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Old 01-14-2023, 11:30 AM   #51
Shostak
 
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Default Re: 3 Character Types: Fighter, Wizard, Mixed (Bard, Cleric, Monk)

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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
You can still make an IQ 8 warrior, it's just that Legacy makes that very suboptimal.
But in the original microgames (and even with Summon Myrmidon) it is explicit that starting heroes have IQ 8, and there was no implication that it was somehow below normal or suboptimal.
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Old 01-16-2023, 02:50 AM   #52
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Default Re: 3 Character Types: Fighter, Wizard, Mixed (Bard, Cleric, Monk)

It's interesting to also note that an IQ 8 fighter under ITL doesn't lose any of the abilities they were capable of, or typically allowed, under the original Melee rules. Horsemanship, Literacy, Swimming, Boating, and all seven of the regular weapon talents are available at IQ 8 in ITL, with Climbing and Driving close but not quite available until IQ 9.

Melee figures typically were allowed to do most of those things when used in role playing and campaigns outside of arena situations, before ITL and even before Wizard were published. Where a test had to be made, say to swim 'cross a steam, the early GMs just made up what to roll on the fly. Five of those talents that came out with ITL had to do with movement and transportation, so outdoor adventurers built under pre-ITL rules were usually allowed riding, swimming, cart driving, etc, to one extent or another. for every PC in a party traveling together.

So not much of this changed for fighters when ITL talents appeared, because all those things were set at a low IQ requirement. The only notable difference was that a Melee figure could switch to using any of the weapon types at will, but under ITL you had to pick a couple weapon types and stick with them, since all together they'd have cost 10 memory points, more than an IQ 8 fighter could afford. Most PCs had a preferred weapon type or two anyway, so that wasn't really a problem.

The problem came with PCs from Wizard. They too had been allowed to ride horses, swim, drive a cart. etc. along with all the fighters in the same party. And they all had a backup weapon or two, for when physical combat became unavoidable. And each and every one of them knew as many spells as they had IQ points.

ITL became a huge setback for wizards as compared to how they worked under the original Melee/Wizard rules. They could no longer do most of the same things their fighter friends could do. Even if the talents covering those things didn't cost double, their IQs were already tied up in spells. Compared to an IQ 10 wizard under Wizard rules, they had to give up (forget) 6 of their 10 spells, just to afford three points worth of the same talents as fighters. This was the consequence of the design lumping the regulation of spells and talents under the single attribute, IQ.

"Come along Merlin, we're all racing to the pub, loser buys!"

"Sorry, I've forgotten how to ride a galloping horse. Just go without me."

"Wait, we've seen you fly and teleport! Can't you just do that?"

"Sorry, I've forgotten how those spells work too."

"Geez, you're no fun anymore!"
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Old 01-16-2023, 09:49 PM   #53
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Default Re: 3 Character Types: Fighter, Wizard, Mixed (Bard, Cleric, Monk)

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Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
ITL became a huge setback for wizards as compared to how they worked under the original Melee/Wizard rules. They could no longer do most of the same things their fighter friends could do. Even if the talents covering those things didn't cost double, their IQs were already tied up in spells. Compared to an IQ 10 wizard under Wizard rules, they had to give up (forget) 6 of their 10 spells, just to afford three points worth of the same talents as fighters. This was the consequence of the design lumping the regulation of spells and talents under the single attribute, IQ.

"Come along Merlin, we're all racing to the pub, loser buys!"

"Sorry, I've forgotten how to ride a galloping horse. Just go without me."

"Wait, we've seen you fly and teleport! Can't you just do that?"

"Sorry, I've forgotten how those spells work too."

"Geez, you're no fun anymore!"

Ahhh, actually, just about any character can ride a horse. So Merlin, even as a wizard, can get up and ride a nag. But so can Willie the Thief.

When you train on the Horsemanship Talent, you can fight on horseback better and do more risky things with horses, like jumping hedges.
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Old 01-17-2023, 01:09 AM   #54
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Default Re: 3 Character Types: Fighter, Wizard, Mixed (Bard, Cleric, Monk)

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Originally Posted by JohnPaulB View Post
Ahhh, actually, just about any character can ride a horse. So Merlin, even as a wizard, can get up and ride a nag. But so can Willie the Thief.

When you train on the Horsemanship Talent, you can fight on horseback better and do more risky things with horses, like jumping hedges.
Excellent point! And precisely why I said "Sorry, I've forgotten how to ride a galloping horse." That requires Horsemanship, as would jumping hedges.

While my mind is a bit blurry about the house rules we used for horse riding and mounted combat before ITL appeared, my friends and I often had our PCs on horseback. We had adopted swimming and climbing rules too (I do recall we gave an advantage in the latter to anyone who had hobnail boots)! We switched from dungeon crawls to outdoor adventures fairly early, so these things came up

My point is only that before ITL, we treated all our PCs equally when it came to these things. A DX 11 wizard had the same odds of succeeding at a saving roll as the DX 11 fighter when it came to staying on a frightened horse or scaling a slippery slope. A DX 11 wizard had the same chance of scoring a hit with a thrown dagger or axe as a DX 11 fighter, because they both rolled on 3 dice, no explicit talents required.

That changed dramatically when ITL supplanted the earlier Melee/Wizard rules. The fighters, even at the default IQ of 8, could afford the talents now required to do these basic things -- they didn't have to give up anything. Wizards on the other hand lost these privileges unless they gave up at least half their spells. And even if they did that, and although most had IQs above 8, they still couldn't afford all of those basic talents, much less all the fancier talents now available to the fighters. Even giving up all but one spell, they could still only afford half as many talents as the fighters because of the doubled-for-wizards cost difference.

These were the changes that split fighters and wizards into two different character types. Until ITL came along, it would be apt to describe wizards as merely low ST fighters who compensated with magic. But they were still fundamentally the same class as the fighters, playing by all the same rules. It was ITL, not Melee or Wizard, that introduced significantly different character creation rules, and character advancement rules, depending on whether you fought with or without magic.

As an old-timer remembering the early days, that still strikes me as an artificial distinction we'd be better off without.
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Old 05-01-2023, 04:51 PM   #55
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Default Re: 3 Character Types: Fighter, Wizard, Mixed (Bard, Cleric, Monk)

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Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post

My point is only that before ITL, we treated all our PCs equally when it came to these things. A DX 11 wizard had the same odds of succeeding at a saving roll as the DX 11 fighter when it came to staying on a frightened horse or scaling a slippery slope. A DX 11 wizard had the same chance of scoring a hit with a thrown dagger or axe as a DX 11 fighter, because they both rolled on 3 dice, no explicit talents required.

That changed dramatically when ITL supplanted the earlier Melee/Wizard rules. The fighters, even at the default IQ of 8, could afford the talents now required to do these basic things -- they didn't have to give up anything. Wizards on the other hand lost these privileges unless they gave up at least half their spells. And even if they did that, and although most had IQs above 8, they still couldn't afford all of those basic talents, much less all the fancier talents now available to the fighters. Even giving up all but one spell, they could still only afford half as many talents as the fighters because of the doubled-for-wizards cost difference.
Coming in late here. I no longer have a copy of the original Wizard but as I recall the original rules for Wizard included notes for use with Melee (like the current edition) and gave wizards a -4 DX penalty when using weapons other than a wizard's staff. Which seems only reasonable. Giving wizards all the abilities of fighters from Melee on top of their spells seems a bit impractical. Why make your character a Hero when a Wizard has all the same abilities plus magic? In other words, wizards already were implicitly limited in mundane skills. Also note that for most routine adventuring skills, Talents aren't essential - they just boost your odds. The descriptions are pretty explicit in that regard.

You could certainly tweak the rules so there's less of a clear Hero/Wizard division but I would argue the mechanical difference was built into the system from the start. Adding Talents gave more options to Heroes than Wizards in non-combat situations but a Wizard could also use spells to deal with non-combat problems. So I don't think ITL hindered Wizards vs Heroes. Possibly just erase the distinction so any character could learn Spells or Talents at the same cost though that might change the feel of the game.


If anyone has a copy of the original Wizard rules, please check what they say about using them with Melee. It's been long enough I don't trust my memory.
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Old 05-02-2023, 02:05 AM   #56
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Default Re: 3 Character Types: Fighter, Wizard, Mixed (Bard, Cleric, Monk)

Just re-read the section on combining Wizard and Melee in the original Wizard rules. Most of it resolves minor conflicts that would have otherwise occurred where the same rule was worded a bit differently between the Microgames. There are mainly two technical differences that apply to this discussion.

First is the one Ironific mentions. Yes, wizards were at -4 DX using any weapons other than their staff, or a dagger. I cannot recall if I ever used or enforced that back in the day, but in any event that rule became quickly subsumed after ITL came along, and added an extra 1d6 difficulty for anyone using a weapon for which they didn't have the Talent. I doubt any of us ever made a wizard roll at -4 DX and on 4d6 at the same time for a weapon without the needed Talent. Nor would most of us have made the wizard roll at -4 DX when they did have the Talent for the weapon -- I know my old group never did. But that last case hardly mattered under ITL because wizards couldn't afford the weapons Talents that had become required (or if they did learn one, it would have cost them as much memory as 4 spells, which is a very expensive trade off).

Secondly, and I'd also forgotten this, when combining original Melee and Wizard we were supposed to double the DX penalty for any armor heavier than leather when worn by a wizard. I can't recall if that rule carried over into ITL or not? And if it did, was it supposed to stack with the DX penalty for attempting spells while carrying iron? Probably not, as that would be major overkill.

None of which really changes my original opinion that wizards and fighters really didn't have a strong class distinction before ITL. They only differed in what they were supposed to fight with in combat, spells for wizards and physical armaments for "heroes". Other distinctions had no practical effects.

That changed with ITL, where many survival skills, many of them fairly mundane, became codified as "Talents" that only non-wizards could really afford. It was the learning and memory rules that really created (or at least formalized) these class distinctions.
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Old 05-02-2023, 07:46 AM   #57
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Default Re: 3 Character Types: Fighter, Wizard, Mixed (Bard, Cleric, Monk)

Wizard daggers in Melee/Wizard are complex: https://www.hcobb.com/tft/house_rules.html#GMscreen
Note also the distinction between -4 to cast with weapon in hand vs not being able to speak a spell without both hands free to wave around in ITL.

Classic 40 attribute wizard wishes to add Naturalist and so adds 4 IQ points at a cost of 4k XP.

Legacy 40 attribute wizard wishes to add Naturalist and so pays only 2k XP for the four memory points.


See A Temple of the Six Gates, Hexagram #4, page 29 for some monk characters under the current rules, some heroes, some wizards.
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Old 05-02-2023, 10:01 PM   #58
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Default Re: 3 Character Types: Fighter, Wizard, Mixed (Bard, Cleric, Monk)

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Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
Just re-read the section on combining Wizard and Melee in the original Wizard rules. Most of it resolves minor conflicts that would have otherwise occurred where the same rule was worded a bit differently between the Microgames. There are mainly two technical differences that apply to this discussion.

First is the one Ironific mentions. Yes, wizards were at -4 DX using any weapons other than their staff, or a dagger. I cannot recall if I ever used or enforced that back in the day, but in any event that rule became quickly subsumed after ITL came along, and added an extra 1d6 difficulty for anyone using a weapon for which they didn't have the Talent. I doubt any of us ever made a wizard roll at -4 DX and on 4d6 at the same time for a weapon without the needed Talent. Nor would most of us have made the wizard roll at -4 DX when they did have the Talent for the weapon -- I know my old group never did. But that last case hardly mattered under ITL because wizards couldn't afford the weapons Talents that had become required (or if they did learn one, it would have cost them as much memory as 4 spells, which is a very expensive trade off).

Secondly, and I'd also forgotten this, when combining original Melee and Wizard we were supposed to double the DX penalty for any armor heavier than leather when worn by a wizard. I can't recall if that rule carried over into ITL or not? And if it did, was it supposed to stack with the DX penalty for attempting spells while carrying iron? Probably not, as that would be major overkill.

None of which really changes my original opinion that wizards and fighters really didn't have a strong class distinction before ITL. They only differed in what they were supposed to fight with in combat, spells for wizards and physical armaments for "heroes". Other distinctions had no practical effects.

That changed with ITL, where many survival skills, many of them fairly mundane, became codified as "Talents" that only non-wizards could really afford. It was the learning and memory rules that really created (or at least formalized) these class distinctions.
I assumed the -4 DX with weapons just represented lack of training - in ITL terms a lack of the appropriate Talent. Which is already a pretty big distinction - Wizards are much less capable at melee combat. Beyond weapon Talents and we're back to the question of whether a skill system handicaps or enhances character options. You can find old school D&D fans who don't like the Thief class precisely because it limited certain tasks to one class which previously anyone could attempt.

I imagine one compromise would be to scale back the Talent system so it becomes an add on to the Melee/Wizard system. Heroes get basic combat Talents for free, Wizards get their spells for free & Talents are limited either to relatively esoteric abilities a typical adventurer is unlikely to have (e.g., Alchemy or Physicker) or basic combat Talents for Wizards (to get rid of that pesky -4 penalty) or spells for the Heroes. Or perhaps just increase starting Talents. The big issue seems to be that Talents compete with spells for memory slots & most Wizards will want Literacy at least. So characters ported in from Wizard will likely be handicapped in a way that characters from Melee wouldn't be.

Note that Melee & Wizard basically created a Fighter & Magic User class. The Talent system added a third class - the Specialist who could have special noncombat mundane abilities. So ITL expanded the number of possible characters.
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Old 05-03-2023, 06:06 AM   #59
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Default Re: 3 Character Types: Fighter, Wizard, Mixed (Bard, Cleric, Monk)

Melee Fighters are IQ 8 with 11 memory points of weapons talents and negative one memory points in Brawling so that they do one less point of damage with their fists as compared to an untrained ITL character.

https://www.hcobb.com/tft/house_rules.html#barehands
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Old 05-03-2023, 11:47 PM   #60
Steve Plambeck
 
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Default Re: 3 Character Types: Fighter, Wizard, Mixed (Bard, Cleric, Monk)

On the matter of character classes, for your consideration, a 32 point starting character:

Holly
ST 10, DX 12, IQ 10, MA 10
Arms: Saber, Small Shield
Talents: Sword, Shield, Horsemanship
Spells: Image, Lock/Knock

Is Holly a Hero (having spent 4 memory points on talents and 6 on spells)? Or is Holly a Wizard (having spent 8 memory points on talents and 2 on spells)? How can you tell?

Does Holly (or the player behind her) even have to commit to whether or not she's one class or the other? Does she have to tell anyone which it is even if she has committed?

Does Holly even know herself, and why should she?

If Holly just prefers to spend her XP on attributes rather than on any more spells or talents, the issue will never even come up. Just like any character, with a little luck and careful tactics Holly could go on to become a formidable 36, 38, even a 40 point figure.

If she weighs as much as a duck though, then we'll know she's a witch.
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