Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Gurps talents, combat talents.

As part of the Cult of stat normalization I found talents to be indispensable and it models so many things so well. I interchange talent with Aptitude, we may be somewhere else later in life where our aptitudes change - certain skills are easier to raise than others given time opportunity and resources.

I've been building a small collection of templates around just two levels of 5pt talents and I've been able to make well rounded realistic professionals. It's better you saw it for yourself. Modern Templates under Construction

Anyway, one of the more interesting things to think of is talents in respect to modeling our-self. I made a requirement that talents have to follow a themes but talents can be unrelated and born from the chaos of circumstance. In such cases we gain Reputation only from our most valued and highest skill.

Defaulting more

- 6 to - 2. What I love about talents is that we default more. We use what we know and try to adapt it the different circumstance.  It also makes us pursue and choose skills because it gives us more things to default to or we realize.

Looking at the defaulting penalties a skill is more valuable when you can default tasks at -2 to -4, and diminishing returns are at around -5 and worse.

Merchant and Psychology have a lot of defaults. Soldier should have a lot of defaults, and other professions that have a lot of training and a lot of change of lifestyle.

Why can't we have combat Skills as talents?

How the system is designed comes to mind, this rule basically means its unbalanced to have combat skills as part of talents, while violating this in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy lolz. Ok so lets just look at the Game Design.

Lets try having Weapon Talents and all of a sudden we have a +2 to +4 bump in over all skils. That means a soldier whose works with the sword for 4 years (8cp of work experience) now can have a +2 bump... making him an Expert at 14. Why is that so bad?

In a Realistic Combat Game, with none of the special advantages like Gunslinger, Heroic Archer, Weapon Master, Enhance Parry etc... around a +2 to +4 bumb in skill at the cost of 10-20 points is not so bad. Quickly weapons have diminishing returns for every weapon skill you add. The only time you would add weapon skill if a weapon can be wielded by other weapon skills like an Axe can be used by Axe/Mace or 2h-Axe/Mace or a Spear with Staff and Spear and even Pole Arm, a Naginata or dueling Pole-sword with Staff, Pole-arms, 2h-sword etc.

What it does really do is change the landscape of the game a bit. What I love about Low Power games is that Talents are easier to calculate diminishing returns vs bringing up a Stat. So you don't have really Dexterous Swordsmen, you have TALENTED swordsmen. Since talent is a combination of genetics, background, and education, and "je ne se quoi" in the resolution level of gurps, it fits quite well in the things we have trouble measuring... unlike DX or IQ across the board.

Are all Skills equal in value? Thats the thing, they are not all valuable and some skills are not valuable without some other complimentary skills. Programming is great and a valuable skill, but it needs other complimentary skills to add its value (merchant skill, computer expertise, electronic operation skill etc...). They are not equal and the Game system should not make a value judgement on it except for how hard the skill is to learn based on many discover-able factors

One non-combat skill to one combat skill

So why not allow it? not because of other gurps products violating this rule, but because of how skills and aptitudes/talents are supposed to work. If your really conservative, why not try this: substitute 1 combat skill for 3 non-combat skills until? So Talented Roman Soldier with Armatura will have talents in soldier skills and shield and sword?

The Cult

The Cult of stat normalization is the nickname of the group in gurps who are not satisfied with the assumptions of the system and try to tweak and adjust the assumptions so that stats are closer to real. World expectation. They tend to limit stats to 15 instead of 20 because they base it on humans and not adventurers.

We are admittedly a bunch of killjoy if you think such benchmarks and statistics ruin fun. But in our defense it makes us appreciate exceptional Abilities more when we are very conservative and skeptical of ability ranges. When things are awesome and the data proves so we really gush. It means everyday marvels rarely escape our attention and do not Attribute to malice what can be attributed to incompetence.

My current qualm is that Physical stats do not distribute as well as IQ in the current system. The most gross example is just looking at running statistics for amateur runners (which affect DX and HT, fitness and actually economic circumstance). Also when you factor economic circumstances like poverty line and the world instead of just the US (which GURPS bases off) there is a

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