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pbangarth
So, say you have a character with Pistols (automatics) 1(3). Then this character is Endowed with the Skill Pistols by a F7 Invoked Guardian Spirit that has that as one of its optional powers. The Endowment would give the character a Skill of 7 in Pistols.

Would he still be able to use his specialization in automatics?
Irion
I do not think it would work. Endownment transfers powers, not skills. You may pick an skill as a power, but this won't make the skill a power.
snowRaven
Even if it works (I'm also tempted to say no on that one) you wouldn't keep the specialization, no.
ShadowDragon8685
I'm inclined to say 'yes, theoretically.' It's not Skillwires, it's having your ability massively boosted by magic. He earned his specialization, it should still work when gunslinging machine pistols and whatnot.

That said, I think it might be moot, since Endowment transfers powers, not skills. I think the Endowment itself isn't kosher.
snowRaven
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Mar 6 2012, 01:46 PM) *
I'm inclined to say 'yes, theoretically.' It's not Skillwires, it's having your ability massively boosted by magic.


If the skill was increased by 7, I'd agree - if it is replaced by a skill of 7, I'd say that overrides the specialization (which is lower)
Udoshi
QUOTE (pbangarth @ Mar 6 2012, 12:37 AM) *
So, say you have a character with Pistols (automatics) 1(3). Then this character is Endowed with the Skill Pistols by a F7 Invoked Guardian Spirit that has that as one of its optional powers. The Endowment would give the character a Skill of 7 in Pistols.

Would he still be able to use his specialization in automatics?


What would actually end up happening here is the character sheet would have both skills on it.
As far as I know there is no prohibition against buying the same skill twice, its just that there's basically no reason to do it ever.
So there's no replacement effect, the character just has both at once.

In the end, I would treat it using using existing game mechanics that handle this exact situation already: Skillwires.
Its basically a spirit skillwire. Temporary skill that's not your own.
Skillwires even have rules provisions for 'i have the wire and the same skill, what do I do?' so its even relevant. (if the character already possesses the skill, use whichever rating is higher).

So there's that.
However, it is NOT a skillwire, though it IS similiar in nature to it. It not possession, which overwrites the hosts skills. So you end up with both, because there is no replacement going on, just addition.

However, with regards to specializations........ lets look at the book.

68: A specialization grants the character a dice pool modifier of +2 dice on tests using that skill when the particular specialty applies (see Specializations, p.84).
84: If your character has a specialization, he adds 2 extra dice to the skill test whenever the specialization applies (see Specializations, p.121).
121: Specializations add 2 dice to any tests made for that skill when the specialization is applicable to the test. Each specific specialization may be taken only once per character. A character must have a rating of at least 1 in a skill to take a specialization in it.

A specialization is a dice pool modifier. This is important because it doesn't actually raise your skill rating, like ware or adept powers do. The only trigger to gain the modifier is the type of Skill Test.

A character with
Pistols 3(SA+2) and
Pistols 8
Is still rolling Pistols to shoot. Because he has a spec in pistols and is rolling Pistols(while firing with the right gun, of course), you satisfy the requirements to claim the bonus.
Like i said, its a dice pool modifier with a condition to claim it - it doesn't actaully care if you're rolling the specific skill its attached to.

So yeah a specialization works. Its silly, but it works.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
I have a question for you Udoshi. I know how I have always played it, but the quote you gave is intriguing.

QUOTE
121: Specializations add 2 dice to any tests made for that skill when the specialization is applicable to the test. Each specific specialization may be taken only once per character. A character must have a rating of at least 1 in a skill to take a specialization in it.


So... I know you can only take a Specialization for Pistols (Semi-Automatics) once. However, after considering the text above, can you take Multiple Specializations for Pistols (for example)? We have always said no (IIRC This interpretation is supported by the rules), but the specific text above contradicts that. It says you can only have a specific specialization once, but does not say you cannot speicalize the Skill more than once. I am pretty sure that limit applies, but it is not in that particulr text, and I could not find it upon a search (Apparently my SearchFu is weak today). Am I going crazy here.
Yerameyahu
QUOTE
Its silly, but it works.
I Bu If it's silly, don't do it! biggrin.gif
NiL_FisK_Urd
QUOTE (Udoshi @ Mar 7 2012, 02:12 AM) *
Each specific specialization may be taken only once per character.

So if i specialize Computer (Edit +2), i cannot take "Edit" for Hacking - or "Urban" for Shadowing and Infiltration. This is really bad wording, it should read "Each skill can only have 1 specialization".
snowRaven
QUOTE (NiL_FisK_Urd @ Mar 7 2012, 09:41 PM) *
So if i specialize Computer (Edit +2), i cannot take "Edit" for Hacking - or "Urban" for Shadowing and Infiltration. This is really bad wording, it should read "Each skill can only have 1 specialization".


SR4A, pg.121:

"Only one specialization is allowed per skill, and specializations are not allowed for skill groups."

It's 4 lines below the other quote, which indeed might be interpreted in the way you describe - but since a specialization only applies to the skill it's learned under, I'd say you can safely take 'Urban' twice if it's for two different skills.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (snowRaven @ Mar 7 2012, 02:00 PM) *
SR4A, pg.121:

"Only one specialization is allowed per skill, and specializations are not allowed for skill groups."

It's 4 lines below the other quote, which indeed might be interpreted in the way you describe - but since a specialization only applies to the skill it's learned under, I'd say you can safely take 'Urban' twice if it's for two different skills.


I knew I was not crazy... Thanks SnowRaven... smile.gif
snowRaven
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Mar 7 2012, 11:47 PM) *
I knew I was not crazy... Thanks SnowRaven... smile.gif


No problem!
Chinane
QUOTE (Udoshi @ Mar 7 2012, 02:12 AM) *
What would actually end up happening here is the character sheet would have both skills on it.
As far as I know there is no prohibition against buying the same skill twice, its just that there's basically no reason to do it ever.
So there's no replacement effect, the character just has both at once.

In the end, I would treat it using using existing game mechanics that handle this exact situation already: Skillwires.
Its basically a spirit skillwire. Temporary skill that's not your own.
Skillwires even have rules provisions for 'i have the wire and the same skill, what do I do?' so its even relevant. (if the character already possesses the skill, use whichever rating is higher).

So there's that.
However, it is NOT a skillwire, though it IS similiar in nature to it. It not possession, which overwrites the hosts skills. So you end up with both, because there is no replacement going on, just addition.

However, with regards to specializations........ lets look at the book.

68: A specialization grants the character a dice pool modifier of +2 dice on tests using that skill when the particular specialty applies (see Specializations, p.84).
84: If your character has a specialization, he adds 2 extra dice to the skill test whenever the specialization applies (see Specializations, p.121).
121: Specializations add 2 dice to any tests made for that skill when the specialization is applicable to the test. Each specific specialization may be taken only once per character. A character must have a rating of at least 1 in a skill to take a specialization in it.

A specialization is a dice pool modifier. This is important because it doesn't actually raise your skill rating, like ware or adept powers do. The only trigger to gain the modifier is the type of Skill Test.

A character with
Pistols 3(SA+2) and
Pistols 8
Is still rolling Pistols to shoot. Because he has a spec in pistols and is rolling Pistols(while firing with the right gun, of course), you satisfy the requirements to claim the bonus.
Like i said, its a dice pool modifier with a condition to claim it - it doesn't actaully care if you're rolling the specific skill its attached to.

So yeah a specialization works. Its silly, but it works.


There's a contradiction in your arguments.

You're saying the character ends up with having both skills. Let's assume this is correct.
In that case you end up with Pistols(endowed) 7 and Pistols (learned) 1(+2).

However, please note that the specialization description uses the term 'THAT skill', i.e. the specialized one. Not 'any skill with the same name'.
THAT skill is Pistols (learned), NOT Pistols (endowed).

(The (learned/endowed) is just for clarification, i'm not implying it's a part of the actual skill name)
Yerameyahu
I'm not really okay with the idea that anyone can have two for the same skill. It seems like it has to either boost to (7), or overwrite. This is a subtle distinction, but the former gets the spec. Do we have any principled reason for choosing boost vs. overwrite? I feel vaguely that overwrite is the more natural choice (on the analogy of skillwires, the idea of endowing the *spirit's* skill, etc.).
snowRaven
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Mar 8 2012, 01:58 AM) *
I'm not really okay with the idea that anyone can have two for the same skill. It seems like it has to either boost to (7), or overwrite. This is a subtle distinction, but the former gets the spec. Do we have any principled reason for choosing boost vs. overwrite? I feel vaguely that overwrite is the more natural choice (on the analogy of skillwires, the idea of endowing the *spirit's* skill, etc.).


I'd go for 'overwrite' as well.

The 'mess' there happens when the base skill is Pistols 6(Automatics +2) and the Endowed skill is Pistols 7...
Yerameyahu
Ha. Well, that's their fault for choosing a bad endowment. I'm okay with writing off that case entirely.
snowRaven
Applying something that gives a worse result in limited situations...I'm fine with that.

How would the same situation be handled for skillwires though?
Yerameyahu
Well. :/ Opinions differ. I'd still be happy to say, 'it's their choice when to use it', and I assume it wouldn't come up all that often (and it's only +1 difference then). I prefer this to the alternative, because that basically allows people to take 1(+2) and slap skillwires on top of it. That just seems cheesy.
Udoshi
QUOTE (Chinane @ Mar 7 2012, 05:36 PM) *
There's a contradiction in your arguments.

You're saying the character ends up with having both skills. Let's assume this is correct.
In that case you end up with Pistols(endowed) 7 and Pistols (learned) 1(+2).

However, please note that the specialization description uses the term 'THAT skill', i.e. the specialized one. Not 'any skill with the same name'.
THAT skill is Pistols (learned), NOT Pistols (endowed).

(The (learned/endowed) is just for clarification, i'm not implying it's a part of the actual skill name)


This is fair, however, a Specialization does NOT affect the SKILL it is on, it affects the TEST using a skill - for the most part its effectively the same, but there's a few key differences. Continuing your example, there is a difference between
Pistols 3(4) (like you see with Improved Combat Skill and Reflex Recorders)
and
Pistols 3 (+2 on all pistols tests. ) Simplified for explanation purposes, but for all intents and purposes you can replace 'pistols tests' with 'any valid spec'

So when you declare your shot, you are rolling an Opposed Agility + Pistols Test (Reaction), you count your dice pool(agi+pistols) which does NOT cont the spec, and apply bonuses from ware(smartlink, tacnet) and then other dice pool modifiers (range, vision, wounds) and its at this point that you check to see whether the requirements for a specialization are met(i posted them above BTW).
Is it a relevant Test?
Are you using your Spec?
if yes, get +2

basically since its a situational dice pool modifier, not an adjustment to your skill, Pistols is Pistols.

Yerameyahu
But is that desirable? It seems like the only effect of that separation (given that you have to have a skill before you can spec it) is allowing weird things like 'specs count for skillwires'.
Udoshi
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Mar 7 2012, 07:52 PM) *
Well. :/ Opinions differ. I'd still be happy to say, 'it's their choice when to use it', and I assume it wouldn't come up all that often (and it's only +1 difference then). I prefer this to the alternative, because that basically allows people to take 1(+2) and slap skillwires on top of it. That just seems cheesy.


Emphasis mine. I originally thought that too - I DO occasionally go 'wow, that's broken' when I find abusable rules interations, but then I thought about it.
Samurais are kind of one of the underpowered archetypes, they just don't get enough love compared to, say, adepts.
Actually using a spec an a skillwire trick costs you 6bp for the skills alone, which is 30,000 nuyen in hardware. compared to a lot of +1 an +2 bonuses available in cash, its actually very expensive (tacnet 10k, pushed 15, smartlinks is less than a thousand), or also 6/10ths of a point of magic. An adept with .6 power points to put in improved skill gets the exact same bonus - two dice on one skill.

While its rules abusive, or as some people like to say, cheesy, its actually a nice way for samurai's to play catch up to the other archetypes.

I, for one, like that there is a bit of support for ghost-in-the-shell like people who are SO used to machine they are better WITH them(skillwires) than without. The cybernetic pros.

And, frankly, it does a lot to support the Chipped Unskilled Workforce With No Useful Skills when they're off the clock theme.

So in the end, I don't have too much of a problem with it.
Yerameyahu
I don't think it's broken, I think it seems cheesy. smile.gif I agree, it's not a real problem. It's just inelegant. (Personally, I preferred SR3 specs.)
Critias
QUOTE (Udoshi @ Mar 8 2012, 12:23 AM) *
Samurais are kind of one of the underpowered archetypes, they just don't get enough love compared to, say, adepts.

*sputter*

EDIT: To clarify, I was all set to post something meaningful to the thread about Endowment (my opinion is that because the Spirit grants its Power, rather than supplementing an existing ability, even when that "Power" is a Skill, a specialization should not apply -- because the player is using the Spirit's Skill, not his or her own, period).

And then I saw the above, and my brain just melted out of my head and dribbled out my ear onto the floor, because it is a series of words that I recognize as English, but when put together in that order, make absolutely no sense to me. Outside of one of the near-mythical "infinite karma" games where unlimited Initiation is a possibility, adepts are terrifically underpowered compared to street samurai, in my experience, unless they hyper-specialize to the point of ridiculousness, in which case they can hold their own but a comparable street samurai can blow them out of the water at everything else. Obviously, your mileage varies and all that, but seeing something about how adepts get sooooo muuuuuuch more love than samurai just really blows my mind.
Udoshi
QUOTE (Critias @ Mar 7 2012, 10:22 PM) *
And then I saw the above, and my brain just melted out of my head and dribbled out my ear onto the floor, because it is a series of words that I recognize as English, but when put together in that order, make absolutely no sense to me. Outside of one of the near-mythical "infinite karma" games where unlimited Initiation is a possibility, adepts are terrifically underpowered compared to street samurai, in my experience, unless they hyper-specialize to the point of ridiculousness, in which case they can hold their own but a comparable street samurai can blow them out of the water at everything else. Obviously, your mileage varies and all that, but seeing something about how adepts get sooooo muuuuuuch more love than samurai just really blows my mind.


Okay, NOW i have to defend my position now that you've called me out on it.

The main benefit sammies enjoy is EARLY access to nice things. Ware is cheap and easy to come by. The great thing they have are good statboots - its easy to be a generalist when you have high augmented stats. Especially on, say, Agility which helps on a ton of things.

But adepts get all the cool stuff. They get powers, different action type adjustments, other cool things nobody else gets - its basically Hollywood Hero mode.

On the other hand, after a few runs, the samurai raises their critical skills to 5 and 6, and then goes 'well, i have muscle toner 4 and high skills, a reflex recorder being cultured for me - I've hit the peak of my profession(in terms of stats/skills/dice pool), I don't even know what to do now?' Its kind of like being a hacker: Its really easy to make an awesome starting one, and not have a lot of room for growth once the game begins.

I would clarify, though: I mean this in general. Both adepts and samurais can be min-maxed to hell and back, but I personally find that adepts are better at everything that isn't JUST fighting. They're better hackers than technomancers, for christs sake. And their strength comes from being able to multi-role, or focus on one aspect REALLY hard.


There really needs to be a street samurai's gift basket for 4th edition. More ware goodies, like a brain augmentation that gives you an extra free action per pass that ISN'T lost in combat. More cyberlimb options - a quick/easy/dirty underbarrel grenade launcher is something that is sorely lacking in 4th. My table wanted a cyberlimb flame-thrower. Armor modification rules for cyberlimb armor so you can have built-in chest plating that prevents you from being stick-n-shocked. Rules for putting/adjusting a real-model gun into a cyberlimb instead of the super-lame generic Cyber-SMG stuff in the core book - just port the rules from third edition or something. How bout an Airburst Link as a Smartlink Ware Option - kind of like the Mark 74 Smartlink in war, it just costs a little more so you don't have to slap an accessory on -every single- explosive launcher you own. What about a new beta-plus grade of ware that isn't any better in terms of essence, but is harder to detect, so missions writers can stop having people walk off the street and get Deltaware just so they can have their johnson for the run have a nearly undetectable hidden commlink.(oh and delta is STILL off limits for the players)
Or even a triggered gland upgrade for tailored pheromones(you know, like the orthoskin upgrades) that lets you control when you want to release it? So you can take a shower and NOT get in trouble for having restricted ware. Maybe even an Ultrasound cybereye accessory, so cameras can stop being better.
How bout some military-training styles a la the martial arts rules, that maybe give non-shooty bonuses - range reductions, proper pistol stance, loading bows as a free action a la krav maga. What about a maneuver that lets you use an Underbarrel/accessory weapon with the skill of the gun its attached to. Cause screw learning Exotic Weapon: laser pointer to lase a target. Exotic weapon skills are ass.

Like, that's the kind of stuff I'd like to see the samurai archetype get to make them more/as *interesting* as everyone else.
(i'd also like to point out that a lot of those things adepts can do via multitasking, elemental mystic armor, punching as hard as an assault cannon, even Quickdrawing arrows - base threshold 2 and a quickdraw quiver basically means you never whiff it'. Yes, adepts can even have built-in ultrasound.)

Man, Critias, what's it take to become a Freelancer for CGL? I'll write the damn thing, and it will be just as good as Gun Heaven or the other 10-page splatbooks.
Irion
@Udoshi
Please consider that the use a sam gets out of skillwires is rather limited. The raiting is cut to 4 and raising this skill would cost him only 22 Karma.(Which would drop a couple limitations...)


@Critias
Mostly not pure adepts. It is the magic 5(2-3) BP or 3(1) Karma way of the warrior adept. It is just like, well I get a bunch of cyber and for X BP/Karma I get an option to buy additional powers, for sometimes quite low prices. (For example: Increased skill is dirt cheap compared to getting a skill to 7 any other way)
pbangarth
[Futile Attempt to Avoid Derailing] Hey, hey. Enough with the Sam vs. adept thing. We're talking about Skills and Specialization. [/Futile Attempt to Avoid Derailing]

I have to say, Udoshi's point about Specializations affecting Skill tests, rather than modifiying the Skill, is a strong point.
Udoshi
QUOTE (Irion @ Mar 8 2012, 12:21 AM) *
@Udoshi
Please consider that the use a sam gets out of skillwires is rather limited. The raiting is cut to 4 and raising this skill would cost him only 22 Karma.(Which would drop a couple limitations...)


Well it would basically let them get a skillwire at 6 instead of 4. Effectively.
snowRaven
I'd much rather add a Specialization Option to the skillwire program...

Also, any introduced 'ware that helps the samurai can also help the mage, the adept, the technomancer and his dog...

Adepts are only fully competetive with Street Sams if they use a Weapon Foci, instill augmentations to push attributes, or earn loads of karma. After a few initiation grades and magic increases, the adept is catching up (if unaugmented), but he won't clearly surpass the street sam overall until way down the line, unless he sacrifices magic for 'ware.
Irion
@snowRaven
QUOTE
but he won't clearly surpass the street sam overall until way down the line, unless he sacrifices magic for 'ware.

Most of the reason for this (it has come up a lot of times) is the way essence loss is handled. 2 Points of Ware might cost the adept only 20 Points of BP/Karma. Thats nothing.
(One skill increase from 6 to 7 due to an adept power would cost much more.)
Yerameyahu
Yeah, Udoshi, that big wish list seems full of incredibly trivial things. Not *bad* things, just tiny ones.

I agree that adepts don't seem vastly loved over sams.

I agree that a Program Option (appropriately pricey) seems a better choice for skillwires; mixing skillwires and any native knowledge just seems wrong.
Critias
Just FYI, but there is at least one other Options book actively in the works right this very second, that I know of (because I'm working on it). It may or may not have the word "Samurai" in the title. wink.gif

So I agree that sammies can use some love...but to insist that they need the love because of adepts being overpowered is just like crazy moon-speak to me. In the interest of not further derailing this thread -- for which I apologize, albeit half-heartedly -- I'll just leave it at that. I see what you're saying, Udoshi, but my experiences don't line up with yours.
snowRaven
QUOTE (Critias @ Mar 8 2012, 04:37 PM) *
Just FYI, but there is at least one other Options book actively in the works right this very second, that I know of (because I'm working on it). It may or may not have the word "Samurai" in the title. wink.gif


Way of the SamuRAI - Rules as Intended for the path from your street doc directly to a body bag.
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