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Old 03-03-2017, 03:13 PM   #1
johndallman
 
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Default New Technique family of the week: Focussed

Edit: This is the start of a series where I intend to invent a lot of Techniques, to fill out the support for non-combat skills. There's more about my plans and objectives here.

Focussed: Average, default Prerequisite, cannot exceed prerequisite +4. This is a large family of Techniques, allowing buying up a skill with a narrow focus. Many of them will not be very useful to adventurers, but they allow ordinary people to become quite skilled at something specialised. Examples include:

Edit: Techniques I've changed to yellow text are ones that I now think are too broad for Focussed. They'll reappear in a different family.

Edit: Techniques marked with a * are suggestions from discussion.

*<Specific procedure> (Administration). This lets you buy up skill for a particular activity. Purchase requests are very popular.

Flush <poison> (Body Control). This lets you buy off the skill penalties for a specific poison. This is mostly useful as a demonstration of skill, unless you are liable to get poisoned the same way a lot.

<Specific Person> (Body Language or Detect Lies). This lets you buy up skill for application to a individual person. This is useful for trying to analyse the policies of powerful people when your only information about them comes from speeches, staged public appearances, and the like. For example, it could have been practiced by Kremlinologists during the lifetime of the Soviet Union.

<Terrain Type> (Camouflage). This lets you buy up skill for a particular kind of terrain, usually the one you live in, or expect to fight in. Terrain types are as per Survival specialisations.

<Specific Activity> (Carpentry). This lets you buy up skill for a narrow Carpentry activity. For example, an employee in a furniture-making workshop might focus on making dovetail joints.

<Specific Program> (Computer Operation) this lets you buy up skill for using one particular piece of software. This was quite common in the early days of personal computers, but is now usually confined to expensive software for specialised tasks.

<Specific Subject> (Connoisseur) This lets you buy up skill for something quite narrow, such as a specific composer for (Music), or an artist for (Paintings).

<Specific coin or note> (Counterfeiting) This lets you focus on one specific piece of currency.

<Specific Group> (Diplomacy). This lets you focus on a group, such as a nation, a political party, or a socioeconomic group. If your technique level is 20+, you do get the +2 reaction for Diplomacy at 20+ from that group.

<Specific Person> (Disguise). This is the technique of disguise as a specific person. It's only useful if there's someone whom it's very important to be able to impersonate well. Access to the person, cooperative people who know them, or films or lots of photographs of them, is necessary to improve this technique.

Telegraphy (Electronics Operation (Communications)). This lets you buy up skill for the specific purpose of sending or receiving Morse or similar codes faster.

<Structure type> (Explosives (Demolition or Underwater Demolition)). This lets you buy up skill for a specific type of structure.

<Bomb type> (Explosives (EOD or NOD)). It is possible to focus on defusing a particular type of standard bomb, but it may be a bad idea: military bombs sometimes have anti-tamper devices that are varied randomly, and IEDs just vary.

<Device type> (Explosives (Fireworks)). Buying up skill in a particular kind of firework is a good idea if you work in a factory that makes them!

*<Specific Person> (Fast-Talk, Intimidation or Streetwise). This lets you buy up skill for application to a individual person. This is not cumulative with bonuses for Manipulation from Social Engineering, since it's operating in much the same way.

<Particular document> (Forgery). Buying up skill in a particular document, such as Country X's identity cards, or Country Y's driving licenses.

<Specific Sports Event> (Boating, Jumping, Lifting, Running, Skating, Skiing, Swimming, Throwing, etc.) Buying up skill in a specific sports event. This helps explain the remarkable GURPS skill level equivalents demonstrated in many sporting events.

<Species> (Mimicry (Animal Sounds or Bird Calls)). Buying up skill in mimicry of a specific kind of creature.

Throw Rider (Mount). Buying up skill in throwing a rider.

Packing (Parachuting). This lets you buy up skill for the purpose of packing parachutes, which is an IQ-based roll.

<Specific preparation> (Pharmacy or Poisons) This lets you buy up skill for preparing a specific drug or poison.

Phlebotomy (Physician or Surgery). This lets you buy up skill for the specific purpose of drawing blood, which is a medical support profession in some countries, such as the USA.

*<Device type> (Professional skill: Munitions factory worker). Buying up skill in a particular kind of explosive device is a good idea if you work in a factory that makes them!

<Specific ritual> (Religious Ritual). This lets you buy up skill in a specific ritual or ceremony.

*Grapevine (Savoir-Faire (any) or Streetwise). This lets you buy up skill for dealing with rumours: hearing about them, working out which ones are true, and passing them on where they'll do most good.

<Source> (Scrounging). This lets you buy up skill in using a particular kind of source of goods: rubbish dumps, backs of supermarkets, railway workshops, etc.

<Specific Procedure> (Surgery). This lets you buy up skill in a specific surgical procedure.

Last edited by johndallman; 03-12-2017 at 11:45 AM. Reason: Preface
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Old 03-03-2017, 04:14 PM   #2
ericthered
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Default Re: Technique family of the week: Focussed

Wow, that's a huge list.

Are these all in basic?

I was reading them and noticed that quite a lot of them are fairly useful. The ones that really stick out are:

<terrain type> (Camouflage). This is really thematic. Elves should take forest. some folks may take snow. Its probably worth just figuring out what the most common terrain type you'll be working with and adding a few points.

Particular Document (Forgery). There really aren't that many you want to do again and again. Buy passport or driver's license.

<Source> (Scrounging). This is good flavor, and it also is a cheap way to get a small bonus in many common situations.

I'll have to remember these! solid stuff!
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Old 03-03-2017, 04:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: Technique family of the week: Focussed

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Are these all in basic?
No, I invented (edit: the ones that aren't marked with *). I was finding myself inventing a lot that were mechanically similar, so I made them into a family. They are the first Technique of the Week content posting.

Last edited by johndallman; 03-05-2017 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 03-03-2017, 04:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Technique family of the week: Focussed

Great source where did Streetwise (Grapevine) come from?
I have been looking for a good rumor sifting tidbit.
I think I would like to apply it to Savoir-Faire speciliaties. Like Savoir Faire (Military) or Military or Nobility.
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Old 03-03-2017, 04:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Technique family of the week: Focussed

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
Great source where did Streetwise (Grapevine) come from?
I made it up. I've been working on this for a few weeks.
Quote:
I think I would like to apply it to Savoir-Faire specialities.
Sounds plausible to me.
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:19 PM   #6
dcarson
 
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Default Re: Technique family of the week: Focussed

You can apply that to Social Skills for a specific person I'd think. Fast Talk, Intimidation or Sex Appeal all make sense.

Administration for one type of procedure, so you know how to supply requests especially well say.
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Old 03-04-2017, 03:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Technique family of the week: Focussed

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Focussed: Average, default Prerequisite, cannot exceed prerequisite +4. This is a large family of Techniques, allowing buying up a skill with a narrow focus. Many of them will not be very useful to adventurers, but they allow ordinary people to become quite skilled at something specialised.
This seems like about the same level of specialisation as One-Task Wonder (PU2: Perks p. 17), and a future writeup might perhaps usefully mention those rules as an alternative way of achieving a similar thing. I could quite readily see allowing that guy in the furniture factory to learn OTW: Carpentry (Dovetail Joints) with his first at-work experience point, giving him an effective skill of IQ; then the second one would let him buy base Carpentry (= IQ) and the point from the perk could be converted to this technique (= IQ+1). This breaks even for an Average skill, where the second point allows the non-focussed elements to be brought up to stat-1, but not for a Hard skill, where you'd need to keep the OTW until you had a third point to put into the technique or skill.

I think it's worth keeping this explicitly distinct from normal Optional Specialties, which are rather broader.
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Old 03-04-2017, 02:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Technique family of the week: Focussed

One task Wonder:
a single task, +4 [1]

focused technique
a subcategory of a skill, +4 [4]

specialization:
a subcategory of a skill, +2 [4]*

*compare surgery 12 [16] with surgery (trauma) 14 [20], with default to all other surgeries at -2. bases of under [8] are edge cases: surgery 12 [1] vs surgery (trauma) 14 [4] is a little cheaper, and surgery (trauma) 12 [2] has no real comparison.

A fairly interesting scale, all things told. So how to I distinguish between "focused" and an optional specialty. Some of the above feel like they are on the line...
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Old 03-04-2017, 02:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Technique family of the week: Focussed

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Flush <poison> (Body Control). This lets you buy off the skill penalties for a specific poison. This is mostly useful as a demonstration of skill, unless you are liable to get poisoned the same way a lot.
Snake handlers, maybe.

Quote:

<Device type> (Explosives (Fireworks)). Buying up skill in a particular kind of firework is a good idea if you work in a factory that makes them!
Presumably this would apply to workers in munitions factories as well.

Quote:
Throw Rider (Mount). Buying up skill in throwing a rider.
I really love this one.
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Old 03-04-2017, 03:08 PM   #10
johndallman
 
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Default Re: Technique family of the week: Focussed

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
One task Wonder:
a single task, +4 [1]
Can be +5 or +6, but with the important restriction that it won't take you higher than DX/IQ.
Quote:
A fairly interesting scale, all things told. So how do I distinguish between "focused" and an optional specialty. Some of the above feel like they are on the line...
That is a difficulty. <Terrain Type> (Camouflage) and <Specific Group> (Diplomacy) are the ones that I reckoned were pushing at the boundary of an Optional Specialisation.

One idea I was using, without having put it into words at the time, was "Is it plausible to be +4 at this, rather than just +1 for the optional specialisation?" And that has just given me the idea of a Technique that goes on top of an o.s. and you can only buy if you have the o.s. Does that make sense?
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