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Re: (TFT) A Point of Damage

On Feb 28, 2011, at 5:47 PM, <dwtulloh61@cox.net> <dwtulloh61@cox.net>  
> For example, a human fighter swinging a maul at a hobbit might be
> more likely to inflict a moderate to severe injury, while the same  
> figure
> attacking a giant would be more likely to inflict a Light to  
> Moderate injury.
> The problem with tying a system like this to TFT is that the hit point
> system gets tossed out of the window.
> Trying to figure out what a "point of damage" in TFT means is, in my
> mind, a bit of a rabbit chase because the system is abstracted.  All  
> it
> really means is that inflicting a point of damage on a figure brings  
> that
> figure closer to death - albeit that the the hobbit "feels" that  
> point of
> damage a lot more than the giant does.

Excellent point here... a point of damage is a lot more, relatively  
speaking, if you don't have many to spare.

Helpful illustrative example, which everyone's probably figured out  

In our household, there is one parakeet, one 40 lb dog, five people  
ranging from, say, 70 to 180 lb, and assorted vermin. You can guess ST  
based on weight if you want to, but it's not really relevant in this  

Okay, now say you're an archer and you hate our guts, so you want us  
all to die and you don't care who goes first. But you only have one  
arrow, and your bow is kind of wimpy. So you want to pick a target  
against which the arrow will have the maximum effect - i.e. be the  
most lethal.

So are you shooting at the 180-pound guy or the parakeet?

It's the same arrow, but it would skewer the parakeet through (eech...  
regretting that image), while only inflicting relatively minor damage  
on the people (except possibly in the case of our 68-pound  
weakling...). Not only are birds particularly fragile (that's the  
tradeoff they make in order to fly), but in an animal that size,  
you're pretty much guaranteed to hit something vital. The bigger  
animals, including the people, have a lot more "margin" in this  
respect. Thicker skin, deeper muscle, more body fat, etc., shield  
vital organs from intruding arrows. And the bigger you get, the more  
this is true, and the harder it is to hurt you. If ST is an indicator  
of size, then it makes perfect sense that stronger creatures can take  
more abuse.

Even double and triple damage plays into this - it's possible (but  
tricky) to kill a person with a single arrow, but on a palm-size  
animal, virtually any hit is a critical hit, so double and triple  
damage become meaningless.

So yes, it's an abstracted system, but it's also one that is pretty  
well based in reality. However, if you tried going down to your local  
ER and guessing how many hits of damage each incoming accident victim  
had just taken, the numbers would be meaningless to the doctors trying  
to treat the injuries (except maybe as a method of triage). Hit  
points, like attribute scores, don't actually exist, they're just used  
as a way to translate life (and the destruction thereof) onto paper.

- Meg
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