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(TFT) TFT: Various Fire Missile Spells

Cas writes . . .

>Gosh Darn, Dave!
>now that complicates things....OK, OK...............I think what I'll put
>on the website is this:
>the IQ 20 spell as is, ans Dave, do you want to make this, say, an Acid
>Jet/Blast spell, (or cold or whatever - you're the author) just so we
>don't make a bunch of fire missile spells?

   No, not really.  I have no problem with two or more versions of similar
spells.  I'm no web guru, but I imagine it doesn't take that much more
time-energy or storage space to include them all.  With all present the GM
or solo player visiting your site can then pick and choose what optional
rules are best for her campaign.  You should put them in order of /your/
preference, or course.  Your editorial comments about each item might also
be fun and appropriate, e.g. "(This spell sucks!)"  8^)
   There's no need to rename anything either.  Simply make sure each
optional rule gets a proper credit at the end of the description, just like
this paragraph.  [Dave Seagraves]
   In casual conversation (or list writing) a spell can be differentiated by
saying something like, "Dave's Explosive Fireball spell" or "Cas's Explosive
Fireball spell."  You get the idea.

>Another spell from IP 1 is this:
>Ground (T): cost 5ST and 1/turn to maintain - prevents a creature
>with flying ability from flying. David Doucette has this at IQ 20,
>which seems a bit high to me.
>IQ 18 perhaps?

   I saw the same problem when I was compiling spells last year.  Doesn't
seem worth IQ20, does it?
   I used the Stop spell as a comparison to get a more "realistic" IQ

GROUND (T): This spell keeps the subject from flying for 4 turns,
   after which he may move normally again.  A figure already flying
   when hit by this spell may land safely on its next movement.
   Cost: 2 ST, 4 if the target's ST is 30 or more.  [David

John Paul writes . . .

>I think a clever way to use these would be for a gem-cutter to cut it
>into an arrowshape, a fletcher to fit it into an arrow, and an archer
>to shoot it at a target.  Boom.

   Very clever.  Possibly too clever.  Turning an effective thrown weapon
into a missile weapon sounds like another game balance problem.
   But on the other hand I try not to stifle creativity in the campaign, so
I might allow gems like this to be carved for perhaps five times normal cost
(i.e. $250 for standard gems).
   But on the gripping hand (love that phrase) another solution might be to
say that the spell depends on the gem being /thrown/ (and not merely fired)
to activate.  Throwing the gem arms it, and it losing its forward motion
(whether by stopping or bouncing) causes detonation.

>This means that you can throw that molotail (or grenade or alchemy/
>chemestry gas bombs) 9 hexes away for only -3DX and it can waver any
>number of hexes if you miss.  I had been using the thrown weapon
>distances and blowing up my guys too.

   I had forgotten about this range modifier rule exclusively for molotails
and gas bombs.  That makes /three/ different rules for range modifiers in
TFT, some of which is contradictory.
   Last year I created a logarithmically-scaled table for all ranged
attacks, similar to what's found in GURPS and Hero System.  It's only one
rule that needs to be remembered, it's more technically accurate, and my
players seem to like it better.  I also use it to determine encounter
distances in the wilderness, e.g. "You see a bugbear 200MH away."  It's
floating around somewhere in the archives, but I'll repost it here if anyone

Dan writes . . .

>Lessee ... the odds of rolling a 13 or less on 4 dice is
>575/1296 whereas the odds of rolling a 13 or less on 3
>dice is 181/216.  So the Expert Swordsman does, on average,
>5 points of damage each time he hits (not exactly right,
>but for the purposes of this discussion it will do), so
>that means his expected damage delivered is (5*181)/216 =
>4.19 points per turn.   The Novice does 7-2=5 pts on each
>hit, so his expected damage is (5*575)/1296 = 2.22 per turn.

   Both figures should be doing the exact same amount of damage:

Normal: Broadsword (2d) for an average of 7.
Expert: Cutlass (2-2), with a +1 per die due to Expert Swordsman, yields 2d
for an average of 7.

   The only real differences in this fight is the normal has to roll 4 dice
to hit the other, and the expert has 2 fewer hits to absorb damage.

>You know, I've been thinking about the TFT method of adding
>or subtracting a D6 to represent the increased or relaxed
>difficulty of achieving a task and the more I think about
>it, the more I don't like it.  I would advocate the following

   Interesting mechanic, Dan.  I like it.  I might inflict it on my players
and see how it turns out.  Might be a pain to implement on a spreadsheet,
however (I use a notebook computer and Excel to automate some GM duties).
   One really nice facet of this rule I just thought of: You never have to
look in the Codex to interpret extreme results, e.g. Triple Damage is
/always/ a 3, no matter how many dice are rolled.  Less dice to count as
well (I hate counting all those damn dots).  Cool!

Thorn writes . . .

>The spell is in Advanced Wizard, but not the casting cost.  We
>always guessed at that, sometimes 2ST/Die, sometimes 3ST/Die,
>lack of apprentices among PCs keeping damage down, and gem costs
>(higher quality and cost needed for greater dice) keeping us
>from carrying bandoliers of the things.

   Steve was kind enough to supply a TFT Errata in Space Gamer #29.  Here's
what I penciled in below the spell description:

   "Cost: 5 ST/die of damage, maximum 8 dice.  Requires gem worth $50."

   One wizard of mine got a great deal of mileage out of these things.  It's
easy to hire an apprentice or three to get the ST needed to make them . . .
perhaps a little too easy (see ITL29).
   Good idea about higher cost, Thorn.  Perhaps $50 /per die/ -- that sounds
about right.  What do you think?

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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