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Old 06-25-2010, 09:07 AM   #11
Crakkerjakk
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Default Re: [House Rules] Crakkerjakk's Reduced Skill List

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Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
Parachuting is closer to Flying, no?
No. Flying is like Running or Hiking (all HT/A), it's meant to represent practice at sustained movement.

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Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
Well, thing is you either say it's DX/H with Aerobatics, Aquabatics techniques, or you have it as DX/VH and most every player who takes it will take Incompetence(Aerobatics, Aquabatics)[-2] to make up for the wasted points.
They can still take Acrobatics (DX/H). And it's only a point crock at very low levels. If they buy Acrobatic Movement up to attribute+0, even with Incompetencies it's 6 points v. 4 points just for Acrobatics at attribute+0. Plus, if any of my players took a skill then an incompetency for the point crock I'd slap em' upside the head.

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Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
I can see a lot of Incompetences getting listed...
Only if you want to represent a certain specific type of character. If you want a specialist you take skills just like normal.

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Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
This is where Hard techniques come in.
I don't understand how. If you make a Hard skill that includes the functionality of two Hard skills plus some others, how is it not "better" than the two Hard skills in an absolute sense?

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Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
It's also listed as Cinematic, not a real skill.
I'd be okay with dropping the difficulty to VH in a realistic game.

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Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
Expert Skills are setting specific, if you're simplifying skills it's a valid way of doing things.
Not while maintaining one of my design goals of allowing people who like the more granular RAW skill list to still use it and keep it balanced with the new version.

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Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
How much utility are they really worth in your games?
If you're reducing skill numbers, are the skills left really worth a premium beyond VH?
Skills aren't priced on utility, skills are priced on actual difficulty. If we were pricing based on utility, Guns would be way harder that DX/E. And yes, as mentioned above one of my primary design goals is to leave the player who takes Surgery and the less specialized player who takes Medicine balanced against each other.

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Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
Yeah, there was a recent thread about that, Revisiting Talents for Combat:
Hmmm, I'll check it out.

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Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
Meh, you can use a broadsword like a rapier too, it's a pain, but you can do it, it's mostly just an issue of getting used to different stances when switching between styles.
Right, but Broadsword is the skill of swinging and thrusting a certain way. Smallsword is a different way of swinging and (mostly) thrusting. While you can use either skill with a rapier or broadsword, when you're a medieval knight I think it's going to take a fair amount of practice to be as good at fighting like a fencer as opposed to trying to half-sword your rapier.

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
Several skills could be changed to Professional or Hobby quite easily, but I'd agree with Ze'Manel Cunha about some of your choices between Professional and Hobby. Then again, Professional and Hobby are more 'labels' and the real distinction is Easy vs. Average difficulty.
Right, this is one of those situations where GURPS has it's own terminology that doesn't really match up with the real world.

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
Combining all of the Influence Skills into a single Persuade skill seems like a bad idea to me. How are you going to deal with the distinct special effects of the different influence skills, in particular the fact that use of the Diplomacy skill mean no worse than Neutral reaction?
I'll still allow the varying uses of the different skills, Persuade is just a streamlined way of writing down a bunch of skills that certain types of characters (the face) tend to take.

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
I suspect you might also need to give some specific consideration to Talents and the effect your changes will have on their cost/benefit. Some of your 'Super Skills' are pretty close to Talents, and some Talents are only going to have 1 or 2 skills now.
A very good point.

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
You could simply drop Jumping and Lifting (and possibly others) and simply use the standard Attribute based rules - Jumping is based on Move and/or DX and Lifting rolls against ST.
Right, but I'd like some way to represent people like powerlifters or olympic long-jumpers. All these skills are pretty much "use a skill in place of an attribute for certain specific situations."

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Some specifics:
- Urban Survival as a Survival Specialisation seems reasonable, but the defaults are entirely different (none for Urban!)
True.

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
- Esoteric Medicine is not just low-TL Physician, Chinese Medecine (among many others) coexists alongside Physician in our TL - perhaps it should be a Specialisation of Physician, with little or no defaults.
I'd allow you to take Physician/TL4 in a TL8 game to represent someone trying to heal someone with Chinese Medicine.

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
- Economics might be better as a 'Business' skill alongside Finance and Accounting, rather than a 'Social Sciences' skill.
I thought so at first, but Finance notes that it's the "applied" skill, implying that Economics is the "theoretical" skill. And I figured the science of the behavior of markets fits in with the science of the behavior of societies, humans, and languages.

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
Fast-Draw off Weapon Skill seems like a good idea, but what would Kromm's Fast-Draw (Rose) base off?
DX-4, +1 for CR, and I'd allow a perk to bring it up to attribute for one-off things with no associated weapon skills. I figure it's a rare enough situation.

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
I think you also need to be careful not to cut some Niches down too much, Thief might have been reduced a little too much by your choices (I haven't checked, so it might be just fine). And Face Man from Action will certainly suffer from the loss of distinction on the Influence skills.
A good point. I'll admit, I am a little concerned about this, but I think for the most part the people who are just diplomats can have the one skill, while the people who are broadly competent can be good at a wide variety of skills yet only write down the one super-skill on their sheet. I mean, it's not like someone with Persuade-16 can't do Fast-Talk. They do it at 16. It's just not explicitly on their sheet.

But I am worried that for the Thief, Face, and Wheel Man archetypes the new skills are too good, and no one will ever use the RAW methods. I'm not sure if I really should be worried, though, so long as people with more focused character concepts can still be better at their specialties for the same number of points.

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
I think anything like this has 2 important considerations:
1) Campaign Specifics -
2) GM Style -
Like I said, on the one hand, I WANT less skills on the character sheet. But on the other hand, I don't want to make certain archetypes so cheap that anyone can play the Face + Shooter or Face + Medic. But I think that quite a bit of those archetypes are in the advantages they select. I'm not sure whether the new version is balanced or not, but I don't think it's obviously unbalanced.

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Originally Posted by warmachine View Post
The Investigate skill stomps on too much of this difference whereas the natural science skills aren't that important.
Way I see it is the Forensics guy can still take Forensics and be better at it than the Investigate guy for the same amount of points. It lets specialist specialize, while allowing generalists not to clutter up the sheet. It may favor the generalists a bit too much, but in many cases I think you can fix this by cranking super-skills up another difficulty class.

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Originally Posted by warmachine View Post
You could reduce the difficulty of super-skills by two steps for campaigns where the GM deems it not so useful but not useless.

I have taken a different approach in my house rules, emphasising usefulness. Depending on the campaign, the GM chooses amalgamations of less useful skills, making it cheaper to be proficient in a set of less useful skills.
On the one hand, I like the idea of scaling skills based on usefulness. On the other hand, that'd be a PITA to do for every campaign, and it's not how skills are priced in RAW. As I mentioned in the OP, I tried to stay as close to the spirit of the RAW as possible, and while pricing skills based on utility might be a good idea in general, it's not the point of this particular exercise.
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:47 AM   #12
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Default Re: [House Rules] Crakkerjakk's Reduced Skill List

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Right, but I'd like some way to represent people like powerlifters or olympic long-jumpers. All these skills are pretty much "use a skill in place of an attribute for certain specific situations."
I think you have a conflict in your assumptions here - you would seem to be wanting to reduce the list of skills by removing or merging the narrow, low usage skills; but on the other hand, you want to be able to support very specialised character types, such as (single discipline) Olympic Athletes.

The Extra Effort rules, possible with Extra Fatigue would better cover such activities for 'adventurers' without the need to support specialised archetypes/skills.

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A good point. I'll admit, I am a little concerned about this, but I think for the most part the people who are just diplomats can have the one skill, while the people who are broadly competent can be good at a wide variety of skills yet only write down the one super-skill on their sheet. I mean, it's not like someone with Persuade-16 can't do Fast-Talk. They do it at 16. It's just not explicitly on their sheet.

Way I see it is the Forensics guy can still take Forensics and be better at it than the Investigate guy for the same amount of points. It lets specialist specialize, while allowing generalists not to clutter up the sheet. It may favor the generalists a bit too much, but in many cases I think you can fix this by cranking super-skills up another difficulty class.
Are you saying that while you've reduced the Skill Count (which seemed to be a primary objective), 'Specialists' can still buy those individual skills which you have removed - thereby putting the Skill Count back up?

It would seem that you're trying to create a half-way house 'Wild Card' like group 'Super' Skill, which isn't so expensive.

Why not:
Super Skill; groups skills like a Wild Card Skill, for Double Cost (instead of triple) but all skills are at -2.
Note - I haven't thought out or analysed the costings/penalty for this, it's more a concept that 'hard' numbers
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:59 AM   #13
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Default Re: [House Rules] Crakkerjakk's Reduced Skill List

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I don't understand how. If you make a Hard skill that includes the functionality of two Hard skills plus some others, how is it not "better" than the two Hard skills in an absolute sense?
Some of the skills divisions are arbitrary, many skills naturally bleed into each other.

It's also a setting issue, just like Expert Skill (Natural Philosophy) can cover all science skills in many settings.

Well, we could say that along the lines of how two ST 10 people don't add up to a ST 20 BL, you'd also need at least 4 H skills to get to the VH level.

We could even say 4 E = 1 A, 4 A = 1 H, 4 H = 1 VH ...

VH skills cover prodigious scope, counter-intuitive skills, and supersecret Cinematic stuff, so anything below that extremely rare standard we could consider as H skills.

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Originally Posted by Crakkerjakk View Post
On the one hand, I like the idea of scaling skills based on usefulness. On the other hand, that'd be a PITA to do for every campaign, and it's not how skills are priced in RAW. As I mentioned in the OP, I tried to stay as close to the spirit of the RAW as possible, and while pricing skills based on utility might be a good idea in general, it's not the point of this particular exercise.
You wouldn't be doing it for every campaign, most GMs have a certain play style which tends to hold through across various settings, but if you don't want to go there we'll try to avoid the tangent. *grin*
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:04 AM   #14
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Default Re: [House Rules] Crakkerjakk's Reduced Skill List

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I think you have a conflict in your assumptions here - you would seem to be wanting to reduce the list of skills by removing or merging the narrow, low usage skills; but on the other hand, you want to be able to support very specialised character types, such as (single discipline) Olympic Athletes.

The Extra Effort rules, possible with Extra Fatigue would better cover such activities for 'adventurers' without the need to support specialised archetypes/skills.
I want to provide the OPTION to reduce the skill list to a more manageable number of skills without sacrificing utility for those who don't like the ~256 skills GURPS currently has. I also want those who think the RAW list is fine to be able to use it (with a few exceptions like FD) as is. And I want these two options to be relatively balanced with each other.

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Are you saying that while you've reduced the Skill Count (which seemed to be a primary objective), 'Specialists' can still buy those individual skills which you have removed - thereby putting the Skill Count back up?
Exactly. A generalist can be a generalist while taking about the same number of skills as a specialist. It's just that the specialist has higher skill at their specialty, while the generalist has broader utility at a lower skill level. The goal is to make it so that someone who wants to be broadly competent at a bunch of stuff doesn't need a skill list one and a half times longer than that of a specialist. They just haven't specialized in one particular aspect of the skills on their list like the specialist has. The distinction between the skill list of a specialist and a generalist isn't that one has more or less skills than another (usually), it's that the specialist has more skills with words in parenthesis next to their skill names.

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Why not:
Super Skill; groups skills like a Wild Card Skill, for Double Cost (instead of triple) but all skills are at -2.
Note - I haven't thought out or analysed the costings/penalty for this, it's more a concept that 'hard' numbers
This was actually what I did originally, before settling on using specialties and skill difficulties to model something similar.

The problem is this: The standard GURPS skill system has lots of skills that are fairly narrowly defined. X skill lets you do X, and generally no other skill will let you do X. I like this, as eventually you should run out of things you want to do in a game, setting some upper limit on skills. Wildcards, however, let you do anything related to their name. So Wheel Man! might let you use drive, pilot, etc, but Top Gun! also lets you do pilot. Because each skill doesn't eliminate a "do X" thing from the pool of things you want to do, there's an infinite number of Wildcard skills, meaning it's damn near impossible to come up with a definitive list.
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:19 AM   #15
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Default Re: [House Rules] Crakkerjakk's Reduced Skill List

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Well, we could say that along the lines of how two ST 10 people don't add up to a ST 20 BL, you'd also need at least 4 H skills to get to the VH level.

We could even say 4 E = 1 A, 4 A = 1 H, 4 H = 1 VH ...
Interesting idea...

The problem is it still screws the curmudgeonly grognard clinging to his copy of Characters and telling me he doesn't like my house-rule. So long as I don't make anyone better than him for the same point cost, and don't force him to use my version, I can circumvent the problem entirely. People who aren't happy with the RAW are happy, people who are happy with the RAW are happy... just seems better. And besides, we're talking about 10-20 points for broadly useful levels of skill (I'm assuming attribute levels generally around 12, and people buying skills up to at least attribute +0). Eyeballing it, that looks about right.

If that's too expensive, they can choose to narrow their focus. But generalists should be expensive, if they want to be good at lots of things.
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: [House Rules] Crakkerjakk's Reduced Skill List

Is there a formula for calculating the difficulty and attribute of a super-skill?
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:24 PM   #17
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Default Re: [House Rules] Crakkerjakk's Reduced Skill List

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Is there a formula for calculating the difficulty and attribute of a super-skill?
Difficulty is one higher than that of the greatest difficulty skill it contains, I try to group the skills within them so that they're all the same attribute.
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Old 06-25-2010, 01:52 PM   #18
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Default Re: [House Rules] Crakkerjakk's Reduced Skill List

In general, I like this idea. I especially like the idea of turning a number of skills into specialties and making all specialties optional.

Quote:
Body Language Skill eliminated. Detect Lies gets a +2 bonus if you can see your target's body language.

I'd also change Detect Lies to Detect Emotions, with Lies being an optional specialty.


Quote:
Parachuting Now a specialty of piloting
Completely disagree. Same with SCUBA - both should be separate skills. They're both pretty much completely different from anything Piloting or Submarine can be used for.


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Um, making everyone automatically able to swim wouldn't work for me at all.
That doesn't make everyone automatically able to swim. Also, it makes it so people who are trained in athletics can swim - this is one skill I, personally, always seem to forget to add to any character I make. In fact, almost every character I've seene except ones with Swimming as a big part of their nature have the Swimming skill missing even though not being able to swim is actually really rare in a modern setting.
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: [House Rules] Crakkerjakk's Reduced Skill List

@Ze'manel Cunha: you have saved me so much typing.

@ Crakkerjak: nice ideas. [except Fishing Sewing Parachute and Typing*:)]
Don't think I'd go with most of the folded skills but Business and Social Sciences, yes.
Particularly like the optional de-specialisation, something I'd be happy to use, eg Fencing DX/H.

*I was a 25wpm touch-typist and failed to get a job in a typing pool - too slow. Darned if I'll call that a Hobby but I'd allow Hobby Skill - Typing, or Sewing, etc and make it clear that the Professional version was different. So yes, dropping those skills and making them available as either Hobby or Professional versions is a good idea:)
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Old 06-25-2010, 03:42 PM   #20
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Default Re: [House Rules] Crakkerjakk's Reduced Skill List

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That doesn't make everyone automatically able to swim. Also, it makes it so people who are trained in athletics can swim - this is one skill I, personally, always seem to forget to add to any character I make. In fact, almost every character I've seene except ones with Swimming as a big part of their nature have the Swimming skill missing even though not being able to swim is actually really rare in a modern setting.
Having been in the pool with a great many non-swimming recruits in a modern setting, I have to strongly disagree, swimming is a skill the majority of the people in the world completely lack, but the default is generous enough for most people.

It's fascinating when people who grew up on islands and go to the beach regularly and people who spend their Summers in public pools in cities never learned to swim.

About 1/3 of Americans can Swim, another 1/3 get regular default rolls for familiarity, about a 1/3 should get penalized for lack of familiarity on their default since they panic when you toss them in the deep end of the pool and need remedial training just to get their default rolls, and about 10% of those probably need incompetence since they need to be rescued in a pool.

Keep in mind too that 1/3 of Americans are Fat for a +3 bonus to default and another 1/3 are Overweight for a +1 bonus to default, add on another +3 for entering the water normally and that rolling against default isn't bad at all.

However, this is a tangent we don't need to go on so as not to derail this thread.

Last edited by Ze'Manel Cunha; 06-25-2010 at 03:52 PM. Reason: sp
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