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(TFT) New TFT Attribute -- Size
One of the less fortunate consequences of glomming strength and health
together is that big stuff can almost never fail a health based ST roll. Yet
elephants do get sick and can drown. This is why poison simply does a
certain amount of damagem rather than the more intuitive system of giving
the victim a saving throw.
But I happen to like saving throws. And while they work fine for DX and IQ,
they can be a real problem for ST.
In GURPS, Steve Jackson recognized this problem and created a separate HT
characteristic. Then, he resorted to a special HT rating for big stuff to
use on health issues. IMHO, this is a kludge, which mooted the main reason
for having a separate HT stat.
For many moons, I have given big monsters a separate ST rating for
health-type rolls ala GURPS. It's still a kludge, but at least I don't have
a pointless additional attribute.
But because this is based on fiat, I've never liked it. So, I decided to
rationalize the system. To do that, I came up with a new way (two, actually)
to handle this and would like to see what y'all think.
1. All figures have two new attributes, Size (SZ) and Health (HT). ST is now
a derived value. Since SZ represents mass, a figure *can* increase his SZ
like any other attribute. I recommend a maximum of 20 for most creatures.
Alternatively, you can impose a maximum SZ of 5 greater than the character's
starting SZ (no way a horse jockey will ever be as big as an NFL offensive
2. Humans and most normal 1 hex creatures have a SZ of 10. Really heavy
1-hex creatures have (trolls, bears) have a SZ of 15-20. Most other
creatures have a SZ equal to the number of hexes they occupy times 10.
Adjust this where appropriate. It costs one attribute point to add 1 to SZ.
Hobbits have a SZ of 10 to account for their surprising toughness. Goblins
have a SZ of 8. (Note that this will make goblins easier to kill, which
might be a good thing for campaigns that need lots of cheap, expendable bad
3. To get a figure's ST, use the following formula: 0.1 x HT x SZ (round
up). ST is used for taking damage and for anything that is based on physical
strength (weapon size, unarmed combat damage, great strength advantages,
4. HT is used for Fatigue (i.e., ST expended for casting spells, physical
5. Generally, most normal creatures will not have a HT that exceeds 12 or
so. Really fit player characters, etc., can get to 1.5. Dwarves and hobbits
have a max HT of 1.6. So Grog the Barbarian with a current TFT ST of 24 will
now have a HT of 15, a SZ of 16, and a ST of 24.
6. To reverse engineer the ratings for creatures, give them a SZ rating.
Determine HT by dividing ST by SZ and multiplying the result by 10. ST
remains the same.
For instance, a 3 hex giant with current ST 30:
His SZ is 30 (he takes up 3 hexes), so this yields a HT of (30/30) x 10 =
10. His ST is still 30.
A ST 30, 1 hex troll:
SZ of 20 (he's real heavy) and a HT of 15. His ST is still 30.
Some adjustment might be necessary in specific cases (7 hex dragons might
play better with a SZ of 50 and a HT of 12, rather than a SZ of 70 and a HT
7. SZ can also be used to add some color to campaigns. For instance, "off
the rack" armor is designed to fit SZ 9-12, so prices rise dramatically when
the figure is a different SZ. SZ and HT might determine weight -- SZ/HT x
150 = weight in lbs for a human. A real fat guy -- SZ 18, HT 8 would thus
weigh 337.5 lbs, while a normal would weigh 150 lbs. Or not...
1. ST for "health" purposes is represented as a parenthetical number after
2. Normally, "health" is equal to ST. However, the maximum "health ST" for
most races is 15 (16 for Dwarves and Hobbits). Any figure whose ST exceeds
15 will still have a health of 15 (or 16).
3. For multihex creatures, determine "health" by dividing the creature's ST
by the number of hexes it occupies. Use the lower of that number for
"health" or 15. Treat dragons as though they occupy 2 hexes less than they
4. Health is used for all health-based ST rolls (drowning, disease/poison
resistance, etc.). I think it should also be used for fatigue points.
Now obviously, option 2 is simpler than option 1. But 1 is better detailed
and might appeal to groups that like that sort of thing. Also, maximum
health levels can be adjusted more finely per race.
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