Flaw for impossible skills
in Rules & Errata
Mar 11 2017, 20:00 Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation
Most people are good at something and rather bad at a lot of other things. I can not draw. I tried many times, but I am lucky to have stick people. Putting me in sketching class would be pointless. I knew golfers who spent obscene amounts of cash on lessons and got no where because it just wasn't in them. And then there was the people who screamed at me because they couldn't catch fish- adapting to the new realities of Lake Ontario was beyond them. (And yes, I mean screamed. It was worst when I was on a tiny boat with no where to run.)
So how about a flaw that puts in a hard block on specialty skills. The hero can waste points on the skills, but can reach no higher than rank 1 or 2. At least for the less harsh version of the flaw. There should be one for those who can not learn a skill at all.
Any comments or suggestions on skill points earned from the flaw? And name would also be appreciated.
Mar 11 2017, 20:45 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin
If the player never intends to use the skill and arranges the character's resources in the knowledge that he'll never use it, it's not a drawback. I'd make a list to choose from and most likely require at least one rank in the skill. Knowledge-fishing wouldn't be on that list. This means I wouldn't make the "cannot learn" version of the Flaw, as it's less of a burden than the supposedly minor version.
This already exists in the Clueless flaw, which is also problematic in several ways, but a slightly better design since it encourages the player to make checks with the skill, using actions and suffering the consequences of failures.
This post has been edited by uncle_jimbo on Mar 11 2017, 20:47
Mar 12 2017, 01:26 Group: Heroes, WarHulk AI
I'm not sure how his would work as a Flaw, because there are way too many ways to game it for a Min/Max. Tech-Op bans MedSci for points to boost SysOps. Free Agent bans Unarmed Combat to boost Awareness. Combat Spec bans Primitive Ranged Weapons to boost Demolitions. It's trivially easy to give up buying ranks in things you'll never need for free points.
Jimbo mentions Clueless; I'd like to add Primitive to the discussion. Again, something that kind of does what you're talking about.
I think this would be less of a Flaw and more of a background trait. Or maybe Means and Attitude.
I pretty much agree with Jimbo and Guardian on this idea being too much of a "free SP generator" instead of a flaw.
However, I could see some ways for it to work:
1.) As Jimbo said, make a list of applied skills, but make them broad skills, not specialty skills. Also, GM gets to dictate what the skills are.
2.) The skills are not banned, nor is there a cap on them for the character. Instead, they are treated as "can't be used untrained" and the SP cost is increased (the number of additional SP's depends on the level of the flaw).*
3.) Potentially, the level of the flaw dictates that a number of broad skills are hampered. I could see 1 per flaw level (though this would eliminate the varied cost increases listed above).
Personally, I have known a large number of people who seemed to never be able to learn how to do something in a manner as Derek pointed out. However, I have also known plenty where they did eventually learn how to do it, but it was never easy for them. Hence, rather than put a cap on the number of ranks available (which may not mean anything if the PC has a high enough ability score), I would say the ideas above would be better.
Making the broad skill trained only would mean the character would need to learn how to do properly. They can't just go out and play a round of golf or cast a line, they have to learn professionally and they have to practice at it a lot.
Increasing the cost for the broad and specialty skills would demonstrate that the character really doesn't get it. There is a mental block, which makes learning the skill that much harder. It may also be that they need the right teacher, which means they have to make an ability check when they learn an affected skill. I could see applying a penalty to the check based on the quality of the teacher (based on the teacher's ability score or skill score).
*Yes, I'm well aware that that would mean the character now has to spend SP's to learn a skill they already suck at. That's the point.
Also, something Jimbo mentioned makes me want to say this should be linked to an activity, and not a skill, though it would be applied to all skill checks related to the activity.
Specifically, Jimbo noted "Knowledge - fishing". I would say that would only apply to the hobby of fishing, but what about Survival? The character (a survival-trained CS) finds themselves stranded in a marshy or swampy area. There is plenty of food, but hunting is limited and fishing is the best choice. This particular character has a block on Knowledge - fishing, but not on survival. If I was the GM, I would require the block extend (at least partly) to the other skill.
Another example would be a character who has a block on Movement - swim. I would apply the block to ALL ACTIVITIES that could be described as "swimming". For example, if said character found themselves on Bluefall in a suit of dive armor (normally an Armor Op check), I would apply the penalty to the character's movement (though perhaps not other actions, and not to using the suit's sensors or other equipment).