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Old 09-30-2017, 08:09 PM   #1954
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Default Re: Ravens N' Pennies - GURPS Content Posts

Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Duplicated from my post on your site:

I like to run a three tiered Lore set-up:

Occultism - This covers the "what every superstitious person knows" about the subject. Almost nothing get's exempted from this unless it's really /truly/ hidden. However, while someone has the possibility of having picked up a potent secret along the way, I apply these penalties: Should it be better covered by a Professional Skill? -5. Should it be better covered by Hidden Lore? -10.

Professional Skills - These are things like Biology, Theology, Alchemy, Naturalist, skills that in a world with actual real secret might have the chance of covering in part or whole without actually understanding it should be a secret. For instance in a world with 'secretive' undead (vampires, or even zombies where it's not a 'viral' creation system) then Theology would probably have some info on it, even if those who could have uncovered this lore might consider it 'superstitious nonsense'. In a world where these are 'open' secrets, theology definitely covers Undead. However, if the creature, item, or situation seems best handled by Hidden Lore, these skills get a -5 (for example knowing that religious symbols only work for True Believers or those with Holiness). This skill would get a +2 bonus on Lore checks that "everyone should know" (frex: garlic does repel vampires).

Hidden Lore - This skill get's corresponding bonuses based on where the Lore would 'naturally fall' stuff like 'everyone knows' (Vampires are repelled by garlic) +5, stuff only "professionals" might know +2 (that it's an ashwood stake that 'permanently' stops Vampires, any other wood just stuns them for a few seconds), and no bonuses on the truly secret details (it's actual Holiness, not just waving around a religious symbol).

Yeah, I know Hidden Lore is an Average skill, but I like rewarding Players who take those Hard and Very Hard skills that don't have much application in an Action game (Naturalist, Biology, Theology, Veterinary, etc. Also this idea comes from Monster Hunters which I adapted a lot of my 'house rules' from when it came out.

I've flirted with the idea of just making "Hidden Lore" a technique off of professional skills... but that always feels too complicated. Also I usually fall into the "there should be a skill just to cover the wackiness that isn't also dealing with everyday life". Specifically for the idea of 'professional' monster hunters.

And something I didn't write there:

However I'm also torn on the notion that while learning these "hidden' lores, most characters would also realistically pick up other side skills along the way. Something not always represented on character sheets.

Like if learning how to best fight demons, one would expect to pick up some related info from a theological source, and thus should have some level of Theology on the character sheet.

But then there's Dean from Supernatural... so, counterpoint. /shrug
All fair points, this also reminds me of the time I decided to change the difficulty of some skills. I'll need to look at my notes again and see if that's a viable method.

Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
I tend to let players define the Hidden Lore skills as they take them, it adds flavor and identifies the player thinks knowing about XYZ is important

I treat Hidden Lore (X) as a super specialty of Occultism, worth a decent chunk better of margin of success

I don't really care how many Hidden Lore exist, as I expect any dedicated 'font of knowledge' type to jump right to Lore! or some other wildcard
I did that didn't work well. Those I started out with the specialities I wanted and modded them in game as needed.

Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
Also I admit I'm hazy how to handle not so hidden hidden lores

For instance, I'm running a campaign that is zombie and undead focused, inspired by Myth the Fallen Lords and Doom and stuff, so Hidden Lore (Undead) is very used

But well, it hardly seems very hidden when people have been fighting the undead for centuries? Hmmm, maybe should be Expert Skill Undead?
This might make a good blog post. If you have Hidden Lore ... what exactly is hidden?

Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
The problem there is that you then have to pay more points for the skill, because its now hard instead of average. But I agree that we need a way to handle when hidden lore isn't hidden.
Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Like using the skill Occultism? You know the one tailor made for "supernatural woo-joo"?

Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
So maybe an optional specialization in Occultism?

'Everything supernatural that is not hidden' can be a pretty huge scope

Then again, can be a very tiny scope

Still . . . in a setting where it's not hidden magic, how best to differentiate the Dragon scholar, undead scholar, or demon One?


To use a less fantasy example . . . The Soviet Union is something people used to believe existed, and would have been able to have a default to tell you about AKMs, the Kremlin, or a Hind. But there existed people who invested in 'know about Soviets' and spent CP on it

So say in our fantasy setting people believe Dragons exist, ruled by Council of Wyrms, different colors have different breath weapons etc, much like Soviets
I was thinking of an Expert skill maybe. Also at one point I had a IQ/H Occultism skill and an IQ/A Occultism. THe first let you know about supernatural stuff that was real - the second was just myths, superstitions, etc.

Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
I like to use required specializations for Occultism in fantasy and urban fantasy/monster hunters games. A true "general Occultist" can use my reverse-engineered house rule of skill generalization (Occultism then becomes an IQ/H skill, but covers all specializations).

I like the idea of scientific skills giving certain benefits. In my games, those are generally skills that give clues that something is wrong because "X does not work like that!" in the "real" world, so I think we approached it from different angles.

Hidden Lore to me is the stuff most players won't have access to unless they're part of or seriously studied the the "enemy" hierarchy. This isn't stuff that would be found on a successful Research roll, but stuff that the enemy keeps hidden from general knowledge.

An example: Occultism (Vampires) would tell my vampire hunter the various powers and weaknesses of the four vampire bloodlines (in one game, they were descended from Cain (son of Enlil and Eve), Judas Iscariot, Longinus, and Vlad Tepes Dracula), and allow the hunter to determine which bloodline(s) the vampires they were dealing with were coming from, tell how new vampires were made, and what weapons would work best. Occultism (Magic), Occultism (Lycanthropes), and Occultism (Fae) were also used in the game, the first being able to tell what a magic circle or pentagram could be used for without actual casting ability. Hidden Lore (Vampires) was then used to tell the inner workings of the Twelve Houses of the Iscariots, the Twenty-One Houses of Cain, that Longinus still worked for the Vatican, and what businesses were run by Dracula, Cain, or Judas.

YMMV, of course.
I actually did this at one point, but it lead to skill bloat and I decided to just remove it. I wonder if a perk might be useful in splitting stuff off again.

Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I use Preparation Required quite a bit for non-combat Magic as Powers and this looks pretty sound. I'm a little uneasy about 12 hours being -70% when 8 hours is -60%, but I presume you did that to bridge to multiples of 24 hours?
Yes and to smooth out the numbers. There is precedence in other limitations as well so I figured this would work ok.

Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Recurrent Preparation might be less confusing if it was called "Refresh by Preparation" or something like that. I misunderstood it as being for a kind of preparation that was only good for a while and then went away, rather than something you only needed to do once the ability was active.
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