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(TFT) TFT: Expert Weapon Talents

   I've had my suspicions that Expert Swordsman and similar talents (at
http://www.reese.org/tft/Combat.htm) are unbalanced, so I did some
playtesting.  Testing indicates these talents are probably highly unbalanced
compared to a similar character without such a talent.
   To do the playtest I designed two similar 35-point fighters.  The normal
fighter: ST 12, DX 15(13), IQ 8, MA 8, HS 3, broadsword (2d), small shield,
leather armor.  The fighter with Expert Swordsman: ST 10, DX 15(13), IQ 10,
MA 8, HS 3, cutlass (2d), small shield, leather armor.  Both characters
purposely have the same adjDX.  Also note that both do the same amount of
damage with their weapon.
   I ran both fighters against each other one-on-one for 24 battles.  The
score was 20 to 4 in the expert swordsman's favor . . .  a 5:1 ratio!
Forcing the opponent to roll 4d6 to hit must be the devastating part of
Expert Swordsman; equivalent to a minus 3 1/2 to hit -- better than a snake.
   I was planning on creating some different characters for more testing,
but the results were so lopsided that I didn't see any reason to continue.
The results shouldn't change too much with opponents with different
   I'll be removing this class of talents from my campaigns and characters,
and I recommend all GMs and solo players here do the same.  Though I haven't
specifically tested it, I also recommend removing Defensive Quickness (from
/Interplay/) as well for the same reasons (or at least until it's been
playtested as well).

Dave Seagraves
Seagraves Design Bureau   dseagraves@austin.rr.com   1 (512) 255-2760
Taco Bell -- the criminal organization of the fast food industry

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