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Re: (TFT) Shields

If you make shields much better, you need to make two-handed weapons much
better as well. Or one-handed weapons worse. Probably a bit of both.

Caveat: This is based on what I've seen of Rick's advanced weapon talents,
which might have changed since I saw them.

Rick, you seem to like putting all your combat expertise talents (shield,
weapons) at IQ 9, 11. I'm not sure why you do that but it has a couple of
effects I suspect are undesirable. First, IQ 9 is only just above the hard
deck of IQ 8 so it makes the classic IQ 8 fighter pretty much obsolete. The
benefits of IQ 9 talents greatly outweigh the cost of 1 point so IQ 8 is no
longer a sweet spot. As an example:

Fighter ST 12 DX 12 IQ 8 [Knife, Sword, Shield, Running, +3 @ IQ 8]
broadsword, small shield: 2+0, aDX 12, stops 1, parries on 12 (10%), MA 12.

Fighter ST 11 DX 12 IQ 9: [Knife, Sword, Shield, Improved Sword, Shield 2,
+2 @ IQ 9] shortsword, small shield: 2+1, aDX 12, stops 3, parries on 14
(22%), MA 10.

OK, it's not absolutely one-sided, but I know who I'd rather back in a
fight. It's a pretty huge gulf in capability. Two-handed weapons also take
a hit.

I don't think the simple fighter should be made obsolete. Have to compete,
sure, but not get badly outcompeted by obvious analogous designs.

Generally it tends to make the odd-IQ levels more useful than the even
IQ-levels, for anyone with an interest in melee combat. That's already true
to some extent in the standard rules, because the best stuff is, IMO,
somewhat more common at odd IQ than even, at least at lower IQ levels. IQ 8
has Seamanship/Boating/Horsemanship which might be useful but is highly
situational and anyway that doesn't count because we don't get to choose
whether we have IQ 8. IQ 9 has Missile Weapons which can easily be really
important, IQ 10 has Fencing but that's not a huge deal, IQ 11 has Two
Weapons which can be quite a big deal (along with three critical party
skills, it's a big skill monkey level), IQ 12 has nothing much, IQ 13 has
nothing much, IQ 14 has the high level unarmed combat abilities though they
cost a fortune. Add in your special combat talents and I think characters
will be putting their IQ up two at a time.

(Another feature of your weapon talents is that IQ 9 to IQ 11 is a smaller
jump than IQ 11 to IQ 13 so characters tend to stop at IQ 9 or IQ 13. I

I'm not sure what the answer is to this. But I sort of like the idea that
the special abilities should be a bit more like what D&D calls feats and
less just "add two". Actually, my current theory of RPG design is to ditch
as many numbers as possible and describe everything by characters having
feats. Because feats are more fun than numbers.


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