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Author Topic: [DEVELOPMENT] Missing skill checks/uses?  (Read 3829 times)
Crafty_Alex
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« on: October 11, 2012, 07:37:12 PM »

Hey agents!

Not to tip my hand too much, but I am currently at work on the Spycraft 3 Alpha document*, setting down some rules and I have a very open-ended question for you:

In your experiences playing Spycraft and/or Fantasy Craft, have you found any skill checks or uses to be absent from the system?

Example: Let's say in a game a character wanted to show off his refinement when handled a bottle of fine wine, but there's no skill check for that you could find; that would count for my question (even if some of us might use a Knowledge Check with synergy from Science or Cultures). Examples backed up by real in-game anecdotes or experiences are especially useful.

Thanks gang!

* No, I will not answer any questions as to release dates. And no, the same goes for requests to see where I am currently Smiley
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2012, 08:23:35 PM »

Yes, MC is rather desperately missing the old 2.0 "communicate a secret/subtextual message to a teammate" Innuendo check. Keeping the current skills, I'd likely put it under Bluff as a sister to the extant Lie check.
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 04:20:32 AM »

Yes, MC is rather desperately missing the old 2.0 "communicate a secret/subtextual message to a teammate" Innuendo check. Keeping the current skills, I'd likely put it under Bluff as a sister to the extant Lie check.

It would be nice to see it officially return.  I personally use Sense Motive though (it's an extension of understanding subtext).

Alex: For your example, I'd call it Knowledge (study Fine Wines or even just Alcohol).  I'd allow a streetwise synergy for some games (those with prohibition, for example), representing the characters knowledge of illegal hooch.

I can't think of a situation where I didn't already have a skill that covered what the players were doing at the table, at least not off hand*.  I'll check with my group to be sure though.

* Obviously when running modern games with Fantasy Craft I had to build some hacking rules, but that was to be expected.

EDIT:
Derp - I had thought about this earlier...

From my earlier thread
Quote
Going through the list, all that's missing from FC is:
Analysis (Authenticate1, Examine Media, Forensics)
Bureaucracy (Bribe)
Computers (Hacking (Dramatic Conflict) - Optimise is covered by Craft)
Manipulate (Harass, Slander)

Cultures became a Study, Electronics / Mechanics / Science are all covered by Craft (which has Build, Disable, Modify, Optimise, and Repair), and Networking became the new Contact prize option.  Security is a funny one - it became Craft and Prestidigitation, but those checks should still fit in a modern context.

1 - Covered by Search / Notice in FC, but I've kept it in the above list for more advanced / technological forgeries.

I'd like to see skills checks for Forensics and Media Analysis (security tapes, surveillance photos) in particular.  I'm happy for them to be new uses of Investigate or Search or whatever, I just think they're important for both Spycraft and (in some ways especially) 10k Bullets.

EDIT2:  Meant to type Checks, but didn't.  Fixed.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 10:01:24 AM by Sletchman » Logged
Mister Andersen
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 06:57:07 AM »

Not adding extra skills unless we're going to get more skill points to go with them is a good thing. There's no need for an Analysis skill because it's already handled by Investigate. The Bribe check is a natural extension of Haggling  (and would actually make it a more useful skill). Change Crafting to Expertise as seen in Scott's new pie thread and that covers Computers. Manipulate already seems covered by Impress and Intimidate.
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 10:04:14 AM »

Not adding extra skills unless we're going to get more skill points to go with them is a good thing.

I'd say "not adding extra skills" period, personally.  Even if we get more skill points it just reduces compatibility of products.  I'd love to be able to get new gamers by saying "Hey, take SC3 and FC and you've got something like Hellboy or Dresden Files - no extra work needed".

I meant "Checks" too at the end there, and fixed my above post to reflect intent.
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 10:44:06 AM »

While I'm with you on the ideal would be something of a status quo, I seem to recall Alex or Pat mentioning that their intention is of broad rather than exact compatability between MC lines so as to tailor the mechanics to the game at hand rather than vice versa. Renaming a skill or even just expanding the number of checks that can be explicitly made with it is pretty much doing that at a basic level. On that basis, I like the idea of more advanced settings giving you more skill points to spread around, even if it's just a campaign quality increasing the 1st level multiplier.

Speaking of skills, I'd really appreciate the flexibility offered by a return to the more generous position that once you've purchased ranks in a class skill for a given career level it remains costed as a class skill for the rest of your career, rather than Mastercraft's rather more miserly costing of skill ranks based purely on your current class. It simply makes far more sense -- and is more fun -- in a modern multi-skilled setting.
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2012, 01:00:54 AM »

Both sound like pretty ideal Campaign Quality material to me.
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Black Cheese
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2012, 09:37:29 PM »

Lip reading. It's one of a handful of things the current game can't handle. And I've no idea to how to handle it. It makes no sense as a Proficiency, it'd be too boss and always picked as a Knowledge, silly as a skill (the DCs would have to be... weird), and overpriced as a feat.

Also plotting a course; i.e., a noncombat method to get from point A to point B faster, safer, or cheaper--a Survival check when you're in charge of the transportation, or a Cultures check when someone else is. Everybody makes crap up for astrogation; such a thing should probably be quantified.

And
Quote from: Alex
Let's say in a game a character wanted to show off his refinement when handled a bottle of fine wine, but there's no skill check for that you could find; that would count for my question (even if some of us might use a Knowledge Check with synergy from Science or Cultures).

Huh. I could find it. That's an Impress check, probably Perform or Persuasion.
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Gatac
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2012, 06:10:07 AM »

I'd put lip reading under Sense Motive, which seems to be the general "subliminal communication" skill.
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mathey
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2012, 09:03:48 PM »

Not sure if this has been mentioned, but one thing I found a little odd was that Sense Motive didn't include being able to read people's intentions or body language. Obviously it can be used to counter social skills related to lying and stuff, but it doesn't quite...er...Sense Motives, officially.
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2012, 06:10:22 PM »

Are we coming from the 2.0 skill list, or FC?  If we're comparing to Fantasy Craft, then it's hard to know what rolls are appropriate to use or operate complicated machines.  It's not something that really ever comes up in classic fantasy, but it comes up all the time in certain non-classic fantasy settings, and in modern ones.

I suppose sabotage is the obvious example of this.  What skill is used if I want to rig someone's gun to blow up in their face?  Prestidigitation seems wrong for that.  Craft would be my choice, but the only non-downtime uses are improvise and disassemble, and neither seems really well suited.  Craft also seems wrong for just using machines, like say operating a crane or (if you must) hacking a computer.
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2012, 06:39:21 PM »

I see Investigate for figurin' out crane operation. And then Prestidigitation for workin' the controls with a deft touch. In fact, I think those two solution will work for most "Suss out how to use the thing you've encountered" and "Use this thing with controls." problems.
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2012, 01:17:03 AM »

I suppose sabotage is the obvious example of this.  What skill is used if I want to rig someone's gun to blow up in their face?  Prestidigitation seems wrong for that.  Craft would be my choice, but the only non-downtime uses are improvise and disassemble, and neither seems really well suited.  Craft also seems wrong for just using machines, like say operating a crane or (if you must) hacking a computer.

Yeah, sticking the Disable check in Prestidigitation has always felt a rather artificial choice.; "break things" and "hide things" are in no way shape or form logical bed partners.

You can sort of see it as both a call out to 2.0's Security skill and an attempt to make Crafting slightly less awesome but I don't think anyone was served particularly well by that. Firstly, because being a foci skill it's not like Crafting is an access all areas pass, and secpondly, because it makes no sense that knowing how to create something doesn't also confer the ability to break it in temporary or permanent ways. Yes, sticking Disable in Crafting and renaming the whole shebang Expertise would definitely be a most revision to Mastercraft's skill system.

Speaking of Security, at the time it felt a bit clunky hiving off the break-and-enter aspects of both Mechanics and Electronics -- oh, and bits of the Explosives proficiency -- into their own skill. Having had many years to consider the matter, I do think Mastercraft could do with a general purpose Larceny skill that covers physical/electronic/magic lock-picking including hot-wiring, and sleight-of-hand including placement of surveilance gear. This would naturally replace Prestidigitation and could conceivably be foci-based if you wanted to add a degree of granularity to it.

Using a crane would I think more appropriately be a Drive (Int) check (or even a Knowledge check) than anything else.
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Sletchman
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2012, 07:46:58 PM »

Yes, sticking Disable in Crafting and renaming the whole shebang Expertise would definitely be a most revision to Mastercraft's skill system.

The problem with this single big "Expertise" skill idea is that it limits what you can play, potentially quite severely.  You get, at best, 2 focuses at 1st and another every 5/9/13/17.  So 6 at absolute most, and (from what the Crafty guys have said about most played level bands from feedback) an average of 3-4.  So the standard "Electronics / Computer Specialist" (aka. The Snoop)?  Can't be played until 5th (needs Electronics, Computers and Disable specialisations at bare minimum).

It also means that Craft is 100% "must have" because it covers too many things to not have it, and at that stage you may as well just cover these checks something like Studies (just something that everyone gets) - the end result is the same.
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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2012, 10:30:19 PM »

I like the idea of renaming prestidigi to larceny, bulking it up with mechanics/electronics/computers uses, and possibly making it a focus skill.  Especially if there are then added some ways to get more skill focuses.

So yeah, +1 to most of what Mr A said.  I don't think renaming Craft is necessary, just moving sabotage under that umbrella.  I'm even fine with it observing the focus rules, with a complexity cap on the things you're able to sabotage without an appropriate focus.
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