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Re: (TFT) Talent Packaging for TFT

From: Michael Taylor <MichaelTaylor1@compuserve.com>
Subject: (TFT) Talent Packaging for TFT
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 1999 14:21:25 -0400

Message text written by INTERNET:tft@brainiac.com
[Michael, a comment here on editing: When you're attributing the item you will be reviewing, the above message does not give us any information. Please use the author's name; in this case John Paul.]
I had the view that if you're going to offer a package, it should
be discounted [you can buy the burger/fries/coke individually for $5 or you can order our "Happy Meal" which is burger/fries/coke for $4.25.]

Why does that make the "discount" appropriate? What is the McDonalds
equivalent of "Game Balance"?

McDonald's is giving you more because you are saving them money by making it easier for them to prepare the meal (less labor is involved in making the well-practiced Happy Meal).

But the characters getting more talents doesn't help the GM! It only helps the players. So why are they getting a discount, when
they're the ones being helped?

It doesn't. Its just the Ravings Of A MEGALOMANIAC GM WHO WANTS TO CREATE THE UNIVERSE!!!! HAHAHAAAAAAA....er... Well this game balance problem for the Talents Package [packaging several talents and some disadvantages together to form a total talent cost and then reducing that cost by one or more points] favors both players and GM. I use it to make NPCs more than the players use it to make characters. Besides, if a GM doesn't like the fact that there is a free point or two in the Package or that the disadvantages gives too many points, just adjust it. However, if the problem is the fact that Talents are grouped into a Package to begin with, then thats more fundamental and cannot be resolved. But I think you hit the burger on the head when you stated "McDonald's is giving you more because you are saving them money by making it easier for them to prepare the meal (less labor is involved in making the well-practiced Happy Meal)." If I have guys who want to make rangers... the GM is giving you more because you are saving me time by making it easier for the players to prepare the character (less labor is involved in making the well prepared Ranger Package). And I know what is in a Ranger Package and what his responsibilities are. So that saves me time than trying to remember if Joe has the ranger talent and animal handling and naturalist. This does not mean that the character *has to* choose this package to be a ranger. He can choose all the talents seperately if he wishes and not have the troubles of the disadvantages of the package. He might not want a package because of not wanting Guild or Society entanglements or point costs or his character learned things hodgepodge, etc.
And as far as no Game Balance because of Free Points: Guilty.

I offer these to you to pick apart because I KNOW these are
potential powder kegs of creativity or scorn.

Scorn. This is where the munchkins live! I'm not referring to you
personally, but speaking from the experience of playing Champions
(where the concept of Package Deals - and discounts) came from. They were a great way to get free points. Can't afford martial arts
skills? Say you were an ex-policeman and you could shave two points

Doh!  Scorn, woe is me....
Never read or played Champions, so I can't speak about that system, sorry. You know though, this reduction of cost for Package Goods just might be similar in concept to reducing the costs of certain talents because the GM feels they cost too much. Whaddy think? {The munchkins live in Scorn? I thought they lived in Van Nuys.}

(-1) Code Of Honor - See to the safety of ship & cargo

How is this worth 1 attribute point!!?! Now the MINIMUM cost for an
Attribute point is 125 EP (ITL:11). But the 'bad roleplaying' penalty for ignoring it is 10 EP! So you could ignore it up to 13 times before it paid for itself! If your going to Monty Haul, just give them 33 points instead!

Hhmmmmm...Contemplate this on the tree of woe.....If your going to Monty Haul, just give them 33 points instead? Sounds like an interesting idea. But, sorry, no. I already gave them 37 points to start their characters with. (I start 'em between 34-38 points).

But seriously...Hey; its just a Code of Honor (perhaps the term Duty would be better?). If your captain wants to be trecherous to his sponsor's ship thrice, he won't be in the Captain's Guild for long and legally commanding ships; If he does this once to his fellow pirates (after he's blackballed from the Captain's Guild), he's walking the plank. [See to the safety of ship & cargo for a pirate captain, if he is also quartermaster, might be 'put out fires in the hold even during a fight' or 'don't let the crew have at the prisoners or the booze or let the precious fabric treasure rot.']

And how many sailors *dont* have this? Let me get this straight. Common sense for a sailor is worth 1 pt. But "Make sure that the ship and all hands go down on every voyage" is worth nothing...

Actually, there is a difference in philosophy. If a sailor bails for his life to keep the ship afloat, he might live, but he doesn't necessarily have a code of honor that says he must see to the safety and cargo of the ship. If he jumps the sinking ship without helping and lives, he won't be booted out of the Sailor's Guild (its the Captain's responsibility to make sure the sailor's bail.) Also its the Captain's responsibility if the ship gets to the dock with damaged goods, not the sailor's. And the Captain himself need not go down with the ship. The Captain's Guild is concerned with 'did the Captain make all reasonable attempts to see to the safety of the ship and cargo.' If he made all the heroic effort to do it, he need not, by the Captain's Guild's bylaws, go down with the ship. The inquiry board will determine that.

See Michael, its all in how you Roleplay the game.

Run away! Run away!  ;D

Run Forrest Run! ;D

No offense meant of course, I just don't see how the game benefits
from this particular change....just my opinion...


By the way... If you were given the task of writing a talent package for TFT, how would you do it? (counter-challenge here...and no, seppuku is not an option.)

Hail Melee,
John Paul

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