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Re: (TFT) "Average" characters

On Mon, June 25, 2007 7:38 am, Greg Thorne wrote:
> For humans, the starting player character is 32 points.  But in the rules
> it states that a 10 for an attribute represents the 'average' for a human.
> But every published TFT supplement that I have been able to read, has ALL
> the (human) characters and opponents as at 32 point characters.

Average of the population at large, average opponent fighter in a given
adventure, and starting PC are different things. In a world that makes
sense, attributes would be determines partly by genetics, partly by life

Attribute totals are also an attempt at a balanced measure of
combat/adventure ability, which is also not necessarily the same for
non-adventurers, who make up the overwhelming majority of a realistic

>  So that means that the typical villager or peasant will be ST=10, DX=10,
> IQ=10.  (It would also follow that since there are so many high attribute
> characters in adventures, that a typical peasant may be closer to ST=9,
> DX=9, IQ=9).

Yes, or maybe ST 11, DX 10, IQ 9 for physical workers, or lower, as you say.

> Shouldn't a large part of the population consist of 30 point
> characters?

Or lower, yes, I'd say so.

>  Or is the assumption that all the 30 point characters choose
> safe, boring town jobs, and that only the 'above average' characters would
> get accepted into the army, guard duty, or whatever the player characters
> are going to face?

Yes. Or in many cases, replace "get accepted into" with "choose to enter"
or "have their abilities developed by training and experience in", etc.

Other things to consider:

* Saying the population average is 30 is only saying something about the
population at large.

* Saying the average is 30 doesn't say what the breadth of the typical
deviation is.

* Very old and young characters could also be factored in, but also
consider that it probably doesn't mean literal mathematical average, but
perhaps more like the mathematical "normal" (i.e., the most common single
value in the entire population - in the series 30, 30, 30, 1000, 30 is the

* It's fun for most players to have at least some advantage over a
completely mediocre typical person.

* Check out the low end of the population in the real world near you, and
see if you don't feel like you have a point or two over most of them. If
you get TFT, and are asking questions like these, then you are probably
several points above average.

* In GURPS (3rd edition and earlier), points are used for skills and
specials as well as attributes, but the guidelines for point totals were
25 for an average character, and 100 for typical starting characters,
where 100 was described as "hero material" (and describing some
disadvantaged but realistic characters could have negative point totals).

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