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(TFT) An Even More Radical Re-Imagining of TFT...

As the leading heretic in this email list*, I thought I'd run a new idea by
y'all that I've been toying with for TFT.

*To claim the title, I point to my suggestion to use polyhedrals in TFT...

The Problem

TFT fails to take into account a fighter's defensive skills, unless he
chooses the "defend" option. Numerous fixes have been suggested, ranging
from to hit modifiers to separate parry rolls. I even suggested that fighter
be allowed to reduce or increase their DX by whatever number they wish -- 
but that modifier is also applied to all attackers. None of these ideas has
been entirely satisfactory though my players love the last suggestion.

Also, it's very hard for highly skilled fighters to cut down large numbers
of faceless hordes ala the Conan movies.

The Solution

Handle all combat as a series of opposed rolls. I use d20s in my TFT
campaign rather than 3d6, so my examples will reflect this. Just substitute
3d6 if appropriate.

1. Movement occurs normally. But when combat occurs, handle things
differently per the following rules:

2. Roll 1d20 for each figure and add the figure's DX and any applicable
modifiers. Do this for all figures that are (a) attacking; (b) casting
spells; (c) doing any action requiring a roll. Each figure makes a melee
"attack" on every enemy figure in its front hexes. A figure's melee attack
succeeds if his roll equals or exceeds the roll(s) of the target(s). Combats
can be handled in groups where convenient. A missile attack, spell casting
attempt or other task succeeds if the modified roll is 21+.

3. Everything generally happens simultaneously, though if critical, the GM
can rule that the actions actually happen in descending order of rolls.

Example Fighter A (adjDX 12) vs Orcs X, Y and Z (all adjDX 10):

-A rolls a 13, modified to 25. The orcs roll 5 (X), 10 (Y) and 19 (Z),
modified to 15, 20 and 29. A hits X and Y. Z hits A.
-A rolls a 13, modified to 25. The orcs roll 5 (X), 15 (Y) and 19 (Z),
modified to 15, 25 and 29. A hits X and Y. Y and Z hit A.
-A rolls a 19, modified to 31. The orcs roll 5 (X), 10 (Y) and 19 (Z),
modified to 15, 20 and 29. A hits X, Y and Z.

Options and Comments

1. Of course, the math can get flaky. One solution would be to express the
attribute as a + or - number, with a 0 being the current equivalent of 10.
So a fighter with an adjDX of 12 would have a +2 modifier. Success for
missile spells and attacks happen on an 11+. That makes the calculations a
bit easier.

2. On a d20 system, critical hits occur on a natural 20 (then roll 1d6 1-3
automatic hit; 4-5 double damage; 6 triple damage) and failures on a natural
1 (then roll 1d6 -- 1-3 automatic miss; 4-5 drop weapon; 6 break weapon).
For 3d6, simply make 16, 17, and 18 work like 3, 4 and 5 (and vice versa).

3. If a figure is attacking from the side or rear, add the appropriate bonus
to his roll but only to attacks on the figure who is flanked.

4. A less radical version would be to simply roll d20 (or 3d6) for each
attack and have the attack succeed if a figure makes his DX roll by as much
or more than the target. This seems less intuitive to me, but veteran TFT
players might like it better.

5. A defending figure adds 5 (or 3 if using 3d6) to his roll, but never hits
a foe.

6. Note that the resolution mechanic can be adapted to all of TFT -- simply
roll d20 (or 3d6) and add the attribute. A 21+ is a success (or an 11+ if
you express the attribute as a +/- number with zero being equivalent to a
ten). I personally think that addition is more intuitive -- especially for
new players. It also removes the little dissonance where rolling low is
good, but negative modifiers are bad...


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