Sunday, July 12, 2015

Wading through _D_T&T, part 1

Well, so far, up to page 61 in my reading, while the term "rules lite" can't be totally discarded, the writers still are trying to present a fantasy role-playing game where a person can get the concepts behind the game in a quick fashion.  Warriors, Wizards, and Rogues not only get defined to death, but crunchy bits of detail are thrown in for more realism, I suppose. Wizards can use big weapons, (Gandalf fans everywhere are cheering) but at a disadvantage. Armor ablation rules are promised to readers when they are frightened by armor numbers greater than the something that can be rolled on a d20 when playing Warriors. Gone is the Roguery Talent, instead more player-created talents need to be listed to more fully define what type of Rogue it is, and at seventh level the Type can become a Wizard or Warrior with perks. The Rogue actually strikes as me the best defined "rogue" of FRPGs ever, despite the additional paperwork required for this edition.

The word "concise" can be forgotten though. The concept of TARO (triples always roll on) used in Character creation, a convention used at least since 7th edition. I think we used it with 5th edition back in the 80s, but it might've been a house rule. On page 7 the rules tell the player that if she rolls three of the same number to place an asterisk by that result and wait until she reads through the text until page 18 before explaining that beginning attributes can be outside of  the "3-18" range that most d20-based games use. TARO is noted as primary reason for the "Specialist" character Type, but the player may still opt to play the other Types Warrior, Wizard, and Rogue. She is free to now use roll again and add the result to the earlier result. There is a side note of discussion explaining the statistics of how often triples will occur when rolling three six-sided dice. It's kind of like the authors were afraid player-characters with attributes outside of "3-18"-- Then Kindred stat modifiers blows the range well beyond the 18-max norm about two pages later.

 Highlighted are the "Good Kindreds" in the section, sticking to the humans, elves, dwarves, and hobbs (hobbits), then (clearing throat) leprechauns, and then fairies. There is the promise of more exotic creatures, err "illkin" to come later, just somewhere in the warehouse section of the shop. Gone are the dangerous and unorthodox days where T&T and Monsters! Monsters! could be thought of as part of the same game system openly. Part of the text ask why would anybody want to play a human in a world where other Kindreds' modified stats can be much greater than his own.  I would've thought that the TARO rule helped partly with that, but the current answer is that humans can get a mulligan on a failed Saving Roll the first time around. Teela Brown eat your heart out! Most of the other kindred have their modified attributes and Trollworld-specific information to totally distinguish them from anything, except hobbs, Tolkien wrote... kind of.  Leprechauns do have their Wink-Wing back, they lost it in 7th edition, and this time it costs them spell power use it, unlike earlier editions. As a GM that last bit has me breathing easier, no longer can the lawyer player argue with me about my personal house rule about the special ability, it's in an official book dammit (and it costs more than my rating). Oh yeah fairies can fly, as always. With the humans, fairies, and leprechauns, the Kindred section, is still more unconventional than most FRPGs, that's a plus. I also like the word "illkin" but wish the authors finally admitted that playing orks, ogres, trolls, and other fantasy creatures happens more often in this game than other "traditional" tabletop sessions. It's what flavors T&T.

Experience and PC levels retained the innovations of 7th edition. That means attribute based, and players spend their "AP" to raise their attributes. I am happy to see that.

 The equipping of the Character still has a surplus of pages and charts, and extensive lists. I'll admit my eyes have been glazing over since about 2004 seeing the same or similar material presented in a tried and true format since 1980. I suppose there is a bit a comfort zone thing going on here.

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