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Old 07-02-2017, 02:20 PM   #41
johndallman
 
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Default Re: New Technique family of the week: Focussed

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Compared to the myriads of people and devices, these two sound like Hyperspecialization to me (I know this opinion of mine is subject to controversy / not to be taken for granted).
I agree that we're somewhere close to the line, but I tend to think Hyperspecialisation is for the truly esoteric.
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:04 AM   #42
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Default Re: New Technique family of the week: Focussed

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I agree that we're somewhere close to the line, but I tend to think Hyperspecialisation is for the truly esoteric.
Hyper-Specialization's hard rules on what counts are:
  • Must take at least three words to describe
  • Unlikely to matter more than once in an adventurers career

I can basically understand all of the examples, although the only one where I really know anything is the Trivalent Flu Vaccines (SARS and H1N1/09 were very... exciting here and it got me reading).

Technically "esoteric" isn't really the requirement. It's more "very very narrow". That said, talking shop about the various details of left-handed manual-can-opener design may sound just as greek to the layperson as talking shop about Top Quark Mass Models.

Something like the lip reading isn't always in the same vein as Top Quark Mass Models; ignoring the 3-word rule for a moment, Lip-Reading (My Ally) or (Some PC) is something that you could probably find quite a few occasions for, rather than only once before you retire the character.

On the other hand, if your specialty is reading George Bush's lips and you're an average Joe who doesn't work with him and basically only sees him on TV or when he shows up to publicity events, I think that meets the "Probably will only show up once, if that" standard.

Hyperspecialization: Lip Reading (My Own Lips) would definitely qualify, and be a really interesting perk.
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:43 PM   #43
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Default Re: New Technique family of the week: Focussed

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On the other hand, if your specialty is reading George Bush's lips and you're an average Joe who doesn't work with him and basically only sees him on TV or when he shows up to publicity events, I think that meets the "Probably will only show up once, if that" standard.
This gets into the really weird thing that when you spend 200 hours on a learnable advantage, the benefit of the training becomes highly dependent on the usefulness thereof, ranging from +5 (Hyperspec) to + (Hard Technique). I think that's rather perverse and contrary to how learnable things (such as skills and skill-perks), as opposed to 'detached' advantages (like Wealth, Allies or Serendipity) work.
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Old 07-22-2017, 05:59 AM   #44
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Default Re: New Technique family of the week: Focussed

Some more Focussed techniques:

Good Cop/Bad Cop (Interrogation). Anyone with Interrogation training can use this method, but it's possible to buy up skill in it as a Technique. This works for either role.

<Knot family> (Knot-Typing). Knot-Tying is DX/E, and can't have optional specialisations, but it is possible to take a Technique in a group of related knots. Hangmen are the most prominent example of a trade where this is useful, since failures are very embarrassing.

<Specific Organisation> (Observation). This lets you buy up skill in using Observation to find out how a particular organisation, such as a security company or army, has set up at the site you're observing. However, the technique bonus only applies if they're using their standard procedures.

<Animal type and goods> (Packing). This lets you buy up skill in Packing for a combination of pack animals and goods, such as (horses carrying ironwork) or (camels carrying cloth). If your technique level is 15+, and it applies to 80% or more of the pack animals in a caravan, you fulfil the requirement for a packing master.

<Character> (Performance). This is buying up Performance skill for playing a specific character. This is surprisingly common for TV soap opera stars, who often struggle when required to play a different part.

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Old 07-22-2017, 06:02 AM   #45
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Default Re: New Technique family of the week: Focussed

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Compared to the myriads of people and devices, these two sound like Hyperspecialization to me (I know this opinion of mine is subject to controversy / not to be taken for granted).
A different counter-argument is that Hyperspecialization is limited to IQ-based "knowledge" and "scientific" skills, unless the GM wants to make an exception.
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:13 AM   #46
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Default Re: New Technique family of the week: Focussed

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A different counter-argument is that Hyperspecialization is limited to IQ-based "knowledge" and "scientific" skills, unless the GM wants to make an exception.
Good point in the context of Lip Reading and Machinist. (Which makes an interesting distinctions between hands-on skills like the former two, versus scientific skills like Psychology, Body Language or Memetics.)
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Old 07-22-2017, 07:10 AM   #47
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Default Re: New Technique family of the week: Focussed

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Good point in the context of Lip Reading and Machinist. (Which makes an interesting distinctions between hands-on skills like the former two, versus scientific skills like Psychology, Body Language or Memetics.)
It does. My first thought is that this may come down to the way we lack an equivalent of writing for hands-on skills; we don't have a way to get people to reproduce physical actions nearly as readily as we can communicate ideas.
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:16 AM   #48
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Default Re: New Technique family of the week: Focussed

And some more Focussed suggestions:

Listening (Carousing, Psychology (Applied), Professional Skill (Bartender), Savoir-Faire (any) or Sex Appeal). This is the art of being a "good listener," which will often encourage people to keep on talking. This is a useful way of building up a relationship, as well as spying.

Somebody Knows (Administration, Diplomacy, or Savoir-Faire (any)). This is buying up skill in finding out who, within an organisation, knows the fact you're after or can easily do a task. If you only ask for favours, and don't perform them in return, this technique can suffer penalties of -4 or worse.

Shoemaking (Leatherworking). This is buying up skill in making and repairing shoes; Leatherworking is DX/Easy, and thus can't have an optional specialisation, but shoemaking was an important and widespread trade until it was industrialised in late TL5. Glover and Saddler were important enough to establish occupational surnames, and would also be focussed techniques.

Embroidery (Sewing). This is buying up skill in embroidery; Sewing is DX/Easy, and thus can't have an optional specialisation, but hand embroidery has been an art, and often an important craft, for thousands of years. Other Sewing focussed techniques would plausibly include Crotchet, Knitting, Furnishings, Sailmaking, and Tailoring. Clothing design is IQ-based Sewing, boosted by Fashion Sense, which has techniques of at least Men's and Women's.

<Object> (Sleight of Hand). This is buying up skill in manipulating a specific kind of object with Sleight of Hand. Decks of cards are a very popular choice, as are small quantities of powder for poisoners.

<Mineral> (Prospecting). This is buying up skill in finding a particular kind of mineral. Gold is always popular.

<Specific event> (Running). This is buying up skill in running specific distances, usually for sporting purposes. The techniques for similar distances have defaults to each other: 200 metres might default to 100 metres-2, but 10,000 metres has no default from either.
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Old 08-26-2017, 09:19 AM   #49
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Default Re: New Technique family of the week: Focussed

Some more ideas for Focussed techniques:

<Decan> (Ritual Magic). This is buying up skill for rituals that employ a specific decan in Hermetic magic. This is quite worthwhile for specialists.

Sneak Away (Shiphandling (Submarine) or Submarine). This is buying up skill in evading a hunt for your submarine, making full use of water conditions, bottom contours, and so on. It's popular amongst SSBN crews.

<Type of goods> (Smuggling). This is buying up skill in smuggling a specific good or substance. For example, there are SLR cameras with built-in hidden compartments, ideal for diamond smuggling, and considerable effort has gone into ways of smuggling cocaine in solution, rather than as powder.

Corruption (Streetwise). This is buying up skill in exploiting corruption: knowing who can be influenced and how, finding ways to make your own corruption seem normal and acceptable, and inducting new people into the club.

Opinions?

Last edited by johndallman; 08-27-2017 at 06:57 AM. Reason: Corruption is too broad
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Old 08-26-2017, 10:22 AM   #50
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Default Re: New Technique family of the week: Focussed

Most of these are quite solid! However...

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Corruption (Streetwise). This is buying up skill in exploiting corruption: knowing who can be influenced and how, finding ways to make your own corruption seem normal and acceptable, and inducting new people into the club.
This one feels a bit too broad as a technique (I could see it as an optional specialization of Streetwise, though). I think it would be better broken down into "Bribery" (covering estimating the values of bribes and presenting them in a non-offensive and subtle way), "Coverups" (covering keeping criminal activity in general secret), and "Recruitment" (covering judging whether a person is likely receptive to an offer to join a criminal enterprise, and making the offer in a way they'll understand, but isn't blatantly obvious to everyone).
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