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Old 04-27-2009, 09:55 AM   #21
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Default Re: [DF] Difference between Hidden Lore and Occultisme?

Occultism has a default; it represents stuff anyone might know in the appropriate culture. It also might be dead wrong. For example, in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer campaign, you might "know" that vampires must stop at a crossroads.

Hidden Lore has no default; it represents specific knowledge of a hidden topic you must be trained in order to know. Watchers, in our Buffy campaign, would likely have a few Hidden Lore specializations.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:37 AM   #22
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Default Re: [DF] Difference between Hidden Lore and Occultisme?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maz
See my problem with a lot of the suggestions so far is that to me they just seem to assume that Hiden Lore simply gives more precise information. But isn't that just supposed to be covered by a higher skill level?
To use someone's example, suppose there's a secret society of vampires that almost nobody knows about (except the vampires, natch).

Occultism, no matter what level you have it at, will not tell you this. The information's just not out there to find. But Hidden Lore (Vampires or Secret Societies or something of the sort) would tell you this.

Hidden Lore is precise by its nature, of course. It doesn't make any sense to have a secret body of knowledge that's also bunk; why, every schizophrenic has that for free! (Though they may not keep it a secret.)

I see it as kind of a tier system; one skill gives you Ordinary Info, and the other one gives you Extra Cool Secret Info that you can't get any other way. It keeps your players from saying, "well hey, I'm going to sink 20 points into Occultism, and now my PC will know everything about every monster or weird magical effect he encounters!" The utility in a Mythos game is obvious, but it works for other games too.

If you still don't see a difference, or don't want one, I recommend you ditch Hidden Lore and let high levels of Occultism work as you suggest.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:54 AM   #23
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Default Re: [DF] Difference between Hidden Lore and Occultisme?

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Originally Posted by Maz
As the topic say. Whats the difference between those two skills and when should I use one and when the other?

It seems to me that Hidden Lore is more about knowing specific facts whereas Occultism is about more general knowledge.

So if you got Hidden lore (Demons), you would use it to know about specific Demon names, Demon politics, Demon clans and so on, while Occultism (Demons) would tell you how to recognize a demon and know general demon strengths and weaknesses.
Personally I don't care for Hidden Lore at all, since it's core definition isn't what the skill covers, but the incidental fact that in this particular world this information is Hidden. What about a setting where it's openly taught?

That aside, I think the relation between Occultism and whatever the actual skills ought to be called is like what Natural Philosophy vs Physics, Naturalist vs Biology or Pharmacy (Herbal) vs Physician are trying to get at, also somewhat unsuccessfully. It's the difference between broad, not terribly accurate but sometimes good enough to be useful information and detailed information that's either right, or you know what the gaps are, instead of having them filled with nonsense. In a campaign in which skills covering demonic names, politics etc were openly available, Occultism might not even exist anymore, having been replaced by the IQ defaults of those skills.
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:20 AM   #24
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Default Re: [DF] Difference between Hidden Lore and Occultisme?

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Originally Posted by malloyd
Personally I don't care for Hidden Lore at all, since it's core definition isn't what the skill covers, but the incidental fact that in this particular world this information is Hidden. What about a setting where it's openly taught?
Then it wouldn't be useful for that game. We know that not every skill is going to exist in every setting, but Hidden Lore seems to fit a not uncommon literary convention, where some useful information is assumed to be buried deeper than most people will bother to dig. I suppose that you could represent it another way, with whatever other skill matched the HL specialty and an attached Unusual Background.
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:33 AM   #25
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Default Re: [DF] Difference between Hidden Lore and Occultisme?

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd
Personally I don't care for Hidden Lore at all, since it's core definition isn't what the skill covers, but the incidental fact that in this particular world this information is Hidden. What about a setting where it's openly taught?
Then the relevant material would be covered as appropriate in Occultism, Heraldry, Naturalist, and any number of other skills depending on exactly what is being openly taught. The direct equivalent of Hidden Lore (Demons) would probably be Professional Skill (Demonology).

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd
That aside, I think the relation between Occultism and whatever the actual skills ought to be called is like what Natural Philosophy vs Physics, Naturalist vs Biology or Pharmacy (Herbal) vs Physician are trying to get at, also somewhat unsuccessfully.
Those aren't really the same things, though.

Natural Philosophy doesn't correspond to Physics, it corresponds to Physics, Chemistry, and Biology rolled together, and possibly a few more. You get them all rolled together for one low price presumably because it ditches command of the scientific method and experimental technique in favor of just knowing the 'facts' as determined by other people who don't know the scientific method or experimental technique.

Naturalist is the lore side of Survival. It has some overlap with biology because biology is the most relevant single science to wilderness survival, but it's really its own thing.

Pharmacy (Herbal) covers Pharmacy duty, plus application. But note it gives no default to First Aid. It's not even pretending to be a complete body of medical knowledge, it just lets you prescribe your poultices and such in addition to making them.
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:57 AM   #26
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Default Re: [DF] Difference between Hidden Lore and Occultisme?

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd
Personally I don't care for Hidden Lore at all, since it's core definition isn't what the skill covers, but the incidental fact that in this particular world this information is Hidden. What about a setting where it's openly taught?
I don't think there are any settings where everything is openly taught.
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Old 04-27-2009, 12:03 PM   #27
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Default Re: [DF] Difference between Hidden Lore and Occultisme?

To recapitulate what some others have said here:

An Occultism (vampires)-24 skill level lets a character know just about everything *humans* know about vampires. The origins of the myths, the variations throughout the world, various psuedo-scientific, religious, and mystical explanations for the various phenomena. It'll tell you what folklore has to say about vampire powers, weaknesses, and personalities. If vampires are real, this may give you hints about their true natures, but from the point of view of survivors, spectators and researchers who didn't have access to information of the "if you go this far to learn, you'll never live to tell about it," variety. Some of this information may be true, but the truth is mixed into superstition and folklore, with little actual empirical observation. It's the kind of thing that rabbits know about wolves.

A Hidden Lore (vampires)-24 skill level lets the character know just about everything *vampires* know about vampires. The character knows the facts that inspired the myths, superstitions, and folklore of the occultist. The Romanians say that vampires are compelled to count dropped seeds and untie knots? That's because Lord Pompousbloodsucker lived outside of Bucharest for 800 years, and he's notoriously obsessive-compulsive. The character knows their names, their heirarchies, something of their agendas and power levels. And he knows their powers, weaknesses, and personalities more as basic fact than superstition and half-remembered tales.
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Old 04-27-2009, 12:25 PM   #28
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Default Re: [DF] Difference between Hidden Lore and Occultisme?

Occultism is the systematic study of the paranormal. Someone who knows it has a broad understanding – which may at times be incomplete or out-and-out wrong – of cryptids, curses, fortune-telling, ghosts, miracles, psychic phenomena, spells, etc., as formalized by academic-minded outsiders. The skill provides no ability to do these things, no grasp of specifics, and no "view from the inside."

In the context of the paranormal, Hidden Lore is the rote memorization of one specific set of correct facts. It's narrow, makes no attempt to present itself as analytical, and isn't subjective. Daigoro put it fairly aptly when he said, "Hidden Lore is what is taught by the monsters." It consists of facts such as the names and hierarchies of demons or vampires, or the locations of entrances to Faerie.

And things like Alchemy, Fortune-Telling, Herb Lore, Religious Ritual, Ritual Magic, Symbol Drawing, and Thaumatology are the skills of invoking supernatural forces or pretending to do so in the manner prescribed by the bulk of practitioners in your world. They, too, apply to one narrow area apiece. In a world where such skills exist, Occultism functions a bit like an Expert Skill that replaces any of these skills when your goal is only to know the consensus view of the paranormal held by practitioners in these fields. Since these areas are vast, difficult, and often in conflict, this makes Occultism rather vague and often wrong.

Shifting from the paranormal to the scientific to make the point, the third group of skills above would become Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc. – the skills of specific sciences as generally accepted in the world. The skill comparable to Occultism for these would be Current Affairs (Science & Technology); that is, knowing what non-scientists are saying about the state of human understanding of science. And in this context, Hidden Lore would be replaced by a Security Clearance advantage that let one in on specific applications of science known to a privileged few, like a corporation's patented processes or a government's strategic weapons.
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Old 04-27-2009, 12:27 PM   #29
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Default Re: [DF] Difference between Hidden Lore and Occultisme?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Carnifex
A Hidden Lore (vampires)-24 skill level lets the character know just about everything *vampires* know about vampires. The character knows the facts that inspired the myths, superstitions, and folklore of the occultist. The Romanians say that vampires are compelled to count dropped seeds and untie knots? That's because Lord Pompousbloodsucker lived outside of Bucharest for 800 years, and he's notoriously obsessive-compulsive.
Totally off topic, but this is hilarious and I obviously have to use this at some point.
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Old 04-27-2009, 12:47 PM   #30
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Default Re: [DF] Difference between Hidden Lore and Occultisme?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm
Occultism is the systematic study of the paranormal. Someone who knows it has a broad understanding – which may at times be incomplete or out-and-out wrong – of cryptids, curses, fortune-telling, ghosts, miracles, psychic phenomena, spells, etc., as formalized by academic-minded outsiders. The skill provides no ability to do these things, no grasp of specifics, and no "view from the inside."

In the context of the paranormal, Hidden Lore is the rote memorization of one specific set of correct facts. It's narrow, makes no attempt to present itself as analytical, and isn't subjective. Daigoro put it fairly aptly when he said, "Hidden Lore is what is taught by the monsters." It consists of facts such as the names and hierarchies of demons or vampires, or the locations of entrances to Faerie.

And things like Alchemy, Fortune-Telling, Herb Lore, Religious Ritual, Ritual Magic, Symbol Drawing, and Thaumatology are the skills of invoking supernatural forces or pretending to do so in the manner prescribed by the bulk of practitioners in your world. They, too, apply to one narrow area apiece. In a world where such skills exist, Occultism functions a bit like an Expert Skill that replaces any of these skills when your goal is only to know the consensus view of the paranormal held by practitioners in these fields. Since these areas are vast, difficult, and often in conflict, this makes Occultism rather vague and often wrong.

Shifting from the paranormal to the scientific to make the point, the third group of skills above would become Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc. – the skills of specific sciences as generally accepted in the world. The skill comparable to Occultism for these would be Current Affairs (Science & Technology); that is, knowing what non-scientists are saying about the state of human understanding of science. And in this context, Hidden Lore would be replaced by a Security Clearance advantage that let one in on specific applications of science known to a privileged few, like a corporation's patented processes or a government's strategic weapons.
If so, then I don't get what's the usefulness of having Occultism (Vampires) compared to Hidden Lore (Vampires). While not 'academic', HL seems to give more bang for the point in terms of useful knowledge.
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