Making Characters - Open Discussion (Round Two)

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RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
Making Characters - Open Discussion (Round Two)

This thread is for open discussion of the latest Making Characters chapter, which will be posted up with the new playtest pack later tonight.

As always, we're looking for:
* Typos, bad grammar, and other mistakes
* Broken rules
* Confusing text
* General feedback on what you think!

We'll be posting some specific playtest questions soon.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
MAKING CHARACTERS CHANGE LOG

MAKING CHARACTERS CHANGE LOG (from previous version)

* Linked aptitudes added to short skill summaries

* Free Fall now based on SOM

* Research now INT

* The no defaulting for Infosec and Program has been removed

* Enforcer pack -- Kinesics switched for Provoke

* Hacker pack -- Research switched for Interface

* Every character now starts with 2 languages instead of 1.

* Investigator pack skills adjusted

* Academics, Interests, and Profession skills condensed into a single Know skill.

* Added a sidebar on the Knowledge Behind Active Skills

* Insight trait renamed Acumen

* Extra apt points now cost 1 CP

* Morphs, morph traits, and extra gear no longer purchased with CP. A new allotment of variable (default 6) Morph Points used.

* Some morph MP pools and costs adjusted, to work with the new MP system better.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Quote:* Academics, Interests,

Quote:
* Academics, Interests, and Profession skills condensed into a single Know skill.

Well, I was gonna say this was an instant houserule for me, but now actually reading that section is seems... pointless and confusing? The game still described each knowledge skill differently, classing out how each of the three types of "Know" work but now they're just all called "Know"? All this seems like it's going to do is build a big block on the character sheet of "Knows" and then lend confusion. If the game is still talking about terms of Academic, Personal Interest and Professional Training how do you differentiate? How can I tell if I have a professional knowledge of Martian Beers from an Academic or Interest one? This is like the old problem of "technically taking Academics for anything" 1E has. And if it doesn't actually matter - why does the game still describe them like three different types of things?

It doesn't matter to me, as a GM I'm just going to tell my players to write them as Academics, Interest and Profession for purposes of organization - but it really feels like a very weak attempt to simplify things without actually simplifying things.

Further Points:

Not 100% sold on Free Fall to SOM. Flight as a powered shell (I/E not winged) is still a REF skill, as is dodging. Like the switch of Research to INT.

I like the changes with "Morph Pool" and then keeping 20 CP. It makes characters seem a lot more flexible at first glance, and helps prevent issues of loading up a morph with negative traits and dumping it. Calling it "MP" but also covering gear sounds a little weird but I'll see over time. Also gonna say the "conversion of lose MP into extra morph flex" also seems off somehow. It also means if you take a Flat with no extras, you get 3 Flex instead of just 1 before. Not sure how I feel about this, but obviously it's an adjustment.

Still think that it should be 30+ COG and INT for a second language and thus bilingual should be the default - but with CP freed up by the switch to morph pool I'm not dead set on it.

Ah, okay, I missed you just start with two languages now. I like this, but the way the section is written made it seem easy to miss. Maybe it was just because I read the first version.

H-Rep: An EP Homebrew Blog
http://ephrep.blogspot.com/

ApSciLiara ApSciLiara's picture
Calling the combined

Calling the combined knowledge skill "Know" sounds... kind of silly. I like the not-so-verby stuff in EP1 x.x

ubik2 ubik2's picture
Making Characters
  • pg 26 and 27 Is Timidity intentionally limited to 2 ranks rather than 3 like the others?
  • pg 27 4 CP for Level (should be Level 2) - this typo in the Resource costs still exists

Resources seems very powerful for the cost. Acquiring a Major item from a reputation is only available once per campaign arc. 60 points of reputation reflects 12 RP of investment, while 6 CP of Resources lets you acquire Major items without this limitation. Moxie pools generally address the reputation constraint, assuming you can get access to a pool of 3 (easily available from the Elite infomorph), but this leaves me confused why the strict constraints exist. Additionally, Resources gives you half its cost as extra Morph points.

Some professions have 15 pts of gear, while others have 16 pts (this doesn't really matter, since it's easy to acquire gear, but I thought I'd mention it)

Grim G Grim G's picture
RobBoyle wrote:

RobBoyle wrote:

* Research now INT

I approve!
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swordchucks swordchucks's picture
June 8 version

I went through this again and reread most of it. Overall, I like the direction things are going.

Knowledge skills - Merging all of the skills into one is... an interesting choice. The distinction before between Academics, Interests, and Professions was just a technical one... but it did lend some context to it that's sort of fuzzy now. My main concern is that art skills are now going to be rare among PCs, since they shifted to Exotic Active (see below).

Morph and Gear - MP points - THANK YOU. This is an elegant solution and keeps morphs out of the CP system. Because of this change, I also withdraw my objections to having Flex be a morph trait as it is now properly balanced against gear.

Skill List - Linked aptitudes are much more spread out now. We have: COG x6 (though the field skills make it really more), SAV x3, SOM x3, REF x4, INT x3, WIL x1. COG is still in the most places, but the relative importance of those places will vary with characters so it's probably okay.

Skills - One thing I've noticed is that stuff like Music and Scupture is now a part of the Exotic Active skill. That's... a pretty big shift. It makes sense, but I have a strong feeling it's going to reduce the quirky artistic habits I've seen among EP1 characters. I'm not sure I like that.

Morphs - I like the overall reduction to automatic Flex pools. I didn't spelunk into the individual stats, but what I saw I liked.

Traits - Psi Camo/Defense - "While sleeved into a biomorph..." would make this clearer. (also the negative trait)

Trait - Hardening - Much better than before. I like the DG version, anyway, and this is that, so good call.

Trait - Mental Disorder - In EP1 it was really easy to treat disorders, which always made the negative trait kind of free points. I house ruled it that the disorder could only be treated if you paid off the rez cost of the trait, so maybe something similar would be valuable here? I know the Psi section specific forbids treating those.

eaton eaton's picture
Quote:

Quote:

* Free Fall now based on SOM
* Research now INT

I like it. I think Free Fall in SOM makes sense, as SOM is basically your "being in your body well" skill, and free fall is a test of spatial awareness and movement more than lightning reflexes.

Quote:

* The no defaulting for Infosec and Program has been removed

Good move. I feel like no-defaulting was a big thing to keep highly technical skills from getting a "free pass" in EP1, but really dangerous threats required solid investment in Infosec anyways. Taking-Time and Teamwork can make emergency hacking work feasible, for example, even if dedicated hacker roles would be way more efficient.

Quote:

* Academics, Interests, and Profession skills condensed into a single Know skill.

I'm not sure about this; it makes the "Know" skill an odd duck in the skill list, since it has... well, kind of three sub-skills but with fields on top of that? I think the space in the book would probably be better served by explaining how the three knowledge skills differ? Also, not sold on the conversion to Verb Names for skills — it feels like there are still some holdouts from the old naming convention (Kinesics, Psi, Infosec, for example — all nouns). I'd love nouns for everything, but if they're verbs, all verbs would make it feel less bumpy.

Actually, maybe noun vs verb is the easiest way to distinguish the three knowledge skills from active skills? Hmmm.

Quote:

* Extra apt points now cost 1 CP
* Morphs, morph traits, and extra gear no longer purchased with CP. A new allotment of variable (default 6) Morph Points used.

Ooo, that's a big change. Makes bumping an aptitude up by 5 or 10 during chargen a lot more feasible. I'll have to think about how it would affect some of the chargen choices folks have made.

The idea of giving people a certain number of morph points at the beginning of an adventure is an interesting change that I think really helps alleviate the worries about losing CP from bad early morph choices. In the final layout, I think it would make sense to separate the lists of traits (ego vs gear) so they're displayed along with the portion of chargen they apply to.

Also: Any thoughts about folding "Rez Points" into Character points ("you can get additional CP after successful missions, etc"), and renaming "Morph Points" to "Gear Points"? Feels like that might make the ongoing character advancement stuff and the initial chargen feel more unified.

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
So, the Academics, Interests,

So, the Academics, Interests, and Profession subsets of Knowledge skills were only ever a way of helping players conceptualize those skills -- mechanically they all function the same. The only reason to keep them separate was to sort of define their focus.

Our thinking behind the change was this: if we have 3 skills that basically function as one, why not make them a single skill, and just put the subset distinctions in the description? That way people can still use the subsets as a conceptual tool when coming up with such skills, but all together they are now easier to track and refer to as a single skill.

eaton wrote:

Also: Any thoughts about folding "Rez Points" into Character points ("you can get additional CP after successful missions, etc"), and renaming "Morph Points" to "Gear Points"? Feels like that might make the ongoing character advancement stuff and the initial chargen feel more unified.

I don't think we want to get points acquired with experience confused with points acquired at chargen, even if they are functionally the same.

The primary emphasis on using Morph Points is to acquire morphs when resleeving, so I think it makes more sense to keep it MP rather than GP.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

Grim G Grim G's picture
RobBoyle wrote:So, the

RobBoyle wrote:
So, the Academics, Interests, and Profession subsets of Knowledge skills were only ever a way of helping players conceptualize those skills -- mechanically they all function the same. The only reason to keep them separate was to sort of define their focus.

Our thinking behind the change was this: if we have 3 skills that basically function as one, why not make them a single skill, and just put the subset distinctions in the description? That way people can still use the subsets as a conceptual tool when coming up with such skills, but all together they are now easier to track and refer to as a single skill.

I guess it makes sense... sort of. I mean, military strategy could be an academic for a soldier or an interest for a Starcraft player. Still, math isn't a profession. It can be applied to one, but it's not a job in and of itself. Also, I know I'm going to force anyone with a level in their resource trait to pick a profession.
Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
There are definitely

There are definitely professional mathematicians. Most frequently (to my knowledge) they're there to support people in more specialized math heavy jobs like engineering and programming.

Grim G Grim G's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
There are definitely professional mathematicians. Most frequently (to my knowledge) they're there to support people in more specialized math heavy jobs like engineering and programming.

True, but keep in mind that programming alone also isn't a job, neither is engineering.
Vae Dei Vae Dei's picture
...why are Beam Weapons and

...why are Beam Weapons and Plasma Weapons separate specializations for Guns when there's only one Plasma Weapon, and it's a Beam Weapon? When I first noticed this I thought that Plasma was being separated from Beams and was happy for a second, though it never really bothered me before.

Anyways, actual feedback.

1) Very much in favour of adding Free Fall to SOM. SOM needs some love. INT does too, but not quite as badly, and I am less solid on moving Research to INT. Not sure I have a better way of buffing INT, though.

2) On the Noun vs Verb thing, there's a few that are hard to convert to nouns (like Hardware), but changing Survival to Survive seems like an obvious one!

3) Do we need to "strongly recommend" not spending all your MP on the best morph available now that it's MP and not CP?

4) It's mentioned in Acquiring Gear and in the Resource trait description, so I think I'm reading this right, but can we get an explicit call out in Step 12 that Resources adds to your MP? A way to represent high rep also getting you better stuff would be nice, but expending favours doesn't seem to make sense at character creation, so I'm not entirely sure how to handle that.

5) I like the idea behind "move unused morph points to flex", but I have a couple of reservations as to how that would play out in practice. This all also applies to Acquiring Gear, unless I misread something.
a) Not that I'm very anti-narrative-control, but six flex is a hell of a lot. And that's just three from ego and three from not spending your initial six MP. What if I have Resources 4? Then I could have eight Flex. More if I burn favours (or if rep somehow counts at the start of the game), or take negative morph traits. That's enormous. It also seems to devalue other pools... a Menton's three Insight seems like a lot, but it feels less special when your flex pool is twice the size.
b) Ironically, this actually makes getting a Flat or other really cheap morph less attractive. Now, that just means more gear, which is odd for someone who's still stuck in a Flat, or getting Flex... except that I can take a Flat and not spend any of my MP for 3 Flex, or I can get a Bouncer and not spend 2 MP for 3 Flex, two other pool points, higher DUR, and a bunch of cool ware.
c) Actually, in general, I think the Flex points that morphs get make less sense than before? Splicers get some, but Exalts don't... OK. Rusters do, despite being closer to Exalts than Splicers. Bouncers and Hibernoids get two? Futuras don't get any, but Furies get two?

Overall, this went in the right direction, but I don't think I like where it's ended up. Not coming up with good answers for how to deal with this, either. A first step might be removing or reducing the 0.25* multiplier for Flex points on Morphs, though, since that would put buying a high-flex morph on the same level as leaving your MP unspent. (And reducing the flex points on morphs, I mean, rather than leaving them the same but with a higher cost.)

Except for neo-octopi. Because they have the highest Flex of all uplifts, which I can only honour as appropriate.

6) Going back to the Futura and Fury... Furies have +15 DUR, +1 pool, and +1 ware... for 1 MP more? They just seem really, really good. I think I noticed this in the last playtest round, as well; they're abnormally good for their cost. I'm not really sure that the modified behaviour traits should be counted as negatives... Cooperation and patience (for Ghosts) especially. Those seem like things that help recalcitrant loners get along with whatever other nutjobs Firewall has pulled together to save humanity this time. Maybe that'll change when we actually get full rules for behavioural control, though.

7) Pods still seem very expensive for what you get. Can we just count the cyberbrain package (access jacks, cyberbrain, mnemonics, puppet sock) as one ware? Especially since the puppet sock can be as bad as it can be good, along with cyberbrains in general. And they're supposed to be cheaper than splicers! (Actually, shouldn't basic pods - and probably the other kinds as well - have as high or higher availability than splicers? Since splicers either take ages to grow, or require their original inhabitant to have vacated them...)

Vae Dei Vae Dei's picture
I write way too much.

There's also a few traits I'm not too fond of. Specifically, VR Vertigo, Planned Obsolescence, and Severe Allergy. Mostly the first two.

1) VR Vertigo has two problems, either of which I could live with, but which together are really bad.
a) The first is, it's boring! I suppose it tells us something about the character, but unlike Neural Damage, Black Mark, and similar traits, it's not an interesting thing. It doesn't tell us anything about the character's history or give us sideplots and new stories. The most impact it's going to have in play is, when everyone else goes on a fun VR adventure, they'll either be mechanically incapacitated or sitting it out on the side. That's not fun play.
b) Second, it's a powergamer's dream. If you want more CP, you either have to take a trait that provides mechanical disadvantages - Bad Luck, Low Pain Tolerance, on of the check-reducing traits - or one that puts your character in bad (but interesting!) situations, like the ones mentioned above. VR Vertigo is the worst of both worlds: while it provides a negative mechanical impact, it's usually minor and always easily avoided, and it will more often detract from the story than add to it.

2) Pretty much the same argument can be made for Planned Obsolescence, but I want to highlight one other thing, which is renting. When you rent a morph for a couple of days or weeks, you don't care about whether, in the long run, the owner has to spend a bunch of money on service packs. For you, it's a free three MP. (In character, I imagine whether it needs service packs or not doesn't effect the rental price for exactly this reason.) Even as a main morph, if your continuity expectancy is short enough, it becomes a very good deal.

Yes, as a GM I'll probably just say "no, you can't get extra MP on this morph from Planned Obsolescence" unless I expected that they'd be inhabiting it long enough for it to be relevant, but I suspect that would be the case more often than not. (My EP1 experience is entirely oneshots, which may be biasing me.)

3) Severe Allergy is... as a GM I would feel awful triggering that. Especially if medical attention wasn't available, of course. Has anyone ever actually had (or seen, or as the GM caused) a morph die to allergies? Ever?

The best-case scenario for this trait I can think of is along the lines of: you're chasing someone through a crowded bazaar, and you're about to catch them, but suddenly you catch the scent of X and you keel over! One of your allies has to stop to help you! The other keeps trying to chase your quarry, but she's a bookish type and loses them! Which... still has the feel of the GM reaching out and saying "no, fuck you." Except the entire party is irritated because your build choices have made them have to nursemaid you, instead of just you suffering (and possibly dying in 2d10 minutes).

SquireNed SquireNed's picture
Medical subskills don't need

Medical subskills don't need to be a thing. Really.

Why do we have three slots for medical specializations on the character sheet? It's an active skill with huge overlap.

Having it just have specializations would be superior, since I feel like people'll default (and I'd let them do so with a -10 at worst) on their medicine outside their main area.

Creator of Street Rats, a CC-BY cyberpunk roleplaying game.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Maybe I'm just blind, but has

Maybe I'm just blind, but has the Making Characters book failed to list what the actual Aptitudes are? I'm scrolling up and down looking for the current list.

EDIT: my bad, right at the top of page 2, not in Section 6 where they tell you to actually allocate some.

Also, i will again voice that it would be nice to have some pre-allocated layouts so I don't have to agonize over which stat to lower.

A slight smell of ions....

Maudova Maudova's picture
Fray pg 14

"You start with a base Perceive of REF x 2." Should say Fray. Looks like a copy paste typo.

~Alpha Fork Initialized.
P.S. I often post from my phone as I travel extensively for work. Please forgive typos and grammar issues.

Maudova Maudova's picture
Know Skill - Opinion

I understand the desire to consolidate redundant skills, last edition had too many skills. However this one "Know" skill is aesthetically unpleasant. It's not indicative of the setting/writings based in a higher education academic standard.

~Alpha Fork Initialized.
P.S. I often post from my phone as I travel extensively for work. Please forgive typos and grammar issues.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Resources 0 ?

Quote:
While Resources is an abstract measurement, players and GMs should use it as a rough benchmark for a character’s personal assets and lifestyle.

A character with Level 1 might have their own cubicle in a beehive hab or a small apartment in a Martian dome or O’Neill cylinder’s working class
areas, and they get around by bike or public transit. A character with Level 2 Resources might have a private residence on a small station or a condo
in a larger hab, as well as a private vehicle to get around. A character with Level 3 could have a large residential complex or multiple homes, plus one
or more vehicles. A Level 4 character is rich and might own a small private hab and even their own shuttle.

Why no mention of the living standard at Resources 0 ? IE, not having the trait?

A slight smell of ions....

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
Maudova wrote:I understand

Maudova wrote:
I understand the desire to consolidate redundant skills, last edition had too many skills. However this one "Know" skill is aesthetically unpleasant. It's not indicative of the setting/writings based in a higher education academic standard.

I agree here, I just don't like that name at all. In general I prefer the adjective or noun skill names to the verb ones. Perception over perceive etc.

If Knowledge is a name to avoid calling them "theory" skills might be good. I think it captures the difference between that skill and the practical versions. (Like Hardware vs Academics: Engineering or similar). That said I'm not sure that Theory: [field] would look good either.

ubik2 ubik2's picture
Minor Utilitool cost issue

In the list of Scientist gear (pg 31), the Utilitool's cost is listed at Minor. For the Academic (pg 28) and Techie (pg 32), the cost is listed at Moderate.

Also, the Composure cost (pg 25) may be too high now that Aptitudes are only 1CP. Resolve et al. are 60% of the cost of their aptitude, and they're still fairly attractive, but Composure is 80% of the cost of WIL for a more narrow benefit. Instability has the same issue.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
wait, why are flats so common?

If flats are "increasingly rare outside bioconservative enclaves" then why do they have an Availability of 100?

A slight smell of ions....

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Indeed. I continue to be

Indeed. I continue to be mystified by the glaring mismatch between lore and mechanics in regards to biomorphs.

Thermonuclear Banana Split - A not-really-weekly Eclipse Phase campaign journal.

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
I imagine flats are widely

I imagine flats are widely available, just not a lot of people choose to live in one. It's like walking into a burger place and asking for just a patty. Yes it's available, just not a lot of people choose to do that.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
And I find that hard to

And I find that hard to believe, given the express scarcity of biomorphs throughout the solar system.

Thermonuclear Banana Split - A not-really-weekly Eclipse Phase campaign journal.

Grim G Grim G's picture
TheGrue wrote:Indeed. I

TheGrue wrote:
Indeed. I continue to be mystified by the glaring mismatch between lore and mechanics in regards to biomorphs.

*cough*Shredders*cough*
Urthdigger wrote:
I imagine flats are widely available, just not a lot of people choose to live in one. It's like walking into a burger place and asking for just a patty. Yes it's available, just not a lot of people choose to do that.

With how long it takes to make a biomorph, I doubt there would be exowombs set aside for a morph with such a low demand. And considering how the majority of the population (IIRC) escaped the fall with literally nothing to their name, it seems far more likely that flats are considered rare. I'd say an availability of 30-50 seems reasonable. Besides, you're not likely to sleeve into a flat unless the GM wants some entertainment.
swordchucks swordchucks's picture
Creative Skills

I mentioned this above, but I've given it a lot more thought and I'm still not a fan of having Art moved in to the active skill list (under Exotic). While I agree that it makes a degree of sense, I really don't like the inevitable effect whereby players no longer take art skills in favor of more Guns (or Infosec or Fray or whatever).

One of the most interesting pieces of EP, to me, was the idea that in a post-scarcity economy, people become defined by their ability to create things. If it's not going to come out of the same pool as the points that let you be a doctor or shoot something, I really don't see it become as common as it was in EP1.

So... consider this a lobbying vote for moving Art back into the Knowledge umbrella.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
swordchucks wrote:I mentioned

swordchucks wrote:
I mentioned this above, but I've given it a lot more thought and I'm still not a fan of having Art moved in to the active skill list (under Exotic). While I agree that it makes a degree of sense, I really don't like the inevitable effect whereby players no longer take art skills in favor of more Guns (or Infosec or Fray or whatever).

One of the most interesting pieces of EP, to me, was the idea that in a post-scarcity economy, people become defined by their ability to create things. If it's not going to come out of the same pool as the points that let you be a doctor or shoot something, I really don't see it become as common as it was in EP1.

So... consider this a lobbying vote for moving Art back into the Knowledge umbrella.

Current systems allow you to take Know:Fine Painting, right? Though I suppose it would become unclear if you can craft things with it.

So, add a 4th sub-type to the Know skill? have Academics, Interests, Professional Training, and Artistry?

A slight smell of ions....

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
That'd change it from INT to

That'd change it from INT to COG, which is probably not a good thing. I don't have a fix in mind for that yet though.

LibraryDrone LibraryDrone's picture
My thoughts right now

First things I noticed
-you have psi listed twice in the skill list

- the combined knowledges skill is kinda.... not good. as a long term academic and a participant in many Internet fandoms.... academics and interests have some overlap but are NOT AT ALL the same thing.

- I like the MP points but still miss the extensive lists of possible morphs fro ep1. this might change if i get to see possible mod options tho

-The list of possible interest packages offered is REALLY inadequate. where are my options. this should really be more of a DIY step. just choose from the skills at set score bonuses in order to give characters some personality.

- Don't like moving the arts into the exotics active. It kinda feeds into the whole problem with merging interests and academics i mentioned before. and this is gonna hurt artsy habs and stuff im sure

I'm sure theres more to be said but thats what's jumping out at me. goodnight ya'll

“Science fiction is very well suited to asking philosophical questions; questions about the nature of reality, what it means to be human, how do we know the things that we think we know.”
― Ted Chiang

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
MP and Know REALLY need renaming.

I'm really glad to see Knowledge skills consolidated, but it needs to be done all the way - remove Know from the skill list entirely, and make it a dedicated section. Something like:

------
[Name] skills represent your character's knowledge base, whether acquired through personal interest or through thier profession. A skill value below [XX] represents a passing interest or low level of experience, whilst higher values embody a level of expertise found in those who work in the field.
Values higher than [YY] are possessed only by those who have performed dedicated study.

- Sample Skills: Celebrity Gossip, Conspiracy Theories, Advanced Mathematics, Starship Engineering, Quantum Linguistics, Xenoarchaeology, Martian Sculpture, Non-euclidean Pornography, Competitive Poledancing, Comet Whaling, Practical Finance, Interplanetary Smuggling, Gas Mining, BattleTwirking...
------

... Then make a distinct part of the sheet labelled “[Name] Skills” with empty rows beneath. I'd make one to show what I mean, but I'm not sure how to using the forum formatting.
I'd also like to reiterate the hope that such skills will be unlinked from any one attribute and just go from a set number, but that's just me.

Different topic: Would it be possible to give Traits which can be taken multiple times like Ambidexterity (*Cough-Coordination-Cough*) and Hardening a mark on their CP Cost/Bonus to make them more visible?
I'd tend towards a Plus sign, so Ambidexterity would have a Cost of “1+”.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
LibraryDrone wrote:

LibraryDrone wrote:

- I like the MP points but still miss the extensive lists of possible morphs fro ep1. this might change if i get to see possible mod options tho

This book already has more starting morphs than the EP1 core book. If you mean all of the morphs in all of the EP1 books ... well, that's not going to happen, we have limited space :)

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Maybe there could be some

Maybe there could be some value in adjusting Know (can we please rename it back to Knowledge?) so that individual fields are allowed to be based on attributes other than COG? INT and even SAV are decent contenders here.

perhaps "the four knowledge skills" being

Academics (COG)
Technical (.....ah, I really want this to be something other than COG but not sure what)
Vocational (INT)
Artistry (INT)

With notes that sometimes a field is part of multiple categories, and that a player should not be penalized if their Artistry(Love Songs) finds itself being used against a Vocational-style check.

A slight smell of ions....

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

RobBoyle wrote:
Free Fall now based on SOM

I'm one of the lost souls who believes that SOM should be heavily morph-centric, so no comment there. But disregarding that, I wonder if, with the consolidation of the Athletics skills, Flight and Free Fall might not belong together under some sort of "3D movement" banner.

RobBoyle wrote:
Every character now starts with 2 languages instead of 1.

They certainly do!

RobBoyle wrote:
Academics, Interests, and Profession skills condensed into a single Know skill.

Not sold on this one -- commented in eaton's On the matter of knowledge skills thread.

RobBoyle wrote:
Insight trait renamed Acumen

Lovely word, Acumen. With that, could "Good Instinct", a somewhat-awkward collocation, be renamed "Insight" perhaps?

swordchucks wrote:
Trait - Hardening - Much better than before. I like the DG version, anyway, and this is that, so good call.

DG version?

And EP2 hardening is harsh! Perhaps hardening wasn't harsh enough in EP1, but I always found that sort of sheer mental badassery appealing in a "playing with fire" sort of way.

RobBoyle wrote:
eaton wrote:
Also: Any thoughts about [...] renaming "Morph Points" to "Gear Points"? Feels like that might make the ongoing character advancement stuff and the initial chargen feel more unified.

The primary emphasis on using Morph Points is to acquire morphs when resleeving, so I think it makes more sense to keep it MP rather than GP.

Your body is a shell. Change it.

I would have thought this would be a no-brainer in the other direction.

Grim G wrote:
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
Grim G wrote:
Still, math isn't a profession. It can be applied to one, but it's not a job in and of itself.
There are definitely professional mathematicians. Most frequently (to my knowledge) they're there to support people in more specialized math heavy jobs like engineering and programming.
True, but keep in mind that programming alone also isn't a job, neither is engineering.

Uh...

...

...what?

SquireNed wrote:
Medical subskills don't need to be a thing. Really.

Why do we have three slots for medical specializations on the character sheet? It's an active skill with huge overlap.

Having it just have specializations would be superior, since I feel like people'll default (and I'd let them do so with a -10 at worst) on their medicine outside their main area.

I could see the logic in this, along the same vein as de-no-defaulting Programming and Infosec.

o11o1 wrote:
perhaps "the four knowledge skills" being

Academics (COG)
Technical (.....ah, I really want this to be something other than COG but not sure what)
Vocational (INT)
Artistry (INT)

That's just EP1. I'm all for it, but I wouldn't exactly call it advocacy for change.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Dilf_Pickle wrote:RobBoyle

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
RobBoyle wrote:
Free Fall now based on SOM

I'm one of the lost souls who believes that SOM should be heavily morph-centric, so no comment there. But disregarding that, I wonder if, with the consolidation of the Athletics skills, Flight and Free Fall might not belong together under some sort of "3D movement" banner.

I seem to recall that "flight" is now part of Atheletics already, or as part of Free Fall if weightless. it's not it's own skill anymore.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
RobBoyle wrote:
Insight trait renamed Acumen

Lovely word, Acumen. With that, could "Good Instinct", a somewhat-awkward collocation, be renamed "Insight" perhaps?

We already have "Insight Pools" so it'd be awkward to reuse the term. Having TITAN the enemy and Titan the planet is bad enough.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
swordchucks wrote:
Trait - Hardening - Much better than before. I like the DG version, anyway, and this is that, so good call.

DG version?

And EP2 hardening is harsh! Perhaps hardening wasn't harsh enough in EP1, but I always found that sort of sheer mental badassery appealing in a "playing with fire" sort of way.

If you add 5 cp to the cost (Buying back the lost WIL manually) then Hardening is in effect a 3 CP positive trait.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
o11o1 wrote:
perhaps "the four knowledge skills" being

Academics (COG)
Technical (.....ah, I really want this to be something other than COG but not sure what)
Vocational (INT)
Artistry (INT)

That's just EP1. I'm all for it, but I wouldn't exactly call it advocacy for change.

Eh, fair enough.

A slight smell of ions....

Maudova Maudova's picture
Skills Grouped why go half way?

I am finally going through and reading in detail each line and reference of the material. I noticed that the Athletics skill has a specialization of throw. I also observed Ref aptitude check is catch a thrown object, I also noticed there is an Exotic Skill: Throwing Knives. These three things covering different aspects of the same action are a bit disorganized and incohesive. If one of the main mantras of the new edition is simplification, why the desperate rules?

Next thing I noticed was the inclusion of swimming, and flying into athletics. However free fall is its own skill. With the prevalence of a lack of gravity or microgravity in the setting, wouldn't these things be taught in coordination with athletic training? If fitting a rocket launcher, a laser, and a shotgun are governed by the same skill, I don't think freefall and athletics being a single skill is any stretch of the rules.

Also, why do we have "exotic skill" as a thing? Is it just a page space issue on the character sheet, or something more pressing?
Why not create a covert skill for disguise, sleight of hand, and escape artist? Since it's more of a skill group that is in theme here? How about Animal Handling and Bow be included in survival? Create an expression field skill to cover art, music, dance, and poetry make it Sav based and lump it into the "know" skill group?

~Alpha Fork Initialized.
P.S. I often post from my phone as I travel extensively for work. Please forgive typos and grammar issues.

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Having banged out some

Having banged out some pregens to hopefully actually play the system in the not to distant future, I have noticed that by default Armor "selection" is kind of questionable. Assuming the game is a Firewall one, like half the gear packs which actually give armor do not beat the quality of the default 4/10 Vest. Now, this is a huge boon as most packs do not have access to armor at all, but given the Vest is concealable, it does seem kind of unusual that it doesn't interact with low value armors.

Mostly, I'm looking at the Techie's crash suit and the Explorer's Smart Vac Clothes - neither of which seem particularly bulky when "off" so it seems kind of weird that you could say, hide the armor vest under them yet still get the stacking penalty. This may technically be a point of discussion for Action And Combat - but it was the gear packs themselves that had me question it. Technically, you could rotate it out of course, but this is kind of just working from a "default" perspective.

H-Rep: An EP Homebrew Blog
http://ephrep.blogspot.com/

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
I am in favour of using SOM +

I am in favour of using SOM + DUR for pure strength checks and using SOM as amalgamation of old COO and SOM.

Exurgents wanna eat your ass and you are low on ammo? Register to mobile gear catalogue at eldrich.host.mesh! ORDER NOW! FOR FREE PLASMA MINIMISSILE PACK! *explosive delivery options included

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
♫ fly/throw a grenade/climb/freerun like an eagle... ♫

o11o1 wrote:
Dilf_Pickle wrote:
[...] I wonder if, with the consolidation of the Athletics skills, Flight and Free Fall might not belong together under some sort of "3D movement" banner.

I seem to recall that "flight" is now part of Atheletics already, or as part of Free Fall if weightless. it's not it's own skill anymore.

Yes, that's what I'm getting at. It would make more sense to me to either see Free Fall folded into Athletics, or to see Flight broken out of Athletics and folded into Free Fall:

Maudova wrote:
Next thing I noticed was the inclusion of swimming, and flying into athletics. However free fall is its own skill. With the prevalence of a lack of gravity or microgravity in the setting, wouldn't these things be taught in coordination with athletic training? If fitting a rocket launcher, a laser, and a shotgun are governed by the same skill, I don't think freefall and athletics being a single skill is any stretch of the rules.

o11o1 wrote:

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
[...] could "Good Instinct", a somewhat-awkward collocation, be renamed "Insight" perhaps?

We already have "Insight Pools" so it'd be awkward to reuse the term. Having TITAN the enemy and Titan the planet is bad enough.

Good point. I just don't like the phrasing ("keen instincts" would be more evocative), but there's no real problem with it I guess.

o11o1 wrote:

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
[...] EP2 hardening is harsh! Perhaps hardening wasn't harsh enough in EP1, but I always found that sort of sheer mental badassery appealing in a "playing with fire" sort of way.

If you add 5 cp to the cost (Buying back the lost WIL manually) then Hardening is in effect a 3 CP positive trait.

True. I'd forgotten that increasing attributes is more affordable in EP2.

Scottbert Scottbert's picture
My thoughts as I read:

My thoughts as I read:

Making Characters
It seems like maybe the 'you can swap skills around at any time' thing should be mentioned earlier on, so a player who can't decide on a package realizes they can mix-and-match and move on.
Flats are rare, but avail 100? Does availability not mean what I think it means?
"Galatea's" no, bad! http://www.angryflower.com/247.html
So Steel is the synth-Olympian now? Shouldn't it be, like, the Synth Exalt or Remade, with something like the Guard as the synth-Olympian?
Why is the info-olympian/pilot eidolon named after the idea of people who modify their brains to stimulate pleasure centers?
Should it be mentioned that blueprints on starting gear include appropriate licenses (if any) for the character's home or starting polity?

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
Creative skills thoughts

swordchucks wrote:
I mentioned this above, but I've given it a lot more thought and I'm still not a fan of having Art moved in to the active skill list (under Exotic). While I agree that it makes a degree of sense, I really don't like the inevitable effect whereby players no longer take art skills in favor of more Guns (or Infosec or Fray or whatever).

One of the most interesting pieces of EP, to me, was the idea that in a post-scarcity economy, people become defined by their ability to create things. If it's not going to come out of the same pool as the points that let you be a doctor or shoot something, I really don't see it become as common as it was in EP1.

So... consider this a lobbying vote for moving Art back into the Knowledge umbrella.

LibraryDrone wrote:
Don't like moving the arts into the exotics active. It kinda feeds into the whole problem with merging interests and academics i mentioned before. and this is gonna hurt artsy habs and stuff im sure

I would actually prefer arts be in the Exotic category, and active for a few reason:

Foremost, as has been pointed out, having the Arts as general knowledge skills made them too common, and while fun character quirks, meant that almost every character had some artistic talent or training. In real life arts are hard to get into, and even talented artists have to practice a lot to get to where they are - a lot of people nowadays and, I'd imagine, in the far future don't all spend their time on such pursuits.

This means that, as mentioned, in the post-scarcity world of EP, the people who do take the time to hone their talents become venerated to a degree because they focused on their chosen art form - when ample opportunities exist to go into a field that may require far less investment of time and effort.

This means the same thing for characters: you aren't going to have min-maxed super soldiers who are hidden master painters. As I initially mentioned: Arts take dedication to learn, and that should be mechanically reflected in how the skill is picked up by characters.

By the same token, making artwork should be an active skill, because making a sculpture, sketching a person or any other form of art involves very real, if infrequent, opportunities to make mistakes, or for something to go wrong in the method. Art is something that requires active use and practice to hone and maintain, and every stroke of the brush can be a mistake.

I might be waxing a little poetic but Tl;Dr: Art in real life requires active participation to make stuff, so it should be an active skill. It should stay Exotic to represent a skill that is not at all common or easy to learn.

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
Lurkingdaemon wrote

Lurkingdaemon wrote:
swordchucks wrote:
I mentioned this above, but I've given it a lot more thought and I'm still not a fan of having Art moved in to the active skill list (under Exotic). While I agree that it makes a degree of sense, I really don't like the inevitable effect whereby players no longer take art skills in favor of more Guns (or Infosec or Fray or whatever).

One of the most interesting pieces of EP, to me, was the idea that in a post-scarcity economy, people become defined by their ability to create things. If it's not going to come out of the same pool as the points that let you be a doctor or shoot something, I really don't see it become as common as it was in EP1.

So... consider this a lobbying vote for moving Art back into the Knowledge umbrella.

LibraryDrone wrote:
Don't like moving the arts into the exotics active. It kinda feeds into the whole problem with merging interests and academics i mentioned before. and this is gonna hurt artsy habs and stuff im sure

I would actually prefer arts be in the Exotic category, and active for a few reason:

Foremost, as has been pointed out, having the Arts as general knowledge skills made them too common, and while fun character quirks, meant that almost every character had some artistic talent or training. In real life arts are hard to get into, and even talented artists have to practice a lot to get to where they are - a lot of people nowadays and, I'd imagine, in the far future don't all spend their time on such pursuits.

This means that, as mentioned, in the post-scarcity world of EP, the people who do take the time to hone their talents become venerated to a degree because they focused on their chosen art form - when ample opportunities exist to go into a field that may require far less investment of time and effort.

This means the same thing for characters: you aren't going to have min-maxed super soldiers who are hidden master painters. As I initially mentioned: Arts take dedication to learn, and that should be mechanically reflected in how the skill is picked up by characters.

By the same token, making artwork should be an active skill, because making a sculpture, sketching a person or any other form of art involves very real, if infrequent, opportunities to make mistakes, or for something to go wrong in the method. Art is something that requires active use and practice to hone and maintain, and every stroke of the brush can be a mistake.

I might be waxing a little poetic but Tl;Dr: Art in real life requires active participation to make stuff, so it should be an active skill. It should stay Exotic to represent a skill that is not at all common or easy to learn.

A few counterpoints. First, this is a world with time-accelerated simulspace and the ability to immediately look up anything you want. It's logical to assume that people in general learn far more things than the average person today.

Secondly, game balance has to be taken into consideration even if it's not necessarily the most realistic. It's all well and good to encourage flavor, but when playing a game people tend to shy away from taking flavor stuff that is a clear detriment to their character. Even non-minmaxers. Nobody wants to be the guy that led to a party wipe because they took underwater basket weaving instead of interface.

Lastly, you're implying here that knowledge skills take no effort to learn. I'm pretty sure someone with high ranks in academics: Archaeology worked just as hard as someone with high ranks in Art: Painting. Yes, Art is more a physical thing than a "knowledge" thing, but like the knowledge skills it's a skill that mostly exists to say your character exists in this world as a person with hobbies and side-interests, and isn't just a one-dimensional murderbot5000.

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
Urthdigger wrote:A few

Urthdigger wrote:
A few counterpoints. First, this is a world with time-accelerated simulspace and the ability to immediately look up anything you want. It's logical to assume that people in general learn far more things than the average person today.

Certainly those technologies exist, and probably are used for the purpose suggested, but to use a (admittedly extreme) example from in-universe: the failures of Project Futura and the 'Lost' generation show that time-accelerated simulspace is perhaps not the magic resolution for long term learning.

Otherwise academic aspects of almost any skill can be learned through such methods, but that is the issue: those are the academic aspects - not the skill itself. Most arts, like the other active skills, have applied components which can't be imparted simply by reading about them on the mesh.

By your logic, you effectively suggest that any of the active skills could be learned by the equivalent of reading about them in a wikipedia search - which is definitely not a mechanic I would endorse. Even in the case of downloading Skillsoftware - those had to be transcribed from someone with existing skill in whatever field, which heavily implies a physical aspect, or something beyond simple required reading.

Additionally to this point: ease of access for information is one thing, but retaining that knowledge after it's been learned is another. One off references or information for context probably aren't held onto much longer than the time it took to make the reference. Even academic learning on a subject requires practice on the subject matter - presumably in the form of testing, memory exercises or continuing studies on a subject, as new techniques or discoveries are made.

Quote:
Secondly, game balance has to be taken into consideration even if it's not necessarily the most realistic. It's all well and good to encourage flavor, but when playing a game people tend to shy away from taking flavor stuff that is a clear detriment to their character. Even non-minmaxers. Nobody wants to be the guy that led to a party wipe because they took underwater basket weaving instead of interface.

Game balance is addressed by the fact that most of the skill packages either synergize quite well, or offer opportunities to shore up deficiencies in the creation process. The few parts of character creation which do involve the arts are chosen well after Background and Career packages are selected - which inform the greatest part of a characters given skill set.

After all that, if a person wants their character to be artistic, they also have the option of spending CP for that talent - which shouldnt lead to party wiping skill deficiencies given the package-based skill selections. If it does, then it's possible the skill packages are being modified by the players far too much, or there isn't enough awareness at the table of each characters strengths and weaknesses.

Quote:
Lastly, you're implying here that knowledge skills take no effort to learn. I'm pretty sure someone with high ranks in academics: Archaeology worked just as hard as someone with high ranks in Art: Painting.

This is where my ignorance will show, because I'm not an academic - but yes, that is exactly what I'm implying: It is far easier to study on a subject matter, to the point where you can memorize and recall that information at need, and continue to keep abreast of new developments as compared to the learning process of artistic skills. Learning about the archeaological process, and the minutia involved in categorizing, documenting and safely handling finds is much easier to learn than putting it into practice.

By the same token, someone who is a Professional Archeaologist more than likely has put in more effort than someone whos taken up an art, because not only do they need the academic knowledge behind their field, but they have to apply that knowledge in a real-world capacity, with all of the involved complications and unexpected issues that can arise.

LibraryDrone LibraryDrone's picture
Lurkingdaemon wrote:

Lurkingdaemon wrote:

I might be waxing a little poetic but Tl;Dr: Art in real life requires active participation to make stuff, so it should be an active skill. It should stay Exotic to represent a skill that is not at all common or easy to learn.

I'm aware. I do art irl myself. but I still feel that it's better as a knowledge/interest/professional skill tied in with my earlier suggestion that we stick with a non consolidated knowledge skill list with the different knowledge types representing differing levels and intensities of interest study and practice.

And what makes anything in the knowledge category "common " or *easy to learn*? just because it's classified as a mind based skill doesn't decrease the difficulty in becoming skilled at it. and it is completely possible to have advanced combat training and be really really amazing at an art. it just means that that's what ou invest a lot of your free time into. I personally think that a post scarcity society would greatly increase the number of people who get into the arts. Less time worrying about how their gonna feed themselves means more time to pursue interests. and multiple EP societies have artistic trades as a significant form of social commerce. quoting from the EP 1 book

"Art confers the ability to create and evaluate artistic endeavors. This is a particularly useful skill in Eclipse Phase, especially in the post-scarcity economies where creativity and vision can be a key component to a character’s reputation."

And in a lot of habs your rep is more important than actual money.

“Science fiction is very well suited to asking philosophical questions; questions about the nature of reality, what it means to be human, how do we know the things that we think we know.”
― Ted Chiang

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
To reiterate my point.

One final point I'll bring up to hopefully highlight where I'm coming from on the Art vs Academics issue. As it stands, I view art as a creation skill - much like Hardware:

EP2_MakingCharacters wrote:
Hardware handles the design, construction, repair, and alteration of different types of technological systems.
Use Hardware to repair a life support system, upgrade a robot, hack an electronic lock, or assemble a functional vehicle from spare parts.

The same principles and process of designing artwork and making it real is practically the same - albeit with an obviously different skillset, tools and technique (unless your mechanic is really artistic).

Conversely:

EP2_MakingCharacters wrote:
Academics fields cover all of the disciplines of scientific knowledge and advanced study. They include theoretical and applied sciences, social sciences, transhumanities, arts, and technology.
Use Academics to call upon your education.

Academics primarily involves study, memorization and recall, with little to no products created. While various fields are harder than others to get in to, Academics alone aren't responsible for creating products or works - but can certainly inform the creation process.

With all that said, I won't belabour the point, as I would start repeating myself (and have been already).

I do agree that, as it stands, having a generalized Know skill is somewhat redundant, because the distinctions of Academics, Interest and Profession still exist on a story level.

As it goes with some mock-up sheets I've made, I'm still defining which skill pertains to which category, because there is the distinction of whether or not the skill pertains to a casual interest, or an actual profession. Likewise, there's a level of authority afforded by an academic on a given subject, as compared to a person with an avid interest in the same.

eaton eaton's picture
Fundamentally: If there's a

Fundamentally: If there's a reason to discuss subtypes of the 'Know' skill, rather than just pushing it to Fields or Specializations, it seems like there's reason to keep them as distinct skills.

Despite the fact that 'Art' is cool, I think it's also reasonable to move any art skills to Exotic Skills or Profession: Painter, Interest: Painting, or Academics: Fine Art (Oil Painting) etc. The distinction between being a topical expert, a fan, or a practitioner is represented pretty cleanly there.

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
eaton wrote:Fundamentally: If

eaton wrote:
Fundamentally: If there's a reason to discuss subtypes of the 'Know' skill, rather than just pushing it to Fields or Specializations, it seems like there's reason to keep them as distinct skills.

Agreed.

Quote:
Despite the fact that 'Art' is cool, I think it's also reasonable to move any art skills to Exotic Skills or Profession: Painter, Interest: Painting, or Academics: Fine Art (Oil Painting) etc. The distinction between being a topical expert, a fan, or a practitioner is represented pretty cleanly there.

I agree that art can be categorized in the stated ways, this leaves out a persons quantifiable ability to actually make artwork.

Actual skill at creating artwork should still be represented as an Exotic active for the same reason you would want the Hardware skill for making mundane objects. Just as much, a greater or lesser skill in art could be bolstered by the complimentary bonuses from being a student, fan, etc. of that art form.

ubik2 ubik2's picture
Urthdigger wrote:Secondly,

Urthdigger wrote:
Secondly, game balance has to be taken into consideration even if it's not necessarily the most realistic. It's all well and good to encourage flavor, but when playing a game people tend to shy away from taking flavor stuff that is a clear detriment to their character. Even non-minmaxers. Nobody wants to be the guy that led to a party wipe because they took underwater basket weaving instead of interface.

Others have brought up the Hardware skills, and I wanted to mention those as well. Most of the Hardware and Medicine skills aren't terribly useful in the normal course of a scenario. It's a rare scenario that uses Medicine: Veterinary or Hardware: Aerospace. Almost every scenario will involve Guns, Fray, and Perception (the latter two got cheaper to help out non murderbots).

The Hardware, Medicine, and Exotic Art skills are useful in other ways. If you want to get access to something, you may trade some of your work for a favor from someone. In this case, maybe the Hardware guy repairs a broken shuttle part, in exchange for access to some guns. The Medicine guy might find someone with a sick pet dog. The Exotic Art guy could trade his work to just about anyone with means, since those items are highly valued in this new economy. It's a pretty effective skill for a Face to have (though the SAV linked skills are generally more important).

I did like that in the old model, many characters could pick up art skills with such a small opportunity cost, but I don't think it makes the game worse for them to be Exotic instead (it's simpler, and they are active), and I'll be happy with either decision.

Hardware: Electronics, and Medicine: Paramedic are more useful than the fields I used in my example, but these other fields are areas where players are expected to make a minor sacrifice in efficiency to build a more compelling character.

The game designers have indicated that they will not be collapsing Hardware or Medicine into a single skill, but if they did, then Exotic Skill: Painting does become noticeably worse than those skills.

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
My point on simulspace and

My point on simulspace and the mesh wasn't to suggest that people spend all their time in simulspace, or that they just look up how to do art and suddenly become an expert, far from it. Rather, I was stating that if you could cram 6 hours of practice into 6 minutes, then spending 6 hours a day honing your craft is a lot more feasible (Plus the whole post-scarcity meaning they may not necessarily need to worry about finding ways to keep themselves fed and such). As for the mesh, reference materials, critique, advice, all of these are useful tools to artists of various fields. In a world where these two tools are available, it stands to reason that people can learn more things than in our current world.

As for the skill packages, sure, that helps ensure you're useful for your one role. What happens when your hacker gets fried though? When combat ensues do you send the one guy with guns skill in while everyone else hides? Skill overlap is important, and everyone having at least some skill in hacking, combat, and social skills is useful.

I see the point divide of "You need to spend X amount of points" as less between active and knowledge skills, and more between active and flavor skills. Art firmly falls into the latter camp, being a skill that has very limited uses in most cases (Even Medicine and Hardware are useful to allow your party to survive a mission intact by swiftly dealing with wound penalties.)

Third... no, studying a subject is not a "simple matter". Go study law, theoretical physics, advanced chemistry, or other such complicated matter and tell me it's simple and easy and something anyone could do with only a slight modicum of effort.

Just because something doesn't create physical, tangible goods doesn't mean it doesn't take effort. There's a lot more to the human experience than raw muscles. Academics is also more than simply having a photographic memory of the textbook. It involves an *understanding* of the subject matter rather than just memorization.

I recall an instance in college where I was helping a fellow math student. They knew all the formulas we were taught, but were struggling on the tests. The reason was because they just knew the formulas as precise recipes: When variables are laid out like this, they have this relation. Understanding WHY those formulas work was important to using them in ways other than what the textbook explicitly defined.

This understanding is an important part of what makes someone an academic. It's not simply someone who has learned how to do something and not put it into practice. In fact the inverse is quite often the case, most academics are former professionals.

Lastly, people keep bringing up the hardware skill as another "make things" skill. Fair enough, but hardware usually makes things that have a more direct in-game use than artistic skills. Furthermore, the same could be said for plenty of Profession fields, all of which fall under the knowledge skills currently. Certainly if I have Profession: Pastry Chef I can bake a cake, no?

I feel the reason that Hardware is an active skill while those professions are not is less that it makes physical things, and more that you can use it to repair synthmorphs and vehicles, cobble together a rifle out of spare parts, construct a barricade, or other such useful matters.

Lurkingdaemon Lurkingdaemon's picture
Quote:Certainly if I have

Quote:
Certainly if I have Profession: Pastry Chef I can bake a cake, no?

That would be the expectation. On an anal-retentive reading of the rules (and this is me playing the devils advocate), it might not necessarily be the case:

By the definition of the profession skill, and the above example, your character would know what the various pastries are, how long they take to prepare and so forth, but the knowledge skills are pretty explicitely informative skills - you take them for the compliment bonus to your actives.

So, if your GM is being unreasonably technical, no, you probably couldn't make pastries with just the profession skill - you would need some kind of active skill (probably Program or Interface to put the desired parameters into a Maker)

With that said, and my stopping being the devil's advocate: I would probably say "Go ahead and bake me a cake!" And just ask for a pass/fail roll. Because who wants to deny the group their cake?

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
That's another reason I tend

That's another reason I tend to shy away from making profession its own skill: If you go anal-retentive with the rules, it's required that they have a corresponding skill to represent actually doing the job they have experience, and having either the skill and not profession, or profession and not the skill, says some problematic things about the character.

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