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RE: (TFT) Re: TFT Digest -Gladiators, Gladiators!

From: Sethkimmel@aol.com
Reply-To: tft@brainiac.com
To: tft@brainiac.com
Subject: (TFT) Re: TFT Digest -Gladiators, Gladiators!
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2007 14:00:56 EST

[ snip]

This also brings up the subject of mixed armor; i.e., wearing different types
of armor on different parts of the body. Here I averaged out the armor
protection, but I'm not satisfied with this. I would love to do the armor + hit system as per Runequest (a hit is rolled to hit a certain part of the body and each part of the body has it's own hit points; each part of the body can thus have it''s own protection. One could have different armor levels to protect more crucial areas and save weight-a plate helmet, chain torso, and leather greaves
weighs a lot less then a plate suite...), but I don't want to destroy the
simplicity + elegance of the rules. Any ideas/help from the list?


I think you summarized the problem and its solutions. On the one hand, you have detail (or "realism"). On the other hand, you have simplicity (or "playability"). I don't think you can have both in a game without one or the other suffering.

In other words, it's a question of emphasis.

You cited Runequest, which I am unfamiliar with, as offering different armor protection for different body parts. That sounds realistic. But, how playable is that ? Does it drag out combat ? That can be good for an audience / market which wants to simulate ancient combat as realistically as possible. But, a lot of players / customers of FRPGs want more adventure than only or mostly combat.

GURPS also comes to mind.  Etc.

In contrast, TFT is not as realistic as those games because it isn't as detailed as those games. However, it is detailed enough to offer a scheme for "equating" different kinds of armor and arms (as you illustrated with your post). That is about as detailed as TFT can be and still be itself: equating different arms and armor into its scheme. However, the pay-off is a combat system that is both quick and reasonably realistic (especially in its lethality). That, in turn, allows the game to focus more on the rest of the adventuring instead of solely or mostly the combat.

I think TFT is elegant as a gaming system because of how it balances realism and playability. It works so well precisely because it isn't too detailed -- but it is detailed enough.

-- John
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