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Old 07-09-2022, 11:26 AM   #1
agentdenton
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Default Special benefits to high skills?

The obvious and automatic benefit to having a high skill is a better chance of success.

But how about other benefits to higher skills?

In my current fave, battlelords of the 23fd century 7e, if your weapon skill is high enough you get 'bumps', which basically let you shift a hit location roll. So a head hit could be bumped to a body hit. For reasons relevant to BL23C you may indeed want to bump a head hit to a body hit, trust me.

What about other games and benefits to higher skills beyond simply increasing your success rate?
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Old 07-09-2022, 11:39 AM   #2
johndallman
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Default Re: Special benefits to high skills?

GURPS has a number of skills that give special benefits at high levels. For example, Diplomacy-20 gives +2 to all reaction rolls NPCs make to you. Animal Handling, Fast-Talk, Merchant, and several of the cinematic martial-arts skills have similar bonuses.
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Old 07-09-2022, 12:14 PM   #3
agentdenton
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Default Re: Special benefits to high skills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
GURPS has a number of skills that give special benefits at high levels. For example, Diplomacy-20 gives +2 to all reaction rolls NPCs make to you. Animal Handling, Fast-Talk, Merchant, and several of the cinematic martial-arts skills have similar bonuses.
I never used the diplomacy skill, so hadn't caught that.
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Old 07-09-2022, 10:26 PM   #4
KarlKost
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Default Re: Special benefits to high skills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
GURPS has a number of skills that give special benefits at high levels. For example, Diplomacy-20 gives +2 to all reaction rolls NPCs make to you. Animal Handling, Fast-Talk, Merchant, and several of the cinematic martial-arts skills have similar bonuses.
If you have 20+ in something useful for Inventing (Engineering, Alchemy, Thaumatology etc) you can also give a +1 bonus to a higher (!) skilled inventor.

There are endless examples of those cases. Even for spells - starting from 20, every 5 points on skill you have reduces energy costs by 1. And many many others
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Old 07-10-2022, 02:20 PM   #5
agentdenton
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Default Re: Special benefits to high skills?

How about systems besides gurps? I have a lot of gurps stuff, but can't find players so I haven't read thru it in a while.
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Old 07-10-2022, 02:49 PM   #6
malloyd
 
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Default Re: Special benefits to high skills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by agentdenton View Post
How about systems besides gurps? I have a lot of gurps stuff, but can't find players so I haven't read thru it in a while.

Lots of games increase your odds of critical successes, which are usually only loosely defined, and hence may or may not be amazing depending on how your GM manages them. One that comes to mind as a full on system is Runequest Land of Ninja's "ki" skills that allowed you to learn to do superhuman stuff with a skill over 100%.

That last system is also somewhat related to the common option of requiring an incredible level of a skill as a prerequisite to learning an "impossible" skill or superhuman power.

Negating critical failures is fairly common too - often takes the form of a saving throw based on how much the skill exceeds the "maximum" - e.g. if you have a 125% skill, you get a 25% chance of a save vs. critical failure

Some games award you periodic allotments of some a storytelling currency - fate or force points, gold stars, inventing points, whatever - that you can spend to produce superhuman results somehow related to the skill.

There are probably others, but those are the common ones I think.
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Old 07-10-2022, 03:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Special benefits to high skills?

3rd edition DnD had "synergy bonuses" where, after putting the first five points in a given skill, you gained a small bonus to your rolls with related skills- being trained at Bluff made you better at Diplomacy, being trained at Handle Animal made you better at Ride, and so on.
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Old 07-10-2022, 06:17 PM   #8
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Special benefits to high skills?

Pathfinder 2e grants extra benefits to higher levels of skill training in various ways. (PF training comes in five levels: "Untrained", "Trained", "Expert", "Master", and "Legendary".)

Higher skill levels often increase the benefits of what you can even try to do, which is a different question than whether or not you make the roll. For example, the Medicine skill can be used to treat wounds; Master medics can try a skill check that heals an extra 30 HP, whereas an Expert medic can try a skill check that heals an an extra 10 HP. The Master check is also more difficult than the Expert one, but the results aren't simply a matter of getting lucky and making a tougher threshold with the skill check. You have to have the higher training level, not matter what the roll.

Pathfinder being pretty cinematic, the example difficulties of skill tasks include what you might consider special benefits. For example, the climbing skills cite example difficulties where Expert is "wall with small handholds and footholds", Master is "ceiling with small handholds and footholds", and Legendary is "smooth surface". Being able to "climb" upside down across a totally smooth ceiling is pretty special.

Many special tricks for using a skill come as additional traits ("feats") that a character has to buy with character creation currency (feat picks). Skill feats are often gated by requiring a particular skill level in the base skill. For example, being a Master at Perception allows the possibility of taking an Expeditious Search feat, which cuts search times in half. A character with a given skill level may or may not have some particular feat -- they're not automatically granted just because of the high skill level -- but a character can't have that feat until they have at least the required skill level. You might think of this as a benefit of higher skill training, but not all characters with equally trained skills are necessarily identical.

The obverse side of that point is that some class features or feats get upgraded based on skill training. For example, there's an "Arcane Sense" feat that basically gives you the ability to detect magic. Training in the Arcana skill at Master or Legendary levels improves the ability granted by that same feat, from being able to sense "magic is here" to knowing the type of magic to being able to localize where the magic is coming from.
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Old 07-12-2022, 01:37 PM   #9
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Special benefits to high skills?

It was a video game, but the skill levels could have worked in a tabletop game as well - Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion had skills that, in addition to gradually increasing in effectiveness as your skill increased, gave special benefits at sufficiently-high levels. For example, with Marksman (the skill for using a bow and arrow; because a hit is determined by player skill, it serves to influence how much damage you do with a bow), skill 25+ meant you no longer lost fatigue when holding a bow drawn, skill 50+ gave you the ability to zoom in when aiming a bow, skill 75+ meant you had a chance of knocking down any foe you hit with an arrow (which also had a knockback effect, useful for keeping melee foes at bay), and skill 100 (the maximum) meant you had a chance of paralyzing any foe you hit with an arrow (basically just a knockback that lasted a bit longer). Meanwhile, for Light Armor (higher skill makes the armor more protective - that is, you take less damage when hit), skill 25+ and 50+ meant the armor's durability was lost at a reduced rate (2/3rds default at 25+, 1/3rd default at 50+), skill 75+ meant that worn light armor didn't count toward your encumbrance, and skill 100 meant armor had a 50% bonus if you were wearing only light armor, making the armor roughly as protective as equivalent heavy armor.
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Old 07-15-2022, 05:11 AM   #10
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Default Re: Special benefits to high skills?

The 1990s Alternity had bonus effects for having specific skills at high ranks. For example the pistol skill might've given reduced penalties to using two guns at once, and the rifle skill a better bonus for aiming, and so on (examples made up 'cause I'm too lazy to find the book and check).

That game had some pretty clever game mechanics in it, though overall it needed a bit of work.
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