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(TFT) LOU/DOU hey, would ya look at that
So with all the talk of LOU (by me, as I look for a mass combat vehicle for TFT) and DOU (by Paul who has unearthed a couple of copies) I skimmed them both again.
A couple of things jumped out at me (mainly in DOU). I had always considered DOU a very stripped down version of TFT, stripped down to the point of being an incomplete RPG, and never understood why. After a re-read, I realize it is not an incomplete RPG, but rather a very small scale TFT-based wargame, complete with scenarios and victory conditions. I don't know why it took me so long to realize that, since Metagaming was a small scale wargame shop.
I think David's description of using TFT as a narrative wargame may have triggered the epiphany for me. Also, David, you may want to give DOU a look, since it is very much a TFT wargame.
Also, it is clear that Metagaming intended to crank out more scenarios for LOU, probably in Interplay, but also in CONQUERORS OF UNDEREARTH, a product mentioned in LOU, where they intend to describe the effects of non-combat talents and spells. these were listed in LOU but not described, which was partly why I always considered it incomplete. It turns out it was intentional, those rules were to come out in the next installment.
On to DOU, which is totally a wargame. Counters for companies, individual sentry scout and leader counters, and creatures - Dragon, scorpion, bear, gargoyle, etc. In section 19 of the rules it talks about using DOU resolution mechanic (1 d 6) to determine large scale NPC battles in TFT. It discusses it in very broad terms.
But lets say you wanted to have PCs lead companies of NPCs into skirmishes, how to make PCs into Leaders? And what about other creatures?
And for Jay - - "How does it scale?"
First for Jay.
HEXES - A DOU hex is 8 TFT hexes across (with a TFT hex being defined as a melee megahex). Or so the rules say. Of course you cannot draw a hex (on hex paper) 8 across, it is either 7 or 9, no 8. I went with 9. (so 9MH across or 27 Melee hexes)
TIME- a DOU round is 72 TFT or Melee rounds according to DOU.
but does iy compute? A figure with a move of 10 could go 720 hexes in 72 rds, kinda off. But in DOU counters move and attack every round, so they must only move 1/2 there move each turn, or no more than 360 hexes (still seems high) but wait, there's more, Counters attack into adjacent DOU hexes, so there is a need to travel a bit further, to get the attack into the next DOU hex, lets say an extra 1/3 of thw way, or 90melee hexes, bringing the total to 360, or half of the original calc. I think that DOU makes that sort of simplifying assumption about movement and combat to turn an RPG scale into a wargame scale for time and distance.
How's that, Jay? You've got me back-filling the logic to make the canon scales work.
Now, How big is a "company"? 25 individuals.
That is not actually described in section 19, but a little trial and error calculation got me there. The Company counters have combat strength (CS) and Movement, and the conversion says divide total company St+Dx by 13 to get CS for leather equipped troops, plus or minus 5-10 CS for better armor (chain et al) or unarmored. Shields apparently don't matter to CS, which I am OK with, since without a shield you get to use 2h weapons, about a wash in a big enough company sized melee. Making an allowance for the Dwarf counters to be a little over-powered in terms of CS (as the rules state they are) and estimating the armor of the units by their MA, I can get to an even 25 man company, with chain being worth 10 CS over leather, and no armor being worth -5 CS vs leather. S0 broadly Armor over 2 is worth .4 CS per hit stopped and -.1 per hit stopped less than 2, good to know.
For individuals we are told CS is St + Dx over 10 (not 13) and adjusted up for magic items etc. The same calcs (including armor values up and down) works for individuals too, once I give the dwarves an edge like the rules say to, and assuming that the magic items are equal to better armor.
The same calcs also work OK for the creatures in the game, with the CS factor being 13 (like for companies) with some minor tweaking for special attacks (like multiple attacks, poison for scorpion, regen for troll - .3, .3, and .2 CS respectively) etc. Oddly, the gargoyle math only worked if it was treated as an individual (CS factor 10, not 13) rather than as a creature, after all it is a playable TFT race.
Except for the dragon, whose CS is way too high for the TFT conversion, but is needed to make it a good wargame threat. Just figure it is a way more powerful dragon that the 14 hex DOU claims.
So to convert a PC to a Leader type CS in DOU, I'd divide the 2 highest attributed by 10 (not st and dx, because PCs tend to not just be unthinking brutes, and wizards need a break once in a while). Then adjust up a smidge if the PC is toting self powered magic items (I'd say plus .1 to .2CS per plus for magic weaponry, and some ad-hoc GM fiat for anything else).
At this point, in theory, I could just use the resolution mechanic in LOU for company size skirmishes or larger battles that PCs take part in (letting them lead companies they stack with, and thereby adding a leader counter moral bonus to the stack. That way adding the PCs to a big mook fight would really make a difference, since 9 extra leader bonuses is a big deal.
BUT, the LOU resolution mechanic is a little blunt for PC involvement (fine for NPC battle resolution though).
I think I will work on making it more granular next (also try a few melee fights between small units to see it the CS resolutions track well with the melee results (the melee simulator would probably help here, If I can find it and make it work - i am a luddite after all). Once I have a sense of the right ratio of results by CS, then a more granular resolution roll, with results other than "Retreat", and "Entire stack destroyed" is next. Followed by rules for TFT level PC effects associated with each stack scale result. And finally, maybe some PC Talent and spell related bonuses to CS (say a benefit for tactics, or for certain spells (fire, wall, summon bear, illusion, etc) or even for PC decisions, like say moving the PC level TFFT result up or down the danger scale in exchange for a one time CS bonus. How vested is the PC in the fight?
So I have the DOU scale figured, and I can do the calcs to convert a TFT Character to a run of the mill leader type individual in DOU, or a TFT creature to a LOU creature, or a bunch of TFT mooks into a LOU company.
Now I want to be able to make PCs "special" leaders so that it would be fun enough to work into a TFT RPG. Though it may already be enough to work into a narrative wargame like Davids.
More to Come
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