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Old 04-17-2023, 04:59 PM   #1
Shostak
 
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: New England
Default Talent/Spell of the Week: Toughness

Toughness provides a nearly indispensable benefit for front-line fighters: protection from injury (one point of wound reduction per level) without DX penalty. Toughness isn't cheap, though; the first level requires ST 12, the second level becomes available at ST 14, and each level costs two talent points. Although both levels require higher than average ST, the IQ prerequisite is only 9.

This all seems straightforward, but questions still arise. For instance, does Toughness protect against the bite from venomous snakes, which "ignores armor" (Bestiary 163 and and ITL 95)? In my opinion, it does not, but players who have bought Toughness tend to disagree--spiritedly. The same players sometimes will also argue that Toughness should provide some benefit to resisting poison gas.

Toughness is especially good for characters who use two-handed weapons which prevent them from using shields, but it is obviously good for anybody. I once played a pyromage who had Toughness II and a small, focused spell list.

The ST prerequisites for Toughness is a rarity in TFT. For my games, I've adopted a couple of talents inspired by Toughness: Rugged and Sturdy.

Players in my games often choose Toughness for their characters, and it can be found on many an NPC's character sheet. In fact, I don't mind ignoring the IQ prerequisite and giving it to the odd animal (like an alpha wolf) or monster, just because I love my players and want them to be happy. If there were ever to be a second edition of ITL, I'd recommend a lower IQ prerequisite for Toughness (n the original Wizard and Melee microgames, IQ 8 seemed to be more typical for mundane types, and that has stuck with me). I once played in a game in which the GM allowed characters with Toughness whose ST had been reduce ST to zero or less to roll 4d/ST roll each turn to stay conscious, which was produced some fun heroic deaths.

Conversation Starters
  • What questions about Toughness have arisen in your games?
  • Do you use a RAW version of Toughness, or have you tweaked it?
  • Describe the character from your games who was the most surprising to have taken Toughness.
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advantages, combat, damage resistance, fighters, house rules

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