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ef31415
Let's say I have Pistols 6 and Specialization: Semi-auto.

Let's say I also have Smartlink, Enhanced articulation, and Reflex Recorder: Pistols.

I'me firing an Ares IV and agility of 5 (say).

Is the ruling:
1) I have a skill of 6+2 = 8 with semi-autos, so the pool cap is (8/2)=4, so I can use
(Agility) + (Skill) + (4 dice from SL,EA,RR) = 5 + 8 + 4 = 17 dice,
or

2) My pistols skill is 6, and the cap is (6/3)=3, so I can use
(Agility) + (Skill) + (Specialization) + (3 dice from SL,EA,RR) = 5+6+2+3 = 16 dice

?

Thanks,
Xenith
As far I know theres no offical call on that yet. Adam might drop in for it but I doubt it. smile.gif

Thats an interesting way of thinking of it... that Specializations count toward the base skill for the cap rather than towards the cap or as a simple modifier like smartguns are. Not entirely sure. It might simply be a GMs call kinda thing, and that Fanpro left it open and unclarrified for this purpose.
NightRain
Well as the book is written, the only actual skill modifier that counts to the modified limit cap is specialisations, as it is the only pool modifier written in the format listed in the cap definition. That means, technically by the book, you get 6+2 with semi autos. The two counts towards your maximum limit of 9, but nothing else does. So it's 6+2, + 2 for the smartlink +1 for the reflex recorders +5 for your agility. A total of 16 dice. (Enchanced artic doesn't apply to combat skills, only physical skills)

I think the way the book is /meant/ to read however, is that devices like enhanced articulation, reflex recorders etc that act on and improve specific skills also count towards this limit, whilst more general devices like smartlinks don't. The smartlink doesn't so much improve your skill as let you get more out of your natural skill by providing situational modifiers to help out (in a similar way that tracer rounds or a laser site don't actually make you more skilled)

If my guess as to how it's meant to read is correct, then the final formula would look like this

6 + 2 (skill + spec) + 1 (reflex recorder). These all count towards the maximum modified limit of 9, which you're now at. So even if you could apply the enhanced articulation to combat skills, you couldn't in this instance because you're already at your cap

You then get to add 5 (agility) + 2 (smartlink), for a total of 16 dice
Faenor
Now, I'm asking this question completely ignorant of SR4 rules as I do not have a copy of the main book. Lets say that you have your skill for pistols maxed, the relative attribute maxed, and you have all that gives a positive modifier. Now I understand that there's the limit of eighteen dice for the test. But lets also say that due to bonuses you would have a pool of twenty dice (not sure if this is possible) but you have a penalty of -4 dice; for cover, darkness, whatever (I'm also not sure if that's how SR4 modifiers work).

Do you subtract that penalty from the actual pool of twenty dice for an effective pool of sixteen, or from the maximum allowable pool of 18 for a total of fourteen dice?

Essentially, can positive modifiers effectively negate penalties in extraordinary circumstances like that?
NightRain
There isn't a limit of 18 dice to the pool. There is a limit to the dice you can get from stats and a limit to the dice you can get from skills, in both cases, this limit is 1.5 the maximum rating of the skill/attribute

This means that for a typical human, the most he can get is 9 dice from his modified skill, 9 dice from his modified stats, for 18 dice total. However, you can still get all sorts of modifiers to this pool based on situation stuff, like tracer rounds, aimed shots, laser sites etc. Those modifiers are not limited to 18 dice

However, to answer your question in any case, the most dice you can get from your stat/skill is typically 18 dice. Even if you had cyberware that could technically take it higher, you still only get to apply the 18 dice, and then you start counting in the modifiers, be the positive or negative. The cap is absolute
ef31415
QUOTE (NightRain)
Well as the book is written, the only actual skill modifier that counts to the modified limit cap is specialisations, as it is the only pool modifier written in the format listed in the cap definition. That means, technically by the book, you get 6+2 with semi autos. The two counts towards your maximum limit of 9, but nothing else does. So it's 6+2, + 2 for the smartlink +1 for the reflex recorders +5 for your agility. A total of 16 dice. (Enchanced artic doesn't apply to combat skills, only physical skills)


On pg 63, it says "Adept powers, implants, or magic may provide bonus dice to a skill, creating a modified skill rating, but this does not change the base skill rating. The maximum modified rating is 1.5 times the natural rating (making 9 the maximum achievable, or 10 with the Aptitude quality)."

It is clear from that, the cap applies only to magical or implant adds. Not specializations.

NightRain
Well if you want to take that interperatation, then there is /technically/ nothing at all in the book that counts towards the modified skill limit, because the only thing that uses the writing format oultined is specialistions, which aren't in the list you quoted smile.gif
FrankTrollman
QUOTE (ef31415)
Let's say I have Pistols 6 and Specialization: Semi-auto.

Let's say I also have Smartlink, Enhanced articulation, and Reflex Recorder: Pistols.

OK. The rules are really fuzzy on this point. However, the rules limit skill augmentations to half the base value. Here's how the rules interact with the following bonuses you have:

Smartlink: A Smartlink is not a skill bonus at all, it's a conditional modifier when you actually fire a weapon that is at this time smartlinked. So that bonus does not apply to the cap.

Enhanced Articulation: Enhanced Articulation only applies to physical skills based on physical attributes. Pistols is a Combat skill based on Agility, so it doesn't get any bonus at all.

Reflex Recorder: Pistols: This adds a "(+1)" to the end of your skill, and that certainly counts against your augmented limit.

Specialization: Semi-Automatics: Here's where things get really weird. This puts "(+2 Semi-Automatics)" at the end of your skill. That's really similar, but not quite identical to what goes up against the cap, which is defined as "(+x)" on page 109. Circumstantial evidence indicates that it's actually not supposed to count towards that limit, as characters are specifically able to have Specializations if they have a skill of 1, and the augmented limit rounds down.

---

Of course, in your instance it doesn't make any difference, because you only have 1 die that definately counts against the limit. And 2 dice that are arguably against the limit. And the whole augmentation limit is 3 dice in any case.

QUOTE
I'me firing an Ares IV and agility of 5 (say).


OK, you roll 5 dice for your agility, 9 dice for your skill, and 2 dice for your smartlink. All told, you roll 16 dice.

QUOTE
Thanks,


No problem

-Frank
Azralon
QUOTE (SR4 p109)
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 x1.5 (making 9 the maximum possible rating, or 10 with the Aptitude Quality).


Note that while attributes are capped at 150% of your racial maximum, skills are capped at 150% of your base skill. This means that if you have a 2 base skill, you can benefit from no more than a +1 skill modifier. A 4 skill can take up to a +2 modifier, and so forth.

Later in the same page, the passage on specializations mentions:

QUOTE (SR4 p109-110)
Specializations add 2 dice to any tests made for that skill when the specialization is applicable to the test.  Each specific specialization may be taken only once per character. A character must have a rating of at least 1 in a skill to take a specialization in it.


This means that you can have a 1 in a skill and take a specialization, gaining another +2 to the dice pool when that specialization is applicable. This seems like a contradiction, as the section just prior said you couldn't get a +2 bonus on a skill with rating 1.

In fact it isn't a contradiction; it's just counter-intuitive. A specialization "adds 2 dice to any tests made for that skill." It doesn't say it gives a +2 modifier to the skill itself. It just says when you make a test involving that skill, you get 2 more dice.

~~~~~

Attribute caps are thankfully easy to understand, but unfortunately skill caps start to get vague. Once you realize that few things are actually attribute or skill modifiers and most things are actually dice pool modifiers.... it at least startsto make sense.
NightRain
QUOTE (Azralon @ Oct 17 2005, 12:48 PM)
In fact it isn't a contradiction; it's just counter-intuitive.  A specialization "adds 2 dice to any tests made for that skill."  It doesn't say it gives a +2 modifier to the skill itself.  It just says when you make a test involving that skill, you get 2 more dice.

There isn't a single skill modifier in the game that says it adds directly to the skill. Every single one of them just gives you extra dice when making tests involving the skill in question, which is where half of the confusion comes from smile.gif
ef31415
Right now it's clear to me that the writers used inconsistant language thoughout the rules, and figuring out this skill cap thing is where it really hurts. I don't think slicing and dicing the language is the way to go here.

Is there any way we can get an official ruling on this?

Eyeless Blond
How about we just throw away these augmented skill/attribute cap things entirely? It seems more trouble than they're worth, to be honest.
Xenith
Agreed.
I don't mind the attribute caps, though. Keeps Adepts from getting... ubber and a half...

It would still be nice to know what they meant for the original rules though. smile.gif
NightRain
I think the more realistic hope is to bring them in to line with attribute modifiers. That is, make the modified limit 1.5 times the maximum rating of the skill, and let the modifiers alter the skill directly, rather than simply adding dice
Azralon
You'd still have to clearly designate which modifiers are skill modifiers and which are situational (i.e.: pool) modifiers. If you didn't, then things like aiming and superior position would bump into the cap.

Even so, it's the unclear designations that are the problem right now anyway. So basically there'd be no change from what we have now.
Xenith
Perhaps they should have just made the limit to the total modification of the original dice pool be double or something (similar but not quite the same as what they have now). Does almost the exact same thing they're looking for with less of a headache.

In fact its probably a little more limiting, since modifiers apparently don't "count". Eh. It give me a headache, but will probably just be errata'd soon enough... I hope.
Synner
The limits/caps are only applied to Augmented Attribute or Skill Ratings. Enhancements of any kind that modify the Attribute or Skill alter the Rating (normally in a permanent fashion) rather than the Pool. For the most part these are clearly identified as augmenting the base Att. or Skill Rating in their respective descriptions throughout the book.

In the vast majority of cases, these (Augmented or not) Att. and Skill Ratings are fixed and should not require any calculation in play (barring those select few enhancements/abilities that have trigger conditions), and you just add them together to produce the base Dice Pool.

All other Modifiers come into play as Dice Pool Modifiers (and are detailed as such in their descriptions) - these are situational and are not capped (ie. the Dice Pool has no cap).

A problem did arise regarding Skill / Specializations due to a mistake with the notation used that slipped through to the printed draft. Please refer to my post in the Errata Thread for the correct take straight from the Sprite's (Rob Boyle's) mouth.
Chandon
The sooner the FAQ gets posted, the happier I'll be.
NightRain
QUOTE (Synner @ Oct 18 2005, 02:31 AM)
For the most part these are clearly identified as augmenting the base Att. or Skill Rating in their respective descriptions throughout the book.

No they're not. Every single thing I can find in the book relating to skills, is a pool modifier. There isn't a single piece of tech that adds to the skill /rating/. The only thing that isn't explicitly mentioned to be a pool modifier is the adept ability, but even that says it "adds dice" rather than augments the skill rating itself
Rotbart van Dainig
And since a dice bonus to a skill is what creates an Augmented Skill Rating, this is the only necessity for the cap.
Synner
QUOTE (NightRain @ Oct 17 2005, 08:06 PM)
QUOTE (Synner @ Oct 18 2005, 02:31 AM)
For the most part these are clearly identified as augmenting the base Att. or Skill Rating in their respective descriptions throughout the book.

No they're not.

Beg to differ, but yes they are. My statement stands (ie. that anything that augments the Att. or Skill Rating instead of the Dice Pool is clearly identified in the description as doing so). Read it again. I made no reference to there currently being multiple ways to augment Skills (though I concede the possibility there might be something I've overlooked since I'm away from my books - I still have to check if there's some spell or spirit power that might have an effect).

QUOTE
Every single thing I can find in the book relating to skills, is a pool modifier.  There isn't a single piece of tech that adds to the skill /rating/.

Rotbart is correct. Currently there is only one form of enhancement that I can find that augments Skills (the adept power Improved Ability), hence it is the only one that is currently subject to the cap. This simply confirms my previous statement.

The fact that there is currently (and apparently) only one ability/enhancement that augments Skills doesn't preclude the possibility there won't be more as further products come out.
Rotbart van Dainig
That depends on how one reads it - since those terms are not capitalized, there is no real use in arguing on base of TTs.

Most dice pool modifiers from implants are referred to as a bonus, and are linked to certain skills, thus being subject to the cap... the list you had updated actually was fairly nice in summing it up.
Synner
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Oct 17 2005, 08:57 PM)
Most dice pool modifiers from implants are referred to as a bonus, and are linked to certain skills, thus being subject to the cap... the list you had updated actually was fairly nice in summing it up.

Again I beg to differ. Regardless of it being capitalized or not, the various rules clearly specify that these are bonus dice to the dice pool. With a couple of minor exceptions the descriptions state which modifers (such as some implants and certain adept abilities) are dice pool modifiers and those which specifically grant extra dice to an Att. or Skill. And the rules also specifically state that the caps are on Atts. and Skill Ratings (and not dice pool).
Rotbart van Dainig
In fact, there is no clear line... the variety ends with a 'dice pool bonus'.

On the other hand, there is nothing in the rule that excludes dice pool modifiers to a skill test from it...
NightRain
QUOTE (Synner)
Rotbart is correct. Currently there is only one form of enhancement that I can find that augments Skills (the adept power Improved Ability), hence it is the only one that is currently subject to the cap. This simply confirms my previous statement.

Except, the adept power is explicitly not subject to the cap, because not only does it state outright that it "does not actually improve a skillís rating, it only provides additional dice for tests" it also says that the maximum number of additional dice you can get is equal to your base skill rating (not 1.5 as outlined by the cap)
Shinobi Killfist
and the problem with adept abilities is it specifically gives its own cap of x2 the skill. Since you can have up to your skill level in adept bonus dice. Not up to 1/2 your skill level, so it may use the correct wording, though even that is poorly worded to show that, but it is an exception that goes past the x1.5.
Synner
QUOTE (NightRain @ Oct 17 2005, 10:00 PM)
QUOTE (Synner @ Oct 18 2005, 06:49 AM)
Rotbart is correct. Currently there is only one form of enhancement that I can find that augments Skills (the adept power Improved Ability), hence it is the only one that is currently subject to the cap. This simply confirms my previous statement.

Except, the adept power is explicitly not subject to the cap, because not only does it state outright that it "does not actually improve a skillís rating, it only provides additional dice for tests" it also says that the maximum number of additional dice you can get is equal to your base skill rating (not 1.5 as outlined by the cap)

If that is the case (which it might be, I'm away from my book), then currently no augmentation works on Skills; but as I said elsewhere regarding the errata, if you want the fully monty you'll have to wait for the official update (or mail Rob Boyle once he gets back from Germany).
Fortune
QUOTE (Synner)
If that is the case (which it might be, I'm away from my book), then currently no augmentation works on Skills ...

That is what I have been saying for a while. There is nothing in SR4 (so far) that is subject to the Augmentation Cap, as far as Skills are concerned.
NightRain
Which in turn is what I basically said in my very first reply to this thread smile.gif
Fortune
QUOTE (NightRain)
Which in turn is what I basically said in my very first reply to this thread

Yeah I know, but for some reason people keep on arguing with us about it. spin.gif
blakkie
QUOTE
Improved Ability does not actually improve a skillís _____ rating,
it only provides additional dice for tests involving the skill.


I think they left out the word 'base' where i put in the underline. Especially considering that elsewhere it is explicitly mentioned that some Adept powers do come under the modified skill cap. Likely they intended to imply "base" given the last paragraph on page 106 refers to the natural Skill as the "rating". But the stuff that is capped at 1.5*Skill is refered to as "modified ratings" and in that context one paragraph later on page 109 they refer to what they called "ratings" before as "base ratings". Thus confusion.

The book's terminology use regarding skills seems for-crap sloppy. The BBB has viciously vague wording in places, and the area of Skill cap is probably the most problematic since it's impact is so far reaching. You have to stop literal rules reading it and try to extract the intent, which seems to be inline what Synner has suggested in past threads. *shrug*

In short to get Skill caps you must stop reading through the eyes of a lawyer and instead get your Rules Zen on. wobble.gif
NightRain
QUOTE
But the stuff that is capped at 1.5*Skill is refered to as "modified ratings" and in that context one paragraph later on page 109 they refer to what they called "ratings" before as "base ratings". Thus confusion.


That still doesn't address the fact that the adept ability explicitly limits the maximum number of dice to your current rating in the skill, which is an outright and explicit contradiction to the 1.5x cap.

QUOTE
In short to get Skill caps you must stop reading through the eyes of a lawyer and instead get your Rules Zen on. wobble.gif


Which is again, what I basically said in my first post smile.gif

I have no intention of playing the skill rules as they are written, but more as I think they were /meant/ to be written smile.gif
FrankTrollman
My houserules on the subject are that the augmented maximum is 3 more than your base skill.

Specializations count as part of the base skill. Adept Bonus Skill Dice count against the augmented cap. Bioware reflex recorders do as well. So does the Analyze Device spell.

That seems to behave about how the rules imply they were intended to function. That's just a house rule, however.

-Frank
blakkie
QUOTE (NightRain @ Oct 17 2005, 09:29 PM)
QUOTE
But the stuff that is capped at 1.5*Skill is refered to as "modified ratings" and in that context one paragraph later on page 109 they refer to what they called "ratings" before as "base ratings". Thus confusion.


That still doesn't address the fact that the adept ability explicitly limits the maximum number of dice to your current rating in the skill, which is an outright and explicit contradiction to the 1.5x cap.

1) I have already discussed in previous threads the possible typo error (missing a single word). That Skill caps are based on the natural maximum, not current base ranking, given that the former meshes better with the examples.
2) If there are two limits in effect, and one is never reached because of another? *shrug* It isn't the only place that you'll find this logical artifact. In this case even more understable given that, IIRC, limiting the power's dice to the Skill rating is a copy-paste from SR3, right?

QUOTE

QUOTE
In short to get Skill caps you must stop reading through the eyes of a lawyer and instead get your Rules Zen on.†


Which is again, what I basically said in my first post.

I have no intention of playing the skill rules as they are written, but more as I think they were /meant/ to be written


However in this case it is incorrect to assert that the RAW definatively states that Improved [edit]Ability[/edit] dice do not count towards the Skill cap. So in that case you actually get to play them as written. Well, hopefully with a bit less confusion anyway. wink.gif

EDIT: @Rotbart van Dainig nyahnyah.gif
NightRain
QUOTE (blakkie)
However in this case it is incorrect to assert that the RAW definatively states that Improved Attribute dice do not count towards the Skill cap. So in that case you actually get to play them as written. Well, hopefully with a bit less confusion anyway. wink.gif

They will certainly count in my games, but I still don't know that I agree that I'm reading the rules as written incorrectly smile.gif
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (blakkie)
However in this case it is incorrect to assert that the RAW definatively states that Improved Attribute dice do not count towards the Skill cap.

They don't, but thats implicit. wink.gif
blakkie
QUOTE (de udda fella)
QUOTE (blakkie @ Oct 18 2005, 03:32 PM)
However in this case it is incorrect to assert that the RAW definatively states that Improved Attribute dice do not count towards the Skill cap. So in that case you actually get to play them as written. Well, hopefully with a bit less confusion anyway. wink.gif

They will certainly count in my games, but I still don't know that I agree that I'm reading the rules as written incorrectly smile.gif

You are floating down the river in Egypt? biggrin.gif
Rotbart van Dainig
No, I'm not NightRain. wink.gif
NightRain
QUOTE (blakkie)
You are floating down the river in Egypt? biggrin.gif

That one went straight over my head...
Xenith
'de Nile of course. ohplease.gif
NightRain
So he was asking me if I was in denial? What's with the question mark? smile.gif
snowRaven
don't mind me...I'm tired...
Azralon
QUOTE (NightRain)
the adept power ... "does not actually improve a skillís rating, it only provides additional dice for tests"

That's the definition of a modified skill, though.

QUOTE (SR4 p109)
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.


I'm at a loss as to why adepts can get a power that's capped at 200% when a fundamental rule says 150%. My two guesses are:

1) Maybe the extra 50% is meant as a "debuff buffer," letting you offset some skill penalties by burning the skill buff first before eating into the 150% cap.
2) Maybe the original skill cap was 200% and the adept power writeup wasn't corrected before the printing. I find this more likely than #1.
Eyeless Blond
Or the two rules were written without the people writing them ever referring to each other. This dismays me, because something as far-reaching as a total cap on all Skill and Attribute modifiers certainly *should* be mentioned to everyone, but it doesn't surprise me.
snowRaven
...or, as was suggested, the 200% cap on Improved Ability is simply a 'cut-n-paste' from SR3 (and probably not the only one...)
blakkie
*cough*spirit stats*cough* frown.gif
Fortune
The entire Spirit rules (as far as stats go) need a good overhaul. They are just way too powerful on a number of levels.
ef31415
Considering that we have a large number of posting all basically coming to different interpretations (the only two that agree are of the opinion that the cap doesn't actually apply to anything yet wobble.gif ) I can safely say

For the love of Pete, who can we get to straighten this out? With a _lot_ of examples? I can understand happy rules, but this is one area the language needs to be consistant and precise over the whole ruleset.

Fortune
QUOTE (ef31415)
... the only two that agree are of the opinion that the cap doesn't actually apply to anything yet ...

What we agree on is that currently there are no skill modifiers as listed that count towards the Augmented Cap. This is based on reading the rules, and the words of Synner, one of the Freelancers, and his relaying of the words from Rob, the Line Director.
Shinobi Killfist
QUOTE (Azralon)
QUOTE (NightRain @ Oct 17 2005, 06:00 PM)
the adept power ...  "does not actually improve a skillís rating, it only provides additional dice for tests"

That's the definition of a modified skill, though.

QUOTE (SR4 p109)
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.


I'm at a loss as to why adepts can get a power that's capped at 200% when a fundamental rule says 150%. My two guesses are:

1) Maybe the extra 50% is meant as a "debuff buffer," letting you offset some skill penalties by burning the skill buff first before eating into the 150% cap.
2) Maybe the original skill cap was 200% and the adept power writeup wasn't corrected before the printing. I find this more likely than #1.

or maybe adepts should just get a bigger cap. There paying .5 magic for a specific skill bonus, things like the reflex recorder cost .2 essense for a skill group bonus. Who would I want to have a higher cap the guy paying .5 for pistols or the guy paying .2 for firearms.. Now the magic stat is effectively unlimited so in the incredibly long run that .5 is effectively cheaper but still it would take lots of initiation and magic stat increases to get to that point.
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