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inwils

What! No courtesy skill?

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I always think that if a player has invested points into a particular skill then there should be an opportunity to use it in the game. Often, with social skills, players use their natural role playing ability to cover these skills. I really do try to insist that they have the opportunity to use a skill so that even if they role play a wonderful influence conversation, they still need to roll the skill to see if there are successful.

But I was wondering how people play professional skills. For example, as the title might suggest, courtesy? If the character does not have this skill - are they allowed to attempt to be courteous in a situation? Do these skills default to another with the difficulty increasing? I would really like to explore how other GMs play this.

If you have a really great method then please do let me know :)

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But I was wondering how people play professional skills. For example, as the title might suggest, courtesy? If the character does not have this skill - are they allowed to attempt to be courteous in a situation? Do these skills default to another with the difficulty increasing? I would really like to explore how other GMs play this.

Most Professional skills have a Standard skill counterpart that can act as a substitute at a penalty. In the case of Courtesy, then Customs or Influence, but at Hard or Formidable, reflecting the fact that they may lack of nuances required by the Courtesy skill.

I do agree that even where the player may be more eloquent than the character, a roll should determine the outcome.

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Also, there are plenty of skills which need special training (e.g. neurosurgery) and others which have a lot of cultural/normal teaching (e.g. courtesy).

Someone un-trained at Courtesy is likely to do better at this skill, than is someone untrained at Neurosurgery likely to do at that skill.

Generalize as best suits your own table's tastes.

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18 hours ago, lawrence.whitaker said:

Most Professional skills have a Standard skill counterpart that can act as a substitute at a penalty. In the case of Courtesy, then Customs or Influence, but at Hard or Formidable, reflecting the fact that they may lack of nuances required by the Courtesy skill.

I do agree that even where the player may be more eloquent than the character, a roll should determine the outcome.

I thought that might be the case, I was just wondering how the skill system scales at higher levels. I wanted to avoid characters just putting points into Influence instead of a courtesy skill, because it will have more 'uses'.

I know in some systems there is no default skill for certain advanced skills. I just wanted to really award the player who had invested in the skills, rather than letting someone who has a high influence skill make the roll over them. I think I will leave it to my players - that seem fair,

Thanks for your replies 

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On 10/19/2019 at 9:42 AM, inwils said:

But I was wondering how people play professional skills. For example, as the title might suggest, courtesy? If the character does not have this skill - are they allowed to attempt to be courteous in a situation? Do these skills default to another with the difficulty increasing? I would really like to explore how other GMs play this.

What I do is to let the PC use one skill, or another skill at a penalty. If they have both skills, then one skill can augment the other skill.

For me, it doesn't matter what the skill name is, as much as how it is used.

 

On 10/19/2019 at 9:42 AM, inwils said:

If you have a really great method then please do let me know :)

My method is to use Revolution D100's skills and traits. So, you would have a Communication skill with a Courtesy trait, if you wanted it, or a Noble trait, or a Chivalry trait. i play that you can stack applicable traits, but each trait gives you +10, which isn't how Paolo plays it. But is suits us.

That way, you don't have to invest in a lot of skills that you only ever use once or twice. Instead, you have a core skill and a number of Traits that you occasionally use. I think it works better.

It does come with its own problems, though, For example, the Skilled Generalist might have a high skill and can apply it to many different areas, so someone with Knowledge 90% knows about anything knowledge-based. I treat that as having a broad base, but any particular speciality needs a Trait or is at -30. So, someone with Craft 90% (Cobbler, Weaponsmith, Mason) would only have 60% with embroidery, for example.

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Yes, that is a serious problem with that approach.  When you suddenly start applying penalties to all of the traits that you don't know, it's kinda backward from the usual d100 ethos.  It's like the Mad Hatter and co., celebrating unbirthdays.

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"Courtesy" is really culture-based.  While there may be common elements in what is considered courteous across cultures, there are also many differences.  Knowing those differences can be the difference between being well-received and ill-received..  So, it may be useful to have Courtesy (Culture) skills.

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2 hours ago, ThornPlutonius said:

"Courtesy" is really culture-based.  While there may be common elements in what is considered courteous across cultures, there are also many differences.  Knowing those differences can be the difference between being well-received and ill-received...

Culture can be surprisingly local too. Being from the West Coast and going to a 'big fancy' wedding in New York City, I felt like an utter troglodyte. They sat me with the musicians so anything I did/said would seem less odd... but really, there was so much stuff that I had no clue about, despite having been to plenty of weddings at home (somehow, I suspect the NYC visitor would be as confused out here... I don't think we have as many traditions... or something... suggesting some courtesies are more complex/harder than others).

Edited by Simlasa
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1 hour ago, Simlasa said:

'big fancy' wedding in New York City

... and i reckon it were a Christian wedding, or a "we're not getting Christian married but somehow the trappings are Christian", because a Jewish wedding is, uh

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12 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

... and i reckon it were a Christian wedding, or a "we're not getting Christian married but somehow the trappings are Christian", because a Jewish wedding is, uh

Oh yeah... super duper christian, with two pastors in the family.
I've never been to a Jewish wedding... only seen what's shown in the movies.

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Courtesy is a central skill in some campaign worlds.

In the MYTHRAS campaign-setting I am currently working on, there is a culture where the skill is essential for all courtly and political concerns. So much so that the skill value in Courtesy is the skill cap for all other social skills in these circumstances.
That is, characters who are at the top of society in this culture, and thus in the center of power, should be well trained in this skill.

As always, what certain skills can or can't do depends on the setting. In other settings the skill doesn't even exist.

Edited by prinz.slasar
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