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Old 10-02-2015, 08:07 AM   #1
Anders
 
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Default Alternative Skills

It's very expensive to build the master-of-all-weapons in GURPS without giving him an astronomical DX. What do you think of the idea (in a highly cinematic game) of borrowing the mechanism for Alternate Abilities and pay only full cost for the most expensive weapon skill and 1/4* for the other skills?

*because it makes the math neater
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Old 10-02-2015, 08:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: Alternative Skills

Why not use the rules already in place for Buying Skills at Default or Wildcard Skills?
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Old 10-02-2015, 08:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
It's very expensive to build the master-of-all-weapons in GURPS without giving him an astronomical DX. What do you think of the idea (in a highly cinematic game) of borrowing the mechanism for Alternate Abilities and pay only full cost for the most expensive weapon skill and 1/4* for the other skills?

*because it makes the math neater
If they're genuine alternatives, sure, why not? I might insist on unarmed, melee, throwing, and longer range missile weapons in separate categories though. They don't seem like genuine alternatives of each other

But it seems like a lot of extra computation compared to just letting them buy a Wildcard Melee! or Fight! skill. I suppose it lets you have different weapons at different skill levels, but when the point is to build a cinematic master of everything, why would you want that?
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Old 10-02-2015, 08:26 AM   #4
Kromm
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Default Re: Alternative Skills

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post

But it seems like a lot of extra computation compared to just letting them buy a Wildcard Melee! or Fight! skill. I suppose it lets you have different weapons at different skill levels, but when the point is to build a cinematic master of everything, why would you want that?
And if you want such variability, well, GURPS Power-Ups 7: Wildcard Skills covers that ground with Improving Standard Skills From Wildcards, p. 5.
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Old 10-02-2015, 08:29 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
If they're genuine alternatives, sure, why not? I might insist on unarmed, melee, throwing, and longer range missile weapons in separate categories though. They don't seem like genuine alternatives of each other

But it seems like a lot of extra computation compared to just letting them buy a Wildcard Melee! or Fight! skill. I suppose it lets you have different weapons at different skill levels, but when the point is to build a cinematic master of everything, why would you want that?
My point exactly. I'd say use Wildcard Skills or else use Buying Abilities at Default. With that, you just train ONE skill to a level where skills using it at default are at a level higher than buying the first level in it. Then just purchase the alternate skill for the difference in cost from the level defaulted and that level plus one. GURPS Action uses this extensively for those that would be highly adept at various guns, since the defaults between most guns are a -2 to each other.

EDIT:

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
And if you want such variability, well, GURPS Power-Ups 7: Wildcard Skills covers that ground with Improving Standard Skills From Wildcards, p. 5.
Huh. I always wondered if that could be a thing it sounds like GURPS Power-Ups 7: Wildcard Skills covers a lot more ground than I thought it did! But that in particular sounds like combining the two methods by buying your skills at Default, basing the default off the Wildcard Skill.

Last edited by sonic232; 10-02-2015 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 10-02-2015, 08:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Alternative Skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
It's very expensive to build the master-of-all-weapons in GURPS without giving him an astronomical DX. What do you think of the idea (in a highly cinematic game) of borrowing the mechanism for Alternate Abilities and pay only full cost for the most expensive weapon skill and 1/4* for the other skills?

*because it makes the math neater
My group has experiment with letting people buy Gun Weapons as DX/A skill and Sword Weapons (or Impact, or Pole, etc) weapons as a DX/H skill. It makes it a little easier to be a master of multiple weapons, especially weapons that have both one-handed and two-handed attack modes, without going to the extremes of Wildcard skills.

I've also introduced a Master of Arms talent that covers all melee weapons for 10 points a level. The combination of the two lets you be a DX+3 master of every melee weapon for around 50 points. After that, you need to start raising DX.
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Old 10-02-2015, 08:55 AM   #7
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Default Re: Alternative Skills

However, Wildcard skills are very broad. If I want two (A) skills at DX+5, that could cost me 40 points? (IDHMBWM) There's no Wildcard skill that's going to cover two melee skills, for melee use and melee use only. Under my proposal, it would cost 25 points, which I think is fairer. The downside is that you'll have to take a second to adjust when you pick up a new weapon, but I can live with that.
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Old 10-02-2015, 09:54 AM   #8
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Default Re: Alternative Skills

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Originally Posted by sonic232 View Post

[...] it sounds like GURPS Power-Ups 7: Wildcard Skills covers a lot more ground than I thought it did!
It covers a great deal of ground! The "skill compendium" part fills only 11 pages out of 39. Rules for designing wildcards, defaults to and from wildcards, additional benefits for wildcards, and using wildcards in play fill 23 pages, or about twice as much space. (The remaining 5 pages consist of end matter: title page, table of contents, introduction, and index.) Speaking as the writer, while I was required to include the skill archive, I was more interested in the expanded rules for design and use.
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Old 10-02-2015, 09:58 AM   #9
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Default Re: Alternative Skills

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
It covers a great deal of ground. The actual "skill compendium" part fills only 11 pages out of 39. Rules for designing wildcards, defaults to and from wildcards, additional benefits for wildcards, and using wildcards in play fill 23 pages, or about twice as much space. Speaking as the writer, while I was required to include the skill archive, I was more interested in the expanded rules for design and use.
Let me echo this from a user's perspective: there's a LOT more in there than the list, and this supplement is a way to make very broadly competent characters. Just remember that "broadly competent in things that have very high adventuring utility" is GURPS-speak for "expensive as hell" from a points accounting perspective.
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Old 10-02-2015, 10:20 AM   #10
Kromm
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Just remember that "broadly competent in things that have very high adventuring utility" is GURPS-speak for "expensive as hell" from a points accounting perspective.
Yep. Of course, the GM could let each player define a custom role-based wildcard (p. 7) of the "ultimate template wildcard" variety (p. 18) that allows a roll for anything to do with their place in the campaign; give them full wildcard familiarity (p. 11), loads of implicit perks (p. 12), and a raft of other bonuses, including resistance and damage bonuses (pp. 13-15), within their area of expertise; be liberal about off-label use and negotiations (p. 23) outside their area of expertise; treat easy tasks as trivial (p. 25); open up the critical success range (p. 26); and grant Wildcard Points to spend as meta-game currency (pp. 12-13). That would make the expense a whole lot more justifiable, as the PCs would then be able to see most of the plot as a nail to hammer with their wildcards, enjoy benefits that no non-wildcard skill grants at any level, and have the functional equivalent of a bunch of Luck-related and Higher Purpose advantages. Also, ignoring many penalties and receiving bonuses for simpler tasks would make effective skill levels higher despite the high cost.
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