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(TFT) Character Creation, Skills, and Clarifications

Andrew Morris has sent to me a fine list of rule additions and clarifications,
and he's allowed me to post it here.  I'll also make it available as a text
file on the website ( http://www.brainiac.com/tft ).  If anyone wants to
turn it into HTML, just email me the code you create and I'll plug it in!

Some of his original file has been edited out.  This code includes a list
of Talents that includes those listed in ITL, and talents that were
originally published in The Space Gamer.  Maybe I'm being too cautious on
this, but those items were originally published elsewhere.  I've asked a
few folks for opinions, and if the answer warrants their inclusion, I'll
post the full file.  For now, though, here's the edited version, including
the sectional armor and random hit location rules:

                                THE FANTASY TRIP 
                Character Creation, Skills, and Clarifications (v5.2) 
                     Andrew Morris - amorris5@concentric.net
        For both wizards and heroes, ST, DX, and IQ are determined normally.
However, a fourth attribute, Luck, has been added.  In a hostile world, death
is a common occurrence, and often the resolution of conflict is violence.  Of
course, the ever-present fear of death is part of what makes a campaign 
exciting.  At the same time, a good story can be ruined by an untimely death
at the hands of a random encounter.  Luck is used to allow a character a
second chance.  It is not designed to guarantee survival, but it will reduce
the likelihood that a well-played character will die as a result of an 
unfortunate critical hit or unexpectedly over-competent foe. 

        Any time a character dies and the GM does not feel the death was 
justified (e.g., the situation was played well -- or at least role-played 
well), a 4D roll vs. Luck is made.  If the roll fails, the character remains
dead.  If the roll is made, however, the character is merely in an unconscious
state (hovering somewhere between 1 ST and 0 ST).  Even if the character is
alone, it is assumed that whatever killed the character leaves him/her alive,
though possibly as a prisoner and likely with fewer possessions.  Note also
that a successful luck roll reduces the character's Luck by one point. 
        A character's starting Luck is based on the character's number of
starting points, as follows: 
   Base 32 pts. = 3d6    Base 36 pts. = 2d6+6   Base 40+ pts. = 2d6+8 
        Once the character has begun adventuring, Luck may be purchased at the
rate of one point per 100 exp., but it may never be purchased to a level above
16 (although a good initial roll means that a character's starting luck may be
higher than 16). 

        The effects of Luck are overriding, and should be handled creatively
by the GM.  For example, a player cannot slay his comrade and then, in an
effort to counteract a successful Luck roll, completely severe the head.  
Instead, fate intervenes, preventing the final blow (perhaps someone else
interrupts the action). 
        Many players want to have an objective rating of their character's 
appearance.  Appearance for player characters ranges from 2 (as unattractive
as they come) to 12 (as beautiful as possible).  Appearance is determined by
choosing the default (usually 7 or 8 -- ask your GM) or by rolling 2d6.  It is
not permissible to roll first and then choose the default if the roll is  
unsatisfactory.  Note that rolling does not depict an accurate sample of the
population (i.e., there are, arguably, fewer than 1 person out of 36 who can
be categorized as an example of the most beautiful people).  However, part of
the fun of the game is playing out one's fantasy, so the ratio of attractive
heroes should be higher than in the general population.  GMs wishing for a
more realistic representation of the population should consider having the
players roll 4d3 for their character's appearance (the minimum is higher but
the average appearance will actually be closer to what it should be). 

        Also note that there are ways to alter appearance.  A Glamour spell
can make the subject appear more attractive, and shape-changing spells can
actually adjust the Appearance score.  However, in such cases, assume the
maximum result is really an 11+, for nothing can replace natural beauty (i.e.,
an initial roll of 12).  In addition, the GM can rule that certain skills
increase one's effective appearance (perhaps adding +1 for Sex Appeal, and +2
if both Sex Appeal and Charisma are used by the character). 
        To acquire skills and spells, a pool of points called Skill Points 
(SP -- also called Talent Points) has been added.  While IQ still determines
the maximum level of talents and spells a character may know, SP determines
the number of points a character may "spend" for them.  SP is equal to the
character's IQ plus the average of ST and DX (round up only during character  
creation).  This also applies to earned experience:  every IQ point adds one
SP, but it takes two points of ST and/or DX to add one SP.  Note that no
character may know more spells than (s)he has IQ.  Should a character reach
that limit, (s)he may only learn new spells by adding points to IQ. 
        It is recommended for heroes, and usually mandatory for wizards, that
they spend approximately 1/4 of their SPs on the following types of skills:  
Languages, mundane skills (including skills such as seamanship or diving),
knowledge skills, and personal skills (e.g., diplomacy, business sense, etc.).
Ask your GM to be sure whether it is required to spend some SPs on these 
New Skill Descriptions: 
Fast draw -- On a 3d6 roll vs. DX, the character can draw a melee weapon and
attack with it on the same round.  A failed (but not critically failed) roll
means that the character may still attack that round, but at a DX penalty
equal to twice the amount by which the character missed the roll.  Note that
this skill is usable with the Two Weapons skill. 
Knowledge -- These skills are usually associated with areas or aspects of
society, but may apply to any bit of trivia not covered by another skill.  By
making a 3d6, 4d6, or 5d6 roll vs. IQ (depending on how esoteric the
information is), the character will know about specific people, places, or
habits.  Unlike any other skill, this one may be increased by "levels."  For
every additional point added to a particular knowledge skill, the character
can add two to his/her IQ for the purposes of making a roll against that
specific knowledge skill. 
Specialization (previously called Swordsmanship) -- Prerequisite:  DX 13+, 
weapon skill.  This skill applies to any melee weapon with which the character
is skilled.  Use of the skill adds a +1 to the damage done by an attack.  The
character must be wearing leather, cloth, no armor or have an AdjDX of 13+ to
gain the bonus.  Note that the weapon type for which this skill is chosen must
be specified when learned.  It is permissible to learn this skill for more
than one weapon, but only once per weapon.    

ITL Talent/Spell Clarifications: 
Scholar (IQ 13):  This skill grants a +1 to IQ for rolls against all known
knowledge skills. 
Strategist (IQ 13):  The roll to determine the enemy's plans is reduced by one
die, to become a 4d6 roll vs. IQ.  
Two weapons (IQ 11):  If the character has the base 13 DX necessary to learn
this skill, but an AdjDX of less than 13, the character may still use both
weapons normally if attacking with both or parrying with one.  However, if the
character chooses to parry with both weapons (i.e., to prevent four points of
damage), (s)he must roll 3d6 vs. DX to successfully parry with the second
weapon.  A failed attempt means that only two points of damage are stopped
(by the primary weapon). 
Astral projection (IQ 15 spell):  This spell may be cast on willing subjects
other than the caster. 
New Spells: 
Heal (S) (IQ: 12):  For every 5 ST spent, this spell heals one point of 
physical wounds.  If combined with the Priest skill (and if deities exist that
grant special powers to their worshippers), the spell costs only 3 ST, and
heals 1D of wounds.  However, for a priest to successfully cast Heal, (s)he
must first make a 4D roll vs. IQ (to show favor with his/her deity).  A
character with the Theologian skill rolls only 3D vs. IQ.  The character may
pray for 15 minutes to earn a +1 to his/her IQ for the roll, or 30 minutes for
a +2.  A failed attempt to cast this spell costs 1 ST. 
The rather long (and growing) list of assorted additional TFT changes: 
-- A player may roll to miss an enemy as long as the roll to miss does not
   increase the character's chance of striking that enemy. 
-- A figure is considered engaged only if (s)he is in the front hex of someone
   who can attack that turn. 
-- A target's facing does affect the chance to hit when using a missile 
-- Range and facing adjustments for DX do affect when an attack occurs. 
-- Range is determined by counting only the number of hexes between the 
   attacker and the target. 
-- For a pole weapon attack to be considered a charging attack, the following
   conditions must be met:  1) the attacker must be running, 2) the attacking
   character's last three hexes of movement must be in a straight line, and 
   3) the attacker can make no facing changes during or after the final three
   hexes.  When setting to receive a charge with a pole weapon, however, the
   attacker can change facing, but the charging target must still have been
   running in a straight line for the final three hexes of movement. 
-- When making a sweeping blow, roll for each attack separately. 
-- When berserk characters recover, they take one point of fatigue for each
   round that they were berserk.  If the characters expend more fatigue than
   they have available, the remainder is taken as wounding damaging.  This
   supercedes the rule in Advanced Melee that berserk characters take two 
   points of wounding damage when they recover. 
-- Bolas:  A target struck in the legs gets a 3d6 roll vs. DX to avoid falling
   down, and the roll is required only if (s)he chooses to move in some way 
   (e.g., move, attack, dodge, change facing).  As long as the bola remains
   wrapped around the target's legs, the character must roll each round (s)he
   attempts to move while standing. 
-- Lassoes:  A target hit on the body with the intent to be pulled to the
   ground gets a roll vs. DX to remain standing.  If the attacker is stronger,
   the roll is on 5 dice; 4 dice for the same ST; 3 dice if the attacker is
   weaker; and 2 dice if the attacker is only half as strong as the target.
   Regardless of the roll to keep his/her footing, the target is still 
   captured by the lasso. 
-- Wood Flesh, Stone Flesh, and Iron Flesh spells and magic items do not
   combine with armor of any type.  However, the various "Flesh" spells will
   work with non-magical shields. 
-- When a wizard casts a spell, the ST is subtracted immediately, and affects
   the wizard like wounds do.  Therefore, a 5 ST fireball will give the caster
   a -2 DX to hit with that spell and an 8 ST spell will also knock down the
   caster.  This applies only to spells cast while in combat. 
-- When casting missile spells of more than four dice of damage, an extra roll
   is required to complete the spell before the roll the hit.  This roll is
   against DX -2, with an additional point subtracted from DX for each
   additional die of damage (e.g., 5D attack is -2. 6D is -3, 8D is -5, etc.). 
-- Fatigue for a wizard is treated as a completely separate characteristic
   from wounds.  Therefore, a wizard may use up to his ST in fatigue and still
   have full ST for purposes of wounds.  In addition, a wizard who runs out of
   fatigue may still cast spells by using two "wound" ST for every one ST
   point required by the spell.  This wounding is real, and heals at the
   normal rate of 1 pt. every two days.  Note that it is possible for a wizard
   to cast himself or herself to death.    
-- Races that require double the number of experience points to increase in
   abilities need only 150% of the normal number points rather than the listed
-- Gargoyles may fly with an MA of 16.  However, each turn spent in the air
   costs a point of fatigue.  If the gargoyle continues to fly once all 
   fatigue has been expended, the gargoyle takes one point of wounding damage
   per turn spent flying. 
Optional Rules: 
a. Character Creation Points: 
        Instead of allocating points among the three attributes, and then
        using the totals to determine Skill Points, this method uses a common
        pool (called Character Points - CP) from which the player may buy
        attributes, skills, and spells as desired.  This system allows for
        more realistic and rounded characters who may be highly skilled
        without having high ratings in their physical attributes. 
        In this system, spells still cost one (character) point, skills cost
        their listed value, and attributes have a character point cost based
        on the total attribute points possessed by the character. 
        Attribute Total     Character Point Cost Per Attribute Point 
         0 - 36                        1 
        37 - 40                        2 
        41 - 44                        4 
        45 - 48                        8 
        49 - 52                        16 
        For every four attribute points thereafter, double the previous
        character points required.  
        For example, John wants a ST of 14, a DX of 16, and an IQ of 9 (for a
        total of 39).  This costs at total of 42 character points (CP) -- one
        each for the first 36 attribute points, and two each for the next
        three attribute points.  Any remaining CPs John's character has can
        now be spent on skills and spells. 
        Experience works in a similar manner.  Every 125 experience points may
        be traded in for one CP, which may be used to buy new skills, spells,
        or attributes .  Note that an additional luck point still costs only
        100 exp., not 125 exp. 
        The following chart provides some comparison CP totals to use when
        deciding how powerful beginning characters should be. 
        Previous System                Character Point System 
        32 points                        54 CP 
        34 points                        57 CP 
        36 points                        60 CP 
        38 points                        66 CP 
        40 points                        70 CP 
        42 points                        80 CP 
        44 points                        90 CP 
        Note that IQ still determines what level of skills and spells may be
        learned.  In addition, intelligence-based skills that previously did
        not require a roll vs. IQ (e.g., diplomacy, charisma, naturalist, etc.)
        now do. 
b. Defending and Dodging: 
        These rules replace the ITL rules for using 4D when attacking a
        defending or dodging character. 

        When a character elects to defend or dodge, his/her DX is subtracted
        from 8.  The result is the penalty assigned to the attacking
        character's chance to hit (always at least a penalty of -1).  Note
        that this penalty applies only to the chance to hit, not to the attack
c. Parry and Riposte: 
        A character with an AdjDX of greater than 11 who is using a melee
        weapon may elect to combine his/her attack with a parry.  To do this,
        the character reduces his AdjDx for that round (no lower than 11), and
        subtracts the same amount from his/her opponent's attack roll.  Note
        that while the character's actions are all performed at the reduced
        DX, the only action of the opponent's that is affected is the attack
        roll.  This option can be taken only against a single opponent in the
        character's three front hexes who is wielding a melee weapon.  However,
        if facing multiple opponents, the character may parry a different
        opponent than (s)he attacks. 
d. Thrown Spells: 
        All thrown spells that directly affect another character (e.g., trip,
        freeze, etc.) now get a saving roll vs. the relevant attribute.  This
        replaces any maximum attribute requirements (e.g., it is now possible
        to put someone with a ST greater than 20 to sleep if the target fails
        his/her roll vs. ST). 
           Trip: 4D vs. DX            Drop Weapon: 4D vs. ST 
          Sleep: 5D vs. ST                 Freeze: 7D vs. ST 
        Command: 7D vs. IQ 
e. Armor and AdjDx: 
        The DX penalty for armor is two lower than listed, meaning it is less
        restrictive.  Note that it is not possible to have armor grant a DX
        bonus for wearing it.  Only the DX penalty is reduced; weight and MA
        are unchanged. 
f. Sectional Armor and Random Hit Locations: 
        Note that use of this optional rule tends to make for a bloodier game. 
(f.a) Armor Weight        DX-        MA-        Total Defense* 
      0.1 to  7 kg         -1          0            1* 
      7.1 to  8 kg         -2         -2            2* 
      8.1 to 15 kg         -3         -4            3*                 
     15.1 to 20 kg         -5         -4            4* 
     20.1 to 25 kg         -6         -4            5*                 
     *For comparison/reference only. 
     Note that the DX penalty is based on the penalty listed in ITL and AM.
     Reduce all of these by two if you are also reducing the DX penalty for
     full suits of armor (i.e., optional rule e above).         
(f.b) Sectional Armor: 
      Penalty    Roll   Location      1     2     3     4     5 
         -6      3-5     Head        0.7   0.8   1.5   2.0   2.5 kg 
      -4/-6**    6-8   Arms*/Hands*  1.2   1.3   2.5   3.3   4.2 kg 
          0      9-13    Torso       2.1   2.4   4.5   6.0   7.5 kg 
         -4     14-18    Legs*       2.8   3.2   6.0   8.0  10.0 kg 
        * Roll randomly to determine which arm, leg, or hand.         
       ** The penalty to target an arm that is holding a shield is -6. 
      The effects of damage to specific body parts are described in Advanced
      Melee, p. 20. 
(f.c) Cost of Sectional Armor: 
      Locations        1         2         3         4         5 
      Helmet           6        11        22        35        60 $ 
      Vambraces*       9        17        35        55        85 $  
      Cuirass         22        45        85       130       250 $  
      Chausses*       16        30        65        95       160 $  
      * Gloves are included with vambraces, and boots are included with
        To use the above charts when selecting armor, find the area to be
        protected on Table f.b and determine the number of points to be
        subtracted from damage to that area.  Each number corresponds to a
        particular material (i.e., 1 point is equal to cloth, 3-point material
        is chain mail, 5-point material is plate, etc.).  Cross-reference the
        amount of the protection with the selected area.  The result is the
        weight of that armor type for that area.  Using Table f.c, do the same
        to determine the cost in silver to protect that area.  Once this has
        been done for every location to be protected, total the weight and use
        Table f.a to determine the resulting penalty to DX and MA.    
        To use the charts to determine hit location, use Table f.b.  The number
        in the first column refers to the penalty an attacker applies to
        his/her AdjDX when specifically targeting that body part.  In addition,
        the GM may use the second column of Table f.b to determine randomly
        the location of all non-targeted attacks. 
        Fine Plate is sold only as an entire suit of armor -- use the listed
g. Variant Random Hit Locations 
        Note that use of this optional rule tends to make for a much bloodier
        For added realism, substitute the following table for table f.b above. 
        Sectional Armor: 
        Penalty   Roll   Location    1     2      3     4     5        Notes 
          -10      3       Eyes      .7    .8    1.5   2.0   2.5 kg      a 
           -8      4       Neck      .7    .8    1.5   2.0   2.5 kg      b
           -6      5       Head      .7    .8    1.5   2.0   2.5 kg
           -4     6,7   Weapon arm  1.2   1.3    2.5   3.3   4.2 kg         
         -4(-6*)   8      Off-Arm   1.2   1.3    2.5   3.3   4.2 kg  
            0     9-13    Torso     2.1   2.4    4.5   6.0   7.5 kg 
           -4      14     Thighs    2.8   3.2    6.0   8.0  10.0 kg      c 
           -4    15-18  Legs, Feet  2.8   3.2    6.0   8.0  10.0 kg 
        * The penalty to target the off arm becomes -6 if the arm is holding
          a shield. 
        a) In addition to normal head damage, penetrating damage of more than
           1pt. causes the loss of an eye (DX -4, recoverable to DX -1; loss
           of that side's front hex).  Penetrating damage of more than 3 pts.
           causes loss of both eyes (permanent DX -8, permanent blindness). 
        b) In addition to normal head damage, penetrating damage of more than
           3 pts. causes loss of vocal cords.  Penetrating damage of more than
           8 pts. instantly kills the character. 
        c) In addition to normal leg damage, penetrating damage of more than
           5 pts. causes lameness (permanent MA -2).  
h. Disadvantages: 
        Check with your GM about whether disadvantages may be selected for
        your character and, if so, which ones and how.  No more than four
        additional points may be gained through disadvantages, and they do
        not add to the total number of character points when determining the  
        number of experience points necessary to increase ST, DX, or IQ. 

        Joe Hartley - jh@brainiac.com - brainiac services, inc
 PO Box 5069 : Greene, RI : 02827 - vox 401.539.9050 : fax 401.539.2070
  Without deviation from the norm, "progress" is not possible. - FZappa
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