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Moving Skills Around
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:20 pm    Post subject: Moving Skills Around Reply with quote

So, talking with Whills about his move of Willpower and Intimidate to Perception got me thinking:

What other skills would you move to another attribute? What would make more sense elsewhere?

One suggestion I have: Astrogation should be Knowledge, not Mechanical.
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Telsij
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have moved some of the more commonly mentioned ones, so I gather there aren't too many controversial skill realignments in my House Rules.

Off of the top of my head, among others I'm likely forgetting, I've moved: Brawling to DEX. Intimidation, streetwise and willpower to PER. Vehicle blasters to MEC (under a combined Gunnery skill, ala Introductory Adventure Game).

On a semi-related note, I've moved the "sense motive" aspect of con out of an opposed con roll. I instead have people roll either search or investigation, when assessing character and/or gauging truthfulness.

I have seen Sensors and Astrogation moved to TEC, though I have left them in MEC for now, though I often use Com-Scan as my combined Communications and Sensors skill.

Semi-OT, but as is also common, I've combined the various piloting skills into starship piloting (with the types of craft as specializations, eg: starship piloting: space transports), the various ship repair skills into one starship repair, etc. I have also sometimes folded bargain into persuasion as a specialization, or vice versa.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Moving Skills Around Reply with quote

A lot of skills overlap attributes so there isn't only one correct attribute assignment. In the end all GMs just have to make a choice but it is interesting to consider the rationales we use to justify our assignment. Telsij, it seems you and I think alike in a lot of ways.

MrNexx wrote:
So, talking with Whills about his move of Willpower and Intimidate to Perception got me thinking:

What other skills would you move to another attribute? What would make more sense elsewhere?
Telsij wrote:
I have moved some of the more commonly mentioned ones, so I gather there aren't too many controversial skill realignments in my House Rules.

Off of the top of my head, among others I'm likely forgetting, I've moved: Brawling to DEX. Intimidation, streetwise and willpower to PER.

The first skill move I ever did, which was back in the 1e days of the late 80s, was to move Beast Riding to Perception. I see it primarily as interaction/influence skill because you are trying to get the beast to do what you want it to. In more recent years I have left it in Perception but expanded it to Animal Handling/Riding to really focus on the animal empathy aspect, so it is an all-around interaction/influence animals skill. This skill still opposes the animal's Ornriness. More on Beast Riding and Mechanical below. As mentioned above, I also moved Intimidate and Willpower to Perception (immediately after getting the blue Vader 2e book).

I had also moved Streetwise to Perception because I can see high Knowledge characters with low Streetwise, and high Perception characters naturally streetwise. But my Perception is a bit bloated with skills and I've lately been reminded that Knowledge is largely based on experience (with an obvious exception being Scholar which is academic learning). Knowledge is experience and ability to remember things, so I think I'll just move Streetwise back to Knowledge. I've always steered away from unskilled penalty house rules because of my support for the basic mechanic of (non-advanced) skills fully defaulting to the base attribute, at least for PCs. Streetwise is a very important skill in my game so a PC with high Knowledge even having Streetwise at base attribute is a good thing so the character concept might have to be tweaked for some high Knowledge academic types to account for Streetwise. For NPCs I'd be willing to just add a Streetwise penalty to a character concept with high Knowledge that I want to be a dimwit in the ways of the street. And for PCs and NPCs, Streetwise being in Knowledge still allows for low Knowledge and high Streetwise characters through skill dice.

I moved First Aid to Knowledge. Although there undeniably is a technological aspect to using medpacs, etc., there are also non-technological uses of the skill too and Knowledge is more general. Where I keep the high tech aspect is in Medicine, which is still an advanced skill in my game. In my game advanced skills can have multiple skill and even attribute prerequisites, and there is definitely a Technical prerequisite for Medicine (along with skill prerequisites of First Aid and Alien Species). But there is no need for basic First Aid alone to be based under Technical so I feel Knowledge is a better fit.

Although Dexterity is quite appropriate for Brawling, I left it where it was. Strength has so few skills, and I just rationalize that Brawling is the ability to offensively apply your Strength. Since I've combined the parry skills with their attack skills, that means that Brawling Parry was technically moved to Strength in my game.

Telsij wrote:
Vehicle blasters to MEC (under a combined Gunnery skill, ala Introductory Adventure Game).

I've combined Vehicle Blasters and Blaster Artillery with Starship Gunnery in a Mechanical combo-skill called Gunnery. More on Mechanical below.

MrNexx wrote:
One suggestion I have: Astrogation should be Knowledge, not Mechanical.
Telsij wrote:
I have seen Sensors and Astrogation moved to TEC, though I have left them in MEC for now, though I often use Com-Scan as my combined Communications and Sensors skill.

I see Mechnical as not only involving piloting vehicles and operating systems on board, but also sense of direction and spatial awareness which are both extremely important in movement. This aspect of Mechanical is why Beast Riding was placed there is RAW. It does involve steering the beast to avoid obstacles and not crashing in the same way you would a speeder, but like I said above, the Beast Riding skill is more than that. It calms beast down and gets them to do what you want in more ways than just steering it (like in not bucking you off of it), and I expanded it further from RAW to be a general animal empathy skill, so Perception is most appropriate IMO.

To cover non-hyperspace sense of direction, I have a Mechanical skill called Navigation which includes sense of direction, general course plotting, map reading and mapmaking. Since hyperspace is coterminous with realspace, "hyperspatial awareness" is an advanced Mechanical aspect of Astrogation. However I also see the logic for Astrogation in Knowledge and Technical, so I've made Astrogation an advanced skill in my game with prerequisites of Navigation, Planetary Systems, and Computers. Travellin' through hyperspace ain't like dustin' crops boy.

And I guess this qualifies as skill movement although it comes up rarely the game... I consider the Technical attribute to deal with "modern Star Wars tech" which are computerized technologies... Repairing non-computerized mechanical devices would fall under Mechanical in my game. Mechanical devices have moving parts. This would include pre-computerized Earth cars, so Mechanical or a Mechanical skill would be used to operate and repair them. Mechnical would also include the construction, repair and operation of primitive mechanical devices such as the Ewok catapults. (In effect this moves all primitive skills out of the Technical attribute and since I also moved First Aid out of Technical, primitive sentients do not need really need Technical at all).

I've also combined and expanded other skills but didn't mention them if the abilities didn't move attributes, the main topic of this thread.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Telsij wrote:

Off of the top of my head, among others I'm likely forgetting, I've moved: Brawling to DEX. Intimidation, streetwise and willpower to PER. Vehicle blasters to MEC (under a combined Gunnery skill, ala Introductory Adventure Game).


Why streetwise to Per? IMO streetwise is more about knowing HOW to find and what to do with the underworld, not a talking to underworld people skill..

And as for intim/willpower, i also see them more of knowing HOW to intimidate/resist being intimidation, rather than anything Per does.. Hence why to me those all belong in Know..

Telsij wrote:
On a semi-related note, I've moved the "sense motive" aspect of con out of an opposed con roll. I instead have people roll either search or investigation, when assessing character and/or gauging truthfulness.


Interesting. So IYO someone good at conning is not also good at sensing them being lied to.. BUT why would search be used? I cam maybe see investigation, but not search here..

Whill wrote:
I moved First Aid to Knowledge. Although there undeniably is a technological aspect to using medpacs, etc., there are also non-technological uses of the skill too and Knowledge is more general. Where I keep the high tech aspect is in Medicine, which is still an advanced skill in my game. In my game advanced skills can have multiple skill and even attribute prerequisites, and there is definitely a Technical prerequisite for Medicine (along with skill prerequisites of First Aid and Alien Species). But there is no need for basic First Aid alone to be based under Technical so I feel Knowledge is a better fit.


That is an interesting move. While yes, first aid is knowing how the body works, just cause one knows that, doesn't mean one is skillful to actually do the work..
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reading what has been posted so far, it seems like it boils down to each GM's interpretation of what an attribute or skill represents.

I see strength, dexterity and mechanical as physical attributes, and knowledge, perception and technical as mental attributes, with technical having a sort of specialiazes, apllicable knowledge and knowledge having more to do with information storage/cognitive recall.
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griff
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved running to strength
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

griff wrote:
Moved running to strength


Now that i can easily see.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I resist the urge to shuffle skills around.

The RAW is designed to emulate the original trilogy films and the skill divisions are fairly balanced with that presumption in mind. Most shuffling that I've seen people suggest ends up overemphasizing Perception (which already has a lot of skills and is used for initiative in 2E+) and sometimes Dexterity (which has nearly all the ground combat skills) while underemphasizing Knowledge, Technical, and sometimes Strength. Strength already has the fewest skills of any attribute so I am reluctant to take skills like Brawling away from Strength. Knowledge and Technical are often less favored as attributes so I don't want to see them weakened by removing skills.

If I was playing a setting that wasn't Star Wars, like a fantasy or pre-1900 historical game, I'd be more inclined to move a skill like Beast Riding to Perception and to consider tweaking how skills like melee combat and parry and brawling and brawling parry work and what attribute they are under. But in Star Wars I just don't see those as the pre-eminent skills so I'm less considered with what "realistically" makes sense and more concerned with "does that seem like how things work in the original films."

For example, in the original films who uses Beast Riding? Han and Luke. What attribute do Han and Luke clearly have in common and at a high level? Mechanical. And Mechanical, which is used for piloting, must have some aspect of hand-eye coordination and balance as part of what makes someone good at Mechanical. Hence Beast Riding ends up under Mechanical not because it is the most logical or reasonable attribute but because in Space Opera the heroic pilot would be able to ride/drive fast whether he is riding or driving a ship, a speederbike, or a Taun-taun. And because Han and Luke can do all of the above.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really haven't shuffled much. But whatever floats your speeder!

Naaman wrote:
After reading what has been posted so far, it seems like it boils down to each GM's interpretation of what an attribute or skill represents.

True in probably most cases. But for some of those objected to moving skills I wonder if there might be a touch of putting RAW on pedestal because RAW is god and how dare any GM change what game authors get officially published? All I can say is that on Google+ the legendary Peter Schweighofer +1ed my rationale for skill moving. I really didn't need that validation, but it's still kinda nice. Smile

Naaman wrote:
I see strength, dexterity and mechanical as physical attributes, and knowledge, perception and technical as mental attributes, with technical having a sort of specialiazes, apllicable knowledge and knowledge having more to do with information storage/cognitive recall.

I can see that. I tend think of Dexterity and Strength as physical attributes, Knowledge and Perception as mental attributes, and Mechanical and Technical as technological attributes. But even those categories have overlap which is a part of why this thread is a topic of discussion. There is an element of Dexterity in Strength, Mechanical and even Technical. There is an element of Knowledge in all the attributes.

garhkal wrote:
Telsij wrote:
I've moved: Brawling to DEX. Intimidation, streetwise and willpower to PER.

Why streetwise to Per? IMO streetwise is more about knowing HOW to find and what to do with the underworld, not a talking to underworld people skill.

I can't speak for Telsij, but my rationale was because you would be a lot more likely to gain knowledge of the underworld and having contacts by gaining trust, keeping your cool, not coming off as an amature or narc, etc., and these things are more relevant to Perception. I think my original motivation came after looking at templates like Armchair Historian and thinking, why would this guy automatically have 4D Streetwise? But like I said, I think I'm moving Streetwise back to Knowledge anyway and working with players to make PCs more believable in that respect.

garhkal wrote:
And as for intim/willpower, i also see them more of knowing HOW to intimidate/resist being intimidation, rather than anything Per does.. Hence why to me those all belong in Know.

OK, sure. But I could use that same logic on any skill in any attribute. Isn't Blaster your knowledge of how to shoot a blaster? Isn't Brawling your knowledge of how to brawl? Isn't Communications your knowledge of how to operate communications systems? Isn't Repulsorlift Repair your knowledge of how to repair repulsorlifts? Isn't Bargain your knowledge of how to bargain? The answer to all these questions is yes, but that doesn't necessarily mean that all these skills should be under the Knowledge attribute.

Intimidation is trying to get information from others or otherwise influence them through intimidation. Before 2e, all skills involving influence and social interaction with other sentients were under Perception. That's more than one-half of what Perception was designed for. 2e also added another influence skill, Persuasion, and put it under Perception as expected. But then Intimidation was put under Knowledge, the odd man out. I think it was done only because Knowledge was a dump stat, not because it made the most sense. I make Knowledge important in my game so I don't need Intimidation to make Knowledge more desirable.

The other part of Perception is observation-based abilities. Granted, Willpower doesn't really fall into either of the two types of Perception skills. But "Willpower" can have a lot more uses than just resisting Intimidation. As I stated above, Perception was already used in 1e to resist the Force, and according to Obi-Wan willpower level is relevant to that. I allow Willpower to be used to resist the Force like RAW allows for Perception. If Willpower is a Perception skill, then you resist the Force in my game with Willpower or by default Perception (so the attribute default then matches RAW). Knowledge is general and Willpower could go there, but I feel that since other Perception skills involve influencing others to do your will and measure your "force of personality", Perception is the best fit for Willpower.

garhkal wrote:
Whill wrote:
I moved First Aid to Knowledge. Although there undeniably is a technological aspect to using medpacs, etc., there are also non-technological uses of the skill too and Knowledge is more general. Where I keep the high tech aspect is in Medicine, which is still an advanced skill in my game. In my game advanced skills can have multiple skill and even attribute prerequisites, and there is definitely a Technical prerequisite for Medicine (along with skill prerequisites of First Aid and Alien Species). But there is no need for basic First Aid alone to be based under Technical so I feel Knowledge is a better fit.

That is an interesting move. While yes, first aid is knowing how the body works, just cause one knows that, doesn't mean one is skillful to actually do the work..

I actually think this is a good point. You're looking at Knowledge skills as just raw knowledge of things you remember about those subjects and only give you the ability to speak, write or act on these informations, but knowledge skills don't provide you the skills to do things like First Aid does. OK. That is true.

However, all the other skills under Technical involving using, repairing, altering technology. First aid is not just using medpacs in my game. There are some elements to First Aid that are not technological, so First Aid seems to me to be a broader skill. I am the father of an active 8 year-old boy. I apply minor First Aid of one kind or another to my son about weekly. A lot of this involves knowing how to apply pressure, when to use hot and cold, otherwise treat minor wounds, and triage to determine if medical assistance is needed or not. Most of the time what I use is very low tech. I certainly don't have any Star Wars medpacks or other high tech at my disposal! In Star Wars, First Aid involves more than that also. Even in RAW the skill has some non-medpack uses, like stabilizing a mortally wounded character. I sometimes let characters use it to treat wounds in makeshift ways when medpacks are not available. So while I see your point about knowledge skills being more about knowing than doing, I see First Aid as more than a technological-based skill. Knowledge is more general. And I just didn't like that these techy engineering repair-anything characters with 4D Technical being automatically good at First Aid, but I can more easily see these know-it-all 4D Knowledge characters being good at First Aid. In my game Medicine has prerequisites of First Aid and the Technical attribute since Star Wars medical doctors must operate bacta tanks and use other high-tech for treating patients, but Medicine is also more than just using technology.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The discussion about the knowledge attribute and its realism or value in-game prompts me to mention that we have to draw a line somewhere.

In reality, people learn different ways. Some are hands-on learners, others are auditory, etc.

For me, I must intellectually understand something in order to be able to apply it. If my mind cannot grasp the concept, then my hands (or whatever) will not be able to perform the skill. For example, I "learned" to drive a stick shift without ever getting behind the wheel of one. I read up on how a clutch and transmission physically work, and was able to get into a manual transmission for the first time and make it go on the first try. There was a learning cirve, of course, but it was because of my "knowledge" that I had any idea of what to do. Same goes for learning to shoot a gun, for me. Once I understood the physics and kinetics involved, I was able to easily outshoot the people with "higher dex" even though we all started learning at the same time.

BUT!!!!!!!!!! Do we REALLY need to account for such nuances in a game? We could make arguments all day long about what it means to "know how" to do something. But at some point, let's just start generating some characters and start playing.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:

BUT!!!!!!!!!! Do we REALLY need to account for such nuances in a game? We could make arguments all day long about what it means to "know how" to do something. But at some point, let's just start generating some characters and start playing.


Very true Naaman. Hence why i believe keeping the skills as is and just playing the game as wrote is best/quickest.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally speaking, I tend to leave the skills where they've been put, although I do acknowledge that some of the skills really do belong other places.

I believe that the "running" skill is all together a dumb skill (or at least, it's a dumb name for what the skill does). I think running should be purely a strength skill, and should be used to determine the outcome of a chase between characters with otherwise identical move characteristics (or perhaps to overcome the difference in base move when the "slower" character is a more trained runner, or whatever).

Intimidation also belongs under perception, but that it is under knowledge doesn't bother me at all, so I just leave it (no, I cannot "logically" justify it).

There are a few others that irk me, but generally, I just leave stuff where it's at.

That said, most of the changes that people have mentioned make perfect sense to me, even if they aren't changes that I feel are necessary.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:

I believe that the "running" skill is all together a dumb skill (or at least, it's a dumb name for what the skill does). I think running should be purely a strength skill, and should be used to determine the outcome of a chase between characters with otherwise identical move characteristics (or perhaps to overcome the difference in base move when the "slower" character is a more trained runner, or whatever).


Technically it should be separated into 2 skills. Distance movement, and balance..
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill's covered some of this ground already — and I agree that my approach and his have similar reasoning. And I agree that there is a base of KNO that undergirds all these skills, so in the end, it's really where you want to draw your semantics line-in-the-sand, right?

garhkal wrote:
Why streetwise to Per? IMO streetwise is more about knowing HOW to find and what to do with the underworld, not a talking to underworld people skill..

And as for intim/willpower, i also see them more of knowing HOW to intimidate/resist being intimidation, rather than anything Per does.. Hence why to me those all belong in Know...

Perception encompasses both perspicacity and "presence" / strength of personality aspects. In my experience, sussing out perhaps-less-than-legal avenues for things more often involves keeping your cool and how well you present yourself / carry yourself. Sure, it involves "knowing" where to look and what bodega has a backroom gambling den, where is best to meet your hookup, etc, but gauging what sketchy character to ask to get that info and knowing how to handle yourself in order to get there? Your presence and ability to read the situation are more in play there for certain.

However, I do know that the latter stuff I named can be addressed with other Per skills, so I went back and forth on this myself, as "knowing" what alleyway is the right one to get your glitterstim spice can fall under KNO. Really it came down to this: your armchair historian or socially-inept engineer of KNO 4D wouldn't be more streetwise than a smuggler or bounty hunter of KNO 2D+1 and KNO 2D+2 respectively. I hesitate to apply attribute / skill cost penalties to templates, though I know this is done w/ some RAW species write-ups such as the Ropagi for example, since I feel like doing so goes a bit against the "spirit" of the rules and the character creation freedom I like so much about SWd6.

Similarly, that Bounty Hunter of KNO 2D+2 is far more intimidating that said tongue-tied engineer of KNO 4D. It has to do more presence and bearing than knowing "how" to intimidate, imho.

That said, if someone is an infochant with a high KNO and skill specialization "intimidation: blackmail", or an ISB agent with "intimidation: interrogation", I allow it. I will sometimes allow certain skills to fall under different attributes depending upon the character type. A painter with artist: painting under KNO is a great technical draftsman, but someone with artist: painting under PER may be more of an abstract "Jackson Pollock" type. Similarly, someone with artist: singer under KNO is a technically proficient singer, but someone with it under PER may be an excellent performer whose skill is best reflected by their charismatic stage presence and sense of how to work the crowd. Allowing certain skills to fall under either "eligible" attribute is how I've handled many of these quandaries actually.

garhkal wrote:
Interesting. So IYO someone good at conning is not also good at sensing them being lied to.. BUT why would search be used? I cam maybe see investigation, but not search here...

Naaah, that's not quite it. Imho, it's more that they are not necessarily good at it. For example, I'm actually a pretty good liar, but I often cannot tell if someone is spinning a tall tale to me. Similarly, I know plenty of people who are excellent judges of character and can see through a scam a mile away, but wouldn't be able to fool anyone. In game terms, good con men will likely have a high Perception to build upon, so their investigation/search at reading people will be good anyway. I feel like that is more accurate, while still retaining the fast-and-loose approach generally. (And I use search if reading the con is based clearly on a physical tell, such as the bead of nervous sweat you see give someone away in movies so often), but I will far more often use investigation.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do like the idea of using Investigation to counter Con. I think that's how I'll do it.
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