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Old 07-28-2021, 09:36 AM   #11
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lawrence, KS
Default Re: Limiting skill points

As a minor note, I would hesitate to allow both Single-Minded and Attentive. Attentive seems to be a quirk-level version of Single-Minded, modified so that it's mildly disadvantageous and not mildly advantageous; it's like taking both Broad-Minded and Xenophilia.

As for characters with insanely high levels of skills, I lately read Walter Jon Williams's Aristoi, which has precisely that assumption. It can be done in a narrative, and the GURPS rules can represent it. Whether you want to run that kind of narrative is up to you.
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Old 07-28-2021, 10:43 AM   #12
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Limiting skill points

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
. They aren't meant to simulate how the characters got to the starting line—they aren't life history generators.
You also don't use them for NPCs to estimate their Skill levels either.

As an example why not consider Vanna White of the Wheel of Fortune TV show. Her job would be covered by Performance Skill with an Optional Specialization in "TV Model" which lowers the effective difficulty from Average to Easy.

She's filmed more than 7000 episodes at 22 minutes each. You multiply 22 by 7000 and divide by 800 for the On the Job training rules and you get an answer that tells you that she should have 192 cp in her primary Job Skill.

You do not do this!

For most Jobs which are low pressure and low incentive like Profesional Skill: Convenience Store Clerk no amount of OJT will raise your skill level over 12. High pressure to succeed and highly incentivized Jobs might raise this limit to 16.

So you give Vanna Performance (TV Model) at 16 with the Walk in High Heels Technique fully bought up and don't worry about where the rest of the cp went to (in highly Cinematic timelines you might allow her to have bought Unaging).
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Old 07-28-2021, 10:47 AM   #13
MaryAnn
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Default Re: Limiting skill points

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
That's really not a problem. When you're generating a character now, you say that they have X points, X being a campaign value for player characters and GM decision for NPCs. If the person creating the character wants to make them Unaging and say they're 10,000 years old, and that's consistent with the campaign world, fine; they can go for it. But they only have as many total points to spend as X plus the campaign disadvantage limit.

You apply the rules for gaining skills through study (or experience) progressing forward from when the campaign starts, to govern what new skills the character can learn. But you don't apply them retroactively to what the character has learned before the start of play.

Those rules are meant to provide strategic incentives to how players develop their characters, looking forward. They aren't meant to simulate how the characters got to the starting line—they aren't life history generators.

The problem is still there as long as at some point you want to advance the time in the campaign. That is why I ask for a solution. The learning mechanics is sufficiently coherent to be used, the non-existence of a mechanics that allows to understand the limitations of the characters as a finite representation of the human mind is not. In this case, the lack of limits imposes a representation of the brain as an infinite set of knowledge in a bottomless well, in which you can throw skills as time allows...

There is an expression that reasons it quite well: "Time erases everything". There are also scientific studies that indicate that the brain can store up to 100 terabytes of memory. My need translates into representing those 100 terabytes in some quantifiable measure by the GURPS system, and perhaps also establishing a rate at which skills deteriorate for lack of use.
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Old 07-28-2021, 10:51 AM   #14
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Default Re: Limiting skill points

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
You also don't use them for NPCs to estimate their Skill levels either.

As an example why not consider Vanna White of the Wheel of Fortune TV show. Her job would be covered by Performance Skill with an Optional Specialization in "TV Model" which lowers the effective difficulty from Average to Easy.

She's filmed more than 7000 episodes at 22 minutes each. You multiply 22 by 7000 and divide by 800 for the On the Job training rules and you get an answer that tells you that she should have 192 cp in her primary Job Skill.

You do not do this!

For most Jobs which are low pressure and low incentive like Profesional Skill: Convenience Store Clerk no amount of OJT will raise your skill level over 12. High pressure to succeed and highly incentivized Jobs might raise this limit to 16.

So you give Vanna Performance (TV Model) at 16 with the Walk in High Heels Technique fully bought up and don't worry about where the rest of the cp went to (in highly Cinematic timelines you might allow her to have bought Unaging).
Well, yes. When I said "characters" I wasn't limiting it to "PCs."

See Points-Based Learning in the box on page 6 of Back to School. It provides that you can't gain skills without earned points, and you can't earn points without stress—and a routine job, one that's covered by monthly job rolls, ordinarily doesn't impose sufficient stress.

Seven thousand episodes would be about 350 months, which would be about half a dozen critical failures, which might provide 6-12 points, enough to get up to skill 14, maybe. Optimistically!

Oh, and is Walk in High Heels a separate technique of TV Model, or is it a core application of the skill, like Punch for Boxing or Karate?
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Old 07-28-2021, 11:19 AM   #15
MaryAnn
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Well, yes. When I said "characters" I wasn't limiting it to "PCs."

See Points-Based Learning in the box on page 6 of Back to School. It provides that you can't gain skills without earned points, and you can't earn points without stress—and a routine job, one that's covered by monthly job rolls, ordinarily doesn't impose sufficient stress.

Seven thousand episodes would be about 350 months, which would be about half a dozen critical failures, which might provide 6-12 points, enough to get up to skill 14, maybe. Optimistically!

Oh, and is Walk in High Heels a separate technique of TV Model, or is it a core application of the skill, like Punch for Boxing or Karate?
I'm getting these numbers wrong. According to my version of Back to School, 150 hours a month is the general rule. 150 * 350 months = 52500/4/200 = 65 skill points.
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Old 07-28-2021, 11:21 AM   #16
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Oh, and is Walk in High Heels a separate technique of TV Model, or is it a core application of the skill, like Punch for Boxing or Karate?
I believe it to be a penalty that may be compensated for with experience. The size of the penalty probably varies with the height of the heels.

"Gesture gracefully" and "Banter with the host" might be core uses of the Skill.
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Old 07-28-2021, 11:56 AM   #17
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Limiting skill points

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I'm getting these numbers wrong. According to my version of Back to School, 150 hours a month is the general rule. 150 * 350 months = 52500/4/200 = 65 skill points.
It is. But you don't seem to have read that particular section closely. It suggests that ordinarily you will gain NO learning from routine, non-stressful uses of the job skill (so 0 x 350 months = 0 gets you 0 skill points), but that you can gain experience in a month where you have a critical failure on the job roll, because that DOES create stress. 350 months is 350 rolls, and if your effective skill is less than 16, you will critically fail on a 17 or 18, which is once in 54 rolls. Dividing 350 by 54 gives ~6.48 critical failures, which rounds to 6, so you have six chances to learn on the job.

I was being generous and saying Vanna might gain as much as 2 points from each critical failure. Using your figure of 150 hours, six critical failures gives an expected 900 hours, which is 4.5 skill points.

Note that this is an alternate rule specifically designed to avoid you problem you point to of job experience giving you insanely high skills.
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:02 PM   #18
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Limiting skill points

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The problem is still there as long as at some point you want to advance the time in the campaign. That is why I ask for a solution. The learning mechanics is sufficiently coherent to be used, the non-existence of a mechanics that allows to understand the limitations of the characters as a finite representation of the human mind is not. In this case, the lack of limits imposes a representation of the brain as an infinite set of knowledge in a bottomless well, in which you can throw skills as time allows...

There is an expression that reasons it quite well: "Time erases everything". There are also scientific studies that indicate that the brain can store up to 100 terabytes of memory. My need translates into representing those 100 terabytes in some quantifiable measure by the GURPS system, and perhaps also establishing a rate at which skills deteriorate for lack of use.
I don't think that at this point we can possibly understand how the brain works well enough to estimate its memory storage capacity. The current fad for describing it as a computer is just the latest in a series that goes back to H.G. Wells writing of it as a telephone switchboard or Aristotle describing it as a cooling system, using whatever mechanical model suggested itself from the existing range of tech.

As for needing an upper limit, are you planning to run a campaign that will represent characters' experiences over decades of time, or millennia? Most campaigns seem to progress through their lifelines fairly slowly, often with a year of play representing less than a year of lived experience. So the question doesn't arise; the published rules are a gamable approximation for a campaign that represents weeks or months or maybe a handful of years. That's all they're meant to be. If you want more span than that, you'll need to adopt variant rules. Page 6 of Back to School has some suggestions, but that's all they are.
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:04 PM   #19
whswhs
 
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I believe it to be a penalty that may be compensated for with experience. The size of the penalty probably varies with the height of the heels.
You could represent it that way. But it might be simply a familiarity, given how many women walk around in high heels.

Or it might be a perk, given that High-Heeled Heroine, which lets you make combat rolls in high heels, is no more than a perk!
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:16 PM   #20
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Limiting skill points

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There is an expression that reasons it quite well: "Time erases everything". There are also scientific studies that indicate that the brain can store up to 100 terabytes of memory. My need translates into representing those 100 terabytes in some quantifiable measure by the GURPS system, and perhaps also establishing a rate at which skills deteriorate for lack of use.
There's not a way to really quantify this in GURPS. First off, GURPS IQ could represent anything from a (using some computer terminology) better processor to a higher-capacity hard drive... or could even represent a more efficient operating system and/or a hard drive with a lot of stuff on it. Similarly, different people may well be using different compression algorithms and indexing systems, which could wildly influence how much raw data they can store - and how much raw data corresponds to each point in a skill could vary wildly depending on skill, the training method, etc (that is, what the "program" does - [1] in Biology likely takes up more space than [1] in Lance - and how well "programmed" it was).
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