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RE: (TFT) Attributes: 4 viewpoints

In my mind I've always admired TFT for its simplicity and elegance. My only
quibble is that they distilled things down just a little bit too far, and
made it too simplistic.

The only thing I would add, as stated before, is some sort of "Health" (HT)
or "Endurance" or "Constitution" or "Vitality" or "Stamina" or whatsoever
one wishes to call it. Having a separate measure of health is, in my not at
all humble opinion, a very important stat. It is used to determine recovery
from injuries, any saves for disease and poison (though with poison that
save is HT combined with ST, see below), all Fatigue related damage (see
below), and with DX to determine MA (and yet again, see below).

Poison saves: how much you suffer from poison is a combination of your body
mass, dosage, and general health. For example, the usual dose of venom from
a black widow spider is usually only fatal to the very young or very old. In
the case of the young, they may be healthy, but lack the body mass to deal
with the poison. The older folks may have the mass, but they lack the
general health to survive. For the rest of us, we will generally live,
though no one will enjoy it. So I figure "x" number of dice vs ST+HT. This
method, BTW, gives halflings a fighting chance, with their generally low

Fatigue: By using HT for fatigue damage, one can eliminate the spectre of 30
ST wizards, if that be a goal. You just have very HEALTHY wizards... but
that is a bit more in the traditional fantasy mold. When fatigue losses are
taken, use a variation of the wounds effects table for injuries. For
example, take 5 or more fatigue hits in one turn suffer a STRENGTH minus the
next round. If you are reduced to 3 or less HT from fatigue, you have an
adjST of -3. This does NOT affect hit points, but does affect how much you
can lift and carry, along with weapon use. This can be used very effectively
for a drawn out combat, if you assign a fatigue hit every few turns of
combat. After awhile, your heroes will be so exhausted, they will have
difficulty fighting properly, and their weapons will feel like lead weights.
More record keeping here, though, so its not for everyone. As for taking 8
or more fatigue hits in a round, allow a saving roll vs ST to remain
standing (i.e. it shouldn't be an automatic knockdown).

Movement: I don't take a generic MA anymore - I average out DX and HT and
modify by race (elves get a bonus, for example). As a sidenote, the
"Running" talent now uses HT rather than ST as a determiner.

Note that HT does NOT determine hit points, which are a function of body
mass, and thus are still considered ST. Notice that GURPS fell into this
trap. For humanoid types it works (sort of) but for larger beasts it fails.
The solution they came up with was to have two HTs, one a measure of health
and the other a measure of hit points. Clumsy, in my mind. Not only
inelegant, but not really accurate, either.

I don't think it a good idea to split everything out to a total of six
abilities; while the splits are logical, it starts turning this into
Rolemaster. As a point of fact, I'm reluctant to even add HT, but it really
does solve more problems then it creates, so I decided to make the change
anyway. However, I do find the idea of an adjusted IQ to be a good one, so
that people can accumulate a wide range of skills without having to build up
Einstein level intelligences. While IQ may not exactly correspond with "IQ"
(as in the tests you can take for fun and amusement) a really high IQ does
give other advantages besides more talents and spells, in terms of observing
things (like traps and ambushes) and so on.

By way of example, I probably have about 20 points worth of talents. But
does that mean I effortlessly find my car keys in the morning, or sense
ambushes with great ease? Hardly. So having an adjIQ system is a very good
idea as it allows people to develop a realistic range of skills without
building up unbalancingly high IQs.

Again, I am hesitant to make changes to the basic TFT system. It was simple
yet surprisingly well designed. But there are problems that, with a little
tinkering, are fairly easy to solve and don't alter the game too radically.

> -----Original Message-----
> There seems to be about four viewpoints on creating TFT characters:
> a)  3 attributes are fine the way they are.
> b)  3 attributes are fine, but IQ/Talents are lacking.
> c)  3 attributes are good, but I want to adjust them.
> d)  4 or more attributes are needed.
> Why Change?  Here are a few suggestions for why rework the system:
> Michael 31 Oct 98 says:
> >I can only see two situations where TFT's three attributes break
> >down.
> >
> >A) The first is the number of Talents. While this simple mechanic is very
> >nice and well done, it's odd that experienced fighters are
> >also effectively genius. The Knoweldge Points rule (for the EP of one 
> >attribute you get 1 IQ or 2 KN points) solves that.
> >
> >B) The other is fatigue. It doesn't seem that powerful wizards should
> also 
> >be super-strong. 
> Rick again on 1 Nov 98:
> >One of the strengths and weakness of the TFT system is the compactness of
> >the attributes. The number of attributes is kept to a minimum by using
> the 
> >attributes often and this works well enough except in two situations.
> >
> >First, the talents / IQ requirements ratio is such that
> >multi-class characters are impossible unless the character is given
> genius 
> >level intelligence. ( Note, I also feel that several TFT talents cost too
> >many memory points for what they provide
> >the character and I have lowered the cost of these talents, but that is 
> >another issue.)
> >
> >Second, at very high levels characters always have high values in all
> three 
> >attributes. This makes capable people tend
> >to feel alike. Wizards need high ST to power their spells, while fighters
> >need high IQ to be able to learn enough talents (even if the talents are 
> >all low IQ skills).
> D)
> Gadda on 15 July:
> >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...).
> Perry 29 Oct 98 points out:
> >This reminds me of something that I've been meaning to bring up to the 
> >list... way back in Different Worlds #15, there was an article that 
> >suggested splitting the three TFT attributes into no
> >less than six stats. Without re-posting the entire article, it broke
> >down roughly as follows:
> >
> >Strength (ST) gets split into
> >
> >        Strength (ST) - ability to use weapon, do damage, carry
> >                        encumberence, etc.
> >
> >        Hit Points (HP) - all damage taken, whether from weapon
> >                        damage or fatigue
> >
> >Intelligence (IQ) gets split into
> >
> >        Intelligence (IQ) - Ability to learn spells and talents
> >
> >        Knowledge (KN) - # of spells and talents that can be learned
> >
> >Dexterity (DX) gets split into
> >
> >        Dexterity (DX) - saving rolls, initiative
> >
> >        Success Chance (SC) - determines whether a spell or attack
> >              is successful
> >
> >I can't see the need (except for symmetry, perhaps) for seperating DX
> into 
> >two different stats, but the other suggestions look playable.
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