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Old 01-19-2015, 08:35 AM   #1
vicky_molokh
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Default [MA] What to do about 'orphan' Style Perks / Combat Perks?

Greetings, all!

I've noticed that there's a significant chunk of Perks that are classed as Style / Combat Perks, and thus are strictly limited to one perk per 20 combat points or 10 appropriate style perks . . . but that are not included in any or almost any styles. E.g. Combat Shticks. That effectively means that having such a Shtick is only possible if you're a combat monster with 20+ points in appropriate skills . . . at which point you get really tempted to spend a 'universal' combat perk on something way more out-there (e.g. access to a not-your-style Cinematic Skill, a Skill Adaptation, Exotic Training of some sort etc.).

So, do the other forumites see it as a problem too? If you do, do you do anything about it?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: [MA] What to do about 'orphan' Style Perks / Combat Perks?

Any game I play will have a plethora of schools, regional or personal variations of the base styles in MA. There will also usually be new several styles not in MA.

If a player asks 'can I learn a version of style X that includes Y', I will generally allow it if there is some way such a variation makes sense in the campaign. Note that 'my sensei was a pretty wacky guy and taught an extremely unorthodox personal interpretation of X-fu' is generally valid and makes sense for a wide variety of campaign worlds.

I'd only refuse if I didn't allow trait Y in the campaign, demanded prerequisites that style X could't give or if I felt that the request was purely metagame and sacrificed setting integrity for mechanical utility.

Given that taking martial arts styles at all is of questionable mechanical utility, there is no attempt to balance styles against each other and even Perk-heavy styles are hardly overpowered with an extra Perk, I don't worry much about abuse.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: [MA] What to do about 'orphan' Style Perks / Combat Perks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
So, do the other forumites see it as a problem too? If you do, do you do anything about it?
Same as I do for all sorts of issues like this: ignore the perk limits.

It's not like they reflect anything real. If the character knows somebody who'd be willing to teach you a combat shtick and already has any skill it seems to be related to at a decent level, go ahead and let them spend a point to learn it. To the extent they are useful for anything at all, perk limits enforce a reasonable starting build - you have to have been doing this stuff for a while before you are likely to have met anybody who is willing to teach you this trick. Once play starts, refusing to let a character learn something from a teacher who is right there and willing to show it to him because he already has too many points in something different makes no sense at all.
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: [MA] What to do about 'orphan' Style Perks / Combat Perks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Given that taking martial arts styles at all is of questionable mechanical utility, there is no attempt to balance styles against each other and even Perk-heavy styles are hardly overpowered with an extra Perk, I don't worry much about abuse.
Interesting. IME, one of the prime goodies of a style is the access to large numbers of good perks earlier, in case of TbaM/WM - access to neat Cinematic Skills, and then access to one or two desirable Techniques.
Of course, in all cases that should be read as 'skills/perks/techniques that are needed for my concept/build'. Even for someone who is not aiming for TbaM/WM, nor for Techniques (e.g. I'm not aiming for any Techniques in my next campaign), there's still significant benefit in getting lots and lots of cool Perks early (personally, I'm aiming at Armour Familiarity, Power Grappling and one or two Unusual Trainings).
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: [MA] What to do about 'orphan' Style Perks / Combat Perks?

Perk limits are more "what you can justify starting your character with" than "hard restrictions on the number of slots in your brain." They exist to keep people from entering play with overcomplicated characters with dozens of perks, not to make training weirdly regimented. If you have 10 spare points and survive the Ten Chambers of Murder Fu, and the warrior in each chamber teaches you a secret trick, you can buy 10 perks. You just can't give your new warrior with Karate (H) DX-2 [1] every perk that makes sense for Karate mostly to preserve the GM's sanity.
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: [MA] What to do about 'orphan' Style Perks / Combat Perks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Interesting. IME, one of the prime goodies of a style is the access to large numbers of good perks earlier, in case of TbaM/WM - access to neat Cinematic Skills, and then access to one or two desirable Techniques.
Of course, in all cases that should be read as 'skills/perks/techniques that are needed for my concept/build'. Even for someone who is not aiming for TbaM/WM, nor for Techniques (e.g. I'm not aiming for any Techniques in my next campaign), there's still significant benefit in getting lots and lots of cool Perks early (personally, I'm aiming at Armour Familiarity, Power Grappling and one or two Unusual Trainings).
The point is that unless the GM specifically limits access to techniques and Cinematic Skills, someone with Trained by a Master can start play with any and all of them he chooses without paying for Style Familiarity.

Style Familiarity is thus only worth a point if it brings with it increased access to Perks that the character desires. As not all styles, as written, even include any useful Perks, the least a GM can do is be willing to consider alternative versions of styles that do.
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: [MA] What to do about 'orphan' Style Perks / Combat Perks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
The point is that unless the GM specifically limits access to techniques and Cinematic Skills, someone with Trained by a Master can start play with any and all of them he chooses without paying for Style Familiarity.
Hmm. This is not the impression I got from the RAW: " One of the primary purposes of Trained by a Master is to give access to cinematic abilities, which might include:
• The cinematic skills [...] – but only if they’re part of one of the martial artist’s styles!
• Any technique or perk marked with an asterisk (*) to indicate that it’s cinematic, provided it belongs to one of the martial artist’s styles."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Style Familiarity is thus only worth a point if it brings with it increased access to Perks that the character desires. As not all styles, as written, even include any useful Perks, the least a GM can do is be willing to consider alternative versions of styles that do.
And the Claim to Hospitality, and the ability to ignore one level of Deceptive Attacks/Feints. In fact, I feel that Style Adaptation is very much inferior to Style Familiarity.
I do agree that some of the styles are very meh in terms of Perks. And yes, I do find it disappointing. Perhaps it would be nice if after taking all the Style Perks, a character's newer style perk 'slots' could be filled with out-of-style perks. That would get rid of the 'only pick Style A if you plan to spend less than W points in it, otherwise consider shopping for a different style'.

On the other hand, I do find the game of style-shopping in the hopes of building the most character-suitable mixed style, to be an interesting affair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Perk limits are more "what you can justify starting your character with" than "hard restrictions on the number of slots in your brain." They exist to keep people from entering play with overcomplicated characters with dozens of perks, not to make training weirdly regimented. If you have 10 spare points and survive the Ten Chambers of Murder Fu, and the warrior in each chamber teaches you a secret trick, you can buy 10 perks. You just can't give your new warrior with Karate (H) DX-2 [1] every perk that makes sense for Karate – mostly to preserve the GM's sanity.
Interesting. This is the feel I got from the explicitly optional perk limit in PU2:Perks, but not from the description of the Combat/Style perk limits in MA/PU2.

----
Also, a side note: I find it interesting that MA's Style Adaptation only grants access to more Techniques, but the one in PU2:Perks generalises to ' skills, techniques, and perks'.
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:02 AM   #8
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Default Re: [MA] What to do about 'orphan' Style Perks / Combat Perks?

No Styles are not the default Rules, but an optional extra. and the Perk Limits ONLY apply if you're using styles

Trained by a Master/Weapon Master is a seperation issue that is wither or not the perk is cinematic or not had have them as prerequisite

Styles generally don't have Trained by a Master/Weapon Master as a Prerequisite anyway
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: [MA] What to do about 'orphan' Style Perks / Combat Perks?

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No Styles are not the default Rules, but an optional extra. and the Perk Limits ONLY apply if you're using styles
If you have no Styles, you have no Style perks, so this question becomes irrelevant. If you have Styles, RAW seems to provide the default assumption about how they work.
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: [MA] What to do about 'orphan' Style Perks / Combat Perks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
If you have no Styles, you have no Style perks, so this question becomes irrelevant. If you have Styles, RAW seems to provide the default assumption about how they work.
Even if you have no styles you can still have all the Perks from PU/2 and you might well have no arbitrary limits on who can learn them.

You're right about TBAM and WM being prereqs to the Cinematic Skills but this is true with or without Styles. If using Styles this adds the _extra_ prereq of studying a Style that teaches that Skill. If no styles then no limit on who can learn those Skills.

I would treat Style Familiarity as a positive thing. It's "UB:already knows a teacher for the following" rather than any sort of "has official permission to purchase the following".
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