or coincidence that the word: Parenthesis, has the word: Thesis, "put inside" of itself; curious, no?
The whole situation begins to very sound similar to the Commutative Coin Perspective versus the IndividuallyDistinct Perspective.
How much impact did altering the original premise as stated in Melee with the newly expanded premise as stated in Wizard change what the absolute definition of a TFT character actually is, I cannot say.
I do know however that the math reveals that the premise did change mathematically with the release of Wizard.
Since TFT is not a game of Swords & Sorcery, but is actually a game of mathematical Premises & Probabilities masquerading AS Swords and Sorcery, how much can be added to the existing equation?
For me, I would say the most correct answer would be found somewhere between: "Just enough, and no more than that."  if that helps.
So what is "The Immovable FoundationStone on which TFT Characters are built"?
To that question, I would answer:
"The Immovable FoundationStone of TFT is the original Melee premise, of course; which is an argument which cannot reconcile itself." he stated arithmetically.
Last edited by Jim Kane; 03182018 at 01:25 PM.
Reason: Numerical Typo
