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Old 12-18-2015, 12:42 PM   #21
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: Changing techniques to just 1pt leveled perks

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
If the actual intended thrust of this thread is that Hard Techniques being removed as a concept and all of them made into Average Techniques instead, that sounds fairly reasonable. Techniques already live in a really confined pricing space where that one point may do a lot to let you do interesting things with them while in the larger scheme of things still being just one point.

Merging Average Techniques with Leveled Perks seems like a bad idea. Techniques are a good formulation for what they do, simultaneously indicating a move everyone can do and a character-building option in one easy-to-reference, common-layout rules chunk.
One of the points of merging is to enable things like decreasing the penalty (or increasing the bonus) by 2 or more per point spent. Sometimes that makes sense, as evidenced by the many techniques that are considered not worth buying.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:54 PM   #22
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Changing techniques to just 1pt leveled perks

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Originally Posted by SRoach View Post
No reason they'd have to do so with the next skill improvement, but letting them keep it as an option, means the points are never "wasted", but also less often banked.
That's the only real problem with your proposal: That there'll be a lot more movement of points back and forth, points first being put into Techniques and then taken out of the Technique and instead put into the Skill that the Technique falls under. A lot of extra bookkeeping, which involves the potential for error, and with consistent error bias eventually resulting in a point value discrepancy.

Apart from that, it's a very reasonable thing to suggest, that characters should be allowed to pay the necessary 3 or 2 points to buy up a Skill level "around" the already purchased Technique (or two Techniques). And maybe it won't be used very often in most campaigns after all.
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Old 12-18-2015, 02:33 PM   #23
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Default Re: Changing techniques to just 1pt leveled perks

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Originally Posted by SRoach View Post
This is out of left field, but.
How about letting a person trade in points spent on techniques for higher levels of the skill. Saying they mastered that part first, but then went on to broaden their skill. No reason they'd have to do so with the next skill improvement, but letting them keep it as an option, means the points are never "wasted", but also less often banked.

Karate is a DX/Hard skill. So raising it from DX+1 to DX+2 costs 4 points. If you have 3 points, you might spend 2 on Jump Kick, and 1 on Elbow Strike, with the intention of rolling both over into the base Karate skill once you get 1 more point to spend. Sort of how reorganizing Short Sword and Broad Sword points, and which is a default of which, is described.
I already do it this way and it works fine. I'm a big fan of buying expensive powers piecemeal, so that you get benefits for every point you spent and aren't bank points away unnecessarily.

The thing is, I like the way ability --> talent --> skill --> technique balances right now. It encourages simple character sheets and no unnecessary specialization. What you don't want are specialization rules where you feel like you have to specialize, or worse where it makes the most sense to "specialize in everything".

With that said, Kromm was talking a week or two ago about the GURPS community applying itself to simplification and elegance, rather than coming up with five page rules systems to handle edge cases in maddening detail. And I've been pleased to see people stepping up to the plate with ideas like this.

Do we need techniques to have a difficulty? Is that extra point for hard techniques really giving us anything? It's not just about word count, it's about complexity of rules interactions, ease of learning the system, and player attention span to learn all this.

Before this thread, I'd have felt it was worth it, but now I'm thinking that having a mechanic that won't move a character's point total by more than +/-5 isn't worth the cost.
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Old 12-18-2015, 02:55 PM   #24
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Default Re: Changing techniques to just 1pt leveled perks

If we're discussing removing Hard techniques as a concept, I'm all for it.

Hard Techniques create, first of all, an unnecessary complication. Techniques are, themselves, a complication atop skills, and they have to additional complications: the associated penalty (Counter Attack is Weapon-6, while Feint is Weapon+0), AND also the skill level. But what does the latter add?

Well, it mostly adds extra investment. You're effectively paying a 1 point UB cost, then you can carry on increasing your technique for 1 point per level, but that means to get the most out of that UB cost, you need to buy as much technique as possible. Counter Attack-5 costs 2 and is a worse investment of your points than Counter Attack -0 for 7. This makes Hard techniques a dubious proposition, and techniques were already dubious to begin with, so I don't think that helps things. Worse, there are quite a few hard techniques that are simply a -1 to skill by default. Is that worth 2 points for the (max) +1? Very dubious.

I vastly prefer to houserule techniques to just average, all of them. One point buys you +1 to a technique, period. No muss, no fuss.
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Old 12-18-2015, 03:03 PM   #25
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Default Re: Changing techniques to just 1pt leveled perks

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
One of the points of merging is to enable things like decreasing the penalty (or increasing the bonus) by 2 or more per point spent.
We can do that without calling the points "Perks", though. As long as we're rewriting the Techniques rules, you can invent Techniques even easier than Average that have a bigger bonus per point. Someone already did that upthread. Though retaining multiple pricing categories for Techniques doesn't meet the goal of reducing complexity or wordcount.

There are times when you'd like to continue to count Techniques as "skill" points rather than "advantages". Consider common rules and houserules about advantage limits, skill point minimums, changes in ease of acquisition or training requirements after game start, style requirements for X points of skill invested to earn Y points of Style Perks, comparing veteran training versus talented newbies, floating skills to other attributes. It's certainly tempting to shrug and say "what's in a name?" But in this case I'd be happier continuing to think of the points as a kind of focused training in skills rather than a micro Talent Advantage. It's not that Kay Fu was born with inherent natural expertise in Elbow Strikes. She just trained more on that move.

Attacking the "more than three Techniques and you might as well just buy the skill" problem will require fractional points. (Or else multiplying all other point costs by 2, 4, 8, 10, 60, whatever, so the smallest unit is still an integer.) But then, this might not be such a problem. If Techniques really are signature moves or areas of special concentration, characters shouldn't have a lot of them for a given skill. You can't be focused on everything, by definition.
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:47 PM   #26
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Default Re: Changing techniques to just 1pt leveled perks

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Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
I vastly prefer to houserule techniques to just average, all of them. One point buys you +1 to a technique, period. No muss, no fuss.
Yeah and (given minor rules get added changed or removed) I'm surprised it hasn't ended up in a Pyramid article at least.
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Old 12-19-2015, 01:32 AM   #27
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Default Re: Changing techniques to just 1pt leveled perks

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
We can do that without calling the points "Perks", though. As long as we're rewriting the Techniques rules, you can invent Techniques even easier than Average that have a bigger bonus per point. Someone already did that upthread. Though retaining multiple pricing categories for Techniques doesn't meet the goal of reducing complexity or wordcount.

There are times when you'd like to continue to count Techniques as "skill" points rather than "advantages". Consider common rules and houserules about advantage limits, skill point minimums, changes in ease of acquisition or training requirements after game start, style requirements for X points of skill invested to earn Y points of Style Perks, comparing veteran training versus talented newbies, floating skills to other attributes. It's certainly tempting to shrug and say "what's in a name?" But in this case I'd be happier continuing to think of the points as a kind of focused training in skills rather than a micro Talent Advantage. It's not that Kay Fu was born with inherent natural expertise in Elbow Strikes. She just trained more on that move.

Attacking the "more than three Techniques and you might as well just buy the skill" problem will require fractional points. (Or else multiplying all other point costs by 2, 4, 8, 10, 60, whatever, so the smallest unit is still an integer.) But then, this might not be such a problem. If Techniques really are signature moves or areas of special concentration, characters shouldn't have a lot of them for a given skill. You can't be focused on everything, by definition.
Not so much multiple pricing categories (we don't add multiple-points-per-level-of-benefit pricing) as multiple benefit categories (what benefits a spent point provides). And we already have those. Consider such Perks as Armour Familiarity, Exotic Weapon Training, Ground Guard, Improvised Weapons, Naval Training, Power Grappling, Rapid Retraction, Shield Wall Training, Strongbow (and Crossbow Finesse), Sure-Footed and even Weapon Adaptation.
They all cost [1], and all provide some sort of quantitative bonus (a +1 to one thing, a +1 to multiple things, or perhaps a +1 to one and +2 to another, or provide a bonus that effectively offsets a Default penalty for the purposes of wielding a single weapon), plus some of them provide an extra qualitative benefit of some sort. Techniques are rather rigid in that they normally only apply to some one type of roll and cost +1/+1, and anything working differently is written up as a weird exception that delves into relative technique levels (e.g. Ground Fighting for ADs).
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Old 12-19-2015, 08:17 AM   #28
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Default Re: Changing techniques to just 1pt leveled perks

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Attacking the "more than three Techniques and you might as well just buy the skill" problem will require fractional points.
Nope. In our game, we've houseruled one level of Technique gives +2. Provides a little variety. You can make that +3 or +4 or whatever you feel like.

The other option is to go back to 3e style increasing skill costs, which make techniques a lot more attractive at times... but it only moved the breakpoint up to wherever the per-level flat cost point was (I forget now, but I remember it differed per skill type).
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Old 12-19-2015, 02:39 PM   #29
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Default Re: Changing techniques to just 1pt leveled perks

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Nope. In our game, we've houseruled one level of Technique gives +2.
That will move the breakpoint up to seven Techniques, since the alternative is now buying +2 to skill for 8 points.

Part of the question here is whether you view the set of all Techniques as being identical to one level of the basic skill, so that the two should cost the same. Of course, different skills have different numbers of Techniques, which makes this an awkward goal.

Quote:
The other option is to go back to 3e style increasing skill costs, which make techniques a lot more attractive at times... but it only moved the breakpoint up to wherever the per-level flat cost point was (I forget now, but I remember it differed per skill type).
Maxxed out at 8 points per level for physical skills, 4 for mental ones, as I recall.
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Old 12-19-2015, 07:25 PM   #30
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Default Re: Changing techniques to just 1pt leveled perks

A Technique is a particular application of an existing skill. If you have the skill you can do a technique at some penalty. This is not the case for a Perk, which usually cannot be attempted at any default.
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