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Old 06-01-2021, 01:52 PM   #1
Emerikol
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Eastern Kentucky
Default Skill Advancement

So this is something I'm pondering. Being fairly new to the game, I don't plan on doing anything until I have a lot more experience. Still I thought it might something that many of you have discussed and have some ideas on.

Why do skills not get progressively harder to advance? I see a lot of notes in teh GURPS books warning about really high levels of a skill. I mean with many skills perhaps there is a natural limit because anything beyond that limit wouldn't matter. I think though in many cases that is not true. Combat skills and spells for example.

What causes them to go from 8 to 4 for the maximum cost in the skill advancement table? I admit I like the fact they went to just one table. Where people under the old system going for broader character concepts that covered too many categories? Was there any thought to limiting how many different skills a PC could have?

I'm just asking. I'm sure they had reasons. Just curious what their thinking was on some things.
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Old 06-01-2021, 02:30 PM   #2
sjard
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Default Re: Skill Advancement

Which table are you referring to?

Skill cost progression is 1, 2 (+1), 4 (+2), 8 (+4), 12 (+4), 16 (+4), etc.

So the short version is after you've hit the point where you've payed 4 points, every skill level improvement after that is +4 point cost.

So a DX Average skill, with a DX 10, starts at 9 for 1 point, then goes up to 10 for 2 points (1 for 9, +1 for 10), then to 11 for 4 points total (1 for 9, +1 for 10, +2 for 11), then to 12 for 8 points (the 4 points for the previous 9-11 +4 more points to get to 12), then going to 13 would cost another 4 points (total of 12 points spent).
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Old 06-01-2021, 02:32 PM   #3
Emerikol
 
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Default Re: Skill Advancement

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Originally Posted by sjard View Post
Which table are you referring to?

Skill cost progression is 1, 2, 4, +4, +4, +4, etc.
Yes that is the table I was talking about.

In 3e the highest levels where +8. Now they are +4. I was wondering why they didn't just gradually go up so each additional level would cost a little more.
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Old 06-01-2021, 02:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Skill Advancement

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Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
Yes that is the table I was talking about.

In 3e the highest levels where +8. Now they are +4. I was wondering why they didn't just gradually go up so each additional level would cost a little more.
I forget the reason for the change after 17ish years, I'll see if I can find it again.
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Old 06-01-2021, 02:49 PM   #5
Emerikol
 
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Default Re: Skill Advancement

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Originally Posted by sjard View Post
I forget the reason for the change after 17ish years, I'll see if I can find it again.
To show you how long it's been since I've bought a GURPS book, I owned nothing 4e until the last month. I didn't even know there was a 4th Edition. I owned mostly space stuff from 3e including both Space and Traveller. I was actually reading the 3e book and thinking I needed to get back into GURPS as my love of That Other Game was waning mightily. That is when I discovered 4e.

I'm making up for it though as I've bought 5 real books and a pdf recently. Basic Set (2 vol), Fantasy, Thaumatology, Powers, Magic, Low-Tech and How to be a GURPS GM. Actually that is 8. Pdf was Dungeon Fantasy Characters.
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Old 06-01-2021, 02:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Skill Advancement

Because skill levels (and most things in GURPS) work on a bell curve. After a certain point, it's not worth it to spend another 4 points for a 1% improvement.

For instance, suppose you've got IQ 10 and you spend 20 points on an Average difficulty skill to have skill-15. At an effective skill of 15, you've got a 95.4 percent chance to succeed.

Now suppose you spend another 4 points on the skill. Now you have skill-16, which gives you a 98.1% chance to succeed.

After about this point, every 4 character points gives you a very modest improvement to your success rate. What you get, instead, is the ability to soak up penalties to your rolls. Your basic chance to succeed is effectively maxed out, but for each 4 points you can do harder things than before. Those 4 points keep you at the higher end of the bell-curve; they don't make basic success more possible.

And I think there's also an element of "Let's not make this too complicated."
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Old 06-01-2021, 03:08 PM   #7
Dalin
 
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Default Re: Skill Advancement

As others have said, there are diminishing returns. Moreover, it really depends on the feel of the campaign. For example, if you're a bunch of faux-medieval superheroes (i.e., dungeon fantasy characters), then it's fine to have a bow or rapier skill of 25+ so you can do ridiculous things like Legolas or Zoro. (In my current DF campaign, with five PCs in the 400 point range, the highest skill level is currently only 21.)

If the campaign is grittier, then it makes sense to impose a limit, like "No skills over __ without a GM-approved Unusual Background." Since that varies from game to game, and points don't really reflect anything in the "reality" of the game world, it makes sense to leave it to each table to determine.

Kromm has also pointed out in various places that true mastery is reflected as much by the breadth of skills as depth. A legendary swordmaster will have a high weapon skill, but also a slew of other support skills. Depending on the genre, a swordmaster might invest points in acrobatics, armoury, blind fighting, connoisseur, leadership, observation, psychology, tactics, strategy, etc.). This is in addition to the advantages, attributes, and secondary attributes that support the archetype.
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Old 06-01-2021, 02:48 PM   #8
Celjabba
 
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Default Re: Skill Advancement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
Yes that is the table I was talking about.

In 3e the highest levels where +8. Now they are +4. I was wondering why they didn't just gradually go up so each additional level would cost a little more.
If they did, they would have to do the same for attributes, and they switched to a flat cost for attributes to avoid a lot of other problems.
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Old 06-01-2021, 02:51 PM   #9
Emerikol
 
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Default Re: Skill Advancement

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Originally Posted by Celjabba View Post
If they did, they would have to do the same for attributes, and they switched to a flat cost for attributes to avoid a lot of other problems.
Do you know what the problems where? Again just curious.

I can understand a linear progression if you are determining difficulties and relative character strengths.
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Old 06-01-2021, 04:15 PM   #10
Celjabba
 
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Default Re: Skill Advancement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
Do you know what the problems where? Again just curious.

I can understand a linear progression if you are determining difficulties and relative character strengths.
Among other things, you used to pay different costs depending how you got the attribute.

Player A buy DX 16 at creation : DX 16 cost him 80 cp
Player B buy DX 14 at creation and belong to a race with DX+2 : DX 16 cost him 45+20 cp
Player C belong to a race with DX+2 and purchased two professional template including DX+2 : DX 16 cost him 20+20+20

Also, attribute up to 13 were cheap for the return, and there was very little reason not to buy them - especially DX.
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