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(TFT) TFT: Ambidextrous

Patrik wries . . .

>I just joined the list. Wow, I really hope to see some nice
>postings on my All time fave RPG system.

   Welcome to the list!  8^)  I hear Sweden is an extremely clean country
because of the extensive use of nuclear power.  Here in the U.S. many of our
nuclear programs -- such as the South Texas Nuclear Project -- have been
badly mismanaged.  We haven't built a new nuke plant in quite some time . .
.  Three Mile Island scared everyone silly, not to mention Chernobyl.
   (Sorry to get off topic.  Back to TFT . . .)

Justin writes . . .

>The other day on the list I had mentioned, if there are disadvantages
>in TFT, why not advantages.  I also stated about doing this as a group
>through critique (not attack).  The first thing we would need to come
>up with is how a character receives advantages, be it random or bought.
>Anyone have any suggestions???

   You /could/ have Advantages that are discrete entities from Talents, but
this goes against another apparent TFT convention: Talents cover both
"advantages" (such as Acute Hearing) and "skills" (like Physicker).  This is
why I suggested that Ambidextrous be IQ 7 -- to cover both those who were
born with it and those who learned it.  I'd prefer /not/ to see a new class
of abilities called Advantages.  Make 'em Talents instead, and write 'em up
that way.
   And now that I think about it, I realize that -- realistically
speaking -- the Two Weapons talent is essentially the same thing as your
Ambidextrous talent . . .  the /trained/ ability to fight with two weapons.
Two Weapons specifically covers fighting, but TFT /is/ a fighting game after
all.  Your creation does get into non-combat uses, however.
   But to answer your question, a random "Advantage Table" would be nice,
containing all of the talents that a person could be born with.  Few people
actually get to choose their advantages, so a player could roll for any
advantages their new character may have (and this could even be combined
with the Handicap table).  Of course I'd still require the character to pay
for them normally.  TANSTAAFL!
   Of course, all of the above is in my humble and gloriously wonderful
opinion.  8^)

>MAGICAL APTITUDE.    A character with this advantage gains a +1 DX
>when using magic (spells and the like).  The character also gains the spell
>"detect magic" (IQ8) for free.

   This reminds me of an idea I had many years ago, but I'm sure others have
thought of this before.   Here are some basic assumptions:
   First, let's say that Heroes cannot have spells . . .  not even for 3 IQ
points each.  Next, let's say that all the things that make a wizard a
Wizard -- the ability to cast spells, the ability to buy spells at only 1 IQ
point each, the ability to exclusively use certain magic items, etc. --
could be boiled down to a single Talent . . .  let's call it "Wizardry."
Let's also assume that it takes a certain amount of time for anyone to learn
how to be a Wizard, over and above the time it takes to learn each spell.
Lastly, let's say that Wizards no longer pay double to learn Talents.
   So the question is: If a Wizard were simply a Hero with the Wizardry
talent, how many IQ points would that talent cost?
   This is a game balance question more than anything.  If the cost is too
high then hardly anyone would play a Wizard, and those who did wouldn't have
many IQ points left for actual spells.  But if the cost were too low then
everyone and their grandmother would be a Wizard (imagine that one!) which
would make TFT play more like Runequest than GURPS.
   I /think/ I may already know the right answer to this possible optional
rule, but I don't want to contaminate anyone's answers so I'll post my
answer later.

Cas writes . . .

>. . . One could argue that doing 2 things at once is always
>going to result in some adjDX (this is the term we used in
>our campaigns) loss . . .

   I never really thought about ambidexterity in this way.  Thanks for the
thought.  8^)

   Here's another spell from the lab . . .

GODSFIRE (C): This spell creates an expanding ring
   of magical fire which does (1-1) damage for every ST
   point put into it.  When initially cast, the godsfire appears
   in one hex and immediately does damage to whatever
   is in that hex, just as if struck by a Fireball spell.  Each
   turn thereafter (right after the wizard?s turn to move) the
   ring expands outward one hex in all directions, the damage
   is lowered by one die, and then the ring does damage
   to everything in those hexes.  Godsfire hexes from the
   previous turn then go out, but hexes containing a substantial
   amount of flammable materials (such as a wooden floor,
   furniture, grass, or underbrush) instead turn into normal
   fire hexes (as per the Fire spell).  The godsfire ring expands
   for a number of turns equal to the ST put into it when cast,
   then disappears the following turn.  So a 5 ST godsfire
   would immediately do 5-5 damage in one hex, then the
   next turn move outward and do 4-4 damage to the six
   surrounding hexes, and continue outwards each turn until
   it dissipates to no damage.
      Note that a Wall spell /will/ block some or all of the
   expanding ring of godsfire, but it will expand normally
   around the ends of the wall.  An Ice or Magic Rainstorm
   spell can be used to extinguish some or all of a godsfire,
   and of course one can simply move away from it.
      This is a great spell for clearing a room or burning down
   a building . . .  or an entire forest!  Cost: 1 ST for every die
   (1-1) of initial godsfire damage.

Dave Seagraves
Seagraves Design Bureau   dseagraves@austin.rr.com   1 (512) 255-2760
Boycott Taco Bell!  Ask me why.

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