New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby ryhopewood » Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:53 am

A few years ago I worked out some design guidelines for Cultures and Professions using MRQ2. They may be of some use in Legend.

Ian

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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby Prime_Evil » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:09 pm

Loz wrote:
I ve noticed that some professions total 50%, but thats not the case for all,which had me wondering if its meant to be more random...
Which ones don't total +50?

I don't have Legend, but I doubt that the skill distribution was altered between MRQII and Legend - and in MRQII, all the professions equal +50. I've just been through all the MRQII professions and checked they come out the same: they do.

Common Skills are either +5 or +10
Combat Styles are +10
Advanced Skills = 10.

Pete and I took great care to ensure that each profession was balanced in terms of skill distribution. So, unless someone involved in Legend's conversion changed things, then they should still remain balanced.
So I presume that each magical skill is worth 10 points out of the available budget of 50 points, just like other Advanced skills?

Were similar guidelines followed when designing the skill distribution for each cultural background?

I presume that the way that career skill points are allocated in RQ 6 was changed to provide greater flexibility to players with a strong character concept?
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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby Loz » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:56 pm

So I presume that each magical skill is worth 10 points out of the available budget of 50 points, just like other Advanced skills?
Yes. They count as Advanced Skills.
Were similar guidelines followed when designing the skill distribution for each cultural background?
Yes.
I presume that the way that career skill points are allocated in RQ 6 was changed to provide greater flexibility to players with a strong character concept?
Greater flexibility, irrespective of the strength of character concept.

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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby soltakss » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:56 pm

Prime_Evil wrote:So I presume that each magical skill is worth 10 points out of the available budget of 50 points, just like other Advanced skills?
If you do that then everything balances nicely.

Magical skills don't appear in Cultural Backgrounds, but Combat Styles do, if each style and advanced skill costs 10 then they all balance.

It was a bit of a shock, to be honest ...
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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:57 pm

While I REALLY appreciate the effort that went into balancing the skills, I think that Alex has a bit of a valid point when he increases the base value for his Aviator. Not sure I agree with the amount he increased it though.

For Professions that are from a more advanced society than a Bronze/Iron age or even Medievel society, it is likely that the base skill % might be a bit higher due to advanced teaching and learning techniques. I pilot able to use a flight simulator should get something for that. A space pilot with mnemonic memory techniques and RNA learning enhancements should have a higher base percentage than a fur-clad barbarian.

If Legend is going to expand out of the fantasy genera into a true generic game system, then somehow this needs to be accounted for.
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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby soltakss » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:04 pm

The thing is, a basic Aviator would be as skilled as aviating as a basic craftsman is at crafting.

I would say that the basic Adventurer is at the "Just out of flying school" level. If you want a more seasoned Adventurer then use the relevant rules for that.

One of the flaws in Legend Character Generation is that no matter what level the Adventurer, the profession bonuses are the same. This is something I tried to address with my new Adventure Creation rules, so a Hero level Adventurer gets 90 points to spend on Profession as opposed to the Basic 50 points.

The difference is made up by using Free Spend points. That is how you get the skilled Aviator, not by bumping up the Aviator's basic points.
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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby Olaus Petrus » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:58 pm

I've got to agree with soltakss that if you want experienced space age character, then just make the character more seasoned. While aviator might have lots of technical knowledge, that fur-clad barbarian is probably better hunter, farmer and viking than the aviator guy, who probably knows nothing about tilling soil, tracking animals or sailing the longboat.
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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby Lord High Munchkin » Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:26 am

I also wouldn't alter the basic character generation... it is "basic" after all. I'd just make them more seasoned to reflect further training and additional learnt skills.
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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby DamonJynx » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:46 am

You could always just get, Abney Parks, Airship Pirates by Cakebread & Walton and adjust it as fits your campaign.
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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:19 pm

I think you all may have misunderstood my issue.

For a "Just out of school" character, i.e. a basic character, I think that a modern college graduate (22 years old) would have MORE skills than an equivalently aged Caveman. Sure the college kid probably can't chip flint or hunt mammoths with a spear, but his broad-based knowledge is so much higher than an equivalent caveman.

My point was how to represent this larger base knowledge within the Legend rules. If you think my basic assumption is wrong, that a caveman is just as skilled as a college graduate, but in different areas, this is fine, we can discuss that too.
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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby dreamer_prophet » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:39 pm

I think that your assumption here is at best uninformed. A college graduate would probably have the superior resume and outpace the "cave man" (or indeed anyone making their way in a world lacking the privileges and advantages of modernity) in a race for a career in, lets say, pharmaceuticals. But put said graduate in an environment in which he or she must strive to subsist on scarce resources, then they simply would not be able to compete with someone whose skills and expertise have been honed by hard experience to succeed in that setting.

Nevertheless, what folks here are advising is the making of existing and tried and tested game mechanics to achieve a balanced result. That way non-aviator types aren't left feeling short changed and you heading off a situation in which everyone wants to play an aviator. (Unless this is what the GM wants. But then of course, if everyone is an aviator, then there will be no discernible advantage in playing one.)
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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby soltakss » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:19 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:I think you all may have misunderstood my issue.
No, more a matter of not agreeing, I think.
Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:For a "Just out of school" character, i.e. a basic character, I think that a modern college graduate (22 years old) would have MORE skills than an equivalently aged Caveman. Sure the college kid probably can't chip flint or hunt mammoths with a spear, but his broad-based knowledge is so much higher than an equivalent caveman.
Not really.

The thing about skills in RPG is that they are relative. Look at Mathematics, for example. A person from Babylonia who studied Mathematics would be able to count in base 60, calculate the movement of stars and do basic geometry. Someone with the same level of education in the Middle Ages might be a whiz at Euclid, know a fair amount of arithmetic, might even know basic algebra. Someone modern day would be able to do this standing on his head, knowing geometry, algebra, trigonometry, calculus and whatnot. This doesn't mean that the modern day person has a higher Mathematics skill, it just means that the Mathematics skill is relative to the period. A couple of hundred years ago, Sine Curves were cutting edge in mathematics, now they are taught in school.

So, what you have to do is match the skills with the experience. That's what the Basic, Seasoned, Veteran, Master and Hero mean. Someone who has finished school might have Basic skills, someone graduating from college might have Seasoned skills, someone who has been in a profession for some years would have Veteran skills, someone very experienced would have Master skills and only the best in a field would have Hero skills.

Baselines must be setting/period based and relative, not absolutes. Otherwise you get situations where every caveman is a master stoneknapper and modern day people have a basic chance.
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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:51 pm

I guess we do disagree, because I would expect the Mathmatics skill to be able to help me track the differences between a Babylonian Mathmatician and a modern Mathmatician.

If the skill doesn't track that difference, then what game mechanic would cover that issue?

Metalsmithing is another example of where I would expect the SKILL level to help differentiate between the blacksmith that only knows how to work in Copper and Bronze from the one that can work Iron or even Stainless Steel. Working all of those metals would be covered by the same skill. So using your concepts, how would I be able to differentiate them?

I understand your idea of using the Basic, Seasoned, Veteran and Hero skill amounts, but that puts it right back into skill level deciding what you can work as well has how good you are at it.

When all the technologies are about the same, I agree that this sort of hair-splitting is not needed, but in my setting, I have one culture that has just discovered gunpowder, so they are working with a higher level of skills in several areas compared to the stone-age hunter-gatherers on the next land mass over.

To use a real-world example - The blacksmith that came to South America with Cortez and the local blacksmiths for the Incas... How do you differentiate their abilities to work iron (Cortez's man) and only Copper and Gold (Incas)?

I really hope you can help me figure this out, because I am stumped... I REALLY don't want to add a whole "Tech Level" thing to my game ala Traveller or whatever, but I need a way to say "You don't know how to work Iron because your XXX is not YYY".

Thanks!
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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby Olaus Petrus » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:53 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:I guess we do disagree, because I would expect the Mathmatics skill to be able to help me track the differences between a Babylonian Mathmatician and a modern Mathmatician.

If the skill doesn't track that difference, then what game mechanic would cover that issue?

Metalsmithing is another example of where I would expect the SKILL level to help differentiate between the blacksmith that only knows how to work in Copper and Bronze from the one that can work Iron or even Stainless Steel. Working all of those metals would be covered by the same skill. So using your concepts, how would I be able to differentiate them?

I understand your idea of using the Basic, Seasoned, Veteran and Hero skill amounts, but that puts it right back into skill level deciding what you can work as well has how good you are at it.

When all the technologies are about the same, I agree that this sort of hair-splitting is not needed, but in my setting, I have one culture that has just discovered gunpowder, so they are working with a higher level of skills in several areas compared to the stone-age hunter-gatherers on the next land mass over.

To use a real-world example - The blacksmith that came to South America with Cortez and the local blacksmiths for the Incas... How do you differentiate their abilities to work iron (Cortez's man) and only Copper and Gold (Incas)?

I really hope you can help me figure this out, because I am stumped... I REALLY don't want to add a whole "Tech Level" thing to my game ala Traveller or whatever, but I need a way to say "You don't know how to work Iron because your XXX is not YYY".

Thanks!
I don't think the system is designed to represent huge tech differences. Babylonian with 500% mathematics still couldn't figure out some of the modern stuff, because it's so advanced that it would feel like magic to them. Maybe you could have separate skills lore: mathematics (primitive) and lore: mathematics (modern). I don't see anything wrong with it if you tie some lore and craft skills to culture.
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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby rust » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:30 pm

Olaus Petrus wrote: I don't see anything wrong with it if you tie some lore and craft skills to culture.
This is the way I usually handle the problem, with a "Skill (Culture)".

To use the example of mathematics, even one of today's excellent
mathematicians would have a cultural gap problem when forced to
do mathematics with Roman numbers and would find it almost im-
possible to deal with Maya symbols, although the mathematical ope-
rations and their results are identical.

This is equally true for other lores/sciences or crafts, different cultu-
res use different approaches and methods to achieve the same or
sometimes even different results. The "technology level" is - in my
view - for all Legend RPG purposes only a sub-problem of such cul-
tural differences where one culture knows an approach or a method
another culture does not.
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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby DamonJynx » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:31 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:I guess we do disagree, because I would expect the Mathmatics skill to be able to help me track the differences between a Babylonian Mathmatician and a modern Mathmatician.

If the skill doesn't track that difference, then what game mechanic would cover that issue?

Metalsmithing is another example of where I would expect the SKILL level to help differentiate between the blacksmith that only knows how to work in Copper and Bronze from the one that can work Iron or even Stainless Steel. Working all of those metals would be covered by the same skill. So using your concepts, how would I be able to differentiate them?

I understand your idea of using the Basic, Seasoned, Veteran and Hero skill amounts, but that puts it right back into skill level deciding what you can work as well has how good you are at it.

When all the technologies are about the same, I agree that this sort of hair-splitting is not needed, but in my setting, I have one culture that has just discovered gunpowder, so they are working with a higher level of skills in several areas compared to the stone-age hunter-gatherers on the next land mass over.

To use a real-world example - The blacksmith that came to South America with Cortez and the local blacksmiths for the Incas... How do you differentiate their abilities to work iron (Cortez's man) and only Copper and Gold (Incas)?

I really hope you can help me figure this out, because I am stumped... I REALLY don't want to add a whole "Tech Level" thing to my game ala Traveller or whatever, but I need a way to say "You don't know how to work Iron because your XXX is not YYY".

Thanks!
The gunpowder thing is easy, use a specific Lore/Craft skill combo for black powder.

Personally, if you have large differences in technology/ability levels for the same skill I would just add an appropriate Lore skill to differentiate. to use your blacksmith example above;

Incan: Craft (Blacksmith) 80%, Lore (Metallurgy) 24% (base INT)
Spaniard: Craft (Blacksmith) 80%, Lore (Metallurgy) 55%

The Incan and Spaniard can produce the same 'quality' of workmanship, but the Spaniard can do so in 'higher' grades of metal. The Lore skills could be set up so that the % band determines the level of knowledge, example; 0-30% copper and bronze, 31-60% iron and steel and so on.

This methodology can be applied across the whole spectrum of Craft/Lore skills.
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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby rust » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:36 pm

DamonJynx wrote: Incan: Craft (Blacksmith) 80%, Lore (Metallurgy) 24% (base INT)
Spaniard: Craft (Blacksmith) 80%, Lore (Metallurgy) 55%
While it is certainly a good idea, my problem with it would be that it
forces the character to develop two skills instead of only one. I there-
fore think that Craft (Blacksmith/Incan) and Craft (Blacksmith/Spani-
ard) would be a more player friendly approach.
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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby DamonJynx » Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:42 am

@ Rust,

What you suggest is equally viable, however, I don't think the issue is with the Craft skill per se, it is more to do with differences in the level of knowledge possessed by varying cultures.
Let's face facts, the physical process' to make items out of metal uses the same skill sets; you have to heat the material, shape the material and so on, the difference is in the knowledge required to extract and manipulate the ores required, hence why I suggested using a Lore skill to provide the difference. To me that makes more sense. But, as with everything YLMV.
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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby ryhopewood » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:07 pm

Not sure if this has been discussed earlier in the thread but one approach would be to adjust the difficulty levels for each task. As knowledge / tools develop, some tasks become easier / more routine to do than previously and this could be reflected in the GM either requiring a skill roll or adjusting the difficulty modifier. In this way the existing skill levels become relative and don't need adjustment.
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Re: New Professions,skills and Backgrounds

Postby Fonso » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:39 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote: If the skill doesn't track that difference, then what game mechanic would cover that issue?
I think that cultural background defines that, not skill level.

A Spaniard crafter in 1550 could make a wooden wheel for a cart. A Mayan artisan don't knew how to do that. If/when someone teach him, then he could do with his own skill.
If they had 30%, 60% or 90% in their Carpentry skill is not important.
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