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Old 03-08-2007, 12:34 PM   #61
zorg
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Default Re: Player Paranoia and Character Surprise: How to GM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
FWIW, I would imagine that raw experience (measured by 10 + relative skill) would be pivotal in a master's decision to teach a would-be disciple the Seven Secret Kicks or the Hand of Death.
Agreed - but these are hardly matters of daily concern, right? Even in settings where the Hand of Death is in fact real. Most users of Karate are probably happy with the "I punch him" approach.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:35 PM   #62
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Default Re: Player Paranoia and Character Surprise: How to GM

As I said, "FWIW." :) It might not be worth much, but I wanted to say it.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:46 PM   #63
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Default Re: Player Paranoia and Character Surprise: How to GM

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Originally Posted by Kromm
As I said, "FWIW." :) It might not be worth much, but I wanted to say it.
Ah, sorry, I didn't really notice the shorthand :) Serves me right for not concentrating on posting, but on cooking.
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Old 03-08-2007, 03:51 PM   #64
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Default Re: Player Paranoia and Character Surprise: How to GM

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Originally Posted by zorg
Agreed - but these are hardly matters of daily concern, right? Even in settings where the Hand of Death is in fact real. Most users of Karate are probably happy with the "I punch him" approach.
All of that depends on the sorts of campaigns you run/play in. My THS character has boxing. He has only been in combat once in 2 years of play time. He also made an IQ based Boxing roll once to make some intelligent analysis of a boxing match he was watching on vid screen. So...both instances have shown up equally so far (i.e. not matters of daily concern.) On the other hand, since he works out in a boxing gym a LOT, Boxing (Sport) comes up all the time...though I do think I had to make an IQ based Boxing (Sport) roll once to deal with some rules question as well.

I could imagine a campaign where such things--base 10 rolls or IQ rolls for combat skills happens a lot. And in those campaigns? I could see buying up DX/IQ over buying up skills not always being the first choice.

Also, in the THS game I'm in, you can't spend cp's on things unless you've used that thing in game. So that tends to mean that we end up spending a lot of our cps on upping our skills rather than upping our abilities...and we grow as PCs in ways that reflect what we are doing. My PC has invested a huge portion of his cps in PS:Parenting. Considering the way he parents and how much he uses IQ the rest of the time (not as much)...it would be hard to justify an increase in IQ. An increase in HT or ST? Without a doubt. But IQ? That would be a hard sell to the GM. And now, I have a character who has PS:Parenting at IQ+4--which really reflects how, rather than being a natural parent, has worked hard on being a good parent over the years.

Also, when I created this character (Who has an IQ13 by the way)...I had to justify that high of an IQ score. whswhs asked me...why does this character as you've defined him have this high of an IQ? Perhaps you'd want to lower the IQ and up the skills with points to better match the concept? In the end I made a convinceing enough argument for why my Luddite Boxing beefbot actually did have an IQ13. But if I didn't have a convinceing argument I doubt whswhs would have let me keep the IQ13--which I think is entirely fair.

So...if you are coming from a concept/RP first mode of character creation...or if you are in campaigns that freqently call for alternate style rolls (or equally rarely call for standard rolls) then the non-optimized way of making characters becomes a lot more prevalent. For example, it had never even occured to me to even think about optimizing my characters until someone explained how it was done here on the boards...and I'd been GM'ing GURPS for over ten years before then.
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:37 PM   #65
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Default Re: Player Paranoia and Character Surprise: How to GM

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I believe most drivers have one point in Driving (though there are some who disagree). Drivers with years of experience - you know, the people with the low insurance premiums - probably have 2 points in it. Professional drivers (truckers, racers, cops) presumbly have enough points invested to get their skill to 12 or better...
Not if you've seen the traffic around here... let's see how many hours practice time is it for 1 CP?..... that means my skill should be..... 39! Wow, I am good.
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:49 PM   #66
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Default Re: Player Paranoia and Character Surprise: How to GM

Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper6
All of that depends on the sorts of campaigns you run/play in. My THS character has boxing. He has only been in combat once in 2 years of play time. He also made an IQ based Boxing roll once to make some intelligent analysis of a boxing match he was watching on vid screen. So...both instances have shown up equally so far (i.e. not matters of daily concern.) On the other hand, since he works out in a boxing gym a LOT, Boxing (Sport) comes up all the time...though I do think I had to make an IQ based Boxing (Sport) roll once to deal with some rules question as well.
It may be worth noting that I didn't specifically set out to run a combat-free campaign. But the PCs have been fairly cautious about getting into fights. Perhaps they have an appreciation of how much of a downside there is to violence at that TL.

Quote:
Also, when I created this character (Who has an IQ13 by the way)...I had to justify that high of an IQ score. whswhs asked me...why does this character as you've defined him have this high of an IQ? Perhaps you'd want to lower the IQ and up the skills with points to better match the concept? In the end I made a convinceing enough argument for why my Luddite Boxing beefbot actually did have an IQ13. But if I didn't have a convinceing argument I doubt whswhs would have let me keep the IQ13--which I think is entirely fair.
I had actually forgotten that discussion by now. But I would speculate that it might not have been quite as stringent as it sounded to you. At least, if I worded it that way, it's most likely that I wanted to make sure you thought about what made sense for the character concept; that I was invited you to change it rather than proposing to reject it. Or, at least, that I was saying, "Give me a bit of story about why this guy has this trait and how it fits into who he is."

But, of course, Gianni ended up as the lowest IQ on the team, whose other members are mostly ferociously bright.
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Old 06-02-2007, 11:14 PM   #67
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Default Re: Player Paranoia and Character Surprise: How to GM

Commuting by car may be a "routine" task for someone who knows how to drive, but for someone who has no training or experience operating a vehicle beyond seeing other people drive, and is therefore operating on default, having to do so much as pull out of a non-straight driveway backwards is certainly not "routine," and actually commuting is not an unstressful situation by any stretch of the imagination! I am therefore disinclined to believe that someone operating on default is entitled to that +4 routine bonus, but I would give it to a commuter with as little as 1 point in that skill.

The same could be true of a lot of skills. The first time you go to a range, shooting is not routine, but it is once you get the idea, which then gives you +4 in addition to whatever skill you pick up. That's why people can reliably hit a torso-sized target at 100 yards at a firing range after less than 5 hours of instruction, and still be completely useless at that range, or much lower ranges, in a stressful situation, even if they do manage to take the same amount of time to brace and aim, which they probably will not.
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Old 06-03-2007, 10:04 AM   #68
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Default Re: Player Paranoia and Character Surprise: How to GM

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Originally Posted by AstralRunner
Commuting by car may be a "routine" task for someone who knows how to drive, but for someone who has no training or experience operating a vehicle beyond seeing other people drive, and is therefore operating on default, having to do so much as pull out of a non-straight driveway backwards is certainly not "routine," and actually commuting is not an unstressful situation by any stretch of the imagination! I am therefore disinclined to believe that someone operating on default is entitled to that +4 routine bonus, but I would give it to a commuter with as little as 1 point in that skill.

The same could be true of a lot of skills. The first time you go to a range, shooting is not routine, but it is once you get the idea, which then gives you +4 in addition to whatever skill you pick up. That's why people can reliably hit a torso-sized target at 100 yards at a firing range after less than 5 hours of instruction, and still be completely useless at that range, or much lower ranges, in a stressful situation, even if they do manage to take the same amount of time to brace and aim, which they probably will not.
I might be inclined to be a bit more lenient there. For one thing, five hours on the shooting range is really a good deal less than the 200 hours that are supposed to correlate with 1 CP. I'd say that yes, the first time you try something easy, you don't get +4, but you get that bonus well before you have enough training to claim a skill point.
Your shooting example would seem to me to cut both ways, as it were. From what you describe, the shooter is becoming competent at 'easy' tasks while still being incompetent under stress (no +4 bonus!).

EDIT: Hmmm, we seem to be getting a bit away from 'Roleplaying in General' and towards 'GURPS'. Maybe we should discuss this elsewhere?
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Old 06-03-2007, 11:44 AM   #69
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Default Re: Player Paranoia and Character Surprise: How to GM

Character surprise is pivotal to nearly any genre of narrative play; we need scenes of surprise and failure in order for the scenes of success and overcoming odds to be exceptional.

In Star Wars, paranoid players would absolutely miss out on most of the movie... Playing cautious Luke, "I'll examine the droids to see if they have any kind of markings like they may have been stolen - I certaintly wouldn't want to get involved in any imperial entanglements!" Or complaining when a sandman surprises him, "no way, I said I was looking around carefully and we had our scanner going for like thirty minutes! How could he have snuck up on me?" - or "nah, space ports are dangerous and Obi Wan's a jedi; I'll stay back with the droids on the outskirts of town and let him do it." - or "Ok, let's come up with the perfect plan for rescuing the princess...<2 hours later of game time> yeah, but what about escape? once we get in don't we have a plan for getting out? <meanwhile the player of Leia has hung herself from boredom>" - or Han "I'll set hyperspace coordinates for a random planet, come out of hyperspace early, check the ship for any tracking devices and destroy or ditch them, and then make several smaller jumps to throw off the empire's tracking..."

Of course the other star wars movies are the same. The plot is moved ahead BY mistakes and BY the characters NOT thinking of everything and from the group failing!!

From a simulationist standpoint, too, being in red alert readiness mode too often is going to be both stressful and unrealistic.. No matter how awesome a character might be, no matter how much time they spend planning for every eventuality, they are going to miss things - and the fun gained by planning evaporates quickly when you have to spend increasing game-time discussing it, writing it down, and so forth. The more players you have, too, the more people have to agree/disagree on group preparation.

I like what I heard earlier in this thread:
1) Degree of readiness in more importan than the specifics of that readiness.
2) If a specific of readiness comes up, make an appropriate roll (in GURPS I'd use a relative skill bonus to the IQ stat) to see how specifically ready you might be.. If on green alert, assume that most of your "preparedness" is in a cupboard or backpack and would take some time to recover.
3) The GM should make sure players know what skills/feats/etc characters should have to assure they can deal with the aftermath of surprises...
4) The GM and players should have an understanding concerning the necessity of surprise.
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Old 06-03-2007, 04:26 PM   #70
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Default Re: Player Paranoia and Character Surprise: How to GM

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Originally Posted by LemmingLord
4) The GM and players should have an understanding concerning the necessity of surprise.
That's what my group go with: I have stated to them that the plot is open to suggestions, so if some PC's are being a little too careful, a player may suggest: 'Now we've crept back out again, maybe the villains' henchpersons could be waiting for us? 'The Boss wants a little word with you...' '

So the cinematic scene of; 'the lights come on, and you are surrounded, with your dependent held hostage' is now possible.

Or: '-if the plot is flagging, have someone come through a door with a gun'.

It takes trust, but it's rewarding.
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