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> Augmented Skill Cap..., ...makes no sense
calypso
post Oct 5 2005, 09:40 PM
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It's absurd. If an augmented skill can't go above 1.5 * the base skill, it renders a lot of things useless/overpriced.

1) Don't bother buying a specialization unless you have at least 2 ranks in something. If you only have 1 rank, the augmented max is... 1. In fact, you don't even get the full benefit from a specialization until you have a base rank of 4!

2) There is NO point in ever having Improved Ability at a rank higher than 3. And if you have Improved Ability in something, don't bother with specializations. They'll go to waste.

3) Codeslinger is practically useless. Basically, it allows you to get a second specialization in some Matrix action. But it suffers from the same problems as in (1).

4) The book violates these principles all over the place.

I therefore propose an ALTERNATE interpretation. First, the passage in question:

"The unmodified skill rating assigned at character creation
or purchased during game play is considered to be the character’s
base skill rating. Some spells, abilities and implants may
provide bonus dice to a skill, creating a modified skill rating,
but this does not change the base skill rating. These extra dice
are listed in parentheses after the base skill, as in Spellcasting
4 (+2). A modified skill cannot exceed the base skill rating x
1.5 (making 9 the maximum possible rating, or 10 with the
Aptitude Quality)."

The current interpretation says: You cannot have more things adding to a particular skill roll than .5 * base skill. So if you have Pistol (Revolver) 6(+2), and Improved Ability (Pistol) 2, you would only be rolling 9 + Attribute dice.

I propose a different interpretation. It states: "Some spells, abilities and implants may provide bonus dice to a skill, creating a modified skill rating, but this does not change the base skill rating. These extra dice are listed in parentheses after the base skill, as in Spellcasting 4 (+2)". Specializations don't "provide bonus dice to a skill". They provide bonus dice to a particular use of a skill. (I'm rules lawyering. I want my 25 dice on Exploit damnit :D) So, unless something adds dice to ALL uses of a skill, it doesn't count towards the 1.5 * Base Skill cap.

That still leaves the problem that Improved Ability beyond Rating 3 is useless, but, one problem at a time.

Calypso
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blakkie
post Oct 5 2005, 09:45 PM
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QUOTE (calypso @ Oct 5 2005, 03:40 PM)
It's absurd.  If an augmented skill can't go above 1.5 * the base skill, it renders a lot of things useless/overpriced.

1)  Don't bother buying a specialization unless you have at least 2 ranks in something.  If you only have 1 rank, the augmented max is... 1.  In fact, you don't even get the full benefit from a specialization until you have a base rank of 4!

Umm, you misunderstand what the augmented limit is. It is not dependant on how many ranks you have in a skill.

QUOTE
That still leaves the problem that Improved Ability beyond Rating 3 is useless, but, one problem at a time.


Actually, as was pointed out elsewhere Improved Ability does have a use if you only raise your skill to 5. Although for combat skills the cost of 0.5 Magic is pretty close to a push compared to the 12 karma to raise the Skill to 6.
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Lord Ben
post Oct 5 2005, 09:46 PM
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My DM even counts smartlink towards this limit!
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calypso
post Oct 5 2005, 09:48 PM
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QUOTE (blakkie @ Oct 5 2005, 04:45 PM)

Umm, you misunderstand what the augmented limit is.  It is not dependant on how many ranks you have in a skill.

Yes it is.

"A modified skill cannot exceed the base skill rating x 1.5 (making 9 the maximum possible rating, or 10 with the Aptitude Quality)."

An earlier part of the same passage states:

"The unmodified skill rating assigned at character creation or purchased during game play is considered to be the character’s base skill rating."

So, your unmodified skill rating is your base skill rating. And your modified skill cannot exceed your base skill rating x 1.5. So, if you have 2 ranks, your modified skill limit is 3.

Calypso
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blakkie
post Oct 5 2005, 09:56 PM
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Oops, i was confused with attribute maxs that are 1.5 the natural max (thought skills were too). So ya, -IF- Specializations are included in the cap they don't have full benefit till you reach higher Skill levels. But like a lot of things it's not super clear exactly what is included in the cap. Basically they didn't use as consistant terminology as they should have.

P.S. I'm pretty sure there was a Specialization in/out of cap thread, and thought that it was determined that Specialization was likely NOT included under the cap but still was open to a number of interpretation including interpretation that it was included as part of the natural skill....which brings entirely different results.
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blakkie
post Oct 5 2005, 09:57 PM
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QUOTE (Lord Ben @ Oct 5 2005, 03:46 PM)
My DM even counts smartlink towards this limit!

Because the wording is rather vague, and your DM is being a dork. ;)

P.S. Does he include laser sights and tracer bonuses in under the cap?
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NightmareX
post Oct 5 2005, 10:30 PM
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Meh, there's an easier way to deal with the issue. Take this rule...

QUOTE
"The unmodified skill rating assigned at character creation
or purchased during game play is considered to be the character’s
base skill rating. Some spells, abilities and implants may
provide bonus dice to a skill, creating a modified skill rating,
but this does not change the base skill rating. These extra dice
are listed in parentheses after the base skill, as in Spellcasting
4 (+2). A modified skill cannot exceed the base skill rating x
1.5 (making 9 the maximum possible rating, or 10 with the
Aptitude Quality)."


...and just throw it right out the window. Followed, of course, by this one...

QUOTE (SR4 page 264)
Characters can only improve skills or skill groups to a
maximum of 6, unless they already possess the Aptitude quality
for a skill. (Sorry, you can’t acquire Aptitude at the same time
you try to improve above the maximum.)
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Fortune
post Oct 5 2005, 11:52 PM
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QUOTE
"The unmodified skill rating assigned at character creation
or purchased during game play is considered to be the character’s
base skill rating. Some spells, abilities and implants may
provide bonus dice to a skill, creating a modified skill rating,

but this does not change the base skill rating. These extra dice
are listed in parentheses after the base skill, as in Spellcasting
4 (+2).
A modified skill cannot exceed the base skill rating x
1.5 (making 9 the maximum possible rating, or 10 with the
Aptitude Quality)."


It does specify some. Maybe it only applies when the modifier is specifically listed in parentheses after the Skill. What else, besides Specialization (which is a dumb inclusion itself), would this include?
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calypso
post Oct 5 2005, 11:54 PM
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QUOTE (Fortune)
It does specify some. Maybe it only applies when the modifier is specifically listed in parentheses after the Skill. What else, besides Specialization (which is a dumb inclusion itself), would this include?

Unfortunately, the "some" applies to the spells/abilities/cyberware. In the sense of "some, not all, spells provide bonus dice".

And, specializations don't provide a bonus such that you could write it as a straightforward +2 in parentheses. There is a conditional, which in my mind throws it out.

Calypso
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elbows
post Oct 6 2005, 02:18 PM
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As a GM, my take on this would be to apply the cap only to things I don't have to determine on the fly. Not because there's anything in the rules that implies this, but simply for the sake of my own sanity. If I (or the players), have to remember to apply the (1.5 * skill) cap while stacking up modifiers during play, we will forget it at least half the time, so I'd rather just throw the rule out entirely.

This means smartlinks, laser sights and specializations are not subject to the cap, because they may or may not apply depending on circumstances.

On the other hand, things like reflex recorders are written down on your character sheet, so I would apply the cap there. The same goes for Improved Ability, except that the description of it confuses things by seeming to override the cap.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Oct 6 2005, 02:50 PM
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QUOTE (calypso)
It's absurd.

It was even more absurd to have 1 in a skill and boosting that skill to 5 with implants back in SR3.

This implementation of a limit may not be near perfect, but at least it keeps things in check.
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calypso
post Oct 6 2005, 02:54 PM
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QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
QUOTE (calypso @ Oct 5 2005, 11:40 PM)
It's absurd.

It was even more absurd to have 1 in a skill and boosting that skill to 5 with implants back in SR3.

This implementation of a limit may not be near perfect, but at least it keeps things in check.

What's wrong with that? Of course you're better at something than you should be, you have specialized clusters of cells dedicated to that skill. If they were taken out, you would STILL only have a 1.

Calypso
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Oct 6 2005, 03:03 PM
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QUOTE (calypso @ Oct 6 2005, 04:54 PM)
What's wrong with that? Of course you're better at something than you should be, you have specialized clusters of cells dedicated to that skill.  If they were taken out, you would STILL only have a 1.

Without a basic level of technique, a better heart or better joints would mean nearly no improvement that huge - modified spinal reflexes might, but that alone wouldn't be absurd. ;)

SR4 does enforce such a basic level of technique for getting the benefit out of such modifications/abilities.
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Nikoli
post Oct 6 2005, 04:03 PM
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Um in SR3 if you had skill at 1 you could not raise with improved ability past 1 anyway.
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mfb
post Oct 6 2005, 04:06 PM
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QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
It was even more absurd to have 1 in a skill and boosting that skill to 5 with implants back in SR3.

how did you manage that? the only skills i know of that you could accomplish that with are language skills.
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Serbitar
post Oct 6 2005, 04:49 PM
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House Rules
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Wireknight
post Oct 6 2005, 04:55 PM
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Well, there are a few places in SR3 where you can do this.

Athletics has a number of sources of bonus dice: +1 for Enhanced Articulation, +1 per level of Synthacardium, +1 for Reflex Recorder, +2 for Oxygenated Flourocarbon blood replacement treatment, +2 for circulating the Oxy-Rush transient nanosystem, +2 for the erythropoeitin genetech, +1 per level of Move-By-Wire. If you had all of the above, with maximum levels in those that possess levels, you could have +14 dice, for what would amount to an effective Athletics of 1(15).

If you're some kind of freakish initiated nanoaugmented cyborg bioware-equipped adept who uses the last sliver of his magical power (which would almost have to come from one or more initiate grades, since your low Essence and high Bio Index throw you so far into the red) to further augment your inexplicably low natural athletics skill, you could even hit 1(16).

Stealth can do this also, thanks to move-by-wire, reflex recorder, and enhanced articulation. You could achieve +6 dice with this method, for a stealth of 1(7), or 1(8) if you are the aforementioned unskilled cybered adept Solid Snake wannabee.

Knowledge skills can be boosted by the presence of a mnemonic enhancer, and further augmented by the task pool provided by certain cyberware and bioware augmentations. Due to the nature of the situations and skills to which a task pool ended up applying, a task pool was effectively bonus dice to any given skill to which the task pool was applied. With a task pool of 3 (Cerebral Booster 2 and Encephalon 2), and Mnemonic Enhancer 3, you could effectively boost Knowledge and Language skills in a similar fashion to Athletics and Stealth.

The remaining skills tend to only be able to accumulate a +2 dice bonus with the best of circumstances.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Oct 6 2005, 05:09 PM
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The specific example, as one might guess from the post was Athletics: Synthacardium (2) +2, Reflex Recorder (Athletics) +1 and enhanced Articulation +1 -> +4.
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Azralon
post Oct 6 2005, 05:39 PM
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If I understand correctly, the skill cap refers to only direct modifiers to the skill from implants, adept powers, and spells.

The cap does not seem to apply to pool modifiers, just skill. Pool modifiers such as superior position, visibility modifiers, reach, smartlinks, and the like should not impact the skill cap at all.

That is to say, if you have something that gives a "+X modifier to Y skill" then it obeys the skill cap. If you have something that gives a "+X modifier to Y test" then it does not.

At least, I'm hoping it's that simple.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Oct 6 2005, 05:48 PM
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Not that simple, as it caps pool modifiers for skills. ;)

But basically, yes - if the bonus is applied to a specific skill, it is capped... if it is an unspecific bonus or listed otherwise as a general modifier, it isn't.
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Azralon
post Oct 6 2005, 06:20 PM
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QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Oct 6 2005, 01:48 PM)
Not that simple, as it caps pool modifiers for skills.

Not exactly, nah.

Your base skill can never be higher than 6 (or 7 with Aptitude). You can never have more than a +3 skill bonus to that skill, and only when the base skill rating is 6 (or 7). Skill specializations add +2 to the skill, so count towards the skill cap.

The "Aimed Shot" action grants a pool bonus to the roll but not the skill itself, so would not count towards the skill cap. Nor would Smartlinks (yes, they can be implants, but they offer a ranged combat modifier rather than a skill bonus).

So: Your pool consists of "your Skill and its bonuses (which are capped)" plus "your Attribute and its bonuses (which are capped)" plus "your pool modifiers (which are not capped)."

Lemme toss out an example using the facts as I understand them (for good or ill).

~~~~~

"Six Shooter," the gunslinging street sam, buys up his Pistols skill to 6 and takes his specialization in Revolvers. He's rolling 6+2 dice when using his favorite firearms.

He goes out and gets Reflex Recorder (Pistols), which states that it adds +1 to his Pistol skill. If he were to fire a semi-automatic sidearm, he'd be rolling 6 (base) + 1 (reflex recorder) skill dice in addition to his Agility and its own capped attribute modifiers. If he were to use his sixguns, he'd be rolling 6 (base) + 2 (specialization) + 1 (reflex recorder), plus Agility and attribute modifiers.

Note that he's now rolling 9 dice, which is 150% of his base skill. If for some reason he suddenly sprouted adept powers, they could not further boost his Revolver skill dice but they could give him a +2 bonus for other types of pistols.

In any case, he would still get +2 dice from a Smartlink (whether on goggles or an implant) because that bonus isn't a skill modifier; it's a pool modifier. Therefore it is not subject to the skill cap.

So, Six Shooter can pick up ol' Bessy and roll Agility:4 + Pistols:9 + Smartlink:2 = 15 dice.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Oct 6 2005, 06:38 PM
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QUOTE (Azralon)
Skill specializations add +2 to the skill, so count towards the skill cap.

QUOTE (SR4 p. 109 Specializations)
Specializations add 2 dice to any tests made for that skill when the specialization is applicable to the test.

So no, the don't add to skill, they add to dice pool - possibly creating an Augmented Skill Rating.
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calypso
post Oct 6 2005, 06:39 PM
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QUOTE (Azralon @ Oct 6 2005, 01:20 PM)
Skill specializations add +2 to the skill, so count towards the skill cap. 

The "Aimed Shot" action grants a pool bonus to the roll but not the skill itself, so would not count towards the skill cap.

Aimed shot: "Characters who aim receive a +1 dice pool modifier per Simple Action spent aiming."

Specialization: "Specializations add 2 dice to any tests made for that skill when the specialization is applicable to the test."

As you can see, neither one adds to the skill. They both add dice to your pool for a specific roll.

Calypso

EDIT: Rotbart beat me to it by seconds :D
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Oct 6 2005, 06:42 PM
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There's the fine point:
QUOTE (SR4 p. 109 Skill Ratings)
Some spells, abilities and implants may provide bonus dice to a skill, creating a modified skill rating, but this does not change the base skill rating.
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Synner
post Oct 6 2005, 06:47 PM
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Just for clarification. You're talking about three different things here:
Attribute modifiers (which are usually listed in parenthesis besides the attribute as a single value and are capped);
Skill rating modifiers (which are usually listed in parenthesis besides the skill as a single value and are capped);
and Dice Pool modifiers (which are not listed on as part of either of the above and are not capped).

The latter are situational are never listed in parenthesis (ie. smartgun links and laser sights), they modify your dice pool after augmented Atts and Skills have been added together.
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