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(TFT) TFT: Illusions

Stan writes . . .

>Sigh.  Yes.  We decided to stop awarding XP for damage done by
>illusions after a few too many illusionary octopi were unleashed
>on various dim-witted ogres and giants.  It's just too easy.

   I'm leary of going that far, but as a fellow GM I sympathise.  I prefer
to just throw more ogres or giants at them, or just let it happen and call
it an easy encounter -- not /all/ of them should be hard or even
challenging.  Earning x.p.'s is /fun/, even if they /are/ doing it in a
cheesy manner.  8^)

>> Missile Spells

>Hm, I like this but I'm afraid Wizard's Wrath may be a good reason
>not to do it.  Given that a two-die roll is almost automatic success,
>this lets a wizard unleash fairly hefty 2d6+2 attacks with frightening
>accuracy.  It strikes me that this rule might help an overly IQ-heavy
>clown avoid the penalties of his relatively low DX.

   This is something to think about and thoughttest.  A wiz with Wizard's
Wrath needs an IQ of at least 18, making him about a 42-point character
(assuming a ST and DX of 12).  For comparison, a more "balanced" 42-pointer
would have a ST, DX, and IQ of 14, allowing Lightning at 2d -- less damage
but more accuracy.  I haven't done the math but these two characters look
pretty balanced to each other.
   I gave this some thought as well when comparing heroes and wizards.  It's
true that these wizards can toss accurate 2-die missile attacks, but they
can only throw a limited number of them.  In comparison an equivalent
crossbowman (say, ST 12, DX 22, IQ 8) can shoot even more accurate 2-die
attacks as long as the quarrels hold out.

Charles writes . . .

>Works fine for the largest problem, but does not help with beasts or
>monsters that have a high ST but a much lower HT.

   Yep, that's a problem, but it's one that I'm willing to completely ignore
(gasp!).  Theoretically-speaking I completely agree with you, but in
practice it's not worth worrying about.
   Really . . .  how many times have you (as a GM) made a "HT" roll for
anything with a high ST (like an elephant) . . .  or /anything/ for that
matter?  Personally I have /once/ had an NPC make a HT-type roll in /all/ of
the time I have functioned as GM (two decades, intermittently).  I just
haven't seen it come up that often, so it's not worth keeping track of.
Usually the weapons are deadly, the PC's kill the bad guys, and they hardly
ever worry about whether the bad guys survive their wounds or not -- they
(and I) just assume that they're killed, loot them, and move on.

>Which brings up another point: handling fatigue with creatures is a bit
>tougher without a separate HT stat. A very minor point, but if you take a
>few fatigue points from the archetypical elephant, you won't do much.
>Though, in fact, beasts of burden do get tired and need to rest as well as
>we do.

   I /never/ keep track of fatigue for the bad guys, except for wizards of
course (who invariably have all had reasonable human-scale ST values).
Another variable that makes good sense theoretically, but is just not worth
keeping track of during play except in general terms and in specific
situations.  ("Okay, you've all run for a mile now and you're all tired.")
For beasts of burden I simply use the encumbrance chart to determine their
MA based on weight carried.
   (In other games -- noteably Champions, which makes you keep track of
END -- I have purposely built or redesigned most of the supervillians with
"Costs No END: +1/2" on all of their powers so I don't have to do all that
record keeping, freeing up my time-energy for more important GM duties.)
   I prefer the AdjST Rule: It's a plug-in -- ignore it if you hate it --
and wizards can use it to increase their spellcasting longevity (and health)
without looking like Arnold Schwartznegger or buying a ST battery.

>On the other hand, those looking for more detail might like it. It does
>to tie together a few loose ends rather neatly, but at the price of
>integrating in another stat. It actually isn't as bad as it sounds, and
>been impressed with the way certain logic loopholes get plugged by this in
>relatively tidy manner. Ultimately, though, it depends on you, the reader.

   Thanks for the compliment.  8^)

Dan writes . . .

>Hey ... nowhere if TFT does it say that an IQ 8 person
>can't train to be a wizard either.  You still have to
>choose your talents wisely.

   Now /there's/ a character conception that I've never tried: An IQ 8
wizard.  I'll have to purposely make my next wiz like this, with a decent ST
and DX, just to see how it works out.  ("Whatta ya mean ya can't make an
illusion???")  Thanks for the idea.  8^)

>I don't mind Brawling as an extra 'dirty tricks / low science'
>form of combat training.  But I get very worried by the idea that it
>is a requirement for competent weapon use.

   So do I.  I agree with your essay on this subject.  Forcing characters
into pigeon-holes is no fun for non-beginning players.

   I seem to be better at coming up with new spells than with talents.
Here's another one . . .  trite but logical for it to exist -- or an
enterprising wizard PC to research.

2-HEX IMAGE (C): Lets wizard create an image of anything
   no greater than 2 hexes in size.  Cost: 1 ST.

Dave Seagraves
Seagraves Design Bureau   dseagraves@austin.rr.com   1 (512) 255-2760
"Ah ha!  Now we see the violence inherent in the system!" -- the most common
quote in our Traveller campaign, usually aimed at my gung-ho pro-Imperium
character, who just happens to outrank all the other PC's.

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