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Old 08-17-2015, 06:05 AM   #31
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

OK, so this is still a raw draft phase, but seems like 25 skills is actually doable. Maybe 30. Here's what I currently have:
http://1drv.ms/1TLSNwy
^ Excel sheet with a conversion list, and a list of the skills to which the conversions go (with the number of occurrences). Note that a single RAW skill can be simultaneously covered by two or more Consolidated Skills.

Copy of the list with counts here, as calculated as of 17-Aug-2015:
Spoiler:  

My thoughts on the resulting list:
The skills currently don't look quite equal, which may be solved by giving them different Difficulty ratings. The raw number of RAW-skills covered by a Consolidated skill is not necessarily all it takes to estimate worth:
Stealth and Deceit seem like two very low-count C-skills, but IME they get used a lot in campaigns anyway.
Otherwise, a count of 15ish seems OK for an Average skill, 18+ for Hard (though more because some 18+ skills are just too useful, like Larceny and Crafts), 10- for Easy, and 25+ for Very Hard (hypothetically).

A special note on Provoke: this Consolidated Skill is largely inspired by the way a skill of the same name works in FATE, and by the desire to emulate whatever social skill Renegade Shepard possesses in ME2+ (no, it's not just intimidation). It's meant to cover not just intimidation and the like, but also taunts, ability to inspire people through negative emotion, ability to bend rules and get away with it through sheer chutzpah etc. GURPS seems to be somewhat lacking in this area.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:26 AM   #32
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Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

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Grouping specialties certainly helps reduce the load, but that's not the only deal. The other big important thing is that Exalted-style Specialities are optional. I you want to be a master of etiquette, you don't need to go through 4-6 specialities of Socialize - you just buy Socialize 5 and are done with it. In Exalted, this is slightly undermined by the fact that specialities (a) are given out at chargen (you get four for free) and (b) allow you to bust the dicepool cap slightly.
Yes. That's why the “(c)” in my post was “they're usually optional” — emphasis on “usually” because nearly every “consolidated skill list” I’ve ever encountered makes specialization mandatory for the likes of academics, crafts, and sciences.

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Speaking of specialities, in 4e they seem to be something that is rarely worth the bother with the RAW skill narrowness. The +1 is a minor bonus to a very narrow field in exchange for -1 to everything else, and you need to go over possible specialisation for each and every of your eligible skills. That's annoying more than useful.
I would not advise using GURPS' standard specialization rules for this project — nor the standard Technique rules, for that matter. Rather, I'd recommend something along the lines of what Fate Core does: have a separate trait that you take to customize a skill, either by improving your roll where the specialization or technique is involved or (more rarely) by expanding the scope of the skill so that it can do things it otherwise couldn't do. In GURPS terms, this customization trait would work best as a Perk.

One benefit of this approach is that you avoid skill bloat: as GURPS normally handles specializations, each specialization is effectively a separate skill: even the optional specializations can almost be thought of as “reduce the difficulty level by one (just like required specializations), and default to all other optional specializations at a -2 penalty.” With specializations replaced by customization perks, you never have new skills added to the list, and each skill only ever has one purchased rating tied to it.

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While Template Toolkit is interesting, it seems to be too much of a 'make your own campaign-specialised template set' instead of offering a more generic solution.
True. However, the Challenges are still something that ought to be consulted to make sure you haven't forgotten anything. Give me some time, and I'll see about doing exactly that for your proposed skill list.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:34 AM   #33
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Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

OK, it seems like mixing up optional and mandatory specialisations in this discussion is something that happens but is to be avoided, so . . .
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Yes. That's why the “(c)” in my post was “they're usually optional” — emphasis on “usually” because nearly every “consolidated skill list” I’ve ever encountered makes specialization mandatory for the likes of academics, crafts, and sciences.
Well, the idea of the consolidated list is to avoid something as fiddly as dozens of mandatory specialisations.

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I would not advise using GURPS' standard specialization rules for this project — nor the standard Technique rules, for that matter. Rather, I'd recommend something along the lines of what Fate Core does: have a separate trait that you take to customize a skill, either by improving your roll where the specialization or technique is involved or (more rarely) by expanding the scope of the skill so that it can do things it otherwise couldn't do. In GURPS terms, this customization trait would work best as a Perk.
Actually, Techniques look like the way FATE does specialisation bonuses. Pricing is to be estimated at some level, of course.
As for widening the scope of a skill - I have marked some skills with a * symbol in the note column (in the linked document, not in the post), which is meant to denote skill functions that only become available after taking some enabler trait, e.g. TbaM for cinematic combat skill functions. But I see that as a necessary evil.
Having e.g. a dozen scope-expander perks for a dozen ElOps specs would defeat the purpose of skill consolidation. The idea of skill consolidation is that you don't need to specify such fiddly details as whether you know sensors and sonar (which is somehow not a sensor), or one or the other of the two.

[QUOTE=dataweaver;1928463]One benefit of this approach is that you avoid skill bloat: as GURPS normally handles specializations, each specialization is effectively a separate skill: even the optional specializations can almost be thought of as “reduce the difficulty level by one (just like required specializations), and default to all other optional specializations at a -2 penalty.” With specializations replaced by customization perks, you never have new skills added to the list, and each skill only ever has one purchased rating tied to it.
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:07 AM   #34
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Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

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OK, it seems like mixing up optional and mandatory specialisations in this discussion is something that happens but is to be avoided, so . . .
FWIW, I've been making a point not to conflate them. That said, I could see some merit in an Advantage that you can tie to a skill with mandatory specializations that lets you treat them as optional specializations.

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Well, the idea of the consolidated list is to avoid something as fiddly as dozens of mandatory specialisations.
Right; which is why I mentioned (albeit briefly) that mandatory customization ought to be rare.

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Actually, Techniques look like the way FATE does specialisation bonuses. Pricing is to be estimated at some level, of course.
Pricing is my main issue here: 1 point per +1 is too expensive relative to the cost of a skill. My own pricing for Techniques is to replace each Technique with a Perk that maxes out the Technique or adds +3 if the Technique has no maximum.

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As for widening the scope of a skill - I have marked some skills with a * symbol in the note column (in the linked document, not in the post), which is meant to denote skill functions that only become available after taking some enabler trait, e.g. TbaM for cinematic combat skill functions. But I see that as a necessary evil.
“Necessary evil” is a good way to put it, yes.

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Having e.g. a dozen scope-expander perks for a dozen ElOps specs would defeat the purpose of skill consolidation. The idea of skill consolidation is that you don't need to specify such fiddly details as whether you know sensors and sonar (which is somehow not a sensor), or one or the other of the two.
I know that, which is why I think it should be avoided when it’s reasonable to do so.
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:18 AM   #35
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Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

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FWIW, I've been making a point not to conflate them. That said, I could see some merit in an Advantage that you can tie to a skill with mandatory specializations that lets you treat them as optional specializations.
Yeah, I tried to support your point by discussing them with (hopefully) more obvious separation.

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Right; which is why I mentioned (albeit briefly) that mandatory customization ought to be rare.
I'd rather make it completely eliminated other than in the form of familiarity penalties (gunner picking up a crossbow for the first time etc.).

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Pricing is my main issue here: 1 point per +1 is too expensive relative to the cost of a skill. My own pricing for Techniques is to replace each Technique with a Perk that maxes out the Technique or adds +3 if the Technique has no maximum.
I suppose a +1/[2] is OK as a price for a single specialisation. However, I see it as important to make sure that at this price, a specialisation can't be raised more than N levels beyond the main consolidated skill which covers said spec. N would probably be something between 3 and (points spent on main consolidated skill/2), IMHO. Otherwise jack-of-one-skill becomes too cheap to raise through the roof.
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:21 AM   #36
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Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

Isn't this already covered by talents?

Isn't this pretty much exactly what talents were designed for? To make it easier to create a specialist without resorting to attribute dumping?
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:17 AM   #37
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Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

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Isn't this already covered by talents?

Isn't this pretty much exactly what talents were designed for? To make it easier to create a specialist without resorting to attribute dumping?
Remembering what six skills to throw into a talent is the same difficulty as remembering to pick up all six of the same skills at character generation and overlooking them means mostly the same problems.
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:24 AM   #38
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Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

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Remembering what six skills to throw into a talent is the same difficulty as remembering to pick up all six of the same skills at character generation and overlooking them means mostly the same problems.
I suppose, but just because you forgot doesn't mean that the system doesn't work anyway. I mean, you could very easily just ask the GM if there is something you forgot to add it to the talent later, or as a GM, add it if it is necessary.

At least currently you have the ability to lump skills together, and the ability to segregate them easily. People forget stuff all the time; it is much much more fun to be lenient when pertaining to matters like talents since that is the point of playing the game right?

Though, I will admit, the skills section is incredibly difficult for people newer to the system. I had the worst experience trying to teach someone that skill A only does skill A stuff and not things related to skill A.
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:54 AM   #39
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Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

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Isn't this already covered by talents?
No. Or at least, not well -- even if you put every skill under exactly one talent, you'd wind up with more than 25 talents.
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Isn't this pretty much exactly what talents were designed for? To make it easier to create a specialist without resorting to attribute dumping?
Pretty sure the intent is to cut down on the number of fiddly little skills that you might forget about when building a character.
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:17 PM   #40
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Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

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No. Or at least, not well -- even if you put every skill under exactly one talent, you'd wind up with more than 25 talents.

Pretty sure the intent is to cut down on the number of fiddly little skills that you might forget about when building a character.
Well the title of the thread is minimalistic (25-50) kills list. And if you put everything into a Talent you would get 25-50. So that seems to fulfill the original thread requirement well enough.
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