The King is Dead, Long Live the King

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EinBein
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by EinBein » 14 Jul 2017, 05:08

thorgarth wrote:
Agamemnon wrote:[
thorgarth wrote:My main concern is about the Pool mechanics. Pools are mentioned several times throughout the pages BUT they it´s never specifically mentioned how they are formed other than on page 5 under Ability checks, and then in a vage way unless this core mechanism was indeed changed, meaning the idea one gets from reading page 5 is that Skills and Proficiencies have pools based on their ranks alone, not adding the value of an attribute to it as it´s co-basic parameter.
This is correct. That was the major impetus for a new draft, rather than a revision of the old draft. There's a thread somewhere about it where this was debated but ultimately settled upon. It's also why the tapping mechanic exists.
So basically instead of just adding an attribute straight on we will now have to ponder and justify adding up to two tap values (which can include an attribute tap). I fear it will just add another cog to the wheels, with no real benefit, meaning making it more complex without any gain from my perspective, which seems to me odd given that the game design evolution seems to be striving for more simplicity.
First of all, the attribute wasn't added "straight on" in BoB, but the GM decided situationally, which attribute to link to the skill in question. The player was able to steer this descision by describing his action accordingly. Like using Cunning, not Social for Manipulation by trying to trick the other guy. This option to make description of the action have an influence on the dice rolled and by this encouraging the players to contribute to storytelling, was fircely defended by some (including me) when the idea came up to split attributes and skills altogether. The tapping is indeed much better than the old solution, as the player can add other skills or traits into the pool by good storytelling and not only attributes. I don't see that it adds any clutter if compared to the old system though...
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by thorgarth » 14 Jul 2017, 06:40

EinBein wrote: First of all, the attribute wasn't added "straight on" in BoB, but the GM decided situationally, which attribute to link to the skill in question. The player was able to steer this descision by describing his action accordingly. Like using Cunning, not Social for Manipulation by trying to trick the other guy. This option to make description of the action have an influence on the dice rolled and by this encouraging the players to contribute to storytelling, was fircely defended by some (including me) when the idea came up to split attributes and skills altogether. The tapping is indeed much better than the old solution, as the player can add other skills or traits into the pool by good storytelling and not only attributes. I don't see that it adds any clutter if compared to the old system though...
You added an Attribute (full value) as a default, and while you could use each skill with a variety of attributes, according to the situation at hand, the adjudication was a simpler one. Most Skills had one or two "default" attributes (not set in the rules but logical interpretation of the rules and definitions), meaning, the attribute(s) one considers logical to apply under most situations. You could also use "associated skills" to add to the pool.

What you have now is that the base pool is the Skill alone, the rest must be justified, and in the case of attributes "are tapped when they are applying a benefit above and beyond the ability being tested.". Which means that while before it as a straight application of Agility to pick locks use of Larceny skill, now you have to justify how your agility actually helps you picking locks, no matter how high your agility is. Meaning, unless you can come up with a justification of how your agility affects the skill above and beyond it´s inherent scope you could have agility 2 or 8 and it would not affect skill at all.

It may force people to come up with justifications and original or inspired ways to act BUT in some cases seems artificial (where before it was "treated" as "default" use) and in most cases it will make things go slower, not as smooth as before, which seems contradictory to other game design choices introduced in this draft.
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by taelor » 14 Jul 2017, 06:43

Adding the attribute straight on made attributes overpowered relative to skills. In order to make skills and attributes more ballenced, ATTRIBUTE+SKILL pools were removed. This was discussed extensively in a previous thread.
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by thorgarth » 14 Jul 2017, 07:00

taelor wrote:Adding the attribute straight on made attributes overpowered relative to skills. In order to make skills and attributes more ballenced, ATTRIBUTE+SKILL pools were removed. This was discussed extensively in a previous thread.
I can understand that argument but I just don´t see the reason behind the restrictions now in place regarding the use of attribute in conjunction with skills. If the goal was to re-balance the impact of attributes on skills the simple use of the tap value would be enough, allowing it to still be used as a "default" component of the pool, basically reducing the number of dices arising from the attribute vs the number of dice from the skill proper.

Going back to the pick-lock example (Larceny skill) if Charles the Red (agility 6, Larceny 5) tried to pick open the front door of the local tavern, using BoB mechanics the skill pool would be 11. If the system were to allow the Skill Pool to be built around the idea of Skill plus Attribute Tap value in this case it would be 6, with the impact of the attribute much reduced (from 6 to 1), but it would be a much smoother, and in some cases logical, process.

Now, from the interpretation I have from the new attribute tap rules, unless one can justify that agility is actually relevant to the lock picking roll at hand (and I cannot phantom how it could not be), one could have Agility 2 or 8 and it wouldn´t mean anything.
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by Barbarossa » 14 Jul 2017, 07:07

thorgarth wrote:
taelor wrote:Adding the attribute straight on made attributes overpowered relative to skills. In order to make skills and attributes more ballenced, ATTRIBUTE+SKILL pools were removed. This was discussed extensively in a previous thread.
Now, from the interpretation I have from the new attribute tap rules, unless one can justify that agility is actually relevant to the lock picking roll at hand (and I cannot phantom how it could not be), one could have Agility 2 or 8 and it wouldn´t mean anything.
Dexterity is the word you are looking for, not agility. Sword & Scoundrel does not have a Dex stat, it has an Agility stat. Picking a lock uses your manual dexterity. Now if you need to jump over the lock, do a somersault back around to the front, and then do the Mambo to get it to unlock, then yeah I guess you could argue that Agility should be rolled with it

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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by thorgarth » 14 Jul 2017, 07:36

Barbarossa wrote:
thorgarth wrote:
taelor wrote:Adding the attribute straight on made attributes overpowered relative to skills. In order to make skills and attributes more ballenced, ATTRIBUTE+SKILL pools were removed. This was discussed extensively in a previous thread.
Now, from the interpretation I have from the new attribute tap rules, unless one can justify that agility is actually relevant to the lock picking roll at hand (and I cannot phantom how it could not be), one could have Agility 2 or 8 and it wouldn´t mean anything.
Dexterity is the word you are looking for, not agility. Sword & Scoundrel does not have a Dex stat, it has an Agility stat. Picking a lock uses your manual dexterity. Now if you need to jump over the lock, do a somersault back around to the front, and then do the Mambo to get it to unlock, then yeah I guess you could argue that Agility should be rolled with it
Yes, S&S doesn´t have Dexterity, it has Agility, "Physical coordination, flexibility, and general nimbleness. Agility contributes to a character’s combat pool, Reflexes, and Speed. It’s an important attribute for physically active characters of all types, from hardened swordsmen to thieves, athletes, acrobats, and entertainers. Agility is checked when the character needs to maintain their balance, test their flexibility, or perform any feat of hand-eye coordination that is not otherwise governed by a skill. Agility is particularly useful when a character needs to toss, catch, grab or snatch something from another character." From S&S, but also from BoB, the same attribute "It is a frequent component in physical skill checks that require any kind of precision...".

Yes Dexterity is different from Agility and scope and scale, but as a system component of SoS, as BoB, I took it as encompassing both realities even if the emphasis was on the Agility "strictu sensu". It would be a shame, from my perspective, to leave this reality outside the scope of the game in terms of character characterization

It makes sense, depending on the complexity desired for the system, to have two separate attributes for agility and dexterity. But opting for just one attribute, it doesn´make sense for it to encompass just one of the "qualities", especially when roguish personas seem to have such a high importance to the game ambiance.
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by EinBein » 14 Jul 2017, 07:46

thorgarth wrote:
taelor wrote:Adding the attribute straight on made attributes overpowered relative to skills. In order to make skills and attributes more ballenced, ATTRIBUTE+SKILL pools were removed. This was discussed extensively in a previous thread.
I can understand that argument but I just don´t see the reason behind the restrictions now in place regarding the use of attribute in conjunction with skills. If the goal was to re-balance the impact of attributes on skills the simple use of the tap value would be enough, allowing it to still be used as a "default" component of the pool, basically reducing the number of dices arising from the attribute vs the number of dice from the skill proper.

Going back to the pick-lock example (Larceny skill) if Charles the Red (agility 6, Larceny 5) tried to pick open the front door of the local tavern, using BoB mechanics the skill pool would be 11. If the system were to allow the Skill Pool to be built around the idea of Skill plus Attribute Tap value in this case it would be 6, with the impact of the attribute much reduced (from 6 to 1), but it would be a much smoother, and in some cases logical, process.

Now, from the interpretation I have from the new attribute tap rules, unless one can justify that agility is actually relevant to the lock picking roll at hand (and I cannot phantom how it could not be), one could have Agility 2 or 8 and it wouldn´t mean anything.
I would just say in practice, if there is a natural fit of a skill and attribute in a particular situation, any sane group would just go over it and use the tapping value wiithout the need to further describe it every time?

It's a matter of taste whether this needs to be formulated in the rules or left to horse sense of the gaming group(s). I think the authors have noted it down and will decide what to make of it.
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by Barbarossa » 14 Jul 2017, 07:56

I can see your point with the combination of agi and dex but that's why we have skills. A master neurosurgeon would be incredibly dexterous so high agi and high medici e. A world class safe cracker would be high agi and high larceny. Saying my neurosurgeon skills apply to safe cracking and vise versa because we both have 7 agi is mssing the point. A little of that could transfer sure. Say very steady hands so that's why we have the tap value.

Agamemnon has decided the way that taps and rolls work so as far as I'm concerned it's gospel.

You are more than welcome to play it the way you want and I hope you are able to find something in this game you can actually enjoy and find palatable.

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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by Benedict » 14 Jul 2017, 08:16

The thing is that with RPG nomenclature - while it is (usually) based on dictionary definitions - any given Variable named after something has specific applications outside the scope of the initial word.

The Dexterity/Agility thing is a good example.

Not to mention that there are cases where if you look at a dictionary you'll simply fry your brain. Keen is a good example. By 'Scoundrels definition it represents mental acuity, intuition, and insight. Not so if you open a dictionary. It is an adjective characterizing degree for entirely different things : a keen intellect, a keen desire, a keen blade, and so on.

One might argue that the word chosen is incorrect. Someone might argue and name their Agility/Dexterity/whatever respective attribute "Grace" or "Finesse" or "Elan". But after the word is chosen and presented it is a gentlemen agreement to everyone involved as to what that particular word stands for in game mechanics, as opposed to reality.

And a thought. I usually cringe when hearing about "gospels" or "rules set in stone". The system (well, any system in this form) is open to interpretation. By the book "Agility is particularly useful when a character needs to toss, catch, grab or snatch something from another character". Still one might argue that a Reflex roll would be more appropriate, as the task of snatching something from someone's hands requires as much quick thinking and spatial awareness as physical nimbleness and bodily coordination. Who is right? From my point of view, both of them are. And that's one of the beautiful things with RPGs.
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by Barbarossa » 14 Jul 2017, 09:06

Just for clarification I was using gospel as in... I have no clue how the burning Bush came up with the rules and to get anymore information you need to trudge up Sinai yourself and ask why the rules are they way they are.

I think the rules work well as written but any technical questions would better be answered by Agamemnon.

When I would run the game I most likely would have you roll keen or reflex tap plus the skill. You are correct I would not run the game exactly like Ag.

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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by Benedict » 14 Jul 2017, 09:11

Woa! :shock:

Didn't mean to offend, even if it seems I did. I apologize. :oops:

No, what I meant is that by their nature the rules are flexible. Heck, the whole tap+help+cascade concept is about flexibility. As far as it makes sense for everyone sitting on the table it's cool. :)
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by Barbarossa » 14 Jul 2017, 09:21

Oh no offense taken Bene. You can ask Ag I have a very tonal way of speaking and it really doesn't come across in text. :D

We're all here for the love of role-playing games and how we can tell awesome stories with them

Xoxo Bby.
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by Benedict » 14 Jul 2017, 09:23

Ditto! ;)

It's just that when it gets past 100° I get edgy. And its over a hundred for nearly 20 days now. :lol:
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by nemedeus » 14 Jul 2017, 09:25

another thing one might want to take into consideration is that, in a way, "dexterity" is already past if the skills it would apply to. Looking at real life neurology, my understanding is that all applications of manual dexterity are indeed learned specifically, and, as was pointed out earlier with the surgeon vs lockpick example, don't translate well between each other. If someone could be said to have a dexterity stat that informs their performance on these tasks, it's because they have some kind of neurological illness like Parkinson's disease.

As was discussed in other places, the physical attributes sort of represent physical skills as well in S&S, Like athleticism being easily deferrable to agility, brawn, and speed depending on the situation. that's just why it makes even more sense that you wouldn't be allowed to tap them a lot.

and finally, seen from a character-creation perspective:
-if you want to play a high dexterity character, take a high skill priority.
-if you want to play an athletic character, take a high attribute priority.
-if you want to play a knowledgeable, educated character, take high skill priority.
-if you want to play a smart guy, take high skill priority.

now to be perfectly honest, i do have a bit of a gripe with this, as it is kinda difficult to create a character who's both athletic (high brawn and agility) AND "on top of their game" (high perception, cunning, willpower). although i figure that may be in part due to the 1 to 10 scale making what's sort of supposed to be the "average" value (3) look smaller than it is.

(in a way i think it would help to make it even more explicit that the normal range you should be expected to perform in even on high performance is 1 to 7)
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by Benedict » 14 Jul 2017, 09:29

From a rules point of view I'd say that a master locksmith and a master (neuro)surgeon would both tap their ATV in their respective skill. If the doctor tried picking a lock he'd get Agi dice at ftn6 with the option to tap in surgeon. Maybe even vice versa. Ie the locksmith trying to stitch up a bleeding wound would roll Agi FTN6 + lockpick tap (steady hands?).
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