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Re: (TFT) Jeffries "Down with the King" style, spare time tables.

Yes, I agree with most of your comments, but will take the opportunity to r
emind you that they were written many, many years ago (30 or so, as I recal
l), and I haven't done anything with them since.  As I was looking the
m over again last night, I realized there was a LOT there that I would need
 to change if I used them again!
The Witchcraft table was left off because of one player's objection, and be
cause it was hard to figure out how to make it work with TFT magic as writt
en.  I suspect I would add it in now, with a slightly different approa
ch to the whole thing.
I'd agree with reworking the XP rewards; at the time TFT was simply deadly 
(no healing magic to save you in the middle of a dungeon, remember), so we 
tried to get some meaningful XP rewards that the guys actually had a chance
 of surviving to earn; but with the addition of minor healing spells and po
tions it is potentially much less deadly and clearly XP rewards would need 
to be reworked entirely.  I think I'd also scale the tables somewhat, 
so that some of the less riskier tables simply have smaller rewards and los
ses but either "cost" nothing to try or have minimal requirements, while th
e more "expensive" tables have commensurately greater rewards and losses.
  Going to 3d6 would also be a good idea -- I think I went with 2d6 in
 the originals because a) it matched the DWTK tables, and b) it was quicker
 to gin something up.
Celebrity points might be a good idea, and having them tied to location mig
ht as well, but I think I'd try for some way of intuitively handling it so 
that it was simple, elegant and required the least amount of paperwork poss
ible to use.  I'll think on that one some more and see if I can figure
 a way out that works smoothly and simply.
Regarding printing the tables out for the players -- that thought never act
ually occurred to me.  To me these were gamemaster tables, to be used 
by the GM.  The players got a laundry list of suitable activities they
 could try, along with their "costs" and could decide what they wanted to d
o based off that.  The actual results were handled like any other GM m
anaged roll.  But then I didn't give them a copy of the risk/reward ta
bles for jobs either -- just some idea of what was riskier for them to do.
  The bottom line is that these tables smack somewhat of deus ex machi
na in terms of rewards and the like, and so I wanted to keep how the sausag
e was made sort of behind the scenes as far as the characters were concerne
d.  I'd let them make the roll, and tell them that higher was better, 
but other than that I just kept it behind the screen, as it were.  Doe
s that make sense?  I don't know if I'd do it differently or not nowad
ays....  Another thing to think on.
I might also point out that with all the new talents available from you and
 others out there, the tables would need redevelopment anyway, just to get 
them more into synch with all the new opportunities!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the tables!  Now I wonder if I sho
uld send you the "mercantilism in TFT" tables that I used as the GM to crea
te a minor model of a "working trade economy" for the players to exploit or

      From: Rick Smith <rick_ww@lightspeed.ca>
 To: tft@brainiac.com 
 Sent: Thursday, September 3, 2015 12:56 PM
 Subject: (TFT) Jeffries "Down with the King" style, spare time tables.
Hi Jeff, 
  I got the file and it opened up no problem.  

  It was a bit of a trip down memory lane reading the tables.  If
 I was
to use them in my own campaign, I likely would add a few extra
tables that would be of use in smaller villages.  I also note that you
dropped the Witchcraft table which is a darn shame.  ;-)

  The biggest concern was how often people were getting 25 or
50 experience points.  Let us say that the players are rolling a 5/15
risk roll.  That is pretty dangerous work.  They will 4.6% of the
gain an attribute.  (Call it 250 exp since I max experience gains from
risk rolls at 500 exp.)  This is equal to 11.5 experience per week.
However, there is also a 4.6% chance that they will have to roll 4 vs
their lowest attribute or take 4 dice of damage.  

  The players earn that 12 exp with a real risk.

  Admittedly, most of your tables have a -10 exp here and a -3 exp
there if you roll very badly.  But if a player is rolling (say) on the

craft table, they are likely to have Master Armorer for a +2 modifier.
After a successful roll, they are likely to get a +1 or +2 modifier on 

the next roll on the table.  So players are FAR more likely to be 
gaining +25 exp than losing 10.

  In Down with the King (DwtK hereafter), they had modifiers that 
you carried over to the next roll.  That was OK, as those tables were
a big part of the game and their was a score pad for tracking these. 
In TFT, where the tables are rarely used, I am not enamoured with 
keeping track that I have a +1 on this table, a +2 on that table, a +1 

on an other table and I am not rolling on THAT table at all because 
I have a -2.  I would likely change the tables so that you had more 
modifiers based on your attributes or talents, but you didn't have to 
record all these modifiers for each table.

  Your rules do not say if charms or curses (or other things) can 
affect these tables.  Given that they are 2d6 tables, a +2 charm 
would have a huge effect.

  You have 19 tables.  If you format them so you get two tables p
page, and make it so you have 20 or 24 tables, then you could fit
all of them on 4 or 5 card stock handouts for your players.

  In DwtK, there were 3 things that the tables usually adjusted:
Influence Points (how much influence you had with the royal 
family), Prestige Points (how much the other nobles respect you)
and money.  

  In TFT, the only rewards you have are exp and money, so you
use those two a lot.  However, I would likely say, that if you want
to use tables like these, you record one value per town you use
these tables in.  Call it Celebrity Points (which can be positive or

  Normally players can only have celebrity in one or two towns at a 
time as celebrity is quickly forgotten.  If you get a critical success
failure, you can gain a reputation in the town (positive or negative) 
which is permanent.  If you manage to accumulate a lot of Celebrity 
Pts you must convert them into a reputation (positive or negative)
for that town.

  If I were to rework these tables, I think I would turn the tables in

3d6, and put in a couple more extreme results and a few not much 
happens results into each table.  The middle result of every table
could be "People have short memories" which moves the Celebrity
Points one closer to zero.  Each month you are away from a town,
your Celebrity moves one closer to zero as well.

-- Good points: The tables are more lively than rolling a risk roll
and can occasionally provide a plot hook.

-- Bad points: They are too generous about giving experience 
points and require a lot of record keeping per table per town.
Also, you have to have a set of tables printed out for the players
to look thru.  Perhaps too 'gamey'?

  So what do you think?  Do you agree with any of these points?

  Warm regards, Rick.

On 2015-09-03, at 8:13 AM, Jeffrey Vandine wrote:
> Well, hell, maybe not -- I can't seem to upload files at any of the 
TFT gro
> ups -- unlike the WarpWar group.  So maybe the solution is I s

it t
> o you directly....

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