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Re: (TFT) More on hexes

On Sat, 24 Jan 2009 16:39:22 GMT
"John" <johnnyboytmm@juno.com> wrote:
> I think we just want (or demand) different amounts of exactitude in our games.  

Indeed, it's the old realism vs. abstraction issue.  I'm on record as
an abstractionist.  The size of the hexes vs. the size of characters
has never mattered to me, and as long as the scale of weapons and 
their hit points against types of armor seemed consistent, then it
was fine for me.

I've been thinking about what keeps TFT my favorite gaming system
after all this time, and it comes down to two things: the relative
simplicity of the play thanks to the level of abstraction in TFT,
and 6 sided dice.

I think TFT hit exactly the right level of abstraction so that I could
imagine the encounters with enough level of detail to make it exciting
without having them turn into endless roll-playing (as opposed to
role-playing).  I'm happy to ignore all the little inconsistencies
if it means a fast-paced game.

lately I've been thinking a *lot* about 6-sided dice.  This is in
no small part because of a gaming system under development that I've
been lucky enough to watch evolve before its release.  In some ways
it's vert TFT-ish, but uses a d20 for its hit determination.

This gives us a linear scale where each point gained in an attribute
like dexterity is a 5% increase towards the likelihood of a successful
roll.  This is true whether your character is in the middle of the
pack or a high-end hero.

With the 3d6 mechanism, the edge in percentage drops off the higher
the value of the stat goes, thanks to the bell-curve nature of how
3d6's roll.  This has always seemed more correct to me, in that skilled
athletes work very hard to achieve small advances in the abilities.

Now sure, it seems hypocritical on my part to at first say I'm
fine with a high level of abstraction, then prefer a certain dice-
rolling mechanism as more realistic, but it comes back to that level
of balance.

I know I'm in a minority when it comes to the abstraction vs. realism
debate, as evidenced by the popularity of DnD versus TFT, and the
numerous attempts (including GURPS) to add more and more factors into
the mix to more closely simulate reality.  As Johnnyboy notes,
"I think we just want (or demand) different amounts of exactitude 
in our games."

       Joe Hartley - UNIX/network Consultant - jh@brainiac.com
 Without deviation from the norm, "progress" is not possible. - FZappa
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