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Mercer
For performers, Charisma would probably play a role. For artists, I'd be tempted to link it to INT or WILL.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Jet @ Feb 25 2012, 09:55 PM) *
It's a whole wierd can of worms (or is it wyrms). We do use Artisan like the Exotic Weapon skills and make you buy them individually, but there is a lot of diversity in form and function for the skill.

Example:

Artisan skill (sp: Jazz Music) lets me play/write a song.
Street Knowledge: Jazz Music lets me know who is out there in the Jazz Clubs
Academic Knowledge: Jazz Music gives me the history and musical definitions of Jazz music and its derivitives
Professional Knowledge: Jazz Music lets me know how to get gigs and what contracts to avoid
Interest Knowledge: Jazz Music lets me know Jazz trivia of my choice

Any and all of these are viable uses depending on what you want to do. A character with a high Artisan skill might indeed be a musical powerhouse, but have no business sense whatsoever. That is where the manager with the professional skill and no musical ability earns his keep. A professor with a high academic knowledge may not be able to carry a jazz tune in a basket but can tell you all about the differences of two jazz songs based on the influences of their roots. Each use of the skill should be tailored to the character concept.

It has never been a big deal for us either; we just like to be thorough in our fluff for backgrounds. If I ever ran a rocker campaign it might be more pertinent, but at the moment the ability to create carnage and destruction is the main focus of our group.


I must protest... It is not ALL about the Carnage and Destruction... At least 2 of the characters want the Notoriety that goes along with it, so they TELL everyone they are the ones responsible for that Carnage and Destruction. I guess that they want to be feared. One of these days, possibly even soon, the Oni is going to quietly fade and just let them get whacked. smile.gif
Midas
QUOTE (snowRaven @ Feb 23 2012, 08:26 PM) *
I disagree on the sculpting, generally - and this goes for most forms of artistic expression except photography, music and dance, really.

Most forms of artistic expression that generate fame and money today aren't at all about technical skill - living famous painters, sculptors and performance artists rarely have what would qualify as more than 2-4 in artisan skill. Art today is mainly about attracting the right people and having ideas that they like, and while there are painters, sculptors etc today that are very technically skilled in their craft, they aren't generally in the upper echelons of the art world. Artistic expression is much more important than actual skill in whatever medium the artist choses, but the most important of all is connections - getting the 'right' people to like you and promote you.

Some examples from modern times: Jackson Pollock, Louise Bourgeois, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol.

The same goes for literature, to a certain degree. The most popular authors are usually not world-class experts in actual writing, grammar, literary composition, and linguistic ability - they may not even have the 'best' stories out there, but they got their stories to the right person at the right time, and received the advertising they needed.

Even in music you'll find a lot of people who aren't really great singers, or great musicians, or great composers, that bring down the big bucks because they get the right exposure and can convey something that the audience likes. Often they are carried by writers, musicians, or singers that have high skill, but earn a lot less money than the 'star'.

Only a small percentage of those highly skilled at their craft will ever earn more than a decent salary or become world famous. And only a small percentage of those who earn the big bucks and have global fame have actual one-in-a-million skill in their craft.

While I agree to some extent with your IRL sentiments, your post smacks of intellectual snobbery to me.

In particular your contention that most modern commercially successful artists only have skill rating of 2-4 seems pretty arbitary and snide to me. Even boy/girl bands such as the Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys (showing me age, I know) would have pretty high skill at choreographed dance and some degree of singing tuition, even if they couldn't do ballet or sing opera. As for those stinky populist writers like John Grisham or whoever, I would argue that it takes skill to write page-turning thrillers, even if it is not the highfalutin style of the type of literature you enjoy.

Back to the game, Glyph was right when he said that that to represent a 'famous' artist in SR you would want to represent it by the Fame and Day Job qualities (a case could also be made for Born Rich to represent income from royalties). I would add to this a high connection/loyalty promoter/manager/agent.

Please also note that in terms of SR4, the crunch of the Artisan skill notes that the more hits you get from your DP, the more impressive your art seems (at least technically) to the observer. So at least in-game, higher skill = more hits (on average) = better appreciation from casual NPC observers.
snowRaven
QUOTE (Midas @ Feb 27 2012, 08:34 AM) *
While I agree to some extent with your IRL sentiments, your post smacks of intellectual snobbery to me.

In particular your contention that most modern commercially successful artists only have skill rating of 2-4 seems pretty arbitary and snide to me. Even boy/girl bands such as the Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys (showing me age, I know) would have pretty high skill at choreographed dance and some degree of singing tuition, even if they couldn't do ballet or sing opera. As for those stinky populist writers like John Grisham or whoever, I would argue that it takes skill to write page-turning thrillers, even if it is not the highfalutin style of the type of literature you enjoy.


Skill ratings from SR4:

2 - Novice: Has a solid grasp of the fundamentals, but shaky on more complex yet still routine procedures. (Trade apprentice)
3 - Professional: Competent at general skill tasks. (Journeyman or entry-level professional straight out of college)
4 - Veteran: Very good at what you do; can handle difficult tasks with ease. (Mid-career professional; 4 or more years of experience)
5 - Star status; your expertise gives you a reputation. (Top scientist. Published in peer-review journals.)
6 - Elite: The 'best of the best'.
7 - Legendary: Someone who's expertise outranks all others in all of known history.

Honestly, how many people of today do you feel fit in category 6 and 7 when it comes to the actual creation of art?
Many will have a 5, but that should be reserved for those artists who have a reputation for being really talented, skill-wise - not just popular.

Remember than anyone except the most general of artists will have a specialization in their field and quite possibly a few knowledge skills to back them up.

Taking your example of boy/girl bands - yes, they'll likely have 3-4 specialized to dance, with the occasional 5 for those who do it a long time. Almost no one at an age of 20-25 is likely to have higher than 4 (and even 4's may be rare - 3's are stated as standard skill out of college for your chosen profession, while 4 is stated as 4 or more years of experience), because of simple lack of experience. Those who studied music or art from an early age may reach a 4 comparatively early.

2-3 is most likely only found on very young famous people, or within fields that don't require a high degree of technical expertise. 4s will be quite common. 5s should IMO be reserved mostly for those with at least 10 years experience in their field, who have become known for great skill in their art. 6s and 7s are for those few who are true superstars AND highly skilled.

The thing to remember about skill ratings in SR is that most professionals only have a 3-4. Higher ratings than that should be reserved for those who clearly has a higher degree of skill than the professionals. In the rulebook, skill 4 include NASCAR drivers, Combat veterans, Politicians. Skill 5 goes to most major Pro sports Athletes, Elite military, Corp vice-presidents.

I haven't read Grisham for quite awhile, but he's likely to have high ratings (4-5) in a number of relevant knowledge skills. Now, arguably it takes a certain amount of skill to write a gripping novel - but a great part of that is creative ability, imo - and that is something I feel isn't very present in the Artisan skill. You can have a highly skilled writer who can't create interesting and engaging stories if his life depended on it.
Mercer
I'm not sure why the table in the book is so obsessed with skill ratings when what matters is the total pool. A character with a 7 skill and a 3 stat is no better than a character with a 4 skill and a 6 stat. I like how stats tend to represent natural talent and skills represent learning, but at the end of it all it's the pool that matters.
Yerameyahu
True, butů relevant? biggrin.gif
snowRaven
QUOTE (Mercer @ Feb 27 2012, 11:21 PM) *
I'm not sure why the table in the book is so obsessed with skill ratings when what matters is the total pool. A character with a 7 skill and a 3 stat is no better than a character with a 4 skill and a 6 stat. I like how stats tend to represent natural talent and skills represent learning, but at the end of it all it's the pool that matters.


One solution to this is to use the 'Grittier Gameplay' optional rule of limiting successes to Skill x 2. This also helps with keeping Pornomancers in check (or anyone else with a ridiculously large dice pool, for that matter).
Yerameyahu
Honestly, it doesn't. That limit mostly just hurts *low* skill people (which include a subset of 'people stacking huge DP mods onto a low skill).
Mercer
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 27 2012, 11:25 PM) *
True, butů relevant? biggrin.gif

Well, we're going on about the difference between an artist with a 7 skill and a 4 skill but in the system if their pool was 10 they'd be functionally the same.
Yerameyahu
As long as we agree that Artisan is a 'technical ability' skill (like all skills), the DP is just the DP.
Glyph
Not every great artist is going to be commercially successful. Sometimes there almost seems to be an inverse relationship between artistic ability and fame... not always, though. What we need is an SR4 version of the Message Points (social commentary of a song) vs. Money Points (commerciality of the music) from Shadowbeat.
Midas
@Snowraven
Well argued, I see now why you think skill 2 for a starting-out performer (before spec) should be reasonable by RAW.

I am with Mercer in that I *hate* that skill table. It just doesn't make any gamesense if people are making CharGen characters with legendary skills who happen to be eking a living in the shadows and only starting to build a reputation for themselves. I double the numbers and go Skill + Stat, and even then these are only guidelines at my table, but I know by RAW this is a heretical position.

Still, it saves me turning down characters with skills much above 4 ...

You and Glyph are right about the creative side of things, though. A high Artisan skill merely describes technical prowess and says nothing about the creative content of their work.
Midas
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 27 2012, 11:05 PM) *
Honestly, it doesn't. That limit mostly just hurts *low* skill people (which include a subset of 'people stacking huge DP mods onto a low skill).

I use the skill x 2 mechanic (with an additional +1 per 3 bonus dice, round up above 0.5) in order to encourage players to round out their skill-set. The one-trick pony will still be awesome in his/her chosen field, but if they have stuck a lot of their BP eggs in one basket, they will suck eggs at anything else ...
Kolinho
I'd have thought that using Artisan as a base skill for creative ability would be fine, but instead of linking to an attribute, link it to a relevant knowledge skill. That way, you can have a character who is artistically gifted (which of course some people are, and some people not) but without the know-how, would be relying on their skill alone.

Etiquette is a bit different. As a GM i'd be tempted to throw in some DP mods on the fly, depending on circumstances and specialisation.
Yerameyahu
Maybe so, Midas, but that's the opposite of the stated purpose (rein in hyper-specialists). smile.gif I'd think you'd want to encourage people to have many skills at 1 or 2, and god forbid they try to default.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Midas @ Feb 27 2012, 10:56 PM) *
@Snowraven
Well argued, I see now why you think skill 2 for a starting-out performer (before spec) should be reasonable by RAW.

I am with Mercer in that I *hate* that skill table. It just doesn't make any gamesense if people are making CharGen characters with legendary skills who happen to be eking a living in the shadows and only starting to build a reputation for themselves.


This is not a problem with the RAW Table in the least. It is a problem with players making Legendary characters who happen to be eking out a living in the shadows, and only starting to build a reputation for themselves. Maybe they should make a character that is more plausible, and not a legendary monstrosity that makes absolutely no sense. It is a problem with Players saying "I want to be the Best" and then having no idea what actually makes someone in that field "The Best." *Shrug*

Yerameyahu
Keep hammering on that drum, TJ. smile.gif
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 28 2012, 08:32 AM) *
Keep hammering on that drum, TJ. smile.gif


I know... Just trying to make sure that everyone still pays at least some attention to the Drum... smile.gif
Kolinho
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Feb 28 2012, 04:18 PM) *
I know... Just trying to make sure that everyone still pays at least some attention to the Drum... smile.gif


I heard it from so far away that I signed up biggrin.gif

I think you're right. Too easy for players to max out skills and attributes during chargen. You would think a no mark with a legendary trigger finger would probably have been head-hunted into a Knight Errant sniper team, making far more money, arguably more securely.

Then I guess the old 'no other option for the SINless' argument rears it's head.
Yerameyahu
*shrug* Then house rule that no skills can be over 4 at chargen, etc. A lot of people like runners to be stars. Some people do low-BP/street-level games. None of this changes the skill-vs.-DP issue; Skill 5 is only 1 dice better than Skill 4, which doesn't make sense with the fluff.
Kolinho
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 28 2012, 04:41 PM) *
*shrug* Then house rule that no skills can be over 4 at chargen, etc. A lot of people like runners to be stars. Some people do low-BP/street-level games. None of this changes the skill-vs.-DP issue; Skill 5 is only 1 dice better than Skill 4, which doesn't make sense with the fluff.


Agree with this also. Either or both of the skill level descriptions and/or the scope between rank 1 and 7 need looking at.

I know for a fact if I asked my players to limit their characters to skill rating 4 at gen then I would have a mutiny on my hands.
Yerameyahu
I'm a proponent of skill ranks being re-scaled 1-12 (or 'unlimited', limited by prohibitively accelerating karma costs), which is some ways can get at this issue. But that's a significant house rule that requires other changes.

Personally, I have mostly skills at 1 (or 1+2) at chargen, and rely in high attribs and gear to make them usable DPs (yes, I know this 'wastes' BP). It all depends on your table and game.
Kolinho
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 28 2012, 05:11 PM) *
I'm a proponent of skill ranks being re-scaled 1-12 (or 'unlimited', limited by prohibitively accelerating karma costs), which is some ways can get at this issue. But that's a significant house rule that requires other changes.

Personally, I have mostly skills at 1 (or 1+2) at chargen, and rely in high attribs and gear to make them usable DPs. It all depends on your table and game.


See, that makes sense, especially if you just completely ignore the skill rank table's quite OTT descriptors. They are kinda patronisingly cringey anyway.

snowRaven
QUOTE (Midas @ Feb 28 2012, 06:56 AM) *
@Snowraven
Well argued, I see now why you think skill 2 for a starting-out performer (before spec) should be reasonable by RAW.


Thank you Midas wink.gif In hindsight I should probably have included a 'going by the skill table' somewhere in the "2-4" post...

QUOTE (Midas @ Feb 28 2012, 06:56 AM) *
I am with Mercer in that I *hate* that skill table. It just doesn't make any gamesense if people are making CharGen characters with legendary skills who happen to be eking a living in the shadows and only starting to build a reputation for themselves.


QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Feb 28 2012, 04:14 PM) *
This is not a problem with the RAW Table in the least. It is a problem with players making Legendary characters who happen to be eking out a living in the shadows, and only starting to build a reputation for themselves. Maybe they should make a character that is more plausible, and not a legendary monstrosity that makes absolutely no sense. It is a problem with Players saying "I want to be the Best" and then having no idea what actually makes someone in that field "The Best." *Shrug*


QUOTE (Kolinho @ Feb 28 2012, 05:37 PM) *
I think you're right. Too easy for players to max out skills and attributes during chargen. You would think a no mark with a legendary trigger finger would probably have been head-hunted into a Knight Errant sniper team, making far more money, arguably more securely.

Then I guess the old 'no other option for the SINless' argument rears it's head.


QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 28 2012, 06:11 PM) *
I'm a proponent of skill ranks being re-scaled 1-12 (or 'unlimited', limited by prohibitively accelerating karma costs), which is some ways can get at this issue. But that's a significant house rule that requires other changes.


I agree with you all regarding the discrepancy between skill table levels and starting characters. A couple of hundred karma down the line, and starting characters can easily surpass most published npcs when it comes to pure numbers and efficiency.

In 1st and 2nd edition especially, starting characters were competent, but still smallish fish even in their own small ponds. With SR4 starting characters are on par with most elite units, and the BP system even encourages pushing PC speciality toward world-class levels. I mean, you can easily design a character that is only 20-30 karma away from being one of the best in history in their chosen field (though he'll be very much a one-trick pony, of course).

The skill cap creates a problem with spirits as well, since they don't have a hard cap - it's fairly easy for a PC to acheive the skill necessary to summon Force 8 spirits - beings who surpass the skill of the most talented, best trained humans throughout all of history (in multiple skills, to boot). Experienced PC summoners even have the potential to summon spirits on par with adult dragons.

But then again...imagine the dice-demands of a Shadowrun 4 without skill caps... rollin.gif
Glyph
A skill of 6 is not legendary. A 7 is "best of the best". A 6 is "best of the rest". A 3 is a starting professional - "competent at general skilled tasks". A rating of 3 in unarmed could be a seasoned street fighter, a first degree black belt from a moderately decent dojo who has done some tournament fighting, or a boxer trying to break into the pros. A rating of 5 in automatics and edged weapons is a special forces operative, or someone as trained in violence but not as versatile, such as a street samurai who fought his way up from the Barrens, an underworld enforcer, or a someone from a corporate black squad. A rating of 6 is one of the above who has specialized in one area, to the extent that they are as likely to be known by that specialty as by their vocation. In other words, he isn't just Bob the special forces guy - he's Bob the sniper, or Bob the martial artist.

TL/DR version: it isn't hard to justify a skill of 6 for a starting shadowrunner - unless you feel that your character should genuinely be a "beginning" character, in which case lower skills would fit. But I have always seen starting shadowrunners as being people who have been doing this for awhile, so I have less problem giving them a high skill and having it seamlessly fit within their background.
Midas
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 28 2012, 12:37 PM) *
Maybe so, Midas, but that's the opposite of the stated purpose (rein in hyper-specialists). smile.gif I'd think you'd want to encourage people to have many skills at 1 or 2, and god forbid they try to default.

Well, one reason I like the optional rule is that it redresses the skill vs stat dynamic in favour of the skill, so the AGI 3 Skill 3 (average ability "Professional") guy will through the hit cap perform better than the AGI 5 Skill 1 (greater natural talent "Beginner"). However, the hit cap dynamic stops being statistically signifigant at skill 4+ (apart from the odd fluke roll, you would need a DP of more than 20 for the hit cap to negatively affect you).

But like I said, it *does* rein in hyper-specialists by making them suck eggs at anything else, even other skills linked to their monster-stat that they would otherwise be happy to default on.
Midas
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Feb 28 2012, 03:14 PM) *
This is not a problem with the RAW Table in the least. It is a problem with players making Legendary characters who happen to be eking out a living in the shadows, and only starting to build a reputation for themselves. Maybe they should make a character that is more plausible, and not a legendary monstrosity that makes absolutely no sense. It is a problem with Players saying "I want to be the Best" and then having no idea what actually makes someone in that field "The Best." *Shrug*

The BBB very specifically states that players *can* take one skill at 6 or 2 at 5 at CharGen (and this is before Aptitude). I do require my PCs to make a feasible background reason as to why they are so good at the 5's or 6 they have chosen, but like Kolinho I am not of a mind to take away their right to take these high skills.

Much easier for me to say that skill table is a pile of steaming manure that should only be considered a "guideline", and not a particularly accurate one at that ...
Midas
Double post, sorry!
Midas
QUOTE (Glyph @ Feb 29 2012, 02:58 AM) *
A skill of 6 is not legendary. A 7 is "best of the best". A 6 is "best of the rest". A 3 is a starting professional - "competent at general skilled tasks". A rating of 3 in unarmed could be a seasoned street fighter, a first degree black belt from a moderately decent dojo who has done some tournament fighting, or a boxer trying to break into the pros. A rating of 5 in automatics and edged weapons is a special forces operative, or someone as trained in violence but not as versatile, such as a street samurai who fought his way up from the Barrens, an underworld enforcer, or a someone from a corporate black squad. A rating of 6 is one of the above who has specialized in one area, to the extent that they are as likely to be known by that specialty as by their vocation. In other words, he isn't just Bob the special forces guy - he's Bob the sniper, or Bob the martial artist.

TL/DR version: it isn't hard to justify a skill of 6 for a starting shadowrunner - unless you feel that your character should genuinely be a "beginning" character, in which case lower skills would fit. But I have always seen starting shadowrunners as being people who have been doing this for awhile, so I have less problem giving them a high skill and having it seamlessly fit within their background.

Quoted for truth. This is pretty much the way I see it as well.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Midas @ Feb 28 2012, 11:36 PM) *
The BBB very specifically states that players *can* take one skill at 6 or 2 at 5 at CharGen (and this is before Aptitude). I do require my PCs to make a feasible background reason as to why they are so good at the 5's or 6 they have chosen, but like Kolinho I am not of a mind to take away their right to take these high skills.

Much easier for me to say that skill table is a pile of steaming manure that should only be considered a "guideline", and not a particularly accurate one at that ...


Just because you *CAN* does not necessarily mean that you *SHOULD* smile.gif Those that actually DO, more often than not, have incomplete characters that make absolutely no sense in comparison to the provided background.

*shrug*
Yerameyahu
Most people don't agree.
snowRaven
QUOTE (Glyph @ Feb 29 2012, 03:58 AM) *
A skill of 6 is not legendary. A 7 is "best of the best". A 6 is "best of the rest". A 3 is a starting professional - "competent at general skilled tasks". A rating of 3 in unarmed could be a seasoned street fighter, a first degree black belt from a moderately decent dojo who has done some tournament fighting, or a boxer trying to break into the pros. A rating of 5 in automatics and edged weapons is a special forces operative, or someone as trained in violence but not as versatile, such as a street samurai who fought his way up from the Barrens, an underworld enforcer, or a someone from a corporate black squad. A rating of 6 is one of the above who has specialized in one area, to the extent that they are as likely to be known by that specialty as by their vocation. In other words, he isn't just Bob the special forces guy - he's Bob the sniper, or Bob the martial artist.

TL/DR version: it isn't hard to justify a skill of 6 for a starting shadowrunner - unless you feel that your character should genuinely be a "beginning" character, in which case lower skills would fit. But I have always seen starting shadowrunners as being people who have been doing this for awhile, so I have less problem giving them a high skill and having it seamlessly fit within their background.


I partially agree - however, a skill of 6 is supposed to be 'superstars' - look at the people mentioned: Roger Clemens, Shaq, David Beckham, The Wright Brothers, Gjost-Who-Walks-Inside, Hatchetman. The categories speak of 'athletic superstar', 'superstars in elite forces', presidents and CEOs, Blue Angel stunt pilot. That goes a bit beyond 'bob the sniper'. A skill level of 5 is 'your expertise gives you a reputation', and from examples on skill 4 and 5 takes a minimum of 5 years experience on top of professional education to acheive.

As the char gen rules stand, you can easily begin with a level of skill equal to 'superstars'. Spending some extra points (28, to be exact, for a total of 52 BPs for that skill) you can start with one field of expertise where you are equal to the likes of Albert Einstein, Babe Ruth, Nicolai Tesla, The Red Baron, Fastjack. You can start the game with an expertise that "outranks all others in all of known history" - the pinnacle of human acheivement. Your established shadowrunner, with a Street cred 0, can start the game at a skill level in boxing that makes you highly likely to be able to beat the world champion. Granted, you won't be very well-rounded, but still. You can be the best possible pistol shot any mortal could ever hope to be, at character creation. That goes a bit beyond 'characters who have been doing this for awhile' - a college educated professional with 4+ years of experience has a skill of 4; to me that's more fitting 'he's been doing this for awhile'.

That's the 'problem' with the RAW skill table, it's hard cap, and letting starting characters get one skill at 7 from start.

That said, it may not be seen as a problem at some tables, or even most tables.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 29 2012, 02:06 PM) *
Most people don't agree.


Most people's characters here on Dumpshock also don't make a lot of internal sense either.
Most of the people I game with, on the other hand, seem to get what I am saying. *shrug* smile.gif
Glyph
QUOTE (snowRaven @ Feb 29 2012, 01:06 PM) *
I partially agree - however, a skill of 6 is supposed to be 'superstars' - look at the people mentioned: Roger Clemens, Shaq, David Beckham, The Wright Brothers, Gjost-Who-Walks-Inside, Hatchetman. The categories speak of 'athletic superstar', 'superstars in elite forces', presidents and CEOs, Blue Angel stunt pilot. That goes a bit beyond 'bob the sniper'. A skill level of 5 is 'your expertise gives you a reputation', and from examples on skill 4 and 5 takes a minimum of 5 years experience on top of professional education to acheive.

As the char gen rules stand, you can easily begin with a level of skill equal to 'superstars'. Spending some extra points (28, to be exact, for a total of 52 BPs for that skill) you can start with one field of expertise where you are equal to the likes of Albert Einstein, Babe Ruth, Nicolai Tesla, The Red Baron, Fastjack. You can start the game with an expertise that "outranks all others in all of known history" - the pinnacle of human acheivement. Your established shadowrunner, with a Street cred 0, can start the game at a skill level in boxing that makes you highly likely to be able to beat the world champion. Granted, you won't be very well-rounded, but still. You can be the best possible pistol shot any mortal could ever hope to be, at character creation. That goes a bit beyond 'characters who have been doing this for awhile' - a college educated professional with 4+ years of experience has a skill of 4; to me that's more fitting 'he's been doing this for awhile'.

That's the 'problem' with the RAW skill table, it's hard cap, and letting starting characters get one skill at 7 from start.

That said, it may not be seen as a problem at some tables, or even most tables.

I kind of tend to do what was discussed earlier with the artisan skill, with all skills. That is to say, I divorce the raw technical acumen of the skill from the "fame" of the examples. All it is saying is that someone with that skill has comparable training or practice to one of those people, in a single area. The problem with using an entire person as an example of a skill is that the person in question generally is also exceptional in the linked Attribute, and typically has a large number of dice pool modifiers for that skill. Paying through the nose for the aptitude quality and a skill of 7 only makes you a prodigy, who might or might not survive long enough to reach his full potential.

Now, high skill should still be reflected on the character sheet, although I would probably be likelier to help the player with his backstory than to take out a redacting pen. If the mage is a former expediter for the Atlantean Foundation, who couldn't resist the temptation to take a high-powered focus as "spoils of war" and defect to the shadows, then I'm fine with him having spellcasting: 6, a specialization in combat spells, and a rating: 4 power focus. If he is a recently awakened teen mage who ran away from his middle class home, then I might ask why he has such a high spellcasting skill, and such a powerful focus.
Yerameyahu
Those are simply unrelated issues, TJ. You're conflating power level, stat-backstory consistency, and the skill-fluff-vs.-DP issue. smile.gif They're all separate. Some people like higher or lower characters. There's nothing wrong with a chargen-legal high-skill character if the backstory matches. And, the skill ranks fluff clearly doesn't make much sense, given DP (and, as Glyph mentions, fame) disparities.

The first is pure taste; the second is an obvious RP principle; the third is something you're just deluded about. biggrin.gif In no universe is the difference between 'excellent' and 'legendary' 2 dice.
snowRaven
QUOTE (Glyph @ Mar 1 2012, 03:54 AM) *
I kind of tend to do what was discussed earlier with the artisan skill, with all skills. That is to say, I divorce the raw technical acumen of the skill from the "fame" of the examples. All it is saying is that someone with that skill has comparable training or practice to one of those people, in a single area. The problem with using an entire person as an example of a skill is that the person in question generally is also exceptional in the linked Attribute, and typically has a large number of dice pool modifiers for that skill. Paying through the nose for the aptitude quality and a skill of 7 only makes you a prodigy, who might or might not survive long enough to reach his full potential.

Oh, I wasn't trying to infer that the skill should automatically come with a reputation. As for the dice pool (which I agree should matter), it's not very costly to get a high attribute for the awesome skill. If you go with Longarms, get Agility 5, restricted gear and muscle toner 4 to push it to a 9, add a reflex recorder, and suddenly you're up to a dice pool of 19 when using a smartlink - 21 if you specialize on 'sniper rifles'. You've spent a quarter of your starting BPs for it of course, but excluding adepts you're most likely one of the very best sharpshooters in the world (Which can make for an awesome character, of course.). Thing is, it doesn't take much karma for a starting character to rival and maybe even surpass the 'best and baddest' in a particular field - this can lead to disappointment and disagreement with the stats of published 'legendary' characters, since the PCs will - stat-wise - be pretty big fish even in a global pond...

QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Mar 1 2012, 04:30 AM) *
biggrin.gif In no universe is the difference between 'excellent' and 'legendary' 2 dice.

No, in SR4 it's 1 die nyahnyah.gif (by RAW grinbig.gif)
Yerameyahu
I was calling 'excellent' a 5, but yes. smile.gif
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 29 2012, 08:30 PM) *
Those are simply unrelated issues, TJ. You're conflating power level, stat-backstory consistency, and the skill-fluff-vs.-DP issue. smile.gif They're all separate. Some people like higher or lower characters. There's nothing wrong with a chargen-legal high-skill character if the backstory matches. And, the skill ranks fluff clearly doesn't make much sense, given DP (and, as Glyph mentions, fame) disparities.

The first is pure taste; the second is an obvious RP principle; the third is something you're just deluded about. biggrin.gif In no universe is the difference between 'excellent' and 'legendary' 2 dice.


And you are wrong there Yerameyahu. In Shadowrun 4A, the Difference between Excellent and Legendary IS just 2 Dice. smile.gif smile.gif
DP is not the point, Skill Rank IS.

I do agree that there is nothing wrong with a Highly Skilled character, AS LONG AS IT MATCHES THE BACKSTORY. Unfortunately for your argument, the VAST majority of characters that have high DP's in a single skill or two skills do not make sense internally. They DO NOT line up with their backstory. It is very difficult to do so on 400 BP. Thus, you have a character with outrageous skill rank in one or two skills, and minimal (Substandard) competancy in everything else that is a requirement of their backstory. You yourself even commented earlier that you just give out Skill Rank 1's to a lot of those support skills. My argument is that those support skills should probably be higher than a 1 to fit the background.

No worries, though. I will continue to play that Drum when it comes up. I am just less vehement about it these days. smile.gif
Yerameyahu
It's not my fault if the player simply failed to make their stats match their backstory; as I said, that's a totally unrelated issue. It'd be equally a problem in the opposite direction.

Skill rank is not the point, DP is. smile.gif You can't win this: you're appealing to the RAW table that is specifically under debate (and begging the question, incidentally), while the DP proponents get to resort to 'in-world performance'. This is a vastly stronger argument.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Mar 1 2012, 10:57 AM) *
It's not my fault if the player simply failed to make their stats match their backstory; as I said, that's a totally unrelated issue. It'd be equally a problem in the opposite direction.

Skill rank is not the point, DP is. smile.gif You can't win this: you're appealing to the RAW table that is specifically under debate (and begging the question, incidentally), while the DP proponents get to resort to 'in-world performance'. This is a vastly stronger argument.


Which is corrected at our game table. One way or the other. Most of the time anyways. Sometimes one sneaks through somehow. smile.gif

I disagree on the other aspect, as I never Beg. smile.gif

As for IN WORLD ARGUMENTS, all other factors being EQUAL, the Higher Skill is functionally and statistically better, for both Single rolls and Extended Rolls. You cannot argue that, because it is FACT. Now, whether the individual with the 5/1 is better than the individual with the 1/5 is academic in a lot of circumstances, because functionally they often have the same results unless you add other options to the system (of which there are several options you can choose from). Training vs. Innate ability and all that. However, Fluff wise (In World), the Individual with the Higher Skill still knows more than the one with the lower skill. And again, proves that the more trained individual is actually Better than the lesser trained one is, within all of the parameters of that skill.

The interesting thing about Shadowrun, and the Cyberpunk genre in general, is that it is very easy for someone with little training to approach the levels of a more highly trained individual through Augmentations. That still does not preclude the Higher trained individual from getting them as well, again establishing his dominance over the lesser trained one. Just because they are throwing the same DP does not mean they have the same grasp of the Skill.

smile.gif
Yerameyahu
That's actually not the point I was making. It's not 'are all DP 6 equal?'; it's 'is Skill 7 *vastly* better than Skill 5 or 6?'. Nope. Therefore, the table fluff is simply wrong.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Mar 1 2012, 03:04 PM) *
That's actually not the point I was making. It's not 'are all DP 6 equal?'; it's 'is Skill 7 *vastly* better than Skill 5 or 6?'. Nope. Therefore, the table fluff is simply wrong.


And I say that it is (which has always been my primary point all along, over the years)... Therefore we are still at odds. Especially when you take an Extended test (with or without the reducing dice pool, or limits on rolls based upon Skill Rating) into consideration. smile.gif
Yerameyahu
The only one of those that seems relevant is the rule that specifically makes Skill matter, and that's a major optional change. I don't understand your repeated Extended reference, anyway, but at least it's not some vague ultra-fluff reference to 'knowing things about the skill'. smile.gif

The fact is that the difference between Skill 5 and 7 is 2 dice (as you said, all things being equal), which is indeed negligibly better (less than one hit). As I said, it's not 'legendary' better. Again, it's not 5+1=1+5; it's that 7 simply isn't 'legendary' at all. By no measure.
snowRaven
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Mar 1 2012, 11:04 PM) *
That's actually not the point I was making. It's not 'are all DP 6 equal?'; it's 'is Skill 7 *vastly* better than Skill 5 or 6?'. Nope. Therefore, the table fluff is simply wrong.


Are you...no, it can't be...are you saying...that RAW can be wrong?! eek.gif Heresy! grinbig.gif


As for the difference not being much...well...it is kind of impressive reaching the point where youare you skilled at something that you literally cannot learn a single thing - ever! - you've reached the pinnacle of metahuman learning (but your friend the shaman can still whip up a spirit who knows more than you about it...except that under no circumstance can you ever learn anything from him, no matter how long you study for...)
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Mar 1 2012, 03:16 PM) *
The only one of those that seems relevant is the rule that specifically makes Skill matter, and that's a major optional change. I don't understand your repeated Extended reference, anyway, but at least it's not some vague ultra-fluff reference to 'knowing things about the skill'. smile.gif

The fact is that the difference between Skill 5 and 7 is 2 dice (as you said, all things being equal), which is indeed negligibly better (less than one hit). As I said, it's not 'legendary' better. Again, it's not 5+1=1+5; it's that 7 simply isn't 'legendary' at all. By no measure.


Well, let me try to tackle the Extende test issue.

Guy with Skill 5 and Stat of 5 = 10 Dice.
Guy with Skill 7 and Stat of 5 = 12 Dice.
NOTE: The bigger the dice pool, the greater the difference. The above is pretty easy though.

Assuming you have not Optional Rules in place, the guy with the +2 Dice advantage will accumulate many more dice net over the roll over the guy with Skill 5. +2 Additional Dice EVERY ROLL. So at 2 rolls, he has a 4 dice advantage, at 10 rolls he has a 20 Dice advantage, etc.

If you cap on Reducing Pools.
10+9+8+7+6+5+4+3+2+1= 55 Dice
12+11+10+9+8+7+6+5+4+3+2+12 = 78 Dice
Guy with the measly +2 Skill advantage Dice has a 23 Dice advantage.

If you cap on number of rolls equal to Skill Level.
10x5= 50 Dice for Skill 5 Guy
12x7= 84 Dice for Skill 7 Guy.
Guy with measly +2 SKill advantage now has a paltry 34 Dice advantage. Almost double of the Skill 5 Guy.

Those look pretty significant to me, how about you?

Yes, on an everyday single roll skill test, it is only 2 dice. But where it matters is the extended rolls, where the guy with JUST a +2 Skill level advantage FAR outperforms the lesser skilled guy.

Looks to me like the Skill 7 Researcher (or whatever) is FAR mor Legendary than the less skilled Exceptional character is.

*shrug*
snowRaven
What really matters, though, is when you have numbers like this:

Random Guy 1: Skill 5, Attribute 7 = 12 dice
Mister Legend: Skill 7, Attribute 3 = 10 dice

Reducing Pools:
Random Guy 1: 78 dice
Mister Legend: 55 dice

Note that this makes the guy with lower skill better, even though Mister Legend knows everything there is to know about whatever it is.

Skill Level # of Rolls:
Random Guy 1: 60 dice
Mister Legend: 70 dice

Less of a difference, but still premiers ther legendary skill.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (snowRaven @ Mar 1 2012, 03:41 PM) *
What really matters, though, is when you have numbers like this:

Random Guy 1: Skill 5, Attribute 7 = 12 dice
Mister Legend: Skill 7, Attribute 3 = 10 dice

Reducing Pools:
Random Guy 1: 78 dice
Mister Legend: 55 dice

Note that this makes the guy with lower skill better, even though Mister Legend knows everything there is to know about whatever it is.

Skill Level # of Rolls:
Random Guy 1: 60 dice
Mister Legend: 70 dice

Less of a difference, but still premiers ther legendary skill.


Indeed, but the Guy above with Master skill is rather on the dense side compared to the naturally brighter, but less schooled Guy, which DOES happen. His innate intelligence allows him to exceed the Guy with the Skill. I see no problem with that at all.

Yerameyahu
I don't think anyone's surprised that an optional rule intended to make skill more important makes skill more important. smile.gif I still say it's not 'legendary' better, but we'll let that slide.

snowRaven once again pointed out that it's DP that matters, even by your (niche) Extended Test comparison. The simple point is that the fluff table doesn't mention DP, and DP is all that matters, for 99% of everything (unless you're completely changing the question by using optional rules). The fluff table, to repeat, says that Mister Legend is a *legend*, while Random Guy is merely quite good; innate intelligence has no place at all on this table. That's always been the whole point.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Mar 1 2012, 03:48 PM) *
I don't think anyone's surprised that an optional rule intended to make skill more important makes skill more important. smile.gif I still say it's not 'legendary' better, but we'll let that slide.

snowRaven once again pointed out that it's DP that matters, even by your (niche) Extended Test comparison. The simple point is that the fluff table doesn't mention DP, and DP is all that matters, for 99% of everything (unless you're completely changing the question by using optional rules). The fluff table, to repeat, says that Mister Legend is a *legend*, while Random Guy is merely quite good; innate intelligence has no place at all on this table. That's always been the whole point.


And I still maintain that it still works out that the Mister Legend guy is STILL Legendary.
Which still leaves us at an Impasse.

As Always. smile.gif
Yerameyahu
He's provably not. In basically every measurable way (and certainly every meaningful one), he performs worse than the other guy (as you said, a difference of 23 dice!!, hehe). Skill simply doesn't matter alone, but only as a component of the DP.
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