Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Character Point Inflation

I was going over GURPS martial Arts and comparing martial arts to a mental and complex pursuit. After pulling back and trying to look at the realms of combat and professional, there seems to be a disconnect about how Techniques should be priced.

When Character Point Inflation happens the Value of a character point changes. In GURPS many of the vets know about the 200 hour rule. I'm taking mandarin classes right now and its really hard, in my studies being broken in mandarin needs at least 300 hours of practice. GURPS combat seems to suffere inflation where the hours spent mastering a hard technique (spending 5 points on a -4 hard technique) is like a 4 year course... and there are about a handful of techniques to master, not only that but there are skill levels that need to be reached.

If you start comparing Other skills and Combat Skills, the prices to get something done is so high with combat GM throw Points at it. Take for instance Dungeon Fantasy at 250cp + 50 cp of disads. A combat character has practically 90% of his points invested in combat... and the template builds have very little room for escape strategy - I will allow for this since DF is supposed to be DND, but it just illustrates how hard it is to master certain skills... harder than learning a language, to be a doctor, a lawyer, to learn to think critically, or other fairly complex careers.

My only problem with over inflation of combat skills is that it brings a narrow and super tight focus on combat. Is so focused in combat that problem solving-wise its myopic, solutions that would be economically more efficient are discarded. This is not the way a "warrior" goes, I mean if you follow the 5 rings or Sun Tzu then diplomacy, leadership, management (managing affairs well), is where good warriors spend their points. But I know its DnD, its fantasy and has no connect to reality... the first thing on one's mind is slaughter and the sword, not the High Minded techniques illustrated in the Art of War, 5 rings, Machiaveli, Strategikon or other combat books.


bongotastic said...

I built a fantasy campaign without DF, just because I wanted to create my own fantasy setting from the Basics Sets. The PCs in the campaign have 250-320 pts, about 10% are combat skills. Min-maxing for combat can certainly create monsters. For a bit, I felt like I had underpowered my PCs. Not anymore: I like to find ways to make non-combat skills be campaign critical.

Jason Packer said...

Have you read through GURPS: Social Engineering yet? That's a useful one for brining greater focus to an aspect of non-combat skill use as well.

justin aquino said...

+christian blouin
Wow 10% in combat is pretty good, is this 25cp in combat skills or skill, stats, and advantages?

I nerfed my DF scout into a Horse-Archer, and horse-archers harrass they don't stand up and fight. Reading accounts of mongol's logistical and intelligence prowess inspired me nerfing my Archery from the DF standard of 18 to 16, but the point difference meant I was able to do things the mongols would expect me to do if they asked me to scout an area.

+Jason Packer
I've checked it out and the discussions about it. I've been comparing it to SIFRP and various other game systems that stress on social mechanics. As for putting points into it, I don't know many GMs who would use it, my characters are pretty much prepared when it comes to Soc Eng system, - But I think the bigger obstacle to Soc Eng is that if anyone GMed it, they would have to compress everything in Soc Eng into a few guiding principles, because unlike combat, social requires more intuitive approach and a book as a reference to keep going back to is kind a sucky.