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You can also split the difference and write "Typical" in front of the Abilities section as well, making the package a guideline for interpreting an umbrella and inspiring/informing breakout choices.

You've touched on a key dynamic of understanding when to apply more detailed mechanics within HQ: The more everyone understands the fictional parameters of the game world, the less mechanics are needed to portray it. Conversely, that's why most of the fiddly bits & bobs in the rules end up being related to things like magic, because it's not obvious based on our lived experiences, knowledge, and common fictional points of reference just what should be easy, difficult, possible only with great effort and support, or outright impossible for a wizard, Rune Lord, or what have you.

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1 hour ago, JonL said:

You can also split the difference and write "Typical" in front of the Abilities section as well, making the package a guideline for interpreting an umbrella and inspiring/informing breakout choices.

You've touched on a key dynamic of understanding when to apply more detailed mechanics within HQ: The more everyone understands the fictional parameters of the game world, the less mechanics are needed to portray it. Conversely, that's why most of the fiddly bits & bobs in the rules end up being related to things like magic, because it's not obvious based on our lived experiences, knowledge, and common fictional points of reference just what should be easy, difficult, possible only with great effort and support, or outright impossible for a wizard, Rune Lord, or what have you.

Absolutely. 

But even with this distinction... issues. 

For example, in the HQ2 rules, Laws seems to believe that as long as the Referee sets a "genre" everyone at the table will have a clear idea of what "Pulp" is. Or "Horror." Or whatever. What I have observed, however, is that people don't always share the same concept of a given genre-label. And even more flummoxing, some people don't even know what certain labels mean. (I know what a "Planetary Romance" is... a lot of people don't.)

If the Referee builds the list of Occupation Packages for Players to choose from in certain game he goes a long way to establishing the the tone, feel, and the reality he wants for the setting.

And then we move to the next degree of complexity... something like Glorantha, where new players might have a frame of reference because of earth-culture analogues, and some people might not even know those. (And some people who know Glorantha might even have completely different ideas of what it means to be a Heortling!)

The more I think on it the more I think Packages are the way to go. Or, at the least, to have people people pick the Keywords and come up with two Breakouts for each so that a conversation of sorts is created at the table for everyone to get a sense of the tone and feel of the world, the characters, and the genre (per your Monster High thread.)

Edited by creativehum

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What I tend to do is to have an Implied Package. So, I could have Hunter 17 and an Implied Package of " Archery or Throw Javelin, Butcher, Dodge, Hide, [Hunting Style], Keen Senses, Know Animals, Know Local Area, Retrace Path, Skirmish Combat, Track, Wilderness Survival", so I could use Hunter to do any of those things without any penalties. If I wanted to be a better Tracker than other people of my general ability, I would have a breakout, Hunter (Track + 3) 17, which allows me to Track as 20 but Retrace path at 17. It is quite simple and easy to use.

 

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11 minutes ago, soltakss said:

What I tend to do is to have an Implied Package. So, I could have Hunter 17 and an Implied Package of " Archery or Throw Javelin, Butcher, Dodge, Hide, [Hunting Style], Keen Senses, Know Animals, Know Local Area, Retrace Path, Skirmish Combat, Track, Wilderness Survival", so I could use Hunter to do any of those things without any penalties. If I wanted to be a better Tracker than other people of my general ability, I would have a breakout, Hunter (Track + 3) 17, which allows me to Track as 20 but Retrace path at 17. It is quite simple and easy to use.

 

When you say "Implied Package" does that mean you don't list all the Abilities you listed in the Package and everyone at the table knows what is implied by the Package? Or do you list out the Abilities? Because I'm not sure everyone would have the same list of Abilities if you gave them the Keyword Hunter.

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20 hours ago, creativehum said:

When you say "Implied Package" does that mean you don't list all the Abilities you listed in the Package and everyone at the table knows what is implied by the Package? Or do you list out the Abilities? Because I'm not sure everyone would have the same list of Abilities if you gave them the Keyword Hunter.

It means that I don't list the abilities on the character sheet, but I have a list of abilities that the keywords can use.

PCs can add breakouts for any of those abilities without having a story hook, for example, or can use those abilities without a penalty.

So, all Hunters would be able to Track at their Hunter ability, but a Hunter worshipping an Eagle Hunter deity might have Excellent Vision but a Yinkini Hunter might have Track by Smell, both implied in their Hunter, but the Yinkini would not have Excellent Vision and the Eagle Hunter would not have Track by Smell.

I tend to keep things very flexible and freeform, rather than PCs detailing exactly what abilities they can use.

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