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Re: (TFT) basic training talent? --> Rick's thoughts

Hi John, everyone.
   My comments are *** interleaved *** below:

On Mon, 2006-02-06 at 05:23, John Gfoeller wrote:
> A big part of the context is that the characters belonging to a professional 
> military -- like the Roman, Chinese or Byzantine army.  Those professional 
> fighting forces often (though not always) prevailed against superior numbers 
> that often had much of the same technology.  The key difference and factor 
> in their success (in my ignorant opinion -- I'm not a military historian) 
> was their discipline and training.  Yet, how to represent that in the TFT 
> game?

  Good question.  The short answer was the
CULTURE handed down wisdom, habits of 
thought, training professionalism, etc.
They taught themselves how to create a
professional army and made the effort over
several centuries (with varying degrees of
success) to maintain those high qualities.
This is _difficult_.  Superior quality will
inevitably degrade with out a great deal 
of effort being spent to maintain it.  Also
cultures with out wide spread, organized 
agriculture have a hard time maintaining 
large professional armies.

> As a potential solution, I have been toying with the idea of a new talent: 
> basic training.  It would be an IQ 8 talent, costing 1 IQ point (2 for 
> wizards).  It would only be available ... professional military.

  I created a very similar talent for different
reasons: Wizards can gain experience by staying
home and creating items.  Should not there be
some way for fighters to stay home and get exp
by training?  My talent worked well enough that 
I have kept it in my campaign but I am not 
happy enough with it for 'publishing' on this
mailing list.

> It would also represent the benefits of that training.  I've thought of 
> representing this in TFT terms by adding 1 to the initiative roll to a group 
> in which a 2/3 of its members have basic training.  ...

  That could work, but what I did is built new
talents such as Logistic, Scholar: (specialty 
Military History), Scholar (specialty Military
Geography), Politics talent, Advanced Military 
Strategist and several more Spying talents 
which all represent difficult to gain, 
knowledge from a professional officer corps
and military oriented culture.

> So, for example, a party in which 2/3 of the members had basic training 
> would get +1 on the initiative roll. ...
>  A party led by someone with strategy would 
> get +3 on the initiate roll  ...
> But, I'm just thinking out loud here.  Comments?
> -- John G.

  I think your system is simple and could work,
but how far does a +1 initiative take a culture,
especially when it comes at the cost of most of
its soldiers forgoing Sword 2 or some other 
directly useful talent?  I would rather have 
talents that tie into a less game mechanic 
oriented advantage.
  However, I have a bias for creating hard to 
get talents.  
  However, musing on your talent, there are a
number of things I really like about it.  Let 
us say that every culture gets a couple of 
special "cultural specialties".  These can be 
zero memory cost (as many advantages as 
disadvantages), cost a point or two (for those
cultural talents that give a significant 
advantage) or have a negative cost (for those 
that are counter productive).

  A character in a culture is not forced to 
take these, but anyone who does not do so will
be less politically popular than those who buy 
into their culture's dreams and manias.  

  A few of these cultural specialty talents
could in very few rules summarize a lot about
a culture and how it will relate to other 

  Warm regards, Rick.
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