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Aza
A quick question about skills and skill groups.

It gives the example in the book that someone buys the "stealth" skill group at level 4 at creation, then decides a month later that they mostly use infiltration so they split the group and increase their infiltration skill to 5, so they then have the seperate skills, infiltration5, disguise4, palming4, shadowing4.

My question is, can i do this at character creation or only later with karma?

I want to give my char the firearms skill group at level 4, but then increase my pistol skill to 6. Can i buy the firearms skill of 4 then spend to increase just the pistols skill, splitting the rest? (ie pistols6, automatics4, longarms4)
Or do i have to buy the skills seperately (and at a much higher karma cost) if i want to do that?

Cheers in advance for any help
Teulisch
hmm. offhand, im not aware of anything ruling either way. ask your gm, but its probably fine. It will just cost more karma when you decide to raise the rest of the skills in the group.

FrankTrollman
QUOTE (Aza)
My question is, can i do this at character creation or only later with karma?

Yes. You may do this at character creation or only later with karma.

The rules don't actually say.

-Frank
Drace
QUOTE (Teulisch)
It will just cost more karma when you decide to raise the rest of the skills in the group.

Except that when you upgrade one of the skills, the group is broken up and can't be upgraded as a skill group anymore, they all have to be done individually
Aza
thanks for the fast replies guys smile.gif
yep im happy to raise the other skills manually later with karma, i just want my pistols skill at 6 from the get-go smile.gif
Superbum
IMHO, I still think that is a cheap tactic to get a discount on build point costs for skills.
Aza
possibly, but i justify it as im an allrounder with firearms to a skill of 4, but have mainly concentrated on pistols giving me extra skill with them
Gomez
I had a player in my group ask me about this as he was building his character. Here is what I think about it.

Buys Firearms Skill Group 4 costing 40 build points.
Bumping Pistols to 6 costs an additional 8 BP.
For a total of 48 BP. And it breaks the Skill Group.

If he had instead purchased Automatics 4, Longarms 4, and Pistol 6 then it would have cost him 56 BP.

So he saves 8 BP's just because of the way the purchased the exact same skills.

This kinda smells of a powergaming loop hole in the rules to me. Though it doesn's say that you can do this in character creation.
FrankTrollman
That's like saying it's a powergaming loophole for players to buy skill groups at all. Or a powergaming loophole for streetsamurai to not purchase themselves the magician quality and then burn out when they get cyberware. There are lots of ways for you to flush BP down the toilet for no practical benefit.

Yeah, getting the firearms skill group saves you up to 8 BP in exchange for you having every basic gun skill in spite of the fact that you are normally only going to use one or two. I seriously don't see the problem.

The question you should be asking is whether 40 points of Firearms is overpowered. And since it gives you the same number of dice as 40 points of Agility, I think that's a very hard case to make. Skills in SR4 are flat too expensive. By a lot. Asking people to pay even more is absurd.

-Frank
Xeros
How is this powergaming? If he wants the 3 skills at 4, and 1 at 6, then buy them that way. You can do the exact same thing with karma. I did that with my technomancer. I had several skills I wanted to get to at least 4, but I am willing to break the group since I don't care to raise all of them to 5 or 6. *shrug*, it's just how the skill system works, what's the big deal
Aza
hmmm i get the feeling that unless an errata is released, this is going to be one of those issues that is going to be on a per-GM basis whether its allowed or not...
Gomez
Well if you look at the example under Creating a Shadowrunner on page 75. It says.

QUOTE
Since he wants his character to be a weapon specialist in more than just name, he wants to be the best shooter possible. Brian opts to acquire skills individually, since skill groups are limited to a maximum rating of 4 for starting characters. He can only have one skill at Rating 6, so he decides to put those points in Pistols.


Now in the example he also purchased Longarms 3 and Automatics 4. From the wording you cannot purchase a skill group and then raise it over 4. Even if it is just an individual skill.

But it's your game to do with as you will and if you want to allow your players do it thats fine. I am just saying that I will not. If feels like cheating to me.
adair
the real ? that need to be ask is why are skill put into group in the 1st place.

seem to me that they are alike in what you are doing so are easer to learn how to do them all. if this is why you feal that groups where made. then it is lodical that you could get them as a group then split them up after you have raze it even at char gen.

where as if you have to go over the basic a 2nd time on a new time of skill. you may have of forgotten what you have learned because i in intuitive now. when you trying to mod that at a later date if can make for issues and having to back track... that the way i look at it anyway.
Shemhazai
I tried to find an example of breaking a skill group at character generation in the rule book. I could not. The writers go out of their way in several places to imply that it is against the rules.

Characters should be able to do this for a few reasons. First, there is a synergy among similar skills that allows less effort to learn them. For example, it is easier to several languages if all of those languages are of the same language family. Second, starting characters are limited to either one skill at level 6 or two skills at level 5. Therefore, allowing it does not break the game. Third, it makes sense that a person with related skills would be especially good at one of them. It makes less sense that a person would be elite at something and untrained in a closely related skill.

So the character has saved 8 BP for a three-skill group and 24 BP for a four-skill group. Big deal. I actually like it when players spend BP on things other than attributes and gear. Otherwise magicians will tend to get Spellcasting at 7, counterspelling at 4 and ritual sorcery at 0. Let them spend a little more BP to get ritual sorcery too; its not that big a deal. They will be raising the "non-essential" skills, and that is just the opposite of power gaming.
Drace
QUOTE (Shemhazai)
I tried to find an example of breaking a skill group at character generation in the rule book. I could not. The writers go out of their way in several places to imply that it is against the rules.

pg. 264 basically states that to "break" a skill group, all you do is buy a point for a single one of the skills from the group

i.e. Say you have Firearms 3, and you want pistol 4, you pay 8 bp (4X2) and then the char would have each of the seperate firearm skills at 3, and pistol at 4.

Also, the page after the sample chars describes how if you raise each of those skills up to the same amount again, its a skill group again
JBlades
I am of the opinion that if the writers intended this to be illegal they should have said something along the lines of "skill groups cannot be broken during character generation." They didn't, so break away.
blakkie
QUOTE (JBlades @ Nov 15 2005, 12:13 AM)
I am of the opinion that if the writers intended this to be illegal they should have said something along the lines of "skill groups cannot be broken during character generation." They didn't, so break away.

rotfl.gif rotfl.gif OMFG. Well lets look at what the rules say you can do, just to make sure it would be reasonable to expect some weaseling weenie to claim such. So looking to improve a skill, page 264, the header of that section talks about:

QUOTE
IMPROVING SKILLS AND SKILL GROUPS
In between adventures, players can learn new skills, improve
existing ones, or master specializations. Each option costs
a certain amount of Karma
, and certain limitations apply as to
how much a character can improve between sessions.


So sure, you can improve a skill within a purchased skill group during character creation as long as you:
1) are between adventures
2) use karma for the purchase
3) have a GM braindead enough to fall for that crap

Oh, man this thread is just priceless. eek.gif
Aza
QUOTE
IMPROVING SKILLS AND SKILL GROUPS
In between adventures, players can learn new skills, improve
existing ones, or master specializations. Each option costs
a certain amount of Karma, and certain limitations apply as to
how much a character can improve between sessions.


That still doesn't say anything about breaking groups during character generation.

Ultimately once our group finishes our campaign and we start up 4th Ed, im going to submit the idea to our GM and as always he gets the final say.
I was just checking to see if there were any official rulings against it, but as i said earlier it looks like this is one that is going to be interpreted differently by each GM
Eggs
I fail to see how it really matters whether or not its in the book. If your GM approves it, then it's okay. If your GM says no, it's not. IMHO, breaking up the group at character creation is munchkin powergaming. But that's just my opinion... YMMV.
Drace
QUOTE (Eggs)
I fail to see how it really matters whether or not its in the book. If your GM approves it, then it's okay. If your GM says no, it's not. IMHO, breaking up the group at character creation is munchkin powergaming. But that's just my opinion... YMMV.

Its only munchkining if your GM allows it, and dont forget, skills have a max limit of 1 six, or 2 fives, the rest have to be 4 or below, which makes breaking skill groups at char gen kinda pointless, when you could just up the groups at gen, and then just use karma to buy each skill, with a specialization that you want
Eggs
That's kind've my point, though. If a GM let's you do something munchkin, you'll probably need it (either that, or he's a poor schmuck).
As to the actual topic, if there's no good reason for it, why does it even matter?
blakkie
QUOTE (Aza @ Nov 15 2005, 12:47 AM)
QUOTE
IMPROVING SKILLS AND SKILL GROUPS
In between adventures, players can learn new skills, improve
existing ones, or master specializations. Each option costs
a certain amount of Karma, and certain limitations apply as to
how much a character can improve between sessions.


That still doesn't say anything about breaking groups during character generation.

Ummmm, where is the only place it says that you can "break up" a skill group by buying a skill? Under Improving Skills and Skill Groups. Outside that section there is no rules that allow you to advance a skill from a skill group. So go ahead, as long as you can meet those 3 criteria during character creation no problem. Well i guess all you need is the 3rd one....or a GM that's cool with house ruling it that way. *shrug*

QUOTE
I was just checking to see if there were any official rulings against it, but as i said earlier it looks like this is one that is going to be interpreted differently by each GM


Hey, i just broke it down why by RAW it's not legal. If you don't like that, fine. Just be honest and point your GM to this thread when you ask so he knows he's [barring Fanpro coming out otherwise] making a house rule. *shrug*

P.S. I remember somebody posted a reply from info(a)shadowrunrpg.com regarding advancing by Skill Groups when one of the Skills had a Specializated (it is NOT allowed). You remember that Franktroller? wink.gif I'm drawing a blank on who posted it, and i'm coming up empty on Search so far. But there might have been something about this in there.

EDIT: There is one possible RAW loophole. So for all you rules lawyer weasels, if the Skill Group has 4 Skills it is cheaper to buy the group up to a level and then rebuy one skill from 0 to above the group level. So if you wanted the Influence group at 4, and Etiquette at 6 it would cost you 4*10 + 6*4 = 64 BP. That's cheaper than buying all the skills separately, 3*4*4 + 6*4 = 72BP.
Aza
I was just having another look through character creation and found this example:

QUOTE
Now itís Brianís turn. Since he wants his character
to be a weapons specialist in more than just name, hewants
to be the best shooter possible. Brian opts to acquire
skills individually, since skill groups are limited to a
maximum rating of 4 for starting characters. He can only
have one skill at Rating 6, so he decides to put those points
in Pistols.
With the top spot filled, all the remaining skills must
be Rating 4 or lower. Brian takes Dodge 4 (a good shooter
should know how to get out of the way), Longarms 3,
Heavy Weapons 2, Automatics 4, and Thrown Weapons
2 (useful for throwing grenades).


So looks like it can't be done at char creation unfortunately, back to the drawing board for my char design nyahnyah.gif
blakkie
QUOTE (Aza @ Nov 15 2005, 01:33 AM)
I was just having another look through character creation and found this example:

QUOTE
Now itís Brianís turn. Since he wants his character
to be a weapons specialist in more than just name, hewants
to be the best shooter possible. Brian opts to acquire
skills individually, since skill groups are limited to a
maximum rating of 4 for starting characters. He can only
have one skill at Rating 6, so he decides to put those points
in Pistols.
With the top spot filled, all the remaining skills must
be Rating 4 or lower. Brian takes Dodge 4 (a good shooter
should know how to get out of the way), Longarms 3,
Heavy Weapons 2, Automatics 4, and Thrown Weapons
2 (useful for throwing grenades).


So looks like it can't be done at char creation unfortunately, back to the drawing board for my char design nyahnyah.gif

Ya you can do it. But look at the costs assigned in the example:

QUOTE
Pistols 6 24 BP
Automatics 4 16 BP
Longarms 3 12 BP


Group Skill cost? Nope. But you can still buy them all.
JBlades
Blakkie: " rotfl.gif rotfl.gif OMFG? " Is there a reason you're being rude?

The section on page 264 is regarding karma expenditures after play has started. If you want to apply them to character creation as well, then I assume you allow your players to take 35 BP worth of positive qualities at creation on credit, to be paid back with their first 70 points of karma, as is stated at the bottom of the second column of that page, right?

There may be an implication that discourages breaking a skill group during creation, they may even errata it in later, but there is no prohibition against it in the book now. If the basis of your argument is out of context, it is a false argument. If you disagree with an opinion say so, but if you feel the need to be rude, make sure you have the right of it first, please.

If I misinterpreted your statement as rude when it was not meant to be so, I apologize. Such is the way of the internet and text based discussion...
Gothic Rose
I'm not gonna quote things, because I can't, this is just my opinion. But look at it this way.

You've got a skill group, at character creation. Ok? Now, you buy it up to 4. It's a skill group.

And you want one of the skills at 6. If you buy that 6, you don't have a skill group anymore, and, therefore, have to pay individual costs. Because Character Creation is not based on time. Does that make any sense? It's not "Well, Sammy the Samurai HAD Firearms at 4, but then wanted to be better with pistols!" because he Did NOT have Firearms at 4, ever.

My thoughts are hard to put down, so if I'm not making sense, tell me.
Aza
Yeah i understand how you are putting it rose, but my personal opinion is the view that even though it is "character creation" its not your character being suddenly born out of the ether, that character has a past up to this point.

As such i could see it as feasible that my character learnt to use firearms over the years (either as a job, or he was just an enthusiast) so a firearms 4 would represent a lot of time and effort in learning to use all firearms, but either he preferred pistols, or was just more naturally adept with them, as such he has a higher skill with them.

Either way its a per-GM ruling, but given the example i found in the manual a couple posts back it looks as if it is not possible during character creation.
Gothic Rose
QUOTE (Aza)
Yeah i understand how you are putting it rose, but my personal opinion is the view that even though it is "character creation" its not your character being suddenly born out of the ether, that character has a past up to this point.

As such i could see it as feasible that my character learnt to use firearms over the years (either as a job, or he was just an enthusiast) so a firearms 4 would represent a lot of time and effort in learning to use all firearms, but either he preferred pistols, or was just more naturally adept with them, as such he has a higher skill with them.

Either way its a per-GM ruling, but given the example i found in the manual a couple posts back it looks as if it is not possible during character creation.

True, there's a past, but character creation, to me, is about -value-. That's why, when I run Dungeons and Dragons, I don't give wizards with the item creation feats any bonuses for cheaper items starting - sure they can have made them, but the starting gold piece value they get is supposed to be the -worth- of their gear, not how much they actually paid for it.

I see the same thing with Nuyen, and with Build Points. It's about the value.

Azralon
QUOTE (JBlades @ Nov 15 2005, 06:55 AM)
Blakkie: " rotfl.gif  rotfl.gif OMFG? " Is there a reason you're being rude?

His player needed some BPs, so gave him "Uncouth." smile.gif

Don't take it personally, scathing melodrama is just the way Blakkie communicates. I have come to learn this myself.
blakkie
QUOTE (JBlades @ Nov 15 2005, 04:55 AM)
If I misinterpreted your statement as rude when it was not meant to be so, I apologize. Such is the way of the internet and text based discussion...

If you STILL seriously believe at this point that the RAW allows at chargen the buying ratings in a Skill on top of a purchased Skill Group then you may take any rudeness and insinuation of mental or personal defect at face value....you have earned it honestly and well.

QUOTE
Don't take it personally, scathing melodrama is just the way Blakkie communicates. I have come to learn this myself.


After Aza has even pointed out the example text? No, no he should take it personally.
Azralon
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
The question you should be asking is whether 40 points of Firearms is overpowered. And since it gives you the same number of dice as 40 points of Agility, I think that's a very hard case to make. Skills in SR4 are flat too expensive. By a lot.

I'm with Frank on this, by the way.

Skill groups let concept characters afford thematic skillsets. I'm much happier with this method of combining related skills than the old skillweb and Concentrated/Specialized skill modifiers.
Azralon
QUOTE (blakkie @ Nov 15 2005, 12:23 PM)
After Aza has even pointed out the example text? No, no he should take it personally.

Ah, I stand corrected: Blakkie is indeed a rude SOB and I was naive to minimize that. Silly Azralon.
blakkie
QUOTE (Azralon)
QUOTE (blakkie @ Nov 15 2005, 12:23 PM)
After Aza has even pointed out the example text? No, no he should take it personally.

Ah, I stand corrected: Blakkie is indeed a rude SOB and I was naive to minimize that. Silly Azralon.

rotfl.gif rotfl.gif rotfl.gif

I'm not rude, i am just blunt and occationally misunderstood. wink.gif

Come on, after the example talks about this Brian chap deciding against a Skill Group because it only goes to 4 and shows the costs for each of the Skills in the Skill Group geting bought up individually all the way from the bottom? Maybe before he unfairly caught some of the brunt of what was due to the other chattering before in this thread. indifferent.gif Silly people suggesting silly things.

Of course he is totally free to suggest to his GM a house rule like that, and the GM can say sure go ahead. But at this point to try tell his GM that it's fine by the RAW? It's time for the Rules Lawyer foam bat beatdown.
evil1i
QUOTE (Gothic Rose)
You've got a skill group, at character creation. Ok? Now, you buy it up to 4. It's a skill group.

And you want one of the skills at 6. If you buy that 6, you don't have a skill group anymore, and, therefore, have to pay individual costs. Because Character Creation is not based on time.

Thats the way I see it too Gothic Rose.

One thing I would like to know is hypothetically say I had a character that had the Firearms group at 3 in chargen then after chargen I bought Longarms to 4 then decided to buy Longarms (Sniper Rifles) 4 (+2) then after spending time in tight spaces (eg where that sniper rifle just doesn't cut the mustard) I decide to buy Pistols and Automatics up to 4 each as well and so reforming the group what happens to my specialisation? as it specifically says You cannot use specializations with
skill groups.


can I ellect to not reform the group? or does the specialisation get lost? or does the specialisation stop me from reforming the group (and thus not being able to pay the reduced cost to raise the whole group to 6 at a later date?)
FrankTrollman
Specializations don't do anything of the sort. You have a skill group if all of the skills are the same rating. Specializations do not change rating. Specializations cannot be purchased for skill groups, but a specialization on one skill doesn't keep you from having a skill group.

It says you cannot use specializations with skill groups, not that you can't use specializations and skill groups. These are similar, but not identical statements.

-Frank
blakkie
The only time I would not allow this would be if the character had a
specialization in one of the individual skills -- specializations and skill
groups cannot be used together, so you could not "recombine" the separate
skills into a skill group if one has a specialization. I *might* allow it
if the player was willing to give up the specialization, sacrificing it in
favor of the skill group.


Please STFU Frank? Thanks!
Gothic Rose
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
Specializations don't do anything of the sort. You have a skill group if all of the skills are the same rating. Specializations do not change rating. Specializations cannot be purchased for skill groups, but a specialization on one skill doesn't keep you from having a skill group.

It says you cannot use specializations with skill groups, not that you can't use specializations and skill groups. These are similar, but not identical statements.

-Frank

And, as Blakkie pointed out, you're wrong.

I've noticed a trend about these things, honestly. Has anyone else?
KYA
I'd still allow it however
else my player will just buy Automatic Weapons at 6 as it covers 3 sizes of weaponry, covering most of your needs

i dislike the skill group system as it is now anyway, i'll probably invent something...
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