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Skill Emphasis

 
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Aki
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Joined: 06 Dec 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:27 am    Post subject: Skill Emphasis Reply with quote

I thought this up on the walk to work. My group's been playing L5R 4e which has skill emphasis areas and I was thinking of a clean way to represent that. In that system (d10 based) 1's can be rerolled if you are working with a skill emphasis.

This is what's running through my mind. Reroll's of 1's would come up more often (and be more powerful) in SW unless the character had a d12 in the skill, which is counter to the idea of an emphasis. I thought of letting it be a benny-less reroll once a session - but that introduces the memory issue of having to remember which emphasis' have used their rerolls and which haven't, so in my mind that's disqualified. After about a half an hour I have this...

Skill Emphasis - Many skills have sub areas of concern. Persuassion checks are used when performing for someone, which is different from diplomacy to convince someone of a course of action. Intimidation may involve physical displays or outright torture. Driving has a myriad number of specific vehicles, fighting and shooting have specific weapons, and so on.

Once you've promoted a skill to d8 you may choose an area of emphasis for that skill. If you do, the wild die for that check is also a d8 instead of a d6 as normal.

Thoughts?
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Wibbs
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aren't you basically talking about Skill Specialisation, which is already covered in the core rules?
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Zadmar
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Joined: 10 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Based on 100 million rolls:

Extra rolling d4...average is 3.33347
Extra rolling d6...average is 4.20008
Extra rolling d8...average is 5.14263
Extra rolling d10...average is 6.11058
Extra rolling d12...average is 7.08957

Wild Card rolling d4...average is 5.29243
Wild Card rolling d6...average is 5.80001
Wild Card rolling d8...average is 6.47827
Wild Card rolling d10...average is 7.24111
Wild Card rolling d12...average is 8.05942

This time, 1s also ace:

Extra rolling d4...average is 4.99971
Extra rolling d6...average is 5.25022
Extra rolling d8...average is 5.99992
Extra rolling d10...average is 6.87459
Extra rolling d12...average is 7.79991

Wild Card rolling d4...average is 6.95452
Wild Card rolling d6...average is 6.99666
Wild Card rolling d8...average is 7.51526
Wild Card rolling d10...average is 8.18339
Wild Card rolling d12...average is 8.92976

The higher dice are always better, but as you can see the difference between d4 and d6 is extremely small. One option might be to limit the "reroll 1s" to the Wild Die:

Wild Card rolling d4...average is 6.36582
Wild Card rolling d6...average is 6.45192
Wild Card rolling d8...average is 7.02632
Wild Card rolling d10...average is 7.74734
Wild Card rolling d12...average is 8.5464

However that still doesn't help a great deal. Your second suggestion for increasing the Wild Die would work better:

Wild Card (d8 Wild Die) rolling d4...average is 6.03505
Wild Card (d8 Wild Die) rolling d6...average is 6.478
Wild Card (d8 Wild Die) rolling d8...average is 7.04781
Wild Card (d8 Wild Die) rolling d10...average is 7.73918
Wild Card (d8 Wild Die) rolling d12...average is 8.50317

Wild Card (d10 Wild Die) rolling d4...average is 6.85695
Wild Card (d10 Wild Die) rolling d6...average is 7.24149
Wild Card (d10 Wild Die) rolling d8...average is 7.73969
Wild Card (d10 Wild Die) rolling d10...average is 8.33379
Wild Card (d10 Wild Die) rolling d12...average is 9.02756

Wild Card (d12 Wild Die) rolling d4...average is 7.72538
Wild Card (d12 Wild Die) rolling d6...average is 8.05818
Wild Card (d12 Wild Die) rolling d8...average is 8.50272
Wild Card (d12 Wild Die) rolling d10...average is 9.0283
Wild Card (d12 Wild Die) rolling d12...average is 9.6358

You might also want to check out my Skill Focus house rule and Specialist Edge.
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Aki
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I remember skill specialization - +1 to one niche for a -2 to everything else you do if I recall correctly. I remember taking one look at it and thinking "this sucks" and never using it. Nor do any of the other players in my group use it even though it is allowed.

Would the L5R rule itself of 'reroll 1's once' be broken? I know it would statistically be stronger. Or perhaps "re-roll 1's on the skill dice once" but if the wild dice comes up 1, well that's too bad.
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Zadmar
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Joined: 10 Nov 2010
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Location: Munich

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aki wrote:
Yeah, I remember skill specialization - +1 to one niche for a -2 to everything else you do if I recall correctly.

There's no +1, it's just -2 for anything other than your specialisation.

Aki wrote:
Would the L5R rule itself of 'reroll 1's once' be broken?

Not if everyone uses it, although d6 would only be very slightly better than d4, so you might want to require at least d6 in order to choose a specialisation. See my previous post for the numbers.
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Aki
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zadmar wrote:
There's no +1, it's just -2 for anything other than your specialisation.


Worse than I remember then. What's the point?

Aki wrote:
Not if everyone uses it, although d6 would only be very slightly better than d4, so you might want to require at least d6 in order to choose a specialisation. See my previous post for the numbers.


I was thinking of having it be a nice little perk for having hit d8 in a skill, other than the fact that d8 tends to be the prerequiste skill level for several edges.
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Wibbs
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just tweak Specialisation then. Rather than giving a minus to anything other than it, give a bonus for using the skill in that specific way. Seems a lot more straightforward than messing around with Wild Dice.
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Zadmar
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aki wrote:
Worse than I remember then. What's the point?

It's a setting rule, like "Critical Failures" or "Gritty Damage" - the player can't choose whether or not to use it, the GM applies it to everyone if the setting is designed to have more emphasis on detailed skills.

Aki wrote:
I was thinking of having it be a nice little perk for having hit d8 in a skill, other than the fact that d8 tends to be the prerequiste skill level for several edges.

Well as you can see from the figures I presented above, rerolling 1s would give a bonus of around +1.04, +0.94 and +0.87 for d8, d10 and d12 respectively. For combat skills, that would be fairly comparable with Trademark Weapon, making it about on-par with a typical Combat Edge.

For other skills, rerolling 1s would have an interesting impact on the chance of failure. Normally your chance of success would be (once again these are based on 100 million rolls):

Wild Card d4: 62.50% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d6: 75.00% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d8: 81.25% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d10: 85.00% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d12: 87.49% chance of success at TN 4

But rerolling 1s would change a lot of failures into successes:

Wild Card d4: 79.69% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d6: 86.96% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d8: 90.41% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d10: 92.41% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d12: 93.73% chance of success at TN 4

However it would also remove the chance of critical failures. So if you say that double 1 isn't rerolled, you get:

Wild Card d4: 75.69% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d6: 84.26% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d8: 88.37% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d10: 90.78% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d12: 92.36% chance of success at TN 4

By comparison, this is what happens when you get a flat +1 skill bonus:

Wild Card d4: 83.33% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d6: 88.88% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d8: 91.67% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d10: 93.34% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d12: 94.45% chance of success at TN 4

While most Professional Edges that give a skill bonus give you +2:

Wild Card d4: 95.83% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d6: 97.22% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d8: 97.92% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d10: 98.33% chance of success at TN 4
Wild Card d12: 98.61% chance of success at TN 4

So for a non-combat skill, the benefit would be quite small. If it's a freebie then that would be fine, it could actually add some interesting flavour by giving each character their own area of specialty. But if players have to buy the specialisation, you might want to consider letting them take two (or perhaps pick cross-skill specialisations, such as "cars" which would apply to both Driving and Repair).
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Clint
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:41 am    Post subject: Re: Skill Emphasis Reply with quote

Aki wrote:
Skill Emphasis - Many skills have sub areas of concern. Persuassion checks are used when performing for someone, which is different from diplomacy to convince someone of a course of action. Intimidation may involve physical displays or outright torture. Driving has a myriad number of specific vehicles, fighting and shooting have specific weapons, and so on.

Once you've promoted a skill to d8 you may choose an area of emphasis for that skill. If you do, the wild die for that check is also a d8 instead of a d6 as normal.

Thoughts?


Feels basically kind of like an Edge.

Edges allow for bonus effects in special situations. I means Trademark Weapon is almost exactly "fighting and shooting have specific weapons."

Heck, you could almost change Trademark Weapon to Skill Emphasis and say it requires a d10 in the affected skill for which the character gets a +1 with a specific use of a skill (one particular weapon or one distinct use of a noncombat skill). And then Improved Skill Emphasis increases the bonus to +2.

My guess though is that the intent isn't for this to be anywhere near a full Edge in effect, so it can be something the player gets for free without disrupting things in play.

In which case, I think the d8 Wild Die is probably the best bet, but I'd suggest limiting it to one Skill Emphasis per Rank (player choice) as long as the skill is a d8 or better. Limiting them that way would let them grow organically and make them feel more special to the players.

Plus as a side benefit, a player could take more than one Emphasis for the same skill if they wanted, so a character who is very sneaky on city streets (Stealth Emphasis) could also be very good at picking pockets (another Stealth Emphasis) when they hit Seasoned Rank.
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Aki
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Joined: 06 Dec 2010
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Skill Emphasis Reply with quote

Clint wrote:

My guess though is that the intent isn't for this to be anywhere near a full Edge in effect, so it can be something the player gets for free without disrupting things in play.

In which case, I think the d8 Wild Die is probably the best bet, but I'd suggest limiting it to one Skill Emphasis per Rank (player choice) as long as the skill is a d8 or better. Limiting them that way would let them grow organically and make them feel more special to the players.

Plus as a side benefit, a player could take more than one Emphasis for the same skill if they wanted, so a character who is very sneaky on city streets (Stealth Emphasis) could also be very good at picking pockets (another Stealth Emphasis) when they hit Seasoned Rank.


That is indeed the precise intent. If you recall, sometime ago I had posted Perform as a skill, but the thought is that it could just be an emphasis of persuasion.
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