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Old 10-13-2020, 08:45 AM   #11
Kromm
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Default Re: increasing attributes after character creation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post

After all, "most people" don't get stronger or faster after maturity, either. But that's not because they _can't_, by physical law. They're just doing other things.
"Other things" usually being "what puts money in the bank."

In the real world, unless I plan to be a competitive weightlifter, it isn't that profitable to raise ST. A level or two of ST to qualify for a job with a high "minimum ST" – e.g., piano mover or blacksmith – is worthwhile, sure, but the excess doesn't earn me a cent. Theoretically, I could move more pianos faster, or use a bigger hammer, but that ignores the existence of weaker coworkers and the need for precision rather than power for many important tasks.

Similarly, raising IQ is great . . . for an adventurer. For an ordinary person, the 20 points needed to do that could buy five levels of the IQ-based skill they need to do their job. If you're hiring a lawyer to keep you out of jail, an investment counselor to manage your millions, or a surgeon to save your life, who are you going to choose: the person with IQ 11 and skill 17, or the one with IQ 12 and skill 13? And given that, who do you really think is going to earn more money?

The list goes on.

The only attribute that really, truly always benefits everybody all the time is HT. I doubt that anybody reading this would turn down +1 HT, possibly even if they could instead get Comfortable Wealth, or +2 or +3 to some skill. It's too tempting to have lower odds of dying of all the stuff that kills people, from cancer through cardiovascular disease to viruses, not to mention "old age." Bonus: It raises your default (or learned) Sex Appeal, making you that much more popular and "cute"! For adventurers, high HT also skews combat. Given all that, I could see a GM insisting that HT can't be raised more than a level or two, and/or charging double to raise it.

I don't see a similar problem for other attributes. It might be realistic to say that, for non-cinematic characters, once you can strip a level from all your DX- or IQ-based skills (not just some, but all . . . so you have to keep raising them above the one-point level to keep raising attributes) and get 20+ points (any excess points being lost), you can spend 20 points to raise the attribute. So somebody with [1], [2], [2], [4], [4], [4], [8], [8], [8] couldn't do this (they can find 20 points, but they have a 1-point skill); somebody with [2], [2], [2], [4], [4], [4], [8], [8], [8] could, but would drop 1 point (they have 21 points, but they lose the excess when doing this trick).

For ST, just hit the gym. I have seen people double their lift in a couple of years, which corresponds to something like +2 ST/year from working out. Yes, there's probably a point of diminishing returns, but in real life this is largely a question of not wanting to live at a gym, eat tons of protein, and avoid all that fun things in life. Require monthly Will rolls as "job rolls," perhaps.
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Old 10-13-2020, 08:57 AM   #12
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: increasing attributes after character creation

My practice as GM is:

-I don't use improvement by study/training rules

-I let characters save bonus points toward attribute increases if:
--they use the attribute substantially during a play session, or
--they have declared that the character is using time off to improve the particular attribute. They may have one such item declared at a time.

-I cap in-play attribute improvement to +3 in realistic games and +30% in cinematic games.
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Old 10-13-2020, 09:05 AM   #13
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: increasing attributes after character creation

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
While a very common houserule, I don't think the official rules actually allow such trade ins (though it might have been added as an option somewhere I'm not remembering at the moment).

.
Social Engineering: Back to School. It's widely discussed there are as are pretty much all matters ralating to character improvement.
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Old 10-13-2020, 09:26 AM   #14
whswhs
 
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Default Re: increasing attributes after character creation

I don't myself feel a wish to buy up Will, as I have sufficient for my own purposes, for the most part. But both the increased resistance to Influence skills, and the improved ability to stick to a task, have significant payoffs in ordinary life. More, actually, then doing better on Fright Checks, unless you're an adventurer.
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Old 10-13-2020, 09:33 AM   #15
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Default Re: increasing attributes after character creation

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Similarly, raising IQ is great . . . for an adventurer. For an ordinary person, the 20 points needed to do that could buy five levels of the IQ-based skill they need to do their job. If you're hiring a lawyer to keep you out of jail, an investment counselor to manage your millions, or a surgeon to save your life, who are you going to choose: the person with IQ 11 and skill 17, or the one with IQ 12 and skill 13? And given that, who do you really think is going to earn more money?
I suspect that I have bought up my GURPS IQ by a point or so during my adult life, largely through omnivorous reading but partly through learning some cognitive disciplines. But its only significant economic payoff has been helping me write GURPS books! Really it's something I've done as a kind of hobby ("A curiosity such as mine is the most agreeable of all vices," as Nietzsche said).
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Old 10-13-2020, 09:34 AM   #16
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: increasing attributes after character creation

I use training improvements in many of my games. Assuming a normal life, characters have 1920 hours of 'on the job' training per year and 960 hours of 'leisure and lifestyle' training per year, which translates to 3.6 CP per year. Of that, only 1.2 CP per year will go towards improving attributes. Characters in collage learn at a much faster pace, accumulating an average of 9.6 CP per year, but they will only be able to allocate 3.2 CP per year for their attributes.
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:26 AM   #17
Kromm
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Default Re: increasing attributes after character creation

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post

I don't myself feel a wish to buy up Will, as I have sufficient for my own purposes, for the most part. But both the increased resistance to Influence skills, and the improved ability to stick to a task, have significant payoffs in ordinary life. More, actually, then doing better on Fright Checks, unless you're an adventurer.
"Increased resistance to Influence skills" is a vastly powerful ability, overlooked by GURPS players because they're accustomed to being the ones acting, not the ones being acted upon – i.e., because Influence skills are things their PCs use on NPCs. In real life, you rarely get to try an Influence skill except to make some minor personal gain (e.g., to eat lunch with the cool kids, or successfully lie about why you didn't show up to a party), and most people do even that at default. Meanwhile, for each attempt you make, you're the target of multiple attempts, chiefly by Propaganda, that over time determine your shopping, your voting, your investing, and even where you eat lunch.

Sticking to tasks is also significant. Something like med school, law school, or even a relatively intensive PhD program ought to require monthly "job rolls" against Will to avoid washing out. When I was in graduate studies, for every person who "didn't make it" for intellectual reasons – i.e., insufficient IQ or skill – I knew four or five who quit from the stress or simply because it seemed like more work than just getting a paying job. In fact, intellectual insufficiency was in third place, with economic pressures in second place after lack of will (that's actually why I left the academy: no income, bills due, and a job beckoning to solve the problem).

So yeah . . . unless you're routinely facing monsters or running into unexpected corpses, Fright Checks aren't important. Neither are Will-based skills, most of which are pretty questionable in the real, non-cinematic world. But Will is absolutely huge for maintaining freedom of choice and actually getting the career you want, both of which are close to the highest priorities for real-world people after things represented by HT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post

I suspect that I have bought up my GURPS IQ by a point or so during my adult life, largely through omnivorous reading but partly through learning some cognitive disciplines. But its only significant economic payoff has been helping me write GURPS books! Really it's something I've done as a kind of hobby ("A curiosity such as mine is the most agreeable of all vices," as Nietzsche said).
I have no idea what my IQ would be in GURPS.

On one hand, I won awards for having the highest marks and being the best student throughout 13 years of public school and 10 more of university. I was successful at chemistry when I studied it and then physics when I changed fields. I was reasonably capable at making the transition from academic science to games publishing, and have held down a job there for 25+ years despite the economically tenuous nature of the field. And setting aside dance, all my hobbies – gaming, mixology, etc. – are more brainy than physical. One could argue that with Mathematics, multiple sciences, the Research-Teaching-Writing triad, and a few each Hobby Skills and Professional Skills, maybe my IQ went up.

On the other hand, I honestly don't feel smart next to people in MD-PhD programs who have multiple patents and two-page publication lists before they hit 30. Or next to any of the world's multibillionaire corporation owners and patent-holders who are like real-world Tony Starks. Or even next to the average "celebrity scientist" who can talk about dozens of fields. I have a suspicion that I'm just an IQ 10-11 person with bookish tendencies.

I would say that if a genie offered me 20 points as either +1 IQ (with +1 Will and +1 Per as part of it) or +4 Will, I'd probably take the latter. I'd probably try my pathetic Diplomacy default to convince them to let me have +2 HT, of course, and thereby lose the wish!

Indeed, if forced to prioritize attributes and secondary characteristics for a genie to dump 20-ish points into, I'd go with:
+2 HT (I'd really, really like to be less sick and live longer!)
+4 Will (to control my choices and career, which hasn't always worked out for me)
+4 Basic Move (I walk for transportation, and would benefit immensely each day)
+1 DX (for dance and not being the klutz I am – here on down, it's all vanity)
+4 Per (mostly to offset bad vision)
+7 FP (because never being winded and tired would be a cool power)
+1 IQ (not that I don't use my brain, but "not smart enough" has never held me back)
+2 ST (handy a few times a year, at best)
+1 Basic Speed (I'm not sure I've ever noticed reflexes mattering . . .)
+10 HP (. . . but absorbing injury matters less, if that's possible)
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Old 10-13-2020, 11:31 AM   #18
whswhs
 
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Default Re: increasing attributes after character creation

Are you sure your Diplomacy is at default? I have to say that a nontrivial part of my work as an editor involves persuading authors to accept my proposed changes to their manuscripts. There are easy sells for this: it's journal house style, it's spelled this way in the dictionary, it's consistent with what you did on page X. But I also need to propose fixes that take explanation of why it's a good idea, and I do at least moderately well at persuading authors to accept these. Certainly I've had a lot of practice by now . . .

Of course, as the line editor, you have more actual authority than I have. But I expect you do have some occasion for reasoned persuasion.
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Old 10-13-2020, 02:56 PM   #19
Plane
 
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Default Re: increasing attributes after character creation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
My practice as GM is:

-I don't use improvement by study/training rules

-I let characters save bonus points toward attribute increases if:
--they use the attribute substantially during a play session, or
--they have declared that the character is using time off to improve the particular attribute. They may have one such item declared at a time.

-I cap in-play attribute improvement to +3 in realistic games and +30% in cinematic games.
A % increase sounds more realistic than a fixed add, ST1 going to ST4 is +300% while ST30 going to ST33 is +10%

The 'used substantially' or 'time off to improve' requirement sounds a lot like the improvement through study rules. Going by that rather than bonus points is probably the more realistic approach.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
"Other things" usually being "what puts money in the bank."

In the real world, unless I plan to be a competitive weightlifter, it isn't that profitable to raise ST. A level or two of ST to qualify for a job with a high "minimum ST" – e.g., piano mover or blacksmith – is worthwhile, sure, but the excess doesn't earn me a cent.
If it was super high you could enter competitions and get paid sponsorships, get scouted for wrestling/MMA, make money from fans, etc.

Plus there's a lot of potential business application, like being able to intimidate, showing you can put in hard work and organize eating w./ discipline, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
For ST, just hit the gym. I have seen people double their lift in a couple of years, which corresponds to something like +2 ST/year from working out. Yes, there's probably a point of diminishing returns, but in real life this is largely a question of not wanting to live at a gym, eat tons of protein, and avoid all that fun things in life. Require monthly Will rolls as "job rolls," perhaps.
we at least get the diminishing returns from the Lifting skill due to the 1/2/4 initially.

for the actual attribute I guess that's the 'Special Exercises' perk to buy it beyond 20...

Maybe B294 'Maintaining Skills' optional rule could be applied to attributes too? If you spend 6 months in a coma (not using your ST) then there being a chance of -1 sounds right...

Except in this case you couldn't mitigate it with an IQ roll. really sounds like it should just be an automatic loss
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Old 10-14-2020, 02:49 PM   #20
Alden Loveshade
 
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Default Re: increasing attributes after character creation

As an alternate to raising Attributes, don't forget the value of Talent. (GURPS Power Ups: Talents has a bunch of them.)

A musician could spend 20 points to raise IQ, increasing musical skills 1 level. Or they could spend 20 points on Musical Ability, raising musical skills 4 levels. Admittedly, Talent is defined as a "natural ability." But even in real life, musicians/healers/animal trainers may find that it becomes easier for them to pick up new, and improve old, skills with experience than it was for them at the very beginning.

And for a profession that needs both IQ and DX skills (or a combination of any two or more attributes), the savings can be even greater.
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