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Re: (TFT) Man To Man & GURPS
I have fond feeling for DnD, and would tend to agree that the Slate article
was mean-spirited. I included the link only because it was one of the more
mainstream venues to recognize GURPS, and Steve Jackson's contributions.
DnD's major contributions to TFT, GURPS, Runequest, d20, and frankly just
about every single video RPG out there were the ideas of attributes and
experience as quantifiable things. That obviously grew out of wargaming,
and the idea that each "unit" had a value (strength, movement, range etc).
To quantify strength is pretty straightforward, and sadly, we quantify
intelligence/IQ all the time. Putting a number on dexterity and
constitution is mechanically understandable, while numbers for wisdom and
charisma are just ... odd. But hit points/experience were the elephants in
the room with all games. In the real world, seasoned fighters die from a
slip and fall in the shower, which is DnD terms would make taking a shower
a 0-70 hp damage proposition. In bar fights, big guys are felled from a
single punch to the throat, while untrained work-a-day paper-pushers
survive point-blank gun shots to the head (granted, it's rare). The really
big advantage that TFT had over DnD, in my opinion, was that even
relatively experienced fighters could be taken out by a lucky hit from a
noob, but that "toughness" was still somewhat quantifiable. That, and the
actual "movement" and tactical portions of the game were made
understandable through the hex approach. It's sort of surprising that
wargamers like Gygax and Arneson had such cumbersome fighting and movement
systems - especially flying combat, which was just psychotic in ADnD.
Spells in TFT were (I thought) a mixed bag, and magic items, in part
because of the low "hit points" even advanced characters had, tended to
unbalance the game quickly - this has been commented on recently by others.
On Sun, Aug 3, 2014 at 3:28 PM, Cris Fuhrman <email@example.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Aug 3, 2014 at 2:37 PM, <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > Nor do I recall seeing anything that would
> > indicate that those rules were a reaction to anything.
> It's maybe not explicit, but I can see how one could get the idea TFT was a
> reaction to D&D by the following text from In The Labyrinth p.3 (assuming
> SJ wrote it):
> THE FANTASY TRIP is not the first role-playing game to
> > be published, but we feel it is the most detailed and playable
> > one yet to appear. For the first time, players are presented
> > with a detailed and integrated system of movement, action,
> > and combat, allowing the GM to understand and supervise
> > their second-to-second actions without constant argument.
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