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Old 07-19-2017, 08:20 PM   #11
Bruno
 
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Default Re: [House Rules] Technique System Overhaul

The last few campaigns I've played in, all Techniques were at half price (ie 1 point for +2 in the technique. If you needed a half point to finish buying off the last -1 of a technique, that got waived.

IE if the average technique is -5, it costs 1 point to take it to -3, and 2 points takes it to +0; it would go to -1, but since it would take a half-point to get it from -1 to 0, it gets "rounded up" to 0.

BTW: Even under vanilla rules, taking multiple techniques is not necessarily sub optimal, even if you take e.g. 3. The thing is if multiple techniques can remove penalties on the same roll. So using your Flail to entangle in close combat while lying prone - that's three different techniques. I can actually get simultaneously useful techniques for Flail up to at least five (although that would be some pretty terrible circumstances to be in) but under vanilla costs that would be a bit much.

Except. Except when e.g. training cost rules, limits on rate of skill advancement, and such are being used in a campaign. If it costs less money to learn a technique, or less time, that's attractive. If you simply are not allowed to raise your skill right now (can't find a teacher good enough, can't put more than 1 point per session in it, GM puts a hard cap of 20 points, or skill 20, or whatever in skills) then exploring techniques might be a serious consideration. Particularly if you've hit a hard ceiling like that points spent or absolute skill level cap - it's not inefficient if the "efficient" alternative is impossible.

All of these are certainly a big thing in some kinds of campaign, where the GM wants to encourage breadth over depth. There's often a hard cap to attributes in these games too.
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:34 PM   #12
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Default Re: [House Rules] Technique System Overhaul

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfinlay View Post
Problems these rules set out to solve:
[LIST]
  1. Having more than one technique in a skill is almost always suboptimal. Having more than three always is.
  2. Many techniques feel either under- or over-priced due to being near the resolution limit of GURPS points.
  3. I felt that overall, skills needed a buff relative to advantages, attributes and talents.
  4. Characters with more techniques tend to be more interesting and they help to make two characters with the same skill distinct, but often they aren't worth taking except in a few cases of really powerful ones.
  5. From a realism, a narrative and a gameplay perspective, masters of some skill (very high skill level) should have a distinct style with a bunch of specialties and/or signature moves, but a lot of the time, mastery is achieved just by pumping a whole bunch of points into a skill and calling it a day.
Interesting take on a solution. I agree that there's something dissatisfying in the techniques system, in that there are so many nifty techniques attached to a skill, yet buying up 3 (sometimes even 2) feels wasteful, and buying up 4 is meaningless. I like that you're taking a shot at improving things (and especially appreciate that you start by clearly laying out the problems to be solved).

I have an observation to toss in. But first, a look at those problems (I've numbered them above):

1. This is the crux, and is the problem that interests me.
2. Certainly, some techniques may be over- or under-priced, though that's a problem with the definitions/scope of the individual techniques in question, not a problem with the techniques system itself. For GMs who don't want to muck with technique pricing, the solution is simply to adjust the effects of troublesome techniques so those better fit the cost.
3. Can't say I share that impression, though I suspect you could offer some good examples to support the idea. Will skip for now, though.
4. Agreed. It'd be nice to see detailed fighters dip deeper into unique sets of technique specializations; as you note, the cost system works against that.
5. True but I'll commend GURPS for letting you design a master by custom-designing an array of special moves and techniques and all that, OR by just slapping on a really high skill and keeping things simple. Two valid ways to do things. Definitely a feature, not a bug!

All right. My observation on the pricing issue (problem #1):

I think most of us agree that GURPS' technique pricing is problem where breadth is concerned - i.e., buying up 2 or 3 or (don't do it!) 4 or more techniques. This just doesn't play nicely with the 4-point/level cost for the whole skill.

However, IMO, GURPS' technique pricing is not a problem where depth is concerned i.e., buying any single technique up and up. I pay 1 point for a +1 on some subset of the skill (say, Feint), another 1 point for another +1, and so on, up to the cap. To me, this meshes nicely with the 4-point/level cost of the skill itself, and feels and plays just fine.

The point: I like the gist of your TP system as a fix, but to me there's a flaw in it (and in other suggestions that lower the cost of techniques all-around): The fix doesn't distinguish between the cost of technique depth (which is not a problem) and the cost of technique breadth (which is a problem).

In other words: If the TP system (or similar suggestion) gives me a handful of "technique points" for free (or at a super-cheap price), and I spend them to buy +1 on each of a handful of techniques, that feels like a nice step toward addressing the cost problem. But if I instead spend them to buy a big +X on one technique (say, Feint), it seems to me I'm getting away with something, netting a big unneeded discount on an effect that was priced fairly to begin with.

How to improve this wee little dilemma? I think that....

Well, before yammering about a fix for the above, let me stop and ask: Does my objection to the TP system even make sense? Or am I missing something completely?
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Old 07-20-2017, 04:30 AM   #13
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Default Re: [House Rules] Technique System Overhaul

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone View Post
In other words: If the TP system (or similar suggestion) gives me a handful of "technique points" for free (or at a super-cheap price), and I spend them to buy +1 on each of a handful of techniques, that feels like a nice step toward addressing the cost problem. But if I instead spend them to buy a big +X on one technique (say, Feint), it seems to me I'm getting away with something, netting a big unneeded discount on an effect that was priced fairly to begin with.

How to improve this wee little dilemma? I think that....

Well, before yammering about a fix for the above, let me stop and ask: Does my objection to the TP system even make sense? Or am I missing something completely?
I mentioned the same problem. My players would just get a lot of free points in powerfull techniques such as Targeted attack and Feint. Which doesn't really make them all that distinct just make them better at things they all already do.

But. dfinlay does mention two things that is a solution to this.

1) He charges TP differently depending on the technique. So some would cost 3 per +1, others only 1 TP per +1. So you could charge more for the techniques we feel are powerful, such as Feint.

2) He seems to deliberately NOT use the official list of techniques, but rather let players come up with their own based on their individual characters personality and traits. This would not work with my group. They would for the most part, want the ones already there.
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:59 AM   #14
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Default Re: [House Rules] Technique System Overhaul

I'm lazy but I like the idea.
Perhaps 1 free TP per character point spent after 4? and the cost of buying up your technique is similar to actual skill costs, eg 1, 2, 4, 8, unless spread over time...
Then I wouldn't have to estimate comparative values of different techniques, which imho is the keystone of making this house rule cool.
(now I want to see a thread for House Cools...)
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Old 07-20-2017, 01:19 PM   #15
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Default Re: [House Rules] Technique System Overhaul

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maz View Post
I mentioned the same problem...

But. dfinlay does mention two things that is a solution to this.

1) He charges TP differently depending on the technique. So some would cost 3 per +1, others only 1 TP per +1. So you could charge more for the techniques we feel are powerful, such as Feint.
The problem you mention is a valid one: technique points are free in the TP system as written, which means powerful combat freebies (or whatever freebies the players choose). Then there's the related problem D Cole mentions: freebie points mean more things that you have to take care of.

The problem I mentioned is a bit different (and unrelated to the matter of over-priced vs under-priced techniques). It's this: IMO, the cost of multiple techniques needs to be cheaper, but the per-level cost of a technique does not need to be cheaper.

So that's my little objection to any suggestion for free technique points, or an all-round cheaper cost for techniques: those solutions make it cheaper to buy more techniques, which is good, but also make it cheaper to buy higher levels of techniques, which is not good (IMO).

Not sure whether I make the point clearly or not...
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Old 07-21-2017, 06:52 AM   #16
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Default Re: [House Rules] Technique System Overhaul

One option to make Techniques more attractive is to boost their contribution to Perk limits - perhaps the focused training to become proficient with a technique counts more than the basic training to increase base skill.

Points in techniques might provide 2 (or 3 or 4) times their value towards calculating the number of Perks you can take.
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Old 07-21-2017, 08:05 AM   #17
Maz
 
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Default Re: [House Rules] Technique System Overhaul

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone View Post
[...]
The problem I mentioned is a bit different (and unrelated to the matter of over-priced vs under-priced techniques). It's this: IMO, the cost of multiple techniques needs to be cheaper, but the per-level cost of a technique does not need to be cheaper.

So that's my little objection to any suggestion for free technique points, or an all-round cheaper cost for techniques: those solutions make it cheaper to buy more techniques, which is good, but also make it cheaper to buy higher levels of techniques, which is not good (IMO).

Not sure whether I make the point clearly or not...
Ahh, right. Sorry for misunderstanding. Good point.
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