So help me out with The Fantasy Trip...

Gentleman Highwayman

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I'm way late to the party, but basically it's a game that does more than Basic D&D and expects a grid and/or miniatures. It seems it does sword and sorcery very well, but other types namely Tolkien fantasy not so much. I'm not sure how races other than humans are dealt with. Monsters could end up gamey since they are basically PCs with different Talents.

So sing me the praises of TFT and warn me of the pitfalls.

Iain.
 

John Desmarais

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It's a very simple "beer and pretzels" kind of RPG. Character creation takes just a few minutes and your character fits nicely on an index card. Play, die, make a new one. It's also a deceptively familiar game in that it's basically GURPS-lite-lite.

Back when I played it, my feeling was that it did not well support extended campaigns. Character advancement was simple, but limited.
 

Gentleman Highwayman

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I have to admit I don't really play games long enough for long term development and never really enjoyed zero to hero. I like that it's similar to Savage Worlds in short attribute list and a bunch of skills/advantages and supports miniatures.

It seems a pretty modern system for 1980.

Iain.
 

John Desmarais

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I have to admit I don't really play games long enough for long term development and never really enjoyed zero to hero. I like that it's similar to Savage Worlds in short attribute list and a bunch of skills/advantages and supports miniatures.

It seems a pretty modern system for 1980.

Iain.
It was a point-based, skill-based game at a time when very few games were. Very consistent mechanics, but limited options. It shows its roots (starting life as a hybrid board/miniatures combat game) expanded out to a light RPG - but it works well for what it does.
 

MoonHunter

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The notes for the "advanced version" of this game, evolved into GURPS. So TFT is GURPs v0.1 or GURPS is TFT v2.0 , depending on how you view it. Yes, Steve Jackson was the primary designer of Melee, Wizard, and TFT, back when he was a Metagaming employee/ partner.


I played several multi year campaigns with it back in the day. As long as you don't get overly generous with EPs, the system works pretty darn well. We played it with the Grids. We played it without the Grids. It worked for us pretty well. I ignored the concept of dungeon or tomb crawling, so the tactical emphasis of the rules was downplayed for me. It is mostly geared for Medium Fantasy, or Pulp Fantasy. It does not do High Fantasy without giving bonus attributes points. We had rules floating around for Western TFT, Star TFT, and there were some Supers rules floating around. (There are some TFT clones out there that do these). Loved the Space Gamers.

Every race starts with roughly the same number of attribute points (32). Humans start with a minimum of 8 in the three stats (ST/ DX/ IQ), with 8 points to spread. Elves started with a minimum DX of 10, and 6 points to distribute. (Some people house ruled it to ST of 6 and DX of 8, with 8 to spread). Dwarves started with the minimum of ST 10. So by changing minimums and maximums for attributes you got the possibilities. (You could start with more attributes. Overmen were defined in the space gamer (Lords of Dus, Lure of the Baslisk). They started with 40 pts and had 10 minimum in every attribute. For this edge, you required 2x the EPs to advance to your 41st attribute point, as another character would). The rules were so simple you could mod them any which way you wanted.



The Combat ended up being very clean and very easy to use. The use of different tactics or different approaches makes a big difference in how combat plays out. The Melee Microgame had some very complex options for such a simple game and those translated over with Advance Melee and TFT. This expands with the use of skills/talents in TFT.

Magic Rocked. Advanced Wizard was great. It also gave you options to working on your own magic system by changing up spells or the IQs.
 

Gentleman Highwayman

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The notes for the "advanced version" of this game, evolved into GURPS. So TFT is GURPs v0.1 or GURPS is TFT v2.0 , depending on how you view it. Yes, Steve Jackson was the primary designer of Melee, Wizard, and TFT, back when he was a Metagaming employee/ partner.
I've looked at some retrolcones of TFT and can see the photo-GURPs there, yet TFT seems interesting to me in a way that GURPS doesn't. Even the "Advanced" versions seem on par with Basic D&D, but seem much easier and coherent. Grabbing a mini and starting them on an index card in 5 minutes and playing that character until I'm bored is really what I'm looking for. A TV show or short story analogy where the main characters change very little during the course of the adventures.

That being said, the PC races and my lack of understanding of "monsters" is where I'm having a disconnect. I understand the idea that Races just have different starting attributes and points, but I'm at the point I reject Elves are just more agile humans. I think I'd rather just introduce racial talents. And monsters being the same attributes and talents I actually like on some level. I just haven't wrapped my head around that. Could I total up the PC points and make baddies of comparable points for them to fight?

I intend to expand the social aspects, which I understand the game's roots, are a bit anemic. But even what I've seen is still better than most games of its vintage and better than most games pre-SR/WoD.

Iain.
 

LuciusAlexander

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First I'm very happy to see someone playing The Fantasy Trip again! It's one of the three or four best role playing rules sets ever.

I've looked at some retrolcones of TFT and can see the photo-GURPs there, yet TFT seems interesting to me in a way that GURPS doesn't. Even the "Advanced" versions seem on par with Basic D&D, but seem much easier and coherent.
Absolutely easier and more coherent!

Grabbing a mini and starting them on an index card in 5 minutes and playing that character until I'm bored is really what I'm looking for. A TV show or short story analogy where the main characters change very little during the course of the adventures.

That being said, the PC races and my lack of understanding of "monsters" is where I'm having a disconnect. I understand the idea that Races just have different starting attributes and points, but I'm at the point I reject Elves are just more agile humans. I think I'd rather just introduce racial talents. And monsters being the same attributes and talents I actually like on some level. I just haven't wrapped my head around that. Could I total up the PC points and make baddies of comparable points for them to fight?

Iain.
I'm sorry, I don't understand what it is that you don't understand?

Lucius Alexander

Turning to the palindromedary for an explanation
 

avram

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That being said, the PC races and my lack of understanding of "monsters" is where I'm having a disconnect. I understand the idea that Races just have different starting attributes and points, but I'm at the point I reject Elves are just more agile humans. I think I'd rather just introduce racial talents.
Looking through the book, here are some actual details:

  • Humans start with ST 8, DX 8, IQ 8, plus 8 more points. They have MA (movement allowance) 10, which can be lowered by armor and encumbrance.
  • Elves start with ST 6, DX 10, IQ 8, plus 8 more points. They also get extra movement (MA 12 unarmored, 10 in cloth or leather armor).
  • Dwarves start with ST 10, DX 6, IQ 8, plus 8 more points. They get +1 damage with hammers, maces, and axes. They get double carrying capacity for their strength.
  • Halflings start with ST 4, DX 12, IQ 8, plus 6 more points. They get +1 on reaction rolls from intelligent beings and normal animals. They also get +3 on their to-hit rolls, and +1 damage, with ranged attacks. Halflings and giants each take a -2 to-hit penalty against the other.
  • Orcs are mechanically the same as humans.
  • Goblins start with ST 6, DX 8, IQ 10, plus 6 more points.
  • Giants start with ST 25, DX 9, IQ 7, and can never increase DX or IQ over 10 without magical help.
  • Reptile Men start with ST 14, DX 8, IQ 8, plus 8 more points. They have MA 10. They do double damage in hand-to-hand damage because of their claws, and can use their tails as a 1-die weapon.
 

Glyptodont

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There's no real mechanical difference between PCs and "monsters" in The Fantasy Trip. All are built with the same stats of ST, DX, IQ, and movement. Monsters could very easily be used as player characters if one didn't mind the disparity among the player characters. It is a very simple yet flexible game, and one can indeed run long campaigns with its 3 super-thin rulebooks. (We did back in the 1980's.)

The system might seem a bit dated and lacking in extras by today's standards, but I think it holds up well. In fact, if one grafted Fate Core's Aspects and Fate points onto the system, it would be a perfect fit and make a great simple ruleset for a fantasy campaign.
 
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