Thread: New Skills
View Single Post
Old 07-09-2018, 02:36 PM   #74
JLV's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Far northern California
Default Re: New Skills

Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
Languages – Hmm. Having anything that costs less than 1 point add complexity. I suppose we might say “For a half-point, you can learn a language well enough to read it if you are Literate, and speak it well, but with an accent. For a full point, you sound like a native.” But that leaves a loose half-point floating around. Kind of GURPSy.
Perhaps what we need is a different approach to languages, writing/reading (literacy) and so on. Perhaps it shouldn't be tied to talents in the same way as everything else is. Maybe, instead of IQ levels and points, it should simply cost XP to learn a new language, and more XP to learn how to read and write that language. After all, even people of less than standard intelligence can learn to speak a native tongue, and several that I have known personally could speak more than one language, even if they were "illiterate" in the language. This would also allow you to differentiate the languages by type -- so learning to be literate in Mandarin Chinese might cost substantially more than learning to be literate in Russian would (for example). If you DO want to keep it tied to IQ in general terms, make learning to SPEAK a language an IQ 7 or 8 task, and LITERACY (by language) an IQ 9 or 10 task. Then, just vary the language/lieracy cost in XP based on the difficulty of the language (e.g., Sorcerer's Tongue is harder to learn than Common Speech is, and literacy for Sorcerer's Tongue is harder than literacy for Common as well).

Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
Monster Followers – I have wondered how much those get used. They definitely have no basis in reality. Should I consider deleting them and using the space for other things, and possibly doing a whole splatbook, or section of a monster book, about it? Discuss, please.
YES. Frankly I don't believe I've EVER had a player take Monster Followers (and I think, in the past 38 years, only one has taken New Followers). I think part of the problem is that no one was sure how to play them or wanted to devote the time to figuring it out (as opposed to fighting and casting spells). I think putting it together in either a Bestiary or in an entirely separate splat book would be a GREAT idea -- since it would both better explain the skills, allow you the opportunity to provide various examples of the talents in use, and tie them directly into a series of creatures who could be best associated with the skills. So, from my perspective, removing them from ITL and replacing them with other, more user-friendly things, and then bringing them back either within a Bestiary or their own splat-book would be an ideal solution.

Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
Two Weapons – I can see cutting that cost to 2. Heck, I fought with two weapons in the SCA, modestly well, and it did not fry my brain. I think it’s too powerful, mechanically, to cut to 1.
I do want to hastily offer a somewhat different perspective on this as food for thought; believe it or not, there ARE people out there who literally CANNOT handle two weapons simultaneously, no matter how much training they receive. I'm one of them. I simply cannot wrap my head around using my off hand independently of my dominant hand. It just doesn't work for me. I have excellent hand-eye coordination, and extremely fast reflexes (heck, I flew search and rescue helicopters for a living), but I still can't use two weapons properly under any circumstances -- and believe me, I tried to learn how to do this in both fencing and martial arts. I don't know if this in any way would modify your thoughts on this, but I offer it up as a point for consideration.

Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
Reduce IQ prereqs for UC talents – Maybe. They require dedicated training but not genius. Discussion?
Hmm. Part of the problem here is that learning a martial art isn't a straightforward training process the way learning how to box, or learning how to fence is. It's more a process of internalizing a mind-set than purely a process of learning moves by rote until they become "instinctual." I'm not saying that you have to accept the "philosophy" behind a martial art in order to properly use that martial art, but you do have to wrap your mind around a subtly different approach to the problem of combat than is common in western styles of fighting. Because of that, there IS a bit more to them than simply training your muscles to move in the proper fashion. On the other hand, you certainly don't have to be an Einstein to learn them; even quite average people have the capacity to learn them.

Again, maybe this is an area where varying the XP required to learn them is a more effective approach than placing them in the upper reaches of IQ -- maybe UC-V is an IQ 11 or 12 skill, but it takes five times as many XP to learn as would be indicated by its normal number of "talent points." I think something like that would be a better reflection of what actually goes on, than simply requiring someone to be a genius to learn the skills -- it takes time, not brain cells.

Last edited by JLV; 07-09-2018 at 02:49 PM.
JLV is offline   Reply With Quote