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Re: (TFT) Man To Man & GURPS - was Re: (TFT) The return of Ogre - Rick did something silly.
"Yes D&D was the first with "widespread public access" in terms of more
eople knowing about it and it probably being in more game stores than
ers. But TFT, T&T and some other alternatives were also around by the
e (circa 1980) that I remember "common people" knowing about D&D, and
did things substantially differently from the way D&D did many things."
D&D was out for several years before TFT hit the streets, and was alread
y big news. I was a "johnny come lately" member of the early D&D crew, a
nd I was playing it with my brother and our friends by 1975. Melee wasn'
t published until 1977 and Wizard in 1978. TFT didn't make it out Metaga
ming's door until 1980, and by then D&D had long been one of those "mega-tr
ends" that used to happen back then (and probably still do -- I just don't
pay much attention to them anymore). The bottom line here is that Steve
said the reason he CREATED Melee was because he didn't like the way combat
was handled in D&D -- which certainly tells us which came first.
Seems to me GURPS is built mostly on TFT and the Hero Games RPGs, not D&D.
I can't think of anything in GURPS that I recognize as being from D&D,
unless you mean how every RPG maybe got the basic idea of what an RPG is
from D&D being a thing, or the idea of having ST, DX, IQ, Tolkien monste
and too many underground locations. Though TFT made ST, DX, and IQ ac
mean something substantial and logical, etc."
What you said i
n your second sentence was EXACTLY what I was saying. I wasn't really cl
aiming that D&D was the immediate ancestor of TFT or that TFT was "derivati
ve" of D&D, except in the way D&D, and EPT were the mother of ALL other RPG
s. What I was saying is that D&D created the concept and gave it form; o
ther RPGs have tended to follow the same general outline procedurally ever
since. Witness the ST, DX, IQ concept with TFT -- which is similar in co
ncept to the Str/Con, Dex, Int/Wis concept with D&D. No they are not ide
ntical; mechanically they are executed in quite different ways. But they
still fit in the same paradigm, and if you understand the general uses of
ST in D&D, you understand some of the general uses of ST in TFT -- that is,
to measure one's ability to lift things and carry things. Yes, Steve ef
fectively merged CON plus STR in the interests of simplicity (for which I p
ersonally bless him), but the fact of the matter is that he
didn't create some kind of Attack number/Defense number/Movement Allowance
system based on classic wargames. Why not? Because D&D had already b
lown that idea out of the water and had established its system as the "norm
" for RPGs. And, as Steve stated in the Melee designer's notes -- he cre
ated Melee as a way to fight D&D battles more realistically -- which means
that it IS kind of "son of D&D," at least conceptually, and if GURPS is bas
ed off of TFT, then GURPS, by definition owes at least some of its genetic
material to Gygax and Arneson too. Not sure where you get the idea that
the Hero games were the progenitors for TFT, though -- they were mostly pub
lished after TFT was out ("Champions," the earliest one I remember, was pub
lished in 1981), and quite a while after Melee was. Besides, again, I re
fer you to Steve's Designer's Notes in which he tells you EXACTLY where he
was coming from.
"And yes, the early D&D rules were pretty good for th
eir time, for what they
were. I wouldn't pick clunkiness as my first targ
et if I were going to bash
D&D. ;-) "
Let me assure you (in
case it's necessary) that the only thing I was "attacking" was the premise
of the Slate article -- which I think missed the point almost completely.
Effectively he was accusing Gygax and Arneson of being some kind of war
criminals or something (and probably racist and homophobic for good measure
), whereas basically they designed a game that people could use to pretend
they were someone else for a while, and chose to set it in a "Tolkienesque"
setting (which, let's face it, was clearly the most well thought and flesh
ed out fantasy world around at the time they were writing the rules to this
thing). If the author of that article chose to act like a member of a N
azi Einsatzkommando while playing the game, that was purely HIS decision (a
nd the failure of his DM to manage the game properly) -- not a design flaw
of the game, and almost certainly not the intent of the designers. So my
writing here was intended to criticize the Slate
article, not D&D, TFT, GURPS, or any other system of Role Playing. Obvi
ously, to some extent, I failed to make myself clear.
From: Peter von Kleinsmid <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, August 1, 2014 7:38 PM
Subject: Re: (TFT) Man
To Man & GURPS - was Re: (TFT) The return of Ogre - Rick did something sil
At 01:25 PM 8/1/2014, Jeffrey Vandine wrote:
>Let's face it
-- D&D WAS the first of it's
> kind in terms of widespread public acce
ss, and sure, the rules are clunky
>and the system is badly dated, especi
ally in terms of how experience points
> were assessed, but things lik
e GURPS were built on that foundation, and ha
>ve substantially improved
the genre, but wouldn't have existed (at least in
> the form they take
) without Gygax and Arneson breaking trail for them.
>To condemn them for
being clunky is the same as saying, "Gee, those Wright
>Brothers sure sc
rewed up that airplane of theirs -- take a look at this F-2
>2 and then t
ell me the Wright Flyer was an achievement!"
Yes D&D was the first wit
h "widespread public access" in terms of more
people knowing about it and
it probably being in more game stores than
others. But TFT, T&T and some
other alternatives were also around by the
time (circa 1980) that I reme
mber "common people" knowing about D&D, and
TFT did things substantially
differently from the way D&D did many things.
Seems to me GURPS is bui
lt mostly on TFT and the Hero Games RPGs, not D&D.
I can't think of anyth
ing in GURPS that I recognize as being from D&D,
unless you mean how ever
y RPG maybe got the basic idea of what an RPG is
from D&D being a thing,
or the idea of having ST, DX, IQ, Tolkien monsters,
and too many undergro
und locations. Though TFT made ST, DX, and IQ actually
mean something sub
stantial and logical, etc.
And yes, the early D&D rules were pretty go
od for their time, for what they
were. I wouldn't pick clunkiness as my f
irst target if I were going to bash
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