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Made this thread to get people's opinion on how reasonable the skill level model is in SR4. It often feels to me that there isn't enough difference between skill levels to reflect the vast differences in performances that those skill levels can achieve.

IMO, the difference between a high school athlete (skill 2) and college-level athlete (skill 3) is tremendous (At least my personal experience as a HS wrestling coach easily tossing around kids bigger, stronger, faster and in better shape than me supports this.) Yet in an opposed skills test, with the attributes being otherwise the same, that high schooler will win a significant portion of the time.

Does this bother anyone else? If so, how do you address it in your games?
One way of looking at it (may even be true in your example), is that the relevant Attributes are not the same in those two situations. The college athlete has had a chance to hone and build the appropriate muscle groups (and all that other crap), so that he has a bigger Pool, even though his skill level only goes up by one.

With a system that only goes from 1 to 6, it is hard not to get an unrealistic list. Dividing things up by Dice Pool size might serve you better.
you also have to look at it as average college level, not the starting athletes.
in the area of sports look at the guy who always sits the bench never gets a match and even in the off chance he does always loses. he's a college level athlete.
I was good friends with that guy. he loved to play and showed up to every practice though never got to play, couldn't coordinate enough movements or memorize enough plays etc... he's still better than any regular rookie but just not as good as us. then you had the kids like me who could pick cars up off the ground, throw a block so hard they blew snot all over their helmets, and were constantly told by the coaches to tone it down a little. technically we were highschool level athletes but could physically outperform those at the collegel level.
the skills bleed over like that alot, in more than just Shadowrun, and you have to just go with the story and not the numbers. you character is professionally trained? great he can do a whole lot without even rolling dice. oh but your character is only marginally have to roll...
No RPG worth playing has realistic skill progressions. It's just not possible to represent the real world with dice, especially not with just one kind of dice. They're games, they're not reality, and they should not be judged as such. They should be judged by how much fun they are, not how realistic they are.

That said, skill level isn't everything. Because most attributes are capped at 9 and all skills are capped at 6, pools can only go so far by themselves. Even the difference between a trained person with a 3 and an expert person with a 6 isn't that big. The real difference is that the expert probably knows what gear to bring to give himself bonuses, including things like cyberware and smartlinks. Most people with a 3 skill, at least outside of the shadows, are going to be equipped like they're not exactly the ultimate master of what they're doing, and the lack of twinked out bonuses will end up making the difference between a 3 and a 6 a lot more pronounced.
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