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The Case for Advanced Skills
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Whill
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Just to clarify, I went back and read through what you wrote about Prerequisites / Requirements, and I note that one of your objections was about putting a skill on the Requirements (non-stacking) list. If you go back and read what I suggested, you'll note that only Attributes are listed under Requirements, as in, in order to learn Forgery, the character must have a minimum Tech of 2D+1, but Forgery does not stack with the Attribute. All of the skills you listed would still be under prerequisites, so Forgery would still stack with Security and Droids/Computers.

It's a minor point, but I actually originally said that Forgery would not stack on Security and Droids/Computers. For you, that would put them under "Requirements", but in your breakdown of my list, you listed them as "Prerequisites". After that, I conceded that even though I can't think of any situations where it would stack on those skills, it is possible a situation would come up.

CRMcNeill wrote:
Also, with regard to Medicine and Perception, the situation you describe would fall under the Discernment skill house rule. Is that something you make use of?

Yes, but Discernment is an active skill for me like Search. If the character is not specifically looking for clues to someone's medical condition, then I would be rolling the character's base Perception plus Medicine to see if the character happens to notice it.

CRMcNeill wrote:
I'd be interested in hearing a detailed breakdown of why you included what you included as far as prerequisites for your Advanced Skills. I like what you've got, but I'd like to see if I can find a way to use Specializations to cover the Attributes for my own version.

When I'm ready to share it all, I will.

Naaman wrote:
This cheapens the notion of advanced skills for me, rather than making them feel like something special or significant; it feels like power gaming or something along those lines.

Like I said, if it's how you like to do it, that's great. I've just come to a point where I feel that advanced skills were kind of an afterthought that WEG haphazardly installed into the game and never really took seriously from a game design standpoint.

Yes. I'm really reconsidering my advanced skill list and how they each work.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
If that's how you want to do it, that's fine. But it's not how advanced skills are intended to work by RAW.

Where does it say that? I've looked. If anything, the advantage of stacking with prerequisites is the most clearly defined part of how an advanced skill is to be used. Nowhere does WEG come out and state that Advanced Skills must be used for a purpose specific to that Advanced Skill. The closest it gets is saying that it "cannot be attempted if the character doesn't have the skill."

Now, if I've missed something, feel free to point it out. Absent that, I submit that you are applying an overly rigorous definition to Advanced Skills that is not supported by the evidence. Even if the end result is just the dice-stacking to represent an enhanced ability (ala what I did with the Lightsaber Forms), I am not aware of anything in the RAW stating that it should not be used that way.
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Last edited by CRMcNeill on Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
It's a minor point, but I actually originally said that Forgery would not stack on Security and Droids/Computers. For you, that would put them under "Requirements", but in your breakdown of my list, you listed them as "Prerequisites". After that, I conceded that even though I can't think of any situations where it would stack on those skills, it is possible a situation would come up.

Understood. I was looking at it from a perspective that knowing how to forge, say, a false ID card would require understanding the specifics of how ID card readers work, both hardware and software. I'm not quite sure how it would be worded, but I could see Specializations in Security and Droids/Comps applying here, as well.

Quote:
Discernment is an active skill for me like Search. If the character is not specifically looking for clues to someone's medical condition, then I would be rolling the character's base Perception plus Medicine to see if the character happens to notice it.

I was looking at it more from a Dr. House perspective of seeing through a patient's BS story about how they got that strange rash...

Quote:
I'm really reconsidering my advanced skill list and how they each work.

One thing I might suggest is that requiring multiple prerequisites may have the wrong effect. Going by the chart in the OP, the more prerequisites there are, the more sense it makes from a CP cost standpoint to invest all CP in the Advanced Skill, and only the Advanced Skill. Yes, it may be slightly more expensive to get the minimum skill levels in the prerequisites, but the expense will be more than worth it once the character can start putting dice in the Advanced skill instead of spreading those CP across 4-5 skills. Keep the number of prerequisites low and the player will still need to spread his CP use across multiple skills rather than (effectively) improving 4-5 skills at the price of one.
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nuclearwookiee
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Naaman wrote:
[If that's how you want to do it, that's fine. But it's not how advanced skills are intended to work by RAW.

And where does it say that? I've looked. If anything, the advantage of stacking with prerequisites is the most clearly defined part of how an advanced skill is to be used. Nowhere does WEG come out and state that Advanced Skills must be used for a purpose specific to that Advanced Skill. The closest it gets is saying that it "cannot be attempted if the character doesn't have the skill."

Now, if I've missed something, feel free to point it out. Absent that, I submit that you are applying an overly rigorous definition to Advanced Skills that is not supported by the evidence. Even if the end result is just the dice-stacking to represent an enhanced ability (ala what I did with the Lightsaber Forms), I am not aware of anything in the RAW stating that it should not be used that way.

I'm pretty sure you and Naaman are misunderstanding each other. You seem to think that he opposes stacking the advanced skill with the prerequisite skill when rolling the prerequisite skill. But he agrees that this stacking is RAW:
Naaman wrote:
If you are stacking, you're using the base skill to do base skill things, and the base skill does not influence the advanced skill when using the advanced skill.


But Naaman seems to think you're advocating for stacking the prerequisite skill with the advanced skill when rolling the advanced skill, which based on your previous posts, I don't think you are:
CRMcNeill wrote:
Using your Medicine example, the stacking only works one direction.

Unless I've missed something....
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nuclearwookiee wrote:
Unless I've missed something....

My read is that Naaman objects to Advanced Skills not having an exclusive purpose in addition to stacking. Specifically, if an Advanced Skill does nothing on its own apart from stacking with two or three prerequisites, it is just an attempt to bypass the RAW's CP cost restrictions on improving character skills.

For example, if Medicine did not cover the exclusive ability to operate medical equipment like bacta tanks, or to perform surgery or attach cybernetics, but merely stacked with, say, First Aid and Alien Species, its only real advantage would be a way to side-step the PC cost of improving First Aid and Alien Species separately.

My take, however, is that this is a perfectly legitimate use of the Advanced Skill system, as using an Advanced Skill to allow a player to advance rapidly in a specific area of study is one of the best and easiest ways to represent the advantages provided by that field of study. For example, if one were to use an Advanced Skill to represent a Martial Art or Lightsaber Form, an Advanced Skill might be applied to specific aspects of combat (offense, defense, close combat, parrying blaster bolts, etc), and the rapid advancement in effective dice levels (as a result of stacking the (A) Skill with the prerequisite) are a good way to represent the potency of that martial form.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
I was looking at it more from a Dr. House perspective of seeing through a patient's BS story about how they got that strange rash...

That's active.
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nuclearwookiee
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
nuclearwookiee wrote:
Unless I've missed something....

My read is that Naaman objects to Advanced Skills not having an exclusive purpose in addition to stacking. Specifically, if an Advanced Skill does nothing on its own apart from stacking with two or three prerequisites, it is just an attempt to bypass the RAW's CP cost restrictions on improving character skills.

For example, if Medicine did not cover the exclusive ability to operate medical equipment like bacta tanks, or to perform surgery or attach cybernetics, but merely stacked with, say, First Aid and Alien Species, its only real advantage would be a way to side-step the PC cost of improving First Aid and Alien Species separately.

If that's the case, I agree with Naaman. Admittedly, there are very few advanced skills listed in the RAW, but every one of them lets the character do something beyond the set of actions represented by the base skill. If the range of action performed under an "advanced skill" is coextensive with that of its base skill, then the skills are one and the same, and the advanced skill is simply a character-point discount for already highly skilled characters.

CRMcNeill wrote:
My take, however, is that this is a perfectly legitimate use of the Advanced Skill system, as using an Advanced Skill to allow a player to advance rapidly in a specific area of study is one of the best and easiest ways to represent the advantages provided by that field of study. For example, if one were to use an Advanced Skill to represent a Martial Art or Lightsaber Form, an Advanced Skill might be applied to specific aspects of combat (offense, defense, close combat, parrying blaster bolts, etc), and the rapid advancement in effective dice levels (as a result of stacking the (A) Skill with the prerequisite) are a good way to represent the potency of that martial form.

A player can already rapidly advance in a specific area of study via skill specialization. Of course skill specialization doesn't let a character double the advancement rate (by permitting separate, stacking increases to the base and advanced skills). But while advancing both a base skill and an advanced skill could quickly become cost prohibitive, the 50% reduction in character-point cost for specializing means the player can afford to consistently increase the specialization from session to session.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nuclearwookiee wrote:
If that's the case, I agree with Naaman. Admittedly, there are very few advanced skills listed in the RAW, but every one of them lets the character do something beyond the set of actions represented by the base skill.

That is certainly an implication that can be drawn from the limited sample size available in the RAW. However (and this is key), there is no explicit restriction that requires it to be so. WEG had two editions (2E and 2R&E) to refine or limit the concept, yet chose not to.

Quote:
A player can already rapidly advance in a specific area of study via skill specialization. Of course skill specialization doesn't let a character double the advancement rate (by permitting separate, stacking increases to the base and advanced skills). But while advancing both a base skill and an advanced skill could quickly become cost prohibitive, the 50% reduction in character-point cost for specializing means the player can afford to consistently increase the specialization from session to session.

Specializations, however, don't adequately represent certain in-universe concepts. For instance, a character can buy into and improve a Specialty without putting any dice at all into the main skill.

When I did my write-up for the Seven Forms, the source material was quite clear that all lightsaber adepts began with Form I, then used the basic techniques learned there as a foundation upon which to build a more specialized and advanced technique in one of the other six Forms. This description paralleled that of Advanced Skills almost perfectly. All that was needed was a way to dictate the circumstances the Advanced Skill stacked with Lightsaber. Granted, the system needs a little updating; I don't think I fully understood Advanced Skills at the time I wrote it up.

For example, my original version was that the Advanced Skill version of a Lightsaber Form generated a bonus equal to its skill level that stacked with the combined Lightsaber / Advanced Skill under certain kinds of combat. My thought at the moment is to discard the bonus and simply rule that the Advanced Skill can only be stacked with the Prerequisite (Lightsaber) under specific combat conditions.

For example, Form II (Makashi) as an Advanced Skill would look something like so:
    Prerequisites:
    Lightsaber 5D
    Brawling 5D
    Restriction: Only stacks with Prerequisites in Melee or Brawling Combat.
The idea is, it makes up for being a CP bargain by specifically restricting the circumstances in which it can stack with the Prerequisites, in a manner that specifically parallels how the Seven Forms are described in the source material. The CP bargain also provides an incentive for players to pursue one of the Seven Forms as opposed to just sticking with Lightsaber.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On page 29, it literally says:

Example: A character has first aid at 5D and (A) medicine at 1D. He rolls only 1D for medicine checks such as when performing surgery or diagnosing an unusual disease.
However, if the character makes a first aid check, he gets to roll 6D--5D for first aid plus 1D for (A) medicine.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
On page 29, it literally says:

Example: A character has first aid at 5D and (A) medicine at 1D. He rolls only 1D for medicine checks such as when performing surgery or diagnosing an unusual disease.
However, if the character makes a first aid check, he gets to roll 6D--5D for first aid plus 1D for (A) medicine.

That’s the rule for Medicine only. If it says anywhere else that all Advanced skills must conform to the same standard, I have been unable to find it.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sigh....

No it isn't. That example of how advanced skills are used is given in the section on rules regarding the use of advanced skills.

To quote:

When a character purchases an advanced skill, it begins at 1D. Advanced skills do not begin at the same level as their corresponding attribute.

Example: A character has first aid at 5D and (A) medicine at 1D. He rolls only 1D for medicine checks such as when performing surgery or diagnosing an unusual disease.
However, if the character makes a first aid check, he gets to roll 6D--5D for first aid plus 1D for (A) medicine.

Furthermore where else would you be getting the idea that advanced skills even stack in the first place, if the rule applies to (A) medicine only?


Last edited by Naaman on Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, an example. However, nowhere in the rules does it explicitly state that ALL Advanced skills must follow this same pattern.

The rules for Advanced Skills stacking are quite clear, on page 29, 2R&E:
Quote:
When a character uses one of the prerequisite
skills, add the advanced skill to the prerequisite skill's
roll.
Example: A character has first aid at 5D and
(A) medicine at ID. He rolls only ID for medicine
checks, such as when performing surgery or
diagnosing an unusual disease.
However, if the character makes a first aid
check, he gets to roll 6D — 5D for first aid plus the
ID for (A) medicine.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked

Nowhere in the rules does it say that you get to add the prerequisite when doing something that requires the advanced skill.

Perhaps you didn't see this part:
Example: A character has first aid at 5D and (A) medicine at 1D. He rolls only 1D for medicine checks such as when performing surgery or diagnosing an unusual disease.

So, what we get is the following:

When a character purchases an advanced skill, it begins at 1D.

That part makes reference to advanced skills in general.

Advanced skills do not begin at the same level as their corresponding attribute.

Again, advanced skills in general. Then, we get an example in order to understand how the above system is supposed to work, given below.

Example: A character has first aid at 5D and (A) medicine at 1D. He rolls only 1D for medicine checks such as when performing surgery or diagnosing an unusual disease.
However, if the character makes a first aid check, he gets to roll 6D--5D for first aid plus 1D for (A) medicine.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
Nowhere in the rules does it say that you get to add the prerequisite when doing something that requires the advanced skill.

Ah, but what is required of the Advanced Skill? Where is it clearly defined that an Advanced Skill must have some component that is exclusive to it and it alone? Citing Medicine as an example is fine when we're just talking about Medicine, but nowhere did WEG make the broader declaration that all Advanced Skills had to be structured exactly like Medicine.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You completely ignored the rest of my post. At this point, I wonder if you're just trolling me?

If so, then well played, sir. Well played. Smile
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