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(TFT) Rant: part IV

IV Nope, not done yet.

I searched a long time to find the TFT news group. The D&D newsgroups (and there are tons of those) have more noise than signal. I have all these ideas and stories, but I want to find people who are literate in the language I speak. It's lonely being the only TFT'er in a D&D crowd. Many of the debates seem like wasted time. TFT doesn't have many of the problems the D&D players are still pushing around. That and I want to share some of the insights I've had, and some of the moments my players have had. But I need a TFT community to do it. Starting out a thread in a D&D newsgroup with "in this other game I play..." just doesn't work. Not only do I find what I'm looking for, but the TFT news groups has more intelligent posts than any other newsgroup I've ever seen. More on topic, to the point, and accuracy oriented than many tech newsgroups. Everyone here speaks the same language. And Fluently at that. So I start to have a blast. I write my stories, share my rules interpretations, even get to offer feedback. Feedback that is not only well received, but appreciated. It's like some kind of Valhalla come true, where the warrior can fight all day, and at the end of the day is whole again. I really enjoyed some of the comments on my "General Test of Melee/Wizard Knowledge"

Like this one ... still one of my favorites. A wizard is using magic rainstorm to heal a water elemental 4D a turn, while draining 10 fatigue to get 2 for himself. He has invented the unlimited fatigue battery. I asked "how would you rule?" I chuckle every time I read this reply.

Thu, 25 Mar 2004
NO. It doesn't work, because it is too weaselly, and I don't allow weaselly stuff in my game.
John J Hyland


This is the same feeling I had when I started to play TFT. In fact this is the same feeling I had when I started to play D&D. I guess the sequence goes like this. D&D is way better than movies, TFT is way way better than D&D, and the TFT newsgroup is even better than TFT itself. But what now? We are ready for it to be new again. Do we pursue this feeling by seeing it in the eyes of others, by becoming evangelist and converting the heathen. To take joy in seeing their eyes opened to the simplicity and fuel of TFT. Should I write post after post on how to indoctrinate gamers to this game. To turn TFT into a cult and spread it around like a virus? The classic "I have secret knowledge" ploy, like the mad sorcerers of old.

   errrr, I think not.

What then? Transcend the meta game? Make the meta-meta game. Seems too nebulous. A game where you can attack and destroy optional rules. Where you can buy new rules for the campaign with your character points. Wouldn't it wind up being nothing more than something called The Game Trip, and from there quickly become a punch line. What about The Reality Trip. We use TFT to document the current world around us. To leave a gamers perspective on current life for posterity. Books and movies rated on a 1-6 reaction scale, vacation trips laid out with the saving throws needed to make them work. A job table built from real jobs with the real world fatalities worked in as risk. Seems tedious. Is it the word Fantasy? The actual word Fantasy. Many of my players over the years have left for Sci-Fi games. But they always got tired of them and came back to TFT. Is there something about about Fantasy that is timeless. Could we bottle lightning again? Take everyone on the "Trip?"

How about this. I don't feel any moral obligation to do any of the above. To be blunt the ideas above don't quite move me. And what TFT means to me is probably not what TFT will mean to the new kids. The key points... a) FRPGs felt like eating forbidden fruit, but now it is passe. It is the norm. Everyone has heard of D&D now. The days when it was rare to find some one who has even _heard_ of role playing are now passed. b) Computers games may be a poor substitute for actually sitting around a kitchen table and listening to each other, but the big MMORPGs are making buckets of money. c) Do we even know who our market is, and if we listen to that market will they really ask for TFT.

  I conclude with these words.  The genera has been done before.

David Michael Grouchy II
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