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Old 06-09-2021, 11:59 AM   #71
Emerikol
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Eastern Kentucky
Default Re: Skill Advancement

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Originally Posted by Kallatari View Post
For those who don't want such high skills to be as useful - and thus not as worth investing points in - you need to cap to some of the effects of a combat skill: Active Defense and Deceptive Attacks. Pick a value you think is a "realistic maximum".. let's say 20 for example. Have Active Defenses cap out at that level, so any skill above 20 doesn't add to active defenses. Likewise, Deceptive Attack can't reduce skill below 10 (I always thought it was 12.. huh), so with the 20 cap then you can't do a Deceptive Attack greater than -10 to skill for -5 to defenses, regardless of how high your skill gets. At that point, getting skill levels above 20 are only there to counter other penalties, so it's still useful, but not as much. So people won't be as interested in increasing the combat skills higher (e.g., they may stop at Broadsword 30 instead of Broadsword 40).

(Personally, I think a simple cap to skill is even easier, but the above is sort of a middle ground approach)
I think you give some good advice here. The main use of a high weapon skill would of course be those things you mention. The difference would be enemies who might have similarly high attack / defense skills which would be very possible if you are running a high fantasy game. The question you have to answer is what is the difference between the skill of a beginning character with the job of fighting and an end game character with the same role. If monsters never get above 16 attack skill that would influence greatly how far you'd push your weapon skill.
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Old 06-09-2021, 02:56 PM   #72
Kallatari
 
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Default Re: Skill Advancement

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Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
I think you give some good advice here. The main use of a high weapon skill would of course be those things you mention. The difference would be enemies who might have similarly high attack / defense skills which would be very possible if you are running a high fantasy game. The question you have to answer is what is the difference between the skill of a beginning character with the job of fighting and an end game character with the same role. If monsters never get above 16 attack skill that would influence greatly how far you'd push your weapon skill.
Concur. The levels of the foes will indeed have an impact.

In a "realistic" game I ran where I recommended against high skills, a player insisted on doing so anyway, despite my advice. After trying to get him to change it, instead of making a hard ruling against it, I let him, and he ended up with Broadsword somewhere in the mid 30s. However, in that campaign, almost all of the opponents they fought only had combat skills in the 10-12 range, with a number of rare exceptions that you could count on your fingers.

That player soon realized that he was no more "effective" in combat than the other player who had a Broadsword skill of about 18ish. Both defeated their opponents with ease. So he had therefore spent a good 60 to 80 more points in Broadsword than the other player and wasn't any more "useful." It's not that he wasn't a well-rounded character - he had plenty of other useful skills. It's just that he could have used those 60 to 80 points on something else that would have been more useful in that campaign. He later acknowledged the warnings were right there in the campaign description and in my advice, and paid more attention the next time.

(On the other hand, in those rare exceptions with high skilled opponents - which I made really high because of that character - he really had the opportunity to shine compared to the other players and really enjoyed those moments.)

In one of my current campaigns, my PC warriors are all mid- to upper-twenties in the combat skills, and they're having a tough time. But that's an epic fantasy game, and we designed it that way. They started around skill 18ish, and worked their way up. And they did so roughly together, because they knew with me as the GM their foes would evolve to match the PC capabilities, so they didn't want any one PC warrior too far ahead of the others. And they wanted to ensure the non-warriors also had something to balance out as well (such as better magical defenses). I actually enjoy that as it's my players who set the power level by their collective decisions on how to improve their characters, and as their GM I just go with it. And they took that approach all on their own.

The thing with GURPS is that you need to tweak it to meet your needs. I talk "skill caps" which works for me as I don't have to worry about impacts of changing the character point costs on other things, but it's definitely not the only option. And even with skill caps you can have flexibility. You can have a skill cap of say 15 (or attribute +5, or whatever) for starting characters, raise it to 20 at mid campaign, and then raise it again to 25 near the end. Pick and choose the levels that work for you. That flexible approach lets PC get better for the end bosses without achieving an unbalance at the beginning against the weaker foes. Viewed from the lense I gave in setting campaign parameters in another post in this thread, instead of saying your campaign is realistic or heroic or cinematic, it's "we will start out realistic, and gradually improve to heroic then cinematic at a controlled rate." Just make sure you let your players know you will be doing this so that they can plan for it.
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Old 06-09-2021, 04:14 PM   #73
DangerousThing
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: Skill Advancement

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Originally Posted by Kallatari View Post
In a "realistic" game I ran where I recommended against high skills, a player insisted on doing so anyway, despite my advice. After trying to get him to change it, instead of making a hard ruling against it, I let him, and he ended up with Broadsword somewhere in the mid 30s. However, in that campaign, almost all of the opponents they fought only had combat skills in the 10-12 range, with a number of rare exceptions that you could count on your fingers.

That player soon realized that he was no more "effective" in combat than the other player who had a Broadsword skill of about 18ish. Both defeated their opponents with ease. So he had therefore spent a good 60 to 80 more points in Broadsword than the other player and wasn't any more "useful." It's not that he wasn't a well-rounded character - he had plenty of other useful skills. It's just that he could have used those 60 to 80 points on something else that would have been more useful in that campaign. He later acknowledged the warnings were right there in the campaign description and in my advice, and paid more attention the next time.
I'd like to point out that the broadsword god could easily use a deceptive attack at -15 and still have plenty of skill to spare. I doubt that any normal opponent would be able to defend themselves against him.

I will admit that a skill of 35 is more than is useful most of the time, but it isn't totally useless.

Now, if this were a gun skill, he'd be able to ignore a boatload of penalties due to range. He might be having more problem with vision (target too far away to be seen) or perhaps the target is just out of range of his gun.
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Old 06-09-2021, 07:24 PM   #74
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Skill Advancement

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Originally Posted by DangerousThing View Post
Now, if this were a gun skill, he'd be able to ignore a boatload of penalties due to range. He might be having more problem with vision (target too far away to be seen) or perhaps the target is just out of range of his gun.
There's still some utility to such a godly level of melee skill, however, at least for thrusting/impaling weapons. You can do a -5 Deceptive Attack thrusting at an opponent's Eyes via the Eyeslots of their Helm (-10), while suffering a few additional points of penalties for things like small target Size, Shock, Hazards, or Darkness and still have an almost guaranteed chance of hitting. Being able to effectively one shot kill a foe every melee round is pretty impressive. Maybe not 60-80 points worth of impressive, but still impressive.
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Old 06-09-2021, 08:13 PM   #75
Emerikol
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Eastern Kentucky
Default Re: Skill Advancement

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Originally Posted by Kallatari View Post
The thing with GURPS is that you need to tweak it to meet your needs. I talk "skill caps" which works for me as I don't have to worry about impacts of changing the character point costs on other things, but it's definitely not the only option. And even with skill caps you can have flexibility. You can have a skill cap of say 15 (or attribute +5, or whatever) for starting characters, raise it to 20 at mid campaign, and then raise it again to 25 near the end. Pick and choose the levels that work for you. That flexible approach lets PC get better for the end bosses without achieving an unbalance at the beginning against the weaker foes. Viewed from the lense I gave in setting campaign parameters in another post in this thread, instead of saying your campaign is realistic or heroic or cinematic, it's "we will start out realistic, and gradually improve to heroic then cinematic at a controlled rate." Just make sure you let your players know you will be doing this so that they can plan for it.
I am very much getting that you need to tweak it to your needs. You could of course have a "level" cap on your skills just like you said. I definitely like the idea of a cap being attribute + X so that those with good attributes are not in essence penalized. It's also more realistic as those with natural talent will end up the best everything else being equal. I'm not playing in the NBA no matter how bad I want to.
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Old 06-10-2021, 03:52 AM   #76
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Default Re: Skill Advancement

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Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
I am very much getting that you need to tweak it to your needs. You could of course have a "level" cap on your skills just like you said. I definitely like the idea of a cap being attribute + X so that those with good attributes are not in essence penalized. It's also more realistic as those with natural talent will end up the best everything else being equal. I'm not playing in the NBA no matter how bad I want to.
I'd also recommend Talent adding on top of the Attribute+skill levels cap, if you impose one.
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Old 06-10-2021, 05:48 AM   #77
Emerikol
 
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Default Re: Skill Advancement

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I'd also recommend Talent adding on top of the Attribute+skill levels cap, if you impose one.
As long a talent is also capped then yes that makes sense. This thread is more about me exploring ideas. I'm feverishly working on the world and that will take some time. This thread though will help me to take into consideration things I might not otherwise have considered. Trying to avoid unintended consequences. My inclination starting out is to run it straight and see what happens.
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Old 06-10-2021, 06:20 AM   #78
bocephus
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: Skill Advancement

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Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
As long a talent is also capped then yes that makes sense. This thread is more about me exploring ideas. I'm feverishly working on the world and that will take some time. This thread though will help me to take into consideration things I might not otherwise have considered. Trying to avoid unintended consequences. My inclination starting out is to run it straight and see what happens.
Talent, even if you have overlap and "could have more bonus", is capped at a hard +4 max to any given skill even with multiple talent overlap.

I personally don't allow multiple talent advantage on a character, you might be able to justify a larger talent but not multiple small ones.
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Old 06-10-2021, 07:48 AM   #79
awesomenessofme1
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Default Re: Skill Advancement

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Originally Posted by bocephus View Post
Talent, even if you have overlap and "could have more bonus", is capped at a hard +4 max to any given skill even with multiple talent overlap.

I personally don't allow multiple talent advantage on a character, you might be able to justify a larger talent but not multiple small ones.
Yeah, this isn't true. Either in the Basic Set or the expanded rules in Power Ups 3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Basic Set, page 89
You may never have more than four levels of a particular Talent. However, overlapping Talents can give skill bonuses (only) in excess of +4.
And in PU3, you aren't even necessarily limited to four levels.
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:54 AM   #80
martinl
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Default Re: Skill Advancement

I know that the GURPS character creation/advancement/optimization via spending CP game is of great interest to a lot of folks here. I used to obsess over it myself.

But here is how I learned to stop worrying and love the default CP costs:

Instead of worrying a lot about tweaking the CP system to produce good characters when CPs are spent optimally, I try to spend CPs optimally to produce good characters.

Almost everyone already does this somewhat. "I know this isn't the 100% optimal build for my PC power wise, but it fits them." I think you just make this your primary motivation, and view the CP as a constraint you need to work around, not an optimization target themselves.

So in my PCs/games there's no DX+30 swordsmen because it doesn't fit anyone's character concept. Even my high crunch low fluff games have a enough expectations of the PCs as characters that this is not really a problem.
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