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Tyrrell
The rules say that specializations can not be taken with skill groups.

Does this mean that if a character has a close combat group level of 3 they can not take a swords specialization in their bladed weapon skil until their bladed weapons skill is raised to 4?

And while I'm asking questions, it appears that specializations can be given to skills that are already maxed out at 6 (or7). Is this correct, or is their some prohibition that I've, as of yet, not discovered?
DireRadiant
If you have any specialization, you cannot have a skill group.

What's important is the context however. You can during the course of character advancement break and remake skill groups. This is explicitly allowed in the rules.

During character creation it is not explicitly stated in the rule book that you can make and break skill groups. Though it has been stated by people familiar with the authors that it is not intended that skill groups can be broken with a specialization during character creation. (Though a lot of the templates are not the best, there is no example of a template character that has bought a skill group and then added a specialization)

However, it's always up to you whether to allow it. Personally because it's a discount intended to reward generalization I tend not to allow it during character creation.
WhiskeyMac
If you have the close combat group at 3, you can beak the group by adding on the specialization without needing to advance your skill group.

And, according to the FAQ, it's up to the GM if you can break skill groups during character creation. Although, it's a very min/max tactic.
Tyrrell
So, if I have a skill group at 6. I can get a specialization on one of the skills and break up the skill group (although, unless I have an aptitude, the breaking of the skill group has no possible mechanical effect). Is this correct?
Grinder
You can't have a skill group at 6 at chargen, but otherwise you're correct.
Rotbart van Dainig
Technically, no.

Breaking up Skillgroups is only defined for rasing a single skill of it with karma.
Tyrrell
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
Technically, no.

Breaking up Skillgroups is only defined for rasing a single skill of it with karma.

This contradicts what WhiskyMak posted.

To rephrase my question in a way that doesn't so easily lead to answers that aren't the one I want:

Can a character with a skill group that has not been broken take specializations in one or more of the skill group's component skills?
Ravor
<Edited>

Ok upon further thought I think I understand what you are asking.

Yes, you can take a specialization, but the moment that you do so you are breaking your skill group.
Grinder
QUOTE (Ravor)
Yes, you can take a specialization, but the moment that you do so you are breaking your skill group.

Exactly.
DireRadiant
Bored...

So

Character GENERATION (By RAW)
Skill Group X at 4
- has Skill A 4
- has Skill B 4
- has Skill C 4
- has Skill D 4
* capped at 4 for GROUPS

Add Specialization at GENERATION (Up to GM by FAQ)
- has Skill A 4
- Has Specialization Skill A.B 6
- has Skill B 4
- has Skill C 4
- has Skill D 4
This is no longer a skill group. It does not count as a skill group for advancement using karma costs for a skill group. You must advance each skill separately. For it to become a skill group again you must by each skill with karma so that they all achieve the same level of skill.

If you have any specialization you cannot use the GROUP skill advancement rules with karma.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Tyrrell @ May 6 2007, 05:03 PM)
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ May 6 2007, 01:26 PM)
Technically, no.

Breaking up Skillgroups is only defined for rasing a single skill of it with karma.

This contradicts what WhiskyMak posted.

To rephrase my question in a way that doesn't so easily lead to answers that aren't the one I want:

Can a character with a skill group that has not been broken take specializations in one or more of the skill group's component skills?

Technically, no.

Skillgroups can't have specialisations - and skillgroups can only be broken by advancing a skill of the skillgroup with karma.

So, by the RAW, you would have to advance a skill before you can take specialisations - once your skillgrou reaches 6, and you already have Aptitude for another skill, you are out of luck.
DireRadiant
Do you have a specialization? If yes, then it is no longer a skill group, and all skill group rules no longer apply.
Rotbart van Dainig
That may be a perfectly good houserule, but not the RAW. wink.gif
DireRadiant
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
That may be a perfectly good houserule, but not the RAW. wink.gif

Ah, so you are saying according to the rules, I can't buy a skill group during character generation, and then with my first 10 karma or so buy a specialization during character advancement after a few sessions?
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (DireRadiant)
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
That may be a perfectly good houserule, but not the RAW. wink.gif

Ah, so you are saying according to the rules, I can't buy a skill group during character generation, and then with my first 10 karma or so buy a specialization during character advancement after a few sessions?

No.

That RAW say that, advancing a skill of the skillgroup breaks that skillgroup, making it cease to exist while the individual skills now are being trated normally - which now allows the purchase of specialisations.

So, by RAW, the only way to go from Skillgroup to Specialisation is advancing a Skill first.
DireRadiant
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ May 6 2007, 11:41 AM)
QUOTE (DireRadiant @ May 6 2007, 06:33 PM)
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
That may be a perfectly good houserule, but not the RAW. wink.gif

Ah, so you are saying according to the rules, I can't buy a skill group during character generation, and then with my first 10 karma or so buy a specialization during character advancement after a few sessions?

No.

That RAW say that, advancing a skill of the skillgroup breaks that skillgroup, making it cease to exist while the individual skills now are being trated normally - which now allows the purchase of specialisations.

So, by RAW, the only way to go from Skillgroup to Specialisation is advancing a Skill first.

Ah. So the following p 264

"Buying Specializations
Characters may also acquire a specialization to an existing
Active Skill or Knowledge Skill that they currently possess.
(You cannot specialize on a new skill youíre currently
learning.) Acquiring a Specialization costs 2 Karma. A character
may only know one specialization per skill, and specializations
may not be applied to skill groups.
A character that wants to change her specialization in a
particular skill may do so at the gamemasterís discretion. In
this case, the character pays 2 Karma to learn the new specialization
and immediately loses the old one."

Which is the only text regarding buying a specialization during Character Improvement, is somehow different from improving existing skills.

You are claiming that if I bought a skill group during character generation, that during Character Improvement I can improve an exiistng skill in a skill group, thus breaking the skill group. Yet I cannot simply buy a specialization, which would also break up the skill group.

I must in fact, Improve my skill, and then buy the specialization?

I note that in both Improving Existing Skills, and in Buying specializations, that are no statements that prohibit the use of either option for Character Improvement based on the skills being originally in a Skill Group bought during character generation.

You may point to "..and specializations may not be applied to skill groups" which I interpret to mean that you cannot buy a specialization for the entire group. versus buying a specialization for a particular skill within a group.

Basically I am not sure how you claim I can Improve a skill, but not Buy a specialization.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (DireRadiant @ May 6 2007, 07:00 PM)
Basically I am not sure how you claim I can Improve a skill, but not Buy a specialization.

The technicals reason is that 'breaking skill groups' is only defined for advancing skills - and nothing else.
DireRadiant
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
QUOTE (DireRadiant @ May 6 2007, 07:00 PM)
Basically I am not sure how you claim I can Improve a skill, but not Buy a specialization.

The technicals reason is that 'breaking skill groups' is only defined for advancing skills - and nothing else.

But there's no explicit prohibition from doing so?
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (DireRadiant)
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ May 6 2007, 12:14 PM)
QUOTE (DireRadiant @ May 6 2007, 07:00 PM)
Basically I am not sure how you claim I can Improve a skill, but not Buy a specialization.

The technicals reason is that 'breaking skill groups' is only defined for advancing skills - and nothing else.

But there's no explicit prohibition from doing so?

From doing what?
Buying specialisations for skillgroups? There is.

The rationale 'If it's not forbidden, it's allowed' is nice and all, but if 'it' is defined elsewhere in a different way, applying it is not really allowed.
odinson
I thought if it wasn't allowed it was forbidden. So the only place where it allows you to break skill groups is in skill advancement, everywhere else it's forbidden.
Jaid
of course, there are some "rules as written" that are so dumb, most people don't even notice they're there, and rightly ignore them.

this, in my opinion, should be one of those "rules as written" (if it wasn't already).

any GM who enforces this rule to prevent you from specialising because you didn't break the skillgroup before you got it at 6 is probably just doing it because they're a <4.3 Mp deleted>
Rotbart van Dainig
Personally, I'm not fond of breaking Skill-Groups at all.

Raising them to 6 and then specializing kinda defeats the purpose of them.
Ravor
Well I personally have never been a big fan of combing through sarcastic.gif RAW sarcastic.gif with a fine tooth comb, I want to treat Shadowrun as a game and not a legal document and clearly allowing a player to break a Skill Group paid up to Rating 6 in order to buy a specialization is well within the spirit of the rules.

Needless to say I agree with Jaid, any DM who didn't allow a player to do this is just being a dick provided they allow Skill Groups to be broken at all. (Note, I'm not talking about during Char-Gen, sure I allow breaking Skill Groups even then, but I can see and respect the opposing position on the issue in that case.)
WhiskeyMac
Robert, that clause you keep stating applies to specializations for the whole skill group. Meaning you can't get the Firearms Group to 4 during CharGen and then add a Semi-Auto specialization for the whole group. By adding a specialization for a skill within a group, you break that group by advancing the skill through the specialization.

Unless you treat specializations as just an extra bit of text they technically raise a part of that skill by 2 levels (thereby advancing the skill within the group and breaking the group).
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (WhiskeyMac)
Robert,

Let's just assume you meant me.

QUOTE (WhiskeyMac)
that clause you keep stating applies to specializations for the whole skill group. Meaning you can't get the Firearms Group to 4 during CharGen and then add a Semi-Auto specialization for the whole group. By adding a specialization for a skill within a group, you break that group by advancing the skill through the specialization.

Actually, that'S not what the rules are saying.
The just say you can't add specialisation at all to skillgroups.
And 'breaking skillgroups' is only defined for advancing skills with karma.

QUOTE (WhiskeyMac)
Unless you treat specializations as just an extra bit of text they technically raise a part of that skill by 2 levels (thereby advancing the skill within the group and breaking the group).

Specialisations add bonus dice to tests when they apply - they are not skill levels... neither real nor augmented.
Deva
Don't know where you get the idea, that you can "remake" skill groups when improving your character. But I also hail for the opinion that you can buy specialization for skill, when it's in the skill group, but it then breaks the skill group in the same way like improving the same skill. But there's absolutely no coming back to whole skill group, when you brake one. That's the whole idea in skill groups.
Whipstitch
If you approach what rotbart's saying from the stance that specializations are for characters who have well, specialized, i.e, people who have put in some effort to raise skills individually, it does make a certain amount of sense, and also keeps skill groups more in balance (They're already an important tool from the perspective of gaining as much power per karma/bp as possible). My favorite all time SR4 character actually started out with little but synthacardium, a skillwire 3 system, 4 skill groups taken at 4, a street doc contact for combat drugs and whole mess of edge. He would have quickly been throwing far too many dice into far too many different skills to be really plausible had my gm not caught the wrinkle you guys are talking about from the beginning. He quite literally would have been gaining 2-3 specializations per run without the rule, which is some pretty nice progression, especially when you consider how skills grow in cost while specs are static. Really, had Fanpro wanted to be really draconian about this, they would have made it only the skill you raised to break the skill group may be specialized in. It would make more sense.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Whipstitch)
Really, had Fanpro wanted to be really draconian about this, they would have made it only the skill you raised to break the skill group may be specialized in. It would make more sense.

Unfortunately, that's not it... at all.

As we can see, the rule that you can break Skillgroups by advancing a single Skill from it with Karma opened The Can.
Now The Worms are everywhere and people are reasoning whether you could break up Skillgroups at chargen and/or by getting Specializations... and what happens if you have a Reflex Recoder implant for a Skillgroup and you break it.

I'm seriously thinking about removing that rule in my games... you have a choice at chargen/purchase - and you stick with it.
Demerzel
QUOTE (FAQ)
SKILLS


When can you break up a skill group into its component skills? Can you break it up during character creation? Can I break apart a skill group in order to buy a specialization for one of the skills?


You can break apart a skill group whenever you want--as long as the GM allows it. We advise against breaking apart skill groups during character creation in order to keep it simple and counter min-maxing. Any time you improve a single skill within a skill group or add a specialization to one of those skills, that skill group no longer exists.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Demerzel)
QUOTE (FAQ)
You can break apart a skill group whenever you want--as long as the GM allows it.

As long as your GM allows it, your character can defy gravity and happily glide upon the winds.
Ravor
True, although a good Levitate spell also comes in handy Rotbart van Dainig. cyber.gif

Seriously though, although I'll grant that the FAQ isn't sarcastic.gif RAW sarcastic.gif , it IS the closest non-RAW tool that exists for the purposes of clarification on issues where the 'proper' reading of RAW would have to decend either into the realm of tea-leaves and palm readings or that of lawyers combing through a legal document.
Demerzel
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
QUOTE (Demerzel @ May 7 2007, 04:09 PM)
QUOTE (FAQ)
You can break apart a skill group whenever you want--as long as the GM allows it.

As long as your GM allows it, your character can defy gravity and happily glide upon the winds.

And if the GM doesn't allow it you can't do anything.
Shev
Wow, I don't think I've seen that kind of rules lawyering since my last game of Warhammer. wink.gif

Seriously, it's an RPG book, not the Bible. In the last edition, cyberware olfactory enhancers (forget the actual name right now, they added a +1 dice for perception) had no maximum rating. At rating x 1000 nuyen, I heard horror stories on Dumpshock about players taking them at rating 500 and being able to smell EVERYTHING.

I believe the exact quote was "I can SMELL the FUTURE."

Sometimes, the book isn't clear, or even downright makes a goof. Not every rule makes perfect sense. This is why house rules exist, and why a GM that can expand beyond what the book tells him/her to do is more fun to play with than one who follows the book letter for letter.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Shev)
I believe the exact quote was "I can SMELL the FUTURE."

..boy, there are so many proverbs with 'smell'... rotfl.gif
toturi
QUOTE (Shev)
Wow, I don't think I've seen that kind of rules lawyering since my last game of Warhammer. wink.gif

Seriously, it's an RPG book, not the Bible. In the last edition, cyberware olfactory enhancers (forget the actual name right now, they added a +1 dice for perception) had no maximum rating. At rating x 1000 nuyen, I heard horror stories on Dumpshock about players taking them at rating 500 and being able to smell EVERYTHING.

I believe the exact quote was "I can SMELL the FUTURE."

Sometimes, the book isn't clear, or even downright makes a goof. Not every rule makes perfect sense. This is why house rules exist, and why a GM that can expand beyond what the book tells him/her to do is more fun to play with than one who follows the book letter for letter.

Heresy! Not every RAW rule has to make perfect sense. The RAW just is. A GM that can expand beyond what the book tells him to do is less fun to play with than one who follows the book letter for letter.
Ravor
Whatever floats your boat man, more power to ya.
Pyritefoolsgold
My character has specializations out his ass, but we play fast and loose with the rules. honestly, though, it makes sense that a person can have a certain level of skill in all guns, specialize in longarms (represented by buying it to six) and then specialize further in sniper rifles. Or instead, specialize in a certain kind of pistol. This represents that character, who already possesses general skill, taking the time to focus on particular types of weapons.
Magus
Take a Gunslinger Adept Human. Exceptional Attribute Agility, Aptitude Pistols, Max out his pistols skill, Increased Skill 4 (pistols) Specialized in (pistol type), and use the 3rd edition speicality weapon, AND metamagic talent of Attunement(item).

so lets say Agility 7 Pistols 7
Increased Ability 4 (pistols)
Specialization 2 dice
Smartlink 2 dice
Attunement x dice (whereas X = lvl of initiate.)
Speciality Weapon: 2 dice

Grand total = 24 + X
Crakkerjakk
There's discussions about what we think should be allowed as GMs, and what we believe the RAW says. Personally I would allow skill group break-ups at character creation, and house-rule that you can break a skill group by specializing.

As far as what RAW says, according to strict interpretation, I'm going to agree with Rotbart. This is what is RAW, in my opinion. And this is the wrong forum to be talking about excessive rules lawyering. First, Dumpshock is renowned for its rules lawyer debate over what precisely RAW states. Secondly, the entire question was what RAW stated.

Glyph
QUOTE (Magus)
Take a Gunslinger Adept Human. Exceptional Attribute Agility, Aptitude Pistols, Max out his pistols skill, Increased Skill 4 (pistols) Specialized in (pistol type), and use the 3rd edition speicality weapon, AND metamagic talent of Attunement(item).

so lets say Agility 7 Pistols 7
Increased Ability 4 (pistols)
Specialization 2 dice
Smartlink 2 dice
Attunement x dice (whereas X = lvl of initiate.)
Speciality Weapon: 2 dice

Grand total = 24 + X

The maximum modified rating for a skill is 10 with the aptitude quality (pg. 63, under skill ratings), so the maximum increased ability would be 3, not 4.

The attunement metamagic gives a bonus equal to half of the intiate's grade (which is still damn good).

Overall, big dice pools are not as useful in SR4 as they are in SR3. They are nice to have, but with a TN of 5, and all of the situational modifiers that can apply to ranged combat, your example adept will still miss occasionally. Not that unbalancing, all things considered (unless the GM is running a low-powered campaign).



As far as skill groups and the RAW, I agree with Rotbert, but would use the FAQ (which I don't always agree with) if I ran a game. I wouldn't allow skill groups to be split up at char-gen, but I would allow characters to break them up by specializing in one of the skills.

I certainly wouldn't disallow skill groups ever being split up. Not only is that unrealistic (why shouldn't someone skilled in all firearms be able to get better with only pistols?), but it gimps skill groups by forever denying them those extra two dice from specialization, which can make a big difference.
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