[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: (TFT) Word Value

Actually, though I first mentioned GURPS on the thread about defenses, if I were wanting to play at TFT complexity level, I wouldn't add active defenses. I'd do what many players here have done, which is just add some more to-hit modifiers, such as the -1 DX for every two levels of DX the target has over the attacker, or maybe over 10 for simplicity and to remove the need to calculate during play. I might also look at giving some bonuses to hit for stronger attackers or those with heavier weapons. And maybe changing the shield defense from a hit/attack effect to a to-hit effect. But the result would be simple - the mods would be quickly mastered and put on the character sheets for immediate reference.

As I've mentioned before, one thing I did in my last and most house-rule-filled GURPS gameworld and rule system was to make an extremely simplified combat system that was based on the statistical results of using the full GURPS rules (which I did for fun by myself), boiled down to a system where two NPC's fighting with each other, perhaps even for more than one round each, could be resolved by one single 12-sided die roll, which made the NPC parts of combat not much less detailed but lightning fast. 

Also, my GM style is to have complex house rules and talk about them between games, but during play the players just need to discuss what they want to try, and I translate to mechanics in my head. Often players who have little or no rule knowledge are quite successful, get to use fun imaginative tactics, and have a blast playing. 

My point being that one can be both a detail lover and a fast and fun GM.

As for examples of getting great play value out of having active defenses, yes I have examples, but mainly I would say that it adds a dimension to the tactical gameplay. Your question reminds me of a D&D player asking me why I prefer to play a combat system that has a map showing where the characters are, and rules that have detailed effects based on where you move your figure. In TFT, the defenses available are mainly from not getting engaged, taking out your enemies before they get you, having spear fodder and comrades to get hit rather than you, or having armor (not a great solution for low-level fighters) or magic or taking the Defend option (which means you don't get to attack at all). In GURPS, you have all those options but also your active defenses are a major element of group and individual tactics and fighter design. Also because there are no engagement restrictions on movement, and a variety of optional rules for things like target location, feints, striking at weapons, etc., there's a wide variety of things a character can do each turn which influences how likely they are to get hurt before their next turn, and being able to Wait, defend and Retreat between your main actions keeps you able to have a say in what happens to your character before your next proactive action.

Examples that come to mind include some characters converted from TFT to GURPS (I converted my main huge TFT campaign to use GURPS mechanics set in the same Cidri-based world):

Gradd the Staffmaster was a high-DX TFT quarterstaff / leather armor user in TFT. In TFT, he was an OK light fighter but if he or his comrades ever failed to take out someone with a large weapon in reach of him, he could likely have died in one not-particularly-lucky battleaxe swing or two. In GURPS, especially in the 1st edition rules which had a Stop-Thrust mechanic, he was very effective in the party when moved intelligently, and not only was he very hard to hit when intelligently played, he made the whole party much harder to engage and hit, because his long staff could mess with people who approached. It was really fun and interesting seeing his effect on group tactics in ways that seemed to make a lot of sense.

Treb Suarve was an experienced Dwarven Tank character in TFT - battleaxe, veteran, full plate, enough DX to usually hit things, a strong fighter but prone to being whittled down since TFT armor is less than most weapon damages. In GURPS, he was a counterpoint to Gradd. His axe became unready after swinging so his active defense actually stunk, but his armor was quite hard for most people to get through to really hurt him at all. So he'd often not bother and instead use the All-Out Attack maneuver to either get a higher attack skill or to hit harder, and with GURPS adding damage bonuses for ST, you REALLY didn't want to be hit by Treb, and good luck hurting him, especially if you needed to get past Gradd's staff as well.

Post to the entire list by writing to tft@brainiac.com.
Unsubscribe by mailing to majordomo@brainiac.com with the message body
"unsubscribe tft"