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Old 05-14-2014, 11:05 AM   #11
malloyd
 
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
If you wouldn't cap one particular task of a unified skill, then it makes little sense to cap a task that might have been part of that skill had Steve chosen tea instead of coffee that morning.
Another way to think about it might be that skill to skill defaults don't exist at all, but you can roll against more than one skill to perform some tasks. But in order to eliminate the need to think about what might be covered by the other skill and how the penalties might differ, we've "simplified" this in the same way we have stuff like TL penalties, by declaring *everything* covered by one is covered by the other, at a fixed penalty.
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:41 AM   #12
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

You can always check out half stat defaulting from alternate GURPS 3.
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:44 AM   #13
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

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You can always check out half stat defaulting from alternate GURPS 3.
Nothing wrong with adding half-skill defaulting.
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:46 AM   #14
Tyneras
 
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
You can always check out half stat defaulting from alternate GURPS 3.
I was about to mention this. Half-Stat defaulting plus the Rule of 20 tends to strongly limit your defaults before investing any points.
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:04 PM   #15
Sindri
 
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

I realize now that I didn't specifically state this in the opening but my question is strictly in terms of defaulting from skills. I have other stuff in place for attributes.

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
TBH I consider any parent skill high enough that can give default of 20 has had either:

1). A lot of points sunk into it and is of such "one of the few best in the world" level I've got no problem with high defaults.

Or

2). It's coming of a base attribute it self so massively high as to be describing something pretty extreme, not to mention expensive.

As you say there is already a question about to many related skills (a point made by the recent gun skill revision in Pyramid).

So for 'realism' I don't really have an issue, and for game balance well you've already spent points to get to this situation anyway.


However assuming your talking about situations with really high relative parent skills rather than really high base attribute one thing you could do is have the starting default to be half way between the current skill based one and the the underlying stat based on. But I'm guessing that will have some implications in the current system for buying up the default skill (so I wouldn't doing this for anything that would default to less than 20)
Points spent aren't relevant. The points in a skill are spent so a character is an expert in one thing. Whether they get to be an expert in another thing as well without spending any time mastering it won't diminish the first skill. The attribute likewise is buying plenty with it's purchase of higher trained skill levels. A level of 20 is also not important in itself but just chosen as an example

Half defaults for skills or even better half defaults for skills after a certain point is something I was toying with before posting. It has some nice advantages with letting you continue progressing but at a slower rate. Strictly speaking it can coexist with a hard cap though and I was interested in what people thought about those.

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Originally Posted by Figleaf23 View Post
In a perfect world, default acquisition would have declining returns, but that would get complicated.
I find that it’s pretty rare for me to avoid increased complication.

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
The Rule of 20 [B173] limits defaults from high attributes.
Please do me the courtesy of presuming that I've actually read the default rules before going to the forums about a house rule. I'm familiar with The Rule of 20.

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Skills that default from each other are extremely similar - similar enough that it often wouldn't be inappropriate to roll them into one skill of a higher difficulty level. Let's look at the weapon skills:

Axe/Mace: Defaults from Flail and 2h Axe/Mace. A flail is basically just a mace with a more flexible head, and a 2h mace is used just like a normal one, but with an extra hand on it (which modifies the stances and movements markedly). In both cases, we're essentially looking at heavy Familiarity penalties, so a master macer being good with a flail doesn't seem outlandish.

Broadsword: Defaults from Force Sword, Rapier, Saber, Shortsword, and 2h Sword. Force Swords, Rapiers, and Sabers are essentially just Broadswords with a different weight distribution, a Shortsword is similar but also has much less reach, and a 2h Sword has an extra hand on it (as with the axe/mace).

Flail: As Axe/Mace.

Jitte/Sai: This really shouldn't be its own skill, but it defaults to Force Sword, Main Gauche, and Shortsword - all of which are of similar weight and used at least somewhat similarly.

Knife: This has similar defaults to Jitte/Sai, with similar reasoning.

Kusari: Defaults to Monowire Whip, 2h Flail, and Whip. It's basically a Flail with different weight distribution, explaining that default. A Monowire Whip is similar as well - a weight on the end of a flexible line - but Whip seems an odd choice.

Lance: Defaults to Spear... because it is a Spear.

Main Gauche: Defaults to Jitte/Sai, Knife, Rapier, Saber, and Smallsword. It's a different way of using a Knife and is basically just a really short Rapier/Saber/Smallsword. It should really parallel the Broadsword->Shortsword->Knife progression as Rapier/Saber->Smallsword->Main Gauche, but I suspect they opted for a more direct default to avoid overpenalizing its primary use - being paired with a Rapier.

Polearm: Defaults to Spear, Staff, and 2h Axe/Mace. It's a stick with a weighted end, making it basically a Spear+ (which is itself a Staff+). The weight also makes it used in a way similar to a 2h Axe (it's really a Staff/Axe combination).

...

There are more weapons, of course, but I think the above gives you the idea. In general, these are weapons that someone skilled with one should be able to pick up another and use it in almost the same way. Additionally, once you get above skill 20 (where you run the risk of skills defaulting to 20+), you're well into the realm of cinematic.
Indeed. This issue actually came up while consolidating the melee weapon skill list and reducing the harshness of the defaults. Melee weapons should have generous defaults at low levels but that causes problems at the higher levels. I'm not sure if skills just above 20 are really "well into" the cinematic. It was also a deliberately extreme example.

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Originally Posted by smurf View Post
I thought there was a rule of 12. No default higher than 12.
There isn't. Default capping from skills shows up occasionally in GURPS but no such general cap exists.

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Originally Posted by smurf View Post
Otherwise you could have a easy skill that defaults to many and at high DX etc you could put a few pts in it and default all others to the rest.
If you had a wonderskill that provided good defaults to tons of stuff you would put points in it not in DX. DX will give you good defaults by itself.

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
That rule exists in RPM, but to the best of my knowledge doesn't apply to general skills.

If you grab a skill that many others default to, you can indeed make use of your improved defaults. As I noted above, however, skills that default from others tend to be very closely related - it just makes sense that someone who's good with a broadsword is also good with a shortsword, as does the idea that someone skilled with sleight of hand would have some ability to pick someone's pockets. The idea that someone who is a master at such skills would also be fairly solid with similar skills doesn't strike me as far off.
The problem isn't "fairly solid". That's totally reasonable. The problem is getting past fairly solid and into actual expert levels.

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Skill divisions are extremely arbitrary, and inter-skill defaults are intended to mitigate this arbitrariness, especially for edge cases. Thus, it's most consistent with the game's design not to cap skill-to-skill defaults. The game's arbitrary pie-slicing might as easily have covered shortswords and broadswords with a single skill but split smallswords and short staffs into two skills . . . or not bothered with Electronics Repair specialties ("Once you get inside, it all looks the same!") but opted to subdivide Electrician (say, Aeronautical, Grid, Industrial, Nautical, and Residential) . . . or smooshed all the "money" skills (Accounting, Economics, Finance, Market Analysis, Merchant, etc.) into a single Business skill but split off a Marketing skill separate from Propaganda. If you wouldn't cap one particular task of a unified skill, then it makes little sense to cap a task that might have been part of that skill had Steve chosen tea instead of coffee that morning.
Yeah that's a major issue with capping skills. Somewhat ameliorated if I'm going to be tweaking the pie-slicing anyway but GURPS skills overlapping means that in theory you should have your full skill with some things in a default skill, varying amounts less than full skill with other stuff and just an attribute default with other things. Full skill can be handled by spot decisions that either skill is applicable and is sort of analogous to using highest weapon skill for resisting feints but I don't really feel like coming up with varying defaults based on the specific task undertaken and what parts of a skill aren't improved by a default so I'm not against the simplification of having a single default level. It still feels like no one who hasn't trained in weapon A specifically should have a higher skill level in general than weapon A guy's 16 for example even with the default between it and weapon B though.

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Another way to think about it might be that skill to skill defaults don't exist at all, but you can roll against more than one skill to perform some tasks. But in order to eliminate the need to think about what might be covered by the other skill and how the penalties might differ, we've "simplified" this in the same way we have stuff like TL penalties, by declaring *everything* covered by one is covered by the other, at a fixed penalty.
Well except for the fixed part since defaults vary between pairs of skills.

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
You can always check out half stat defaulting from alternate GURPS 3.
Aside from being interested in defaults from skills here, I never really saw the point of half stat defaulting. Increasing stat costs, reducing maximum stat levels and allowing purchasing of attribute roll only levels does what half stat defaulting does in a much more elegant fashion. The incidental unification of defaults and purchasing skills is nice.
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:39 PM   #16
SCAR
 
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
The Rule of 20 [B173] limits defaults from high attributes.
Please do me the courtesy of presuming that I've actually read the default rules before going to the forums about a house rule. I'm familiar with The Rule of 20.
Actually I was as much responding to Tomsdad and Figleaf23 as to your original post.

You could equally apply the Rule of 20 (or 18, etc.) to Skill-to-Skill defaults.

As you have acknowledged, you didn't exclude skill defaults from attributes from your question.
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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
I realize now that I didn't specifically state this in the opening but my question is strictly in terms of defaulting from skills. I have other stuff in place for attributes.
And while I meant no disrespect to you (or anyone), its unwise to assume someone else has any specific knowledge. Plenty of time has been wasted discussing esoteric rules and options when a simple possibility was overlooked or forgotten.
Additionally, by referencing the basic foundations in a thread, anyone else who might come across this thread in the future won't miss out on a relevant point they might not already be aware of.
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:51 PM   #17
Kromm
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

The problems with such thinking as "someone who has Broadsword at 24 and thus a default of Two-Handed Sword of 20 shouldn't be as good as somebody who studied Two-Handed Sword specifically and raised it to 20" are twofold:

1. "Good with swords" is part of what you're paying for when you buy a sword skill. And the first character above did pay more . . . other things being equal, he bought a skill at 24 and defaulted another at 20, while the second character only bought a skill at 20 (and defaults the other way at 16). In GURPS, part of the value of a skill is being good at the skills that default to it. Skills are overpriced – especially when they fall into clusters that cover overlapping tasks and are based on the same attribute. That's why skill-attribute optimization works. Letting people default lots of skills from a single master skill serves to mitigate this flaw (and yes, I admit it's a flaw). On a meta level, it makes more sense to me that a character can have, say, Merchant at some high level in order to get all of Accounting, Administration, Economics, Finance, Market Analysis, and Propaganda for what amounts to 4 points/level than that to forbid this and force someone to spend 28 points/level to raise all seven skills, meaning that all money-oriented PCs will become generalized IQ monsters instead, because IQ costs just 20 points/level and does more stuff.

2. Limiting someone after a certain level is actually the opposite of real life in the specific case of weapon-skill defaults. General wisdom among people who do this stuff is that true mastery of a weapon comes with realizing that the weapon isn't the essence but merely a prop, and that concepts such as controlling distance, maintaining situational awareness, staying mobile, and having good timing are universal. To quote the only fencing master I ever knew, "I could have defeated him as easily with a pot lid as a foil" . . . and when called on it, he did! A good case could be made that any Melee Weapon skill at 25+ gives you all Melee Weapon skills at some level; that is, there's a special uncapped default that works only at really high levels.
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:54 PM   #18
Tyneras
 
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
The problems with such thinking as "someone who has Broadsword at 24 and thus a default of Two-Handed Sword of 20 shouldn't be as good as somebody who studied Two-Handed Sword specifically and raised it to 20" are twofold:

1. "Good with swords" is part of what you're paying for when you buy a sword skill. And the first character above did pay more . . . other things being equal, he bought a skill at 24 and defaulted another at 20, while the second character only bought a skill at 20 (and defaults the other way at 16). In GURPS, part of the value of a skill is being good at the skills that default to it. Skills are overpriced – especially when they fall into clusters that cover overlapping tasks and are based on the same attribute. That's why skill-attribute optimization works. Letting people default lots of skills from a single master skill serves to mitigate this flaw (and yes, I admit it's a flaw). On a meta level, it makes more sense to me that a character can have, say, Merchant at some high level in order to get all of Accounting, Administration, Economics, Finance, Market Analysis, and Propaganda for what amounts to 4 points/level than that to forbid this and force someone to spend 28 points/level to raise all seven skills, meaning that all money-oriented PCs will become generalized IQ monsters instead, because IQ costs just 20 points/level and does more stuff.

2. Limiting someone after a certain level is actually the opposite of real life in the specific case of weapon-skill defaults. General wisdom among people who do this stuff is that true mastery of a weapon comes with realizing that the weapon isn't the essence but merely a prop, and that concepts such as controlling distance, maintaining situational awareness, staying mobile, and having good timing are universal. To quote the only fencing master I ever knew, "I could have defeated him as easily with a pot lid as a foil" . . . and when called on it, he did! A good case could be made that any Melee Weapon skill at 25+ gives you all Melee Weapon skills at some level; that is, there's a special uncapped default that works only at really high levels.
Melee weapon skills really need the same treatment that Gun skills got in Alternate GURPS 3.
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:05 PM   #19
Sindri
 
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
Actually I was as much responding to Tomsdad and Figleaf23 as to your original post.
I think that anyone who is having trouble with too high defaults will also run into problems with too high trained skill levels for 1 point but then I don't really see much point behind the Rule of 20. You already get at least professional levels of skill from defaults. If that wasn't a problem already and you feel the need for increased starting skill levels with an investment of a single point why not let them continue to increase? It seems like it would mostly be an issue for people who aren't actually buying mechanics but "I'm smarter than the human maximum" combined with accepting Basic's claim that 20 is within human range for IQ.

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You could equally apply the Rule of 20 (or 18, etc.) to Skill-to-Skill defaults.
Which would produce a different cap based on skill difficulty. Certainly worth thinking about.

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As you have acknowledged, you didn't exclude skill defaults from attributes from your question.
Not explicitly though my post only discussed defaulting from skills. Nonetheless it should have occured to me to mention it which would have saved people's time.

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Originally Posted by SCAR View Post
And while I meant no disrespect to you (or anyone), its unwise to assume someone else has any specific knowledge. Plenty of time has been wasted discussing esoteric rules and options when a simple possibility was overlooked or forgotten.
Additionally, by referencing the basic foundations in a thread, anyone else who might come across this thread in the future won't miss out on a relevant point they might not already be aware of.
Indeed you have the right of it. My apologies for being snappy with you.

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
The problems with such thinking as "someone who has Broadsword at 24 and thus a default of Two-Handed Sword of 20 shouldn't be as good as somebody who studied Two-Handed Sword specifically and raised it to 20" are twofold:

1. "Good with swords" is part of what you're paying for when you buy a sword skill. And the first character above did pay more . . . other things being equal, he bought a skill at 24 and defaulted another at 20, while the second character only bought a skill at 20 (and defaults the other way at 16). In GURPS, part of the value of a skill is being good at the skills that default to it. Skills are overpriced – especially when they fall into clusters that cover overlapping tasks and are based on the same attribute. That's why skill-attribute optimization works. Letting people default lots of skills from a single master skill serves to mitigate this flaw (and yes, I admit it's a flaw). On a meta level, it makes more sense to me that a character can have, say, Merchant at some high level in order to get all of Accounting, Administration, Economics, Finance, Market Analysis, and Propaganda for what amounts to 4 points/level than that to forbid this and force someone to spend 28 points/level to raise all seven skills, meaning that all money-oriented PCs will become generalized IQ monsters instead, because IQ costs just 20 points/level and does more stuff.
I'd rather actually fix the problem. This came up while redoing the melee combat skills and I already have different attribute costs which change the breakpoints. I feel like the defaulting rules should be used for someone who isn't supposed to actually be the guy who can do this thing but can leverage other skills to fill in. If you want to be the guy who can do this thing you should spend at least something to become trained.

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2. Limiting someone after a certain level is actually the opposite of real life in the specific case of weapon-skill defaults. General wisdom among people who do this stuff is that true mastery of a weapon comes with realizing that the weapon isn't the essence but merely a prop, and that concepts such as controlling distance, maintaining situational awareness, staying mobile, and having good timing are universal. To quote the only fencing master I ever knew, "I could have defeated him as easily with a pot lid as a foil" . . . and when called on it, he did! A good case could be made that any Melee Weapon skill at 25+ gives you all Melee Weapon skills at some level; that is, there's a special uncapped default that works only at really high levels.
I agree to some degree. My in progress house rules do in fact give defaults from every melee weapon skill to every other skill in addition to having less skills and more generous defaults and I've been thinking about having more things like the resisting feint rules. However this puts a lot of strain on the rules for someone to just invest in one skill and I dislike it when the rules incentivize characters to operate on defaults forever.

Last edited by Sindri; 05-14-2014 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:12 PM   #20
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Default Re: Capping Skill Default Levels

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
Indeed. This issue actually came up while consolidating the melee weapon skill list and reducing the harshness of the defaults. Melee weapons should have generous defaults at low levels but that causes problems at the higher levels. I'm not sure if skills just above 20 are really "well into" the cinematic. It was also a deliberately extreme example.
Why precisely do you feel weapon skills should have good defaults at low level, but shouldn't at higher level? Knowing where you're coming from here will give me a better idea of what problem you're trying to fix.

As for cinematics, skill 20 is a master who is essentially unparalleled in that skill, and while this itself isn't cinematic, having enough cases where it could be problematic most likely is (and getting to the point where defaulted skills are at 20+ means rather high base skill). Still, if you're seeing your problem at base skills well below potentially-cinematic levels, then it is indeed problematic.

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Originally Posted by Sindri View Post
The problem isn't "fairly solid". That's totally reasonable. The problem is getting past fairly solid and into actual expert levels.
Allow me to state it differently then - a character who is a nigh-unparalleled master in a given skill being competitive with experts in rather similar skills doesn't stretch my sense of disbelief at all.

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Limiting someone after a certain level is actually the opposite of real life in the specific case of weapon-skill defaults. General wisdom among people who do this stuff is that true mastery of a weapon comes with realizing that the weapon isn't the essence but merely a prop, and that concepts such as controlling distance, maintaining situational awareness, staying mobile, and having good timing are universal. To quote the only fencing master I ever knew, "I could have defeated him as easily with a pot lid as a foil" . . . and when called on it, he did! A good case could be made that any Melee Weapon skill at 25+ gives you all Melee Weapon skills at some level; that is, there's a special uncapped default that works only at really high levels.
Agreed - my own GURPS Combat Skills Overhaul has basically all melee combat defaulting to each other at some level, although it's arguably too generous.

Last edited by Varyon; 05-14-2014 at 03:22 PM.
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