Agreed. Back in my original white box edition, it was kind of "make it up as you go." Once AD&D came out is when it seemed we got the "my way or the highway" columns from EGG -- unfortunately he seemed to like that attitude, given the number of columns he wrote for publication denouncing anyone who dared think for themselves. It was kind of sad to see it evolve that way; but it was seemingly in keeping with their entire "lawyered up" approach to things back during the Blume years. There were times when I wondered if the "D&D police" would come and get me because I did things a bit differently! ;-)
Regarding experience, I think I have seen such an "increase" precisely once in my entire life during actual combat, and even there, it's hard to say for sure that THAT was the "ah ha" moment. Far more commonly, after a bout or tournament, you'd come back next week (after the participant had had time to "internalize" the lessons learned) to find that the participant was better than he (or she) had been the week before. This was true in fencing, wrestling, boxing, karate, Tai Chi, Wing Chun, and Ninjutsu. Of note, if the DCG version of skills are being used, I would think it would be somewhat more likely for that increase to occur during an adventure. If you're strictly going by TFT rules, then I'd say it would be a good deal more difficult, given the training requirements, etc., etc. to acquire the skill.
I have considered using something more akin to DCG's skill levels, where a starting skill level of "0" simply means you get to roll three dice instead of four (as you must for something you are completely unskilled in), while levels 1, 2, and 3, "add a point" each to your relevant attribute when using that particular skill (or, in the case of combat can either add a point to DX, or inflict an extra hit if you DO succeed in hitting the target). The levels would be labeled something like "Trainee" (level 0), "Apprentice" (level 1), "Journeyman" (level 2) and "Master" (level 3). You would spend XP to "level up" in a given skill (though I have yet to figure out the exact XP required to do so, given that DCG's XP rewards and costs are so different from TFT's; I need to sit down and do that one of these days). Obviously this would need some playtesting to see how it goes, but it seems like a nice way to handle the skills without all the strange exceptions and special rules buried in the talents as currently written, as well as allowing more flexibility in how XP can be spent. It would also go towards your comment on "leveling up" below -- in effect, a fight in which a swordsman goes from level 2 to level 3 could be considered his "masterwork" that shows he has mastered the skill sufficiently to advance to the next level. And while I still wouldn't allow him to expend the XP in the middle of the fight itself, as soon as it was over, he probably could... (That's one of the things that would need to be playtested.)
It's an interesting subject, regardless of how you approach it though! ;-)
From: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2016 5:33 AM
Subject: Re: D&D classic Psionics in TFT
This amuses me, as the original D&D is sprinkled throughout with
admonishments to use, not use, or modify the rules to suit the campaign.
It's only after the 'corporatization' of D&D that everything became
Re: Gaining attributes/levels
For TFT, I stick to the detailed rules. You know, having the list of
things a character is working on, making them practice it, mentors/formal
training for some things, etc. It's more to keep track of, but works quite
As for gaining levels during adventures/combat, recall my background. I've
seen it. I have seen with my own eyes people gain that attribute point (or
more likely in the real world, skill) during matches. It's not common, but
it does happen.
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