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Old 04-10-2021, 09:58 AM   #11
kenclary
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Like we did in practice: Rehearsing bonuses for skills

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Originally Posted by safisher View Post
6. Rehearsals might give one-time bonuses, as the OP suggested, for certain very specific tasks. I would not give a bonus for the whole skill over the course of a whole adventure. One thing to consider is that such study might buy off a penalty for Haste (p.346) for a specific task. Likewise, if you rehearse in the arctic circle for a cold weather mission, you might use the study to buy off a penalty for cold hands when lockpicking, etc.
That's a spot-on ruling for how rehearsal might interact with combat. Avoids the rathole of "I bought the fancy pajamas, when do I kick ass?"
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Old 04-10-2021, 08:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: Like we did in practice: Rehearsing bonuses for skills

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One thing to consider is that such study might buy off a penalty for Haste (p.346) for a specific task. Likewise, if you rehearse in the arctic circle for a cold weather mission, you might use the study to buy off a penalty for cold hands when lockpicking, etc.
I rather like the haste one, and the analogous time use bonus suggested upthread - some fraction of time spent rehearsing effectively counts as time spent on the task when you actually do it seems quite appropriate.

If you rehearse for a *long* time, like the kind of time that would otherwise earn you a character point, I might consider letting you spend that point on 1 cp worth of Story Guidance (or some other rule from Impulse Buys) when you actually execute.
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Old 04-10-2021, 09:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: Like we did in practice: Rehearsing bonuses for skills

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
If the group is using Action! and its Basic Abstract Difficulty concept, it might make sense for the mockup training to reduce the BAD for the camp raid scene. That could be a bonus to multiple skills - but in the limited context of that which was rehearsed.
Yes, I'd totally allow that for Action.

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(Since plans always go awry in action movies, it might even be good to use a strict definition of "that which was rehearsed"
Yes, and that argues for something else -- that using your skills at a basic level includes some assumptions about planning and rehearsing. Looked at this way, if you don't spend some time getting ready for the mission, you should suffer penalties. Likewise, if the pre-planning is nerfed on the ground, you are back to the basic penalty for not planning. If you went this way, you'd set planning bonuses up like, say, the Quality Modifiers for Equipment -- a scale from -5, to -2, to 0, to +1, +2, to half Tech Level. So maybe:

-5 = a one-minute brief, a sketch on the ground with a stick just before the raiders hurriedly attack.
-2 = A hurried planning session with maps and latest intel, coordination carried out via mail, email, radio, etc.
0 = A one-day workup, full brief with maps, radio codes, a face-to-face meeting with all multi-service coordination, etc.
+1 = week-long focused planning with the usual equipment and meetings.
+2 = month-long planning with multiple full rehearsals, walk-throughs, brief backs, etc.
+TL/2 = All of the above, but over several months.

You get these bonuses as long as the baddies don't throw you any curves. This makes some sense as a Tactics bonus, Area Knowledge, Navigation, Communication, perhaps Guns/Gunner (knowing distances helps, for certain types of shots). It would be apt for say Shadowing in a set up where surveillance leads to the arrest of a spy or criminal.
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Old 04-11-2021, 12:00 AM   #14
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Default Re: Like we did in practice: Rehearsing bonuses for skills

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It's basically my understanding that for most skills the default assumption of a skill use is unrehearsed.
I respectfully disagree.

Except in in unusual circumstances, it's a given that any performance type skill is based on your repertoire of pieces you have practiced. E.g., Spontaneous use of Performance skill uses scenes from Shakespeare, etc. that you've previously memorized and performed.

High skill levels with Performing, Musical Instrument, etc. imply not only technical proficiency, but also a deeper "standard repertoire" of memorized and practiced pieces.

Example: A novice guitar player working at default skill can just pick out "Iron Man" or "Smoke On The Water," while world a class professional musician with skill 18+ and a couple of levels of Talent has memorized entire fake books of tunes and can jam (i.e., improvise) for hours.


For truly novel works - like sight reading a piece of music that was just dropped onto your music stand - penalties for lack of preparation time should apply unless you've had a minimum amount of time to practice.

IIRC, it takes something like 60 hours of practice per hour of theatrical performance. The same seems to be true for ensemble musical pieces - choirs and orchestras spend weeks or months rehearsing before opening night. The GM might multiply or divide the required time for very simple or very complex pieces.

Certainly, Group Performance skill rolls are required to make best use of practice time for ensemble pieces. For major works, skills like Administration, Artist (Costume Designer), Professional Skill (Set Designer, Lighting Director, etc.) and would all be complementary.

I've also seen house rules for an Improvisation Technique for Musical Instrument and Singing which allows you to buy off penalties for creating new music on the fly. The same idea could be used to create a technique called "Improv" for Performance skill. Of course, "Improv Performance" is also called Acting skill, hence the generous defaults between the two.

The same concept applies to military and paramilitary ops. Special operators spend weeks or months in specialized practice prior to any operation against a fixed target. Even Quick Response Teams try to get some practice in before an operation organized "on the fly."

Penalties should apply for lack of planning and training, with high skill levels representing rigorous "core" training and drills which allow special operators to overcome the inevitable "friction" which occurs when a plan meets reality.

Last edited by Pursuivant; 04-11-2021 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 04-11-2021, 01:45 AM   #15
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Default Re: Like we did in practice: Rehearsing bonuses for skills

I think the philosophy of skill rolls is that they are unmodified for "normal adventuring" situations, which would generally preclude rehearsing for them.

Is there a possibility of adapting the heist rules for pre-planning to include rehearsals? The ones in Pyramid 3/53, I've got a great idea and Fortunately, I saw this coming for retroactive planning, where you happen to have planned to bring some doggy treats when the GM says there's a guard dog and such.
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Old 04-11-2021, 01:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: Like we did in practice: Rehearsing bonuses for skills

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
If you rehearse for a *long* time, like the kind of time that would otherwise earn you a character point, I might consider letting you spend that point on 1 cp worth of Story Guidance (or some other rule from Impulse Buys) when you actually execute.
Yes, that's a good option! Very simple and certainly worthwhile trying.
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Old 04-11-2021, 07:41 PM   #17
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Default Re: Like we did in practice: Rehearsing bonuses for skills

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One approach I've used is to say that while casting spells during an adventure requires a skill roll for each casting, with a chance of critical failure, casting spells as a job (for wages or salary) requires a monthly job success roll, with problems ONLY on a critical failure. That's once in 4.5 years for most professionals, and once in 18 years for the real masters.
That's the only way that "industrial enchantment" and similar widespread use of magic can work. Otherwise, mages would have to have teams of healers and demon hunters on hand to deal with with 4 in 216 chance (i.e., once every 54 days if you cast just one spell per day) of some sort of bad mojo going down, and the 1 in 46,656 chance of accidentally summoning a demon.

You could also have spells or enchantments which specifically turn critical magical failures into ordinary ones. The simplest way is alter the Pentagram spell so that it reduces the effects of a critical failure - on the caster or on the subject - to those of an ordinary failure. That means that as long as both the caster and subject are inside functional Pentagrams, they're immune to critical failures.
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Old 04-11-2021, 07:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: Like we did in practice: Rehearsing bonuses for skills

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If you went this way, you'd set planning bonuses up like, say, the Quality Modifiers for Equipment -- a scale from -5, to -2, to 0, to +1, +2, to half Tech Level.
These are great rules ideas. I'm surprised that nothing similar was built into Special Ops/Covert Action, etc. back in the 3E days, and that GURPS 4E High Tech and similarly crunchy books didn't include them.

Maybe there could be a potential supplement for GURPS 4E Social Engineering or Mass Combat which covers things like mission and operational planning, so that characters can do things like build the Pyramid of Cheops or plan Operation Overlord or the Cabanatuan or Song Tay Prison Raids.

My only objection is that I wouldn't make bonuses for planning TL dependent. Many of the factors which guarantee success for a performance or planned special operation depend more on time spent than technology. For example, having a commando team train using an exact replica of the operation site should have the same benefits for a low-tech group as for a high-tech one. Bonuses for Time Spent beyond the minimum required seem like the better mechanic.
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Old 04-12-2021, 04:58 AM   #19
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Default Re: Like we did in practice: Rehearsing bonuses for skills

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That's the only way that "industrial enchantment" and similar widespread use of magic can work. Otherwise, mages would have to have teams of healers and demon hunters on hand to deal... once every 54 days if you cast just one spell per day) of some sort of bad mojo going down
Quite a lot of historical industry worked with an accident once every two months, as well as having medical and security staff along with the workers. (You've seen pictures of the "It's been X days since our last accident" boards.) In fact, mitigating that risk is easier in an industrial setting, where the support team can cover lots of mages, rather than each individual mage in their own lonely tower scattered around the lands each having their own dedicated team.
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:16 AM   #20
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Default Re: Like we did in practice: Rehearsing bonuses for skills

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I think the philosophy of skill rolls is that they are unmodified for "normal adventuring" situations, which would generally preclude rehearsing for them.
Yeah. I was also generally more thinking about rolling for things outside of adventure contexts but where success or failure could still matter a lot.

In an adventure you really can't control how everything is going to turn out.

When performing a show you can choreograph literally every detail and practice until you can reiterate it exactly every single time.

As a novice violinist (I don't have the skill anymore, this was a while ago) if I was gearing up for a performance I would practice the piece I was performing hundreds or thousands of times until could play it perfectly every time. Did this make me a better musician when it came to playing anything else besides that exact song? only marginally in that I still know (but can't functionally play) those songs (in the long run they got added to my repertoire of known songs). And when I moved on to the next song I was learning my ability to play that song perfectly faded quickly. Same pattern for drama and the various other forms of performance I practiced at that point in my life.

Could I, at that point in my life, pick up a violin and give a decent performance? Maybe. Without practice, or if I tried a piece I knew but wasn't currently practicing, I'd do something pretty enjoyable and impressive maybe about 45% of the time or so (which is, as far as I can tell, what a successful skill roll actually is), and I'd do something notably recognizable and acceptable but not particularly impressive or enjoyable more often than that (fail, but not by a huge margin). But with practice I could do one particular piece consistently very well. In highly controlled scenarios that were identical to how I practiced.

That tells me I probably had a violin skill on a 9, but practice could bump it up to a much higher number for one very specific task at a time by practicing that one particular piece in one exact way quite extensively.

Intensive training for a Hyper Specialization perk for one particular performance? That fades very fast (as per maintaining skills [basic p294] and perhaps at the rate for extreme skill levels)?

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