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Old 04-07-2021, 02:06 PM   #21
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Wizards have huge advantages of their own, especially once they have mana in their staff. I don't see an issue with their expensive talents personally.

They are fragile and not all that useful at first, but a wizard with Staff III and some experience put to use as Mana adds a lot to the character's combat abilities. So much that the spells he bought for combat as a starting character get used a lot less. Even though the range is limited, a +3 DX attack that ignores armor is very useful, so long as you have enough meat to block attacks on the wizard himself.
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:59 PM   #22
Kieddicus
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Wizards have huge advantages of their own, especially once they have mana in their staff. I don't see an issue with their expensive talents personally.

They are fragile and not all that useful at first, but a wizard with Staff III and some experience put to use as Mana adds a lot to the character's combat abilities. So much that the spells he bought for combat as a starting character get used a lot less. Even though the range is limited, a +3 DX attack that ignores armor is very useful, so long as you have enough meat to block attacks on the wizard himself.
Oh balance wise I totally agree! It just breaks my suspension of disbelief that someone who can use magic has a hard time learning other stuff. So I want a way to fix that while still keeping the game balanced.

I also hamper the staff;
A staff most actually be a wooden cane or staff
Mana is based on ST
Staff II only makes it harder to drop or break a staff not impossible
Natural armour still works against staff III
There is no staff IV or V
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Old 04-08-2021, 02:24 AM   #23
Steve Plambeck
 
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I know if you made talents cost the same for both heroes and wizards than the game wouldn't work.

My goal is to make a system that allows wizards to learn of to climb and swim like everyone else while still keeping heroes and wizards balanced.

I guess another way is just make wizardry a 3 or 4 cost talent.
For my group's Wizardry Talent (which nearly missed becoming an official optional rule back in 1981 - post here) we charged 5 talent points. Compared to RAW, that slightly disadvantaged wizards below IQ 10, while giving a small advantage to those over IQ 10. And with that in effect we could charge everyone the same cost for talents while preserving the original game balance.

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Oh balance wise I totally agree! It just breaks my suspension of disbelief that someone who can use magic has a hard time learning other stuff. So I want a way to fix that while still keeping the game balanced.
Totally agree, it's just unnatural. Wizards should be able to swim, ride horses, roller skate, or make omelettes with no more difficulty than anyone else.

And remembering a list of talents that have two different costs depending on which characters want them is just a royal pain. Much, much easier to halve the number of available talent points for wizards (by tying up half of them in a 5 point or so Wizardry Talent) and then forget the doubling costs and their exceptions for all the rest of the talents.

A good point there about Staff Mana too. I've always considered it a good idea in principle, and starting wizards are so anemic, but selling Mana for XP at a flat rate potentially alters the wizard/hero balance of original TFT. Besides that feels super-gamey to me. Better, in my opinion, to tie Staff Mana to an attribute, something for which the cost rises as the attribute total grows, and just toss out all those other Staff spells.
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Old 04-08-2021, 02:52 PM   #24
Kieddicus
 
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Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
For my group's Wizardry Talent (which nearly missed becoming an official optional rule back in 1981 - post here) we charged 5 talent points.
Great article! Maybe you can write up a version for Hexegram (if you haven't already that is). In the spirit of simplifying things the Wizardy talent could also give you Sorcerers' Tongue (just like how Streetwise give you Thieves' Argot), instead of arbitrarily getting it at IQ 16.

For my own game I am not sure how I feel about having two memory-pools so I'd probably go with IQ 4, but I'd bump it up if the players prefer two memory-pools.
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Old 04-09-2021, 02:44 AM   #25
Steve Plambeck
 
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Great article! Maybe you can write up a version for Hexegram (if you haven't already that is). In the spirit of simplifying things the Wizardy talent could also give you Sorcerers' Tongue...

For my own game I am not sure how I feel about having two memory-pools so I'd probably go with IQ 4, but I'd bump it up if the players prefer two memory-pools.
Thank you Kieddicus! Since submitting the original article to Interplay in 1981, there's been a lot of water under the bridge! What started as a single "wizardry talent" my group used long ago has evolved considerably into a system I'm working up a bit too different from TFT to fit in easily as a house rule anymore, and ITL's memory and learning rules have if anything grown more complicated in the Legacy edition, so dropping in a wizardry talent would tip more dominoes over than it would have in the original TFT. So all in all I'm thinking it wouldn't be an easy article to write.

I've never played without a separate memory pool for spells, so I can safely say it's been play-tested to death and works just fine :) When ITL and Advanced Wizard first came out, me and my friends had already developed an extensive world, were running multiple campaigns at once under 3 GMs, and had dozens of PCs and NPCs all based on the original Melee and Wizard rules we'd been using since '77 and '78. So we had all these wizards that ITL said would have to forget a bunch of spells they'd already used in play, or go without talents, and we just said no, we're keeping our wizards the way they were, with 1 spell for every point of IQ, and let talents be an entirely separate thing. As a compromise with the "new" RAW, we did limit wizards to half as many talents as other figures (via the Wizardry Talent rather than price doubling), but that's as far as we were willing to bend. So that's just what we did and how we played the game until that group retired 2 decades later!

It's funny that the original problem, that of transitioning a wizard from the Wizard rules to the ITL rules, is back now with the Legacy set. I gave pocketboxes of Melee/Wizard to several friends just over a year ago to try and get them interested, but the pandemic has prevented us from ever getting together. Of course the Wizard rules still say 1 spell per IQ. I can see them all getting used to that, then we sit down with ITL to play and everyone goes "Hey wait! It says here my wizard will have to drop half his spells just to take a couple talents! What gives???"

Maybe someone should write a Hexagram article about breaking that news to new players :)
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Old 04-27-2021, 12:19 PM   #26
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My list of advanced combat talents was vaguely like this. The idea was that each did something different, and something easy to visualise, that could be a defining capability of a character. So that you could say, "My character is a dragon slayer, he's better at killing giant monsters than people his own size," and the system would provide a talent to make him like that.

Giant Slayer (IQ 10, cost 2). Attacks against a figure of 3 hexes or more receive +1 DX and +1 die damage. Roll one less die when trying to shift away from being overrun by a multi-hex figure or when trying to roll out from under such a figure. Trample attacks roll one more die when trying to hit them.

[other interesting talents omitted....]
This is really nice! In two ways, at least. First I like the "Giant Slayer" talent. I can see this would make the character unique, fun, and give them a niche without being game-breaking (I might reduce the extra damage).

But second, in the same way that a wizard can (eventually) research new spells, I like the idea you lay out at the beginning. A fighter could also develop new and unique talents that aren't on "the list". Especially if part of their character conception. This could be a collaborative effort of player and GM.

The character wouldn't have to be self-taught, a unique talent could be learned from a unique and special teacher. Locating the master of a sword-fighting technique, a famed giant slayer, a guru who can teach a talent version of eyes-behind, these would make good backstories or adventures in themselves.
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Old 04-28-2021, 03:55 AM   #27
Chris Rice
 
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Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
Thank you Kieddicus! Since submitting the original article to Interplay in 1981, there's been a lot of water under the bridge! What started as a single "wizardry talent" my group used long ago has evolved considerably into a system I'm working up a bit too different from TFT to fit in easily as a house rule anymore, and ITL's memory and learning rules have if anything grown more complicated in the Legacy edition, so dropping in a wizardry talent would tip more dominoes over than it would have in the original TFT. So all in all I'm thinking it wouldn't be an easy article to write.

I've never played without a separate memory pool for spells, so I can safely say it's been play-tested to death and works just fine :) When ITL and Advanced Wizard first came out, me and my friends had already developed an extensive world, were running multiple campaigns at once under 3 GMs, and had dozens of PCs and NPCs all based on the original Melee and Wizard rules we'd been using since '77 and '78. So we had all these wizards that ITL said would have to forget a bunch of spells they'd already used in play, or go without talents, and we just said no, we're keeping our wizards the way they were, with 1 spell for every point of IQ, and let talents be an entirely separate thing. As a compromise with the "new" RAW, we did limit wizards to half as many talents as other figures (via the Wizardry Talent rather than price doubling), but that's as far as we were willing to bend. So that's just what we did and how we played the game until that group retired 2 decades later!

It's funny that the original problem, that of transitioning a wizard from the Wizard rules to the ITL rules, is back now with the Legacy set. I gave pocketboxes of Melee/Wizard to several friends just over a year ago to try and get them interested, but the pandemic has prevented us from ever getting together. Of course the Wizard rules still say 1 spell per IQ. I can see them all getting used to that, then we sit down with ITL to play and everyone goes "Hey wait! It says here my wizard will have to drop half his spells just to take a couple talents! What gives???"

Maybe someone should write a Hexagram article about breaking that news to new players :)
I’m sure many of us started just with Melee and Wizard and figured out our own skill systems. Rather than trying to shoehorn your rules into ITL/Legacy why not just produce your own “hack” with a totally new approach.
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Old 04-28-2021, 06:26 PM   #28
Steve Plambeck
 
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I’m sure many of us started just with Melee and Wizard and figured out our own skill systems. Rather than trying to shoehorn your rules into ITL/Legacy why not just produce your own “hack” with a totally new approach.
Exactly Chris -- that's why I'm disinclined to write up the part I was talking about into a Hexagram submission.

It's great to reminisce about the variants and solutions we've all tried out, and share our house rules, but Legacy has its own trajectory now. Especially in the areas of character generation and advancement, the RAW are more interrelated than ever, and look at how many new publications we have now based on that rule set. It's wonderful to have all the new material, but at the same time any official revisions to the system become trickier and trickier. A new monster or a new spell are easy, but the fundamental rules are not readily amendable.
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Old 04-28-2021, 06:54 PM   #29
phiwum
 
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Exactly what I was thinking, Steve. All the new materials are really tied into RAW. Change rules and you change the balance in many things.
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Old 04-28-2021, 07:18 PM   #30
TippetsTX
 
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Ironically, that's the one drawback to TFT's resurgence... the lack of official supplements, adventures and game-aids back-in-the-day created a wide-open 'greenspace' for GMs to develop their own content and expand the game w/o bumping into future ruleset constraints or setting contradictions. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy most of the stuff we're getting now and I'm not suggesting that official materials have to be adopted by every table, but it is one of the more interesting dichotomies of RPGs that unrestrained creative freedom can often be negatively impacted by the natural and financially necessary growth of the product line.
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