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Old 09-17-2013, 01:13 AM   #16
Peter Knutsen
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Europe
Default Re: Attribute effect on learning

Originally Posted by roguebfl View Post
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.
Peter Knutsen is offline   Reply With Quote