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Old 01-09-2018, 01:01 PM   #1
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Making Techniques Worthwhile

With rare exception, like Ground Fighting, it is often better to improve the base skill than it is to improve more than one underlying Technique, as the improvements increase all of the underlying Techniques and any defenses associated with the base skill. In order to make Techniques worthwhile, I propose the following changes. When feinting with a trained technique (or resisting a feint by a technique that you are trained in) you gain a +1 bonus per level in the technique to the quick contest (cumulative with any feint technique). What do you think?
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Old 01-09-2018, 01:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: Making Techniques Worthwhile

I find that making techniques cheaper works well in making them a better buy. +2 to a technique (Hard or Average with no buy-in cost) for 1 CP makes them fairly attractive: you can get +8 in bonuses for the cost of a single level of increased skill. That's a decent deal.
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Old 01-09-2018, 01:15 PM   #3
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Making Techniques Worthwhile

Putting 1-3 points in techniques can raise your style perk cap and still have a useful effect, whereas putting points 1-3 points in primary skills does nothing at high levels (and there is also zero rules support for it).

ETA: Also having one or two techniques on the character sheet is a feature, not a bug. GURPS needs less clutter on the sheets, not more, and players need less decision paralysis (not more). Making your trademark move really effective and doing it all the time isn't just efficient, it is also a pretty realistic reflection of the way people actually train.

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Old 01-09-2018, 01:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Making Techniques Worthwhile

Additionally, remember that techniques stack when using them together.

So let's say I am a Fencer with the style La Verdadera Destreza. And I dual wield Rapiers.
Style Perks:
-Technique Mastery (Dual-Weapon Attack: Rapier)
-Technique Mastery (Counterattack: Rapier)

I have the Techniques:
-Dual-Weapon Attack(Rapier) +4
-Feint (Rapier) +4
-Counterattack (Rapier) +4

Because they stack, if I do a Dual Weapon Attack, onne being a Feint and the other a Counterattack? I roll at +8 to my Rapier skill for each. That is nice!
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Old 01-09-2018, 01:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Making Techniques Worthwhile

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Putting 1-3 points in techniques can raise your style perk cap and still have a useful effect, whereas putting points 1-3 points in primary skills does nothing at high levels (and there is also zero rules support for it).

ETA: Also having one or two techniques on the character sheet is a feature, not a bug. GURPS needs less clutter on the sheets, not more, and players need less decision paralysis (not more). Making your trademark move really effective and doing it all the time isn't just efficient, it is also a pretty realistic reflection of the way people actually train.
What if the rules about a style perk cap don't apply? Techniques appear in [Basic] and are supposed to apply to more than just Combat Skills. As for being intended to reduce sheet clutter, I'm going to need something more to back that up. I recall Techniques, back in 3e when they were known as "Maneuvers" being about two things: preserving a sensible Skill level cap and giving those without special powers (be they magic, psi, etc.) a bag of tricks like a mage often had Spells. In other words, they were intended to flesh out the character and character sheet, not streamline things. Maybe that changed, or maybe I'm remembering wrong. Even if I am, what about the settings/styles of play where having multiple Techniques is supposed to be good role-playing and sensible in character builds? I guess the Style Perk rules cover some of that (as I only know of those rules), but I can see why people would prefer it worked out differently.

Now, where I argue with myself. A nice feature of the current method is representing gradual progression a bit better. Most of the time, you have to get the full four CP invested in a Skill, bumping it to the next level before you see any return. I don't know if it is permitted via RAW, but I like the thought of investing points into Maneuvers, then - so long as nothing drops below where it was before - eventually shuffling those points over into the underlying Skill when the final point needed has been spent.

Example: Vince has DX 12 [40] and Brawling-14 [4]. The adventures keep allowing some downtime to practice, so Vince decides to work on some of his Brawling-based Techniques. After enough study time, he ends up with Elbow Strike (Brawling)-13 [1] and Kicking (Brawling)-13 [2]. Instead of investing his next 1 CP of Brawling practice into another Maneuver and getting Knee Strike (Brawling)-14 [1], the 3 CP from Brawling Maneuvers get moved over to the Brawling Skill itself, along with the latest 1 CP of Brawling practice, so that Vince now has Brawling-15 [8], Elbow Strike (Brawling)-13 [0], and Kicking (Brawling)-13 [0].

Again, without more advanced rules that would make the CP invested matter. If some of the rules in [Basic] already mess with that, let me know. I won't be surprised if I missed something. XP
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Making Techniques Worthwhile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
What if the rules about a style perk cap don't apply?
Then characters are free to take unlimited numbers of perks.
Quote:
Techniques appear in [Basic] and are supposed to apply to more than just Combat Skills.
Styles can also be used for non-combat systems of related skills. If you use the rule that you can't improve any techniques that aren't in a style you know, then that can apply to noncombat techniques too. Presumably that is why the Pyramid article on Influence techniques also included styles to go with them.
Quote:
As for being intended to reduce sheet clutter, I'm going to need something more to back that up.
I don't know about intent, but the end result is desirable. Changing the rules so that improving dozens of techniques is efficient would add complexity and clutter to character sheets and make making effective characters require even greater system mastery than it already does. None of that sounds appealing. I find that I want to have to guide players through the system less than I currently do, not more.

Quote:
maybe I'm remembering wrong. Even if I am, what about the settings/styles of play where having multiple Techniques is supposed to be good role-playing and sensible in character builds?
Technique costs haven't changed from manuever costs and skill costs only slightly, so one or two techniques per style was also more efficient in 3e. So yes, I think you are remembering wrong.
Quote:
I guess the Style Perk rules cover some of that (as I only know of those rules), but I can see why people would prefer it worked out differently.
I think that there is an unfortunate tendency in GURPS character design to want to put points in anything you think the character can do, when relying on defaults in many cases is all of more efficient, cleaner design, and more realistic.

I can't actually think of any martial arts training that I have ever done that really emphasizes more than a few GURPS techniques, notably in Akido I drilled Breakfall, Hand Catch Parry, and Arm-Lock more than anything else, in what GURPS calls Assaulter, Failure Drills and Masked Shooting, MCMAP was mostly body hardening and really not focused on any specific techniques at all, in the I.33 Counterattack, and because my sword is well suited, Binding and Disarm and in the weird varient of kusarijitsu I am learning for this weird sport I do now just Return Strike is the only technique that I focused on more than just mastery of the weapon.

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Old 01-09-2018, 06:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Making Techniques Worthwhile

I would probably cut Technique costs by 1 point, so the first point gives +1 to a Hard technique, +2 to an Average technique.
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Old 01-09-2018, 06:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Making Techniques Worthwhile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
I would probably cut Technique costs by 1 point, so the first point gives +1 to a Hard technique, +2 to an Average technique.
Similar to the suggestion to just make all techniques Average. Either way probably isn't a bad idea.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:09 PM   #9
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Making Techniques Worthwhile

I don't really see a problem with the current scheme.

In the first place, it's not efficient to spend time training up multiple Hard techniques. That encourages players to pick a single "signature" move and specialize in it, which both avoids cluttering a character sheet with a lot of complexity that has only minor payoffs in terms of making play interesting, and fits the way martial artists are often portrayed in fiction and drama.

In the second place, the 2-point cost for the first +1 means it's not worthwhile training the technique until you've put 4 points into the skill. That also works narratively, fitting the idea that it's the more advanced student who's skilled enough to have a personal signature move.

Back when I ran Salle d'Armes, my campaign about French students of the smallsword, what I did was have each play session include a classroom scene where the characters practiced one or another technique of Smallsword. The idea was that they weren't trying to gain a level of the technique, but were doing this as part of all-round training in the skill; that is, the list of techniques for a skill is also a list of things you might practice while learning the overall skill. It also gave them a chance to size up whether they liked a technique enough to thing about concentrating on it. I recommend this as an added use of techniques.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Making Techniques Worthwhile

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
In the first place, it's not efficient to spend time training up multiple Hard techniques. That encourages players to pick a single "signature" move and specialize in it, which both avoids cluttering a character sheet with a lot of complexity that has only minor payoffs in terms of making play interesting, and fits the way martial artists are often portrayed in fiction and drama.

In the second place, the 2-point cost for the first +1 means it's not worthwhile training the technique until you've put 4 points into the skill. That also works narratively, fitting the idea that it's the more advanced student who's skilled enough to have a personal signature move.
Not just fiction and drama, but reality too. If you train a body of techniques equally as part of of a normal training regimen, then it seems clear to me that you aren't improving any one technique above the others, and therefore it is better represented as an increase in skill. If you find that you have a technique that you are especially good at, or that you especially like to use, then points in the technique make sense, as it does if your training emphasizes a few more than others. "Training that specifically individually emphasizes all techniques equally more than others" isn't a logically coherent statement.
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