I prefer my Katana over my rapier. Battleaxes DO take considerable skill to use properly as well but so does any weapon.
Hi, people. To answer the question, I preferred Classic Traveler vs. D&D psionics because of how they balanced it. Be skilled based vs. level based, Traveller made people make choices. You could spend 20+ years in the service and have mad skills, but at that point you also wouldn’t be able to achieve your full psionic potential. Then there was the whole drama of finding a Guild to study at.
So, as an introduction. Hi again. My name is Tom and I still have my paper D&D books from the 70s. I look forward to more fruitful discussions on this list.
I do that too! Let fencing be used with other weapons, that is. I saw a guy demonstrate how to use a battleaxe once, and let me tell you, it was every bit as nuanced and skilled as using an epee or sabre was (plus, a good deal more muscular). That clearly showed me that "fencing" (or, perhaps, a better way to say it is; "Weapon Master") is a talent that applies to far more than a sword.
I think the more finely nuanced skills would only really work with the DCG skill system (that is, fairly specific and narrow skills, as opposed to the broader sweep shown in TFT for each skill) -- it's easier to create a set of skill levels that are consistent and easily kept in mind by both players and GMs with those rules.
The following may not be the best example I could have provided, but it is the first one I saw when I flipped the book open, and it shows the differences in the systems well enough.
For example (in classic TFT):
PHYSICKER (2). Healer's Ability. A Physicker can heal up to 2 hits on any humanoid figure (wounds only -- not exhaustion) after any combat or accident. He MUST have a first-aid kit to do so. Efforts of more than one Phsyicker on the same wounded figure are NOT cumulative. Example: A figure takes 5 hits. No matter how many Phsyickers there are in the group, he can only be cured of 2 of them. However, if he later takes another 5 hits in different mishap, he can be cured of 2 more by any Physicker. It takes 5 minutes to heal 2 hits.
Becomes (in DCG):
MEDIC: Heal one damage point per Medic level for damage sustained in current combat on 3/IQ. Used after combat is over. Can be used across multiple characters.
So, the way I'd run my version is that anyone can attempt to treat a wound; but at unskilled, they have to roll 4/IQ, and in order to heal a single hit they must succeed on a 4/IQ roll and then roll 1d6; on a 1-3 they heal 0 hits and on a 4-6 they heal one hit. At Medic Level 0 they drop to 3/IQ, but in order to heal a single hit they must succeed on a 3/IQ roll and then roll 1d6; on a 1-3 they heal 0 hits and on a 4-6 they heal one hit; at Medic Levels 1 through 3 they roll 3/IQ to successfully heal a number of hits equal to their skill level (1, 2, or 3). A catastrophic failure on their skill dice roll (a "24" or an "18") means they INFLICT another hit... Oh, and I'd probably keep the five minute rule.
As far as the first-aid kit goes, there are couple of options here. One, you could say that having one adds one to the character's IQ for the purpose of healing, which would not be my preferred solution since it seems a bit counterintuitive -- having a first-aid kit doesn't grant improved knowledge, it just improves the outcome of knowledge you already possess; or two (which is the way I'd go), you could say that it increases the number of hits healed by one (for an unskilled character, it wouldn't make any difference -- having a hammer doesn't help drive a nail if you don't know what a hammer is); for a Level 0 character on a 1-3 he'd heal one hit, on a 4-6 he'd heal two hits; and for any Level above 0, simply increase the number of hits healed by +1.) I wouldn't let this offset a catastrophic failure, though.
Arguably, the unskilled person might be even less likely to successfully heal a hit, and more likely to have a catastrophic failure, but for simplicity's sake, I'd probably avoid too many special numbers or circumstances and leave it as above. I can justify that by stating that in a pseudo-medieval world (e.g. one with a tech level roughly equivalent to our middle ages), most people have at least seen the treatment minor wounds and broken bones -- if nothing else, through having to take care of animals.
If you're using TFT talents straight up, then I agree, every attempt I've ever made to create more finely nuanced skills has turned into a case of just layering on more complexity without adding value, and is indeed more trouble than it's worth -- plus, in examples like this one, Steve Jackson already provided an "advanced talent" which answers the perceived need in classic TFT. In my (unplaytested) version, "Master Physicker" simply wouldn't be a talent since the most that the Master Physicker can heal is 3 hits, and Medic Level 3 already covers that.
Anyway, food for thought, I guess...