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Edu stat values?


peterb

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I'm in the process of updating the data in my creature generator spreadsheet with data from the new BRP book. Since I really only support the generation of fantasy creatures at the moment and I want to include the EDU stat, I wonder what a reasonable stating value is. Given it's fantasy creatures - maybe just 1d6?

Peter Brink

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I would think it would have to be different for every creature. Dragons are usually considered very smart, but where to they get their education from? I've never heard of a character finding a gigantic dragon's primary education book or college textbooks.

I think it would be very dependent upon the culture that the creature comes from.

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Maybe it should be related to their intellect rating... being smart enough to learn something implies that they must know something... even if it's just a good understanding of the countryside or maybe the ways of man. Maybe have limited understanding of local common languages... or how to outsmart traps... or how to imitate the sounds/tracks of other creatures. Education/Intellect wouldn't necessarily mean they can recite Shakespeare, but they'd probably have a good pragmatic understanding of their environment and how to use it for their own interests.

Any sort of were-creature might need it... though I'd put them on some continuum between absolute feral (raised by wolves)... to the sophisticated urban shape-changer.

Most of the dragons I've put into games also had shape changing abilities... being able to pass among men with certain limitations (maybe only at night, or only once a year, or only for a limited time).

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It seems like most of the RW animals we consider 'smart' also have groups/cultures... like chimps/gorillas/dolphins/whales... they have 'laws' and hierarchies and punishments. Does that count as a 'culture'? Is it something they are educated about after they are born?

I've heard people say that animals that have never been around people are not instinctively afraid of them... if that's true it implies some sort of 'learning'... to be afraid of something.

If you had a dog that could do a lot of tricks would he be considered to have a higher 'education' than a wild dog?

Circus/rodeo animals vs. animals in the woods?

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Honestly, I'm not sure that you would need it for every creature. Dragons, yes, they are "sentient"; a dog or lion on the other hand are not and probably shouldn't have Edu at all.

SDLeary

I'd probably agree with this. You don't need it for skill points, it's not like their going to be making KNOWLEDGE rolls - presumably you'll make their decisions and insights for them. I probably wouldn't bother. As a GM, I'd hate to have an NPC who's learning made them do something I didn't want them to.

Blessed Be,

)O( Mike )O

http://web.mac.com/boghouse/iWeb

"So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around?"

~You've Got Mail (1998 film)

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I agree that the EDU stat certainly makes most sense with sentient beings. In fact it's probably best (and easiest) to rule that a fixed INT creatures never has any EDU. They might be cunning, act with a plan (as some RW spiders seems to do) and be able to learn things (dogs being good examples) but Knowledge is, at least in-game, defined as a sentient being's reflections on the world around them.

That being said, one still has to decide what EDU score's people from various cultures have. In imperial Rome the children of the wealthy went to school, in mediaeval times the monks had access to lots of lore, but as we all know formal education is still even in these days reserved the wealthy (I here treat all who live in the developed countries as "wealthy"...).

Another thing one have to decide is how to interpret the EDU stat. The rules mention one point of EDU per year in school as a benchmark. Informal education does count however. So what EDU would an average peasant in mediaeval times have? It would depend on what the EDU score means. Lets say we give the peasant 3 points of EDU. Would that mean that he would only have a 15% chance of knowing the name of the King? If reasoned that he would have, at least, a 50% chance of knowing such a fact - would that mean that the EDU stat should be generated by rolling 3d6?

I think, but I'd like to reach some consensus here since I want my spreadsheet to be useful to more people than my self, that you need to keep the EDU score down until you get well-developed societies (in the sense we put in the word "well-developed") and instead award the mediaeval peasant a bonus to his Know roll when trying to remember the name of the King and other well known facts.

I would grant a 50 percentiles bonus to a know roll for well known facts (such as the name of the King), a 25 percentiles bonus to less well known but still widespread knowledge (Is the King married?) and a normal Know roll for things that a peasant might know (what is the name of the King's eldest child, is this herb poisonous?). In effect what we get is a bonus to the Know roll that depends on either the distance between the object and the character or how widespread the information is. I would use the terms: local, regional, distant and very distant.

[table]Region|Modification

Local|+50

Regional|+25

Distant|0

Very Distant|-25[/table]

So my solution for a fantasy setting would be to grant a base EDU of 1d6 and then grant extra points of EDU depending on background and profession. As an example one could rule that a child of a noble that enters the clergy would have an EDU of 1d6 + 3 +3.

Peter Brink

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I would think some things wouldn't require a roll at all (ie the peasants all likely know the kings name). As for the obscurity of the other stuff, I personally would probably modify the PLAYER'S roll when they're using a skill aimed at peasants (ie presumably the peasants need to know this because some PC is talking to them).

Otherwise, personally I'd probably look at 6-8 EDU for a peasant. Sure he may not know math, but he's been taught to do something - from fix a shoe to plow a field - plus they have their own "street smarts". I don't know what I'd be likely to use the stat for, though.

Blessed Be,

)O( Mike )O

http://web.mac.com/boghouse/iWeb

"So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around?"

~You've Got Mail (1998 film)

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The problem seems to me be that the EDU stat is quite elusive. It's supposed to be 'general knowledge'. Even today there are people that cannot be bothered to remember the names of well-known politicians and even heads of state (I have run into people who didn't know the name of the current prime minister or the name of the Crown Princess...). So I guess one has to first decide what's meant by 'general knowledge' and how good an average person would be at remembering this general knowledge. Would we, for example, know that the world was round unless we had been thought so in school? Would we know the name of the first person on the moon? Or even that man has sett his foot on the moon?

I guess I'm a bit pessimistic about the level of knowledge people had in pre-modern times, even if I'm fully aware of that past generations knew lots of stuff that we don't remember today - but that lore is included in skills such as Knowledge (Natural History) and Craft (Bone Carving).

Peter Brink

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I guess I'm a bit pessimistic about the level of knowledge people had in pre-modern times, even if I'm fully aware of that past generations knew lots of stuff that we don't remember today - but that lore is included in skills such as Knowledge (Natural History) and Craft (Bone Carving).

We get most of this kind of knowledge from schooling (and literacy and TV) but that's not the only way this kind of thing gets passed on. A non-literate person probably knows his culture's teaching about the world's shape (whether round, flat, or turtle-back-shaped) and may know the name of the mountain range that the sun is supposed to rise from, even if neither he nor anyone he knows have ever been there. You learn this stuff from stories, from recited poetry, from participatory religion. It's not the sort of thing that is easily tracked by skills (unless you want zillions of them cluttering up the character sheet). It's a good thing to have EDU to handle it. A medieval peasant might be able to identify a camel because he saw one in a mystery play; a modern person might know that wolves regurgitate food for their young because they saw it on a wildlife program. You could give them a low level of skill in dozens of such areas, but it's easier to just track their EDU and give them a Know roll when it comes up in play.

It's true that someone without access to the written word isn't going to be as up on current events because the "speed of knowledge" is slower. The name of the guy running the country isn't going to be passed along as quickly when a change happens (and if you're a peasant in a remote village, you probably don't care anyway, and might forget it a few days after you hear about it). So exactly what EDU covers may vary from time period to time period.

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I agree that the EDU stat certainly makes most sense with sentient beings. In fact it's probably best (and easiest) to rule that a fixed INT creatures never has any EDU. They might be cunning, act with a plan (as some RW spiders seems to do) and be able to learn things (dogs being good examples) but Knowledge is, at least in-game, defined as a sentient being's reflections on the world around them.

That being said, one still has to decide what EDU score's people from various cultures have. In imperial Rome the children of the wealthy went to school, in mediaeval times the monks had access to lots of lore, but as we all know formal education is still even in these days reserved the wealthy (I here treat all who live in the developed countries as "wealthy"...).

Another thing one have to decide is how to interpret the EDU stat. The rules mention one point of EDU per year in school as a benchmark. Informal education does count however. So what EDU would an average peasant in mediaeval times have? It would depend on what the EDU score means. Lets say we give the peasant 3 points of EDU. Would that mean that he would only have a 15% chance of knowing the name of the King? If reasoned that he would have, at least, a 50% chance of knowing such a fact - would that mean that the EDU stat should be generated by rolling 3d6?

I think, but I'd like to reach some consensus here since I want my spreadsheet to be useful to more people than my self, that you need to keep the EDU score down until you get well-developed societies (in the sense we put in the word "well-developed") and instead award the mediaeval peasant a bonus to his Know roll when trying to remember the name of the King and other well known facts.

I would grant a 50 percentiles bonus to a know roll for well known facts (such as the name of the King), a 25 percentiles bonus to less well known but still widespread knowledge (Is the King married?) and a normal Know roll for things that a peasant might know (what is the name of the King's eldest child, is this herb poisonous?). In effect what we get is a bonus to the Know roll that depends on either the distance between the object and the character or how widespread the information is. I would use the terms: local, regional, distant and very distant.

[table]Region|Modification

Local|+50

Regional|+25

Distant|0

Very Distant|-25[/table]

So my solution for a fantasy setting would be to grant a base EDU of 1d6 and then grant extra points of EDU depending on background and profession. As an example one could rule that a child of a noble that enters the clergy would have an EDU of 1d6 + 3 +3.

Something you might want to look at is that Edu is NOT necessarily book learning. Its a stat that could easily be renamed Wisdom. Its accumulated knowledge, and thus really doesn't need a formalized structure to reflect how much someone has "learned".

Using your Roman example, who would have "learned" more about farming? The child of the Roman noble, or the child of the freeholder or farm slave?

SDLeary

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This reminds me of something I heard on Howard Stern once...

They had on a group of models (of course) who they asked various 'common knowledge' questions... names of presidents, basic history, a bit of geography... VERY easy questions.

The models couldn't answer them... they looked like idiots.

Then they asked them questions about wine, Italian sports cars, shoes... stuff I had no clue about. The models had no problem with these questions.

The point being that knowledge is a function of culture and culture is a function of lifestyle... who you hang out with and what they care about.

A farmer is going to know all sorts of stuff about the local land, the soil, the weather, the animals... a city-dweller is going to think the farmer is ignorant because he doesn't know anything about politics, opera, or gangsters.

They might have the same edu score but they don't know (or care) about the same stuff.

Maybe there needs to be some sort of qualifier next to the rating... or something that ties it to social standing.

As it is it's pretty vague what it's supposed to be measuring.

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Simlasa touches on many points that make the EDU stat difficult for me to find useful.

I do find the idea of 'Common Knowledge' to be a useful mechanic however, but it is easily a function of the Idea Roll. What is Common Knowledge for a character can be surmised from hir Profession, Status (Credit Rating), Birthplace and if necessary, Gender.

Besides, it is the most easily broken Characteristic in BRP. I've made CoC characters with EDU in the mid 20's and created skill-monsters that far out-shined most of the investigators in my group.

:focus:

I would not include EDU for most creatures, especially those who do not typically have a APP characteristic.

For Sentient creatures, I would probably create a table of Pros and Cons that would offset EDU from the standard 3d6. eg:

Short Lived, Savage Culture: Lower EDU

Long Lived, Enlightened Culture: Higher EDU

Nomadic Culture: Lower EDU

Illiterate Culture: Lower EDU

Ancient, Established Culture: Higher EDU

Feudal Culture: Nobility: Higher EDU

Feudal Culture: Serf: Lower EDU

etc.

This seems like the preferred Method for dealing with the Attribute, as it seems important only when a PC wants to play a monster. In real life, humans of different cultures and regions can have vastly different EDU scores, the same should hold true for Orcs, Ogres or other sentient creatures.

An Orc taken from native culture and placed in University by the Sorcerous Duke Brothers, might have a much higher EDU than one left in their natural habitat. Nature vs. Nurture.

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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This reminds me of something I heard on Howard Stern once...

They had on a group of models (of course) who they asked various 'common knowledge' questions... names of presidents, basic history, a bit of geography... VERY easy questions.

The models couldn't answer them... they looked like idiots.

Then they asked them questions about wine, Italian sports cars, shoes... stuff I had no clue about. The models had no problem with these questions.

The point being that knowledge is a function of culture and culture is a function of lifestyle... who you hang out with and what they care about.

A farmer is going to know all sorts of stuff about the local land, the soil, the weather, the animals... a city-dweller is going to think the farmer is ignorant because he doesn't know anything about politics, opera, or gangsters.

They might have the same edu score but they don't know (or care) about the same stuff.

Maybe there needs to be some sort of qualifier next to the rating... or something that ties it to social standing.

As it is it's pretty vague what it's supposed to be measuring.

Well said.

Personally, I'd like still not bother with it for NPCs.

Blessed Be,

)O( Mike )O

http://web.mac.com/boghouse/iWeb

"So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around?"

~You've Got Mail (1998 film)

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I'd forget EDU, even for PCs. Just give 'em an INTx5 roll, if they have a skill relevant to the area of knowledge in question.

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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I'd forget EDU, even for PCs. Just give 'em an INTx5 roll, if they have a skill relevant to the area of knowledge in question.

Yeah, I always thought of EDU as something you roll if nothing else matches what's being rolled for; but the character might know something about whatever is being rolled about, anyway.

Like, maybe the character looked up igloos and how to build them some time back and now needs to build an igloo for real. At least that could be the back story you'd give if you made your character's EDU roll.

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