Steve Jackson Games Forums

Steve Jackson Games Forums (http://forums.sjgames.com/index.php)
-   GURPS (http://forums.sjgames.com/forumdisplay.php?f=13)
-   -   Clarification: Talent Skill Choice (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=157595)

SilvercatMoonpaw 05-26-2018 06:03 AM

Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Something I'm not quite sure on:

When a skill that requires specialization (such as Artist or Engineer) is part of a Talent does that mean the Talent adds to the entire skill?

When making custom Talents does the entire skill count as only one choice for determining how many points per level the Talent costs?

I assume the justification for a "Yes" answer is that Talents aren't supposed to go very high.

Rupert 05-26-2018 06:18 AM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
I believe that the answer to both these questions is 'yes'. As for why, one reason is that if you count a skill like these as more than one, any talent that contains them will be large and cost 15 points. When IQ and DX cost 20/level each, a 15-point talent is unlikely to be considered worth buying when it only covers one skill, even if it's really a whole bunch like Engineering is.

Sam Baughn 05-26-2018 06:33 AM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Power-Ups 3 goes into some detail on this on page 5. A basic summary is 'yes, unless specified' and 'yes' to your questions. I believe the justification is actually that it keeps talents competitive with attributes (since a talent usually covers skills based on several attributes but specialties of one skill almost always use a single attribute) and because most specialties have generous defaults between them so raising one is almost as good as raising them all anyway.

ericbsmith 05-26-2018 06:33 AM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SilvercatMoonpaw (Post 2178443)
When a skill that requires specialization (such as Artist or Engineer) is part of a Talent does that mean the Talent adds to the entire skill?

It depends on the talent and the skill. Most of the time the Talent will add to all specializations of the skill, but some talents may affect only certain specialties. It depends on how broad or narrowly the talent is defined. This is likely to be particularly true if a talent includes weapon skills - a talent that includes Knife and Knife Throwing might include Fast-Draw (Knife) but not other Fast-Draw specialties (I know there's a general prohibition on including weapon skills; but there's also a couple official talents that break that prohibition). Another likely candidate might be a talent for a miracle working ship's engineer which applies to Mechanic and Engineering, and includes Mathematics (Applied) because it is necessary for Engineering but doesn't include other Mathematics specialties.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SilvercatMoonpaw (Post 2178443)
When making custom Talents does the entire skill count as only one choice for determining how many points per level the Talent costs?

Yes, all specialties would count as one skill if a talent covers more than one.

SilvercatMoonpaw 05-26-2018 07:52 AM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Alright, good to know
Quote:

Originally Posted by ericbsmith (Post 2178450)
(I know there's a general prohibition on including weapon skills; but there's also a couple official talents that break that prohibition).

Sometimes you just have to. Like I made a Spider Talent and included Net because of course.

Kelly Pedersen 05-26-2018 10:38 AM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ericbsmith (Post 2178450)
I know there's a general prohibition on including weapon skills; but there's also a couple official talents that break that prohibition.

I just wanted to point out, there's actually no prohibition on including weapon skills (or combat skills in general) in Talents. The only thing the Basic Set mentions about that is that you shouldn't be able to take "Weapon Talent", i.e. a Talent that covers all weapons, but that's in the context of explaining that Talents should represent believable aptitudes. There's really no balance concerns with adding combat skills to Talents in general. Power-Ups: Talents certainly doesn't mention anything like that, and includes several Talents with combat skills, and doesn't make any kind of note about them being exceptions or anything, either.

This is a persistent myth about Talents, and I think we should try to stop repeating it.

SilvercatMoonpaw 05-26-2018 03:36 PM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen (Post 2178477)
This is a persistent myth about Talents, and I think we should try to stop repeating it.

Ah, then it's a good thing I was asking this question.

Kromm 05-27-2018 11:38 AM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
On the matter of combat skills, see Combat Talents (GURPS Power-Ups 3: Talents, p. 23).

malloyd 05-28-2018 07:28 AM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen (Post 2178477)
I just wanted to point out, there's actually no prohibition on including weapon skills (or combat skills in general) in Talents. The only thing the Basic Set mentions about that is that you shouldn't be able to take "Weapon Talent", i.e. a Talent that covers all weapons, but that's in the context of explaining that Talents should represent believable aptitudes.

I'm not even convinced "all weapons" isn't as believable an aptitude as many of the other Talents. If you want it, I'm entirely willing to house rule it as a 20 point Talent. Losing the bonus to everything else DX does for you is more than enough to compensate for adding to the relatively rare IQ based weapon skill rolls. Hey, I'll even throw in Connoisseur (weapons) and Expert Skill (Hoplology). "I'm good with all weapons" is after all a reasonable enough archetype to support the existence of Weapon Master (all), there's no reason it can't have a Talent too.

Kelly Pedersen 05-28-2018 07:50 AM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by malloyd (Post 2178746)
I'm not even convinced "all weapons" isn't as believable an aptitude as many of the other Talents. If you want it, I'm entirely willing to house rule it as a 20 point Talent.

I wouldn't even price it that high, personally. I think it's balanced fine as a 15-point Talent. I could see something like that being the gift of a war god to their clerics in a fantasy setting, for instance.

ericbsmith 05-28-2018 08:09 AM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by malloyd (Post 2178746)
I'm not even convinced "all weapons" isn't as believable an aptitude as many of the other Talents.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen (Post 2178748)
I wouldn't even price it that high, personally. I think it's balanced fine as a 15-point Talent. I could see something like that being the gift of a war god to their clerics in a fantasy setting, for instance.

Certainly, 15 points for "all weapons, plus a couple connected mental skills" is relatively balanced against DX+1 [20], Basic Speed -0.25 [-5] for the same cost.

I think what gets unbalanced, and why there's the recommendation against having a general "weapons" talent, is because at 5 points a talent with 5-6 weapon skills is kind of unbalanced, and at 10 points for 7-12 it's kind of questionable.

ericthered 05-28-2018 08:37 AM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
I'd allow all combat skills for [15/level], and all of either ranged or melee for [10/level]. I don't think either of those are in any way broken, and they fit archetypes and general training very well.

Kromm mentioned the guidelines on such talents in PU3, and the points are very good. Particularly number 2.

Kromm 05-28-2018 08:42 AM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
An "all weapon skills" Talent at 15 points would probably be reasonably fair. One of the not-so-hidden truths of weapon skills is that most people don't actually take more than a handful. What I typically see is this: main Melee Weapon skill, Fast-Draw for that (if allowed), off-hand or backup skill (Cloak, Knife, Main-Gauche, Shield, etc.), main ranged combat skill, and Fast-Draw for the ammo (if allowed). Once those skills hit their stride, that's 20 points per +1 to all five . . . and a level of DX is just 20 points, and also gives +1 to unarmed combat tasks, +0.25 to Basic Speed, +1 to all DX-based noncombat skills, +1 to all DX-based defaults, and +1 to a wide range of generic DX rolls (including many that can't be raised as skills). All that other stuff arguably provides much of the value of DX.

At 15 points/level for just weapon skills, I think there would be relatively few takers unless there were a cool alternative benefit players would favor DX +1 [20] and Basic Speed -0.25 [-5] if they could get away with it. What the cool alternative benefit ought to be is hard to say. Something like +1 damage per level would be a little too good. "Includes one Weapon Bond per level" could be attractive, as at level four you'd really have +5 to all the weapon skills likely to matter, making the real cost per +1 more like 12 points than 15 points. And it seems in-theme that "good with all weapons" includes "good at picking the perfect weapon for you."

SilvercatMoonpaw 05-28-2018 10:39 AM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen (Post 2178748)
I wouldn't even price it that high, personally. I think it's balanced fine as a 15-point Talent.

You could make the argument that since it would be really hard to get to a point, build- or situation-wise, where a character could make use of every single proficiency in the Talent, that every weapon skill eventually becomes worse than only a few.

Unless you were playing a game where weapons routine got lost or destroyed and there was extreme variety in which new ones were around.

SilvercatMoonpaw 05-28-2018 10:43 AM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kromm (Post 2178757)
At 15 points/level for just weapon skills, I think there would be relatively few takers unless there were a cool alternative benefit players would favor DX +1 [20] and Basic Speed -0.25 [-5] if they could get away with it. What the cool alternative benefit ought to be is hard to say. Something like +1 damage per level would be a little too good. "Includes one Weapon Bond per level" could be attractive, as at level four you'd really have +5 to all the weapon skills likely to matter, making the real cost per +1 more like 12 points than 15 points. And it seems in-theme that "good with all weapons" includes "good at picking the perfect weapon for you."

Maybe a wider reaction bonus, perhaps one that can even be applied vs opponents in combat to make them think twice about tangling with someone just that good at using weapons. (I haven't read every single thin in the Basics book, so I have no idea if this is a thing in GURPS.)

Bruno 05-28-2018 11:04 AM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Going with my policy of always having a mix of base attributes in the skills of a talent, I'd definitely throw in appropriate Armory specializations, Expert Skill (Hopology), Connoisseur (Weapons), and a bonus to Merchant but only when haggling over weapons.

If the talent was restricted to pre-gunpowder weapons, I'd still charge 15 points but I'd expand the secondary skills and Merchant bonus to "... and armor".

If restricted to post-gunpowder weapons... hm. Interesting problem.

ericbsmith 05-28-2018 11:27 AM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SilvercatMoonpaw (Post 2178767)
Maybe a wider reaction bonus, perhaps one that can even be applied vs opponents in combat to make them think twice about tangling with someone just that good at using weapons. (I haven't read every single thin in the Basics book, so I have no idea if this is a thing in GURPS.)

A situational bonus to Intimidation, Fast-Talk, and Diplomacy rolls seem appropriate, when dealing with your combat skills.

"You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you."

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bruno (Post 2178770)
Going with my policy of always having a mix of base attributes in the skills of a talent, I'd definitely throw in appropriate Armory specializations, Expert Skill (Hopology), Connoisseur (Weapons), and a bonus to Merchant but only when haggling over weapons.

I'd also throw in unarmed combat skills. If you're much of a Master-At-Arms with weapon skills much of that is going to translate directly to unarmed skills as well. In fact, most styles include unarmed skills because there are times when you have to grapple or punch, even if you are armed with a weapon.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bruno (Post 2178770)
If the talent was restricted to pre-gunpowder weapons, I'd still charge 15 points but I'd expand the secondary skills and Merchant bonus to "... and armor".

If restricted to post-gunpowder weapons... hm. Interesting problem.

Guns already default heavily to one-another anyways, so it really doesn't matter if you're talking one guns specialty or all of them. And once you get to gunpowder weapons the usefulness of archaic weapons goes down considerably. Yeah, there are times when a knife or a bow might come in handy, but they're fewer. There are even fewer times when a broadsword or a polearm are going to be of use to you.

SilvercatMoonpaw 05-28-2018 11:37 AM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ericbsmith (Post 2178774)
Yeah, there are times when a knife or a bow might come in handy, but they're fewer.

Unless you're talking about a gonzo setting where sword-wielders can pull off ludicrous moves to get into range or block bullets. Though in that case "sword" probably means "Innate Attack (Limitation: Needs sword)".

Pursuivant 05-28-2018 10:05 PM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kromm (Post 2178757)
An "all weapon skills" Talent at 15 points would probably be reasonably fair.

Arguably, a "weapon talent" which applies just to ranged weapons might be realistic, since some people have superior hand/eye coordination, target acquisition, weapon control, and/or distance estimation abilities.

Call it "Born Sniper", cost it at 10 or 15 points per level. It gives a bonus to any DX-based thrown or missile weapon skill from Bow to Beam Weapons, and a reaction bonus from shooting sports enthusiasts and fellow shooters.

Arguably, existing traits might give bonuses to additional skills when the skill roll is based on a different attribute. For example, Artificer skill might apply to IQ-based rolls to Guns skill for Immediate Action.

malloyd 05-31-2018 09:16 AM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ericbsmith (Post 2178752)
I think what gets unbalanced, and why there's the recommendation against having a general "weapons" talent, is because at 5 points a talent with 5-6 weapon skills is kind of unbalanced, and at 10 points for 7-12 it's kind of questionable.

I think the actual unbalanced case is the 5 point talent in two or more weapons in *functionally different* categories. Five different close combat, or melee, or long reach, or short ranged, or long ranged missile weapons wouldn't be so bad even at 5 points. Warriors normally have a single preferred weapon for each of those roles anyway. It's one from two or more categories for 5 points , or 3 or more for 10 points, that starts to look a bit unfair to the guys buying theirs per skill.

ericbsmith 05-31-2018 02:48 PM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by malloyd (Post 2179469)
I think the actual unbalanced case is the 5 point talent in two or more weapons in *functionally different* categories.

Broadly speaking there are five functionally different types of combat/weapon skills: Unarmed Striking, Unarmed Grappling, Primary Melee Weapon, Off-Hand Weapon/Shield, and Ranged. And you're right, things get particularly broken when you have skills from two or three of those categories covered under the same talent.

In fact, many of the skills from each category have generous defaults to one another, making taking one skill from the heart of a cluster of skills effectively a "talent" for all the skills that default from it. The most obvious of these is Guns skill specialties, which almost all default to one-another at -2 to -4, meaning that taking one Guns skill at an extremely high skill level is enough to bump up all of the other Guns skills.

ericthered 05-31-2018 03:12 PM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ericbsmith (Post 2179530)
Broadly speaking there are five functionally different types of combat/weapon skills: Unarmed Striking, Unarmed Grappling, Primary Melee Weapon, Off-Hand Weapon/Shield, and Ranged. And you're right, things get particularly broken when you have skills from two or three of those categories covered under the same talent.


Yep, this is the heart of things. I disagree slightly with off-hand weapon/ Shield, but I can see exactly where it comes from.

ericbsmith 05-31-2018 04:10 PM

Re: Clarification: Talent Skill Choice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ericthered (Post 2179535)
Yep, this is the heart of things. I disagree slightly with off-hand weapon/ Shield, but I can see exactly where it comes from.

Not every character will have a different Off-hand Weapon/Shield; some will use a Two-Handed weapon while others will use a pair of swords and a few others will keep their off-hand free for grappling or punching. However, when a different skill is used off-hand it is effectively a different class of weapon skill (mainly Shield or Main-Gauche skills) because that skill is almost never used as a primary weapon and is instead always paired with another primary weapon skill.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:44 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.