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Beta Rules Update v2.0 and Preview Material

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11 minutes ago, Exarkfr said:

Well, you could.
If you have no rank in the skill, you add 0 skill dice.

General awareness would thus likely be a straight Water roll.

Exactly so. That option - a 'survey' approach ring roll with no specific attached skill - is always available, but the suggestion they have gone with (which is essentially what @Doji Meshou suggested about a week ago) is that 'general purpose spotting' is 'I Survey [Water] the surroundings [pick skill relevant to surroundings]', plus rerolls as relevant for a Keen Sight distinction or similar, and bonus dice for assistance if someone's helping you look. 

 

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It doesn't make a lot of sense to me that we have one skill for all the melee in the world,  but we don't have one skill for being good at noticing stuff. Or even two! Give me Awareness and Investigation - one for general noticing, one for thorough scrutiny. All set. 

Gaming is (mechanically)  about abstraction. I'm still confused why noticing stuff can't be abstracted into one or two skills (like every other human pursuit). 

Edited by Doji Meshou

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I think the problem with the lack of Investigation Skill is that we have Commerce/Labor/Skulduggery/Seafaring as different Skills for some reason, as well as Aesthetics/Composition/Design as different Skills, heck, we have a secret perception skill with Sentiment, but Investigation... no, we can't have that. Like, why? What was the idea behind this? And why have a convoluted side-rule for investigation instead of, say, rewriting Sentiment and calling it a day? 

 

Also, I want to say, the new Water Martial Skill Opportunity is really-really nice ^_^ .

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Because skills aren't intended to be the element that determines approach under this system.  The skills are just sub-specializations of approaches.

Investigation in a general sense is the survey approach.  It doesn't matter what survey skill you use, so long as it's appropriate.  Same for martial conflicts, social checks, etc.

You might also decide to use the analyze approach to get indepth details or the sense approach if you wanted to see if the PC detects something they aren't actively looking for.

Edited by GaGrin

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28 minutes ago, GaGrin said:

Because skills aren't intended to be the element that determines approach under this system.  The skills are just sub-specializations of approaches.

 

This was the first thing that came to my mind when I read the update, but then I remembered that Seafaring is a thing (yet doesn't fit any Trade Approach) and Sentiment is still in (yet being based on the same concept as the would-be Investigation Skill), so this route doesn't fit either and we are still at "Why not have Sentiment as Investigation aka 4th edition?" 

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I'm not defending the skill choices, I'm simply explaining where they fit. Pick your approach first, then see if you have an appropriate skill.

You could make an argument for detaching the skills or groups from approaches entirely and I would probably agree but, that's not where we are. 

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4 minutes ago, GaGrin said:

I'm not defending the skill choices, I'm simply explaining where they fit. Pick your approach first, then see if you have an appropriate skill.

 

My problem is with the skill choices. Investigation would be the perfect Scholar Skill because it fits literally every Scholar Skill approach. But no, we can't have that, despite having really confusing choices like Aesthetics/Design/Composition, redundant options like Seafaring and Skulduggery, and a Skill that does exactly what Investigation would but it isn't Investigation. It is like the Giri/Ninjo problem all over again: the priorities are all wrong and the cart is in front of the horses. 

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Just now, AtoMaki said:

My problem is with the skill choices. Investigation would be the perfect Scholar Skill because it fits literally every Scholar Skill approach. But no, we can't have that, despite having really confusing choices like Aesthetics/Design/Composition, redundant options like Seafaring and Skulduggery, and a Skill that does exactly what Investigation would but it isn't Investigation. It is like the Giri/Ninjo problem all over again: the priorities are all wrong and the cart is in front of the horses. 

I agree with this. The Skills, as written, are significantly -- as in meaningfully -- unbalanced in how much territory they cover. 

Which leads to the problem with Notice/Investigation: Aesthetics/Design/Composition are fairly narrow, Melee/Skulduggery are fairly broad, and several important areas of normal-character-activity are split between Skills and vaguely defined.

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Also, frankly, I think a big part of the Notice/Investigation problem is that it's unintuitive in exactly opposite ways to experienced gamers and newcomers. Experienced gamers expect a Notice/Investigation Skill; newcomers aren't savvy enough to intuit that six different skills work that way in different situations based on a negotiation between player and GM.

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4 hours ago, VictorTugglebend said:

I'm not a big fan of 'Notice' type skills to be honest. Coming from a Call of Cthulhu and GUMSHOE background I've found they tend to overshadow players asking questions and actually, y'know, investigating. Early CoC adventures in particular we're notorious for getting derailed if the PC's failed to notice the important clue because of a failed roll.

To go back to the Sherlock Holmes example, or any literary detective for that matter, noticing the clue isn't the important part, interpreting it is. Hercule Poirot and Gil Grissom always find the clues but what they do with them is the interesting part.

When a crime scene, or investigation is laid out the 'clues' should be made apparent in the description. There's blood spatter on the door frame, the contents of the table have spilled onto the floor and under the bed, there are some odd looking scuff marks on the window frame, etc, etc. The Players then use their skills to contextualise the evidence they have to provide further leads. They find the murder weapon under the bed (and let's face it, looking under a bed should not require a skill roll) and use any number of skills to gain more clues from it. Perhaps the Courtier remembers seeing this particular dagger in the obi of a Phoenix delegate earlier in the evening, the bushi theorizes that a weapon this small would require several blows, or the element of surprise in order to kill the victim, the shugenja recognizes the inscription on the dagger as the final haiku of a recently departed sensei from a nearby dojo, or whatever. All these are skill rolls, they provide further clues and leads for the PC's to follow. If they fail, the PC's still have the murder weapon, the core clue, and perhaps learn about it in different ways, asking NPC's about it, showing it to suspects in hopes of eliciting a reaction, etc.

 

The point is, investigation is not about finding clues, it's about using clues to lead you to a conclusion and that's where the skills and the skill rolls come in. I think it's important to remember that this storytelling, not real-life CSI.

I like notice type skills. The important thing is a successful notice roll should not be requires. A successful notice roll shpuld give you more info.

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15 minutes ago, Daeglan said:

I like notice type skills. The important thing is a successful notice roll should not be requires. A successful notice roll shpuld give you more info.

The issues is not that a person should not be able to make a notice check without the skill that is a given.

The issues is the skill should exist for PC/NPC that have taken the time to hone their skills such as an investigator.

For example:

A roll to find a key hidden in the room that you know is their should not need a skill.

A roll to notice the light disturbance of dust on the floor next to a wall to find the hidden door should have a skill.

 

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Also, don't forget guys that in this system, you can succeed even if you fail. Just keep Opportunities and spend them on Narrative stuff to add a clue of some sort. Can't find the bloodied knife? Opportunity something that shows a presence of a servant - maybe he knows a thing or two, so the investigation can keep going. 

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Just to play devil's advocate for a moment, I have to say I like that there isn't a general perception skill.  If you want to do general (unskilled) perception, you just make an air, water or void check.  Outside of that, people who have expertise in their particular fields are going to be more likely to notice things related to that experience.  That's a plus in my book.  If you want to be the ubermench super-sleuth you need a broad set of skills.  This is appropriate.

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6 minutes ago, GaGrin said:

Outside of that, people who have expertise in their particular fields are going to be more likely to notice things related to that experience.  

 

Y'know, despite being a hydroponics worker, there is no way in **** I could notice anything in my glasshouse better than any other person. Maybe it would take me a little less time because I could filter the scene more efficiently (or not because specific-but-unimportant details would hinder me),  but success-wise, there wouldn't be much different. On the other hand, as an adept practitioner of internet-fu, I can find even extremely obscure memes with ease, even faster than my computer/networking expert friend. 

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You can destroy any abstract system with specific enough examples; that doesn't undermine the concept that people are *generally* better at noticing out of place details when they are familiar with the subject at hand.

Individual capacity (as opposed to expertise) is already covered by rings and advantage/disadvantages.

Also, your computer example is flawed.  Your friend's computer experience isn't distinct from your own under an abstract system like this, so there is no way to distinguish your internet-fu, from his networking expertise unless we created those as sub-skills.  If we did, then the system would infact work as intended.

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Yeah, like I say, I'm not sure I agree with the specific skill choices.  I just don't think the entire concept is bust just because there isn't a catch-all for awareness.  It also makes it trivial to adjust the skill options for your own game (as they recommend we do, based on our preferences) since you're essentially just picking how broad or specialized you want expertise to be in your game.  If you want investigation as a skill... well, just add it.  Just like you can split martial arts: melee into 27 varieties of specific weapon arts if you really, really want to.  Only the approach has mechanical implications, the skills are just the number of dice you roll for an approach.

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15 minutes ago, GaGrin said:

I just don't think the entire concept is bust just because there isn't a catch-all for awareness. 

 

Again, I don't have a problem with the concept. I have a problem with the concept not translating into the list of skills. And that's bad, because we are missing out on essential stuff because of it like Horsemanship, Stealth, or Investigation, while Design, Sentiment, and Seafaring are getting their own special treatment for reasons unknown. 

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1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

On the other hand, as an adept practitioner of internet-fu, I can find even extremely obscure memes with ease, even faster than my computer/networking expert friend. 

That would be represented by you having a higher Culture(Internet Memes) than your friend who has [Artisan Skill](Computer Science).
 

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Dudes and dudettes, Investigation is absolutely a skill. Another poster said that you could just look at training given to the police or military to see confirmation and that is absolutely true. I served in the army and we had to train extensively in things that would could as the Investigation skill when translated to a game. That is 100% a skill that you learn, just like shooting a gun or repairing a car engine.

 

I could even agree that someone familiarized with some field should have an easier time finding stuff related to his field and agree that there is an intrinsic aspect to it as well, but the search itself is something that you can learn to do correctly and effectively. In a way, the old editions represented it perfectly, with you Perception attribute and Investigation skill both contributing to your roll.

Edited by Mirumoto Saito

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1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

Again, I don't have a problem with the concept. I have a problem with the concept not translating into the list of skills. And that's bad, because we are missing out on essential stuff because of it like Horsemanship, Stealth, or Investigation, while Design, Sentiment, and Seafaring are getting their own special treatment for reasons unknown. 

This is the problem. The list of skills is weird. Many systems have tackled this so the list of needed skills is pretty well known. Problem is this skill system is just weird. Some veey esoteric stuff has a skill while other stuff that a skill would make sense are not. 

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56 minutes ago, Exarkfr said:

@Mirumoto Saito

Maybe what you learned would fall under the use of Tactics ?

Only if Tactics is the main skill for finding my keys in a messy room or looking for someone in a crowd, in an efficient manner. They are the same skill, they work the same way, you use the exact same techniques to do each of those "actions" in real life.

At that point, Tactics just becomes the "Investigation+" Skill.

Edited by Mirumoto Saito

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Yeah.

But maybe what you learned is more useful in some places than in others. Or more specific to some kinds of situations. Or under some circumstances.
Thus you could use your Tactics skill in those situations, but not in others ?
(Just speculating, 'cause I don't know what you learned )

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