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Old 02-14-2020, 03:30 PM   #1
awesomenessofme1
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Default Dabbler and defaulting to another skill

If you take the Dabbler perk for a skill that has a better default to a skill than an attribute, can you use that default for this purpose? The text specifically says "+1 to the usual attribute default", but this seems like a pretty minor thing very unlikely to affect balance much.

For reference, the skill I'm currently thinking about is an alternate specialization of Survival compared to the one the character has points in.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:08 PM   #2
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Dabbler and defaulting to another skill

I'd say no, here's why:

Dabbler presupposes that you've spent some time learning the skills they cover, just not enough to merit a full character point/200 hours of study. You're a rank beginner still learning the very basics from the "bottom up."

Defaults from related skills presuppose that the two skills have enough applications in common that you can use knowledge of one skill to replace the other. You're approaching the default skill "from the side" from the viewpoint of an expert in a different field using a mix of basic and more advanced knowledge that the two skills share.

The Double Default rule in GURPS Basic says that default skill in one skill doesn't allow a default to a second skill. Logically, the same idea applies to Dabbler. If it only aids attribute defaults, then attribute defaults can't default to skill defaults.

Of course, it seem fair to have a variant Dabbler perk for specialists which allow you to improve defaults to related skills when using a single base skill. For example, if you're a healer with Physician (Human) skill, and a "specialist dabbler" perk you could buy improved defaults from Physician (Human) to related skills like First-Aid (Human), Physician (Elf), and Physiology (Human).
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:12 PM   #3
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: Dabbler and defaulting to another skill

"+1 to the usual attribute default" [Emphasis added.]

A skill default is a different thing than an attribute default.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:31 PM   #4
Celjabba
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Luxembourg
Default Re: Dabbler and defaulting to another skill

Quote:
Originally Posted by awesomenessofme1 View Post
If you take the Dabbler perk for a skill that has a better default to a skill than an attribute, can you use that default for this purpose? The text specifically says "+1 to the usual attribute default", but this seems like a pretty minor thing very unlikely to affect balance much.

For reference, the skill I'm currently thinking about is an alternate specialization of Survival compared to the one the character has points in.
The rule doesn't allow it.

I never tested it (and I use dabbler perk a lot) but it probably wouldn't break much to houserule that restriction away, as long as you remember that Dabbler cannot improve a skill to the level that one cp would buy, the maximum default level is -1 to the 1 cp level.

Which would give strange result when you increase the primary skill level, as previously valid dabbler level would get useless.

Assuming per 10

survival(land B) [default from per] - 5
survival(land B) [dabbler +1 from per default] - 6
survival(land B) [dabbler +2 from per default] - 7
survival(land B) [dabbler +3 from per default] - 8
survival(land B) [1] - 9


survival(land A) [1] - 9
survival(land B) [default from land A] - 6
survival(land B) [dabbler +1 from land A default] - 7
survival(land B) [dabbler +2 from land A default] - 8
survival(land B) [1] - 9

survival(land A) [2] - 10
survival(land B) [default from land A] - 7
survival(land B) [dabbler +1 from land A default] - 8
survival(land B) [1] - 9

survival(land A) [4] - 11
survival(land B) [default from land A] - 8
survival(land B) [1] - 9

There is also the matter of skill without attribute default, that cannot benefit from dabbler normally.
Engineer for example.

Last edited by Celjabba; 02-14-2020 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:40 PM   #5
awesomenessofme1
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Default Re: Dabbler and defaulting to another skill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celjabba View Post
The rule doesn't allow it.

I never tested it (and I use dabbler perk a lot) but it probably wouldn't break much to houserule that restriction away, as long as you remember that Dabbler cannot improve a skill to the level that one cp would buy, the maximum default level is -1 to the 1 cp level.

Which would give strange result when you increase the primary skill level, as previously valid dabbler level would get useless.

Assuming per 10

survival(land B) [default from per] - 5
survival(land B) [dabbler +1 from per default] - 6
survival(land B) [dabbler +2 from per default] - 7
survival(land B) [dabbler +3 from per default] - 8
survival(land B) [1] - 9


survival(land A) [1] - 9
survival(land B) [default from land A] - 6
survival(land B) [dabbler +1 from land A default] - 7
survival(land B) [dabbler +2 from land A default] - 8
survival(land B) [1] - 9

survival(land A) [2] - 10
survival(land B) [default from land A] - 7
survival(land B) [dabbler +1 from land A default] - 8
survival(land B) [1] - 9

survival(land A) [4] - 11
survival(land B) [default from land A] - 8
survival(land B) [1] - 9

There is also the matter of skill without attribute default, that cannot benefit from dabbler normally.
Engineer for example.
That's a fair point, though I personally would be willing to allow a character to reshuffle points within Dabbler (only in the same skills, though) if they bought actual points in it (or in this case if a skill became invalid), and eventually convert it into a skill point if they improved all of them.
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Old 02-15-2020, 03:00 AM   #6
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Dabbler and defaulting to another skill

There's an article about this kind of thing, with a couple of new perks, in issue #2 of The Path of Cunning, which should be out by Monday. It's unofficial, but pretty sensible. There's a link to the website in my signature.
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Old 02-21-2020, 08:28 AM   #7
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: Dabbler and defaulting to another skill

Quote:
Originally Posted by awesomenessofme1 View Post
That's a fair point, though I personally would be willing to allow a character to reshuffle points within Dabbler (only in the same skills, though) if they bought actual points in it (or in this case if a skill became invalid), and eventually convert it into a skill point if they improved all of them.
Reshuffling the points is fine.

Dabbler is best understood as "fractional points" in the skills it includes, and not as "increased defaults". I'm pretty sure it's phrased the way it is to avoid introducing actual fractional points into the rules, where it is would become a precedent for Munchkins insisting they no longer needed to round to whole numbers of points when using the Modifiers rules. People sometimes did argue over rounding rules about in 3e, which did allow 1/2 points in skills. Not that 4e actually fixed all the sloppy wordings that have provoked rounding debates, but it at least tried to clean them up and avoid adding new ones.

If you think of Dabbler as having 8 skills with 1/8th of a point spent on them, then if you spend a point on one of them, you only need 7/8 of it to reach the 1 point level, leaving you with 1/8 of a point left over to spend on something to replace it in the Dabbler perk.
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Old 02-21-2020, 10:23 AM   #8
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Dabbler and defaulting to another skill

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
precedent for Munchkins insisting they no longer needed to round to whole numbers of points when using the Modifiers rules
I wouldn't really call that munchkinism, just crunch-loving.

Munchkinism is more like intentionally avoiding taking modifier combinations which would make you lose deci-points by the required rounding rules, and getting the best set of limitations that limit you the least for the most value.
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