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Improving the Read/Write skill


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My group has a pc, an orlanth adventerous entertainer, who does not have read/write as a cult or professional skill but took 25% in it at character creation, and wants to improve it further.

Page 60 of the core book states:

"Skills listed on page 61 in bold and shown on the adventurer sheet with a box can be improved during play through experience, training, or research. "

The read/write skill is not in bold on page 61, but does have a check box on the character sheet. This is also the case in the Players Pack pdf. Does this mean it can be improved in play or not?

If the answer is yes, what pc actions might prompt a check? Reading a text, perhaps. What about writing? Would regularly chronicling the seasons advdentures in prose or verse or song qualify?

 

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17 minutes ago, Sid Vicarious said:

Page 60 of the core book states:

"Skills listed on page 61 in bold and shown on the adventurer sheet with a box can be improved during play through experience, training, or research. "

As a GM, do you want Read/write to be increased by experience, training or research? If so, then allow it.

18 minutes ago, Sid Vicarious said:

The read/write skill is not in bold on page 61, but does have a check box on the character sheet. This is also the case in the Players Pack pdf. Does this mean it can be improved in play or not?

Yes, if it has a tick box it can be improved in play, otherwise why have a tick box?

18 minutes ago, Sid Vicarious said:

If the answer is yes, what pc actions might prompt a check? Reading a text, perhaps. What about writing? Would regularly chronicling the seasons advdentures in prose or verse or song qualify?

Reading a difficult text, perhaps. Chronicling the adventurers absolutely.

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

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Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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34 minutes ago, soltakss said:

As a GM, do you want Read/write to be increased by experience, training or research? 

Indeed, a case can be made for either of those, but ultimately we want only what the rules intended. That wasn't obvious, or obvious enough. I was leaning towards the checkbox, but RAW I wasnt sure when the skill wasn't in bold in the skill list. 

Chronicling it is. Cheers!

 

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1 hour ago, Sid Vicarious said:

Indeed, a case can be made for either of those, but ultimately we want only what the rules intended.

The way I see it is that an adventurer can spend time in class learning how to read and write, so the skill can clearly be taught. It could be researched by reading more challenging material. It can be increased through experience by using it.

In many way, the rules need to be taken with a pinch of salt and interpreted in whichever way fits your game.

Spoiler

There is a theme running through one of the seasons of the excellent Resurrection: Ertugrul where Bamsi, a sensitive thug of a warrior, attends a class full of kids learning to read and write, because he wants to be more like the educated Ertugrul.

 

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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2 hours ago, Sid Vicarious said:

My group has a pc, an orlanth adventerous entertainer, who does not have read/write as a cult or professional skill but took 25% in it at character creation, and wants to improve it further.

Page 60 of the core book states:

"Skills listed on page 61 in bold and shown on the adventurer sheet with a box can be improved during play through experience, training, or research. "

The read/write skill is not in bold on page 61, but does have a check box on the character sheet. This is also the case in the Players Pack pdf. Does this mean it can be improved in play or not?

The text on page 61 is correct, the character sheets are incorrect.

Thanks for spotting this. I've added it to the Corrections and Q&A Adventurer Sheet page.

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The non-checkable knowledge skills are some of the worst rules in all of RQG.  Very very very few adventurers are going to spend seasons of time doing nothing else to increase these skills.  Scholar-type characters are completely unplayable in all but a few rare campaign styles.  That's why absolutely nobody I know uses the RAW for lores.

Your player was very wise to pick that +25% Read/Write in character creation.  It would take roughly two years, solely devoted to training, to increase by 25% in play.  You'll miss out on some other stuff, like the freaking Hero Wars.

Should I tell you how I really feel?  :-)

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1 hour ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

The non-checkable knowledge skills are some of the worst rules in all of RQG.  Very very very few adventurers are going to spend seasons of time doing nothing else to increase these skills.  Scholar-type characters are completely unplayable in all but a few rare campaign styles.  That's why absolutely nobody I know uses the RAW for lores.

well I think that is good to have a difference between knowledge skills and others but I agree the raw system is too hard for me

 

I have two  house rules :

1)  you can have occupational check with any skill, even knowledge

2) when you train/study a knowledge skill the cost is not the full season but something like :

0 --> 25% you lose 1 check of occupational experience

26 --> 50% you lose 2 checks

51 --> 75% you lose 3 checks

76 --> 100% you have no time for any job

 

with only raw I see only 3 ways (2 hypothetical)  to raise effectively knowledge:

- become a LM sorcerer (other schools probably too)

- succeed some heroquest "find the truth" and gain in return +x% in any lore

- read book giving +x% (except if books are  considered as "teacher" )

 

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11 hours ago, Scotty said:

The text on page 61 is correct, the character sheets are incorrect.

Thanks for spotting this.

Now I wish I hadn't spotted it. Or at least kept my mouth shut.

I suppose the ruling is consistent with the rules for other Knowleage skills, except...

...on page 113 of the Adventure Book, where characters can gain 1d6% in Cult Lore (Orlanth) by looking ("careful study") at a fresco. As opposed to a full season of research or study.

 

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38 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

with only raw I see only 3 ways (2 hypothetical)  to raise effectively knowledge:

- become a LM sorcerer (other schools probably too)

- succeed some heroquest "find the truth" and gain in return +x% in any lore

- read book giving +x% (except if books are  considered as "teacher" )

and -> GM gives +x% bonus from adventure/session because you encountered x, y, or z that you did not know before.

Also, I don't think becoming a LM sorcerer is a requirement.  Every cult has Cult Lore, and there are folk who have been to and know about other places.  This all works as training and research.

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5 minutes ago, Sid Vicarious said:

...on page 113 of the Adventure Book, where characters can gain 1d6% in Cult Lore (Orlanth) by looking ("careful study") at a fresco. As opposed to a full season of research or study.

This falls into the GM discretion category.  If you're wandering about Clearwine and the Colymar lands, there's only so much you are going to pick up.  You can roll Homeland Lore all you want, but beyond a basic level that's not going to give you new insight (and that's why I'm comfortable with the general lack of skill checks on knowledge skills). 

But, if you discover and investigate the Rainbow Mounds, or go and meet Tarndisi for the first time, then I'd probably assign an increase % based on that.  It's effectively research in the field. 

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21 minutes ago, Sid Vicarious said:

Now I wish I hadn't spotted it. Or at least kept my mouth shut.

I suppose the ruling is consistent with the rules for other Knowleage skills...

Honestly, don't let it hold you or your players back if the rules aren't consistent with play.  Does the head lead the heart, or vice versa?

!i!

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Even Chaosium fudges this, perhaps without thinking.  Consider Sorala, the pre-generated character.  If we assume she rolled average on her training checks, i.e. +2.5% per training, it takes two years to go up 25%.  She has a 10% Knowledge Bonus

  • Read/Write Auld Wyrmish 60%           - that took 4 years of study
  • Read/Write New Pelorian 50%            - about 3 years of study
  • Read/Write Theyalan 90%                   - about 5 years (see note a below)
  • Empire of Wyrm’s Friends Lore 35%   - 2 years
  • Old Pavis Lore 60%                              - 4 years
  • Bureaucracy 50%                                 - 3 years

I may have missed some, but that's 21 years.  Did she start studying when she was born, and do nothing else?

(note a) I'm not sure how you can ever get to more than ~80% in a non-checkable Lore Skill, because you can't train above 75%

Anyway, in conclusion, yes, please modify the rules to better suit your campaign and players.  We cut the training time to 4 weeks of a season, so you could either get 2 training checks per season, or just get 1 training yet still get either your "occupational" checks, or else "real" checks from an adventure.

Edited by Rodney Dangerduck
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51 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Also, I don't think becoming a LM sorcerer is a requirement. 

I said that because the "logician" spell, the only good way to improve knowledge skill as raw.

20 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

because you can't train above 75%

this limit is for skill with experience check, so not for knowledge one :

Quote

any ability listed on the adventurer sheet at or above 75% with an experience check box cannot be trained

 

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10 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

well I think that is good to have a difference between knowledge skills and others but I agree the raw system is too hard for 

 

with only raw I see only 3 ways (2 hypothetical)  to raise effectively knowledge:

- become a LM sorcerer (other schools probably too)

- succeed some heroquest "find the truth" and gain in return +x% in any lore

- read book giving +x% (except if books are  considered as "teacher" )

 

One reason our skald pc was so keen on improving the read/write skill was a post by (I think) Jeff talking about lore books at Jonstown that when successfully read would confer a % improvement to certain lore skills. I think this was to do with the Starter Set. A new but offical  RAW method of adding to lore is  most welcome, but a pc needs to be able to make a read check to do so. 

 

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40 minutes ago, Sid Vicarious said:

One reason our skald pc was so keen on improving the read/write skill was a post by (I think) Jeff talking about lore books at Jonstown that when successfully read would confer a % improvement to certain lore skills.

RQ2 had books that increased skills when you read them as magic items. Presumably this is the same thing.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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On 3/17/2021 at 3:00 PM, Sid Vicarious said:

One reason our skald pc was so keen on improving the read/write skill was a post by (I think) Jeff talking about lore books at Jonstown that when successfully read would confer a % improvement to certain lore skills. I think this was to do with the Starter Set. A new but offical  RAW method of adding to lore is  most welcome, but a pc needs to be able to make a read check to do so. 

 

There's a post in here about "magic" books and scrolls... Has some details on this.

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2 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

There's a post in here about "magic" books and scrolls... Has some details on this.

Yes, that was the one. https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/9940-books-and-scrolls/?tab=comments#comment-147426

Accroding to Jeff, its from RQC, not the Starter Set. Still, it was nice to see today we got a glimpse of the Stater Set contents placed over a map of Jonstown. 

 

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On 3/16/2021 at 9:20 PM, French Desperate WindChild said:

(except if books are  considered as "teacher" )

This seems like a great rule - either allow the book to serve as a teacher, or at least have it apply a bonus to the Research success roll.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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