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Old 04-20-2013, 09:06 PM   #1
kirbwarrior
 
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Default [Houserule] Changing Defaults to Techniques

As PK wrote here under #14, he has it so Combat Art and Combat Sport can be bought off as techniques. I've always been bothered with how buying defaults off works (namely, there is no reason ever to do so), so I was thinking of applying it to all defaults. Does this seem too good? Is there any weird side issues that come up?

Thanks ahead of time.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: [Houserule] Changing Defaults to Techniques

I've long been bothered by the same thing, so in my campaign, that's exactly what I did--although just for weapon skills. It never seems to be as large a problem for other skill types.

I can't say it's harmed the game. The positive effect it's had is that players actually buy up defaults on occasion. Doesn't seem to have broken anything.
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Houserule] Changing Defaults to Techniques

Oh, that's good to hear. I was only really worried about combat skills, since this is actually a cool improvement on noncombat skills, and gives those skills more techniques.

As for combat skills, with the rule of 3 (4 techniques is the same price as a skill increase), it becomes another in the long list of options to buy off. It also seems to work with the idea that since they are so related, it's almost like Alternate Abilities.
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Houserule] Changing Defaults to Techniques

I like the idea, and by chance had even started writing a short post (for my site) on the same topic. You beat me to it.

The issue at hand is well-known: Skill B's -3 default from Skill A is one of the cool things about GURPS. But it is unfortunate that there's no incentive to put 4 points into Skill B (once it's at a moderate level), when putting the same 4 points into Skill A gets you +1 in both skills.

Letting characters raise Skill B from default as a technique (no higher than Skill A, I assume!) creates incentive to either put 4 points into Skill A (raising both skills) or put 1 point into Skill B (costs less, but only raises B). Better!

Although... as long as Skill B is lower than Skill A, there's now no incentive to raise any technique of Skill B. Why spend 1 point on a technique of B, when the same 1 point will raise all of B? It's not a big deal, but is unfortunate.

Which is why I was thinking this: Allow Skill B to be raised from default (up to Skill A) for 2 points per level. That retains the decision of whether to raise both A and B for 4 points, or raise just B for 2 points. It also creates the decision of whether to raise B for 2 points, or raise just a technique of B for 1 point.

Just a recent thought I had. Any pitfalls in there?
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Houserule] Changing Defaults to Techniques

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Originally Posted by tbone View Post
Although... as long as Skill B is lower than Skill A, there's now no incentive to raise any technique of Skill B. Why spend 1 point on a technique of B, when the same 1 point will raise all of B? It's not a big deal, but is unfortunate.
How about: don't allow them to have technique's based off a secondary skill they've paid for as a technique of their primary skill?
PS wouldn't the Techniques for Combat Skills be Hard eg Karate Art?
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Houserule] Changing Defaults to Techniques

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Originally Posted by jacobmuller View Post
How about: don't allow them to have technique's based off a secondary skill they've paid for as a technique of their primary skill?
Well, I don't think there's much need to disallow it, as no smart player would spend 1 point to buy a technique when that same 1 point will buy the whole skill. : )

I like 2 points/level precisely because it recognizes that buying up a whole skill is a bigger deal than buying up a technique. But in practice, the difference will amount to just a few points. If the GM prefers buying up defaults at 1 point/level, I see no giant flaw in that.
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Houserule] Changing Defaults to Techniques

They haven't bought the "whole" skill...
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Originally Posted by tbone View Post
Letting characters raise Skill B from default as a technique (no higher than Skill A, I assume!) creates incentive to either put 4 points into Skill A (raising both skills) or put 1 point into Skill B (costs less, but only raises B). Better!

Although... as long as Skill B is lower than Skill A, there's now no incentive to raise any technique of Skill B. Why spend 1 point on a technique of B, when the same 1 point will raise all of B? It's not a big deal, but is unfortunate.
I didn't mean actual techniques but the "technique of B" where B is a default you raised as if it were a technique, ie if they haven't paid full price for the skill don't let them have techniques based off that value. The intent being similar to no Double-Default. If they want techniques based off the "skill B" they need to buy it up properly, although there are times when that is 1cp.
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Houserule] Changing Defaults to Techniques

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Originally Posted by jacobmuller View Post
I didn't mean actual techniques but the "technique of B" where B is a default you raised as if it were a technique, ie if they haven't paid full price for the skill don't let them have techniques based off that value. The intent being similar to no Double-Default. If they want techniques based off the "skill B" they need to buy it up properly, although there are times when that is 1cp.
I think I see what you mean... though maybe not.

Are you saying that, as long as Skill B is defaulting to Skill A, no techniques of Skill B should be allowed at all, until some points are put into Skill B?

If that's the idea, I still see problems with either the RAW cost to raise B (why put 4 points into Skill B when you can instead put 4 points into Skill A and get both skills?) and the proposed cost to raise B (if you can use techniques of Skill B [which I think you're saying may require some point investment in B], then why bother to raise a technique of Skill B when you can further raise all of B for that same 1 point?).

That's why I like 2 points to raise the defaulting skill, as it leaves incentive for buying up Skill A, or Skill B, or techniques of either skill. Which isn't to say it's perfect, though. It provides an incentive to buy up Skill B instead of Skill A, but doesn't provide incentive to buy up two skills that default from A. Similarly, it provides an incentive to buy up a technique of Skill B, but not two techniques of Skill B. Alas, that's just unavoidable with the low granularity of point costs involved...

Anyway, apologies if I'm still misunderstanding your comment!
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: [Houserule] Changing Defaults to Techniques

It's true, the secondary techniques are the same price. That was an issue I had thought of, but any solution requires smaller values than granularity provides. I don't have that big of a problem with it, though, since most people will wait until their skill is either very high or at least after spending 4 points in the skill.

On the note of techniques, I know you'd still have to buy techniques separately for each skill. Isn't there a perk that lets you use techniques you've bought on different skills that both have that technique?

(Also, didn't know tbone frequented these boards. I love your site, and use some of your rules frequently)
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Houserule] Changing Defaults to Techniques

Thanks for the kind words. I haven't frequented the forum for a long time. Not because it's boring, but the very reverse: start following threads, and the next thing you know, a half a day is lost to a dozen great discussions...

I take a curious look once in a while, though, and will probably fail many a roll to resist Compulsive Replying... : )
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