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Re: [Slope: Ch 11] Yet another idea on how to improve Defending

Hi David, everyone.
  My comments are inline.

> On May 16, 2018, at 2:12 AM, David Bofinger <bofinger.david@gmail.com> wrote:
> Initial thoughts:
> 1. Do you really want a special rule like this for a single situation? Should it maybe work the same way all more difficult tasks do? Or at least all opposed tasks? Keep TFT clean.

We ALREADY have a special case for defending.  Most TFT rolls with 
more than 3 dice, scale the size of the critical successes and critical 
failures.  (Table given on the TFT GM shield.)  However this logical 
system is overruled in the case of defending.  Given that we already 
have a special rule, my new suggested rule is arguably more logical 
than the current rules. 

> 2. Do you want to make high DX even less relevant than it already is?

High DX is VERY relevant already.  Your sentence above seems so 
strange, that I think I might be misunderstanding what you are trying to 
say.  Answering your question as written, ‘Yes, this would make very 
high DX less useful in this narrow case.’  I note that when you defend vs 
a very high DX figure, that high DX has intimidated you into defending, 
which is sure to be a losing strategy in the long run.  A high DX figure 
will hit you 2/3 of the time if you defend, and you have given up ANY 
chance of hitting them.  

In the debate on this point on the SJG forum, someone argued that the
Defend option should be a contest which looked at the relative skills of 
both the attacker and defender.  While I agree with the logic of this 
argument, I am looking for a way to fix the defend option as it works now.

> 3. Defending is boring for the player defending, who concedes agency to the enemy. Maybe it's interesting to do occasionally but not as a regular strategy. You should not create a tension between actions that are fun and actions that are effective. Therefore defending should only rarely be effective.

I think we will have to agree to disagree on this point.  Two things about
TFT combat is that:
— They are very short.  Far more so than in real life.
— Too often the combats are hack, hack, hack, hack.  Fight over.  A bit of 
defending adds variety.

In GURPS, you get a defence roll EVERY attack and I found that too slow.  
But in TFT, your defend option gives up any chance of hitting the enemy.  
So it is a desperation measure to be taken in the last resort.  I do not think
defending will be done as a regular strategy.

> 4. In standard TFT the implication is that the average band of pirates has an average number of attributes of 32. (32 point PCs are meant to be somewhat competent, not kids who just picked up a sword: see the examples from melee and wizard.) There'll be sergeants who are better and raw recruits who are worse, but on the average they might have a DX of say 11. Now I haven't seen the character sheets of the people attacking us, but I've a strong suspicion not many have DX as low as 11. Effectively you've devalued the attribute point. That is what is causing a good deal of your troubles.
> For all these reasons I'm against the change.

The Forgehot raiders you are fighting have been fighting since their youth.  
In particular the shock troops that lead the boarding charge are high attribute 
figures that are SUPPOSED to be very tough fighters.  They are berserk 
which gives them +2 DX as well.  The attack by these pirates is not an easy
fight by any measure.

Most of your party are over 40 attributes now.  You would prefer that you only
fight beginning figures?

But your comment above misses a very important point — the TFT rules 
should work well for low AND high attribute figures.

Warm regards, Rick.