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> Artisan and Etiquette, question
Savar
post Feb 20 2012, 02:56 PM
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Okay I am still trying to learn some of the nuances of 4th ed skills
in previous versions of SR Etiquette REQUIRED specialized but 4th dose not ?

the other question is Artisan skill. The basic skill seams a little All Encompassing?
or should it be specialized also ?
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Yerameyahu
post Feb 20 2012, 03:06 PM
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Artisan is basically useless, so it's usually okay for people to have a more generic creative ability. The same logic likely goes for etiquette, but the GM can certainly say things like, 'you have no idea what the etiquette here is'.
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Savar
post Feb 20 2012, 03:11 PM
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okay, its just if you wanted to make a Singer or a Instrumentalist? you would use Artisan and that would be something to be used then if there was a gig at a club or something ? or am I wrong in the skill to use ?
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Neraph
post Feb 20 2012, 05:48 PM
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I think the safe way to House-Rule Artisan is like an Exotic Weapon skill - you have to specify it each time and take it differently for different things. Out of the book though, you put 3 ranks in Artisan and you can sing, paint, play any instrument, weld scrap-art, draw photo-realistically and anime, and compose prose and poetry (and much, much more).
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Glyph
post Feb 20 2012, 06:04 PM
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Artisan is a skill meant to represent people who are well-rounded artistically, so people with that skill should know a wide range of artistic endeavors. In practice, I think the character's background should limit this to a wide but finite range, rather than the character being able to do every form of art in existence. One person might focus on painting, drawing, and sculpture, with some ability in making matrix glyphs and AR designs. Another person might be a singer/songwriter/rapper/street poet who can play several instruments, who also likes doing Japanese ink brush painting.

One thing to remember is that artisan is a defaultable skill, so everyone is actually a Renaissance man/woman - someone with artisan simply has more dice to roll for it.
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snowRaven
post Feb 20 2012, 07:13 PM
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QUOTE (Glyph @ Feb 20 2012, 07:04 PM) *
One thing to remember is that artisan is a defaultable skill, so everyone is actually a Renaissance man/woman - someone with artisan simply has more dice to roll for it.


...because in 2074, everyone can quickly download whatever program they will need to copy/enhance/create whatever art form they want to perform in (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)
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SpellBinder
post Feb 20 2012, 08:09 PM
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In some of the other gaming circles a friend does for SR, Etiquette has been more often used to help players avoid a case of athlete's tongue (the player says something at the table that's OOC & completely inappropriate, and a skill check is done to see if the character may have actually said it). To me, Etiquette is also a way to gauge how a character can watch the social interactions and make appropriate responses, be it a business meeting with a Johnson or a beer party with a go-gang.

Artisan is actually one of the required skills for if a character wants to do some vehicle and/or weapon modifications. Personally I've always thought that Artisan in general was too broad, and have been toying with thoughts about how to incorporate knowledge skills in with it (like using a knowledge skill DP or something to limit Artisan hits or something; it's a work in progress). Treating Artisan more like an exotic skill has also crossed my mind, as I can't see every star singer being a master sculptor, painter, writer, etc. as well without spending a lot of time learning such separate skills.
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Yerameyahu
post Feb 20 2012, 08:30 PM
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It's only required for well, Artisanal modifications. Nothing important. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

We definitely have talked about narrowing Artisan in other threads that I recall, but I still say it only needs that if it's somehow become a problem in your game.
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Critias
post Feb 20 2012, 08:32 PM
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QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 20 2012, 04:30 PM) *
We definitely have talked about narrowing Artisan in other threads that I recall, but I still say it only needs that if it's somehow become a problem in your game.

This.

I mean, sure, realistically? It should be a narrower skill. But practically...does it matter? Is any given campaign just terribly off-kilter and broken, because the party is full of people that can all dance and sing and draw and install the "Custom Looks" gear mod, all at the same time? Of things so potentially game-imbalancing they deserve a house rule...I mean...it's not even a blip on my radar, personally.
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Glyph
post Feb 20 2012, 08:57 PM
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Etiquette is a general skill of "fitting in". Rather than separate etiquette skills for each subculture, there are now specializations and situational modifiers.

A former ganger with knowledge skills in the Portland-Seattle black market, gang turf, and elven gansta rappers would have a comparatively easy time blending in at a street party hosted by the Ancients.

A face with a high Charisma and etiquette skill, with tailored pheromones, could face a much more uphill battle - if the face in question is a former company man whose knowledge skills and background are exclusively corporate. He could still pull it off, but he would be facing significant negative modifiers, and have to roll to avoid social blunders that the ganger wouldn't even need to roll for, because it would be everyday knowledge for him.
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Mercer
post Feb 20 2012, 10:16 PM
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If Artisan had some sort of component where a certain threshold creation (for lack of a better term) was worth a certain amount of money, but it seems like again a thing that would have so little impact in 99.99% of games that it doesn't really cry out for a specific ruling.

This is not my suggestion but it is a thought experiment: Let's say that having a certain level of Artisan would allow a character to sustain themselves at a certain level of lifestyle, like 1-6 equates to Streets through Luxury. Lifestyles have no real mechanical component (a character doesn't say, regain Edge faster in one lifestyle over another) other than cost, so it wouldn't offend me greatly. A character could start with a 5 Artisan, help pay for it with some Neg qualities like Day Job (to represent the time it takes) and Fame and basically be Johnny Silverhand. It's a pinky-mohawky idea, but the Rocker was an SR1 archetype, so there's an historical precedence.
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snowRaven
post Feb 20 2012, 11:29 PM
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QUOTE (Mercer @ Feb 20 2012, 11:16 PM) *
This is not my suggestion but it is a thought experiment: Let's say that having a certain level of Artisan would allow a character to sustain themselves at a certain level of lifestyle, like 1-6 equates to Streets through Luxury. Lifestyles have no real mechanical component (a character doesn't say, regain Edge faster in one lifestyle over another) other than cost, so it wouldn't offend me greatly. A character could start with a 5 Artisan, help pay for it with some Neg qualities like Day Job (to represent the time it takes) and Fame and basically be Johnny Silverhand. It's a pinky-mohawky idea, but the Rocker was an SR1 archetype, so there's an historical precedence.


Luckily(?) higher skill in arts doesn't equal higher income even today...

It should never be a problem in an SR game, I think - at least not until people start getting Artisan at 6-7 and combine it with Connection 6/Loyalty 4+ contacts...but then you just made yourself a target for the GMs shadowrunners, so hey...
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Critias
post Feb 20 2012, 11:46 PM
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While that might be a fun house rule for a rockerboy themed campaign, the issue that then arises is why only Artisan? Why don't any other active, or for that matter knowledge, skills equate to free nuyen (by way of free lifestyle costs)?

From a purely mathematical standpoint, just take a look at the Trust Fund Positive Quality, from Runner's Companion. There, you're shelling out 10 BP for a free Medium lifestyle, or a whopping 20 BP for a free High. Here, you'd be giving them that (without it taking up their 35-capped Quality points and while attaching it to a skill they might otherwise use), but potentially all the way up to Luxury.

I mean, if you think it'd be cool to try, then go for it. As the focal point of a non-traditional campaign, more focused on slacker musicians trying to get their shit together, and less focused on hard-boiled professional criminals? Knock yourself out. I think that could be a really fun "slice of life" campaign. Heck, just look at an NPC that recently took over leadership of the Ancients, and I think you'll see that I really dig big, in your face, rockers.

But the issues I see are ones of skill favoritism (surely if a Liberal Arts major that's got a healthy Artisan skill can automatically get a high income, shouldn't someone with lots of other skills be able to do the same?), and just plain financial balance. Just to cut down on bookkeeping, I think you'd see everyone interested in a free Lifestyle just ditching certain PosQuals, and picking up a few ranks of Artisan, instead.
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Mercer
post Feb 21 2012, 03:57 AM
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It's not my suggestion, only a thought experiment. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) That said, I'll defend it a little since it's a defenseless little idea and I did bring it into this world.

QUOTE
While that might be a fun house rule for a rockerboy themed campaign, the issue that then arises is why only Artisan? Why don't any other active, or for that matter knowledge, skills equate to free nuyen (by way of free lifestyle costs)?

I think an argument could be made for Instruction as well. But for everything else those skills already do something, even if it's just save the character nuyen on gear. Artisan is a skill with-- as near as I can tell-- no other game effect at all. The only reason a character would have it is if it was important to the player that the character be good at the guitar, or painting. It's purely a role-playing/fluff decision.

One of the things we did in SR3 was instead of Active and Knowledge skills, we called them Active and Inactive. Active skills had a mechanical ability, Inactive skills were fluff. So a character who wanted to play guitar could buy it with the free points in chargen, rather than have to choose between Guitar and Unarmed, for instance.

QUOTE
From a purely mathematical standpoint, just take a look at the Trust Fund Positive Quality, from Runner's Companion. There, you're shelling out 10 BP for a free Medium lifestyle, or a whopping 20 BP for a free High. Here, you'd be giving them that (without it taking up their 35-capped Quality points and while attaching it to a skill they might otherwise use), but potentially all the way up to Luxury.

If an Artisan 4 gave you Medium and Artisan 5 gave you High, that would be 16 or 20 BP for the "free" Lifestyle. Out of chargen it's worse for the character to do it that way, either by a whopping 6 BP or by being one of their 2 skills at 5. It's not a particularly sweet deal in that regard, but they'd have the option of raising it in play for 15 karma (from mid to high) or 20 (from high to lux). This assumes that the specialization dice don't increase the base rating of the skill, and a lifestyle bonus was based on the rating.

It would be considered a lifetime lifestyle since it would pay the lifestyle costs every month in perpetuity, and it would get weird if the character wanted to live at a lower lifestyle. (If the character bought up to a Artisan 6 for luxury lifestyle and wanted to live at high and take the rest in cast, well, that would be pointlessly unbalancing.)

I think more in keeping with the down-to-earth feel of the game if you made it a free lifestyle for 2pts in the Artisan skill (so a Artisan 6 could live at low lifestyle for free), it probably wouldn't offend anyone. A world class musician could make a small amount of money playing on the street or in small local venues, an incredibly skilled painter could eek out a living doing murals for neighborhood organizations or sketches in the park. It would still be a waste of points from a mechanical standpoint, but it would allow a player who took something for role-playing purposes to enjoy some small mechanical benefit.
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UmaroVI
post Feb 21 2012, 04:22 AM
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Really, it's that the divide should be between Shadowrunning skills and Background skills, but it's instead between "Active" skills and "Knowledge" skills, which leads to screwy things like "knowing all about how screwy spirits work" being a cheap skill and "baking decorative cakes" being expensive.
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Midas
post Feb 21 2012, 05:47 AM
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QUOTE (Savar @ Feb 20 2012, 02:56 PM) *
Okay I am still trying to learn some of the nuances of 4th ed skills
in previous versions of SR Etiquette REQUIRED specialized but 4th dose not ?

the other question is Artisan skill. The basic skill seams a little All Encompassing?
or should it be specialized also ?

Good questions, both. I play both Ettiquette and Artisan with house rules as follows:

1) Ettiquette
I too started way way back in SR1 where Ettiquette (Corp), Ettiquette (Street), and whateve other subgenres of Ettiquette floated your boat.
The way I play it now is to base it on the character's background, and as Glyph apparently does give situational negative DP (in my case no more than -1 or -2) to walks of life the character is not familiar with.
The skill description says it allows the character to know how to blend in and say the right things, so at higher levels the skill should benefit situations the character may have no experience in, which is why I limit the negative DP to only 1 or 2. Naturally, other social modifiers might come into play if the character is dressed inappropriately or behaving badly or a metahuman amongst humanis goons etc.

2) Artisan
There was quite a long thread about this a few months back. Some DSers seem to think like Yerameyahu that it is a fluff skill, so why not let it mean the character who wastes BP on this skill can be a total Renaissance Man and be good at sculpting, painting, dancing, singing and playing every instrument under the sun.
I am a lot more narrow in my interpretation of the skill, and allow a player to choose one 'field' to be talented in. For instance, if a character wants to be a singer in a rock band their skill would cover singing, dancing (a la front man of a band rather than any particular style) and perhaps a bit of guitar. For someone who wants to be talented at a much broader range of skills, I even have an Artisan group skill. Suffice to say, noone has ever taken it ...
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Mercer
post Feb 21 2012, 05:58 AM
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I think it should be specified (for fluff reasons rather than mechanical, I'm not worried about it breaking the game), but I'd be pretty lenient on the specification. I wouldn't have a problem with a character having Artisan: Art to cover painting, drawing and even sculpting, or Artisan: Music to cover musical instruments and even singing. That way they can specialize in one thing (like guitar) and have something they are superior at but be branched out in the general field without having to take multiple Artisan skills.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Feb 21 2012, 03:38 PM
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For the few characters that actually take the Skill Artisan, we have treated it as an Exotic Skill that requires a Descriptor upon Purchase.

For Example
Artisan - SynthAxe
Artisan - Dance
Artisan - Singing
Artisan - Music Performance (SynthAxe Specialty)
etc.

It rarely, if ever, actually comes up, though. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Yerameyahu
post Feb 21 2012, 04:20 PM
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*shrug* Midas, if you're going to let them be skilled in a suite of 'rock front man' skills, you might as well just let them be skilled in everything. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) TJ does the same thing, listing 'Music' as a specialization right next to 'SynthAxe'. Clearly, these are all different sizes; they sound like knowledge skills. That means the GM has to decide at every turn whether something applies, how much, etc.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Feb 21 2012, 05:40 PM
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QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 21 2012, 09:20 AM) *
*shrug* Midas, if you're going to let them be skilled in a suite of 'rock front man' skills, you might as well just let them be skilled in everything. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) TJ does the same thing, listing 'Music' as a specialization right next to 'SynthAxe'. Clearly, these are all different sizes; they sound like knowledge skills. That means the GM has to decide at every turn whether something applies, how much, etc.



Which is why we always have that "talk" with the GM prior to assigning that type of skill. The rocker I created has 3 Artisan Skills (SynthAxe, Singing, and Dance With Stage Performance Specialties), rather than a Single Stage performance Skill with an Instrument (or whatever) Specialty. It totally depends upon the character concept, in my opinion, and the GM SHOULD have some say in how it will be expressed in game. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) *shrug*
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Midas
post Feb 22 2012, 07:37 AM
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QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 21 2012, 04:20 PM) *
*shrug* Midas, if you're going to let them be skilled in a suite of 'rock front man' skills, you might as well just let them be skilled in everything. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) TJ does the same thing, listing 'Music' as a specialization right next to 'SynthAxe'. Clearly, these are all different sizes; they sound like knowledge skills. That means the GM has to decide at every turn whether something applies, how much, etc.

I have to disagree. If said player with Artisan (Rock front man) were on a run to steal a famous painting, he wouldn't try and claim he could make a decent forgery to replace the original with ...
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Yerameyahu
post Feb 22 2012, 02:41 PM
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Cuz Forgery is a different skill. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

Really though, I'm just saying that you can't have a skill randomly being sliced into different 'sizes' (like Knowledge skills) without making GM decisions all the time, and without being unfair to someone. If you're going to give someone three kinds of Artisan for one, then you have to do it for everyone. It's totally unlike every other Active skill in the game, and that's bad.

I still can't see Artisan abuse ever being a problem. Let them take Artisan and Know skills that back it up, if you like.
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pbangarth
post Feb 22 2012, 04:35 PM
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QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 22 2012, 09:41 AM) *
Cuz Forgery is a different skill. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

I still can't see Artisan abuse ever being a problem. Let them take Artisan and Know skills that back it up, if you like.

This sounds reasonable. Raw talent focused with some book-learning.
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SpellBinder
post Feb 22 2012, 07:54 PM
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The problem with that that some people have is something like this: Take a well known and skilled artist who does nothing but sculpting, has only done sculpting and never anything else but sculpting in the Artisan skill; game mechanics he has a high rating in Artisan and a large DP to do the work. By RAW the same DP would go to him the first time ever in his life he goes to write a song.

However the seemingly unbalanced and unrealistic nature of how Artisan works in the game is largely offset by the apparent lack of PCs who actually invest in this skill in the first place (none of my players have ever put rank 1 into this skill).
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Yerameyahu
post Feb 22 2012, 08:06 PM
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Right. There would be abuse potential if (a) that ever happened, (b) it mattered at all, and (c ) Artisan were defined as 'not a general creativity skill'. I think none of those are the case. If that's not true at your table, you should indeed impose balancing changes.
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