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Author Topic: [DEVELOPMENT] Missing skill checks/uses?  (Read 3314 times)
Mister Andersen
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« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2012, 03:15:49 AM »

Yes, sticking Disable in Crafting and renaming the whole shebang Expertise would definitely be a most welcome 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.

Craft is already a 100% must have skill if you want to make or utilise anything in the game. And why would you even think Disable is a focus? It's a skill check just like Build/Improve, Counterfeit, Dismantle, Improvise, and Repair are. Heck, given the B/I check, if anything you'd just go for a combined Dismantle/Disable check.

So your Snoop is just peachy at 1st level. To be on the safe side you could bring back 2.0's Int modifier bonus foci option.
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MilitiaJim
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« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2012, 09:33:49 AM »

Is there a particular problem with being able to use more than one skill to do something?  If you can build something, obviously you know how to take it apart, but you can know how to efficiently dismantle something without knowing how to build that something.  (I'm specifically thinking about locks and security systems, but walls and vehicles also come to mind.)

Keep breaking stuff in Larceny/Prestidigitation, and add it to craft.
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Crafty_Alex
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« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2012, 12:51:30 PM »

Hey folks,

Thanks for your thoughts, but I'm still most interested in missing stuff, rather than focusing on the arrangement of checks at this point. Some of the things you mention I have definitely covered in this doc (like expanding Sense Motive to include more than just lie detection), and there's some interesting grist here.

Is there anything else you think is actually missing, or that you or your players have tried to do with skills only to struggle to find or accomplish?

Keep em coming!
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2012, 01:06:45 PM »

It might sound a little odd, but strikes me as being pertinent to a modern game: what's the check to ensure you've securely bound a prisoner, or to escape said bondage? Handcuffs would be your whatever your picking locks skill is, but while the OGL conversion section dumps them into Athletics, there's really nothing that covers the old Use Rope and Escape Artist skills. EA seems like it should be with an Acrobatics or Prestidigtation check.
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tfwfh
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« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2012, 02:20:33 PM »

The only thing I've found to really be missing is a skill for using machines (especially-but not exclusively-computers).  I could quibble about some other skill organization, but I won't.
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Crafty_Alex
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« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2012, 03:49:06 PM »

It might sound a little odd, but strikes me as being pertinent to a modern game: what's the check to ensure you've securely bound a prisoner, or to escape said bondage? Handcuffs would be your whatever your picking locks skill is, but while the OGL conversion section dumps them into Athletics, there's really nothing that covers the old Use Rope and Escape Artist skills. EA seems like it should be with an Acrobatics or Prestidigtation check.

Do you think someone needs to invest in a skill in order to fasten handcuffs or a zip-tie? Since FC, we've attached the difficulty of escape to the type of bond, rather than to a skill check.  Personally, I see it as less necessary than base OGL since tying rope actually requires some skill, while fastening cuffs really doesn't - most people who've seen a TV show know how handcuffs work Smiley

On escaping, I agree with you (and have covered that) - it's more about the skill of the person trying to escape than the person fastening the cuffs.
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Crafty_Alex
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« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2012, 03:51:20 PM »

The only thing I've found to really be missing is a skill for using machines (especially-but not exclusively-computers).  I could quibble about some other skill organization, but I won't.

Do you mean, the first time you encounter a new machine, or an Operate skill? Have you found in play the Knowledge check is insufficient?

I can see Computers, and it's in the draft as a skill, but the checks focus more on the specialized operation (hacking, modifying, programming and the like) rather than "where's the Any key?!?!" Smiley 
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« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2012, 04:59:02 PM »

Sorry but I had to...
I can see Computers, and it's in the draft as a skill, but the checks focus more on the specialized operation (hacking, modifying, programming and the like) rather than "where's the Any key?!?!" Smiley 
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tfwfh
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« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2012, 06:08:31 PM »

The only thing I've found to really be missing is a skill for using machines (especially-but not exclusively-computers).  I could quibble about some other skill organization, but I won't.

Do you mean, the first time you encounter a new machine, or an Operate skill? Have you found in play the Knowledge check is insufficient?

I can see Computers, and it's in the draft as a skill, but the checks focus more on the specialized operation (hacking, modifying, programming and the like) rather than "where's the Any key?!?!" Smiley 

I think maybe an Operate skill is what I'm looking for, yes.  Of course I would only want it to apply to the special, exceptional use of a device, and not just using it in the normal way.  In the same way that Athletics is the skill you use for running, but you don't need to be good at Athletics to run.

Or maybe it's not actually a problem.  I've been trying to come up with examples for two days now, but all I've got are computers, vehicles, and sabotage.  Certainly part of my concern is that I don't want for there to be a "Computers" skill, because there is no task that can make use of it and also be interesting at the table.  So I wanted a broader skill that could be used for computer related tasks similar to the broad prestidigitation that can be used for picking locks when the need arises.
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« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2012, 06:13:51 PM »

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).

Well, I think that Origins would probably give a pertinent focus for related concepts (2 in some cases). Its also trivial to add a Gear feat that lets you pick 2-3 Expertise focuses. I'd expect a number of gear feats that offer 1 specific focus and another benefit. Its also reasonable to expect a class that focuses on a particular brand of Expertise would provide the appropriate focuses.

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It also means that Craft [Expertise] 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.

Here I disagree. Many class concepts are not builders or super-users. Its a strong choice for Backer and Specialist roles, but Combatants, Talkers, and even most Solvers could care less.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 06:39:55 PM by Morgenstern » Logged

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Morgenstern
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« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2012, 06:26:25 PM »

I can see Computers, and it's in the draft as a skill, but the checks focus more on the specialized operation (hacking, modifying, programming and the like) rather than "where's the Any key?!?!" Smiley  

In the other nearby skill thread there's some interest in seeing super-user stuff becoming an FX skill like Spellcasting - you can spend skill points on it, but its a thing quite appart from turn on machine and use it as a tool to enhance other skill checks. Basically a chapter 3 skill set apart with its own feat support - and easily enabled or isolated by technology setting assumptions in the same way sorcery and its sub-qualities switch Spellcasting on and off.

I worry that computers as a normal chapter 2 skill is going to create too strong an impression you're illiterate without putting ranks into it, and I don't see a contemporary game benefiting from yet another skill tax *glares at Notice*. If anything I'd work towards fewer skill so classes can keep the 4/6/8 per level structure but all those skill points go farther - a reflection of modern schooling and more generalized education compared to our fuedal era specialist ancestors.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 06:28:47 PM by Morgenstern » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2012, 06:44:08 PM »

Is there a particular problem with being able to use more than one skill to do something?  If you can build something, obviously you know how to take it apart, but you can know how to efficiently dismantle something without knowing how to build that something.  (I'm specifically thinking about locks and security systems, but walls and vehicles also come to mind.)

Keep breaking stuff in Larceny/Prestidigitation, and add it to craft.

Hmm. Sounds like a independentaly purchasable trick to me. Put the check in Craft/Expertise for breaking stuff you are familiar with. Then have an Evil Gremlin (sabotage check trick) that lets you Substitue you prestidigitatio skill to break anything  Evil.

The trick gives it a small cost, but makes for a versatile sabotour character theme.
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« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2012, 10:11:30 PM »

We already have Prestidigation to disable things - it exists in the text right now and works perfectly - so I see no sense in adding it to a proposed "Expertise" skill, that's already looking overly bloated with effects and far to "must have" for my tastes.  It also creates rules ambiguities - do we "Expertise (Disable)" a Biometric Lock or do we "Prestidigitation (Lockpick)" it?  Every player will argue in favour of which skill they have (or argue that it's lock pick because they had to take other focus options with "Expertise" and can't actually disable electronic devices).

Even GURPS (with it's "We have a separate skill for every use imaginable" design style) has "Lockpick" which is used to bypass locks.  The game doesn't care if it's an 18th century padlock or superscience biometric lock.  Lockpick lets you unlock locks.  There's absolutely no problem with "Prestidigitation disables things" (aside from, perhaps, the skill's name).  That way the game doesn't care what Era you're playing in, or if you have magic or super science or even just a regular WW1 setting - you and your players know that "Prestidigitation disables things".  Simple.
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« Reply #28 on: October 19, 2012, 10:17:48 PM »

Wow, has this thread gone off topic from what Alex is requesting or what?  Back on topic:

The big things I can think of are:  Lip Reading, Sense Motive (body language, psychology, disposition - not just detect lies), Knot Tying*, Forensics.

* Static Escape DCs for Shackles / Cuffs / Zip Ties are great, but when you tie someone up (which seems to come up a lot in my experience - along with a bunch of book searching and GM head scratching) it's more about your skill with rope then anything else.

Semi Related: I'd also like to see Result Caps return, but rather then being modifiers (Ex: Consume Camera, -10 Result Cap) I'd really like to see them being ceilings (Ex: Consumer Camera: Examine Media (DC20) - it's too low a grade to get a 40 on examine media checks).  Rope could be the same (Knot Tying: Rope (DC30)) - even the best rope user could come against someone superhumanly strong who can just snap the rope.
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2012, 11:34:16 PM »

Do you think someone needs to invest in a skill in order to fasten handcuffs or a zip-tie? Since FC, we've attached the difficulty of escape to the type of bond, rather than to a skill check.  Personally, I see it as less necessary than base OGL since tying rope actually requires some skill, while fastening cuffs really doesn't - most people who've seen a TV show know how handcuffs work Smiley


Well no, I was thinking more along the lines of Sketch's "I have a bad guy, I have a length of something flexible which I want to use to stop them from moving; how well do I manage this goal/set their escape DC".

From Sletch's talk of result caps, it strikes me that he has things the wrong way around: As demonstrated by the current Research check rules -- of which Analyse Media is reallu just an extension --  the DC to get anything useful from a photo or recording would actually be higher the lower the quality of the media used.
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