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Alternate way of buying skills!

 
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zeth
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:15 am    Post subject: Alternate way of buying skills! Reply with quote

Way back when FF did a rant about the knowledge skill and Mass Battle in particular. Later I bought 50 fathoms and came across the fencing schools' section and had an idea.

Why not let Wild Cards learn Knowledge skills under tutors by spending Time and money instead of skill points? Unlike the other skills Knowledge covers a very specific area and is only rolled under special circumstances. So I say they can be learned at a school from teacher characters by expending time and money. For example a wild card could go from no battle skill to a d4 in Knowledge(Mass Battle) by studying or even go up to d6 by studying more. How would this effect play?
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AFDia
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Joined: 09 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think first of all you must decide how you want to use knowledge skills.

If you want to use them for very specific knowledge which is only rolled under special circumstances, then your way of dealing with them sounds much better than spending points for it.

The second way is to only encourage the players to take them if it's really important in your campaign or setting.
A few examples:
Knowledge(Cthulhu Myth) could work for a cthulhu-setting where knowledge about the myth is really important.
Knowledge(Arcana) could work in fantasy settings as a prerequisite for wizard but it could also work for identifying enchanted items, runes or something like that
Knowledge(Battle) could work for a setting where your heroes are in the position of battle leaders. I wouldn't encourage the players to take the skill if there will be only 1 or 2 mass battles in the whole campaign. (you could let them roll Smarts instead or introduce NPCs as battle leaders)
Knowledge(World) could work for every setting if you want know something about a specific part of the world. (eg in 50Fathoms it could be knowledge about the different islands, their dangers, inhabitants,...)
Knowledge(Monsters) is a skill which can help you in finding out the weaknesses of different monsters. Players without the skill will have to investigate heavily to get the knowledge which the player with the skill already has.
Knowledge(Indians) could be knowledge about all indian tribes including their language in DLR
...

So you can see, that if they are used in this way, they could be equal or more powerful than the Gambling, Boating or any other skill. It's just important to bring up situations where your players can use their knowledge skills. If a player wants a specific kn skill which isn't of much use, just tell him that he should better take a kn skill which is more generic but includes his wishes.

This is the way I prefer to use these special skills, although it doesn't match exactly with the description in the SW:EX core rules.

For those special knowledges which are only important 1 or 2 times in the whole campaign, I include them in common knowledge rolls. If a player has spent time and money with a tutor, he will have this part of the common knowledge, if he has never heart of this topic, he will not get his common knowledge roll if one of the few situations will come up.

So in short: Only make really important knowledges a knowledge skill (if they are a prerequisite for edges, this also counts as important) and include all the other stuff in common knowledge rules.
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SlasherEpoch
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Joined: 07 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Alternate way of buying skills! Reply with quote

zeth wrote:
Way back when FF did a rant about the knowledge skill and Mass Battle in particular. Later I bought 50 fathoms and came across the fencing schools' section and had an idea.

Why not let Wild Cards learn Knowledge skills under tutors by spending Time and money instead of skill points? Unlike the other skills Knowledge covers a very specific area and is only rolled under special circumstances. So I say they can be learned at a school from teacher characters by expending time and money. For example a wild card could go from no battle skill to a d4 in Knowledge(Mass Battle) by studying or even go up to d6 by studying more. How would this effect play?


Sounds good. They spend the cash, they have a small advantage that won't come up except in specific circumstances.
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Tuesday
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 1069

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems to me to be just as balanced as magical tomes in a high-fantasy game.

Which is to say, sure. Could work.
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Clint
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Joined: 13 May 2003
Posts: 17983

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AFDia wrote:
So in short: Only make really important knowledges a knowledge skill (if they are a prerequisite for edges, this also counts as important) and include all the other stuff in common knowledge rules.


This is dead on the way Knowledge Skills and Common Knowledge are intended to be used.
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