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hencook

Where mah Scholars at?

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I've never seen Scholar in my games, or much of the knowledge skills in use. I suspect there's a general fear that knowledge checks are kind of useless in EotE. Knowledge checks seem difficult to directly apply to a situation, usually resulting in a boost die to aid the next skill checker with his test on any subject. (Like telling a hunter where to shoot, etc). I'm not claiming that scholars are useless, just that people in general approach the skillset of knowledge to be useless. I would like to be enlightened.

 

Do you have a scholar in your game? (someone with a primary focus on knowledge skills applies too) Are scholars useful in your game? Do scholars work better in more open ended games, or do they thrive in either railroad/open games? Do scholars feel like a difficult class to play?

 

 

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I cannot answer any of your questions, but I imagine a lot of people chose to play Technician or Doctor when they want to play the eggheads. Not only do these careers/specializations get the brains, but they are also known for certain valuable shticks.

Edited by kaosoe

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I've never seen Scholar in my games, or much of the knowledge skills in use. I suspect there's a general fear that knowledge checks are kind of useless in EotE. Knowledge checks seem difficult to directly apply to a situation, usually resulting in a boost die to aid the next skill checker with his test on any subject. (Like telling a hunter where to shoot, etc). I'm not claiming that scholars are useless, just that people in general approach the skillset of knowledge to be useless. I would like to be enlightened.

 

Do you have a scholar in your game? (someone with a primary focus on knowledge skills applies too) Are scholars useful in your game? Do scholars work better in more open ended games, or do they thrive in either railroad/open games? Do scholars feel like a difficult class to play?

We have a Colonist (Politico, Scholar) with a few ranks in every Knowledge skill, but she's mainly taking talents from Politico. We also have an Explorer (Archaeologist, Big-Game Hunter, Survivalist) with 3 ranks in Xenology as well as some Education, Lore, and Outer Rim. They are out know-it-alls, but we also have a ringer - the Hired Gun (Enforcer, Marauder) can spend a Destiny point to use his Streetwise as a stand-in for any Knowledge check thanks to Talk the Talk.

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Knowledge skills can be useful but I wouldn't say they are action packed.  You mentioned providing boost dice. They can be used on conjunction with Negotiate/Streetwise, to locate and/or boost buy/sell scenarios. They could be used to help locate a target for a bounty job.  I don't know as they are ever to be used as that 'just in time' exciting kind of skill.

Edited by 2P51

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We have in our campaign a Core-Worlds-educated Doctor and a Chiss Archaeologist from the Unknown Regions.

 

They're both big brains and have Knowledge skills but focused in different areas. The campaign is pretty new, but it's based around exploration and they've used their knowledge so far in stuff like finding and navigating an ancient temple and interpreting the carvings and hieroglyphics in it.

 

The party's on Ord Mantell now, so they're in a more urban environment. They're planning to sell the relics they acquired, and the Lore skill would come in handy there in making a case for how much they're worth. 

 

When they head back exploring again there will be more options for Lore checks to provide the party with useful information on their surroundings.

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I quite like the career, but I think like the Slicer, its not one you'd really want as your primary career. More of a sideline one to add a bit of depth and versitility to the character.

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Knowledge checks have a strong place in games at my table.  Everytime the party goes somewhere new, knowledge check to see what they know about the place.  Encounter a minor noble/ crime boss / imperial officer, knowledge check to see if they have heard of them.  Meet a creature from an odd species, knowledge check.

 

I also happily allow the use of knowledge checks when testing rarity of equipment to check availability.

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I kind of wish the knowledge checks were made so that they bled into other types of skills more easily.

 

I've got Space Piloting 3, but I have no idea what other space ships are like. Just my own.

 

Maybe a system where having a in an action skill like piloting gives you half that many points in the related knowledge skill, like Knowledge (Spaceships), but buying Knowledge Spaceships with XP gives you twice as much? idk.

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I kind of wish the knowledge checks were made so that they bled into other types of skills more easily.

 

I've got Space Piloting 3, but I have no idea what other space ships are like. Just my own.

 

Maybe a system where having a in an action skill like piloting gives you half that many points in the related knowledge skill, like Knowledge (Spaceships), but buying Knowledge Spaceships with XP gives you twice as much? idk.

 

What makes you say you have no idea what other space ships are like?

 

Piloting (Space) would be a perfectly acceptable skill to represent knowledge of other types of ships. Ranged (Light) would be the skill I'd use to cover knowledge of small arms, Melee would represent knowledge of weapon-based martial arts or varieties of melee weapons.

 

In such a narrative system, if a player wanted their character to be more of a 'natural' pilot than somebody who had been to the Imperial Academy and knew the specs of various ships, that would be fine too. But Piloting (Space) is absolutely what you can use for your character's knowledge of spacecraft.

 

I'd also consider it suitable for questions like "What's the most reliable starport in Hutt Space with the lowest docking fees", or "where can we find a good mechanic on Corellia". 

 

If a PC had a question like that, I'd accept either Piloting (Space) or a more specific Knowledge skill (Outer Rim in the first example, Core Worlds in the second.) I'd even consider Mechanics for "Where can we find a good mechanic?"

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 I'm not claiming that scholars are useless

 

 

 

I would.

 

I'd further claim, scholars are pointless.

 

Given there are 5-6 smart guy classes which are actually useful and know almost as much.

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I have a scholar that is built and ready to go, as soon as someone else picks up the GM stick I will roll him out.

I did discuss him on these boards earlier...

 

His name is Thier Rodolpho, a 70 year old human Scholar from Coruscant.

He is motivated by a hatred against to Empire (Overthrow the Empire/Cause) as his studies in Xenology have given him an insight into the true value of a multicultural galaxy therefor he cannot subscribe to a dominant Human culture. He does not wear this motivation on his sleeve though and his false front motivation is to tell others he is traveling the galaxy's edges to gain expertise (Ambition).

After aiding sabotage missions by helping would be rebels get in contact with dangerous underworld clans on Coruscant he was forced to flee the core worlds as a sought after criminal (Obligation Criminal).

 

Thier is an old man in every sense (small, slender, grey beard, bald on top of his head with a small pony tail in the back, slow, stubborn and always feeling cold) but there is still a fire that is burning brightly in his mind. He is a driven, stubborn and reclusive man who has fallen in with a group of fringers that greatly appreciate his seemingly bottomless well of information, eventhough they have no idea that beneath the surface of this quiet elderly gentleman rages a hatred for the empire so strong that he wishes for nothing less than it's complete destruction.

 

His characteristics are:

 

Brawn 2

Agility 2

Intellect 5

Cunning 2

Willpower 2

Presence 2

 

His skills are: 

 

Astrogation (Human bonus skill)

Computers (Human bonus skill)

Knowledge Core Worlds

Knowledge Education

Knowledge Lore

Streetwise

Knowledge Underworld

Knowledge Xenology

 

Items bought:

Datapad

Handheld Comlink

Blaster Pistol

 

As soon as I will gain my first experience points I will spend them to add Knowledge Outer Rim to his skills as I feel his background and his stay on the Edge would allow for it.

 

 

 

 I'm not claiming that scholars are useless

 

 

 

I would.

 

I'd further claim, scholars are pointless.

 

Given there are 5-6 smart guy classes which are actually useful and know almost as much.

 

 

Well, aren't you a treat. I have found that having a Scholar in a party (we had an NPC scholar a while back) opens up a lot of good opportunities. It can really help to have a know it all in your party that has a lot of back doors into establishments of learning and can aid drastically in all manner of things.

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I have no doubt, an NPC with lots contacts would be useful.

 

However I don't see a reason to pick scholar over archaeologist.

Well good for you that there is an Archeologist then.

But, maybe some people don't want to play an Archaelogist?

Maybe they think the talent tree for Scholar is better?

Maybe they like the fact that a scholar is actually a scholar and has instant access to all knowledge skills?

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Not really if I was going "smart guy" i'd probably take doctor or engineer.

 

As i don't value knowledge skills, due to them be largely irrelevant in the majority of games.

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I'm just going to say that I think Scholars are lame, although they might be appealing to a certain type of player, just not any of ours.

 

All of our regular players play combat-oriented characters, even though our adventures don't typically consist of a lot of fighting.

 

Our regulars play Outlaw Tech/Demolitionist, Gadgeteer, Marauder, Bodyguard/FSE, and Scoundrel.  The Scoundrel sort of acts as the "face" of the party, and between the Gadgeteer and Outlaw Tech, we have a diverse enough skillset to accomplish most things.

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If a PC had a question like that, I'd accept either Piloting (Space) or a more specific Knowledge skill (Outer Rim in the first example, Core Worlds in the second.) I'd even consider Mechanics for "Where can we find a good mechanic?"

 

 

Yes, the game engine encourages you to play "Justify that skill!" with the GM. If you can logically connect that skill to a task at hand, and you can make a good case for it to your GM - then knock yourself out!

 

 

 

Not really if I was going "smart guy" i'd probably take doctor or engineer.

 

As i don't value knowledge skills, due to them be largely irrelevant in the majority of games.

 

So you would pick game mechanics over "I have a vision of my character in my head, lets see what archetypes fit that vision the best"? Got it.

 

Sorry man, that's bass ackwards. Concept first, mechanics second. If I've got a good concept that would fit the scholar archetype best, then that's what I'm going for.

Edited by Desslok

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If a PC had a question like that, I'd accept either Piloting (Space) or a more specific Knowledge skill (Outer Rim in the first example, Core Worlds in the second.) I'd even consider Mechanics for "Where can we find a good mechanic?"

 

 

Yes, the game engine encourages you to play "Justify that skill!" with the GM. If you can logically connect that skill to a task at hand, and you can make a good case for it to your GM - then knock yourself out!

 

 

Agree, however I would think the knowledge check to be average, the piloting check difficult and the mechanics check daunting.

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Also remember that a character is MUCH MORE than just a collection of skills, talents and characteristics.

 

At least in our games, who the character IS and how they're played is a much more important aspect than their career or talent collection.

 

I mean, you don't really NEED a skill to say "I know about space ships."

 

That's well within the narrative range of just saying "My character grew up fascinated by spaceships and I know a lot about them."

 

In my game the difficulty would depend on the circumstances, but for example "What's that ship in the docking bay next to ours, and how strong a hull/how many shields/weapons might it have?" would be a good use for Piloting (Space).

 

If it was a common ship, it'd be an Easy or Average check. A rare ship, a Hard check. An exotic or custom ship, a Daunting check.

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Agree, however I would think the knowledge check to be average, the piloting check difficult and the mechanics check daunting.

 

 

Oh there should be a sliding scale of difficulty for the skill - and in fact there's precedence, the Mechanics to repair damage to a ship on the fly is only <><>, but using the Brawn skill (basically hefting a chunk of hull over the hull and slapdash-edly welding it into place) is <><><>. I could see a dedicated I Know Ships knowledge skill being as low as a <>, general mechanics being <><> and piloting being <><><> for identifying a ship.

 

(Modified, of course, on other circumstances surrounding the check)

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The main problem I have with Knowledge based specs is precisely how hard is a Knowledge check to begin with ever?  Does it require Triumphs ever?  It seems to me any player with a good Intellect is going to be able to just make a base dice check and succeed.  

 

I get people saying it's about concept and such, but in that case there is nothing that requires a smart character to have the skill.  A Smuggler with a high intellect can just say they're well versed in the Rim worlds and roll a knowledge check and do very well consistently.   If we relegate the benefits and justification for skills to the realm of character concept , that just means there is less need for the specs, not more.  The point to a spec, regardless of which, is mechanical, that's why there is a flowchart with talents.  Concept doesn't require that.

 

We've all come up with clever ways to use Knowledge skills, but that's because we have to.  There isn't a need for Range(L) or Medical or Computer, they have obvious utility.  The Knowledge skills do need some love in regards to some meaningful tangible mechanical integration with the system.  Perhaps the Colonist and Tech splatbooks will flesh this out.  

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As i don't value knowledge skills, due to them be largely irrelevant in the majority of games.

 

Going back and thinking on this, I have to comment - Man, ignorance is dumb! If I was your GM, I would SO be exploiting your characters willful unfamiliarity of the universe around them!

 

Underworld not important? Then how are you going to get bonus blue dice for your charm check against Mongo the Hutt if you don't know anything about his fetish for wookiee fur sweaters? Warfare not important? Then your hidden base is going to get curbstomped when walkers show up and roll right over your non-existent defenses. Core Worlds not important? Good luck making a deal with Baron Oslo from Residia when you just accidentally insulted his mother with a innocent looking hand gesture. Outer Rim not important? Then you're going to come off as a stuck-up city slicker when trying to talk to the local moisture farmers.

Edited by Desslok

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The main problem I have with Knowledge based specs is precisely how hard is a Knowledge check to begin with ever?  Does it require Triumphs ever?

I guess it comes down to the amount of details and additional information the GM has at his/her disposal.

Do a test on Knowledge Xenology and pass you may well know that Gorax are giant creatures that are natives of the forest moon of Endor. Multiple success allow you to recollect numerous details, whereabouts, diet, longevity, etc. Advantages tell you their weak spots and possible cultural pitfalls. A triumph might allow you to work off of the results of earlier expeditions and make use of their fieldwork to gain a friendly start with the species.

 

It seems to me any player with a good Intellect is going to be able to just make a base dice check and succeed. 

Sure, but this goes for every and all checks in this system.

 

 

I get people saying it's about concept and such, but in that case there is nothing that requires a smart character to have the skill.  A Smuggler with a high intellect can just say they're well versed in the Rim worlds and roll a knowledge check and do very well consistently.   If we relegate the benefits and justification for skills to the realm of character concept , that just means there is less need for the specs, not more.  The point to a spec, regardless of which, is mechanical, that's why there is a flowchart with talents.  Concept doesn't require that.

 

 

I have asked my players for a specific knowledge check on numerous occasions. I guess if a GM doesn't use the skills as such it does get much harder.

however, I think a player that choses a Scholar needs to be highly proactive and suggest rolling on his knowledge skills quite often. Otherwise he/she might not get the best out of it.

 

The Knowledge skills do need some love in regards to some meaningful tangible mechanical integration with the system. 

This is the exact reason I asked GMDave and GMChris to tackle the Scholar in their next "Isn't that special" segment!

Edited by DanteRotterdam

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Again, creating uses for the successes and Triumphs is just that, it's creative and commendable but a GM could just as easily say pass a Knowledge check and you know what you know.  Honestly, generally I am only telling players what I want them to know regardless of skills.  They will inflict the damage or heal the wounds they roll though.

 

Many other skills have tangible benefits to more success and Triumphs rolled.  Knowledge spec takes Triumphs and converts them into successes.  Which again, doesn't really have a fixed point to it. I can generate successes with green dice, and I can spend a point on a Knowledge skill as a non career for Triumphs.  

 

Asking players to invent reasons to use their skills seems to me just more proof that there isn't much need. Kind of like a solution looking for a problem.

 

I have no issue with Knowledge skills per se, it's just the specs that are heavily into them are again, the solution looking for a problem imo.

Edited by 2P51

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The main problem I have with Knowledge based specs is precisely how hard is a Knowledge check to begin with ever?  Does it require Triumphs ever?  It seems to me any player with a good Intellect is going to be able to just make a base dice check and succeed.  

 

Well, it's all situational. Mongo the Hutt doesn't advertise his Wookiee Fur Sweater fetish, so I'd call that 4 purples. However Mongo is always having Rocky Road ice cream flown in special from Nar Shadaa, so that's pretty common knowledge (at least after his week long Ice Cream Social bender), so I'd call it 2 purples. Getting a triumph isn't necessary, but it does mean that not only do you know he has a Wookiee Fur Sweater Fetish, but you know that the Kashyyyk branch of Locks of Love is going out of business and you can get a screaming deal on all their stock!

 

I get people saying it's about concept and such, but in that case there is nothing that requires a smart character to have the skill.

 

You're too mono-focused. Sure there's nothing saying that my Scholar and your smuggler having Underworld at the same skill level are not comparable. However it's taken me less points to get there and I have awesome talents that let me pull off black die and add blues - making me a better negotiator when dealing with Mongo than you.

Edited by Desslok

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