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Re: (TFT)What happend to the Mnoren?
Funny thing - what I like about TFT is the opposite of what you like about
1. TFT provides a good tough basic set of rules. Simple rules, yes, but not
so simple as to require playing in a fudge-heavy manner. Take the Talents. They
describe what the character can do, can't do, and can do but only poorly.
They're fixed; changing them changes the world. I have changed Talents for my own
game, but this is deliberate, major surgery to make the game fit my
gameworld. Letting a player research & create a new Talent is something I would never,
ever, EVER do.
Likewise what a character can & can't do is fixed by his stats (as modified
by Talents) and the rolls against stats (ditto).
2. It's very easy to play your character sheet because there's not so much
that you loose track of it. At the same time, there's enough there that you
don't have to go "beyond" your character sheet.
The latest version of D&D is actually a lot like this too: In some ways it's
very TFT-like, with Fighters who aren't cookie-cutters, but who can be
customized by how stats are assigned, by Feats, and by the choice of weapons & armor.
The big problem I have with D&D is the magic system: Individual spells are
way too powerful, and so even with tight rationing of spells characters end up
with magic (and other outre abilities) coming out of their ears. Also the way D&
D magic is set up encourages hyperfocus and hyper-specialization. The thing I
like most about TFT is that a wizard needs all three stats and so is pushed
toward being a more "well-rounded" sort.
3. Relatively abstract combat. I have little use for "realistic" combat.
Real-world combat follows the horror-show rule of "ANYone can die at ANY time" -
and horror is the last thing I want in my entertainment thankyouverymuch. I
also want to provide my players with lots of combat (fun!) while at the same time
avoiding PC death (a real drag).
Now TFT does have this unfortunate (in my view) tendency toward gritty
"realistic" combat, and most of my house rules are aimed at pushing it away from
this tendency. Fortunately TFT is also an elegantly robust system that can take
well to house rules producing a more cinematic, swashbuckling feel to combat.
I prefer Middle Earth, or the Star Wars movies, to Lankhmar. I also prefer my
player's PCs to be heroes who are distinctly different from and superior to
the ordinary joes of the world. I do this in part by giving them a higher
starting total and in part by giving hero-type PCs twice as many points in talents
as mundane joe NPCs.
(It's great entertainment in certain quarters to make fun of how hard it is
to kill D&D characters. But D&D is actually overly-lethal, with its deadliness
covered by the kludge of "raise dead" magic. I prefer a game with a lifetime
survival rate of 50% or so for career adventurers. And to get that in D&D
requires either ignoring all the times you die but "get better" or else giving the
lethality knob a hard counterclockwise twist.)
Erol K. Bayburt
Evil Genius for a Better Tomorrow
In a message dated 12/22/2007 9:01:57 AM Central Standard Time,
> Quoting Jay Carlisle <email@example.com>:
> > I care about what you think of TFT.
> Here's what I think of TFT, which will also tell you why I like it.
> 1. Rather like pre-corporate D&D, TFT isn't so much a set of rules, as
> a set of
> meta-rules with examples.
> Take the Talents. The idea of Talents is part of the system. But the set of
> Talents in ITL are just examples. Any Master out there can add new ones.
> a description, figure out IQ level and cost, and you've added to your game.
> fact, it's not strictly limited to the GM. A character could research a new
> Talent (successfully or no).
> Look at stat rolls. Some situation not strictly within the written rules
> up, and the GM decides which stat (or stats) and how many dice. It's a done
> deal, and can be repeated the next time it comes up.
> 2. It's very hard to play your character sheet, because there isn't
> much of it.
> You have to play the character.
> Even in the latest version of what D&D has devolved into, pretty much a
> is a fighter is a fighter. There's 2 reasons for this, and they interact
> each other. The first is abstract combat, where there is a particular
> that works for fighters. The second is that because of that, its much
> easier to
> play the character's stats than to play the character.
> In TFT, not only does the character generation process encourage non-cookie
> cutter characters, when all is said and done, a beginning character has
> a race,
> 3 primary stats, a derived stat (MA), and a handful of Talents and/or
> And that's pretty much it. The characters are diverse, yet it is difficult
> play just the sheet, because there isn't much on it.
> 3. Concrete combat
> I'm not interested in the heroic. I have more than 30 years of my life
> in various martial arts, bare and weaponed. I have held jobs where busting
> heads was one of the outcomes that might happen. I've been the guy who
> bring anything to a knife fight, and walked away without a scratch. I can
> with some certainty that looking for realism in a game system is nearly
> pointless. I prefer consistency. I want a good game, not necessarily a
> realistic game.
> That said, I prefer the concrete combat of TFT to the fuzziness of most
> systems. It leaves no doubt as to the outcomes. As my model is more Lankhmar
> than Middle Earth, I prefer combat to be quick and deadly under most
> circumstances. I want it to be something to either be avoided completely or
> planned carefully to be successful.. That much realism I like. And, given
> characters are a dime-a-dozen in TFT, I have no problems letting them die.
> Unlike D&D, player characters aren't different than the regular Joe.
> They start
> at 32 points and work from there. It's what they do that separates them. A
> properly set up character can be dropped into a wilderness and carve out an
> existence. A weapons master of equal points less so. That much realism I'll
> > I'm GONNA bug you till you either acquiece to MY storyworld, or you
> > counter me with something better.
> In a word, no.
> > P.S.
> > I know you wont take this the wrong way or I wouldn't even mention
> > this, but I got a Christmas present last night that was a bumper
> > sticker that says "I'm not mean, your stupid!"
> I want the T-shirt my neighbor in Austin had. It said, "What I need is more
> money and less crap from people like you."
> Neil Gilmore
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