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Old 09-07-2015, 12:36 PM   #31
ericthered
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Default Re: [Sci-Fi] Managing the player that can have any skill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Citation needed.

:)
Ever noticed how many of those citations end up with a scientific paper that only shows the abstract and you have to pay a monthly fee to get the full article? Ever gone looking for information on history and to get past wikipedia you have to buy an online book? Follow those links. Try to go deep. I dare you. :)

It might just be the subjects I try to 'go deep' on (history, biology, a tiny bit of astronomy), but usually past a certain point, I hit a soft wall that demands money.

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
That makes sense -- use the rules to create the ability the GM can live with while giving the player fair use for the price paid.
I agree, If you're going to nerf an ability, let the player get a limitation for it -- unless the nerf brings it back in line with its true cost. Charging money for Super-memorization is part of its description. Looking at the 'custom modular abilities' guidelines, Super memorization should be two of 'slow, costly, and subject to interference' -- and it isn't slow.
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Old 09-07-2015, 02:00 PM   #32
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Default Re: [Sci-Fi] Managing the player that can have any skill

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Citation needed.

:)
A few related links out of thousands on the topic:

http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text...;view=fulltext

https://dl.acm.org/purchase.cfm?id=1...TOKEN=55238520

http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2007/5...p-web/abstract

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...504701361/full

http://arxiv.org/abs/0909.1785
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Old 09-07-2015, 02:32 PM   #33
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Default Re: [Sci-Fi] Managing the player that can have any skill

I've played a hologram character with the ability to gain 4 points in any repair skill and 2 points in any technology related skill (use/repair/design). It wasn't particularly game breaking because the game world (Star Trek) assumed the PCs all have a large breadth of skills (humans learning calculus and quantum physics before high school). The plot revolved less around skill rolls than player choices. Much like with GURPS Black Ops, success on skill rolls is assumed unless someone is working outside their role. If your player gets only a 1-2 CP pool usable for any skill, it will cost a lot, but its usefulness will be mitigated by being such a low level. And it will probably be only one skill at a time. Also, languages are no longer skills except for gesture, so your player might want to devote some points to another pool for languages only if they want to learn skills taught in foreign languages.
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Old 09-07-2015, 02:35 PM   #34
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Default Re: [Sci-Fi] Managing the player that can have any skill

This isn't very useful but I think it needs saying.

Don't allow super memorization (or what ever the 20 point advantage is) and do allow the version with Chip Slots.

It fits, what I imagine the campaign to be, much better. In addition it is much easier to get an idea of what a character has access to if they have a list of skill chips to chose from.

At different times I have played characters who used one method or the other and they were both awesome, but not disruptive. I think the player will be happier with the slightly cheaper but more interesting chip slot method.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:57 AM   #35
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Default Re: [Sci-Fi] Managing the player that can have any skill

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Originally Posted by Mathulhu View Post
Don't allow super memorization (or what ever the 20 point advantage is) and do allow the version with Chip Slots
If I read it right, the Chip Slots and Super-Memorization are the same point cost actually -- implying the same capabilities.

Now that I think of it I used to play Cyberpunk back in the day with chip slots. It did have a very different "game feel" because at an earlier Cyberpunk-ish tech level even though information seemed plentiful, those skill chips were not necessarily plentiful. GURPS 3E Cyberpunk p. 40 said they cost $2,000-10,000 per character point. I remember buying them as equipment during character creation and then I'd just have whatever chips were in my pocket for the whole campaign. In a William Gibson novel didn't a character insert a chip (biosoft) for Spanish just so that he could order breakfast, then he took it out again? That was awesome.

But the fact that chips must be scarce and "reference materials" are plentiful is purely a prejudice I bring to the Basic Set rules, I think. If you read the rules the two are not too different. The book -- somewhat arbitrarily -- says that chips cost $100-$1000 per CP, while "the GM determines" the cost of reference materials. Chips take 3 seconds to insert, super-memorization takes 1 second per CP. Not very different.

My original question was not about pricing the advantage, but I'm not sure if this is priced well for sci-fi. Computers, databases, networks, etc. play a big role in most sci-fi settings. In many game worlds it does seem that my intuition (and Mathulhu's) are likely to obtain: that little plastic chips are harder to find than reference materials because plastic things are physical and have to be transported physically. The point cost looks like it depends on availability; note that if ("your abilities are actually computer programs") and cost $100/CP this makes the advantage more expensive.

In sci-fi super-memorization seems more similar to "skills as computer programs" than it does to chip slots. I'm not sure of the in-game difference between a 1 second/CP "download" vs. a 1 second/CP "super-memorization of e-books and YouTube videos." The additional expense of "computer brain" seems to depend on the possibility to link downloadable skill programs with Telecommunication to produce downloadable abilities, but in fact super-memorization could also be linked with Telecommunication to produce downloadable reference materials. The physicality of a plastic chip implies to me that this makes skill harder to obtain unless there is a convenience store for biosofts on every corner. But that is not the way it is priced in the Basic Set.

Maybe "super-memorization" was envisioned as a way to provide a fantasy (not sci-fi) modular ability. That would explain the pricing because in low TLs you would guess that books ("reference materials") would be more scarce than high TL future software that does not need to be physically transported. Not sure. But at high TLs now books don't need to be physically transported, so Super-Memorization's effectiveness improves in most sci-fi settings, but the price is still lower than a "computer program."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathulhu View Post
Chip Slots...fits what I imagine the campaign to be, much better
For this game I don't see a campaign fit problem either way. I talked it over with the player and we're going to go with Unusual Background ("experimented on self with a secret military mind-enhancing biotech drug regimen"). We're at TL11^.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathulhu View Post
I think the player will be happier with the slightly cheaper but more interesting chip slot method.
Yeah unless I'm missing something (which is certainly possible) they're the same cost.

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P.S. I realize I'm discussing a very minor point difference. This isn't a big deal or anything.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:54 AM   #36
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Default Re: [Sci-Fi] Managing the player that can have any skill

I was thinking about Modular Abilities Cosmic Power, not Super Memorization, oops. I always skim over Super Memorization because it just doesn't make sense to me.
Why does Computer Brain cost more than Super Memorization? That seems odd.

Any way, the big thing I like about chips over information is that you end up with a list of things you have access to and how good they are. The character then takes that list with them instead of the GM making a list of what each location has access to instead. It seems tidier.

I don't see any problems with Super Memorization myself. It costs 29 points to get an average skill to 12 from an attribute of 10, that would be a professional level in a job type skill. It might seem a little cheap but it is a very reactive ability and those points could make a big difference to a more active power.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:38 AM   #37
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Default Re: [Sci-Fi] Managing the player that can have any skill

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Originally Posted by weevis View Post
Give me 1 second per skill point to read up on it on my phone... done."
"Ooops, you maxed out your data plan!"

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Old 10-05-2015, 07:40 AM   #38
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Default Re: [Sci-Fi] Managing the player that can have any skill

Returning to this thread with an update:

The player in question always forgets he has this ability, so the in-game consequences have in fact been zero...
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