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Re: (TFT) TFT Healing

Some random thoughts: 

o In a group with related but variant interests, it's human nature to see 
ones own preference as the beleagered minority. So I see my preference for 
low-lethality, high fantasy play as a beleagered minority amid a sea of fans who 
[heart] TFT for its high lethality and lack of healing. And (I guess) the 
low-healing fans often feel like a beleagered minority among those who want 
lots-of-magical-D&D-style healing. It's perception that matters here, no matter what 
the reality may be. 

o To what extent are the people here *players* in TFT games, as opposed to 
being TFT GMs? I've noticed that a tendency toward "GMitis" among gamers: What's 
fun and cool for GMs to run is often not-so-fun from the player's POV, and 
what fun and cool for players will often tend to give GMs heartburn. Often this 
is just a matter of degree - players having much more (or much less) tolerance 
for certain situations and kinds of play than the GM. But it's an important 
matter of degree. 

In online fora like this one, it tends to be mostly GMs who gather and so the 
GM POV gets over-represented and reinforced. And the players' POV gets 
belittled and dismissed because there's hardly anyone to defend it. 

I try to watch out for GMitis in myself, but I have been caught out. And 
since the players who caught me out are experienced GMs with their own games 
(albeit not TFT games) I couldn't just dismiss their complaints as munchkin 
whining. Even worse (or rather better, in the end) I had to conclude, after 
considering things from their POV, that they were *right*, darn it. (This is where my 
decision to boost healing potions to 1d+1 from 1 pt came, in fact.) 

o I find that high lethality interferes with roleplaying. And since 
roleplaying is a big part of the fun, that makes high lethality a problem for me. 

The way I see it, when a PC of mine is injured to the point where one unlucky 
(from his POV) roll can kill him, it's time (if not past time) to withdraw 
and recover. If he can't withdraw and recover, then he's screwed up on the 
strategic level. And if not being able to withdraw & recover keeps happening over 
and over, then I'm dealing with a Sadastic Bastard Killer GM, and I am unable 
to continue to roleplay my PC. (If I do try to roleplay the PC the result will 
be "the PC goes mad, in an unfun and possibly game-destructive way.")  (Query 
for GMs here who use disads: What is the value of "Delusion: I am dead. This 
is no longer the real world. I am in Hell, where I am being put through a 
particularly subtle and nasty torment by a powerful evil demon."?)  

Similarly, if I'm in a high-lethality game where one bad roll can kill my PC 
right out of the gate, then I can only view my PC as being bugshit crazy to 
even CONSIDER an adventuring career. And I have a limited ability to roleplay 
such bugshit crazy characters. If it's the only gaming available, then what I 
tend to do is not roleplay the PC but just treat him as a token.

o OTOH, I can understand playing in a high-lethality, low-healing campaign as 
giving the thrill of juggling eggs ("One oops, and it's broken! That's the 
thrill! That's the fun!"). Even though I don't share that taste at all. 

o Rapid healing cuts down on lethality, but it's best not to put too much 
strain on it as the only means of doing so. It's better to combine it with 
optional rules that let PCs *take* less damage in the first place. The classic way 
to do this is with inflated hit points - highly able characters have more hit 
points and so take (proportionately) less damage when hit with a given attack. 
But this method has its own problems. For my own TFT game I've settled on an 
active defense roll for skilled combatants (i.e. those with the Fencing talent) 
and sucked up the extra overhead this adds to gameplay. (I've also replaced 
Warrior and Veteran with a new "Toughness" talent.) 

o Something that I've never seen any game system do a good job of emulating 
is the character with the "crazed weasel defense." This is the character with 
little or no armor, who jumps a bunch of low-skill opponents armed with weapons 
that *would* hurt badly if they connect, and then jumps around like a crazed 
weasel in such a way that - somehow - he never gets hit. (Or at worst he gets 
hit very very rarely - a grazing wound once every 10 to 100 fights). 

Archtypes of this sort of thing would be Spiderman or Batman dealing with a 
bunch of low-life gang members armed with handguns. They are always shown using 
the "crazed weasel" defence, in contrast to more bulletproof superheroes who 
let the bullets bounce off their chests. 

o Rapid healing isn't necessarily *instant* healing, and there's a good case 
for keeping healing from being instant even if it is rapid. I have healing 
potions "convert" regular injury into fatigue loss/stun damage rather than just 
being a "poof, you're healed" effect. I'm thinking of also applying this to 
physicker healing. The "Life" spell or potion will still be a "ShaBoom! You're 
Healed!" effect that (if you're alive) completely heals all injury, stun, & 
fatigue - but it *is* the ultimate healing spell in my campaign, able to bring 
back the (recently) dead. 

Erol K. Bayburt
Evil Genius for a Better Tomorrow
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