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Old 10-11-2018, 05:42 PM   #51
platimus
 
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Default Re: Conan the wizard

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Originally Posted by TippetsTX View Post
So here's a question that haven't seen addressed among all these XP-related threads... how long should it reasonably take a player to advance to this level?

ITL provides some guidelines that characters could earn anywhere from 25 to 100 XP per game session. Doing a bit of math then (which I really dislike), a player would probably earn 3000-4000 XP playing once every week for a year... or up to around 5000 XP if the GM is really generous. So, while the first few stats can be raised over the course of a few months, it will take years to build up a 'Conan' anything. That seems like an awful long time to me, especially for a game system that was originally designed around a much faster advancement schedule.
I'm comfortable with that theoretical time-frame. If the GM and players are not, there's a simple solution: GM gives out more XP. I would actually expect the GM to start giving out a little more XP per session as the characters progress (assuming the obstacles they face become more difficult).
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:07 PM   #52
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Default Re: Conan the wizard

I feel like these issues overwhelm campaigns and are better just killed at the source. Classic Traveller effectively had no advancement after character generation (at least in its original, purest version!). Bushido has 6 levels. You want your samurai to reach 7th level? Well, tough $&!#, you can't: there are 6 levels and that's that. These sorts of games are surprisingly liberating as they shift your attention away from perfecting your build and onto other things that are more fun.
The new TFT clearly joins the ranks of these sorts of games, if you play it RAW. Sort of. You can keep chipping away at talents and spells ad infinitum, but I think the rules really steer you toward a character who just might live long enough to have ~36-38 stat points, perhaps 15-20 equivalent points in talents and/or spells, and does his or her best to always have a limited wish stashed in a back pocket.
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:06 PM   #53
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Default Re: Conan the wizard

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I feel like these issues overwhelm campaigns and are better just killed at the source. Classic Traveller effectively had no advancement after character generation (at least in its original, purest version!). Bushido has 6 levels. You want your samurai to reach 7th level? Well, tough $&!#, you can't: there are 6 levels and that's that. These sorts of games are surprisingly liberating as they shift your attention away from perfecting your build and onto other things that are more fun.
The new TFT clearly joins the ranks of these sorts of games, if you play it RAW. Sort of. You can keep chipping away at talents and spells ad infinitum, but I think the rules really steer you toward a character who just might live long enough to have ~36-38 stat points, perhaps 15-20 equivalent points in talents and/or spells, and does his or her best to always have a limited wish stashed in a back pocket.
Love both of those games (still have my original, and mostly hashed, boxes), but that's not what I'm expecting from TFT. I get that games change and rules evolve, but character progression was one of my favorite aspects of Steve's original design. A 'Conan' may take time to build, but I still want to know that he's a possibility.
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:22 PM   #54
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Default Re: Conan the wizard

My experience with advancement systems is that players like to have something tangible every 2-3 sessions; the difficulty with classic TFT is that there wasn't an available 'something' other than stat bumps. New TFT has other uses for exp, which helps, but the trouble with assigning high cost to attribute bumps is that you need to spend a lot of sessions without any advancement to afford the actual bump.

I'd be tempted by a prerequisite system for high stats, where you need a certain number of talents/spells from a particular list before you're allowed a higher stat.
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:36 PM   #55
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Default Re: Conan the wizard

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My experience with advancement systems is that players like to have something tangible every 2-3 sessions; the difficulty with classic TFT is that there wasn't an available 'something' other than stat bumps. New TFT has other uses for exp, which helps, but the trouble with assigning high cost to attribute bumps is that you need to spend a lot of sessions without any advancement to afford the actual bump.
That's true (both points), but I always felt there was a lot of value built into those stat boosts. And character progression was also available in other forms besides XP and stat increases... I really enjoyed creating magic items (or earning funds to pay for custom items if I was a 'hero').
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:46 PM   #56
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Default Re: Conan the wizard

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My experience with advancement systems is that players like to have something tangible every 2-3 sessions; the difficulty with classic TFT is that there wasn't an available 'something' other than stat bumps. New TFT has other uses for exp, which helps, but the trouble with assigning high cost to attribute bumps is that you need to spend a lot of sessions without any advancement to afford the actual bump.
I agree with that. I like the new XP system but the costs seem too darn low for the first couple of stat increases and too darn high for new 2 or 3 point talents and stat increases after the 6th.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:17 AM   #57
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I think the stat advance progression is unusual but good. Basically, the new rules encourage PCs to undergo a quick blossoming of stats, as they morph from near-normals into gifted but generally unskilled adventurers over the course of a few sessions of play (sort of like an extended DCC 'funnel'), after which the correct move is to sink XP into talents and spells, fleshing out the character's skill set. Once these effectively saturate, XP becomes a mechanism for keeping a Minor Wish in reserve, so your character can survive the occasional bad roll. The idea of a D+D-like indefinite ascent in core stats is not really possible, but I'm down with it.

Edit: I also think the new system contributes an increased feeling of realism (or at least versimilitude). Michael Jordan took a couple of years to blossom from a guy who couldn't make the basketball team to one of the most physically gifted players in the world. This progression in fundamental gifts didn't continue - he never quite reached the point where he could jump up, over and through the hoop. Instead, the next few years saw him develop and refine skills. And then he peaked and experienced a couple of years of great accomplishments and transcendent moments (and some big losses), but you couldn't really say he was improving any element of his abilities or skills over that period. And then age and the rest of the field caught up to him. That is the kind of arc the new TFT experience rules steer you toward (unless you get killed in your first couple of fights, of course).

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Old 10-12-2018, 12:21 PM   #58
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Default Re: Conan the wizard

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That's true (both points), but I always felt there was a lot of value built into those stat boosts.
There is. Take two equal high-level characters, give one of them one more adjDX than the other, and they can act first and possibly take the other one out before they can do anything, especially if they know a spell which does that, such as Sleep or Freeze.


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And character progression was also available in other forms besides XP and stat increases... I really enjoyed creating magic items (or earning funds to pay for custom items if I was a 'hero').
Yes. Though we both enjoyed this and found it a bit much, even when there was a much flatter XP curve and no limit on attributes. That is, who can kill whom can start to be more about who has the better toys. Now there are no unlimited-power missile spells nor double-damage polearm charges, there are fewer ways to deal with people who stack armor with magic protection.



I like most of the intentions of the character improvement changes, e.g.:

* Reduced "all my stats are great" characters.
* Reduced "I am superhuman" characters.
* Less difference in attributes between the most experienced characters and typical NPCs and starting characters.
* Improvement in talents/spells via XP rather than just attributes.
* Other things you could do with XP besides forever increasing attributes.

But I'm concerned with many of the details:

* Speeding through the fun/tense/challenging lower attribute ranges at 100-200 XP per point.
* XP awards not based on needing to take more risks to earn more XP, combined with the low XP costs for the first 3-4 attributes, offers a clear temptation to do as much danger avoidance as possible and advance to be 35-36 point characters anyway. It could almost seem foolish and unnecessary to try to do anything particularly dangerous until you get to 35-36 points, since it will happen just by showing up for enough sessions.
* The doubling curve gets prohibitive at the high end... seems like a smoother curve that's a bit less ridiculous at the top but a bit more expensive lower would work better.
* The 500 XP fixed cost per talent point is no good as the only way anyone learns any talent, in a system where the supposed average point total is 30 points and attribute gains there cost only 100 XP.
* The 500 XP cost for talent points (and staff spell level upgrades) combined with no other way to learn talents AND free talents on creation gives a huge incentive to take as much IQ as you will want and can get away with at start, and a huge penalty for not doing so. This greatly messes with the previous balance of varied wizard creation choices.
* It no longer feels to me like the character improvement system is meant to be used as a guideline for NPCs and what populations are like.
* The XP system seems only tuned for 32-points and breaks down for giants, reptile men and gargoyles, and a bit for halflings or hobgoblins.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:19 PM   #59
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Default Re: Conan the wizard

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But I'm concerned with many of the details:
* The doubling curve gets prohibitive at the high end... seems like a smoother curve that's a bit less ridiculous at the top but a bit more expensive lower would work better.
* The 500 XP fixed cost per talent point is no good as the only way anyone learns any talent, in a system where the supposed average point total is 30 points and attribute gains there cost only 100 XP.
* The 500 XP cost for talent points (and staff spell level upgrades) combined with no other way to learn talents AND free talents on creation gives a huge incentive to take as much IQ as you will want and can get away with at start, and a huge penalty for not doing so. This greatly messes with the previous balance of varied wizard creation choices.
How about tying lower level Learning New Spells/Talent costs to Total Attribute Points as a way of inspiring purchase of talents at the lower levels.

Instead of 500XP all the time, how about:

"Each new spell or talent learned costs as much as if you were raising your attribute points [or double if the talent is marked (2)] until you reach level 36, at which its 500 XP or 1,000 for talents marked (2) in the listing, and so on. As when your character was created, spells cost triple for a non-wizard, and talents cost double for a wizard."

But perhaps using this method will only accelerate talent buying when its cheaper?
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Old 10-13-2018, 02:28 AM   #60
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Default Re: Conan the wizard

Currently there is an overwhelming advantage to buying IQ at start.

So just give a bonus skill point each time a character spends XP to raise IQ. The exponential increase in attribute costs will keep seasoned characters from abusing this while allowing all types of initial character designs to be viable. It simply removes the when of IQ increases from the balance. You can increase IQ at start or during play and you get exactly the same final result and cost.
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