Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-17-2015, 12:20 PM   #41
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper6 View Post
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.
If you were to then go and delete all the skills, sure.
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 12:28 PM   #42
trooper6
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Medford, MA
Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
If you were to then go and delete all the skills, sure.
That's what people here are asking for. They want 25-50 "skills" so everything is easier.

I still say just have everyone choose three skills they name whatever they want that covers everything that fits their concept a la Over the Edge. 3 skills does everything they need should make the low-skills camp happy.

My single dad character would have had:
Ex-Cop
Tough Guy
Single-Dad

as his three skills. Concept covered. Only three skills.
Now if one really wanted to make this more like Over The Edge, you'd have to take one Incompetency. Gianni's would have been:
Incompetency: Modern Technology.

Personally, I like all the skills and find them in no way fiddly or too hard to remember.

But if it is really all too much, just go the Over the Edge route. That will make character creation, really, really fast and easy.
trooper6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 01:02 PM   #43
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

I'd tend to approach this by offering groups of related skills as a single thing that can be acquired and listed as one thing.

It could be anything group of skills, as long as it makes sense that a character would have learned them all to the same degree.

E.g.
Sword & Shield: Shortsword, Broadsword, Knife, Shield
Physicker: First Aid (TL3), Physician (TL3)
Farmer: Agronomy, Ax, Animal Handling, Polearm
Roman Legionnaire: Spear, Spear Throwing, Shortsword, Shield, Knife, Hiking

(It's sort of akin to the skill lists in Martial Arts styles, though of course those are used to potentially go hyper-detailed with maneuver sub-skills, rather than to simplify.)

If detail is wanted, there should probably be some relative +/- to certain skills or tasks, since some of the component skills are easier or might be more featured by a typlical person with that skill group.

And of course, each skill group would have a different cost per level of advancement. Which of course has the downside (for purposes of detail and of gratification/reward) that there are many points needed between each level of advancement of a skill group that includes many skills.

This could also be used not just to simplify character sheets & creation, but also to provide a mechanic to offer some realistic discounts to related skills. The default rules always seemed a bit inadequate to represent learning related skills. I'd imagine that most detailed characters would have both skill groups and skills, and some points improving their level in one or two skills that are also in a skill group.

For realism purposes perhaps more than for simplifying (or maybe not), maybe there would also be "Skill Fields" which would be all of the skills that are related to each other, and the total number of points in skills in such a field would result in some sort of default.
All medical skills, or all melee skills, or all ranged targeting skills, or all language skills, or all artistic skills, or all social skills. Maybe this is the skill-learning side of Talents? If Talents are your innate gift in a type of skill, then maybe Skill Field learning represents how much you've learned about that field, and results in increased defaults and a slight skill bonus across the board? Perhaps this could somehow be balanced so as to be a balanced alternative to increasing IQ or DX?
Skarg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 01:43 PM   #44
dataweaver
 
dataweaver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
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.).
There's a reason I concur with the “necessary evil” description of mandatory customization, and why I pointed out that even games that use short lists of broad skills tend to have two or three skills that require customization in some form.

Your reliance on the familiarity rules is an example of the same sort of thing; though I'd argue that in cases such as individual sciences, arts, or crafts, it should take more than eight hours of exposure to a new one before you can reduce the unfamiliarity penalty. Heck, even the notion that a botanist even gets to attempt nuclear physics without months of exposure to it is suspect (though I can swallow that for the sake of minimizing the chances of overlooking something you really ought to have).

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
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.
Oh, certainly. Though don't you mean “+2/[1]” (i.e., +2 to roll per point spent)?

My own proposal was premised on the notion that customization can never get you higher than “base skill + 3” (for specialties and for techniques that lack caps as written), and frequently can't even get you past “base skill” or even less (most techniques start you out at a penalty and cap you at your base skill; a few start you out at a penalty and cap you at half that penalty). To me, “spend one point to raise a technique or specialty to its cap” is less fiddly than “spend one point per +X to a technique or specialty, up to a maximum of its cap” — and for most techniques, the difference between default and cap rarely exceeds 3 or 4 anyway.

If you want to streamline it further, forbid techniques; then the rule becomes “a specialty costs one point and grants a +3 bonus; and you can't spend more than one point on a given specialty”.

I still haven't gotten around to putting your list up against Template Toolkit's Challenges, and I still intend to do so.
__________________
Point balance is a myth.[1][2][3][4]
dataweaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 02:55 PM   #45
wellspring
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I'd tend to approach this by offering groups of related skills as a single thing that can be acquired and listed as one thing.

It could be anything group of skills, as long as it makes sense that a character would have learned them all to the same degree.

E.g.
Sword & Shield: Shortsword, Broadsword, Knife, Shield
Physicker: First Aid (TL3), Physician (TL3)
Farmer: Agronomy, Ax, Animal Handling, Polearm
Roman Legionnaire: Spear, Spear Throwing, Shortsword, Shield, Knife, Hiking

(It's sort of akin to the skill lists in Martial Arts styles, though of course those are used to potentially go hyper-detailed with maneuver sub-skills, rather than to simplify.)
I mostly lurk around here these days, but when I started to wrestle with whittling down the skills list, I reached for the Styles rules as well. I wasn't going to mention it since vicky seems to be going in another direction, but since it came up...

Many skills have considerable overlap. Where does Finance stop and Market Analysis begin? And how does Economics fit into the picture? They aren't so much separate skills as different balances between Current Events (Business), Mathematics (Statistics), and Economics. Then you get cattle-call skills like Merchant, which rolls together a number of distinct concepts, united only by the fact that merchants have them. This just screams "Style rules" to me.

Styles are like a template in that they provide a nice guide to what skills you need whether you're a financier, operations manager, marketer, salesman, or entrepreneur. Then add the style-specific perk to account for that last little bit of domain knowledge that makes the analyst on wall street different from the finance professor.
  • It lets you prune the skill list down into something more manageable, while not designing out the potential for hyper-customization if that's what a GM wants. Whatever your choice, you draw from the same condensed list. You can zoom in very deeply in a campaign where it matters, without having background skills become a points dump*.
  • Say the GM wants to zoom out and have the most abstract profession possible. The style listing gives you the skills and points cost. It's easy to roll the whole list together into a Wildcard skill using the rules in Power-Ups 7: Wildcard Skills. Then you can buy the whole thing in one go, and if a roll does come up, it's handled with a very broad profession check.
  • Finally, there's the signalling benefit. By doing this selectively, a GM can communicate to the players which professions will be important (uses style rules) and which will be mostly hand-waved (uses wildcard rules). Players have no confusion about what to buy when designing their character. And if the GM does change his or her mind later, the Wildcard rules mean that the players' investment covers all the bases.

.

.

* By points dump, I mean where you have to buy a long list of overlapping skills to fit your intended background, even though the skills you buy are unlikely to figure into a campaign. Per this quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Power-Ups 3: Talents, pg 17
Moreover, divisions between capabilities in RPGs veer from remarkably fine (e.g., Filch, Pickpocket, and Sleight of Hand skills for swiping things) to incredibly coarse (e.g., Biology and Physics have phenomenal depth, and IQ encompasses “creativity, intuition, memory, perception, reason, sanity, and willpower”). This arbitrary partitioning serves game balance, not realism; a game will seem broken if improving a small number of abilities makes you an adventuring demigod while some brainy background competence burns through your character-creation currency.
A financier currently needs the long list of skills above to fit their role, even though they'll probably never roll half of them. Whereas the same points invested in "adventuring" skills like Guns or Search grants frequent, direct game advantages. Pruning the list is cleaner and improves game balance.
wellspring is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 08:03 PM   #46
dataweaver
 
dataweaver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Code:
Times encountered	Consolidated skill name
6	Animal Ken
21	Arts
20	Athletics
15	Biotech
12	Bureaucracy
13	Charm
18	Crafts
8	Deceit
14	Drive
10	Investigation
18	Larceny
11	Marksmanship
33	Mêlée
15	Occultism
16	Outdoorsman
5	Provoke
11	Psych
23	Science
4	Stealth
9	Thrown
15	Toughness
10	Unarmed
12	War
10	Wire Rat
14	Wordsmith
The Challenges from TT1 are:

• Animals
• Combat
• Communications
• Crafting
• Deceit
• Detective Work
• Esoterica
• Establishment
• Exploration
• Inventing
• Medicine
• Military
• Mobility
• Money
• Nautical
• Outdoors
• Performing
• Plants
• Research
• Sabotage
• Science
• Security
• Sneaking
• Social Engineering
• Social Sciences
• Space
• Stealing
• Streets
• Technical Means
• Transportation
__________________
Point balance is a myth.[1][2][3][4]
dataweaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2015, 05:05 AM   #47
vicky_molokh
GURPS FAQ Keeper
 
vicky_molokh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyïv, Ukraine
Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by dataweaver View Post
Your reliance on the familiarity rules is an example of the same sort of thing; though I'd argue that in cases such as individual sciences, arts, or crafts, it should take more than eight hours of exposure to a new one before you can reduce the unfamiliarity penalty. Heck, even the notion that a botanist even gets to attempt nuclear physics without months of exposure to it is suspect (though I can swallow that for the sake of minimizing the chances of overlooking something you really ought to have).
My reliance on Familiarity is. But it's also more of a case of 'for those people who will insist on not letting a person cover a sphere with a taken skill, here is a penalty solution'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dataweaver View Post
Oh, certainly. Though don't you mean “+2/[1]” (i.e., +2 to roll per point spent)?
Oh, perhaps I should clarify: I meant two points per one level of a sphere-of-competence equivalent to the RAW-skill or RAW-mandatory-specialisation breadth (so e.g. Filch or Guns (Pistol) equivalent).

Quote:
Originally Posted by dataweaver View Post
If you want to streamline it further, forbid techniques; then the rule becomes “a specialty costs one point and grants a +3 bonus; and you can't spend more than one point on a given specialty”.
That's definitely nice.
__________________
Vicky 'Molokh', GURPS FAQ and uFAQ Keeper
vicky_molokh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2015, 01:45 PM   #48
Bruno
 
Bruno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Canada
Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
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).
In general, good idea. But inclination here is to find a way to split up Melee first; of course I play a lot of action oriented games bat having that one in particular be a Very Hard skill, even for a perk for a +3 to one specialty, makes me cringe.
My first impulse is just a 1/H vs 2/H split, but I think there's a torches-and-pitchforks mob out there for making the current -4 default penalty between modes even worse.
My second impulse is balanced vs unbalanced, but where do you put stuff that was originally covered by wonky skills like Net, Whip, Garrote, and Shield? Never mind the Force <fnu> or Monowire <fnu> skills.
__________________
All about Size Modifier; Unified Hit Location Table
A Wiki for my F2F Group
A neglected GURPS blog
Bruno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2015, 01:50 PM   #49
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
In general, good idea. But inclination here is to find a way to split up Melee first
Well, there's something to be said for having the master of multiple weapons be a coherent concept. If the problem is "4 points for +1 is too cheap", that's already a problem for Johnny One-Skill, and I might split into "melee attack" and "melee defense".
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2015, 02:46 PM   #50
Dingle
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Ireland
Default Re: Alternate GURPS: Seeking a minimalistic (25-50) skill list . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Greetings, all!

This thread is partially inspired by the observation that in GURPS, attributes are relatively cheap compared to skills, such that a wide specialist, and often even a moderate specialist, is too often best built using high attributes.
I can think of another way to reduce this problem without changing as much:

If you reduced defaults between skills by a lot, and add a few more defaults for skills that don't have them, raising one skill would end up raising a lot more, and therefore it wouldn't be worth buying attributes for groups of related skills.
Dingle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
alternate gurps, house rule, skills

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.