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Old 05-14-2014, 01:55 AM   #1
Sindri
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Default Capping Skill Default Levels

So one thing that I've been considering is whether the skill levels possible through defaulting should be capped. Should any level of skill with one skill give you a 20 in another skill without any training in the second skill?

It seems like it shouldn't with, say, broadsword to shortsword (putting aside whether they should be seperate skills at all) and that you should be limited to a lower level while occasionally being able to use your highest combat skill for rules checks like resisting feints. On the other hand if you put two fighters who are identical except that one has a higher broadsword skill and who don't have shortsword the guy with the higher skill should have an advantage even if feints don't come up. The relationships between skills in defaulting are different as well so a cap that is reasonable for one may not be for all.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

TBH I consider any parent skill high enough that can give default of 20 has had either:

1). A lot of points sunk into it and is of such "one of the few best in the world" level I've got no problem with high defaults.

Or

2). It's coming of a base attribute it self so massively high as to be describing something pretty extreme, not to mention expensive.

As you say there is already a question about to many related skills (a point made by the recent gun skill revision in Pyramid).

So for 'realism' I don't really have an issue, and for game balance well you've already spent points to get to this situation anyway.


However assuming your talking about situations with really high relative parent skills rather than really high base attribute one thing you could do is have the starting default to be half way between the current skill based one and the the underlying stat based on. But I'm guessing that will have some implications in the current system for buying up the default skill (so I wouldn't doing this for anything that would default to less than 20)
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:10 AM   #3
Figleaf23
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

I have more problem with defaults from high attributes. With skills at least the effect is confined to a set of related activities.

In a perfect world, default acquisition would have declining returns, but that would get complicated.
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:22 AM   #4
SCAR
 
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

The Rule of 20 [B173] limits defaults from high attributes.

Easy skills generally default to Attribute-4, Average skills to -5, and Hard skills to -6; so your 'Defaults' from Attributes are limited to 16,15 and 14 for Easy, Average and Hard skills respectively.

If that's too high for you, amend it to the Rule of 18 or Rule of 16, and the Defaults from Attributes are limited accordingly.

Then there is always the Super Attribute modifier from Supers.p23 or Power-Ups 4.p17, which you could allow to by pass this anyway for someone willing to invest the extra points.
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:19 AM   #5
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

Skills that default from each other are extremely similar - similar enough that it often wouldn't be inappropriate to roll them into one skill of a higher difficulty level. Let's look at the weapon skills:

Axe/Mace: Defaults from Flail and 2h Axe/Mace. A flail is basically just a mace with a more flexible head, and a 2h mace is used just like a normal one, but with an extra hand on it (which modifies the stances and movements markedly). In both cases, we're essentially looking at heavy Familiarity penalties, so a master macer being good with a flail doesn't seem outlandish.

Broadsword: Defaults from Force Sword, Rapier, Saber, Shortsword, and 2h Sword. Force Swords, Rapiers, and Sabers are essentially just Broadswords with a different weight distribution, a Shortsword is similar but also has much less reach, and a 2h Sword has an extra hand on it (as with the axe/mace).

Flail: As Axe/Mace.

Jitte/Sai: This really shouldn't be its own skill, but it defaults to Force Sword, Main Gauche, and Shortsword - all of which are of similar weight and used at least somewhat similarly.

Knife: This has similar defaults to Jitte/Sai, with similar reasoning.

Kusari: Defaults to Monowire Whip, 2h Flail, and Whip. It's basically a Flail with different weight distribution, explaining that default. A Monowire Whip is similar as well - a weight on the end of a flexible line - but Whip seems an odd choice.

Lance: Defaults to Spear... because it is a Spear.

Main Gauche: Defaults to Jitte/Sai, Knife, Rapier, Saber, and Smallsword. It's a different way of using a Knife and is basically just a really short Rapier/Saber/Smallsword. It should really parallel the Broadsword->Shortsword->Knife progression as Rapier/Saber->Smallsword->Main Gauche, but I suspect they opted for a more direct default to avoid overpenalizing its primary use - being paired with a Rapier.

Polearm: Defaults to Spear, Staff, and 2h Axe/Mace. It's a stick with a weighted end, making it basically a Spear+ (which is itself a Staff+). The weight also makes it used in a way similar to a 2h Axe (it's really a Staff/Axe combination).

...

There are more weapons, of course, but I think the above gives you the idea. In general, these are weapons that someone skilled with one should be able to pick up another and use it in almost the same way. Additionally, once you get above skill 20 (where you run the risk of skills defaulting to 20+), you're well into the realm of cinematic.
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

I thought there was a rule of 12. No default higher than 12.

Otherwise you could have a easy skill that defaults to many and at high DX etc you could put a few pts in it and default all others to the rest.
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:31 AM   #7
SCAR
 
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurf View Post
I thought there was a rule of 12. No default higher than 12.

Otherwise you could have a easy skill that defaults to many and at high DX etc you could put a few pts in it and default all others to the rest.
Given the Rule of 20 I referenced from Basic, it doesn't seem likely that there is also a Rule of 12 like that!
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurf View Post
I thought there was a rule of 12. No default higher than 12.

Otherwise you could have a easy skill that defaults to many and at high DX etc you could put a few pts in it and default all others to the rest.
That rule exists in RPM, but to the best of my knowledge doesn't apply to general skills.

If you grab a skill that many others default to, you can indeed make use of your improved defaults. As I noted above, however, skills that default from others tend to be very closely related - it just makes sense that someone who's good with a broadsword is also good with a shortsword, as does the idea that someone skilled with sleight of hand would have some ability to pick someone's pockets. The idea that someone who is a master at such skills would also be fairly solid with similar skills doesn't strike me as far off.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:54 AM   #9
Kromm
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

Skill divisions are extremely arbitrary, and inter-skill defaults are intended to mitigate this arbitrariness, especially for edge cases. Thus, it's most consistent with the game's design not to cap skill-to-skill defaults. The game's arbitrary pie-slicing might as easily have covered shortswords and broadswords with a single skill but split smallswords and short staffs into two skills . . . or not bothered with Electronics Repair specialties ("Once you get inside, it all looks the same!") but opted to subdivide Electrician (say, Aeronautical, Grid, Industrial, Nautical, and Residential) . . . or smooshed all the "money" skills (Accounting, Economics, Finance, Market Analysis, Merchant, etc.) into a single Business skill but split off a Marketing skill separate from Propaganda. If you wouldn't cap one particular task of a unified skill, then it makes little sense to cap a task that might have been part of that skill had Steve chosen tea instead of coffee that morning.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurf View Post

I thought there was a rule of 12. No default higher than 12.
There is no such rule for skills in general.
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