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Old 06-02-2021, 08:15 AM   #31
kenclary
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Skill Advancement

4e, in particular, took steps away from the "nature/nurture" divide. Gone are attributes that double in cost after character creation, for example. The design really is more ergonomic this way.
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Old 06-02-2021, 08:28 AM   #32
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Skill Advancement

The point-efficiency of high stats (as opposed to having several high skills) is something I've struggled with as well (although I should note pretty much all my "experience" with GURPS is theoretical, tweaking the system). Sometimes, you want a character who is really good at a variety of DX-based skills due to extensive training rather than being a DX-monkey, but the DX-monkey is more point-efficient. My solution is an Advantage I call Training, which must be specialized by DX or IQ (but you can buy both separately), and costs [15] per level. Each level of Training (DX) is +1 to all DX-based skills that you have invested at least [1] or more in; Training (IQ) is similar, but for all IQ-, Will-, and Per-based skills. This is treated exactly like having bought up the skill for purposes of things like defaults, floating to another attribute, qualifying for damage/ST bonuses for high skill, etc. A character with Broadsword at DX+2 [8] and Training 2 (DX) [30] is functionally the same (as it relates to Broadsword) as one with Broadsword at DX+4 [16].

Note HT-based skills aren't represented above. You could probably roll them together with DX-based (making the specializations Body vs Mind rather than DX vs IQ) without any serious issues. I originally felt that training up HT-based skills should increase HT, so there wouldn't be an issue just leaving things as-is, but now that I look at it again, I realize that's problematic for when (for example) an expert hiker has to float Hiking to IQ for packing things up efficiently. If he just got Hiking (and some other skills) to HT+2 and then bought up HT from there, he'd only be at IQ+2 - professional, assuming average IQ, instead of the expert-level he should be at.
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Old 06-02-2021, 05:30 PM   #33
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Default Re: Skill Advancement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
Some other thoughts.
I'm suspicious of being able to improve stats after character creation on everything but ST and maybe to a lesser degree HT. I don't think people's IQ changes nor does their dexterity unless it goes down due to injury. Other than from natural aging
One needs to remember that GURPS stats are much broader than they appear:

ST: measures physical power and bulk.
DX: measures a combination of agility, coordination, and fine motor ability.
IQ: broadly measures brainpower, including creativity, intuition, memory, perception, reason, sanity, and willpower.
HT: measures energy and vitali- ty. It represents stamina, resistance (to poison, disease, radiation, etc.), and basic “grit.”

Albert Einstein was only given an IQ 15 while Leonardo Da Vinci and Sir Isaac Newton were given IQs of 18 (with talents you could, IMHO, shave some IQ from those but the conversions just used the stats as its for simplicity)
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Old 06-03-2021, 07:19 AM   #34
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Default Re: Skill Advancement

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Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
If I'm making a 250-pt hero, even with DX 10 it "only" costs 80 points to buy Broadsword-30, which will make me an absolute terror, and that leaves plenty of CP left over for essentials like ST, HT, Combat Reflexes, High Pain Threshold and Weapon Master. And if I would prefer Broadsword-40 so that I can do even more Rapid Strikes, etc., it only costs me another 40 points!
I agree with your concerns. It's seems far too easy to just max out one skill and be dominant. This is why I was thinking that some extra costs at higher levels would be better. Basically, if you don't do opposed rolls or use some combat modifications, you don't need anything beyond 20 in most cases. Maybe some non-combat spells.

Another option would be to just set the max at 20 by default unless the skill itself overrides that limit.
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Old 06-03-2021, 09:14 AM   #35
Stormcrow
 
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Default Re: Skill Advancement

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Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
If I'm making a 250-pt hero, even with DX 10 it "only" costs 80 points to buy Broadsword-30, which will make me an absolute terror, and that leaves plenty of CP left over for essentials like ST, HT, Combat Reflexes, High Pain Threshold and Weapon Master. And if I would prefer Broadsword-40 so that I can do even more Rapid Strikes, etc., it only costs me another 40 points!
Well, sure. This is a 250-point character. "Leading roles in kung fu movies, fantasy novels, etc." I'm not sure why this is a problem.

And if you're playing in a game where Broadsword-40 is affordable, I don't see why the foes can't also have Broadsword-40. Or Explosive Fireball-40.

Anyway, the Basic Set on page 172 suggests the GM limit starting PC skills to somewhere between 20-25 to encourage a more realistic breadth of skill.
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Old 06-03-2021, 09:26 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
Another option would be to just set the max at 20 by default unless the skill itself overrides that limit.
You could also set a "typical" max - say, 16, for experts - then charge an increasing-in-cost Unusual Background for having anything above that. Perhaps it's [+1] (total [5] for +1 skill) for 17, [+2] (total [6] for +1 skill) for 18, [+3] (total [7] for +1 skill) for 19, and so forth. This is independent of attribute - if you have DX 18 and put [1] in a DX/E skill (like Knife), it's actually at 16 unless you pay the Unusual Background cost (at the same time, a character with DX 10 can get all the way to DX+6 before needing to pay for UB). Or increase more gradually, such as [1] in UB per +1 above 16, then [2] in UB per +1 above 20, [3] per +1 above 24, etc; whichever works best for you.
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Old 06-03-2021, 12:59 PM   #37
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Well, sure. This is a 250-point character. "Leading roles in kung fu movies, fantasy novels, etc." I'm not sure why this is a problem.
This is the starting cost for templates in DF, Action, low-end Supers, and probably a few other sourcebooks I can't think of right now. It's not like I just pulled 250 out of a hat--most people playing rpgs are used to playing heroes, and 4e responded by giving us lots of heroic templates, which I appreciate!

But none of those templates jack up weapon skills that high. Which makes it relatively easy to make a 250 character that bests a DF Swashbuckler or Knight in a toe-to-toe fight pretty much every time, even though those templates are purportedly designed to help you make optimized melee fighters.

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
Well, sure. This is a 250-point character.
And if you're playing in a game where Broadsword-40 is affordable, I don't see why the foes can't also have Broadsword-40. Or Explosive Fireball-40.
Obviously a GM can respond to a PC with skill-40 by having NPCs with skill-40. This is a response to anything you think is broken: "the GM can do it too, in fact everyone at the table can do it!"
But the problem is, the rest of the system is not well-built to handle fighters with skill-40. The prebuilt monsters in DF all get crushed by a character like that, so you have to rebuild them all. The spells in Magic all tend to assume both the caster and anyone else in the neighborhood have skills below 20, so spells like Create Warrior become useless (the "warriors" are speedbumps at best), a Shield spell that gives you a mere +3 DB pales in comparison to -12 to defenses you have from a Deceptive Attack, etc., etc.

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
Anyway, the Basic Set on page 172 suggests the GM limit starting PC skills to somewhere between 20-25 to encourage a more realistic breadth of skill.
I've tried this. If you limit skill to 20, everyone buys skill 20. Limit it to 25, everyone buys 25. Which just goes to show primary skills are underpriced, and of course leads to less diversity among PCs.

This is why I favor using the 3e progression for weapon skills and spells. You actually have to think about whether it's worth buying sky-high skill, and it becomes possible to compete even if you focused on attributes, advantages, a diversity of skills, etc.
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Old 06-03-2021, 01:58 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
This is the starting cost for templates in DF, Action, low-end Supers, and probably a few other sourcebooks I can't think of right now. It's not like I just pulled 250 out of a hat
I didn't think you did. I'm pointing out that that 250 points is over the top in the same way that Broadsword-40 is over the top.

Quote:
--most people playing rpgs are used to playing heroes, and 4e responded by giving us lots of heroic templates, which I appreciate!
Not everyone plays at 250 points or thereabouts. I don't even know that "most people" do so. Certainly, since the publication of Dungeon Fantasy there has been more incentive to do so.

Quote:
But none of those templates jack up weapon skills that high. Which makes it relatively easy to make a 250 character that bests a DF Swashbuckler or Knight in a toe-to-toe fight pretty much every time, even though those templates are purportedly designed to help you make optimized melee fighters.
They are designed to make you optimized melee fighters that can do melee fighting things beyond just swinging a sword. The knight gives you lots of Strategy, Tactics, Enhanced Block or Parry, Hard to Kill or Subdue, Luck, healing, Shield, Brawling, and multiple melee weapons. Mr. Broadsword may have some of that, but not as much as the knight, and in any given situation that isn't about swinging a broadsword, the knight will be on top. Broadsword got yanked out of your grip by a spell? Oops! The knight can pull out another weapon, but Mr. Broadsword is in trouble. Got hit for a lot of damage by something you couldn't Parry? Ouch! The knight has a very good chance of remaining upright, conscious, and alive, but Mr. Broadsword has probably been knocked out and may be dead already.

Make no mistake: if you sink all those points into Broadsword skill, you will be sacrificing important abilities elsewhere. You will be extremely specialized, which will work well until you find yourself in a situation you aren't specialized for.

On the other hand, if all the GM ever does is throw monsters at you that you can just hack down, then sure, having Broadsword-40 is a no-brainer.

Quote:
I've tried this. If you limit skill to 20, everyone buys skill 20. Limit it to 25, everyone buys 25. Which just goes to show primary skills are underpriced, and of course leads to less diversity among PCs.
Or maybe you're giving too many starting character points. If everyone can afford as much skill as you let them have, reduce their character points until they find themselves having to make decisions.
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Old 06-03-2021, 02:17 PM   #39
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Default Re: Skill Advancement

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
Well, sure. This is a 250-point character. "Leading roles in kung fu movies, fantasy novels, etc." I'm not sure why this is a problem.

And if you're playing in a game where Broadsword-40 is affordable, I don't see why the foes can't also have Broadsword-40. Or Explosive Fireball-40.

Anyway, the Basic Set on page 172 suggests the GM limit starting PC skills to somewhere between 20-25 to encourage a more realistic breadth of skill.
Realistic Navy SEALs and other SOF operators are 250 points or more, see GURPS SEALs in Vietnam. Point value is not a measure of realism, it's how the points are spent. No remotely realistic character has 240 points in one skill and no other traits.
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Old 06-03-2021, 02:35 PM   #40
Varyon
 
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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
They are designed to make you optimized melee fighters that can do melee fighting things beyond just swinging a sword. The knight gives you lots of Strategy, Tactics, Enhanced Block or Parry, Hard to Kill or Subdue, Luck, healing, Shield, Brawling, and multiple melee weapons. Mr. Broadsword may have some of that, but not as much as the knight, and in any given situation that isn't about swinging a broadsword, the knight will be on top. Broadsword got yanked out of your grip by a spell? Oops! The knight can pull out another weapon, but Mr. Broadsword is in trouble. Got hit for a lot of damage by something you couldn't Parry? Ouch! The knight has a very good chance of remaining upright, conscious, and alive, but Mr. Broadsword has probably been knocked out and may be dead already.

Make no mistake: if you sink all those points into Broadsword skill, you will be sacrificing important abilities elsewhere. You will be extremely specialized, which will work well until you find yourself in a situation you aren't specialized for.
You appear to be responding as though having Broadsword-40 costs [250]. It does not - it costs [120] (starting from DX 10). You could readily take one of the fairly-serviceable [125] delvers from Dungeon Fantasy 15: Henchmen (or, I presume, from Delvers to Grow, once that's released), tack Broadsword-40 on top (likely for less than [+120] if you pick a combat-focused template, which will already have a decent DX and some points sunk into Broadsword), and end up with a character who massively outperforms all the [250] characters in any situation where hitting things with a stick is useful. His secondary skills will be inferior to those of the other melee fighters, but he'll be far from useless in those regards.

That said, I'm largely fine with the way GURPS 4e prices skills (I feel it has too many skills, but that's a different discussion). As GM, if someone handed me a character with Broadsword-40 for use in a DF setting or similar, I'd probably laugh, hand the sheet back, and ask them to create a more balanced character (and try to help them with it). I wouldn't want to put any hard limits on skill, even in the form of Unusual Background surcharges, but a character with one skill so far in excess of all the others wouldn't pass review.
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