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Bulk Rates on Skills?


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Originally posted by BNakagawa

cheese cheese and more cheese.

 

When i play a character who spent points on a specific science, knowledge or skill cluster, assuming no one else bought those specific things, I want to be the one to be solving the problem or coming up with the critical information, not some point-monger who finagled some way of being able to have any skill, knowledge or science whenever they need or want it.

I'm not sure I understand the dichotomy here. How does essentially buying a large volume of skills at a bulk rate invalidate being the person who solves the problems of the campaign? With the Universal skill group option, the character is paying 20 points for each skill area. That's a total of 100 points! Sounds like they paid for the ability to me.

If I was running a game, I would definitely veto any of these things. If I was playing in a game, I would ask the GM to veto these things.

 

Allowing these things instantly devalues all non-combat skills, science, languages, area knowledges, etc. on all other characters.

$0.02

I don't see the logic here either. By reducing the cost, and taking on limitations (the VPP option prevents using more than one skill at a time, the UT option only allows you to use each skill at base level) you are doing the same thing as every other character who buys their powers with limitations, foci, or within frameworks. Heck, buying powers within a simple elemental control imposes no limitation except that the powers must use a similar motif.

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Originally posted by Supreme

Heck, buying powers within a simple elemental control imposes no limitation except that the powers must use a similar motif.

 

In 5th edition, there is a major limitation with EC's. If you drain, transfer, dispel, or suppress a single power in the EC, you affect the base cost as well. Thus all negative adjustment powers affect all powers simutaneously, and at double effect. Conversely, beneficial adjustment powers such as transfer and aid have to be done to the base and each power individually which means 1/2 effect.

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Originally posted by Gary

In 5th edition, there is a major limitation with EC's. If you drain, transfer, dispel, or suppress a single power in the EC, you affect the base cost as well. Thus all negative adjustment powers affect all powers simutaneously, and at double effect. Conversely, beneficial adjustment powers such as transfer and aid have to be done to the base and each power individually which means 1/2 effect.

Regardless, the existence of ECs, other frameworks, and power limitations does not "devalue" characters who pay full costs for the same powers, in my Humble Opinion Supreme.

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Originally posted by Supreme

Regardless, the existence of ECs, other frameworks, and power limitations does not "devalue" characters who pay full costs for the same powers, in my Humble Opinion Supreme.

 

I agree that pre-5th edition EC's were simply a cheap excuse to save points. However, this new rule greatly limits the effectiveness of EC's.

 

A character who buys flight, EB, and force field straight may pay 120 pts if they are all 40 pt powers. The EC dude pays 80 pts for the same powers. However, a 20 pt EB drain on the first guy would still leave him with 4d6 EB, 20" flight, and 20 pd 20 ed FF. The same 20 pt EB drain on the second guy would leave him with no EB, no Flight, and a 5 pd 5 ed force field. This is devastating.

 

Of course the real limiting factor is how common adjustment powers are in the campaign. It's up to the GM to make sure that there is enough downside to the EC to make it balanced with the normal guy. Also, the GM shouldn't allow EC dudes to buy lots of power defense to get around the limitation.

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Would you allow a PC to purchase:

 

Detect: answer to any question scenario poses, sense, discriminatory, analyze.

 

No? Why not? How is that any different than allowing someone to put Knowledge Skills in a VPP? or simply some 20 point skill-to-end-all-skills.

 

There's a STOP sign on Universal Translator for a reason.

 

$0.02

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Originally posted by BNakagawa

Would you allow a PC to purchase:

 

Detect: answer to any question scenario poses, sense, discriminatory, analyze.

 

No? Why not? How is that any different than allowing someone to put Knowledge Skills in a VPP? or simply some 20 point skill-to-end-all-skills.

 

There's a STOP sign on Universal Translator for a reason.

 

$0.02

An excellent point. Though to be fair it would be Detect: science fact, sense, discriminatory, analyze, etc. It would be more limited than that. I guess the only really good way to do this would be to buy the usual skill enhancers and all the skills I can stand.

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Perhaps the real problem is that skills are disproportionately expensive for the superhero genre? In my experience, skills are not nearly as valuable in a superhero game as they are in "lower-level" games (agent-level, fantasy, sci-fi, etc.). I'm sure there are exceptions -- and that many of you will have counter-examples -- but in a genre where you can buy some flight (at 5") for 10 points, would you really think that those points in climbing are equally valuable ? (for 15 or so skill check -- maybe more depending on buying groups skill levels, etc.)

 

I've always found this to be a problem in Champions (note: NOT Hero) -- skill-based characters are at a disadvantage. And it's not simply a matter of bad GM'ing. Once again, compare cost and effectiveness -- I could throw alot of points into PRE-based skills or simply buy Telepathy and Mind-Control (with limitations if necessary to simulate super-skills).

 

Concept, you may say -- I shouldn't do that because of character concept. Ok, that's fine. But that doesn't address the fundamental disadvantage my skill-based character is at vs. the other PCs that put those points into powers (maybe including Telepathy and Mind Control...).

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Originally posted by Supreme

An excellent point. Though to be fair it would be Detect: science fact, sense, discriminatory, analyze, etc. It would be more limited than that. I guess the only really good way to do this would be to buy the usual skill enhancers and all the skills I can stand.

 

You DO realize that you just described the perfect template for a "Bardic Knowledge" type Talent...

 

That is such a good idea (under the right GM control)

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Originally posted by BNakagawa

Would you allow a PC to purchase:

 

Detect: answer to any question scenario poses, sense, discriminatory, analyze.

 

No? Why not? How is that any different than allowing someone to put Knowledge Skills in a VPP? or simply some 20 point skill-to-end-all-skills.

 

There's a STOP sign on Universal Translator for a reason.

 

$0.02

 

If that's the power the character needs to have (Cosmic Awareness, yahoo!) then that's what he purchases. Sure beats buying a boatload of Deduction (which is basically the same power--taking inobvious facts and jumping to a correct conclusion) for even cheaper.

 

20 point, Universal Translator based skills should all have a stop sign after them, IMO. As does any VPP.

 

The question, how to model a particular type of character. Perhaps the answer is you shouldn't make that type of character. Which is true. The Skillwire based character can overwhelm most of the other characters, so play balance becomes an issue.

 

Now, setting play balance aside, we need to create a character that can download skills.

 

I'd use the VPP, with limitations on "only base level skills" and "can't add personal levels to VPP skills". If you buy Electronics through your skillwire set, you get your Int base, and that's it. No +2 points per level. No 5 point with all int skill levels. No overall levels.

 

You might want to limit the skills to Int 8 (chance 11-) as a play balance issue as well. Depends on how expensive you imagine this thing to be.

___

You could also cheat, and allow Cramming to work with overall levels too. It's probably more expensive than the VPP option.

 

4 skills Crammed--20 points.

3 Overall levels--30 points. Only usable with crammed skills (-0) (illegal construction, free limitation)

 

Net--50 points. 11- on any 4 skills, provided you use them one at a time.

 

This pretty closely mimics the Shadowrun Skillwire system with Task Pools, FWIW.

 

D

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General skills like biology can with a penalty be used in place of specific skills like genetics. You should buy every general skill that you can think and then buy either five 8-pt skill levels for all skills or 5 overall skill levels. This is how I did it with a character that I made named "Renaissance" ( to whoever mentioned their character "Renaissance Man", what can I say, warped minds think alike).

 

Note: "Renaissanse" is primarily a solo character. No one character in a team setting should be able to declare themselves the solver of all skill realted problems unless all the other players are completely OK with this. It is comparable in my book to a character spending most of their points to buy one really whomping attack and then saying that they will be the "solver" of combat situation for the group.

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I have never understood the need to limit super skills more than super powers. This is very odd. If a guy wants to be REALLY good in any science, should it really cost him more than the ability to travel to another dimension with 8 of his buddies?

 

How about this? What if nobody in the group minds that the character is smarter in science or some other large skill group than they are? Is it okay then?

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Originally posted by Supreme

An excellent point. Though to be fair it would be Detect: science fact, sense, discriminatory, analyze, etc. It would be more limited than that. I guess the only really good way to do this would be to buy the usual skill enhancers and all the skills I can stand.

 

Also see if the GM will allow you to buy skills "In Game" and if so reserve a few points for them, remember if you have the right skill enhancer it will only be 1-2 points to be proficient in anyskill you come across.

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