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(TFT) TFT: Expert Swordsman

Dominic writes . . .

I've used the skill in game play (OK I'm biased) and it is a great
advantage in combat BUT:
  1)It only works when using a sword. Put me HTH and I lose my
  2)Doesn't work against missile weapons. Ever been caught in
the open  by a squad of expert archers ? It stinks !
  3)Without a mage in the group, guess who becomes the #1
target ?
  4)Pretty simple to cut through a single enlisted man, but what
happens when there are two, and one defends ?
  5)Those enlisted men delay me long enough for their officer to
show up who just happens to be an expert swordsman.

   Excellent points here, but every one is comparing apples to oranges.
Read on . . .

>Their is obvious room for abuse by players and GM's. But to my
>knowledge stock TFT lacks the rules to show skill progression.
>If anybody else has any ideas on skill progression (not attribute
>progression) I'd love to hear them.

   I don't think there is a better system of talent progression than what
Steve put in place in the rules (e.g. Thief -> Master Thief) and what Ty and
others have expanded on (Sword -> Expert Swordsman -> Master Swordsman).
   I do have a problem with Ty's implementation of the mechanical details.
The largest problem is that -- when designing a character -- /everyone/ and
their grandmother buys IQ 10 and Expert Swordsman because it's much more
combat efficient than buying two more points of ST and/or DX.  That's poor
game design.  There should be a balance so that players make a character
conception decision when choosing, not just a combat mechanical one.

>In closing I would say that gameing balance doen't always have to be in
>the mechanics.  By introducing some roll playing into the situation it
>can become more managable for the GM. i.e. swords aren't allowed in the
>city limits, This duel will be decided by a wrestling match, etc etc

   I believe game balance should be a consideration /every single time/,
even if it's the designer doing nothing more than looking in the air,
scratching his beard, and saying, "Yeah, that sounds fair."
   Your further suggestions on how to limit an unbalanced rule are fine as
chrome in a campaign, but they should have a primary purpose of improving a
campaign setting, not correcting unbalanced rules.  Make rules balanced in
the first place and the GM won't have to burn time-energy using these
epicycles to keep things fair.

srydzews writes . . .

>BTW I wrote up an exploding fireball spell a couple years
>ago that used a Champions-ish mechanism for the explosion.
>Basically it put X d6-1's of damage in the target hex, and
>in each successive surrounding ring of hexes out from there
>you took away one die of damage, starting with the highest
>rolls.  If you want I'll send the details of it, but it may
>just be redundant.

   I created a spell sort of like that . . .

EXPLOSIVE FIREBALL (M): Like the Fireball spell, but the
   fireball explodes upon hitting the target, doing fire
   damage to nearby figures as well - subtract 1 "die"
   (i.e. 1-1) for every hex away from the target.  Figures
   behind hard cover (like a wall) and anyone protected
   from fire (such as with a Fireproofing spell) only take
   half damage.  Multi-hex figures (like giants) take
   damage for every hex within the explosion's area, but
   armor protects separately against each attack.  Cost:
   2 ST per (1-1) of damage.  [DCS]

David writes . . .

>It REALLY bugs me that the best way to improve a character is
>getting magic items, getting better weapons, getting better
>magic armor, etc.

   Beyond a certain AP-total point (36?  40?) I'd have to agree with you
there.  I immediately thought of a fix that's an expansion of your idea:
Multiply the value of /all/ magic items (and the cost to make them) by five!
There would be fewer magic items, each one would be more precious, and
heroes would become more heroic.
   Another idea to keep money (and therefore magic) down: Insist that
characters must buy and consume rations while traveling in the wilderness
(at $5 a pop), even if the scenario or microquest doesn't explicitly say
they have to (which many of them don't).  The cost really adds up over time.

Jim writes . . .

>Last comment on the playtest, remove armor from the expert, shouldn't
>he have an adjusted 14? Use a bigger weapon for the strong one, why
>have the strength if you don't use it? Still will be unbalanced though.

   The expert should have adjDX 13.  Base of 15, minus 2 for wearing leather
armor, yields adjDX 13.
   How does the normal get a bigger weapon?  ST 12 and Sword talent means a
broadsword, right?

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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