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Old 03-03-2017, 03:09 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default New Technique of the Week: plans and objectives

My intention was originally to make up a new unofficial Technique, or a group of related ones, each week. I didn't intend to cover combat skill techniques, or psi and spell techniques, because those have lots of material already.

With a bit of experience, I found that a technique, or a group, doesn't tend to spark discussion, so I've switched to having a single thread for ongoing suggestions and discussions for techniques. Please post your ideas.

Looking through the skill lists, I'm finding that it's a lot easier to make up Techniques for skills that (I think) I know a bit about, but only a bit; having much knowledge tends to bog me down in details.

All the related threads will be tagged "new technique of the week."

Rules about Techniques
Originally Posted by B.229
Feats that have severe negative consequences on a failure, or that allow only one attempt, are Hard; all others are Average.

The skill with which a technique is associated is automatically its prerequisite – that is, you must have at least one point in a skill before you can improve its techniques. If more than one skill lets you perform the task covered by the technique, any of these skills can count as the prerequisite.

The GM may require other skills and advantages as prerequisites for particularly complex techniques.
Power-Ups 2: Perks has three important perks: Technique Adaptation, Technique Mastery, and Unique Technique. Power-Ups 7: Wildcard Skills has details on Techniques included in wildcard skills, and adds Wildcard Techniques. Powers has Techniques within Modular Abilities, and Power Techniques.

The Creating Techniques rules on pp89-95 of Martial Arts are largely about combat techniques, but are worth looking at for philosophy and game balance.

Describing techniques is useful even if characters rarely buy them. They define one of the tasks that you can do with a skill, and give it a Task Difficulty Modifier. Note that a Technique can't be the core activity of a skill. You have to buy up the skill to improve that.

When assessing default penalties for Techniques that aren't part of the usual application(s) of a skill, I reckon that you should avoid treating unfamiliarity penalties, for doing something strange, as part of the default penalty.

Costs and their consequences
Average techniques cost [1] per level; Hard techniques cost [2] for the first level, then [1] for each further level. It's not normally worth buying any Techniques for a skill until you have it at a high enough level that buying the first level of the technique is cheaper than buying more skill. That's [2] in the skill if the Technique is Average; [4] if it is Hard. The exception is if you're buying a skill purely to use a Technique, but that's rare.

What's a Technique, and what's an Optional Specialisation?
That can be a tricky decision. Techniques are a way to specialise the use of an Easy or a non-IQ based skill. For IQ/A and harder skills, a Technique is clearly narrower than an Optional Specialisation, but the dividing line may not be clear. Optional Specialisation should allow a fair range of activities, while Techniques are quite specific.

Techniques and One-Task Wonder
Many tricks that make One-Task Wonder (OTW) perks should also be improvable as Techniques of the real skill. You can't buy a technique to improve OTW; you need to know the real skill, and thus to have spent at least a point on it, to buy a Technique. You can trade in the OTW perk against buying the skill later.

If you have OTW for a skill you also know, and have not bought the skill up to Attribute level or better, buying the technique corresponding to OTW is done from the skill level, rather than the OTW level.

For example, drawing blood samples is a Physician (or Surgery) task. A OTW perk would allow doing it at IQ, and it's a plausible Technique for Physician or Surgery. Someone with IQ11, the OTW perk and one point in Physician would take blood samples at 11 (IQ) and do all other Physician tasks at 9 (IQ-2). Buying an Average technique of Phlebotomy would be done based on Physician-9, rather than One-Task Wonder. It's usually best to trade the perk in, by buying more real skill. For the example, spending two points, one on Physician and one on the Phlebotomy technique would yield Physician-10 and Phlebotomy-11.

Last edited by johndallman; 04-14-2017 at 09:57 AM. Reason: Rewrite mission statement
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