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lyinggod

Talent Feedback: Well Read (Improved)

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I am looking for feedback on a talent that is intended to reflect a significant level of relatively narrow book knowledge. In pursuit of this I have come with the following. This is inspired by the Brilliant Talent of the Intellectual.

Quote

Well Read (Improved)
Tier:
4
Ranked: No
Active: Yes (Incidental)

The character has become extraordinarily well read in an aspect of their career. Choose one career skill when purchasing this talent. Once per session, when performing a Knowledge check relating to this skill, the character may spend a Story Point as an incidental. If they do so, during the next check they make during that turn, they use this skill instead of Knowledge and count their Intellect as being equal to their ranks in this skill.

 

Any feedback is appreciated

Edited by lyinggod

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It's too good in that they're double-dipping in the same skill to form the dice pool. I'd drop the story point requirement, leave the once-per-session requirement, and have it be a simple swap of skill ranks (ranks in chosen skill count as ranks in the knowledge skill).

"When you purchase this talent, choose a career skill. Once per session, when making a knowledge check relating to this skill, your character may count their knowledge skill ranks as being equal to their ranks in the chosen skill."

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Neat idea! So I don’t think it is “too good” at all. As a tier four talent you’ve invested 20+30+30 in talents to even get to tier four so this is something you’ve worked a long way toward.

if I understand the talent you pick a skill that’s already a career skill and spend a story point to roll that skill instead of knowledge ?

so example I am a badass pilot 4 ranks. I take this talent. Once per session when I’m called on to make a knowledge check about something related to piloting, say tryin to figure out where the bad guys may have a secret airstrip based on what I know about their planes, I can make the knowledge check using pilot ranks instead of knowledge ranks?  

If That is the intent of this talent, I would argue that is something you should be able to do with a story point already without a talent. If your gm disagreed I could see making it a talent but in my mind it’s a tier 1 talent.

For me personally I could even see something like tier 1 talent 

pick a skill In which you have at least 2 ranks. When called on to make knowledge checks directly related to that skill you may use your ranks in that skill rather than ranks in knowledge.

I could see some settings where this might be problematic. If for instance your game was about a magic detective solving crimes related to magic, this talent would let you ignore knowledge by just using your ranks in magic.

In short I think if you’re spending a storypoint it’s not a talent or worst case a tier one. In most games I’d allow this talent at tier 1 even without the storypoint.

 

Edit : I misread your talent. Using your other skill for both parts of the dice roll is more power than I thought. I was thinking you were just swaping skill ranks and still rolling Int. 

Edited by WarrenH
I misread

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I wouldn't even bother with a Talent or SPs, I would just let a PC use any Skill for obtaining information or analyzing a situation using an appropriate Skill if they can describe how.  I wouldn't let them plus up their Intellect, there are lots of folks that are great at their particular field and are as dumb as potting soil in general, so a great Pilot with lots of experience could still suck at spelling.

I frequently did that with sensor checks in Star Wars.  People can look at the same set of information from different backgrounds and come away with very different information of what they're all looking at.  

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can I use ranks in X skill in place of knowledge ranks for narrow knowledge questions about X skill?

to me that’s maybe a five point talent, maybe a story point, or maybe just a house rule.

 

the talent posted Is using x skill for both the ranks and the intellect portion of the check which I think is powerful and frankly a little odd thematically.  I’d say having a bunch of ranks in piloting should give me a good shot to know about planes but not so good that I have a pull full of yellow dice if I have a poor intellect.

Well-Read

Tier: 1-2 depending on game 
Active: Yes (Incidental)
Ranked: No
 
When your character selects this talent, choose one career skill. Once per session, when making a Knowledge check relating to that career skill, your character can use this talent as an incidental to substitute their ranks in that career skill for their ranks in Knowledge. Intelligence is still the attribute used to create the dice pool, regardless of the attribute of the career skill.
 
Savant
Tier: 3-4 depending on game
Active: Yes (Incidental)
Ranked: No
 
Your character must have the Well-Read talent before selecting this talent. Once per session, when making a Knowledge check relating to any career skill in which you have at least 1 rank, your character can use this talent as an incidental to substitute their ranks in that career skill for their ranks in Knowledge. Intelligence is still the attribute used to create the dice pool, regardless of the attribute of the career skill.

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23 minutes ago, 2P51 said:

I wouldn't even bother with a Talent or SPs, I would just let a PC use any Skill for obtaining information or analyzing a situation using an appropriate Skill if they can describe how.  I wouldn't let them plus up their Intellect, there are lots of folks that are great at their particular field and are as dumb as potting soil in general, so a great Pilot with lots of experience could still suck at spelling.

I would do this, but I'd most certainly increase the Difficulty of such a check. Otherwise what's the point of having Knowledge skills?

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Thanks for everyones feedback

10 hours ago, awayputurwpn said:

Otherwise what's the point of having Knowledge skills?

This is meant to be a variation on the decoupling rules (CRB Pg 205) and represents highly specialized expertise and is not meant to replace general Knowledge. I could have added a Knowledge: Cars skill but then, by extension, I would need to start adding skills for other areas of expertise. I was looking to avoid skill bloat.

10 hours ago, 2P51 said:

lots of folks that are great at their particular field and are as dumb as potting soil in general

This is the idea that I was trying to encompass. To provide an example; A car buff/street racer with a minimum education has an Intellect of 2, Drive 4 (Career), Mechanics 3 (Career), and no Knowledge wishes to recall a fact relating to car or driving. His Drive should count for something beyond just staying on the road.

10 hours ago, WarrenH said:
Savant
Tier: 3-4 depending on game
Active: Yes (Incidental)
Ranked: No
 
Your character must have the Well-Read talent before selecting this talent. Once per session, when making a Knowledge check relating to any career skill in which you have at least 1 rank, your character can use this talent as an incidental to substitute their ranks in that career skill for their ranks in Knowledge. Intelligence is still the attribute used to create the dice pool, regardless of the attribute of the career skill.

FWIW, I am using the Expanded Talent list by @TheSapient and @ESP77. It includes a talent called Well Read that allows the user to add any 3 knowledge skills as career skills. My title was meant to be an extension of that concept and represent a narrowing focus of expertise. I was also trying to make my Well Read (Improved) talent like the "pick a skill when talent purchased and gain extra benefit when using that skill" implementation that is common among talents.

I like the general wording of your suggestion but it leaves the talent open to all career skills.  Given the above example, the car buff may be a well read (or obsessed) car aficionado but only a highly intuitive mechanic. The Savant talent would apply to both skills as well as any skill with minimal training (1 rank). This effectively makes the character a "savant" at every career skill. 

I must ponder this. I am leaning towards the idea that perhaps this should still be purchased per skill. 

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3 hours ago, 2P51 said:

Your idea is fine, I just wouldn't let them plus up their Intellect as well, being able to make a knowledge check with the Skill boosts the dice pool size enough.

This is on point.

Make a talent that changes the Skill used for a check, but not the characteristic. Depending on how often you can use it will determine the cost to do so, once per session may not have any other cost.

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