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(TFT) TFT: Time Use

John writes . . .

>Silas, I would like to see that rules compilation.  It was a project that I
>wanted to do also (no time as usual).  I'm sure Joe can post it on his
>website if you make it into a form he can just stick in there.  Believe me,
>the group will build it up and tear it down, so be ready to justify
>that you place in there.  (By that I mean, explain why you put this item in
>and left the equivalently concept by another contributer out.  Also, why
>grouped things the way you did, etc.  Its not that you will get flack, its
>just a passionate topic with us.)  I suggest you be the one to edit it
>  (Joe will not have time to edit this and it might go long between

   I'd like to see it as well.  Perhaps it should be called "Suggested
Optional Rules" and allow the GMs and solo players out there to pick and
choose which rules to use.  Similar rules (such as adjIQ and superscripts)
and rules which contradict each other (usually because of philosophical game
design grounds) should all be included and grouped together for ease of
selection and use.
   Whoever does compile all of these submissions should be willing to edit
them as necessary.

Dan writes . . .

>Take a 32-point character and find a 4/18 job for him.  Lets choose
>Apprentice.  Our character is ST 16, DX 8, IQ 8.  Our character's
>chance of notable success at the job is 4/216, the chance of running
>into trouble is 1/216.  Note that our character is given just enough
>EP required to reach the next attribute point each time a success is

   Yeah, this is something I noticed when I got back into TFT and started
playing solitaire -- truly monstrous characters could be created.  I
actually created a beginning character tailor-made to take advantage of
this: Anskar the Strong (Dwarf, ST 18, DX 6, IQ 8) -- same design idea as
yours, Dan, and he was working a 5/16 job (Mercenary Recruit)!  I'd still be
playing him if he hadn't died from picking up a certain object in a certain
MicroQuest  we all know of.
   To solve this little problem of players making a few years of job rolls
for free attribute points, I added these two ground rules when I started my
Sunday game . . .

   Starting Money:  $100.  Characters can also work a job for up to a month
(four weeks) to earn additional cash and possible experience.

   . . . and . . .

Time Use
   Players may have their characters perform long-term tasks between (or
perhaps even during) adventures.  These tasks can include healing from
injury, making magic and other items, recharging ST batteries and missile
rods, buying and selling valuable items, and looking for or working a job ?
essentially any actions which take a day or more to perform.  If desired,
players should feel free to have their characters do such tasks over a
period of time, either on their own or with other characters.
   To facilitate this, players should keep accurate track of each character?
s /current game time/, which is the date that a character has been played up
to.  This is recorded as a year followed by a day of the year, such as
?531.238? ? which reads as ?Day number 238 of year number 531.?  (There are
360 days in every year on Cidri, there are 30 days in every month, and there
are no leap years to worry about.  Isn?t that convenient?)  When time passes
for a character the current game time should be updated on his character
   A character?s current game time becomes important when interacting with
other characters in the future.  At any time, one or more characters may
leave the ?party? (i.e. everyone else) and go off and do something on their
own.  The only requirement is that the current game time be the same for
everyone in the departing group.  Example: Bob the Warrior and Doug the
Wizard want to get together and go kill a nearby dragon.  Both characters?
current game time is 531.20, so they can go adventuring together.
   If two (or more) characters? current game time is not the same then /they
cannot interact in any way/.  The solution here is for the character(s) who
are in the past (e.g. a lower current game time) to catch up to the
character(s) in the future by playing out the time difference.  Example:
After a successful dragon hunt, Bob and Doug return home on 531.29 ? nine
days after they left ? and now they want to rejoin the rest of the
characters Peter, Paul, and Mary.  However, these three have only made one
job roll (taking one week) while Bob and Doug were gone; taking them to day
27.  Before the party can be whole again, Peter, Paul, and Mary have to play
out two more days of game time to catch up to Bob and Doug at day 29.  They
do so by simply taking two days off, everyone is then at 531.29, and a new
adventure involving the entire group can begin.
   In a nutshell, characters may interact ? exchange money or equipment,
fight each other, or communicate ? only if they are at the /exact/ same
current game time.  If not then they may not interact /in any way/, just as
if they were out of reach in some far away city.
   Player-characters should keep this in mind when planning long-term tasks.
So let?s say everyone?s current game times are the same (or nearly so).  If
Doug?s player then makes 13 job rolls as a Town Wizard to raise some cash,
then the player has /committed/ Doug to spending 91 days on the job, and
once those dice are rolled the results cannot be changed.  Meanwhile, if the
other PC?s go on an adventure and do not perform long-term actions
themselves, Doug?s player may be waiting a long time in real time before he
can play his character again.
   Players might want to coordinate their characters? actions before rolling
those dice, and this is perfectly acceptable and legal.  For example, one
character could say, ?Hey guys . . .  I wanna make a magic sword before we
set out to attack the Kargis Khan Castle.  Could you all wait three weeks
until it?s done??  Or another might say, ?I?m not going adventuring again
and risking my neck until I can get that Stone Flesh ring, so I?m just gonna
sit here in town and be a town wizard until I?ve got enough cash for it.
See you again in six months . . .?
   Players who miss an episode should find out what everyone else?s current
game date is, so they can have their characters ?catch up? with the other
players before the start of the next episode.  Usually this can be
accomplished with a quick job roll or two before rejoining with the party.
   Usually characters will temporarily split up at the end of an adventure
(and this is the most convenient time to do so, since everyone?s current
game dates are all the same) but anytime will do.  Also, usually the
characters will get together in time just before the beginning of a new
adventure, but not always!  The evil GM may decide to start the next
adventure while you?re in the middle of making that magic sword . . .
   Players may even wish to perform long-term actions between episodes, and
without the GM even being present.  This is perfectly okay to do ? go right
ahead and create that Ring of Power.  Players can make any die rolls as
needed, but if the rules say that the GM needs to roll for anything, the
player can call the GM and get a quick die roll over the phone.  E-mail
works as well, but is slower.  The results of all completed tasks should be
reported to the GM before the start of the next episode.
   All this applies to /secondary/ characters as well (i.e. characters who
weren?t a part of the previous adventure or aren?t a part of the current
one).  All secondary characters ? no matter how obscure ? should be doing
/something/ with their time and be in sync with the primary characters, even
if that?s just spending 20 silver a week while goofing off in town.
Essentially if you create a character for the campaign, and you have that
character go adventuring ? even for a little bit ? you will continue playing
that character until he or she dies.  (Or at least until you?ve lost all
interest in the character, in which case he gets on a boat and sails to the
other side of Cidri, never to be seen again.)

Mack writes . . .

>I tend to ask my players at the very beginning of a campaign whether they
>want to play a HIGH FANTASY or a LOW FANTASY game.

   Ah . . .  forget what I said before.  Given this, I guess I prefer a
/Medium/ Fantasy setting, i.e. pretty close to the culture and magic level
as described in TFT in general.  Some magic, and some magic beasties, but
not a huge amount of either.

Justin writes . . .

>There has been a question posed about using high fantasy or low fantasy.  I
>believe if you play TFT:ITL as book, you have a mixture of both unless you
>change the experience system.  I use the system as is some of you may think
>it is high fantasy but that is a matter of opinion.  The typical character,
>who takes a job for a whole year on the average makes approximately
>per week that comes to $3900 to $5200 per year (I also use expenses and
>taxation) so take home is much like our own, NOT MUCH.  Also in order to
>have gunpowder, you need dragon poop.  If that isn't a balancing agent,
>nothing is!

   Some time ago, my solo party took on the 7-hex dragon in Treasure of the
Silver Dragon, and killed it.  I thought, "Alright!  Dragon dung!  We can
sell this in town and make money!"  Unfortunately I realized that to be
useful for making gunpowder dragon dung can be no more than two or three
days old, and the party was twice that travel time from the nearest village
on the TSG map.  Oh well . . .  8^)
   For expenses (in solo play) I have each character spend at least one more
silver piece per week for every attribute point over 32 they've earned.
   I have been using the tax rule from ITL, but it has never come into play
because all of my solo characters have been willing to take the risk of
keeping all their money on them at all times.  This almost backfired once
when the whole group was enslaved in another MicroQuest .  After escaping,
the party had to attack the slaver guards and merchants -- outnumbered, and
armed with only the clothes on their backs -- to get back their money and

>The inferno spell that Dave placed on the list is very good.  This would be
>more realistic of a dragon's breath than TFT:ITL's dragon.  The TFT dragon
>spits fire.  A dragon with Dave's spell, used instead of the TFT rules,
>actually breathes fire.

   Hey!  That's not a bad idea.  I'll give it a try.
   BTW, I got the ideas for both Holy Bolt and Inferno from the computer
game Diablo (which is an excellent computer RPG).

Dave Seagraves
Seagraves Design Bureau   dseagraves@austin.rr.com   1 (512) 255-2760
"'Default!'  Woo hoo!  The sweetest word in the English language!" -- Homer

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