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> A rule on skill groups
greylotus
post Mar 13 2009, 05:27 PM
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ok the question i am asking is more about a interpretation of a rule more then a "where do i find this".


"Skill Groups: If a character improves any skill in a skill
group individually instead of improving the group, the remaining
skills are treated as individual skills with individual
levels from that point—in other words, the skill group no longer
exists." pg 264 core rules handbook

Now, what my player is intending is to buy a skill group to 4 for the saved build points then as soon as he gets 4 karma points in game he plans to break the skill group by buying one of those skills up to 5. He then plans to specialize in that skill. It seems to me that the only reason skill groups exist are that they are general training and thus you can't take specializations. So why would this rule be here that completely seems to allow it to be broken?

I appreciate any input guys and thanks in advance.
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Malachi
post Mar 13 2009, 05:51 PM
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As GM you can rule that Skill Groups can never be broken, that's your prerogative. However, there's nothing wrong with what your player is planning to do. My only suggestion would be to not allow him to raise the skill and specialize in the same "downtime" session. Make him raise the skill (and break the group) in one step, then get the Specialization in another step.
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Red-ROM
post Mar 13 2009, 07:28 PM
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raising one skill from 4 to 5 costs more than 4 karma right? plus he can't "put the skill group back together" unless he buys the skills back to the same level, so the point savings are over. additionally, he can't go back to a skill group if he's specialized one of the skills. so the character has a general understanding of a skill set, and later in life decides to refine his studies or practice to one aspect of those related skills at a detriment to the rest of them. makes sense to me.
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greylotus
post Mar 13 2009, 08:13 PM
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QUOTE (Red-ROM @ Mar 13 2009, 11:28 AM) *
raising one skill from 4 to 5 costs more than 4 karma right? plus he can't "put the skill group back together" unless he buys the skills back to the same level, so the point savings are over. additionally, he can't go back to a skill group if he's specialized one of the skills. so the character has a general understanding of a skill set, and later in life decides to refine his studies or practice to one aspect of those related skills at a detriment to the rest of them. makes sense to me.




well...You can only buy a skill group to a max rank of 4 anyway and he already has done that during character creation.

The other part that irks me is that how he made his character is as follows.

Skill group lvl'd to 4
buy 2 ranks in one of the skills for his only skill at lvl 6 to start the game (which would technically be breaking the group but i said that it's still considered a group until the game starts minimum)

What he plans to do is raise one of the other skills in the group to lvl 5 during gameplay and then specialize in the skill already at lvl 6 later on.

To me it just seems a breaking of the system so thats why i posted here. What do you guys think?
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Draco18s
post Mar 13 2009, 08:33 PM
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The moment you break the group you break the group char gen or not. I believe you are allowed to break groups at char gen, so nothing wrong so far. If he bought up to 6, and has no other 6s or 5s there's still no problem.
Buying a skill up to 5 costs 10 Karma, plus 2 more for the spec.
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DMK
post Mar 13 2009, 08:36 PM
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Two points:

1) A skill group is only limited to rating 4 for starting characters. You can raise any skill group to a maximum of rating 6 during gameplay.

2) You can't raise a skill in a skill group separately during character creation. You're allowing your player to mix two methods of buying skills, and as you've noted, it's broken. You either buy a skill on its own, or you buy the group. You do not mix the two.

To put it another way: Once your guy has bought a Skill Group, he can't buy any of the skills in that group separately. All he can do is scrap the group and start over.
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Mäx
post Mar 13 2009, 08:36 PM
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QUOTE (greylotus @ Mar 13 2009, 10:13 PM) *
well...You can only buy a skill group to a max rank of 4 anyway and he already has done that during character creation.

That limit only apply in chargen.
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Muspellsheimr
post Mar 13 2009, 09:13 PM
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QUOTE (DMK @ Mar 13 2009, 02:36 PM) *
2) You can't raise a skill in a skill group separately during character creation.

False. The only limiter on breaking a skill group during character generation is the GM saying no.

The FAQ (piece of shit that it is - I don't use it) clearly states that there is no rule preventing this, but suggests that the GM disallow it. Just one example of why it's a piece of shit.


My suggestion: Skill Groups do not exist; Running, Swimming, & Climbing active skills are merged into a single Athletics active skill. This is one of many rulings my game is using.
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greylotus
post Mar 13 2009, 09:27 PM
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Ok...So what you guys are saying is either i should NOT allow him to buy it out of a skill group singly during char creation or say forget it all together.Uhg...Hmm..
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Heath Robinson
post Mar 13 2009, 11:03 PM
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QUOTE (greylotus @ Mar 13 2009, 05:27 PM) *
Now, what my player is intending is to buy a skill group to 4 for the saved build points then as soon as he gets 4 karma points in game he plans to break the skill group by buying one of those skills up to 5. He then plans to specialize in that skill. It seems to me that the only reason skill groups exist are that they are general training and thus you can't take specializations. So why would this rule be here that completely seems to allow it to be broken?

I appreciate any input guys and thanks in advance.

My question is "4 karma points for 4->5?" SAY WHAT?! Isn't it 10 karma?

I can only think that your player believes that breaking a Skill Group is getting a new Active Skill. Which it isn't. They already possess the Active Skill at Rating 4, it's just hidden behind the Skill Group facade.
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AllTheNothing
post Mar 13 2009, 11:37 PM
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In my games the skill groups work in an enterely different way from how described in the BBB, I just think that improving your skills in blocks is unrealistic so I've ruled that a skill group means that when you raise a skill to a certain rank you have to pay an ammount of karma equal to twice the new rank minus the number of skills in the skillgroup that you already have at that rank; this means that you spend a bit less at low rank and more at high (4+), with a total cost of 114 karma (3 skills) against the 110 that normal skill groups would require, but it's easier to handle and to roleplay.
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greylotus
post Mar 14 2009, 12:43 AM
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QUOTE (AllTheNothing @ Mar 13 2009, 03:37 PM) *
In my games the skill groups work in an enterely different way from how described in the BBB, I just think that improving your skills in blocks is unrealistic so I've ruled that a skill group means that when you raise a skill to a certain rank you have to pay an ammount of karma equal to twice the new rank minus the number of skills in the skillgroup that you already have at that rank; this means that you spend a bit less at low rank and more at high (4+), with a total cost of 114 karma (3 skills) against the 110 that normal skill groups would require, but it's easier to handle and to roleplay.



My whole thing is that it seems like breaking the rules to just buy things at char creation in skill groups and then to raise one to 6. I was wrong about the karma cost for in game...but i cant seem to find a list of how raising stuff works after the creation process has been done. Could someone give me a page reference on that?

I unno...I might just tell him to go ahead and specialize in it NOW before the game starts since the group is technically already broken.

Im really not liking how skill groups work at all.
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Glyph
post Mar 14 2009, 01:57 AM
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What you're not liking is one interpretation of how skill groups work - and a fairly liberal interpretation. You're right that it seems like breaking the rules - there are a fair number of cheesy tactics that players can indulge in with "creative" rules interpretations, and a GM needs to know when to put his foot down.

Breaking a skill group during character creation may not be explicitly disallowed, but there is absolutely nothing indicating that it is possible to do so, either. Simply tell your player that he can either buy a skill group, or buy individual skills, but he may NOT break a skill group until after character creation (on the other hand, you should have no problem with that).
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greylotus
post Mar 14 2009, 02:16 AM
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QUOTE (Glyph @ Mar 13 2009, 05:57 PM) *
What you're not liking is one interpretation of how skill groups work - and a fairly liberal interpretation. You're right that it seems like breaking the rules - there are a fair number of cheesy tactics that players can indulge in with "creative" rules interpretations, and a GM needs to know when to put his foot down.

Breaking a skill group during character creation may not be explicitly disallowed, but there is absolutely nothing indicating that it is possible to do so, either. Simply tell your player that he can either buy a skill group, or buy individual skills, but he may NOT break a skill group until after character creation (on the other hand, you should have no problem with that).



I like that. Thanks alot!
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wind_in_the_ston...
post Mar 14 2009, 03:52 AM
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My interpretation is that you don't buy skills one at a time, or one level at a time. Choose your skills and total up the points they cost. And you don't get a discount on your clubs 5 just because you got UAC and edged at 3 each.
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Muspellsheimr
post Mar 14 2009, 04:47 AM
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My problem with skill groups is that, mathematically, some are obviously worth more than others; what they are 'actually' worth varies depending on which skills are valued in a given game, & thus is not something to balance a game on.

There is no reasonable way to increase every group to 4 skills, and no logical way to decrease every group to 3 skills. The simple & effective solution is to simply remove the concept, which seems to work quite well so far in my game.

My suggestion for merging Running, Swimming, & Climbing (and Flying, if applicable) into a single Athletics skill is because none of those are generally worth taking separately. Even with groups, the Athletics group is almost never increased above 1, simply to avoid defaulting. With them as a single skill, it might actually raised to higher values once in a while.
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