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Old 05-20-2019, 09:56 AM   #1
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
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Default A thought about cross-stat defaulting

Some skills default on skills with another underlying attribute. If the attributes have wildly different values, the defaults can feel strange.

As an example, consider Animal Handling (IQ/A) and Riding (DX/A). A clumsy, but intelligent character with DX 8, IQ 15 and Animal Handling IQ+2 -17 gets Riding -14 defaulted from Animal Handling (-3). Using the "normal" default (DX-5) for Riding, the character would have an effective skill level of 3, instead of the 14 from Animal Handling. What about having Riding default to DX-based Animal Handling? That would give an effective skill level of 7, which would feel more right (to me, at least) for someone who's not an experienced rider, but is good with animals. Is this reasonable?

What are your thoughts on the subject?
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Old 05-20-2019, 02:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: A thought about cross-stat defaulting

I was under the impression that this was how it worked... but I see that is not explicitly stated in the Basic Set where I'm looking. It doesn't seem very clear: a literal reading has the actual skill defaulting to actual skill, without the attribute being taken into consideration. I think it is probably fine if I keep treating it as I have been.

My example has always been Intimidation (Will/A) and Interrogation (IQ/A, defaults to Intimidation-3).
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Old 05-20-2019, 03:24 PM   #3
Anthony
 
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Default Re: A thought about cross-stat defaulting

There's an argument that a -3 default from Att+2 is Att-1, cross-stat defaults are uncommon enough that it's probably fair.
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Old 05-20-2019, 03:53 PM   #4
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: A thought about cross-stat defaulting

It seems to be the case that a lot of time the cross-stat default is meant to imply some level of attribute substitution built in. This is why, for example, Piloting is DX-based but its default is IQ-based (not IQ skill based!). One of the important effects is that you can benefit from having high IQ even when you're a trained pilot by using Improving Skills From Defaults (B173) rather than just using 'main' attribute skill increases.

Had cross-attribute defaulting worked differently, Improving Skills From Defaults would malfunction (e.g. it would be pointless to select smart people to become trained pilots).
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Last edited by vicky_molokh; 05-20-2019 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:21 PM   #5
RyanW
 
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Default Re: A thought about cross-stat defaulting

There are two subtly different interpretations as to defaults:
  • You can use one skill for actions normally done with another skill. (I'm not a skilled rider, but my general training with animals allows me to get the animal to cooperate with me enough to ride it)
  • Training in one skill provides a basis to practice another skill. (My general training with animals is sufficient that I effectively am a somewhat skilled rider)
The first probably would not justify adjusting for attribute differences. The second probably would. You might even switch between them on a case by case basis. Maybe use an IQ-based Animal Handling default for avoiding problems on a long ride, and a DX-based default to handle a mount in a whirling melee.
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:31 PM   #6
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: A thought about cross-stat defaulting

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
There are two subtly different interpretations as to defaults:
  • You can use one skill for actions normally done with another skill. (I'm not a skilled rider, but my general training with animals allows me to get the animal to cooperate with me enough to ride it)
  • Training in one skill provides a basis to practice another skill. (My general training with animals is sufficient that I effectively am a somewhat skilled rider)
The first probably would not justify adjusting for attribute differences. The second probably would. You might even switch between them on a case by case basis. Maybe use an IQ-based Animal Handling default for avoiding problems on a long ride, and a DX-based default to handle a mount in a whirling melee.
All defaults do provide the second as per B173 though. And defaults are described in absolute terms, not relative ones. Furthermore, forcing them into relative terms would defeat the purpose of the latter point for some skills (like Piloting).
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