I'm sort of dragging a snippet of a discussion from the SJG TFT forums over here....
One of the things I've never really liked about the TFT skill system was the "Conan the Librarian" syndrome where your fighters achieve such a high IQ learning combat skills that they wind up smarter than your wizards. This was the result of using IQ points to purchase skills.
What if a fourth attribute, "Skill Points", was added? This attribute would be used to "purchase" skills the same way IQ is currently used in TFT. As a character gains experience, the skill point attribute could be increased in the same manner as the ST, DX, IQ attributes. The IQ prerequisites from the TFT skill table would remain, but instead of being "paid" with IQ points, Skill Points would be used instead. This would serve to limit the creep in a character's IQ while enabling them to expend experience learning new skills.
As for the initial value of Skill Points, I think setting them equal to starting IQ would be a good way to go. That way, a character with IQ 11 would have 11 points to spend on skills just as he would have had under existing TFT rules.
Not a bad idea...what role, if any, would IQ play in obtaining skills?
IQ would still be a prerequisite for skills - nothing in the ITL skills listing would change. The only change I'm proposing is that instead of "paying" for skills with IQ points, you would instead "pay" for them from your pool of skill points.
By setting initial skill points equal to IQ, that aspect of ITL is preserved (i.e., the capacity to purchase skills equal to your starting IQ). However, having the ability to increase skill points as if they were another attribute means that you can have an extremely talented character with a relatively low IQ.
Way back in the day when we played this we gave 4 options at character improvement.
Either the standard +1 to IQ, DX or STR, Or +2 Talent Points
For future improvements the boosted Talent Pts did not come into the equation for your 'Experience Attribute Level': this was solely dependent on actual attributes. After playing ITL for a very short time about half a dozen players came to this conclusion independently.
I've also seen some discussion (Here? I can't remember) regarding modifying experience, as someone was saying that at the rate they normally played you would get a zillion point character in mere weeks. Never encountered such a problem. We played this once weekly for a run of a few weeks, before another game/GM got a slot. I don't recall any super rapid progression at all.
The idea is good but, as I've mentioned on the SJ boards, by removing this attribute (i.e. the cost to buy Talents) from the existing INT attribute you've devalued that attribute relative to STR and DEX. That might or might not concern you in a campaign game, it I don't like it. What I did was split all the attributes into two which preserved their relative value.
STR became STR and CON (constitution). STR for weapon use and CON for "hit points"
DEX became DEX and AGI (agility). DEX is ability to manipulate objects with the hands. AGI is ability to move the body through space.
INT became INT and KNO (knowledge). INT for level of Talent and KNO for number of talent points.
Might seem complicated but you're just splitting existing attributes, not adding anything new. It also allows for more character variety as there are now 6 attributes to assign points between, so the very strong man is not necessarily tough and hardy etc.
For most monsters and opponents, I just keep the 3 original attributes unsplit unless I'm using something unusual.
I never played ITL and its been a while since I looked at it. I'm just throwing this out here because I remember thinking it was a good idea a few years ago when I was looking over ITL. If I'm way off, maybe I'll learn something from the objectors...
The cost of upgrading your attributes depended on their current total, which depended on how much XP you had. The cost increased on a curve - slightly curvier than linear at first but extremely curved once you reached a certain point. I always thought it would be a good idea to introduce "Levels" to make the rules simpler to convey and to govern the amount of skill a character could possess.
For example (completely bogus numbers pulled out of thin air for illustration of the idea. Implementation of the idea would need more careful examination and testing):
New characters would be created as normal and given an arbitrary number of starting skills/spells (like 3 maybe). New characters are "Level 0". The only time you can "upgrade" a character is when you "level-up". Each time you level-up, you can increase an attribute OR take a new skill.
Spells would be handled as normal. Meaning, your IQ limits what you can learn and how many spells you can learn. Spells can be learned even when you aren't "leveling-up". I can't remember if learning spells had an XP cost in ITL but I suspect they did. That cost should remain but be subtracted from your character's overall XP total. Thus, learning spells slows your "level advancement".
Basically, ITL uses your characters IQ as his "Level". The idea here is to separate your character's level from his IQ.
Last Edit: Mar 16, 2018 11:58:01 GMT -5 by platimus
OK. Scrap that last post. It requires too much rewriting of the original rules! Plus, it's too D&D-ish to be worthy of ITL!
I don't like the idea of creating a "Skill Points Attribute", so my new and improved approach would be this:
Rules stay the same at character creation time. After that, additional Talents are acquired by spending EP. A Talent that costs 1pt of IQ would cost 100EP instead. A Talent that costs 2pts of IQ costs 200EP instead. (IQ cost * 100 = EP cost). IQ requirements would still apply.