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> specialization and skill groups, clarification please
Tyrrell
post May 6 2007, 02:41 AM
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The rules say that specializations can not be taken with skill groups.

Does this mean that if a character has a close combat group level of 3 they can not take a swords specialization in their bladed weapon skil until their bladed weapons skill is raised to 4?

And while I'm asking questions, it appears that specializations can be given to skills that are already maxed out at 6 (or7). Is this correct, or is their some prohibition that I've, as of yet, not discovered?
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DireRadiant
post May 6 2007, 02:50 AM
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If you have any specialization, you cannot have a skill group.

What's important is the context however. You can during the course of character advancement break and remake skill groups. This is explicitly allowed in the rules.

During character creation it is not explicitly stated in the rule book that you can make and break skill groups. Though it has been stated by people familiar with the authors that it is not intended that skill groups can be broken with a specialization during character creation. (Though a lot of the templates are not the best, there is no example of a template character that has bought a skill group and then added a specialization)

However, it's always up to you whether to allow it. Personally because it's a discount intended to reward generalization I tend not to allow it during character creation.
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WhiskeyMac
post May 6 2007, 03:02 AM
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If you have the close combat group at 3, you can beak the group by adding on the specialization without needing to advance your skill group.

And, according to the FAQ, it's up to the GM if you can break skill groups during character creation. Although, it's a very min/max tactic.
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Tyrrell
post May 6 2007, 12:37 PM
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So, if I have a skill group at 6. I can get a specialization on one of the skills and break up the skill group (although, unless I have an aptitude, the breaking of the skill group has no possible mechanical effect). Is this correct?
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Grinder
post May 6 2007, 12:52 PM
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You can't have a skill group at 6 at chargen, but otherwise you're correct.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post May 6 2007, 01:26 PM
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Technically, no.

Breaking up Skillgroups is only defined for rasing a single skill of it with karma.
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Tyrrell
post May 6 2007, 03:03 PM
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QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
Technically, no.

Breaking up Skillgroups is only defined for rasing a single skill of it with karma.

This contradicts what WhiskyMak posted.

To rephrase my question in a way that doesn't so easily lead to answers that aren't the one I want:

Can a character with a skill group that has not been broken take specializations in one or more of the skill group's component skills?
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Ravor
post May 6 2007, 03:38 PM
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<Edited>

Ok upon further thought I think I understand what you are asking.

Yes, you can take a specialization, but the moment that you do so you are breaking your skill group.
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Grinder
post May 6 2007, 03:59 PM
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QUOTE (Ravor)
Yes, you can take a specialization, but the moment that you do so you are breaking your skill group.

Exactly.
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DireRadiant
post May 6 2007, 04:08 PM
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Bored...

So

Character GENERATION (By RAW)
Skill Group X at 4
- has Skill A 4
- has Skill B 4
- has Skill C 4
- has Skill D 4
* capped at 4 for GROUPS

Add Specialization at GENERATION (Up to GM by FAQ)
- has Skill A 4
- Has Specialization Skill A.B 6
- has Skill B 4
- has Skill C 4
- has Skill D 4
This is no longer a skill group. It does not count as a skill group for advancement using karma costs for a skill group. You must advance each skill separately. For it to become a skill group again you must by each skill with karma so that they all achieve the same level of skill.

If you have any specialization you cannot use the GROUP skill advancement rules with karma.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post May 6 2007, 04:14 PM
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QUOTE (Tyrrell @ May 6 2007, 05:03 PM)
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ May 6 2007, 01:26 PM)
Technically, no.

Breaking up Skillgroups is only defined for rasing a single skill of it with karma.

This contradicts what WhiskyMak posted.

To rephrase my question in a way that doesn't so easily lead to answers that aren't the one I want:

Can a character with a skill group that has not been broken take specializations in one or more of the skill group's component skills?

Technically, no.

Skillgroups can't have specialisations - and skillgroups can only be broken by advancing a skill of the skillgroup with karma.

So, by the RAW, you would have to advance a skill before you can take specialisations - once your skillgrou reaches 6, and you already have Aptitude for another skill, you are out of luck.
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DireRadiant
post May 6 2007, 04:17 PM
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Do you have a specialization? If yes, then it is no longer a skill group, and all skill group rules no longer apply.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post May 6 2007, 04:19 PM
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That may be a perfectly good houserule, but not the RAW. ;)
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DireRadiant
post May 6 2007, 04:33 PM
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QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
That may be a perfectly good houserule, but not the RAW. ;)

Ah, so you are saying according to the rules, I can't buy a skill group during character generation, and then with my first 10 karma or so buy a specialization during character advancement after a few sessions?
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Rotbart van Dain...
post May 6 2007, 04:41 PM
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QUOTE (DireRadiant)
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
That may be a perfectly good houserule, but not the RAW. ;)

Ah, so you are saying according to the rules, I can't buy a skill group during character generation, and then with my first 10 karma or so buy a specialization during character advancement after a few sessions?

No.

That RAW say that, advancing a skill of the skillgroup breaks that skillgroup, making it cease to exist while the individual skills now are being trated normally - which now allows the purchase of specialisations.

So, by RAW, the only way to go from Skillgroup to Specialisation is advancing a Skill first.
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DireRadiant
post May 6 2007, 05:00 PM
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QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ May 6 2007, 11:41 AM)
QUOTE (DireRadiant @ May 6 2007, 06:33 PM)
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
That may be a perfectly good houserule, but not the RAW. ;)

Ah, so you are saying according to the rules, I can't buy a skill group during character generation, and then with my first 10 karma or so buy a specialization during character advancement after a few sessions?

No.

That RAW say that, advancing a skill of the skillgroup breaks that skillgroup, making it cease to exist while the individual skills now are being trated normally - which now allows the purchase of specialisations.

So, by RAW, the only way to go from Skillgroup to Specialisation is advancing a Skill first.

Ah. So the following p 264

"Buying Specializations
Characters may also acquire a specialization to an existing
Active Skill or Knowledge Skill that they currently possess.
(You cannot specialize on a new skill you’re currently
learning.) Acquiring a Specialization costs 2 Karma. A character
may only know one specialization per skill, and specializations
may not be applied to skill groups.
A character that wants to change her specialization in a
particular skill may do so at the gamemaster’s discretion. In
this case, the character pays 2 Karma to learn the new specialization
and immediately loses the old one."

Which is the only text regarding buying a specialization during Character Improvement, is somehow different from improving existing skills.

You are claiming that if I bought a skill group during character generation, that during Character Improvement I can improve an exiistng skill in a skill group, thus breaking the skill group. Yet I cannot simply buy a specialization, which would also break up the skill group.

I must in fact, Improve my skill, and then buy the specialization?

I note that in both Improving Existing Skills, and in Buying specializations, that are no statements that prohibit the use of either option for Character Improvement based on the skills being originally in a Skill Group bought during character generation.

You may point to "..and specializations may not be applied to skill groups" which I interpret to mean that you cannot buy a specialization for the entire group. versus buying a specialization for a particular skill within a group.

Basically I am not sure how you claim I can Improve a skill, but not Buy a specialization.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post May 6 2007, 05:14 PM
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QUOTE (DireRadiant @ May 6 2007, 07:00 PM)
Basically I am not sure how you claim I can Improve a skill, but not Buy a specialization.

The technicals reason is that 'breaking skill groups' is only defined for advancing skills - and nothing else.
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DireRadiant
post May 6 2007, 05:18 PM
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QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
QUOTE (DireRadiant @ May 6 2007, 07:00 PM)
Basically I am not sure how you claim I can Improve a skill, but not Buy a specialization.

The technicals reason is that 'breaking skill groups' is only defined for advancing skills - and nothing else.

But there's no explicit prohibition from doing so?
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Rotbart van Dain...
post May 6 2007, 05:27 PM
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QUOTE (DireRadiant)
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ May 6 2007, 12:14 PM)
QUOTE (DireRadiant @ May 6 2007, 07:00 PM)
Basically I am not sure how you claim I can Improve a skill, but not Buy a specialization.

The technicals reason is that 'breaking skill groups' is only defined for advancing skills - and nothing else.

But there's no explicit prohibition from doing so?

From doing what?
Buying specialisations for skillgroups? There is.

The rationale 'If it's not forbidden, it's allowed' is nice and all, but if 'it' is defined elsewhere in a different way, applying it is not really allowed.
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odinson
post May 6 2007, 05:39 PM
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I thought if it wasn't allowed it was forbidden. So the only place where it allows you to break skill groups is in skill advancement, everywhere else it's forbidden.
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Jaid
post May 6 2007, 09:48 PM
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of course, there are some "rules as written" that are so dumb, most people don't even notice they're there, and rightly ignore them.

this, in my opinion, should be one of those "rules as written" (if it wasn't already).

any GM who enforces this rule to prevent you from specialising because you didn't break the skillgroup before you got it at 6 is probably just doing it because they're a <4.3 Mp deleted>
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Rotbart van Dain...
post May 6 2007, 10:08 PM
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Personally, I'm not fond of breaking Skill-Groups at all.

Raising them to 6 and then specializing kinda defeats the purpose of them.
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Ravor
post May 7 2007, 02:39 AM
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Well I personally have never been a big fan of combing through :S RAW :S with a fine tooth comb, I want to treat Shadowrun as a game and not a legal document and clearly allowing a player to break a Skill Group paid up to Rating 6 in order to buy a specialization is well within the spirit of the rules.

Needless to say I agree with Jaid, any DM who didn't allow a player to do this is just being a dick provided they allow Skill Groups to be broken at all. (Note, I'm not talking about during Char-Gen, sure I allow breaking Skill Groups even then, but I can see and respect the opposing position on the issue in that case.)
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WhiskeyMac
post May 7 2007, 03:24 AM
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Robert, that clause you keep stating applies to specializations for the whole skill group. Meaning you can't get the Firearms Group to 4 during CharGen and then add a Semi-Auto specialization for the whole group. By adding a specialization for a skill within a group, you break that group by advancing the skill through the specialization.

Unless you treat specializations as just an extra bit of text they technically raise a part of that skill by 2 levels (thereby advancing the skill within the group and breaking the group).
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Rotbart van Dain...
post May 7 2007, 10:24 AM
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QUOTE (WhiskeyMac)
Robert,

Let's just assume you meant me.

QUOTE (WhiskeyMac)
that clause you keep stating applies to specializations for the whole skill group. Meaning you can't get the Firearms Group to 4 during CharGen and then add a Semi-Auto specialization for the whole group. By adding a specialization for a skill within a group, you break that group by advancing the skill through the specialization.

Actually, that'S not what the rules are saying.
The just say you can't add specialisation at all to skillgroups.
And 'breaking skillgroups' is only defined for advancing skills with karma.

QUOTE (WhiskeyMac)
Unless you treat specializations as just an extra bit of text they technically raise a part of that skill by 2 levels (thereby advancing the skill within the group and breaking the group).

Specialisations add bonus dice to tests when they apply - they are not skill levels... neither real nor augmented.
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