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otghand 09-15-2013 03:40 PM

Attribute effect on learning
 
Do attributes have any direct effect on learning new skills or languages? I think RAW says no, but that does not seem right. It seems to me that DX based skills would be more easily learned by one with higher native DX, ditto for IQ.

As I understand it that is not RAW, but those with higher attributes are better when they do learn.

Turhan's Bey Company 09-15-2013 03:49 PM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by otghand (Post 1645783)
It seems to me that DX based skills would be more easily learned by one with higher native DX, ditto for IQ.

In effect, they are. Two characters may put the same effort into learning a skill, but the one with a higher underlying trait ends up with a higher skill.

Gollum 09-15-2013 04:11 PM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Yes. Lets take an example.

Mr A has IQ 12. Mr B IQ 10. Both of them learn Mechanics during 800 hours with a teacher.

Improvement through study rules say that 800 hours of training with a teacher is worth 4 character points. So, both of them reach Attribute+1 in Mechanics.

But for Mr A, it means Mechanics-13 while for Mr B, it is only Mechanics-11. Mr A is now a professional while Mr B remains an amateur (a good one, though). To reach the same level of effectiveness in Mechanics than Mr A, Mr B will have to learn 1600 hours more. He really learns slower.

And this is the same thing for DX-based skills.

For languages, it is different.

In GURPS third edition, languages were IQ-based skills. In GURPS fourth edition, they are not anymore. Languages are advantages. So there is no more links between attributes and languages.

Peter Knutsen 09-15-2013 05:20 PM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by otghand (Post 1645783)
Do attributes have any direct effect on learning new skills or languages? I think RAW says no, but that does not seem right. It seems to me that DX based skills would be more easily learned by one with higher native DX, ditto for IQ.

As I understand it that is not RAW, but those with higher attributes are better when they do learn.

No, you are incorrect, atributes do influence skill learning, as is the case in all RPG rules systems that use the Ability = Aptitude + Training model.

For lack of a current reference point, we'll be using the old 3rd Edition rule saying that 1 Character Point equals being taught for 200 hours by a qualified teacher.

Now we'll posit three characters, one has DX 9, one has DX 10, one has DX 11. All three have to become profient, that is reach skill level 12, in the Driving skill, which is DX-based and of Average difficulty.

For the DX 11 guy, that takes 800 hours, and costs 4 CP.

For the DX 10 guy, it takes 1600 hours and costs 8 CP. Twice as long. He can, in this specific situation, be said to be learning twice as slowly (but note that if you want them both to train to skill 20, not 12, the learning speed difference will become much more trivial).

The DX 9 guy needs 2400 hours, or 12 CP, so he's learning three times slower than the DX 11 guy, in this particular scenario.

johndallman 09-15-2013 06:02 PM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen (Post 1645807)
For lack of a current reference point, we'll be using the old 3rd Edition rule saying that 1 Character Point equals being taught for 200 hours by a qualified teacher.

That's a current rule, which you'll find on p292 in the Basic Set.

otghand 09-15-2013 06:13 PM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
But the attribute being higher does not yield a faster skill improvement, only a higher base when the first Character point is earned. Given the diminishing return on improvement above 11 one could argue that with higher attributes you improve slower. It seems to me that if 200 hours is what it takes for an average character of attribute 10 to earn a CP then less time might be required at higher attribute levels.

Peter Knutsen 09-15-2013 06:20 PM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by otghand (Post 1645824)
But the attribute being higher does not yield a faster skill improvement, only a higher base when the first Character point is earned. Given the diminishing return on improvement above 11 one could argue that with higher attributes you improve slower. It seems to me that if 200 hours is what it takes for an average character of attribute 10 to earn a CP then less time might be required at higher attribute levels.

Sure, my own homebrew RPG design, Sagatafl, which is very much an attempt at "GURPS done right", analogous to the many, many attempts of the 90s and the late 80s of "AD&D done right" (including the freeware system Quest FRP, which apart from GURPS is the primary "memetic ancestor" of Sagatafl), ditches the Ability = Aptitude + Training thing in favour of a multiplicative model, which is much closer to reality (especially when it comes to simulating high-Aptitude characters over long periods of time), but also makes character creation a lot more computation-intense (you basically need a purpose-built spreadsheet to make a character, not because there's anything difficult in the process, just a huge amount of simple arithmetical operations).

otghand 09-15-2013 06:32 PM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Please elaborate.

malloyd 09-15-2013 07:18 PM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
The simplest "multiplicative" approach starting from GURPS would be flat cost skills (e.g. treat all skills as if bought up from an attribute of 10), and change the time required to earn a point from 200 hours to say 2000 hours/attribute. Alternately you could scale the point costs, buying all skills up from 10, but the multiply the point costs for any particular skill score by (10/attribute), or if you are willing to tolerate a seriously different curve, you could ditch the semi-linearity of skill levels and go with something like skill = attribute * (0.5 + point cost/20)

Whether any of those are better is an open question, it's really a matter of game design taste more than any actual superiority of any of the systems. It's not like either "points" or "attribute levels" are anything particularly realistically measurable.

Gollum 09-16-2013 04:38 AM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Furthermore, it all depends on what is the score used during play.

In GURPS, the relative level is rarely used. Most often, you roll against the ordinary level. So knowing that Mr A and Mr B, in my example above, both have a Mechanic skill level of IQ+1 does not really matter. What really matters in play is that Mr A will roll against 13 (+ task difficulty modifiers) while Mr B will roll against 11 (+ task difficulty modifiers).

With the same amount of learning, Mr A is really better than Mr B. So he finally learned faster.

Adding a different rate to this learning speed (saying for instance that reaching IQ+1 will be faster for Mr A than for Mr B) would square the difference!

Mr A is already a genius compared to Mr B. With the same amount of learning he reaches a professional level while Mr B only reaches an amateur level. If you improve this difference further, it would be so huge that it would become silly.

Sagatafl is surely more nuanced than that... But as said by Peter Knutsen himself, it requires a spreadsheet... So, I think that GURPS authors found an elegant way to do a difference with minimum calculations.


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