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Old 05-15-2019, 05:30 AM   #31
Gumby Bush
 
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Default Re: Combat Mastery Talent

Quote:
Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post
while the Basic Set guideline for Talents is essentially "'class' and race talents are probably not fine".
Funny. I kind of see Talents as a way of permitting a degree of class-specialization in a classless system--or, more realistically, allowing us to model people with high skill in the areas of their careers but not elsewhere (and, apart from the claim that the Talent should be believably inborn, I don't see anything dissuading class or racial talents--particularly the latter).

The claim that the skills should be "believable inborn aptitudes" doesn't say much to me... Taken particularly literally, I'm not sure I believe in those. Taken less literally, I think what we generally call talents in real life are a combination of intense interest/obsession and a very mild kind of aptitude which may easily not be inborn (or more like, "I have high IQ/DX and this was the first field that found application" or "I have a need for physical activity/mental stimulation/rest/socialization that this set of activities was the first to meet" and stuff).

Of course, that's my odd little view of human psychology and such, so you could place emphasis on the believable bit, but that leaves a lot open depending on who needs to be able to believe it. Is a talent with computers plausibly inborn? I doubt it, but it seems like a perfectly fine Talent. On the other hand, Smooth Operator, though canonical, doesn't strike me as a plausible inborn talent (perhaps just because of how broad it is--but really, how many people are good at all those skills?), and Green Thumb seems a bit broad (Biology and Gardening might be related, but both being inborn?).
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:46 AM   #32
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Default Re: Combat Mastery Talent

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
What? Munchkinism is perfectly thematic and in the spirit of DF.

This is part of the problem I have with this "point crock" nonsense. The other part is the strong stench of badwrongfunism.
Other people are allowed to have opinions on what's fun and what isn't without it being badwrongfunism.

The problem with custom Talents that perfectly match a character's skill list is that it messes with balance between characters and forces decisions into a narrower band.
Forest Guardian is an example of a Talent that can potentially produce this problem. If I'm making a DF Scout, I'm stabbing myself in the foot by not making him a Wood Elf with max levels of Forest Guardian. This creates less variety among characters, which is my opinion is less fun. In DF, which is about munchkinism, it's especially important that players have options, since part of the fun of munchkinism is figuring out unique ways to be awesome. If every Scout looks exactly the same, the munchkin feels less like "wow, I figured out this totally OP build" and more like "well, I guess I have to make the obvious choice, since no other choices will ever be as good as this one."

I think this is what I mean when I describe a "point crock." A build that's so much better than rival options that everyone will want to use it. Some "point crock" advantages, like Combat Reflexes, are ok because they do less to pigeonhole or define the character. Even if every fighter type has CR, they can differ quite a bit. But Talents come with lists of skills, which will naturally go well with certain attributes, advantages, etc.; pretty soon, the whole character has been prescribed. Meanwhile, the Martial Artist is saying "why can't I have a cheap Talent that includes only the skills I want? How about a "mini-" version of Chi Talent that includes only Blind Fighting, Power Blow, Light Walk, Mental Strength, Parry Missile Weapons and Throwing Art? Those are the only skills I want after all..."
Now, as GM I suppose you could just say "yes" and allow everyone to invent Talents as they see fit. If everyone gets the point crock it's no longer a point crock! But some character types will benefit a lot more from this type of point crock than others, and so I think you still might get complaints...
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:12 AM   #33
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Default Re: Combat Mastery Talent

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Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
The problem with custom Talents that perfectly match a character's skill list is that it messes with balance between characters and forces decisions into a narrower band.
Agreed.

This is how I described my own touchstones for talents a million years ago:

Quote:
1) Talents should have an underlying "common trait" that can be described and that ties all the related skills together.
For a realistic talent, we ought to be able to identify what the skills in question have in common. Cinematic Talents need no such justification -- they just really need a common theme -- but they're not really what this post is about.

2) Talents shouldn't be "must have advantages" for a particular character archetype.
Talents work best, it seems to me, when they're used to make characters distinctive. Any talent that covers all the bases for a particular character "type" such that all characters of that type will want the talent, don't appeal to me.

3) Talents should be applicable to more than one Genre or Character Type.
Sort of the flip side of the above. A talent should be a conceivable add-on for more than one type of character, or should be applicable to more than one genre. (I recognize that this puts me at odds with some official talents that have shown up in genre books! As always, this is strictly my opinion about things.)
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:35 AM   #34
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Default Re: Combat Mastery Talent

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
What? Munchkinism is perfectly thematic and in the spirit of DF. This is part of the problem I have with this "point crock" nonsense. The other part is the strong stench of badwrongfunism.
Indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post
(...) One of the DF guidelines is "embrace your inner munchkin, class & race talents are fine" while the Basic Set guideline for Talents is essentially "'class' and race talents are probably not fine".
IMO, it would be perfectly fine if the player writes something like this:

Businessman class, human race. You are talented in finance, graphic design, running, boxing and saxophone.”

“You are a young businessman working in wall-street, you have to catch the metro every day because you live far from the station. You were raised in a family of pugilists; also, you mother was a musician. You took a degree in economics, even if you loved design since you went to a graphic design expo held at times square (when you were 12)."

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Originally Posted by Gumby Bush View Post
The claim that the skills should be "believable inborn aptitudes" doesn't say much to me (...) I think what we generally call talents in real life are a combination of intense interest/obsession and a very mild kind of aptitude which may easily not be inborn (…)
As I see it, the matter is that you could be talented on fields that aren’t even related. Because what groups the skills, is the person.

So, I do not believe that talents work like Tetris:

Tetris blocks have a variety of shapes which you can place on screen as long as there’s room,
But you can’t change the shape of a Tetris block.
The better they fit, the better the results,
Yet sometimes you end with blank spots which don’t let you score.
If the shape exceeds your room, you cannot use it, then it is game over.

So, for talents, my approach is “tagging”. Players can tag up to 5 skills and they can also remove the “unneeded skills” from the talents in the books.

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Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
(…) The problem with custom Talents that perfectly match a character's skill list is that it messes with balance between characters and forces decisions into a narrower band. (...)
Say, if you had a $ 100,000 USD grant for a gaming computer, would you call it a “budget-crock” if you pick high-quality and low-cost components to make a custom build, instead of directly buying the computer at a retail store?

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Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
(…) This creates less variety among characters, which is my opinion is less fun. (...)
That could be something else; having a diverse party calls for many variables which are not necessarily system oriented. If five guys present 5 forest rangers to you, then something is going on at your table which makes them take this choice. Most likely, it could be your gaming style, or your setting.

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Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
As GM I suppose you could just say "yes" and allow everyone to invent Talents as they see fit. If everyone gets the point crock it's no longer a point crock! But some character types will benefit a lot more from this type of point crock than others, and so I think you still might get complaints (...)
Following the analogy, is it really wrong assembling a custom computer instead of buying a retail computer with stuff you don’t need? Should grantees complain at their sponsor because they could not spend their budget as efficiently?

IMO, GMs should not be limiting the system. What GMs should do is correctly defining the setting pro-people. I do not ban “system stuff”, instead I define the settings general approach and play towards it.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:35 PM   #35
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Default Re: Combat Mastery Talent

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Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
Other people are allowed to have opinions on what's fun and what isn't without it being badwrongfunism.
Sure. But the words "point crock" bring a negative association. You aren't saying "I think that way is unfun" you're saying "Doing it that way is wrong".

Quote:
The problem with custom Talents that perfectly match a character's skill list is that it messes with balance between characters and forces decisions into a narrower band.
How?

By doing so you're literally opening up the playing field. Instead of every Survivor having First Aid, Knot-Tying, Naturalist, Scrounging, and Survival; that might describe one, but the next one might have First Aid, Naturalist, Navigation, Survival, and Tracking!

Literally broadened the field!

Quote:
Forest Guardian is an example of a Talent that can potentially produce this problem. If I'm making a DF Scout, I'm stabbing myself in the foot by not making him a Wood Elf with max levels of Forest Guardian.
Really? I'm partial to Halfling Scouts myself. And I keep thinking longingly about an Ogre Scout*... and Troll makes for an excellent Scout.

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This creates less variety among characters...
You literally just described playing with Templates.

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I think this is what I mean when I describe a "point crock." A build that's so much better than rival options that everyone will want to use it.
Except you're whiteboarding. I've never seen this happen. Even with Combat Reflexes. Yes, an large number of combat oriented PCs end up with it, but I've two combat centric Characters and I'm not considering it for either (okay, I'm considering it solely for the +6 to mental stun recovery, but at 15 points it's a tough one to save for when so many other things are 4 or less points at a time. Also when Resistant to Stun +8 costs only 8 points and benefits physical stun).

Quote:
Some "point crock" advantages, like Combat Reflexes, are ok because they do less to pigeonhole or define the character.
+4 to a group of skills is neither 'pigeonhole' nor 'definition'.

Quote:
Now, as GM I suppose you could just say "yes" and allow everyone to invent Talents as they see fit. If everyone gets the point crock it's no longer a point crock!
Then why are you arguing against what I'm saying. That is exactly what I'm saying.

Except the 'point crock' nonsense.

Quote:
But some character types will benefit a lot more from this type of point crock than others, and so I think you still might get complaints...
Not once have I gotten a complaint. Everyone benefits equally.

Okay, I suppose the Character whose build precludes ever having skills might not benefit... but I've also never seen that Character.

And there are drawbacks to bumping up skills using Talents, but that mostly falls onto combat skills. I've been trying to think of ways to get the same desire to get to "Attribute +2" with non-combat skills but I'm been coming up pretty dry so far.



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