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> Specialization Confusion!, Blurg-Arg
Raife
post Feb 4 2005, 12:38 PM
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I am having a discussion with a friend over how specializations actually work. Our difficulty comes from the rules not agreeing with the examples given.

Rules Quote:

Pistols (Quickness)
Pistols governs the use of all types of hand-held firearms, including hold-out, light and heavy pistols, and tasers. (B/R)
Default: Assault Rifles, Rifles, Shotguns, Submachine Guns
Specializations: By Specific Weapon Type.

This leads us to believe that Pistols (Heavy Pistols) is an appropriate specialization... however NO example every does this, instead it uses specific weapons regardless of clearly labeled types in the skill name.

Which is right?
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Fortune
post Feb 4 2005, 12:44 PM
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Valid specializations for the Pistols skill would be Ares Viper Slivergun or Colt Manhunter, as opposed to Heavy Pistol or Machine Pistol.
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Raife
post Feb 4 2005, 12:51 PM
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Our question though is why? There is no errata on this, and the rule reads pretty clear.
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Gem the Troll
post Feb 4 2005, 01:23 PM
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This is to allow for people who use one prefered weapon. Let's say Joe Schmoe uses a Ares Predator...it's his favorite gun. He keeps two on him in case he loses one. Now let's say he picks up a Colt Manhunter. Both are heavy pistols, but the Manhunter definately has a different feel to it, different setting, etc...The two are close enough that he could shoot it, but not close enough that his weapon specialization would carry over. It makes a great deal of sense in my mind. If you don't like it, don't specialize.
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hahnsoo
post Feb 4 2005, 01:27 PM
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We use "relaxed" weapon specializations... certain classes of mass-produced guns fit into weapon categories, like Heavy Revolvers, Heavy Military Pistols, Light Revolvers, etc. We attribute this to mass-production and standardization within the industry. Custom-built guns are specializations unto themselves. In practice, most of our characters don't specialize at all, but one of our sammies found his "Bullpup Assault Rifle" specialization useful when he lost his rifle and picked up one from a security guard.
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mintcar
post Feb 4 2005, 01:48 PM
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The specializations of 3:d ed could be compared to the concentrations of 2:nd ed most of the time. That is, a rather general area of the skill is focused. In 2:nd ed it would look like this: Computers: Programming: Coding IC. Now it looks like this: Computers: Programming.

But when it comes to the guns, the new skills are actually the old concentrations. In 2:nd ed it would look like this: Firearms: Pistols: Ares Predator. Now it looks like this: Pistols: Ares Predator.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Feb 4 2005, 01:52 PM
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QUOTE (Raife)
Our question though is why?

Because that's how SR's weapon skills work. You get a base skill for a group of weapons, and then you specialize in a specific weapon. In this case "specific weapon type" refers to a model of weapon, a "specific vehicle type" refers to a model of car/bike/boat/aircraft, etc.

QUOTE (Gem the Troll)
This is to allow for people who use one prefered weapon. Let's say Joe Schmoe uses a Ares Predator...it's his favorite gun. He keeps two on him in case he loses one. Now let's say he picks up a Colt Manhunter. Both are heavy pistols, but the Manhunter definately has a different feel to it, different setting, etc...The two are close enough that he could shoot it, but not close enough that his weapon specialization would carry over. It makes a great deal of sense in my mind. If you don't like it, don't specialize.

Personally, I very much disagree with this approach to base skills and specializations, because you could apply it to everything, down to the tiniest detail. There is a major difference between firing a weapon in semi-automatic and fully automatic, yet you are not required to specialize in "FA /w AK-97". I bet there's supposed to be a major difference between casting Combat and Detection spells, but you don't have to specialize in "Combat Sorcery".

This ties in with the bigger rant about how the firearm skills are chopped up into subskills of very limited scope while some skills have extremely wide-ranged applications -- compare SMGs to Electronics, for example. Something as minor as how the "feel" of a Colt Manhunter is different from the "feel" of an Ares Predator could only separate specializations in the firearms skills, no other aspect of the game bothers with such details. And the only reason that's so is that the single blanket Firearms skill of earlier SR editions was not good for game balance, so they went to the extreme other end.

If you feel like reading more about firearms skills, try topics like this or this, or just make a search with "firearms skills".
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iPad
post Feb 4 2005, 02:45 PM
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Trouble is if you start looking how how to change the skills to be more consistant with each other or break down skills like electronics and biotech you basically cant stop the whole lot from unravelling. It would be a mamoth task trying to achieve what some people want and would lead to a skills list and character gen that wouldnt be quick or easy on anyone but the most veteran players.

I just try and remember the setting and making none combat skills general and therefore cheaper incourages people to take them and makes a more dynamic game than just constant firefights.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Feb 4 2005, 03:22 PM
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Oh I definitely wouldn't say you should break down non-combat skills. On the contrary, I feel the combat skills should be more generic. The firearms skill set I am most comfortable with can be found in the first thread I linked above.
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iPad
post Feb 4 2005, 03:47 PM
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For firearms the defaulting process sticks them all together kind of. I think SMGs, ARs and Rifles should be free to default to with any of those skills or a +1 default mod at most (especially ARs and Rifles). But the rest are different enough to make them skills.
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nezumi
post Feb 4 2005, 04:08 PM
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Hrm... I feel kinda behind the times now... I'm stuck in 2nd edition I guess.

I generally go like this Pistols (Heavy Pistols) (Ares Predator) 4(5)(7) if they want to go that far. But I rarely see people go three levels down with weapons. Now that I think about it, most of my PCs have gone Pistols (Ares Predator). Hrm. I'm glad someone is reading the rules.
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tisoz
post Feb 4 2005, 05:12 PM
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QUOTE (nezumi)
Hrm... I feel kinda behind the times now... I'm stuck in 2nd edition I guess.

I generally go like this Pistols (Heavy Pistols) (Ares Predator) 4(5)(7) if they want to go that far. But I rarely see people go three levels down with weapons. Now that I think about it, most of my PCs have gone Pistols (Ares Predator). Hrm. I'm glad someone is reading the rules.

Maybe because Pistols (Ares Predator) is the example used on SR3.82?
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nezumi
post Feb 4 2005, 06:55 PM
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Hey, if I reread the books every time they made a major revision, well... Maybe I'd have stopped giving out spell locks before last year too.

Stupid 3rd edition with all it's new fangled 'rules' and 'updates'... Feh.
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