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Old 05-03-2022, 11:52 AM   #11
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Environmental Talents

Whataboutism your typical untalented IQ 17 wizard right fresh out of her apprenticeship? This goblin shall automatically spot everything she walks past?
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Old 05-03-2022, 11:56 AM   #12
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Environmental Talents

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Originally Posted by TippetsTX View Post
Which makes me think the type of specialization David is looking for might be more simply addressed using a bonus from the character’s AREA KNOWLEDGE talent.

For example, keep ALERTNESS but the roll is +2 IQ when made in the forest where they grew up.
That makes sense.
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Old 05-03-2022, 07:29 PM   #13
Steve Plambeck
 
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Default Re: Environmental Talents

Just throwing spaghetti at the wall here. What if we had a whole bunch of "stats" (not attributes - nothing that could be increased by XP) to roll tests against. They could all be set to 9 (less than 50% chance of success on 3d6) or higher or lower if desired. Then the only thing allowed to modify such stats would be a pertinent talent.

For example: Detection Stat - base value 10. Adjustment +2 on the roll with Alertness talent. Or +1 for each time Alertness taken, or something along those lines.

Thus the success rate at all kinds of tests of skill becomes uncoupled from IQ. IQ 17 Molly no longer notices everything she walks by. She doesn't become good at noticing things without the corresponding talent.

Of course there'd have to be a whole table or list of these "stats", the circumstances when they apply, and which talents modify them and by how much. If they all started at the same value, no need to record them on character record sheets -- just need to look at your talents to see if one apples to the upcoming roll.
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Old 05-03-2022, 08:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: Environmental Talents

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Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
Just throwing spaghetti at the wall here. What if we had a whole bunch of "stats" (not attributes - nothing that could be increased by XP) to roll tests against. They could all be set to 9 (less than 50% chance of success on 3d6) or higher or lower if desired. [snip] Of course there'd have to be a whole table or list of these "stats", the circumstances when they apply, and which talents modify them and by how much. If they all started at the same value, no need to record them on character record sheets -- just need to look at your talents to see if one apples to the upcoming roll.
If they are all set to the same number, you don't need a whole bunch of them; just one would do! This is not that different from the Fear Factor presented in Hexagram 8: a number assigned to represent the difficulty of a situation and against which one has to roll no more than on 3d6 in order to succeed.
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Old 05-03-2022, 08:56 PM   #15
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Default Re: Environmental Talents

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Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
Thus the success rate at all kinds of tests of skill becomes uncoupled from IQ. IQ 17 Molly no longer notices everything she walks by. She doesn't become good at noticing things without the corresponding talent.
That's actually how I tend to run things regardless. Talents will generally unlock a specific capability so w/o ALERTNESS, for example, Molly is no more tactically observant than a Prootwaddle. IQ has to be properly activated by the selection of talents IMO.

Plus Molly no longer has a strong incentive to max out IQ in my game, but that’s another discussion.
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Last edited by TippetsTX; 05-04-2022 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 05-04-2022, 02:23 AM   #16
Steve Plambeck
 
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Default Re: Environmental Talents

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Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
If they are all set to the same number, you don't need a whole bunch of them; just one would do! This is not that different from the Fear Factor presented in Hexagram 8: a number assigned to represent the difficulty of a situation and against which one has to roll no more than on 3d6 in order to succeed.
What I'm thinking though is assigning a constant value to everything, with the purpose of the list or table being twofold. On one hand it's a menu of things suggested for the PC to give them ideas of what might be tried (kind of a list of "options", but non-combat options). Secondly, the columns would show the different adjustments to the constant for any number of talents. The latter is used in play to tell everyone what they have to roll to succeed -- it's not something the GM has to make up for every case. And these columns are used between play and at character creation to compare the relative value of talents for different purposes, in order to better choose which talents to take.

You could then break up the "challenges" in finer detail, and let partial bonus adjustments for overlapping talents apply. This is a bit more granular than TFT normally gets, but if it's a 1 page table and things are easy to look up it wouldn't be too jarring an addition.

SAMPLE
For every Challenge on the list, roll 8 or less on 3d6 to succeed.

.......................................With this Talent......................................
CHALLENGES.......MOUNTAINEERING......FORESTRY..... ACROBATICS
Rock climbing................+3........................ .+1.................+2
Tree climbing.................+1....................... ..+3.................+2
Ice skating....................+0..................... ....+0.................+4

So someone rock climbing with all three talents would get a whopping +6 on their roll, almost assuring success. If they only had Mountaineering they get a helpful +3, but with only Forestry a miniscule bonus of +1.

Neither of the first 2 talents helps any with ice skating, but Acrobatics helps a lot. A character who's going to be a hockey player knows they can skip learning two of those talents but the other is essential.

And someone planning to be an outdoorsman type of character and can only afford two more talents may see an advantage in skipping Acrobatics in favor of taking both of the other two talents, so he's at +4 climbing trees and rocks, whereas taking Acrobatics and only one of the other two would mean +5 climbing one thing while only getting a +3 climbing the other. This allows for considerable customization. An outdoorsman in a mountain-free region would be better off taking Forestry and Acrobatics in this example.

I think all of this might be filed under "Overthinking It All" :)
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Old 05-04-2022, 10:48 AM   #17
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Default Re: Environmental Talents

Your proposal of 8 as a baseline is kinder to unskilled attempts compared to RAW (and using 10 as an average for an attribute). One has about a 15% chance of succeeding on 4d/Attribute 10, whereas one has about 25% chance of succeeding against 3d/Attribute 8. But, skilled attempts are more nuanced in your system, going up incrementally as opposed to subtracting a die (which can be thought of as +4), which seems like a good thing. That said, it seems ungenerous for someone with only Mountaineering to have less than a 2/3 chance of succeeding climbing a rock wall (and maybe even worse odds if they are encumbered).
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Old 05-04-2022, 11:31 AM   #18
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Default Re: Environmental Talents

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Originally Posted by David Bofinger View Post



So we end up asking how plausible the following characters are:
  • Grew up in the forest, doesn't know how to climb a tree. I would say: not very likely. So I'm comfortable with Climbing being in Forest.
  • Grew up in an urban environment, doesn't know how to get in a third storey window. I would say extremely likely, so yes, I oopsed there, Climbing shouldn't be part of urban.
  • Grew up on the river, or at sea, doesn't know how to swim. I would say highly campaign-dependent. In Mediaeval Europe very likely, in Polynesia really weird. I'll have to modify for that.
  • Grew up on the river or at sea, uncomfortable in a boat, doesn't know how to use it and always in danger of tipping it over like a landlubber. I would say quite unlikely, so I'm OK with Sea and River including Boating.
  • Grew up at sea, doesn't know how to sail a ship. I would say um. It really depends what the Sea talent represents. Does someone who collects oysters on rocks have it? I need to think about this.



I think these characters don't have the environmental talents, which are supposed to represent practical skills. Can you give an example of a problematic concept?
I think there are both scholar-types who learn lots of information from study, and also people who have most of the survival knowledge to live in a certain environment, without having athletic abilities like swimming or climbing or boating.



Quote:
For climb and swim I mostly agree and I haven't. Alertness I'm much happier to let go, I'm not sure it represents anything much in fiction. A character who doesn't know the forest but is good at spotting things in a forest because she's just good at spotting things? Not sure I believe it.
It seems to me quite true that some people are more observant than others, without having environmental skills. Many GMs frequently make IQ rolls to see who notices what, even in non-outdoors situations, and I find it useful to have some people noted as being more observant than others.



Quote:
I don't understand what you mean by this.
I think that removing talents for specific abilities sacrifices the ability to list what characters can and can't do, and I don't see removing them as an improvement.

I guessed that the value you see in it has to do with less to write on character sheets, and on being able to efficiently list that someone has all the abilities you think most or every person skilled in an environment would have. If that guess is right, then I was suggesting that one could use a short notation to indicate that.

For example, if I agreed with your ideas about which talents many people from an environment know, I might write:

Sam: Swimming

Bob: Swamp Survival

Sally: Swamp Survival (+)

To show that same can swim but doesn't have other survival talents, Bob has swamp survival knowledge but doesn't know how to swim, and Sally has swap survival skills and also every other related talent that people in her culture tend to have.
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Old 05-04-2022, 11:44 AM   #19
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Default Re: Environmental Talents

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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
Whataboutism your typical untalented IQ 17 wizard right fresh out of her apprenticeship? This goblin shall automatically spot everything she walks past?
Only if the (very much not typical) goblin is paying attention, and only things that are easily noticed and only requiring 3/IQ rolls. They'll also tend to notice most things that are a bit difficult to notice (4/IQ), and have a 50% chance of spotting things that are hard to notice (5/IQ). But the world has even-more-difficult-to-notice things in it, too.
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Old 05-04-2022, 04:14 PM   #20
Steve Plambeck
 
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Default Re: Environmental Talents

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Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
Your proposal of 8 as a baseline is kinder to unskilled attempts compared to RAW (and using 10 as an average for an attribute). One has about a 15% chance of succeeding on 4d/Attribute 10, whereas one has about 25% chance of succeeding against 3d/Attribute 8. But, skilled attempts are more nuanced in your system, going up incrementally as opposed to subtracting a die (which can be thought of as +4), which seems like a good thing. That said, it seems ungenerous for someone with only Mountaineering to have less than a 2/3 chance of succeeding climbing a rock wall (and maybe even worse odds if they are encumbered).
Those were just sample numbers off the top of my head to illustrate the model -- a whole heck of a lot more thought would have to go into any actual numbers. Probably a lower baseline number, and higher bonuses for talents would both be needed to bring results in line with the balances we're already used to. Also to consider is that this kind of thing would undermine the DX attribute considerably, turning it into a dump stat outside of combat hit rolls, and my gut says that might well be undesirable.
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