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Savar
Okay I am still trying to learn some of the nuances of 4th ed skills
in previous versions of SR Etiquette REQUIRED specialized but 4th dose not ?

the other question is Artisan skill. The basic skill seams a little All Encompassing?
or should it be specialized also ?
Yerameyahu
Artisan is basically useless, so it's usually okay for people to have a more generic creative ability. The same logic likely goes for etiquette, but the GM can certainly say things like, 'you have no idea what the etiquette here is'.
Savar
okay, its just if you wanted to make a Singer or a Instrumentalist? you would use Artisan and that would be something to be used then if there was a gig at a club or something ? or am I wrong in the skill to use ?
Neraph
I think the safe way to House-Rule Artisan is like an Exotic Weapon skill - you have to specify it each time and take it differently for different things. Out of the book though, you put 3 ranks in Artisan and you can sing, paint, play any instrument, weld scrap-art, draw photo-realistically and anime, and compose prose and poetry (and much, much more).
Glyph
Artisan is a skill meant to represent people who are well-rounded artistically, so people with that skill should know a wide range of artistic endeavors. In practice, I think the character's background should limit this to a wide but finite range, rather than the character being able to do every form of art in existence. One person might focus on painting, drawing, and sculpture, with some ability in making matrix glyphs and AR designs. Another person might be a singer/songwriter/rapper/street poet who can play several instruments, who also likes doing Japanese ink brush painting.

One thing to remember is that artisan is a defaultable skill, so everyone is actually a Renaissance man/woman - someone with artisan simply has more dice to roll for it.
snowRaven
QUOTE (Glyph @ Feb 20 2012, 07:04 PM) *
One thing to remember is that artisan is a defaultable skill, so everyone is actually a Renaissance man/woman - someone with artisan simply has more dice to roll for it.


...because in 2074, everyone can quickly download whatever program they will need to copy/enhance/create whatever art form they want to perform in grinbig.gif
SpellBinder
In some of the other gaming circles a friend does for SR, Etiquette has been more often used to help players avoid a case of athlete's tongue (the player says something at the table that's OOC & completely inappropriate, and a skill check is done to see if the character may have actually said it). To me, Etiquette is also a way to gauge how a character can watch the social interactions and make appropriate responses, be it a business meeting with a Johnson or a beer party with a go-gang.

Artisan is actually one of the required skills for if a character wants to do some vehicle and/or weapon modifications. Personally I've always thought that Artisan in general was too broad, and have been toying with thoughts about how to incorporate knowledge skills in with it (like using a knowledge skill DP or something to limit Artisan hits or something; it's a work in progress). Treating Artisan more like an exotic skill has also crossed my mind, as I can't see every star singer being a master sculptor, painter, writer, etc. as well without spending a lot of time learning such separate skills.
Yerameyahu
It's only required for well, Artisanal modifications. Nothing important. smile.gif

We definitely have talked about narrowing Artisan in other threads that I recall, but I still say it only needs that if it's somehow become a problem in your game.
Critias
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 20 2012, 04:30 PM) *
We definitely have talked about narrowing Artisan in other threads that I recall, but I still say it only needs that if it's somehow become a problem in your game.

This.

I mean, sure, realistically? It should be a narrower skill. But practically...does it matter? Is any given campaign just terribly off-kilter and broken, because the party is full of people that can all dance and sing and draw and install the "Custom Looks" gear mod, all at the same time? Of things so potentially game-imbalancing they deserve a house rule...I mean...it's not even a blip on my radar, personally.
Glyph
Etiquette is a general skill of "fitting in". Rather than separate etiquette skills for each subculture, there are now specializations and situational modifiers.

A former ganger with knowledge skills in the Portland-Seattle black market, gang turf, and elven gansta rappers would have a comparatively easy time blending in at a street party hosted by the Ancients.

A face with a high Charisma and etiquette skill, with tailored pheromones, could face a much more uphill battle - if the face in question is a former company man whose knowledge skills and background are exclusively corporate. He could still pull it off, but he would be facing significant negative modifiers, and have to roll to avoid social blunders that the ganger wouldn't even need to roll for, because it would be everyday knowledge for him.
Mercer
If Artisan had some sort of component where a certain threshold creation (for lack of a better term) was worth a certain amount of money, but it seems like again a thing that would have so little impact in 99.99% of games that it doesn't really cry out for a specific ruling.

This is not my suggestion but it is a thought experiment: Let's say that having a certain level of Artisan would allow a character to sustain themselves at a certain level of lifestyle, like 1-6 equates to Streets through Luxury. Lifestyles have no real mechanical component (a character doesn't say, regain Edge faster in one lifestyle over another) other than cost, so it wouldn't offend me greatly. A character could start with a 5 Artisan, help pay for it with some Neg qualities like Day Job (to represent the time it takes) and Fame and basically be Johnny Silverhand. It's a pinky-mohawky idea, but the Rocker was an SR1 archetype, so there's an historical precedence.
snowRaven
QUOTE (Mercer @ Feb 20 2012, 11:16 PM) *
This is not my suggestion but it is a thought experiment: Let's say that having a certain level of Artisan would allow a character to sustain themselves at a certain level of lifestyle, like 1-6 equates to Streets through Luxury. Lifestyles have no real mechanical component (a character doesn't say, regain Edge faster in one lifestyle over another) other than cost, so it wouldn't offend me greatly. A character could start with a 5 Artisan, help pay for it with some Neg qualities like Day Job (to represent the time it takes) and Fame and basically be Johnny Silverhand. It's a pinky-mohawky idea, but the Rocker was an SR1 archetype, so there's an historical precedence.


Luckily(?) higher skill in arts doesn't equal higher income even today...

It should never be a problem in an SR game, I think - at least not until people start getting Artisan at 6-7 and combine it with Connection 6/Loyalty 4+ contacts...but then you just made yourself a target for the GMs shadowrunners, so hey...
Critias
While that might be a fun house rule for a rockerboy themed campaign, the issue that then arises is why only Artisan? Why don't any other active, or for that matter knowledge, skills equate to free nuyen (by way of free lifestyle costs)?

From a purely mathematical standpoint, just take a look at the Trust Fund Positive Quality, from Runner's Companion. There, you're shelling out 10 BP for a free Medium lifestyle, or a whopping 20 BP for a free High. Here, you'd be giving them that (without it taking up their 35-capped Quality points and while attaching it to a skill they might otherwise use), but potentially all the way up to Luxury.

I mean, if you think it'd be cool to try, then go for it. As the focal point of a non-traditional campaign, more focused on slacker musicians trying to get their shit together, and less focused on hard-boiled professional criminals? Knock yourself out. I think that could be a really fun "slice of life" campaign. Heck, just look at an NPC that recently took over leadership of the Ancients, and I think you'll see that I really dig big, in your face, rockers.

But the issues I see are ones of skill favoritism (surely if a Liberal Arts major that's got a healthy Artisan skill can automatically get a high income, shouldn't someone with lots of other skills be able to do the same?), and just plain financial balance. Just to cut down on bookkeeping, I think you'd see everyone interested in a free Lifestyle just ditching certain PosQuals, and picking up a few ranks of Artisan, instead.
Mercer
It's not my suggestion, only a thought experiment. smile.gif That said, I'll defend it a little since it's a defenseless little idea and I did bring it into this world.

QUOTE
While that might be a fun house rule for a rockerboy themed campaign, the issue that then arises is why only Artisan? Why don't any other active, or for that matter knowledge, skills equate to free nuyen (by way of free lifestyle costs)?

I think an argument could be made for Instruction as well. But for everything else those skills already do something, even if it's just save the character nuyen on gear. Artisan is a skill with-- as near as I can tell-- no other game effect at all. The only reason a character would have it is if it was important to the player that the character be good at the guitar, or painting. It's purely a role-playing/fluff decision.

One of the things we did in SR3 was instead of Active and Knowledge skills, we called them Active and Inactive. Active skills had a mechanical ability, Inactive skills were fluff. So a character who wanted to play guitar could buy it with the free points in chargen, rather than have to choose between Guitar and Unarmed, for instance.

QUOTE
From a purely mathematical standpoint, just take a look at the Trust Fund Positive Quality, from Runner's Companion. There, you're shelling out 10 BP for a free Medium lifestyle, or a whopping 20 BP for a free High. Here, you'd be giving them that (without it taking up their 35-capped Quality points and while attaching it to a skill they might otherwise use), but potentially all the way up to Luxury.

If an Artisan 4 gave you Medium and Artisan 5 gave you High, that would be 16 or 20 BP for the "free" Lifestyle. Out of chargen it's worse for the character to do it that way, either by a whopping 6 BP or by being one of their 2 skills at 5. It's not a particularly sweet deal in that regard, but they'd have the option of raising it in play for 15 karma (from mid to high) or 20 (from high to lux). This assumes that the specialization dice don't increase the base rating of the skill, and a lifestyle bonus was based on the rating.

It would be considered a lifetime lifestyle since it would pay the lifestyle costs every month in perpetuity, and it would get weird if the character wanted to live at a lower lifestyle. (If the character bought up to a Artisan 6 for luxury lifestyle and wanted to live at high and take the rest in cast, well, that would be pointlessly unbalancing.)

I think more in keeping with the down-to-earth feel of the game if you made it a free lifestyle for 2pts in the Artisan skill (so a Artisan 6 could live at low lifestyle for free), it probably wouldn't offend anyone. A world class musician could make a small amount of money playing on the street or in small local venues, an incredibly skilled painter could eek out a living doing murals for neighborhood organizations or sketches in the park. It would still be a waste of points from a mechanical standpoint, but it would allow a player who took something for role-playing purposes to enjoy some small mechanical benefit.
UmaroVI
Really, it's that the divide should be between Shadowrunning skills and Background skills, but it's instead between "Active" skills and "Knowledge" skills, which leads to screwy things like "knowing all about how screwy spirits work" being a cheap skill and "baking decorative cakes" being expensive.
Midas
QUOTE (Savar @ Feb 20 2012, 02:56 PM) *
Okay I am still trying to learn some of the nuances of 4th ed skills
in previous versions of SR Etiquette REQUIRED specialized but 4th dose not ?

the other question is Artisan skill. The basic skill seams a little All Encompassing?
or should it be specialized also ?

Good questions, both. I play both Ettiquette and Artisan with house rules as follows:

1) Ettiquette
I too started way way back in SR1 where Ettiquette (Corp), Ettiquette (Street), and whateve other subgenres of Ettiquette floated your boat.
The way I play it now is to base it on the character's background, and as Glyph apparently does give situational negative DP (in my case no more than -1 or -2) to walks of life the character is not familiar with.
The skill description says it allows the character to know how to blend in and say the right things, so at higher levels the skill should benefit situations the character may have no experience in, which is why I limit the negative DP to only 1 or 2. Naturally, other social modifiers might come into play if the character is dressed inappropriately or behaving badly or a metahuman amongst humanis goons etc.

2) Artisan
There was quite a long thread about this a few months back. Some DSers seem to think like Yerameyahu that it is a fluff skill, so why not let it mean the character who wastes BP on this skill can be a total Renaissance Man and be good at sculpting, painting, dancing, singing and playing every instrument under the sun.
I am a lot more narrow in my interpretation of the skill, and allow a player to choose one 'field' to be talented in. For instance, if a character wants to be a singer in a rock band their skill would cover singing, dancing (a la front man of a band rather than any particular style) and perhaps a bit of guitar. For someone who wants to be talented at a much broader range of skills, I even have an Artisan group skill. Suffice to say, noone has ever taken it ...
Mercer
I think it should be specified (for fluff reasons rather than mechanical, I'm not worried about it breaking the game), but I'd be pretty lenient on the specification. I wouldn't have a problem with a character having Artisan: Art to cover painting, drawing and even sculpting, or Artisan: Music to cover musical instruments and even singing. That way they can specialize in one thing (like guitar) and have something they are superior at but be branched out in the general field without having to take multiple Artisan skills.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
For the few characters that actually take the Skill Artisan, we have treated it as an Exotic Skill that requires a Descriptor upon Purchase.

For Example
Artisan - SynthAxe
Artisan - Dance
Artisan - Singing
Artisan - Music Performance (SynthAxe Specialty)
etc.

It rarely, if ever, actually comes up, though. smile.gif
Yerameyahu
*shrug* Midas, if you're going to let them be skilled in a suite of 'rock front man' skills, you might as well just let them be skilled in everything. smile.gif TJ does the same thing, listing 'Music' as a specialization right next to 'SynthAxe'. Clearly, these are all different sizes; they sound like knowledge skills. That means the GM has to decide at every turn whether something applies, how much, etc.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 21 2012, 09:20 AM) *
*shrug* Midas, if you're going to let them be skilled in a suite of 'rock front man' skills, you might as well just let them be skilled in everything. smile.gif TJ does the same thing, listing 'Music' as a specialization right next to 'SynthAxe'. Clearly, these are all different sizes; they sound like knowledge skills. That means the GM has to decide at every turn whether something applies, how much, etc.



Which is why we always have that "talk" with the GM prior to assigning that type of skill. The rocker I created has 3 Artisan Skills (SynthAxe, Singing, and Dance With Stage Performance Specialties), rather than a Single Stage performance Skill with an Instrument (or whatever) Specialty. It totally depends upon the character concept, in my opinion, and the GM SHOULD have some say in how it will be expressed in game. smile.gif *shrug*
Midas
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 21 2012, 04:20 PM) *
*shrug* Midas, if you're going to let them be skilled in a suite of 'rock front man' skills, you might as well just let them be skilled in everything. smile.gif TJ does the same thing, listing 'Music' as a specialization right next to 'SynthAxe'. Clearly, these are all different sizes; they sound like knowledge skills. That means the GM has to decide at every turn whether something applies, how much, etc.

I have to disagree. If said player with Artisan (Rock front man) were on a run to steal a famous painting, he wouldn't try and claim he could make a decent forgery to replace the original with ...
Yerameyahu
Cuz Forgery is a different skill. wink.gif

Really though, I'm just saying that you can't have a skill randomly being sliced into different 'sizes' (like Knowledge skills) without making GM decisions all the time, and without being unfair to someone. If you're going to give someone three kinds of Artisan for one, then you have to do it for everyone. It's totally unlike every other Active skill in the game, and that's bad.

I still can't see Artisan abuse ever being a problem. Let them take Artisan and Know skills that back it up, if you like.
pbangarth
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 22 2012, 09:41 AM) *
Cuz Forgery is a different skill. wink.gif

I still can't see Artisan abuse ever being a problem. Let them take Artisan and Know skills that back it up, if you like.

This sounds reasonable. Raw talent focused with some book-learning.
SpellBinder
The problem with that that some people have is something like this: Take a well known and skilled artist who does nothing but sculpting, has only done sculpting and never anything else but sculpting in the Artisan skill; game mechanics he has a high rating in Artisan and a large DP to do the work. By RAW the same DP would go to him the first time ever in his life he goes to write a song.

However the seemingly unbalanced and unrealistic nature of how Artisan works in the game is largely offset by the apparent lack of PCs who actually invest in this skill in the first place (none of my players have ever put rank 1 into this skill).
Yerameyahu
Right. There would be abuse potential if (a) that ever happened, (b) it mattered at all, and (c ) Artisan were defined as 'not a general creativity skill'. I think none of those are the case. If that's not true at your table, you should indeed impose balancing changes.
bibliophile20
QUOTE (SpellBinder @ Feb 22 2012, 02:54 PM) *
The problem with that that some people have is something like this: Take a well known and skilled artist who does nothing but sculpting, has only done sculpting and never anything else but sculpting in the Artisan skill; game mechanics he has a high rating in Artisan and a large DP to do the work. By RAW the same DP would go to him the first time ever in his life he goes to write a song.


And that's when the GM adds in a situational negative modifier for "working outside your normal discipline."
snowRaven
QUOTE (SpellBinder @ Feb 22 2012, 08:54 PM) *
The problem with that that some people have is something like this: Take a well known and skilled artist who does nothing but sculpting, has only done sculpting and never anything else but sculpting in the Artisan skill; game mechanics he has a high rating in Artisan and a large DP to do the work. By RAW the same DP would go to him the first time ever in his life he goes to write a song.


Except that even a very famous sculptor is unlikely to have more than Artisan 4(Sculpting +2), and will certainly have that specialization, reducing his dice pool.

As someone who knows a lot of artists, in my experience very few are limited to one form of expression, and many talented musicians can get by quite well even on instruments they've never held before, once they get an understanding for it.

Using Artisan with a specialization and a few complementary Knowledge skills is quite sufficient, I think.
Midas
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 22 2012, 02:41 PM) *
Cuz Forgery is a different skill. wink.gif

Really though, I'm just saying that you can't have a skill randomly being sliced into different 'sizes' (like Knowledge skills) without making GM decisions all the time, and without being unfair to someone. If you're going to give someone three kinds of Artisan for one, then you have to do it for everyone. It's totally unlike every other Active skill in the game, and that's bad.

I still can't see Artisan abuse ever being a problem. Let them take Artisan and Know skills that back it up, if you like.

I am not sure that the Artisan (Rock front man) skill I mooted was really 3 different Artisan skills - I believe I even said that he would be able to sing, dance around like a rock front man (but wouldn't be good at any 'formal' dance techniques such as waltzing, Thai dance, whatever), and play a bit of guitar. That is hardly 'guitar king' or 'dance king', but fits nicely with what most rock front men would be good at.
Midas
QUOTE (snowRaven @ Feb 22 2012, 10:06 PM) *
Except that even a very famous sculptor is unlikely to have more than Artisan 4(Sculpting +2), and will certainly have that specialization, reducing his dice pool.

As someone who knows a lot of artists, in my experience very few are limited to one form of expression, and many talented musicians can get by quite well even on instruments they've never held before, once they get an understanding for it.

Using Artisan with a specialization and a few complementary Knowledge skills is quite sufficient, I think.

I think a very famous sculptor would have skill 6 + spec, as well as various self-publicizing social skills and a good agent, but there you go.

And while it is true that many artistic people express themselves using a number of media, the number of artists famous in more than one field is very small. Said sculptor might be commissioned to build sculptures for AAA megacorps, but still only attract a crowd of 50 to his accoustic gig or poetry reading ...
Yerameyahu
I think that's exactly the point, Midas: 'dance king' is a different size than 'waltz king', and so on. It's just a mess for no reason, because of the 3 conditions I mentioned earlier.
Mercer
I find the idea that a character would have "Rock Dance" as his Artisan skill and that the GM would send him repeatedly into waltzing competitions to be, for whatever reason, endlessly hilarious.

That said, other than a character who wants to take high Artisan and Forgery skills to specifically forge valuable works of art (which makes sense for a certain type of character in a certain type of game, but hardly seems like the skill set of the bulk of shadowrunners), I don't see it coming up that much. But it seems pretty easy to look at how the player defines the skill and see if that is at least tangentially related to what the GM has set up. For instance, the skills of a rock front man includes dance so would probably be good on things that have to do with dancing. The skills of a painter, even a world class one, probably wouldn't. That seems like a pretty easy decision to make.
NiL_FisK_Urd
I would cap the artisan skill dice with the level knowledge skills - eg. you have artisan 4, rock stage performance 4 und sculpting 1 -> for rock stage performance you would roll INT+4, for sculpting INT+1, every other application of artisan: default
Yerameyahu
A rock front man shouldn't be dancing, anyway. He should be rocking.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 23 2012, 06:47 AM) *
A rock front man shouldn't be dancing, anyway. He should be rocking.


Tell that to Angus Young... smile.gif
Mercer
But what if he has the moves like Jagger?
snowRaven
QUOTE (Midas @ Feb 23 2012, 07:32 AM) *
I think a very famous sculptor would have skill 6 + spec, as well as various self-publicizing social skills and a good agent, but there you go.

And while it is true that many artistic people express themselves using a number of media, the number of artists famous in more than one field is very small. Said sculptor might be commissioned to build sculptures for AAA megacorps, but still only attract a crowd of 50 to his accoustic gig or poetry reading ...


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.
Critias
I don't think it's really fair to claim that's a modern thing, though. It's not like the 20th or 21st century invented the notions of sell outs, or it's not what you do, it's who you know, or patronage, or whatever. Dumb stupid luck and getting the right people to like you have always been a big part of the art world -- or, well, hell, the rest of the world, too, for that matter.
pbangarth
I see where you are coming from, snowRaven, and cannot really argue with what you say, if the success of a Skill is expressed solely in selling your work or making a name for yourself in the general public. Among those in the community of the artistic form in question, though, the talent and quality of product of a "high Skill rating" practitioner is usually understood and respected.

In terms of SR Skills and their application to SR situations (runs), that latter form of success is more often likely to represent success in SR, don't you think?
Savar
heh, busking, Artisan(mime) and Etiquette(street) nyahnyah.gif
need to skill at mime to do the moves, need to etiquette to know what is entertaining ?

or Artisan(instrument) and Etiquette(noble ?) for playing for a social function ?

to make money would be a mix + needing the contacts

hmmm that is assuming that requiring the Artisan skill to be given a subject media ?
snowRaven
QUOTE (pbangarth @ Feb 24 2012, 12:01 AM) *
I see where you are coming from, snowRaven, and cannot really argue with what you say, if the success of a Skill is expressed solely in selling your work or making a name for yourself in the general public. Among those in the community of the artistic form in question, though, the talent and quality of product of a "high Skill rating" practitioner is usually understood and respected.

In terms of SR Skills and their application to SR situations (runs), that latter form of success is more often likely to represent success in SR, don't you think?


Oh, definately! I was arguing the point that someone with a high Artisan skill basically could write their own meal ticket. Even if you had Artisan 7 with a specialization in sculpture, that alone doesn't mean that there will be a demand for the sculptures you make.
Mercer
Considering that art is subjective there probably doesn't need to be a mechanic for it, but if we were going to make one we could make it however we wanted. If we wanted to say that the Artisan skill doesn't necessarily represent technical skill and it doesn't represent inspiration but rather the approximate nuyen value of artistic creations, we can. I mean two people can look at a Jackson Pollack painting and one can think it's a crit success and the other thinks it's a crit glitch-- that's down to personal taste. But if you say the painting is selling for 80k, that's a number we can break down and figure out how many successes on a skill it takes to get there. Some people may like the painting, some people may hate it, but at the end of the day it's worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

Sure, it's a cynical way of looking at things and doesn't have anything to do with artistic merit, but I don't think artistic merit can be put in the system anyway. The problem with modern art, to quote Calvin and Hobbes, is knowing who is kidding whom.

To put another way, we could say Artisan 7 (sculpting) means there is a demand for the sculptures you create, it just doesn't mean that the sculptures are any good.
Yerameyahu
That seems simply crazy, though. All skills represent *skill*. Technical ability, even in various arts, is something that everyone agrees exists. smile.gif
Mercer
The problem being in this particular area, it's all subjective. The ability to perfectly render something in a given medium doesn't equate to it being an artistic success. Artisan doesn't cover technical ability, or if it does, then it doesn't cover artistic ability in any meaningful way.
Yerameyahu
I don't think Artisan has anything to do with 'artistic success'. I think it's about technical ability, like every other skill.
Glyph
If you want to be a "successful" artist in Shadowrun, you do it by taking a level of the Fame positive quality and a level of the Day Job negative quality. You can be a superb artist and not be commercially successful - just like you can be a superb mage, superb hacker, or augmented killing machine and not be making the big bucks in a (relatively) cushy corporate gig.

I personally dislike limiting the artisan skill with knowledge skills, because knowledge skills are a very finite resource, and you need to flesh out your charcter's background, hobbies, etc. You shouldn't have to blow all of those points just to get what the basic skill is supposed to give you, anyways. I prefer letting the player pick a broad area, such as rocking (singing, several instruments, rapping, songwriting, choreography, etc.), and maybe a few other quirky artistic hobbies (maybe the rocker likes sitting on his porch and painting watercolor seascapes, or writing essays and freeform poetry in his liveblog). Generous? Maybe, although it's more limiting than RAW. But I think characters should be encouraged to take skills like artisan.
snowRaven
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Feb 24 2012, 05:39 AM) *
I don't think Artisan has anything to do with 'artistic success'. I think it's about technical ability, like every other skill.


I wholeheartedly agree.

Artistic creative ability isn't really quantifiable in that way (or in any way) as it largely rests in the opinions of others. There's really no way at all to determine if the creativity and artistic quality of a certain piece is higher or lower than that of a similar piece, you can only judge technical skill in it's creation, popularity, and price-tag. The last two are quite arbitrary.


I also agree with Glyph - I'll encourage players with Artisan skills to take a supportive knowledge skill or two, that not only better defines their primary craft but also gives them 'extra' skill in that area. For Artisan (Painting +2) it could be stuff like 'Famous painters of the 21st century', 'Surrealist Art', or whatever. Stuff that help define the character, and add to the Artisan skill rather than limiting it.
Mercer
The last two (popularity or price tag) are arbitrary, but we can arbitrarily link them to successes as easily as anything else. smile.gif

That said, I'm fine linking Artisan ranks to technical skill since that makes more sense in the context of the system (skill ratings linking to a fairly defined ability). But that seems to make it easier to determine what someone in that level of skill could produce. A portrait painter isn't making art to be sold (though they may in their spare time), but rather painting portraits on contract for people who want their portraits to look like (the best possible version of) them. A singer/musician who is playing small bar gigs isn't there to blow people away with their songwriting ability, they're there to produce reasonable facsimiles of songs people already know. A violist would make their living playing either in a symphony (at the high end of the skill rating) or at weddings, funerals and brunches. (Any of these Artisans could be replaced with the technological version, but having an actual person do it would probably be a high-end niche market.) None of these would be creating anything in the artistic sense necessarily, but would still be producing things using the Artisan skill.
snowRaven
QUOTE (Mercer @ Feb 24 2012, 07:21 PM) *
The last two (popularity or price tag) are arbitrary, but we can arbitrarily link them to successes as easily as anything else. smile.gif

That said, I'm fine linking Artisan ranks to technical skill since that makes more sense in the context of the system (skill ratings linking to a fairly defined ability). But that seems to make it easier to determine what someone in that level of skill could produce. A portrait painter isn't making art to be sold (though they may in their spare time), but rather painting portraits on contract for people who want their portraits to look like (the best possible version of) them. A singer/musician who is playing small bar gigs isn't there to blow people away with their songwriting ability, they're there to produce reasonable facsimiles of songs people already know. A violist would make their living playing either in a symphony (at the high end of the skill rating) or at weddings, funerals and brunches. (Any of these Artisans could be replaced with the technological version, but having an actual person do it would probably be a high-end niche market.) None of these would be creating anything in the artistic sense necessarily, but would still be producing things using the Artisan skill.


Exactly.
Jet
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.
Jet
Oh sorry P.S. a lot of artists of all types don't become popular until after their death, so yeah it is not always strictly about technical ability. There are a lot of factors that influence popularity.
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