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Old 01-08-2013, 06:30 AM   #1
vicky_molokh
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Default RIP Techniques, Long Live Perks?

Greetings, all!

With the appearance of such perks as Efficient, Off-hand Weapon Training, Armour Familiarity, Dirty/Drunken Fighting, Call of the Wild, Hyper-Specialisation etc., I got thinking:

Maybe Techniques are a dead-end idea? Overall, Techniques suffer from the requirement to pigeon-hole them into Average/Hard and providing exactly +1 to a subset of skill rolls per point (exception: first level of Hard ones), and the fact that they generally discourage any special effects (e.g. what Convincing Nod does).

Perhaps it would be more flexible to replace with a special sort of leveled perks (I'm calling them Technique Perks for now). They would not be limited by the 1 Perk Per 10 Points rule for combat ones, and provide bonuses according to one of the progressions (relative to the base level for a given action). Thus, something like this:
Code:
Level     Very Easy
1         +2
2         +4
3         +6
4         +8
5         +10
6         +12

Level     Easy
1         +2
2         +3
3         +4
4         +5
5         +6
6         +7

Level     Average
1         +1
2         +2
3         +3
4         +4
5         +5
6         +6

Level     Hard
1         +1
2         --
3         +2
4         --
5         +3

Level     Very Hard
1         --
2         +1
3         --
4         +2
5         --
6         +3
Some would, of course, provide extra benefits.

Very Easy would be for rare/narrow things, bordering on Hyperspecialisation. Easy would be for stuff that is generally narrower than modern Average Techniques. Average is Average. Hard is somewhat harder than modern Hard Techniques; this is intentional, as the current 2-1-1-1 scheme of Hard Techniques generally discourages learning the thing but encourages stacking it to the hilt if you ever do learn it. Very Hard is for extremely useful stuff, such as the (now-illegal) Punching technique for Karate, or a Parry technique. (Since the two together cost 4/level and are still inferior to just leveling Karate, this seems fair.)

It probably makes sense to keep the number of points in Technique Perks of a skill to no greater than points in the parent skill.

Opinions?

Thanks in advance!
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Last edited by vicky_molokh; 01-08-2013 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:05 AM   #2
johndallman
 
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Default Re: RIP Techniques, Long Live Perks?

I think you have a superior pricing system for techniques there, but I'd prefer to keep techniques separate from perks. I fear that perks have been over-expanded in some ways, and some of them really should cost more.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:20 AM   #3
DemiBenson
 
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Default Re: RIP Techniques, Long Live Perks?

This looks like a better system for handling Techniques that the RAW one (which I've never liked).
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:42 AM   #4
aesir23
 
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Default Re: RIP Techniques, Long Live Perks?

I like these quite a lot. What I like about techniques is the way in which they individualize fighters and styles, this would do this better.

One house rule I've used in the past with some success was declaring that Style Familiarity grants a 50% discount on listed techniques. This encouraged buying more than the 2 or three techniques per skill optimization allows while solving the problem of what Style Familiarity does for non-combat styles.

Your approach is more generic and universal however. I may try it out if I ever get a group together again.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:26 AM   #5
Blind Mapmaker
 
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Default Re: RIP Techniques, Long Live Perks?

The pricing scheme looks solid - both for techniques and for your technique perks. I would probably use the pricing scheme for regular techniques, though. In my book perks are usually for things you couldn't easily replicate without having the perk in question. Techniques are for things that can be done at a penalty. There's overlap like Off-Hand Weapon Training, but that one went from too expensive to too cheap if you ask me.

For regular techniques Very Easy should probably be limited to actions that are not ever useful in combat and Easy to actions that very rarely are. For your proposed technique perks they should be balanced by using up potential combat perks. Very Hard techniques probably won't see much use except for background flavour, but that's fine.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:30 PM   #6
Dammann
 
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Default Re: RIP Techniques, Long Live Perks?

Perks within a Martial Art Style are supposed to be limited in number, though, based on the points spent on skills and techniques. Turning techniques into perks upsets this mechanism. Otherwise, the pricing looks about right.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:35 PM   #7
Ts_
 
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Default Re: RIP Techniques, Long Live Perks?

I think RAW techniques are mostly troublesome from a gamist point of view. They work quite well to describe what a character can do, but the price often isn't right, imho. (But then, I also think the pricing of various skills is weird and should be more utility-based instead of being based on the size of the subfield of some particular science ...)

I like the idea of introducing new and meaningful pricing scales for techniques, although I would try to stick with as few scales as possible: +2 / level, +1 / level, +0.5 / level. The last one is already dangerously close to not being cost effective, and maybe a level cap as many techniques already have is the better way to handle difficult skills. (In theory, one could still have yet another levelled perk that allows a specific technique to exceed the skill level by 1 point each, basically recreating the +0.5 / cp progress.)

Another direction to look into could be Technique-Talents priced at 1 / level, but giving a +1 bonus to a set of techniques. Skills being as different as they are, good Technique-talents that incorporate similar techniques across various skills might be difficult to find, though. Kicking for Karate, Judo, Brawling could be an option (but probably would be quite powerful). IDHMBWM, but is Mounted-Combat a technique of Riding or of the different fighting skills? If the latter, that could be a candidate. Or maybe "statistical analysis" for all result sets from physics, chemistry and biology experiments ... (I'm sure, many other people invented that technique, too.)

Just my thoughts
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: RIP Techniques, Long Live Perks?

IMHO techniques and perks overlap only sporadically, so the actual way is better than merging them in a single mechanic.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:24 PM   #9
ErhnamDJ
 
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Default Re: RIP Techniques, Long Live Perks?

I like what you've come up with. It might be the best way to fix this issue without having to change a lot of stuff.

It's similar to how I've been thinking of fixing this, only you're phrasing it using perks. I use limitations on skills. So Feint Only might be -40% on a combat skill, whereas some of the more useless techniques might be worth the full -80%.

Look at the Lifesaving technique for Swimming. That can't possibly be worth very much.

The problem is that you're trying to price techniques based on utility while leaving skills priced on real-world difficulty for a human to learn.

It doesn't make any sense to price Lifesaving on utility but Swimming on difficulty to learn. That's why I price the skills on utility as well. Then it makes sense to apply limitations to them to get reasonable prices for techniques. It might only be worth a half a point to get Lifesaving. That's about what the price is using my skill pricing house rules. All you'd do under my house rules is purchase levels of Swimming skill with Only for negating lifesaving penalties, -80%.

But if you don't want to change the skill pricing, then I think your idea at least fixes the technique pricing, which is a step in the right direction, at least.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:36 PM   #10
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: RIP Techniques, Long Live Perks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Perhaps it would be more flexible to replace with a special sort of leveled perks (I'm calling them Technique Perks for now). They would not be limited by the 1 Perk Per 10 Points rule for combat ones, and provide bonuses according to one of the progressions (relative to the base level for a given action). Thus, something like this:
I think it can be a good structure for building Perks. It looks more complicated than the current Techniques ruleas, which is an argument for keeping these new kinds of Perks "under the hood" and only show them as fully worked out options that players are empowered to choose.
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