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RE: (TFT) Character Fragility

There is a point where it becomes a little TOO brutal, and I do believe that
some changes are in order. Some ideas:

- Rather than 1 ST being unconcious and 0 ST = death, suggest that 0 be
unconcious and -5 or -10 be death. Something like this will make things a
bit less bloody without unbalancing things. Note that this should apply to
beasts, monsters and NPCs, as well. The way it is now makes dying almost
whimsical. In any case, humans can survive a surprising amount of trauma
(albeit temporarily): during the Moro insurrection in the Phillappines
around the turn of this century one tribesman lived for several hours after
taking a .45 ACP slug in the head. Though an extreme example, it shows that
the idea of people taking heavy damage and being unconcious rather than
outright killed isn't all that unrealistic. I'd go into detail on my house
rules, but since I use a 4th stat, Health, they don't translate directly to
TFT. Also, I handle attribute advancement differently, doing something akin
to the adjusted IQ rules posted earlier in the thread, and toning down
actual attribute increases (I find characters with ST 25, DX 18, IQ 19 to be
inherently unbelievable - really, any stat over 14 is extraordinary, and
anything above 16 is rare indeed. I prefer a greater emphasis on talents
rather than brute force attributes - though I do want more advancement than
GURPS would allow). This tends to make for a somewhat different system
(though its less GURPS like then one might think - for example, the HT stat
I mentioned does not equate with "hit points" - I still use ST for that,
reasoning that ST is a measure of the amount of "meat" one has which is a
good approximation of how much punishment one can absorb. HT, on the other
hand, simply measures how resistent you are to disease and how quickly you
recover from injuries. I was hesitant to even add HT, since the basic TFT
idea was surprisingly good, but then I realised that being strong does not
mean you are always healthy. An elephant is immensely powerful, but is
hardly immune to disease...).

- The current rules for Warrior and Veteran are fine, and only require
adjustment of the prerequisites (DX should probably figure in them as much
as ST). I'll probably include Campaigner with some modifications.

- I like the idea of using some sort of combat reflexes or defensive
quickness. I'm leaning towards the idea of a talent adding a die to hit the
person. Though the 1st level only - I found the subsequent levels sprinting
rapidly into the absurd ... no one is that hard to hit. People who take that
seriously have seen far too many Jackie Chan movies - or more precisely have
failed to watch the outtakes at the end that show all the mishaps that went
into filming the action sequences.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Jim Dirmaier [SMTP:jdirm@hotmail.com]
> Sent:	Thursday, July 15, 1999 2:34 PM
> To:	tft@brainiac.com
> Subject:	(TFT) Character Fragility
> The subject thread of increasing character survivability is very 
> interesting. But, I am reminded about the one thing that initialy drew me
> to 
> TFT and that was the realistic frailty of the characters. I agree that it
> is 
> extremely frustrating to have your favorite 42 point character get impaled
> on the end of some Prootwaddle's spear but, HEY, isn't that pretty 
> realistic?!
> I don't think that I am alone is saying that it was the silliness of 
> invincibility of upper level D&D characters that made the TFT system so 
> appealing to me in the first place. The whole idea of knowing that  the
> next 
> battle you got yourself into (no matter how small) could be your last has 
> prompted more creative thinking, better problem solving, and (quite
> frankly) 
> better roleplaying with TFT than with other system.
> Losing a character allways sucks! But TFT makes creating characters fun
> and 
> fast. "So, Rikon the barbarian did'nt do very for me. Maybe I'll try
> Nimrod 
> the dextrous elf who carries around a quiver of spears, disdains armor,
> and  
> knows a couple of cool spells." I have found that the experimentation with
> different sorts of character types can be really entertaining.
> At the risk of sounding like a "purest" I suggest that any GM take a
> careful 
> look at any added rules that make a character more survivable. The GM
> should 
> be looking at two things:
> 1.) Does this unbalance my campaign
> 2.) Is the character balanced (does he pay an appropriate price somewhere 
> else on his character sheet to gain this advantage)
> Of course my myopic view won't prevent me from trying some of the really 
> COOL rules from this forum. I'll just make sure that none of my players
> take 
> advantage of them.
> Bubbles (old TFT player coming to the surface after many years) Jim-
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