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Lloyd Dupont

About APP

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46 minutes ago, Mugen said:

Well, that's how I understand the replacement of CHA by APP in the 80s : POW already covered all the non-intellectual aspects of communication except physical beauty. 

Yes, the idea of someone with a "magnetic personally" has a high POW. In RQ3 APP worked because RQ3 had categories modifiers which increased the skill scores as well as the rate that the skills improved. But most of the BRP variant games such as Elric! and  Call of Cthulhu dropped category modifiers, making APP pretty useless. The few uses for the stat that remained something didn't make sense. For instance the limit on bound magical created made some sense when it was CHA based (it was how many such creatures you could win over or intimidate into obdience) but seems silly with APP (does a fire elemental care if the summoner is cute?).

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In fact.. the more I think about it, the more this discussion can be framed as a matter of taste.. or athmosphere.. so perhaps some idea on when to change one's mind on what system to use might come out ouf it.. ^_^

3 hours ago, Atgxtg said:
Quote

- 3. I find it a bit too easy to make a warrior-mage-thief-alchemist with skillmark. Whereas with XP, one can do it too, but it takes a bit more effort

Your the first I've ever heard claim so. Not only that, but this statement seems to contradict  you previous 2 points. If only combat skills are going up and the other skills are lagging behind, then then how did their mage, their and alchemist skills go up?

it doesn't contradict my statement, it just highlight that there are skills that are used less often in adventure, maybe once in a while... and probably not in "stressful" or "critical" situation.. so they never or seldom get checkmark...and then one need them they are low....
Thing like languages, sciences, engineerings, crafts, arts, teach, technical skills, ....
Although it might be argued... if they are seldom used.. maybe they are really irrelevant... or my GM is not creative enough... 
But anyway I am frustrated they don't increase as fast as sword skill....

On the other hand.. in an adventure.. everybody is going  to put stealth, combat magic, weapon skill, potion and medicine to good relevant use, or could easily do so...The warrior-mage-thief-alchemist is my favorite class in Oblivion, Skyrim, etc... and I do it in BRP too.. But it's so easy with skill check mark... I want to slow it down...

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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3 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I think that has something to do with how skills work in BRP games as much as how improvement is handled. Generally speaking, players don't want to fail, and so avoid making skill rolls for skills below 10 (50% in BRP). In other games, difficulties are often scaled. So someone who has Boating +5 in a D20 game can row across a pond with an easy (TN 10) roll most of the time. With BRP games, such situations sometimes have a skills modifier or even a difficulty multiplier but more likely do not, or the modifier isn't as significant a factor. For instance a character with Boating 25% in BRP who doubles it for a easy roll is still failing half the time. This tends to make low rated skills practically useless, and something only used as a matter of last resort. For example,  a character trapped on the third floor of a burning building might use Jump 20% to reduce the falling damage, as it a better than nothing, but the same character probably isn't going around jumping over hedges.

Initially I was using multiple or +/-20%.. but I am getting to appreciate x2 /2 modifiers instead! ^_^ 
For that very reason!

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19 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Since we are debating it.. Another 3 problems I fear from skill check marks, and I am curious to read your repartee:

- 1. Most players will increase all their combat skills... And almost no player will increase any other skills... and most player will end up looking the same

Yes, most player will increase MOST of their combat skills, if there are combats (normally, there are some), but also most players will also increase quite a lot of other skills, and as skills used are different from one character to another, they will be increasingly different. In my BRP experience (mostly RQ, but also quite a number of other), the only skill that ALL players tried to increase was 'first aid'.

19 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

- 2. most of the other skill will rarely if ever increase

Please see just above.

19 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

- 3. I find it a bit too easy to make a warrior-mage-thief-alchemist with skillmark. Whereas with XP, one can do it too, but it takes a bit more effort

No, it is very difficult, because you have to use successfuly the skills, and then success the check roll. It is in fact easier when the player spent points where he wants (James Bond 007 or Hero system come to my mind, even if in JB007, the mage-alchemist part is a bit difficult to obtain).

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6 minutes ago, Kloster said:

Yes, most player will increase MOST of their combat skills, if there are combats (normally, there are some), but also most players will also increase quite a lot of other skills, and as skills used are different from one character to another, they will be increasingly different. In my BRP experience (mostly RQ, but also quite a number of other), the only skill that ALL players tried to increase was 'first aid'.

Yes, it is an example of cause and effect. If the campaign one one that mostly revolves around combat, then combat skills will get the most improvement. If the campaign uses other skills a lot, then those skills will tend to get improved more. 

6 minutes ago, Kloster said:

No, it is very difficult, because you have to use successfuly the skills, and then success the check roll. It is in fact easier when the player spent points where he wants (James Bond 007 or Hero system come to my mind, even if in JB007, the mage-alchemist part is a bit difficult to obtain).

Exactly. That, or in the case of some BRP games, spend a lot of time training. But a lot of that will depend on the GM. For instance, how wasy is is to get a skill check and how much free time characters have to train depend heavily on the GM. I once played in a campaign where the character had a lot of down time travelling from port to port on a ship, and we all had lots of time for training and practice. I've played in other campaigns where we were lucky to be able to squeeze in a week's training. 

Funny you should mention the James Bond 007 RPG. WE recently started playing that after spending the last year and a half playing Pendragon. One of the big differences between games is just how much control players have over the character's abilities in Bond compared to Pendragon. In Bond you can pretty much build whatever sort of character you want, as long as the points hold out. In Pendragon, you are far more limited in how your starting character comes out. That actually made things a little trickier for my players as they suddenly had a lot more freedom in their character design. - which meant they had to freedom to design characters poorly. Also, while the Bond RPG has far fewer skills than Pendragon, it actually tends to use more skills requiring more diverse characters. 

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4 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

In fact.. the more I think about it, the more this discussion can be framed as a matter of taste.. or athmosphere.. so perhaps some idea on when to change one's mind on what system to use might come out ouf it.. ^_^

To some extent. There is aslo a matter of play styles. Things that are easy to do in one campaign, under one GM might be diffiuclt in another campaign, under another GM.

4 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

it doesn't contradict my statement, it just highlight that there are skills that are used less often in adventure, maybe once in a while..

1) That depends on the game being run.Let me give you an example, Some time back when Decipher's Star Trek RPG came out there was someone posting on one of the forums that the game was unbalanced because he could create a security character with nearly maxed out combat skills, and could max them out by third advancement (level) or so. This was pretty much true, but the character was completely useless in a diplomatic adventure. Spo if playing in a D&D style game, the character was a superman, but in a Star Trek campaign more like the TV series, the character was something of a liability. 

2) The same is even more true in a XP award system. Basically if a player isn't going to be using a skill why would he waste points to improve it, when he know that he will be using another skill?

 

 

 

4 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

and probably not in "stressful" or "critical" situation.. so they never or seldom get checkmark...and then one need them they are low....

THen why are you rolling? The idea of a skill roll is that is is required because the situation is important and success matter, and the situation is stressful. My house rule in Pendragon is that s that if it is work rolling for then it is worth a check mark.

4 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Thing like languages, sciences, engineerings, crafts, arts, teach, technical skills, ....
Although it might be argued... if they are seldom used.. maybe they are really irrelevant... or my GM is not creative enough... 
But anyway I am frustrated they don't increase as fast as sword skill....

The write adentures where they are just an important as sword skill. Otherwise they will always go up slower, expeciallyin games where players get limited picks to improve. 

4 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

On the other hand.. in an adventure.. everybody is going  to put stealth, combat magic, weapon skill, potion and medicine to good relevant use, or could easily do so...The warrior-mage-thief-alchemist is my favorite class in Oblivion, Skyrim, etc... and I do it in BRP too.. But it's so easy with skill check mark... I want to slow it down...

Except is isn't all that easy in BRP. Typically improvment in one field comes at the expense of others, or with risk. I used to have players who thought that changing melee weapons in combat was a cheap way to get lots of weapon skill checks. What they failed to consider is that changing weapons increases the risk that the bad guys will roll a crit and kill the PC.

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6 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

2) The same is even more true in a XP award system. Basically if a player isn't going to be using a skill why would he waste points to improve it, when he know that he will be using another skill?

This is really the best objective argument, as far as I am concerned... In fact I thought it too before and I looked (and still looking) at the skill list and wonder whether they are all that needed or how I could find new way to put them more into play....

The rest.. well, we have different experience..

 

6 hours ago, Kloster said:

No, it is very difficult, because you have to use successfuly the skills, and then success the check roll. It is in fact easier when the player spent points where he wants

Well.. I guess it depends on the GM then...
In one session you can easily fight with spell and weapons, sneak around, climb something, break some traps, lie and hindsight, analyse something and influence someone one.. yet typically I only give 3~4xp per session... a much lower number that the many skill mark one would get otherwise...

 

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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6 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Well.. I guess it depends on the GM then...

Yes, you are right. And of the players, of course.

6 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

In one session you can easily fight with spell and weapons, sneak around, climb something, break some traps, lie and hindsight, analyse something and influence someone one.. yet typically I only give 3~4xp per session... a much lower number that the many skill mark one would get otherwise..

In our last RQ3 campaign, I once had around 20 checks for combat skills and over 30 for non combat, in one session.

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12 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

This is really the best objective argument, as far as I am concerned... In fact I thought it too before and I looked (and still looking) at the skill list and wonder whether they are all that needed or how I could find new way to put them more into play....

Pretty much.

One of the things about BRP is that is has a very long skill list, so a lot of skills are not going to be used often, which makes them inherently less useful to the characters. There are so many that is become unreasonable for a GM to expect that the players will be good at all the skills, and has to account for that when designing adventures.. Now both the GM (by adventure design) and players (by character design) get to decide which skills are useful and which aren't.  For instance a player who invest a lot of his starting skill points into Sword is expecting to use Sword skill quite a bit in the game. A GM who writes adventures based around skills they know the players lack (for instance an adventure that somehow requires a successful Mineral Lore roll) is setting them up to fail. One of the nice things about combat skills is that they are somewhat interchangeable in an adventure. It doesn't usually matter if the PCs use swords, axes, spear, or maces against the bandits. Just as long as they can fight competently. 

The advantage of a shorter skill list is that there is a much greater chance of the PCs being competent in any one skill important to the adventure , and less likely that they will lack a skill crucial to the adventure. A secondary advantage is that is also makes it a bit easier for the GM to rotate other skills into an adventure, as there is only a couple of dozen to choose from. The drawback is the risk of characters becoming identical, or nearly so - especially if htey try to mini-max to be most effective. 

 

12 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

The rest.. well, we have different experience..

Undoubtedly. But, my main point remains. When resources are scare players will tend to conserve those resources to use towards the things that matter the most. It's why you see a lot more RQ characters with Sword or Spear skill than with Basket-weaving or Pottery. It's not because Swords and Spears are more useful in the setting, only that they are more useful to adventuring characters. 

12 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Well.. I guess it depends on the GM then...
In one session you can easily fight with spell and weapons, sneak around, climb something, break some traps, lie and hindsight, analyse something and influence someone one.. yet typically I only give 3~4xp per session

You're arguing on both sides here. If award only 3-4XP per session then the player is going to have to decide where to spend those 3-4 XP and thus is either going to concentrate them into 3-4 key skills and so improve quickly, or spread them out over multiple skills and advance much more slowly, and thus fall behind the other characters in his core skills. It's pretty much the same as single classed or multi-classed characters.Of course it depends a lot on how many session get played between improvement rolls too.

12 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

... a much lower number that the many skill mark one would get otherwise...

Possibly. It depends on how many XP you give out, and how often the players get the chance to spend them vs. how easy is is to get check and how often players get to roll for improvement. Generally for a character in a BRP game to get checks in all those skills typically requires multiple rolls with multiple successes, and that's not all that easy for characters until they get good at a lot of things. Not to mention the consequences that go along with failing some of those rolls along the way. 

One of the ways that XP awards can jump ahead is is long adventures. In a skill check game a character can reach a point where most of the skills he is using are checked already, which virtually caps him out, while XP awards per session can accumulate. That is also one of the ways that lead can to more diverse XP characters, assuming they can't spend more than one improvement per skill at one time. 

 

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Also, in a tick system, you need to use a skill, and eventually succeed at it (even though GMs may rule a significant failure is also worth a check) to earn an experience check.

As I said earlier, if you've been doing something regularly in an adventure, and no interesting event occurs that need a roll, you won't increase your skill.

And if you're in a BRP game that doesn't use training and/or study, you will never learn a new skill at all.

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