Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

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Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby alex_greene » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:50 pm

The Legend Core Rulebook uses Lore (deity) as the Divine spellcasting skill, and Arms of Legend uses Lore (Alchemy) as the skill used to create the basic alchemical products - the Philosopher's Stone, the elixirs, poisons and antidotes which are the alchemist's stock in trade.

Arcania of Legend: Blood Magic, however, has the magical skill of Invoke to call Divine spells. Also, Legend Core Rulebook has a variety of Craft skills available - it does not stretch the resources of the players to replace the above Lore skills with Invoke to call down the Divine, and Craft (alchemist) to create the Philosopher's Stone and perform transmutations (with Craft (poisons) and Craft (antidotes) as their own skills, respectively).

What, then would one need Lore (alchemy) and Lore (deity) for?

Exactly what you'd need any other Lores for - general knowledge of the deity, scriptures, high holy days, famous shrines, legendary priests and so on; and for knowledge of alchemy, the obscure language used in alchemical texts, notable alchemists and their findings etc.

Culture, also, can be useful - Culture (religion) can be used to remember things like sacraments, proper gestures, proper cants and responses, taboos and so on.

In this way, Lore is kept as an ordinary Advanced skill, but that's not to say its usefulness is in any way diminished. In fact, it can be extremely handy because any character can learn the skill and find it useful - even former adherents of the religion can keep their Lore skill because it is still knowledge - and knowledge is still power.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby DamonJynx » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:33 am

I agree with you Alex. In my Elric campaign a player wanted to create an assassin that specialised in poisons. He duly created his PC but only had Craft (Poison) as his advanced skill. I wanted him to to also have Lore (Fauna) & Lore (Flora), or both combined into one skill, so he would know not only which animals and plants he could use to create poisons, but also the most efficient means of extracting the toxins. In the end, to save arguments I allowed him just use the Craft skill...he wonders why it is so difficult for him to find raw materials.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby soltakss » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:58 pm

Yes, I agree,

It is the difference between Craft and Lore - one is the doing and one is the knowing.

For simplicity, it might be worth not using one of them, but that means that players can spend their experience points in a more focused way, and where's the fun in that?
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby alex_greene » Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:30 pm

One could even argue that for every Craft skill, there could be a Lore skill reflecting the theoretical knowledge behind each Craft. Guilds could be as responsible for disseminating its appropriate Lore skill as its Craft skill.

Yes, I know that this means there will never be a shortage of Lore skills to learn -and nobody will ever be able to learn every Lore that exists. But that much is a given anyway.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby Fonso » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:31 am

Actually, I think they are the same skill, but with different base value.

When you learn the skill from a teorical perspective, take the Lore. And when you develop the skill at the hard way, working on it, take the Craft. For everything else, use the difficult modifiers. Do you learned your alchemical abilities from a book? It's harder to put it on practice. And the opposite. Do you learned to make perfume in the workshop? May be know that substance is from whale's musk be harder.

Having to learn twice the same skill is a waste of time and resources to the player. You don't need to learn one skill to know what creature is a horse and other to ride it. Neither one skill to know how climb and other to know how to use a rope. I don't think this case be different.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby DamonJynx » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:13 pm

@Fonso

I understand where you're coming from, this was much the same argument my player made.

As an example of what Alex, Simon and I are saying, take Craft (Blacksmith). You maybe be able to work metal to produce goods of the highest quality and function, but it doesn't necessarily follow that you are able to take a lump of iron ore and smelt it with whatever else is required (I fumbled my Lore (Metallurgy) roll) to make steel. Hence the need for an appropriate, symbiotic Lore skill.

At the end of the day as a GM it is up to you to balance the skills required for your game so that it's fair to the players and no-one feels disadvantaged. In my case, when the player makes a successful Craft (Poison) when looking for raw materials he only finds common stuff, if he succeeded with an appropriate Lore skill he would be able to identify rarer plants and thus make more varied and more potent poisons.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby Fonso » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:03 pm

I don't say that learning the craft he can do anything related to the associated lore (or vice versa). Only that the character don't need a theorical skill to know something that he already can do with his Craft skill. If he knows how to do a strange perfume (or work the metal), it's much more likely he can identify the plant or prepare fundaments for his forge, assuming he is a professional (and therefore, with a high value in his skill) than me (I also don't know anything of the subject). Identify the exact kind of whale? No, but know that with whale's musk you can do perfume.

The real advantage of having the both skills is that you can help one with the other. But it shouldn't be an requirement, but a plus.

DamonJynx wrote:@Fonso

At the end of the day as a GM it is up to you to balance the skills required for your game so that it's fair to the players and no-one feels disadvantaged. In my case, when the player makes a successful Craft (Poison) when looking for raw materials he only finds common stuff, if he succeeded with an appropriate Lore skill he would be able to identify rarer plants and thus make more varied and more potent poisons.
Of course, I share that maxim too. But in cases like that, I do not agree with the implementation.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby DamonJynx » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:23 pm

Fonso wrote:Of course, I share that maxim too. But in cases like that, I do not agree with the implementation.
And therein lies the beauty of this game system. Unlike some other systems where there is a rule for all but the most unusual circumstances, with Legend and its ilk we are free to apply the rules in whatever manner is appropriate to our games and groups. Of course GM's will sometimes disagree on the implementation of certain game aspects-that's what makes our games unique and why I believe this system (D100 generally, not just Legend specifically) is far superior to D20 systems.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby soltakss » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:17 pm

The beauty of having the Craft and Lore separate is that they can be used for different things.

Taking Craft (Blacksmith) as an example, this allows the person to make horseshoes, tools and various ironwork items. With a penalty, it could be used to make armour and weapons. It might even be used to make a working forge, find trading contacts and so on.

Lore (Blacksmith) might be used to know where a certain type of blacksmith might be, one who knows a particular technique. It might also be used to know what to leave the brownies to stop them from spoiling the metal, or to gain their assistance when performing a certain task.

You might say that Craft (Blacksmith) has all these things - it would have no effect on the game at all.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby Bifford » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:08 am

Fonso wrote: Having to learn twice the same skill is a waste of time and resources to the player. You don't need to learn one skill to know what creature is a horse and other to ride it. Neither one skill to know how climb and other to know how to use a rope. I don't think this case be different.
Just to chime in....

I too believe in the dual wielding of Lore and Skill, and to use your above examples:

Sure you don't need to know Lore (Horses) to be able to ride it (maybe with an Advanced Skill) but if you want to know how to treat your horse right, take stones out of its hooves/shoe without being kicked in the head, what to feed it and when, why and how you need to brush its coat etc, then you should have the Lore (Horses). If all you are doing is riding from A to B on a borrowed horse then fine - you don't need the lore, just the ability. But if that horse is yours, and you expect to keep and look after it as you journey then you need the Lore too.

And you say you don't need one skill to climb, and another to "know how to use a rope", but again - professional climbers will have a ton of experience in climbing, but they need other knowledge to do so practically: Knowledge of knots, climbing equipment like clampons, carabenas, the use of chalk dust, picks, safety ropes, etc. Sure, if all you are doing is tieing a rope around a tree on a cliff edge and then climbing down then you need none of that stuff - but don't expect to get your rope back afterwards!!


However, as said above - this is ALL personal GM choice. You are free to do things your way and I am not arguing that point. I'm simply putting across MY viewpoint here :)
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby Deleriad » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:50 pm

I agree with Bifford.
Lore (horse) allows you to know things like the history of the horse breed, the potential health issues that horse might have, awareness that it tends (for example) to be bad tempered. It might also include the mythological status of the breed, knowledge about its susceptibility to magic or knowing that it is surprisingly tolerant of magical effects etc. You don't need to know any of this to ride it but knowledge about its breed's likely quirks may help you avoid problems before they happen. It might also help you avoid being sold a bill of goods (that horse should be taller, it almost certainly had horsepox when it was a foal and is likely to die young.)

As ever, there are a million ways a player might be able to use Lore (horse). If the king decides he wants a new horse, you might be the one to know how to track down a horse that looks impressive but is actually quite docile and well-behaved.

Like anything in role-playing, if a player wants to become a horse expert then it gives the GM loads of plot hooks and loads of opportunities for the PC to use their Lore skill.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby Fonso » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:48 pm

I understand the difference between the skills. Simply, for general caring of a horse I don't think you need another skill excepto Riding, as to care your weapons don't need a Craft (weaponsmither). To know specific info, like horse-diseases or that the andalusian horser are smaller and faster than the work horse, you should use that Lore. But, when you aren't purchase that second skill you always should be able to use the first skill with modifiers instead its base value.

When the player chooses to learn the two skills, that is good, go ahead and use it both. But when you use always two relationated and different skills mandatorily, I think that is penalizing the player for his choices.

I also understand that not everyone thinks the same. No problem.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby Bifford » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:22 pm

I agree actually with your points there Fonso, but I will just point out we are talking about "Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful) here...that is to say an Advanced skill that a player has taken.

So I ask you, would a player *NEED* to take an advanced skill just to ride a Horse? Or would that simply come under the normal skill list for Ride? the advanced skill would then surely be the "Lore: (Horses)"?

Thinking about it your way would work in some situations. If you had a troop of travelling acrobats specialising in horse work (think Circ de Solei) then you (as GM) would probably create an Advanced Skill "Ride: Horses" which could very well incorporate the basics of looking after a horse, as most likely they have a Horse Trainer and grooms for the actual looking after of the horses, while the acrobats mostly concentrate on the riding. But for the most part surely the user would also be the carer?

I'm enjoying hearing your point of view on this one Fonso :)
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby Fonso » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:54 pm

Bifford wrote:I agree actually with your points there Fonso, but I will just point out we are talking about "Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful) here...that is to say an Advanced skill that a player has taken.

So I ask you, would a player *NEED* to take an advanced skill just to ride a Horse? Or would that simply come under the normal skill list for Ride? the advanced skill would then surely be the "Lore: (Horses)"?
Umm... I think I don't understand fully your question. Why do you need an advanced skill to do something that already is a basic skill?
You already have two advantages for learning Ride and Lore (Horses). First, you can augment your ride skill with your Lore (horses) skill. And second; except when you're a master of riding, you still have a decent value in the Lore when the penalizations are larger, as it's easier solve the Lore roll to know that info as contrived that only those experts in horse lore can answer.
Remember, you don't need to roll when there is no problem. Don't roll for riding while you travel on a praire, you roll Ride when failing is interesting.
Bifford wrote: Thinking about it your way would work in some situations. If you had a troop of travelling acrobats specialising in horse work (think Circ de Solei) then you (as GM) would probably create an Advanced Skill "Ride: Horses" which could very well incorporate the basics of looking after a horse, as most likely they have a Horse Trainer and grooms for the actual looking after of the horses, while the acrobats mostly concentrate on the riding. But for the most part surely the user would also be the carer?

I'm enjoying hearing your point of view on this one Fonso :)
And why hinder the game with exotic skills? You always can use the Acrobatics skills with a cap defined by your Riding skill to act with the horses in the scene. The horse trainer can use as second skill Lore (Horses) to train and care the beasts, using it for specific problems, like diseases, evaluate what horses the troupe should buy, etc. Both are using a basic skill (Ride) and a advanced skill (Acrobatics or Lore, depending of your role in the troupe) without having to learn unnecessary skills.

It is equally useful in the game a Lore or Craft skill than any other advanced skill. Forcing the player to adquire half dozen of redundant skills only serves to cancel the reduced skill list of Legend compared with RQ2 or RQ3.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby alex_greene » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:04 pm

The thing about Lore is that you can give the characters Lores in useful categories, relating to their most prominent skills.

Examples: Every Culture (regional) and Culture (people) can have a Language (regional) and Language (people), as well as a Lore (regional) and Lore (people). Your understanding of a particular people is not complete until you have their Lore (their legends and heroes), Language (the language they speak) and Culture (their habits and taboos).

Culture (people), and therefore Lore (people), also extends to social groupings such as a cult or Order. If a character belongs to, say, the Sodality of Remorse, an assassins' order, the Sodality would have both a Culture and a Lore covering that order; these would likely be part of the cult's official skills, and every member would be required to open Culture (Sodality of Remorse) and Lore (Sodality of Remorse) alongside their preferred cult Combat Styles and maybe Craft (Poisons) or even Craft (torturer).

Next, every Craft skill could have a Lore attached to it; as could Mechanisms, Engineering ... any skill, really; every Seduction skill has its Casanova, every Engineering skill its Scotty, Influence skill a Machiavelli, every Language skill a Shakespeare.

There are a bewildering range of them, but here's the thing - you only need the Lore skills for the skills and cultures that are important to your characters. There's no point in having a Culture (Desert Raiders Tribe) and Lore (Desert Raiders Tribe) if the characters never go near their territory; but if they frequently bumped up against the Horse Nomads of the Blue Steppe it'd pay for them to have their Culture and Lore: Culture to know the rules of polo as played by the Horse Nomads, and Lore to remember the name of their greatest hero, Tungyuk, and that they traditionally train their kids to shoot recurved bows from horseback at full gallop from the age of two.

Not every skill needs its Lore, and not every region, group or people needs to have a Lore; but you can match Lores to those skills and peoples easily enough, and it's fairly easy to keep an eye on your Lores, Languages and Cultures by remembering this basic rule.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby dreamer_prophet » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:35 pm

It is equally useful in the game a Lore or Craft skill than any other advanced skill. Forcing the player to adquire half dozen of redundant skills only serves to cancel the reduced skill list of Legend compared with RQ2 or RQ3.
Personally, I'm with you partly for this reason. But also, by making role-play-y skills equally as expensive to learn and develop as as big-ticket magic systems and more expensive than combat styles runs the risk of deterring players from taking them. It's not a game breaker, by any means, but it could impoverish it.

This isn't to suggest that dividing skills between Craft and Lore doesn't make perfect sense, because it clearly does.

My approach is to decide which particular human endeavour might best be represented in terms of a Craft, a Lore or indeed an Art and beyond that be flexible as to what results can be achieved with it in a particular situation. This makes them "worth taking" and also opens up possibilities in game play.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby soltakss » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:56 am

Lores and extra skills are useful.

Taking horses and riding even further, someone with Riding knows how to ride, how to rub down the horse, what to feed it and so on. All very well. But, someone with Craft (Animal Husbandry) would know how to care for the horse when sick, how to deliver a foal, what the best food is and so on. Someone with Lore (Horses) would know what a particular breed of horse is, which breed is better for long-distances, which is better for crossing mountains, which is better in a swamp, which would be a suitable present for the Great Khan and where Winged Horses can be found.

Horses for courses.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby dreamer_prophet » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:10 pm

Why, of course!

Should a steppe nomad be expected to take Lore (Horses) as an advanced skill, though, or could most of this equestrian expertise be subsumed by their common skill: Lore (Regional)?

I'd allow this, freeing up the opportunity to take a different advanced skill.

Similarly I'd allow someone with an advanced skill in Craft (Poisons) to draw on Lore (Regional) to harvest toxic materials from territories within his homeland.

What would be a shame is if someone was deterred from rounding out their character with Craft (Blacksmith), for example, because they're urged to take Lore (Metallurgy) to be fully effective. They could be forgiven for thinking screw that, I'm sticking those points into a combat style instead.
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby Prime_Evil » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:38 pm

It's interesting you should mention this - you can always use the rules for complementary skill use on p42 of the core rulebook to simulate situations where one skill influences another. I'd probably allow a horse nomad to add a bonus equal to the critical score for his Lore (Regional) or Survival skill to his Lore (Horses) skill when selecting a mount suitable for his home terrain. This approach mean that barbarians and nomads will tend to be superbly adapted to a single environment though as their skills will often complement each other whenever they have the home advantage. On the positive side it does help to differentiate each cultural archetype into individual subtypes - suddenly the horse nomads of the eastern steppes feel quite different to the desert nomads of the southern caliphate...
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Re: Keeping Lore Mundane (But Still Useful)

Postby alex_greene » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:53 pm

Lore (tribe) would focus on the legends and accomplishments of that tribe's ancestors, the knowledge of its circuit and so on - that's their Lore (regional), and it'd include knowledge of where their tribal foaling grounds are and where they'd meet the herds of migratory food animals they subsist on.

Culture (tribe), their Culture (regional), would include the high ceremonial dates marked on their calendars - their foaling days where the tribe pitches camp in the ceremonial grounds and lets the herd females deliver their new foals; the wintering days, when they settle down to overwinter; and of course the human equivalent of the foaling, where the young men and women of the community are introduced to the first of their steed partners and the tribe's adults get to play polo and show off.

And Lore (steeds) would be legends about the wild horses known to graze on the steppes - horses never tamed, or even touched, by human hands, which of course would be the source of fresh blood that keeps the tribal herd's gene pool strong, along with a whole lot of stuff about ancestral horse spirits, legends about horses in ancient times that could split rocks and spark lightning with their hoofbeats and ride in the sky like the swift winter winds.

As for Lore (Metalsmith), I think the player could be persuaded to come back into the Lore fold if it were renamed Lore(The Secret of Cold Steel) ...
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