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Old 12-30-2014, 09:40 AM   #1
Anders
 
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Default By Default (Douglas Cole, P3/65)

How would you unite Douglas Cole's suggestion in Pyramid 3/65 for changing the way defaults are handled in GURPS with the Dabbler perk?

Also, what would happen if you change the way defaults from skills work in the same way as he suggests for attributes?
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: By Default (Douglas Cole, P3/65)

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How would you unite Douglas Cole's suggestion in Pyramid 3/65 for changing the way defaults are handled in GURPS with the Dabbler perk?
No unification needed. Dabbler is +1 from Default for 8 skills, +2 for 4 skills, or +3 for 2 skills. The only exception is a Very Hard skill, where Dabbler would see a -1 relative to the above.

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Also, what would happen if you change the way defaults from skills work in the same way as he suggests for attributes?
You'd have a reason to independently raise skills that default off other skills, rather than just raising the original skill. Note this will mean characters who have a lot of related (that is, defaulting off of each other) skills are likely to have to spend a lot more points on their skills suites (just like how By Default makes characters with lots of DX or IQ skills end up having to spend a lot more points).
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: By Default (Douglas Cole, P3/65)

It would solve the problem that the most efficient way to build a medical doctor is to get a super-high Physician skill and default everything from that. Might be worth looking into. The real-world justification would be that as you get more super-competent in a field you need to pick up more specialized knowledge, which is less useful in other fields.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: By Default (Douglas Cole, P3/65)

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Originally Posted by Anders View Post
How would you unite Douglas Cole's suggestion in Pyramid 3/65 for changing the way defaults are handled in GURPS with the Dabbler perk?

Also, what would happen if you change the way defaults from skills work in the same way as he suggests for attributes?
All the By Default scores have the same "jump" between no points spent (the default) and the 1-point spend. That is, the same three points as RAW.

So I agree - Dabbler should work as-is.

Also: since double-defaulting from Skill-25 would be first Skill-12 and then Skill-6, I have no problem with it. In fact, one might, under this paradigm, halve the usual default penalties. So if something usually defaulted to Physician-2, it would instead default to Physician/2 -1. Something that defaulted to Physician-5 would instead become Phys/2 - 3 (rounding down).

Of course, Physician-25, even on top of IQ14, is still a lot of points. Dabbler, in this case, would still be beneficial, since you would either be buying up from a usual default of 7 (IQ/2), or your Physician/2 or 12.

I didn't delve too deeply here, since the By Default rules are an edition-level switch that could really use a full playtest and a lot of armchair quarterbacking to tease out real and imagined edge cases.

(Yes, this usually bothers me. Not in this case.)
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: By Default (Douglas Cole, P3/65)

Actually, one more thing:

If you really, really find yourself thinking "but if I'm Physician-25, then my XXX skill should be way better than 12!" then you've just found out that XXX is really a Technique based off of Physician, which should be treated as such.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: By Default (Douglas Cole, P3/65)

You'd need to double the cost of the Jack-Of-All-Trades 'talent' to reflect the increased cost to improve your skills by raising attributes, I suppose. Hmm... I think I like this idea.

Edit: This could even make the Rule of 20 unneccessary - DX 30 would give you e.g., Climbing-15 - good, but not game-breaking.
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Last edited by Anders; 12-30-2014 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: By Default (Douglas Cole, P3/65)

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Originally Posted by Anders View Post
It would solve the problem that the most efficient way to build a medical doctor is to get a super-high Physician skill and default everything from that. Might be worth looking into. The real-world justification would be that as you get more super-competent in a field you need to pick up more specialized knowledge, which is less useful in other fields.
Yep, it solves another facet of the problem By Default was intended to solve - that the best way to build a character with a lot of related skills is to invest in something that boosts all of them (IQ, DX, Physician, whatever). Unfortunately, the By Default solution basically changes the equation from "You should build a DX-monkey because the all-skill option is more expensive" to "You shouldn't build a DX-monkey because it's more expensive than the all-skill option," where the all-skill option costs just as much as before. That is, By Default basically just removes the DX-monkey "exploit," and even goes a step further by making DX-monkey a rather poor choice compared to the all-skill option.

Personally, I think By Default is great at dealing with the problem of omnicompetence when going entirely off of defaults, but I don't like the way it handles skills you've actually invested in. My solution would be to use By Default for actual defaulting from stats (and probably have Dabbler work off of this default), but use the normal rules for skills you've actually invested at least [1] in. To solve the "DX/IQ is better than skill" issue (namely that once you've got 5 or more DX or IQ skills at the [4] level, you're better off boosting DX or IQ than buying up skill), which can result in DX-monkeys or supergeniuses when you just want someone with a lot of training, I like an advantage I simply call Training. You can get Training (DX) or Training (IQ); they each cost [15] and give +1 per level to DX-based or IQ/Will/Per based trained skills.

So, putting it all together, let's say we've got a guy with DX 12 [40], Training (DX) 4 [60], and [4] in each of Bow, Broadsword, Polearm, Shield, and Wrestling. He'd have Bow-17 (DX+5), Broadsword-17 (DX+5), Polearm-17 (DX+5), Shield-18 (DX+6), and Wrestling-17 (DX+5). If he picked up a crossbow, he would use By Default defaulting, and wouldn't benefit from Training (DX), so he'd start at Crossbow-7 (DX/2+1). Note the above represents a rather agile fellow (DX 12) with significant amounts of training (typically around DX+5) with his various DX-based skills.
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Old 12-30-2014, 12:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: By Default (Douglas Cole, P3/65)

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
Also: since double-defaulting from Skill-25 would be first Skill-12 and then Skill-6, I have no problem with it. In fact, one might, under this paradigm, halve the usual default penalties. So if something usually defaulted to Physician-2, it would instead default to Physician/2 -1. Something that defaulted to Physician-5 would instead become Phys/2 - 3 (rounding down).

Of course, Physician-25, even on top of IQ14, is still a lot of points. Dabbler, in this case, would still be beneficial, since you would either be buying up from a usual default of 7 (IQ/2), or your Physician/2 or 12.

I didn't delve too deeply here, since the By Default rules are an edition-level switch that could really use a full playtest and a lot of armchair quarterbacking to tease out real and imagined edge cases.

(Yes, this usually bothers me. Not in this case.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
Actually, one more thing:

If you really, really find yourself thinking "but if I'm Physician-25, then my XXX skill should be way better than 12!" then you've just found out that XXX is really a Technique based off of Physician, which should be treated as such.
Hmm. This seems like two competing, totally different approaches: make the defaulting skill default at (attribute/2)+new_modifier, or making it into a Technique.
Some examples of skills to be considered:
  • Different Specialisations of Law (-4 to -6).
  • First Aid defaults to Physician+0 or Esoteric Medicine+0; Surgery defaults to First Aid -12; etc.
  • Guns specs (-2, some at -4).
  • Performance and the skills defaulting to it: Acting (-2), Public Speaking (-2), Stage Combat. And a few reverse defaults.
  • Combat/Art/Sport skills.
  • Shortsword and Broadsword (-2). And others like them.
On the example of Shortsword and Broadsword, I'm not sure which of the choices is better.
Say Broadsword is the base, Shortsword is default.
RAW: BS at 10 gives SS at 8, BS at 20 gives SS at 18. Kinda makes sense, IMHO.
As a Technique: as above, but it's kinda funny what happens if you then want something else to default to Shortsword, creating chains of Techniques. And which skill is a Skill and which one is a Technique depends much on what you learned first. Swapping defaults gets extremely fussy.
By Default (halved+mods): uh, Shortsword = (Broadsword/2)-1, Spear = (Staff/2)-1, Surgery = (First Aid/2)-6? I find it weird if sharpening the end of a stick (or both ends) will suddenly halves skill. I probably just misunderstood how it's meant to work.
----
Still love the idea of halved-attribute defaults for fully untrained attribute-defaulted skills. Many systems do that; I'm not sure why GURPS never had that idea until you came along. ^_^
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