Steve Jackson Games Forums

Steve Jackson Games Forums (http://forums.sjgames.com/index.php)
-   GURPS (http://forums.sjgames.com/forumdisplay.php?f=13)
-   -   Attribute effect on learning (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=116639)

otghand 09-15-2013 04:40 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 04:49 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 05:11 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 06:20 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 07:02 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 07:13 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 07:20 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 07:32 PM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Please elaborate.

malloyd 09-15-2013 08:18 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 05:38 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.

SCAR 09-16-2013 05:46 AM

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.

You might want to look at Talents (B89) - an advantage representing a 'natural aptitude' for a set of closely related skills. Talents include a reduction in the time required to learn those skills in play.

To my mind, Talents better represent an ability to pickup a skill more quickly than higher base attributes.

sir_pudding 09-16-2013 04:58 PM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
The roll to see if you can put earned points into a skill that you rolled on default during the adventure is an IQ roll.

Anthony 09-16-2013 05:06 PM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by malloyd (Post 1645844)
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.

And, depending on how you define skill levels, that can trivially be turned into an additive system by just defining skill level as the logarithm of time spent.

Pragmatic 09-16-2013 05:22 PM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
I'm sure Mr. Stoddard will be along soon to bring this up, but his Locations: Worminghall has a monthly roll against "IQ + Magery" (IIRC, don't have book in front of me) to determine how effective teaching was. In the 8-month school year, it meant that gifted students could expect to gain around 4 skill points of spells per year. Not-so-gifted would probably gain around 3 (wild-a**ed-guess).

roguebfl 09-16-2013 05:52 PM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pragmatic (Post 1646252)
I'm sure Mr. Stoddard will be along soon to bring this up, but his Locations: Worminghall has a monthly roll against "IQ + Magery" (IIRC, don't have book in front of me) to determine how effective teaching was. In the 8-month school year, it meant that gifted students could expect to gain around 4 skill points of spells per year. Not-so-gifted would probably gain around 3 (wild-a**ed-guess).

It should be noted Magery is effectively a talent for spells and thaumatology, without that reaction mod. But it does include the reduction in learning time.

Peter Knutsen 09-17-2013 01:13 AM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by roguebfl (Post 1646269)
It should be noted Magery is effectively a talent for spells and thaumatology, without that reaction mod. But it does include the reduction in learning time.

The whole "reduced learning time" of Talents is crap, since it doesn't interact with point cost. It means that I cannot know in advance whether I'll get a huge benefit from it, during the campaign, or no benefit at all. So in the final analysis, I think it should have been omitted.



It's also bad game design in general, to have character creation work in one way, but then after game start, character advancement works in a different way.

Having it like that strongly encourages players to metagame think character creation, and making the decision to not buy certain skills during character creation, or only buy them to low levels, because if they postpone development of those skills until the character advancement phase, post-gamestart, then they'll enjoy some kind of attribute-derived discount that wasn't simulatively present during character creation.

Or the reverse (although I imagine it's less common) where you get some kind of attribute-derived discount when buying a skill during character creation, but get no discount (or a notably smaller discount) during character advancement.

The version of BRP that I'm familiar with, "Drager og Daemoner Ekspert", does it like that (the non-reverse case), and it's quite possible that other BRP versions also have this flaw. And I believe I've heard that some or all versions of Storyteller are also like that.



Also, for any kind of multiplicative system, where some kind of attribute or other talent interacts with point cost, you don't want attribute/talent to be trainable, because then you get a huge increase in complexity, in that you need to define, during character creation, whether the character first trained the attribute and then trained the skill, or first the skill and then the attribute. How do you explain that to a spreadsheet? It's actually possible to do, but it's a ginormous increase in complexity, and I'm perfectly happy with non-trainable attributes (except of course Strength - eventually I decided to not have Strength affect any skill Aptitudes, thereby solving that problem).

Using multiplicative with untrainable attributes, or using additive regardless of whether attributes can be trained or not, means that you get a character creation experience where you can just spend your points, without having to worry about the order in which the trainings occured in.

I'm a fan of CV-based character backstories, where the player describes year-by-year what the character did, and where he did it. But I don't think it's good to involve that directly in character creation. Especially since most skills are learned over long stretches of time. In GURPS terms, the character might have trained Axe/Mace to 2 CP in his youth, then over the next half decade accumulated 1 further CP, then he got captured and enslaved, and sent to gladiator school, and gained 5 CP in the span of only half a year, then he won some fights and was freed, and adventured for half a decade earning a further 4 CP during that period of time.

I don't think it's worth the trouble, to explain such a detailed chronology to a character creation spreadsheet.

malloyd 09-18-2013 07:08 AM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen (Post 1646420)
The whole "reduced learning time" of Talents is crap, since it doesn't interact with point cost.

It's also bad game design in general, to have character creation work in one way, but then after game start, character advancement works in a different way.

I don't care for it either, but I don't think this is a sensible reason. It's actually quite consistent, stuff costs the same number of character points before and after character creation. What Talent does is modify the rules for determining how long it takes to earn a character point through study for this particular skill. This is a perfectly reasonable thing for a game mechanic to vary (not everybody learns everything at the same speed), and something that varies even more drastically during character creation, unless your rules set enforces all characters with the same number of points start at exactly the same age.

Jareth Valar 09-18-2013 08:29 AM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Were did you come up with the effective levels of skill (13=Professional, 11=skilled amateur)? Is this in a book I have missed or are these made up?

I tend to make my PC's and NPC's more based off descriptions like these than just points and the like.

johndallman 09-18-2013 09:04 AM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
"Choosing your skill levels" p172 in Basic Set: Characters.

Jareth Valar 09-18-2013 10:12 AM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Ah. Saw that page, but it seemed like (and was hoping) there was more of a X rank has X descriptor type thing. The page you referenced is more of an inference to levels other than expert, but thank you the same.

roguebfl 09-18-2013 10:27 AM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jareth Valar (Post 1647156)
Ah. Saw that page, but it seemed like (and was hoping) there was more of a X rank has X descriptor type thing. The page you referenced is more of an inference to levels other than expert, but thank you the same.

It also has to do with that a Routine non stressful task gets a Task Difficulty modifier of +4 (B171) turning a Skill 12 from 74.1% chance of success to an effective skill 16 and 98.1% chance of success, the highest in the system due to 17-18 always being a failure.

johndallman 09-18-2013 10:32 AM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jareth Valar (Post 1647156)
Ah. Saw that page, but it seemed like (and was hoping) there was more of a X rank has X descriptor type thing. The page you referenced is more of an inference to levels other than expert, but thank you the same.

GURPS doesn't really do "ranks" in any absolute sense, because that isn't generic or universal. There's a guideline that's implicit in that page and often made more explicit on these forums that normal non-heroic, but competent people have a 12 or thereabouts in the skills they earn a living with: with the +4 Task Difficulty Modifier for a routine task, that gets them to 16-.

Tactical Shooting has some guidelines for the Guns skill levels of realistic shooters, which top out at 18 for exceptionally skilled snipers.

But the appropriate skill levels, along with attribute levels, point totals and so on for any game are a matter for the GM. GURPS is a toolkit, not a gaming style.

JCurwen3 09-18-2013 11:07 AM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jareth Valar (Post 1647156)
Ah. Saw that page, but it seemed like (and was hoping) there was more of a X rank has X descriptor type thing. The page you referenced is more of an inference to levels other than expert, but thank you the same.

I like the listing from Basic Set 3rd Ed Revised, p. 45:

3: Abysmal
6: Inept
8: Mediocre
10: Average
12: Rather skilled
14: Well-trained
16+: Expert

and for weapon skills:

3: Astoundingly bad
6: Clumsy
9: Unskilled
12: Novice
15: Veteran
18: Expert
20: Master
25: Wizard

The below are all Kromm links:

This is useful too for skill ranks.

This is specifically about Gun skill in the context of the real world.

And this is another resource of skill rankings.

Jareth Valar 09-18-2013 09:49 PM

Re: Attribute effect on learning
 
Thank you. That's exactly what I was looking for. Figured it was from a previous edition. All I have ever looked at was 1st and 4th.

Thanks again.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:13 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.