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Old 04-28-2021, 11:41 AM   #11
Shostak
 
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Default Re: New to The Fantasy Trip. Got questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by agentJ View Post
I could not find videos of play example. I enjoy watching play to get an idea how things work and what is possible. With no examples to watch, typing questions on this forum seemed like a good way to get my questions answered.
There is a TFT Discord, which might offer the opportunity to be audience to some TFT play. Link to the Discord invitation here.
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Old 04-28-2021, 01:13 PM   #12
phiwum
 
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Default Re: New to The Fantasy Trip. Got questions.

I think that it's good to point out that TFT is a very flexible system. I'm sure that my games are different than those of others around here. I'm positive my game has a very different flavor than Henry's.

This isn't just because different campaigns are always different, but also because there's a lot of room for adding your own monsters, spells and so on. With the new Old School Monsters book, there are enough stock critters to choose an off the rack monster most of the time, but it's so easy to make an interesting monster that you'll be doing it in no time.

Now, for the bad. You'll find around here a lot of time spent trying to understand the written rules. They are unclear at some points. They are even inconsistent at a couple of points. But, in defense, some of the points where they are unclear are a benefit. Not all of the talents are spelled out all that clearly, but that's not too bad in practice. Using your head and a splash of common sense is often better than tediously specified rules which tend to discourage novel uses.
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:08 AM   #13
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: New to The Fantasy Trip. Got questions.

One way to reduce lethality in TFT is the same way we used for AD&D 1e, back in the day: don't take <0 HP as "dead", just "unconscious" -- out of the fight, but not irretrievably dead. This is already a rule in TFT, but you can move the death threshold down further (say, -10, or -ST) to provide a comfortable window of being likely to survive even without Immediate Action - yet sufficiently big hits or sufficiently cruel enemies are still an immediate threat.

TFT was (and is) good for roleplaying because you have much more freedom to define your role -- that is, your character. D&D pre-packages character concepts into classes, and you pretty have have to play those classes as designed, or else suffer significant reductions in power and thus not holding up your intended party niche properly, forcing your friends to carry you. TFT has a lot more freedom to blend concepts, pick up an oddball weapon if you want, and so on. Imagine it, then build it. (GURPS is even better at this, but TFT is a heck of a lot simpler.)
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:57 AM   #14
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: New to The Fantasy Trip. Got questions.

A recurring theme in the rules discussions among more experienced players is the ambiguity of certain little, granular rules that arise in tactical situations (movement, specialized attack rolls, wordings of spells, etc.). The broader issue here is that TFT is exceptionally, extraordinarily like a hex-and-chit board game, when compared with other rpg's.

That means it has very specific rules about exactly what you can and can't do, and the intention is that conflicts will mostly be balanced and players will strive to win by manipulating those rules. In a good way, like chess (or perhaps Panzerblitz or Squad Leader are better comparisons), not in an obnoxious and pointless way, like munchkins and rules lawyers.

But, in the end the game has the infinite variety of a rpg, so no set of rules can possibly cover every situation. And long, dense rules books are incredibly irritating to write and to read, so thank god the author didn't even try. But that means every TFT player has to get good at interpolating and extrapolating from the bedrock of clear rules to figure out what to do where the rules are unclear. Unfortunately, in a couple of places the writing is genuinely poor - not self consistent or just logically unsound. So, some of the rules have to be ignored or changed for the whole thing to work nicely.

I would say that what you see in the rules debates here and elsewhere is both an effort to come up with common understandings of unclear things, and a kind of culture clash among people who have different attitudes about how you should fill in all the many small gaps with table rulings. At one extreme are the 'bomb throwers' who mostly like to imagine ways something can break and the 'peace makers' who like to imagine ways something can work.
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:15 AM   #15
hcobb
 
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Default Re: New to The Fantasy Trip. Got questions.

The GM ought to have an understanding of how the rules apply for their game and communicate this clearly to the players as needed.

An exploration of the lethality dial options can be seen in my article here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...rip?ref=1crlev
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:58 AM   #16
phiwum
 
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Default Re: New to The Fantasy Trip. Got questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
A recurring theme in the rules discussions among more experienced players is the ambiguity of certain little, granular rules that arise in tactical situations (movement, specialized attack rolls, wordings of spells, etc.). The broader issue here is that TFT is exceptionally, extraordinarily like a hex-and-chit board game, when compared with other rpg's.

That means it has very specific rules about exactly what you can and can't do, and the intention is that conflicts will mostly be balanced and players will strive to win by manipulating those rules. In a good way, like chess (or perhaps Panzerblitz or Squad Leader are better comparisons), not in an obnoxious and pointless way, like munchkins and rules lawyers.

But, in the end the game has the infinite variety of a rpg, so no set of rules can possibly cover every situation. And long, dense rules books are incredibly irritating to write and to read, so thank god the author didn't even try. But that means every TFT player has to get good at interpolating and extrapolating from the bedrock of clear rules to figure out what to do where the rules are unclear. Unfortunately, in a couple of places the writing is genuinely poor - not self consistent or just logically unsound. So, some of the rules have to be ignored or changed for the whole thing to work nicely.

I would say that what you see in the rules debates here and elsewhere is both an effort to come up with common understandings of unclear things, and a kind of culture clash among people who have different attitudes about how you should fill in all the many small gaps with table rulings. At one extreme are the 'bomb throwers' who mostly like to imagine ways something can break and the 'peace makers' who like to imagine ways something can work.
That's all very well put, Lars.
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Old 05-03-2021, 04:14 PM   #17
Oneiros
 
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Default Re: New to The Fantasy Trip. Got questions.

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
This is already a rule in TFT, but you can move the death threshold down further (say, -10, or -ST) to provide a comfortable window of being likely to survive even without Immediate Action - yet sufficiently big hits or sufficiently cruel enemies are still an immediate threat.
There is? Where is this rule?

To the OP: Regarding lethality, other's have mentioned options found in the full RPG rules, In the Labyrinth, which aren't available in just the Microgames Melee and Wizard.

In addition... it's your game. If you find it's still too lethal for your tastes, you're free to tweak it with houserules.

Since you're already familiar with D&D, you could do what I did and incorporate the Death Saves mechanic from 5E. Reposting my conversion from the House Rules sub-forum:

If damage takes your ST below zero, you're not dead, but dying.

Roll 3d6 against a flat target number of 10 at the end of each turn (see Turn Sequencing and Options, page 101-102 of ITL. Happens in stage 6, same as determining Post Turn Damage), beginning with the same turn the character went below zero.

A total of three failed rolls and you're dead. Three successes and you're unconscious but stable. Normal double and triple results for critical rolls apply.

Additional damage while you are dying (like lying in a fire hex) automatically counts as a failed Death roll.

A Physicker can attempt to stabilize a dying character in combat. A successful roll doesn't heal any damage, but prevents the need for any further Death saves. Only one attempt per character.

Small tweak: both the Death Save and Physicker roll to Stabilize have the following penalties for serious wounds.
When current ST is:
  • More than 1/2 (rounded up) base ST below zero: -1 penalty
  • More than base ST below zero: -2 penalty
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Old 05-04-2021, 04:03 AM   #18
Chris Rice
 
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Default Re: New to The Fantasy Trip. Got questions.

I donít think characters necessarily die more easily than in other RPGs, itís just that it may be less apparent what constitutes a deadly challenge in TFT.

In D&D and other RPGs, I notice that parties seldom actually face an even odds battle, even if they think they do. The players normally have magical healing, feats and other aid not generally available to the opponents/monsters. Itís common sense that if you face an even odds fight, then youíll lose 50% of the time.

In TFT itís common for inexperienced GMs to pit players against well matched opponents and then be surprised that the players are killed, or so beat up that they canít continue with the adventure. An experienced GM wonít throw those sort of challenges at the players very often, perhaps saving the do or die stuff for the climactic battle of the story.

If youíre planning a dungeon crawl or extended adventure with TFT, then you need to make the majority of the challenges much less testing. They will still constitute danger, as even an easy combat win may lead to wounds which will hamper the characters later on. You may also afford chances for healing which can allow play to continue.
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:39 AM   #19
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: New to The Fantasy Trip. Got questions.

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Originally Posted by Oneiros View Post
There is? Where is this rule?
ITL 10, "Death" and "Immediate Action". The sentence that leads Death

Quote:
"A figure dies when its ST is reduced below 0, by wounds or by any other means."
is promptly countered by the second paragraph

Quote:
However, death is not quite as final on Cidri as it is on Earth. There are several ways that a dead figure may be brought back to life.
So, death-below-0 isn't an instant and irrevocable state, as the word "death" tends to imply. Immediate Action goes on to list mundane actions like First Aid as reversing the condition, so we're not yet talking about magical healing or resurrection for the "brought back to life" bit. "Reduced to 0 ST or less" might be better termed as "unconscious" or "out of action" or some such less ultimate term than "death".

The Immediate Action section repeatedly refers to bringing a character back to ST 0 or above to save them from death. ("Heroic Magic Revival" says that you have an hour to revive an ST <= 0 character before "death" becomes final to the extent of needing a Greater Wish or Revival to reverse.) So, it's clear that ST < 0 is survivable, and also that ST can go negative from injury by multiple points. That is, the loss doesn't stop at 0 or at -1, as in some games. And the Melee rule of instantly dying at -1 is superseded by the ITL rules, or there's be no point in mentioning multiple points of healing from First Aid, potions, etc. (Recall that the OP only has Melee, but not yet ITL, which is what raised the question in the first place.)

So there's four conditions described by RAW; let's call them Active, Out of Action, Dying, and Dead. If you want to include the one day time limit for Revival in a formal enumeration of conditions, then it's Active, Out of Action, Dying, Mostly Dead, and All Dead. In Melee, Out of Action occurs at exactly and only ST 0. St -1 skips Dying and goes straight to Dead. ITL introduces the state I'm calling Dying, though RAW just says "dead", which word unfortunately also refers to Dead/Mostly Dead/All Dead. (TFT predates the desire for obsession over precisely worded rules to be literally interpreted that reached its pinnacle in D&D 3e.)

The houserule I suggested, for those that find the RAW overly lethal even considering Immediate Action, is simply to lower the threshold for converting death-reversible-by-Immediate-Action to death-requiring-Revival from 0 to some lower number. If that threshold were -ST (say), then it becomes very much harder to kill someone, though it's just as easy to put them out of action. So, Out of Action is no longer exactly and only ST 0, but ST <= 0 and > threshold. Dying becomes ST < threshold, not ST < 0.

There would just be a much wider range where the character was out of action, yet still healable and not going to die after the Immediate Action hour has elapsed. They still have to be gotten to ST 1 to return to being active. Healing by time alone is going to be two days for each point of ST below 0, so they could be out for a quite a while with no aid. (Particularly not good if you have no friends to care for you, but are lying out in the wilderness, but on the other hand not particularly threatening if your party members survive or you otherwise have care, say from your new captors.)

If your intent is truly murderous, you can't rest content just because a figure goes down at ST 0. You probably need to hit them once or twice more to make sure they go down to -ST, not just -1, so that they will die without Immediate Action.

In a purely tactical game, it's not really a distinction worth tracking (which is why Melee doesn't bother). ST 0 is a "mission kill" regardless, and the victors can go kill all their enemies in the Immediate Action period if they're so inclined. It's only in a more RPG style of game where players have some investment in their character and you care about their continuity that you might want such a rule to improve survivability. The ITL RAW gives characters a much better chance to survive than Melee. But if you want even more resilience than the standard Immediate Action rules, then a lower threshold is an option.

Last edited by Anaraxes; 05-04-2021 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:49 AM   #20
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: New to The Fantasy Trip. Got questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
I donít think characters necessarily die more easily than in other RPGs, itís just that it may be less apparent what constitutes a deadly challenge in TFT.

In D&D and other RPGs, I notice that parties seldom actually face an even odds battle, even if they think they do. The players normally have magical healing, feats and other aid not generally available to the opponents/monsters. Itís common sense that if you face an even odds fight, then youíll lose 50% of the time.

In TFT itís common for inexperienced GMs to pit players against well matched opponents and then be surprised that the players are killed, or so beat up that they canít continue with the adventure. An experienced GM wonít throw those sort of challenges at the players very often, perhaps saving the do or die stuff for the climactic battle of the story.

If youíre planning a dungeon crawl or extended adventure with TFT, then you need to make the majority of the challenges much less testing. They will still constitute danger, as even an easy combat win may lead to wounds which will hamper the characters later on. You may also afford chances for healing which can allow play to continue.
Quite so.

It's a different sort of game. Effective tactics can also multiply one side's effectiveness and odds of survival.

I've often seen well-played PCs survive for years of combat-heavy play in TFT, but they don't do manage that by just charging up equal foes and trading blows with them one on one. They do it mostly by arranging combat situations (and sometimes avoiding them) so that they get hurt as little as possible. Using terrain, flanking, ganging up, striking first, jabbing, using ranged attacks, pole weapons, magic, etc., and avoiding having those things done to them.
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