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(TFT) Hey its Conan!!!
The current thread on how to make interesting survivable
characters that don't rely on tons of magic protection have got me
thinking. What would it take to make a Conan (in loin cloth armor)
Let us agree that at least to some extent this is a good
thing: let our heros be heroic because they are good; not because
they have a big magic bankroll.
First I think that the Warrior, Veteran (and Campaigner
if you use that rule) are not the way to go. It just does not feel
right having our heros shrugging off a lot of damage. Two or
three points no problem, but beyond that the trained flinching and
rugged build should reach a limit.
I do allow people with Veteran to turn the first point of
damage into fatigue damage. (First 2 points with Campaigner.) This
allows Conan to recover quickly after the fight, improves the
chance he will be knocked unconscious for later dramatic excapes,
and is equally worrisome in the thick of a fight (at least if you are
hoping to win). Also the price of Veteran was so high I felt it could
use the boost.
The key to increasing our hero's survivability is to make
him harder to hit. Why have talents that have him stop 3 or 6 extra
hits when you can make the spear carrier miss you altogether.
The key phrase there is 'spear carrier'. PC's should
still be able to slaughter each other and capable well crafted NPC's
should still be a threat, but the city gaurds should have a tough
time against our hero.
I like to say the hero has to learn talents to get this
A) Wizards won't bother taking the talents making them
relatively more fragile in combat than their fighter friends (and the
fighters need all the relative help they can get...)
B) Different talents give different characters more variety
from each other. If it is DX based (for example) then ALL high
DX figures get this bonus.
C) If FEELS like it should be something that is skill based.
Make a variety of talents that work under different
circumstances. For example, I feel shields are too weak compared
to how useful they are in the real world. (Blocking a blow
completely sounds more realistic...) By taking Shield 2 talent (IQ 9)
enemies are -3 DX to attack you thru your shield if you use the
talent. This is a popular talent but of no help to those who love to
use the Dwarven Ax (ST 18, 4d+2 two handed).
In a TFT combat a one on one fight is usually over in
under 20 seconds. This is pretty fast paced even by real world
standards. Partly this is because Defending is such a poor option
normally (you can never hit him while defending, but he is sure to
get thru to you sooner or later). The rule that you can 'Aim' while
defending helps, but it could be more. Also the -3.5 DX that the
extra die averages to is not enough to help you against capable
figures (the one you most want to fight defensively against).
I have tried out, invented and modified many version of
parrying rules and have not fallen in love with any of them. The
problems I usually find are:
Too many extra dice rolls.
Too powerful or too weak or both.
The last point bares some explanation. Some parrying
rules don't do enough especially against powerful foes. Yes
good fighters still should be able to hit you some time, but if a
DX 16 can virtually ignore your parry, what is the point of
parrying? Some systems make it so powerful to parry that it can
be done all the time which slows down what is suppost to be a
clean, fast combat system. And the parrying systems that are
both are the ones that shut down weak characters and do nothing
against the powerful ones.
While I have been reading the todays TFT posts and
writing these last two I've been thinking of a new system. You
say who you parry which does not use up your action. However
you are at -6 DX for each figure you parry so your own attacks
are far less likely to hit. Any enemy you parry against must hit
someone else or defend and aim against you. If they defend and
aim vs you, next turn you can not parry them again. If both
figures parry, both defend and aim or attack other figures. If you
attack someone else, then the other guy can parry against you next
The advantage of this is weak characters can do this
against powerful foes and slow them down, and our Conan
figure can fight defensively but still retain some offense. There
are no doubts crippling problems with the system but I'm too
tired right now to think of them? Any one see the fatal flaw?
I've just realized I've run out of steam. Maybe
I'll give it some more thought tomorrow. Good night all.
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