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Old 07-07-2013, 12:35 PM   #51
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Skills, skills everywhere

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Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
I don't know that perk. I begin to understand how it works (thanks to this thread) but, as far as I understand it, it doesn't sound to be a miraculous solution: how many skills are involved when you take it?
Two to Eight.
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Did you ever try to stat yourself as a GURPS character?
Back in 3e, yes. I was a negative 108 point character, IIRC. I thought about doing it in 4e, but realized it's fairly pointless thing. Most game traits are entirely subjective, and the system isn't really made for in-depth characterization of real persons, but rather for fairly broad characterizations of fictional heroes. It's hard to describe all of ones own interests, habits, handicaps, and peccadilloes with only five quirks, for instance.
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For myself, it's impossible to do it with only 25 points. I'm not at all a superman, neither a hero, but I learned a lot of different things. So, I have a lot of skills and not just at the default level...
How many more points do you suppose your cat is then? :)

At any rate, Kromm has often said stuff that I interpret to mean that you actually do have those skills at default.
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The "problem" of GURPS 4th edition (which is not really a problem, since it is a game mainly design for adventures) is that there is not anymore the half-point of the third edition. This half point was interesting to create ordinary people who know a lot of things at a low level.
Hence Dabbler.

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Another "problem" (which is neither a true problem) is that GURPS skills are very specialized. Take Games, for instance, or Sports. If you know well enough 3 of them, you have to take 3 different skills.
What constitutes well enough. Well enough to compete professionally or at least at the competitive amateur level? Most people don't do that.
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I can play chess, checkers, several card games, several wargames and
And win tournaments? Make money?
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game master at minimum 5 different role playing games.
Hobby (RPGs) is just one skill, though.
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Add to that the fact that my karate style requires two different skills (Judo and Karate),
Do you compete?
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and a dozen of different techniques (if I use Martial Arts)
Putting points into a dozen techniques is a great way to waste points in GURPS.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:16 PM   #52
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Default Re: Skills, skills everywhere

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Originally Posted by vierasmarius View Post
It's not in Basic Set. I'm not sure where it was first introduced, but it's included in Power-Ups 2, pg 16. I find it instrumental in creating believable low-point characters.
Okay, I looked forward a page, and no-one seems to have answered this, so I hope I haven't been "ninja'd"...

IIRC, it was originally in Thaumatology or Magical Styles? Learn 8 spells at default +1, or 4 spells at default +2, or 2 spells at default +3 (or any combination). (And to those wondering about the perk: it's limitation is, you can't learn up from these bonuses-to-defaults. Put a full point into one of these spells/skills, and you get default +4, as per normal, but don't get back the fraction of a point that went into the perk...)

It was then generalized to Dabbler, in Power-Ups 2, so it was available for ANY skills.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:23 PM   #53
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Default Re: Skills, skills everywhere

A couple of things I am wondering: how extensively do players rely on "buying up from default"? I'd think that quite a lot of skills on character sheets would be that...

And "learning-by-doing," doesn't that require actual effort on the part of the character (and, in statting real-world individuals, people)? I know that my driving isn't improving, for instance, since even though I spend about 6 hours a week driving (which means, being "self-taught," I should be getting a point every 2-3 years), I'm not actually making an effort to get any better. I'm just driving.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:28 PM   #54
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Default Re: Skills, skills everywhere

Remember that in order to get even a default in a skill, you have to know something about it - so the fact that you know something about a skill doesn't mean you're not using it at default. Even if you've spent time studying the skill, you might not have a full point in it - and at 4e's resolution before Dabbler was introduced, that means no points.

Ditto for techniques. Just because you know how to kick someone, or apply an arm lock, or whatever, doesn't mean that you have extra points in Techniques; most likely it's just part of knowing the underlying skill (which, again, you might not even have a full point in). If you can get to the end of the sentence "I have 12 Techniques" without noticing a problem with the concept of having 12 narrow specializations, you're thinking about it all wrong.

Of course, I say this, and yet I'm an advocate for giving (for instance) moderately experienced drivers a point in Driving vs. those people who assume nearly everyone is operating at default. In any case, you can't assume that you have a point in every skill you know.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:44 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
A couple of things I am wondering: how extensively do players rely on "buying up from default"? I'd think that quite a lot of skills on character sheets would be that...
Well, to do this at all, you have to have the master skill at a high enough level above its attribute that other skills get a default level equivalent to having put points in them. That's a fairly rare situation, unless you're deliberately exploiting the default system by buying up a master skill really high.

Then, once you get there, it only makes sense to put points in one of the "slave" skills if it would only take an additional point or two to improve that skill by one level, AND if you only intend to buy up a couple of slave skills this way; otherwise it makes more sense to pump points into raising the master skill - same as with buying Techniques.

I feel like the way defaults work needs revision, but I haven't hit on a simple and satisfying replacement mechanic.

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And "learning-by-doing," doesn't that require actual effort on the part of the character (and, in statting real-world individuals, people)? I know that my driving isn't improving, for instance, since even though I spend about 6 hours a week driving (which means, being "self-taught," I should be getting a point every 2-3 years), I'm not actually making an effort to get any better. I'm just driving.
Over your lifetime, you'll probably encounter challenging driving circumstances that count as learning - bad weather, sudden blowout on the highway, having to avoid some guy who's driving like a psycho, merging into heavy traffic, and so on - so as the years pass, I would expect your Driving skill to improve somewhat. But yes, most of the time, you're not really learning anything new.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:17 PM   #56
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Default Re: Skills, skills everywhere

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Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
IIRC, it was originally in Thaumatology or Magical Styles?

It was then generalized to Dabbler, in Power-Ups 2, so it was available for ANY skills.
Wizardly Dabbler is introduced in Thaumatology: Magical Styles, which was published after Power Ups 2: Perks. It was a magic-specific variant of Dabbler, rather than the other way around. PU2 is the first mention of the Dabbler perk that I can find.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:36 PM   #57
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Default Re: Skills, skills everywhere

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And "learning-by-doing," doesn't that require actual effort on the part of the character (and, in statting real-world individuals, people)?
There isn't a "learning by doing rule". There's a Learning on the Job rule on p. B293 and it expressly mentions this. "However, since most time on the job is spent doing what you already know, not learning new things,"
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I know that my driving isn't improving, for instance, since even though I spend about 6 hours a week driving (which means, being "self-taught," I should be getting a point every 2-3 years),
It doesn't mean "self-taught". Self-Teaching is for " reading, exercises, practice, etc. without an instructor". It's much closer to Learning on the Job; which means you should be getting 1 point every 2.6 years.

However, it's also not clear exactly what counts as "practice" for Maintaining Skills (unfortunately). I've been thinking that it might mean that if you don't get at least 200 hours of learning in six months you'd have to roll. So for your driving, you'd be rolling to maintain it twice a year and only getting at most 1 of those levels back (if your Driving drops back to default) every 2.6 years.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 07-07-2013 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:48 PM   #58
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Default Re: Skills, skills everywhere

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Then what are you comparing? Skill-ups by CP expenditure only happen on adventures, not with mooks like us.
Speak for yourself. I'm a PC.
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:56 AM   #59
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Default Re: Skills, skills everywhere

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Back in 3e, yes. I was a negative 108 point character, IIRC. I thought about doing it in 4e, but realized it's fairly pointless thing. Most game traits are entirely subjective, and the system isn't really made for in-depth characterization of real persons, but rather for fairly broad characterizations of fictional heroes. It's hard to describe all of ones own interests, habits, handicaps, and peccadilloes with only five quirks, for instance.
I almost agree with you here. But just almost.

Yes, GURPS is mainly designed to create fictional heroes. Which is emphasized by the fact that the basic unit of the game is named an "adventure".

Having said that, it is perfectly possible to create an ordinary character with GURPS 4 (ordinary people suddenly thrown in extraordinary events is very common in a lot of genres, including the most famous ones, and even the precise story from which the very first role palying came: The Lord of the Rings).

And creating a detailed character is possible with a lot of depth. Especially with the fourth edition. There are a lot of little realistic advantages and disadvantages and each of them can even be customized with Enhancements and Limitations...

Dabbler was just what was missing to me to make things even more precise. Thanks to this thread, I now got it. Many thanks to all of you!

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
How many more points do you suppose your cat is then? :)
Not a lot... But certainly not just 0. She is MY cat. So she is extraordinary! ;-)


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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
At any rate, Kromm has often said stuff that I interpret to mean that you actually do have those skills at default.
Yes and I do agree with him for most situations... But there is still a difference between someone who has his driving license since yesterday and someone who drive for more than 25 years, like I do. Likewise, there is a difference between someone who just learned chess rules and someone who plays for many years, even if I do not take part in any official tournaments and content myself to play with friends...

Defaults level don't do any difference between those characters. Thanks to the Dabbler perk, I can now do it without having to put a full point in the skill!

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
What constitutes well enough. Well enough to compete professionally or at least at the competitive amateur level? Most people don't do that. And win tournaments? Make money? Hobby (RPGs) is just one skill, though. Do you compete?
Well enough to defeat very easily someone who just begin. Well enough to teach the game to someone who don't know it at all. Well enough to teach mathematics, grammar, history, geography, biology, physics, etc., to children and to be paid for that... Which most people don't do either.

So I'm certainly not a professional in all these skills, and I may not even be a skilled amateur. But I'm still much better than most people, which means that I do not only have the same default level as anybody. I didn't learn all these skills just by watching the TV!

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Putting points into a dozen techniques is a great way to waste points in GURPS.
There are two ways to create a character: optimization or realistic detail. In reality, we learn a lot of little things that would not at all be useful in an adventure and that will be a pure waste of points, indeed. Nobody would take more than a couple of leisure activity when creating a warrior or a wizard, for instance. But most of us still have a lot of different leisure activities.

Furthermore most of our skills would be totally useless in a dangerous adventure. It would also be a pure waste of points in a role playing game... But most of us still have these ordinary skills rather than Lockpicking, Stealth and Pickpocket, which would nevertheless be much more useful.

Last edited by Gollum; 07-08-2013 at 03:02 AM.
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:33 AM   #60
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Default Re: Skills, skills everywhere

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Originally Posted by Xplo View Post
Remember that in order to get even a default in a skill, you have to know something about it - so the fact that you know something about a skill doesn't mean you're not using it at default.
As the rules perfectly explain it, I know the Scuba skill by default. From watching the TV (and also speaking with friends who have the skill)... But I have certainly not the same default level with driving. I drive for more than 25 years, for true, which makes a huge, huge difference between my Scuba skill level and my Driving skill level.

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Originally Posted by Xplo View Post
Even if you've spent time studying the skill, you might not have a full point in it - and at 4e's resolution before Dabbler was introduced, that means no points.
And as I wrote it above, I fully do agree for most of the little skills I have... But not for Driving, for instance.

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Originally Posted by Xplo View Post
Ditto for techniques. Just because you know how to kick someone, or apply an arm lock, or whatever, doesn't mean that you have extra points in Techniques; most likely it's just part of knowing the underlying skill (which, again, you might not even have a full point in). If you can get to the end of the sentence "I have 12 Techniques" without noticing a problem with the concept of having 12 narrow specializations, you're thinking about it all wrong.
No, that's not wrong, even if it may appear.

As I explained it in my post just above, there are two ways to create a character: optimization and realistic detail.

If you think in optimization mode, of course, taking more than a couple of technique is a waste of points. It's a much better idea to improve the skill and to choose the couple of techniques for which your character is supposed to be very good...

But, in reality, we all have more than a couple of favorite techniques, and more than a couple of techniques for which we are not as good... Fine-tuning a character to that point is possible! GURPS is amazing here. But it supposes to take a lot of techniques.

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Originally Posted by Xplo View Post
Of course, I say this, and yet I'm an advocate for giving (for instance) moderately experienced drivers a point in Driving vs. those people who assume nearly everyone is operating at default. In any case, you can't assume that you have a point in every skill you know.
Of course. I never assumed that I had a full point in all skill I know. I know a lot just by default and have no problem with that. But I also know a lot more than just by default. My job (teaching all subjects to children) implies that. And my personal way of life (learning all what I can) also do it.

I don't consider myself as an exception. We all have a lot of skills in which we are better than Mr Everybody. This is especially obvious in this forum. Even if some are better than others in some subjects (and much better than I am), we all discuss about a lot of different things like science, history, combat, politics, computers, etc., with a lot of precision and detail... GURPS may be a game that requires to be cultivated.
GURPS player or GM: competent character, 50 to 75 character points. Hint: extensively use the Dabbler perk.
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