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Old 07-16-2016, 04:15 AM   #1
(E)
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default [Skills, house rule] Unaging and skills

I am currently chewing an idea over for a game where the default character is an unaging elf. The game will have a fast forward approach to history with a mini-campaign then jump forward decades (or more) structure.

As such time use and maintaining high skill levels are not ideal mechanisms to use. I was planning on dividing* the characters skill sheet into martial art style packages**. Now each character will have a list of packages they have been trained in (Say 10 at game start?) and from this list they can choose maybe five packages*** that they have used in recent years and one that they are focusing in/spending a lot of time on. Points are shuffled around appropriately. At the end of the mini-campaigns the players tell the GM what they have planned for their downtime and a new selection of recently used packages is chosen for the next mini-campaign.

Notes
- Improvement of package selection, level of skills in a package and number of active packages is a given.
- Elves should have some characteristics that differentiate them from humans in pointy ears.
- Packages will be grouped along the line of 1 Primary skill, 2 secondary skills, 2/4/8 support skills.
Quick example, the exact makeup of each package will differ from character to character, a noble may have artistic appreciation (knife) in their version.
Primary Skill Knife,
Secondary skill Armoury (knife), Fast draw (knife)
Support Skills Knife art, Philosophy, knife throwing, off hand weapon perk knife

- Other threads have covered skill levels with unaging characters and while the options of "Immortals have no urgency to learn skills", "they will spend all their time maintaining what they know" and "They learn with great breadth of knowledge so it takes longer (and lasts longer as a result)" have all come up I am working on a mechanic rather than a justification.
- When I get around to calculating the points etc I presume it will be a modular ability of some sort. Maybe 12 or 24 points in each active package (1/3 in primary, 1/3 in secondary, 1/3 support)

Are there any rules for remembering skills and for recovering forgotten skills?
What happens when the elf goes to talk to the 12th century scholar in Latin when the last time he spoke it Julius Caesar was getting his feet wet in the Rubicon?

Does any one have any input or ideas on this house rule?

*Probably 80% of the skills will fit, languages, knowledge and social skills are a bit more difficult to include.

**I will try to keep the packages similar with 5,7 or 11 skills (or sometimes perks) in each for mathematical reasons.

***Overlap is acceptable, i.e. a skill may be in more than one package.
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Old 07-16-2016, 06:20 AM   #2
Polydamas
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Central Europe
Default Re: [Skills, house rule] Unaging and skills

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Originally Posted by (E) View Post
Are there any rules for remembering skills and for recovering forgotten skills?
What happens when the elf goes to talk to the 12th century scholar in Latin when the last time he spoke it Julius Caesar was getting his feet wet in the Rubicon?
The default, as published in GURPS Banestorm, is that native proficiency in a language sometimes gives Broken or Accented fluency in earlier or later forms of the language or closely related ones. Someone with English (Native, Elizabethan Yorkshire dialect) might have English (Broken, 21st century working-class Scottish) for free.

When to declare that two ways of speaking and writing are different languages for GURPS purposes is a judgement call. In a game where linguistic problems were significant, I would make the Elf's Latin (Spoken, Medieval French) Accented. For reading Latin you could go either way: the grammar and morphology are almost the same, but the elf will know a different set of abbreviations, ligatures, formulas, letter-writing conventions, etc. And its perfectly fine to say that for this game, you are not worrying about dialects and registers and language change over time!

Infinite Worlds might have some useful rules for this.
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Old 07-16-2016, 04:50 PM   #3
dcarson
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Default Re: [Skills, house rule] Unaging and skills

I'd be tempted to allow Impulse Purchases for skills, if they have spare points and are willing to spend one or more then yes they have the skill at that level.
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Skills, house rule] Unaging and skills

The non-chosen skill packages should still have a benefit of some sort. Increased defaults for old semi forgotten skills would be a definately. Probably increased (re)learning speed as well.
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:26 AM   #5
Polydamas
 
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Default Re: [Skills, house rule] Unaging and skills

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The non-chosen skill packages should still have a benefit of some sort. Increased defaults for old semi forgotten skills would be a definately. Probably increased (re)learning speed as well.
Just remember that the Default is an abstraction which covers everything from 'I did this every day growing up helping my mother on the farm, but stopped when I travelled to the big city to seek my fortune' to 'I think I maybe saw this on the History channel once?'

I might well treat [1] or [2] in a skill as the remnants of one learned long ago and now out of practice, or give characters a Modular Ability for re-calling forgotten skills and languages given a few weeks' exposure. I would be very lax about which skills and languages could be recalled, probably saying "anything related to a short phrase like 'mercenary pikeman in 15th century Burgundy' or 'street vendor in Neo-Babylonian Uruk'" ... trying to create a plausible list of every skill which an ancient immortal had ever had contact with sounds like too much work.

When I was gaming, I notice that there is work which I did as an intellectual exercise but never had much impact on play, and work which was useful for the game. GURPS can tempt you to spend time on the former.
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:01 PM   #6
dcarson
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Default Re: [Skills, house rule] Unaging and skills

Don't forget the Dabbler Perk for things between default and 1 point.
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Old 07-18-2016, 04:51 AM   #7
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default Re: [Skills, house rule] Unaging and skills

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Originally Posted by dcarson View Post
Don't forget the Dabbler Perk for things between default and 1 point.
Thanks for that reminder completely forgot dabbler.

Had a quick look at the numbers

Each available skill group will include Dabbler (skills in the group) Accelerated learning 2 (skills in the group, up to old maximum) which come out at 8 points. Personally I think it should be cheaper so 5 points per available skill package.

Selecting a skill package is a type of modular ability and a rough eyeball puts the packages at close enough to 1 point in modular ability equals 1 point in skill. Breaking it into packages is a somewhere between a restriction and a special effect but this is balanced out by the various perks which may logically remain regardless of how practiced the skill is. So 24 points per skill package and 36 points points for a package with an extra level in all skills.

Package will follow a basic structure combat skill packages for example will have the main skill, an Art version, a relevant Craft skill and a philosophy. Player selected but steered towards a very broad foundation.*
1/2/(4 or 8) structure to each package.

*I ran the "elven" approach past one player and he came up with an elven martial art, primary skills; Breath control, philosophy. Weapon skill an after thought.
"first you must learn to breathe, then I will teach you to move, then I will teach you where to move to, once you have mastered these things I will teach you strike"
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