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Re: (TFT) New TFT Attribute -- Size

Seem to recall getting raked over the coals by the late great Michael Taylor
on this very suggestion a number of years back. So badly that I refrained
from posting for a few years. While I have since moved away from the idea
(never having been a strong advocate in the first place) it is a fact that
there is a shortfall in TFT, for the very reasons Ty has brought up.

I will say that I disagree with the "Size" attribute, since ITL clearly
indicates that there is a coorespondence between ST and mass, albeit a loose
one. While Ty's system is very clever and well thought out (I toyed with
something similar, though not as good, awhile back) I just don't think it
belongs in TFT.

However, let me float a suggestion that is appropriate to raise here, and
also ties into the recent posts on Dinosaurs. I can post the details later
if there is any interest. It occured to me that for very massive creatures
(elephants, dinosaurs, mammoths, whatever) that maybe a straight translation
of mass-->ST was inappropriate, and may make them stronger than is
realistic. Rather, I decided to tone down the ST for higher mass creatures
but, in compensation, gave them a higher damage resistance. The rationale
being that a truly massive creature will sustain much less damage from most
blows that we can deliver with hand weapons. For example, if I stab an
elephant with a dagger, I will likely do nothing more than irritate it
(which becomes rather a problem for *me*, but that is another story...). The
dagger will be wholly unable to penetrate to any organs or even major blood
vessels in almost all cases. Note that it is not that the hide is overly
damage resistant, its just that the creature is too massive to really suffer
serious injury from such a (relatively) tiny weapon. Sort of like sticking
someone with a pin - won't do any real harm (unless you stick them in the
eye or the pin is poisoned) but you will get their attention. The elephant,
then would likely have an effective damage resistance of ~ 5 or so,
rendering daggers useless except in HTH or on to hit roll of a 3 or 4.

As for HT, I kinda dislike the idea, since the TFT system works well in most
cases. If you want, you can always rule that halflings get a +4 to basic ST
for saves vs. poison or disease. As for large critters, keep in mind that a
dose of poison dangerous to humans might not work as well against say an
elephant - and a dose that is sufficient would certainly kill a human or
equivalent outright. The reall sticking point that I find in favour of Ty's
suggestion are disease and drowning. Perhaps we should just normalize things
and say that any ST > 16 is treated as 16 for purposes of disease and
drowning? That seems wrong, somehow, but might be a simpler type of approach
than a whole new attribute.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ty Beard" <tbeard@tyler.net>
To: <tft@brainiac.com>
Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2004 9:18 AM
Subject: (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.
> 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
> 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
> 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,
> 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
> 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
> starting SZ (no way a horse jockey will ever be as big as an NFL offensive
> tackle).
> 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
> 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
> guys).
> 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
> strength (weapon size, unarmed combat damage, great strength advantages,
> etc.)
> 4. HT is used for Fatigue (i.e., ST expended for casting spells, physical
> exertion, etc.).
> 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
> have a max HT of 1.6. So Grog the Barbarian with a current TFT ST of 24
> 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
> of 9).
> 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
> 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
> ST.
> 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
> 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
> actually do.
> 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.
> Thoughts?
> --Ty
> =====
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