Talent Specialization

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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Paper Shadow on Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:34 pm

Philadelphus wrote:Now now, guys. Let's keep it positive. I have a game starting in 5 minutes so I can't write anything detailed at the moment, but Dan, I'm thinking about your question. In the meantime, if you guys want to discuss stuff, try focusing on the positives and what you like about either/or/both systems. The more we know what people like, the better we can make any final results.
Aww, but I didn't get the last word in...

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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:35 pm

Hayatecooper wrote:Also I think this system works, it's not overly broken. It's hardly complicated or difficult to learn and it does add some extra character customization which I really like.

This sums things up nicely.
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Ramsus on Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:45 pm

Paper Shadow wrote:
Philadelphus wrote:Now now, guys. Let's keep it positive. I have a game starting in 5 minutes so I can't write anything detailed at the moment, but Dan, I'm thinking about your question. In the meantime, if you guys want to discuss stuff, try focusing on the positives and what you like about either/or/both systems. The more we know what people like, the better we can make any final results.
Aww, but I didn't get the last word in...

lol. Well, I already sang my praises for your work Philly so, yeah. I still agree with Paper Shadow that having the choices not set in stone would be nice. (You could argue it doesn't make sense to be able to change them but, you could make the same argument for Utility Talents and suddenly replacing your Revolver with a Rabbit Filled Hat or such. It's just an ease of use/enjoyability issue.)
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Philadelphus on Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:32 pm

Just a quick response:
Talent Specialization Supplement wrote:Talent Points may also be reallocated between game sessions in the same manner as utility talents, just be sure to check with your GM before making any changes.
Rule of fun trumps realism here. I like having open options as well. Very Happy
And it's not too unrealistic to imagine that someone's skills change over time based on what they practice and develop. That's kind of the idea of the system, after all.
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Ramsus on Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:17 pm

Huh... well....whoops. Was that always the case? I really only read the introduction to them very early on. Either way, odd that two of us would both make that mistake.
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Paper Shadow on Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:27 pm

Ramsus wrote:Huh... well....whoops. Was that always the case? I really only read the introduction to them very early on. Either way, odd that two of us would both make that mistake.
Admittedly, I didn't really check it, and I haven't given to document a good, proper read. In fact, I only knew about the whole "unspent points can be used as daily bonuses" by pure luck. My bad...

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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:56 am

....

Tut tut tut
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Paper Shadow on Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:28 am

Fury of the Tempest wrote:....

Tut tut tut
Oh, like you've never rolled a natural one in a perception check before...

Also ellipses should really only have three dots...

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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:31 am

Paper Shadow wrote:
Fury of the Tempest wrote:....

Tut tut tut
Oh, like you've never rolled a natural one in a perception check before...

Oh, like I wasn't completely joking with the tutting.
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Paper Shadow on Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:45 am

Fury of the Tempest wrote:
Paper Shadow wrote:
Fury of the Tempest wrote:....

Tut tut tut
Oh, like you've never rolled a natural one in a perception check before...

Oh, like I wasn't completely joking with the tutting.
Oh, like I didn't know that and joking responded...

This is getting a bit silly. We should hug and make up...

Anyway, something that bothers me about the document is the choice to organise the talents by class and then book, as opposed to by book and then class. Am I alone in being slightly bothered by this?
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:16 am

That was my suggestion.

This way, all the Utility Belt talents are together, all the Skullduggery talents are together, etc. But, it's still very easy to tell which ones are default and which ones are Talent Show.

Just a preference in organization.
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Ramsus on Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:36 pm

I think the way it currently is makes it easier to find information (especially since I'm hoping one day all the official stuff will just end up in a single document). It would be awkward to have to look at two different parts of the document to compare the choices for related utilities.
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Philadelphus on Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:11 am

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:I have a question.

Is there any reason why we can't get basically the same effects as this whole rules supplement by making some more talents with prerequisites? That way you can spend your new utility talents to improve existing ones, like the flight track, which really is the point of the expansion at its core.
Alright, so I thought about this for a few days, and hopefully can explain myself more clearly for it. The crux of the matter, as I see it, is that you have one 'resource', utility talents slots, that you must choose to spend on either additional versatility or increased specialization.

I feel it would not be amiss to bring up the dichotomy that you've mentioned before as an impetus for developing Pony Tales in the first place: that of having either a powerful character, or a flavorful one. That problem was solved (very well in my opinion) by splitting combat and non-combat into two non-interacting spheres. I would love for there to be a way to not have to choose between having a specialized character or a versatile one, but I don't see how it can be done within the current system. You could make a whole bunch of new utility talents with prerequisites, but you'd still have to choose every time you took a talent whether you wanted to specialize or generalize.

Now, I think the system as it is is geared more towards versatility by having a large ratio of talents without prerequisites to those that do. And I think that it works very well to get 8 (or 9) different utility talents over the course of a campaign. Hence my system focuses on specialization (though there is still some overlap) by introducing a new resource primarily reserved for specialization.

My ideal system would have two separate resources, one that lets you get additional talents (allowing more versatility) and one that lets you upgrade your existing talents (allowing more specialization). I would submit that this mirrors natural development, where you both learn new skills and develop the ones you already have as you progress through life, without having to pick one or the other.

Now, the system I made is designed to sit on top of the base system with no modifications to the core rules, merely additional rules. But if I were to indulge in fancy, and suggest a new system with free reign to change the existing system, it might be something like the following:

Change it so that utility talents can only be used to take new utility talents, those without prerequisites. Introduce a new resource, call it 'upgrades' or something. Create a bunch of utility talents that work as upgrades, with prerequisites. Give players a number of 'upgrades' at character creation and at level up. This will have the effect of making them stronger than they would be otherwise, which you can either leave as a feature, or reduce the number of unique utility talents they get in compensation. Since at least one person expressed a liking of the granular elements of my system, it might make sense to create the upgrade utility talents at different strengths, then give players a number of upgrades to spend. The simplest case I can see for that would be to make a 'full' utility talent's worth of power be worth 2 upgrade points, and have a number of additional weaker upgrades worth only 1 point. Then give players 2 points at each level they get a utility talent at (or possibly at different levels), and a few (maybe 4) to begin with. Admittedly this system would have them about 5 utility talent's worth more powerful at level 10 than the current system.

To summarize, at character creation you would pick 5 (or 6) utility talents, but they would all be unique talents. Then you could pick 2-4 upgrade talents (worth 4 upgrade points total) to upgrade the ones you picked. Then at levels 2, 5, and 8 you would both pick an additional utility talent and buy another 1-2 upgrade talents (worth 2 points total). You would thus become more versatile as well as more powerful and specialized along the way without ever having to pick between them.

Now, I don't have much experience with RPG systems besides Pony Tales, but it's generally been my experience that most games have some skills or upgrades that are not available at level 1. Whereas, in Pony Tales, any utility talent can be taken at level 1 if you're willing to invest the talents slots into it. This tends to give, in my view, a sense of staticness to the talents, since they all must be roughly equal to each other to be fair, whereas most games have you progressing up some kind of tech tree getting more and more powerful as you go. I realize that this is sort of the purview of Destinies, and they are definitely neat, but they're a package deal; you can't pick and choose from them (unless you have Make My Own Fate, and even then it's not quite the same thing.) I'd love to see a skill tree of sorts in Pony Tales, where investing points into a skill rewards you with progressively more powerful abilities to unlock. For the same point cost you could get upgrades that got slightly more and more powerful in proportion to how many points you had to spend to unlock them.

Now, the elephant in the room is that making such a change would complicate the game. It would introduce a new resource and some new rules, and would be a fundamental break with the existing system. I'm well aware that simplicity is a goal of the system, and I don't think that more complexity is, in and of itself, always a good thing. In its defense, I think a system like this would make level-up more exciting (you get to pick a new skill, and upgrade one or two of your existing ones!) and dynamic. I can think of several interesting ideas it could lead to, and I'd be more than happy to help contribute ideas, but the decision remains yours, as it's your system in the first place. Even a relatively simple change like I proposed in this post is easily large enough to develop into some sort of optional module of its own.

Anway, think it over, and let me know your thoughts. I'm content with this remaining an optional module for people to use if that's what you want. Smile
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Paper Shadow on Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:19 am

Personally, I don't see the problem with having either a specialised character or a versatile character. Everyone keeps saying it's a bad thing, but I don't see it. Could someone explain it to me?

Anyway, I've made a thread about upgrades which take utility talent slots, which you can find here, so if you don't want to have this thread contain the discussion of upgrades which take their own slot and just keep it about talking about the talent specialisation module instead, we can move the discussion there instead...

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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:30 am

Phil makes a very strong argument...
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Z2 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:01 am

The thing about utility talents is that they are just kind of there. Yeah, there are some additional talents that function as upgrades for others; but even going for 'specialization' there is typically a similar talent that can do a similar job, rather than just getting a bit of an improvement. As it stands, with the rarity of utility talents, it seems essential to make developing existing talents separate from getting totally new ones. Obviously some things are big enough to require another talent (flat upgrade to flight, getting to weather craft in 1/60th of the time), but others would benefit TREMENDOUSLY from little things.

One that stands out in my mind is teleportation. Nopony would spend a utility talent just to be able to teleport objects, but with talent specialisation you could add that very sensible option. Teleportation seems almost to be a core skill for unicorns, but right now it doesn't do much; and just doing 'upgraded teleportation' as a new talent doesn't have the same charm, effectiveness, and flavor of being able to buy several little modifications to the spell.

Logic wise, it does make sense to both improve what you can do as well as learn new skills as you progress.

Maybe it does add complexity, and maybe it isn't TOTALLY necessary to have talent specialization; but with the ability to use points as a +1 bonus it doesn't over-complicate things for those who don't care either, and additional options are always nice: I can see no reason why we SHOULDN'T have it, regardless of reasons why we should.
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Ramsus on Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:52 pm

Hmmm, lots of things to respond to here. To start with I'm just going to say I don't agree with either Phil or Paper.

The Utility talents all being roughly equal is the best thing possible. Otherwise you're just going to get not only specialization but, unfair specialization (not that this doesn't already exist in this system *coughEagleEyecough*). What you suggested with level requirements and the like is actually where a lot of other system's balance points break down because you suddenly have to make up a new balance point for higher level stuff while maintaining it be balanced to lower level stuff since nothing prevents people from just taking the low level stuff. Basically, it becomes an unbalanced mess rather quickly.

Now to address the problem of specialization vs versatility. The first problem with it is that this is a cooperative game. When you have the super specialized guy and anyone else can do the thing they are specialized in, sometimes multiple people can take part in that action. If you have someone incredibly specialized and someone not at all specialized you have this problem of choosing between the specialized character basically auto-succeeding or the non-specialized one auto-failing because if it's the same task you can't set the DC otherwise. Additionally, often multiple people in the party will be good at the same thing and it's just not a lot of fun to know that the other guy, no matter what you both roll, will always be way better than you at a task your character is supposed to be somewhat good at.

The second problem with specialization vs versatility is that it is at the cost of versatility which means you have to choose between being good at only one or two (certainly just one the way Paper Shadow would be suggesting things go) or being capable of more things. Again this is an RPG so you shouldn't be playing most of the game twiddling your thumbs and not caring about what's going on because you're just waiting for the situation where you can finally do the stuff you're good at. You should have something useful to be doing in most situations. This is very difficult if you're only good at one kind of thing.

I'm more or less fine with the Utility system as is but, the Talent Specialization fixes a lot of the "I want some minor thing that's not worth an entire Utility" or "I want to be better at X but, don't want to do so at the cost of not being useful outside of only X situations". That said, there are a few changes I would make to the system if I had my way. I'd lessen the amount of Utility talents needed to be good at Flight/Weather-crafting, since you basically have to take the entire 5 utility flight tree to be good at either and this leaves no room for anything else at all. I would probably remove anything that gave a permanent numerical bonus to anythings broader than FK (Examples: Flying Ace, The Sky’s The Limit, Eagle Eye). I would then make sure there was a Stare/Nimble Hooves/etc. for all skills equally (or even just make each of those just one Utility that you could only take once and had to choose which skill it applied to when you took it). Then I'd try to make sure skills had equal support in Utilities otherwise, though the effects wouldn't have to be similar (like you wouldn't need Longrunner for every skill but, Streetwise currently has absolutely no Utilities for it at all). Effects like "You suffer no penalty to your perception checks from weather conditions." from Eagle Eye could be then rolled into those things or part of Talent Specialization. Ideally we'd remove the "get +1 to X" things from Talent Specialization too for the same reasons as not wanting the same problem I outlined before as can happen with specializing via Utilities. Or at the very least give it some kind of limit (like max of +3 in any particular task). Some things that specialize would still remain, like Ten-Seconds Flat or other things that increase the versatility of that thing. (Things that would go (I actually just looked through both books for the specific things): The Sky's the Limit, Lightning Rod, Eagle Eye, Flying Ace, It Was Behind The Sofa All Along!. Additionally I'd probably change the Flight tree to be only three Utilities. -10, -5, No modifier + Hovering.)
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Paper Shadow on Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:41 pm

Ramsus wrote:Now to address the problem of specialization vs versatility. The first problem with it is that this is a cooperative game. When you have the super specialized guy and anyone else can do the thing they are specialized in, sometimes multiple people can take part in that action. If you have someone incredibly specialized and someone not at all specialized you have this problem of choosing between the specialized character basically auto-succeeding or the non-specialized one auto-failing because if it's the same task you can't set the DC otherwise. Additionally, often multiple people in the party will be good at the same thing and it's just not a lot of fun to know that the other guy, no matter what you both roll, will always be way better than you at a task your character is supposed to be somewhat good at.
Fun fact, just because everyone is a versatile character, doesn't mean that you don't have specialists in your party. Unless all the characters in a party are built the same, someone is going to have the best bonus in a certain skill, and they are going to be the one who will roll that skill most of the time. You may feel better if your character with an 8 in Mechanics is with a character that has an 8 and training in it than if he was with a character that had a 10, training, and a cutie mark in it, but when it comes to the moment of truth, it will always be better to let the character with the higher bonus do the check. But now, that guy only has a bonus of +11, as opposed to +18. If everyone is versatile, that doesn't mean you get more opportunities to make skill rolls, it just means that your specialists will have awful rolls in comparison to what they could have...

Ramsus wrote:The second problem with specialization vs versatility is that it is at the cost of versatility which means you have to choose between being good at only one or two (certainly just one the way Paper Shadow would be suggesting things go) or being capable of more things. Again this is an RPG so you shouldn't be playing most of the game twiddling your thumbs and not caring about what's going on because you're just waiting for the situation where you can finally do the stuff you're good at. You should have something useful to be doing in most situations. This is very difficult if you're only good at one kind of thing.
First off, a good DM will allow the problems that he throws at the party to be open. For example, let's say the DM has a building with a locked door. A versatile character will attempt to pick the lock with a Mechanics check, or maybe break the door down with a Athletics check. A Horse-Sense built character may be stumped initially, but after thinking about it for a while, he'll come up with ideas the DM wouldn't even plan for, such as using Streetwise to check if the character knows of any secret entrances to the building. If the roll is good, the DM, while not initially planning any alternative entrances, will make one, as a reward for the unorthodox thinking, and the player will fell both rewarded and clever. Creativity doesn't occur often in open environments, but it flourishes under restrictions. That's why Game Jams usually has some rule about what your game has to be about...

Second, these periods of thumb-twiddling isn't necessarily a bad thing. If your character could be in the spotlight in every situation without really thinking about it, then that is bad design. What having these down periods does mean though is that you have time to relax, give your friends the chance to play and have their great moments and share in their enjoyment, so that when your time to shine does come, you'll shine so bright you'll make the sun look like a night light. In addition, if you have a team full of specialists, then everyone will get their chances to do amazing things, and the band will be tightly knit together, because they rely on the skills each member uses. Isn't that a more beautiful design then a group of Jack-of-all-Trades who could go solo if they really wanted to?

Another good example of specialism to give is the Tekkit Mod Package for Minecraft. For those who don't know, Tekkit is a collection of many, many Minecraft stuff, which adds so much that it's almost impossible to master it all. Now, if you go and try to become good at everything, then your end result won't be that impressive. But if you master something, such as drilling, or mine cart options, or magic, or whatever, the options that open up to you will be amazing, and that's not including the absolutely mind-blowing things you can do if you work with a another specialist, while if you are just good at everything, and you work with someone else who is just good at everything, you aren't going to make anything new and interesting...

In addition, being a specialist allows you to give your character a great personality which matches the skills they have. Think about any of the classes on Team Fortress 2. They are the best of the best at what they do, and they all have interesting personalities to match. Compare that to someone who is versatile, and I will use the player character from Fable 2 to make my point as strong as possible. You can skill him up anyway you want, be it strong, dexterous, or magical, or a mixture of all of them, it doesn't matter. He'll be able to do everything okay, and he barely has any personality, and what he does have is not based on your skills. Think about how boring that is...

Now, don't get my words twisted; I'm not saying that a versatile character will have a bad personality. I'm saying that characters are usually defined by their best feature. You wouldn't make a inventor for a character and make his main skill Athletics. You'd make it Mechanics. Just look at your own characters, or other players characters. What your character does best is what defines their backstory. If your character is good at everything, then their backstories aren't all that relevant. Usually military characters have invested in mainly Brawn and Precession, unicorns have Knowledge, and so on. But for all the great inventors, the amazing medics, the ponies with silver tongues, you can bet that they have at least +15 in the relevant skill...

But here's the problem. I just praised the importance of specialists, but at the end of the day, we only have four attributes. That means a party with five characters will have problems. So how do we fix that? Three words, my friends; Utility Talent Upgrades. This allows further specialisation, and opens more options, and more ideas. You can be a somewhat versatile character in terms of attributes (because, let's face it, the specialist is gonna be busy sometimes), but when you find a moment when you can use your talents, you will dazzle everyone with your ideas. That's why I like the Animal Empathy line so much. It does more than just make you stronger, it opens more opportunities...

And also, I believe that the upgrades should be stronger than your average talents. You pumping more precious Utility Talent slots into them. Why shouldn't a talent which requires two other talents in order to access it have the same amount of power and versatility that three separate talents would give? If you don't, you end up with stuff like with talents which seem to give very minor stuff, like It Was Behind The Sofa All Along!, which gives more uses to something that many feel won't be used that often in the first place. The bigger and better the latter talents are, the more inspired players become to create a character that invests the slots required to get it...

Basically, in a nutshell, I believe specialist characters are good for the system. I've said before that the ponies in the show are specialists themselves, and it has even been said that unicorns only have spells based on their Cutie Mark (and they do those spells very well, suggesting specialisation in them), so the system based on those ponies will also accommodate specialisation. I guess that is all I can think of saying for now. I'm sure there are more points in favour of specialisation, just as I'm sure there are more points against it...

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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Ramsus on Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:59 am

Well, first off I completely disagree with your interpretation of the show ponies (heh), who seem to actually be good at a ton of things. They may have a thematic specialty but, they've very good in many different specific tasks.

You are mistaking having less +bonuses to being less good at something. If there aren't flat + bonuses to things where there shouldn't be, then the DC for more difficult feats will be lower as a result. You also completely failed to understand one of my points. If you have a +28 bonus to something compared to someone else's +13 there will never be even a point to them rolling for that kind of task when you could do it. If you roll a 2, they have to roll a 17 or above to beat your roll. Those are just numbers that don't involve Talent Specialization or more bonus specialization talents btw, meaning considering either of those things you can easily cause the difference to being a check to see if you rolled a 1 and if they rolled a 20, at which point their bonus to the skill doesn't even matter anyway so they completely wasted their training in that skill.

I dislike that you completely ignored what I said about how making "more powerful than a normal Utility because X reason" talents would break the balance of the system. You also completely missed the point about "twiddling your thumbs". The problem is your character sitting around not having anything to do and this being boring and counter productive to gameplay.

I don't know what kind of point you were trying to make by saying there are only four abilities. At base you only get training in two skills and we'll assume you took a Cutie Mark. That's at most right there 3 skills, except that you can (and specialists always will) stack your cutie mark and a trained skill. You don't get multiple Cutie Marks no matter what so people overlapping in what abilities is not only not a problem, it's a good thing since you will never have a party large enough to have a Cutie Mark in every skill. (Not that you can roll Endurance for other people though. Which under super specialist insanity rules means this is in fact the skill everyone has their second training in since none of their other skills can matter since someone else will likely completely outclass them at that thing.)

The type of specialization you're suggestion would make versatile characters a completely worthless choice since you would never be anywhere near as good as other specialized members of the party aside from the fact that you're the only one capable of handling situations outside an incredibly narrow scope. The jack of all trades character type would in fact not be able to actually do anything ever under your model because no DCs would ever be within range of his capabilities if other party members were present. And to go back to good GMs and how specialization doesn't work well for games, sometimes there are only so many ways to succeed in a situation and there is no guarantee the entire party is there. Heck, it's possible the entire party is there but, they're all so specialized that nobody has a way to deal with the situation.

It's a tried and true lesson of game mechanics that the more specialized characters can be the less worthwhile being versatile is. This doesn't have a lot of bearing on the Talent Specialization system as outside of being able to give yourself permanent + bonuses to certain things, it just allows you some more options in stuff.
Edit: While this is a generalization and may not apply to all RP systems, it applies extremely well to this one.

Btw, I completely ignored your stuff about video games since they have absolutely no bearing on a discussion about RPGs, in the same way that I ignore arguments based on the way things work in collectible card games, fan-fiction, and scrabble. They're not the same kind of thing and the same values and structures don't carry over in a meaningful way. The only thing you can do with such arguments into convincing yourself that flawed logic isn't.
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  AProcrastinatingWriter on Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:29 am

Uh, Ramsus, I mostly agree with you but technically some video games are RPGs.

Admittedly, the ones he was referencing weren't, and I get the feeling that's what you were trying to say, just

Thought I'd jump in and point that out before someone else did and uselessly tried to use it as leverage arguing against you.
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Ramsus on Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:44 am

That wouldn't have been a very good argument as "roleplaying game" is in fact a super overused term and everyone who was using the sort of logic and arguments worth my effort to even acknowledge would know I meant specifically tabletop roleplaying games. Video game roleplaying games are often incredibly different from each other (Disgaea vs Mass Effect have at it) and generally have nothing to teach us about tabletop systems.
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Philadelphus on Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:49 am

Paper Shadow wrote:Personally, I don't see the problem with having either a specialised character or a versatile character. Everyone keeps saying it's a bad thing, but I don't see it. Could someone explain it to me?
It's not a "problem", in the same way that having to choose between having a powerful character or a flavorful one isn't a "problem". It's merely a personal preference.

There are certainly any number of game systems out there that don't separate combat and non-combat, and many people enjoy them just fine. Dan decided he wanted a game system where he could separate the two and not have to choose between having a flavorful character or a powerful one, and it seems that a lot of other people enjoy the system he came up with (including myself). I merely decided I didn't really like having to choose between increasing my character's versatility at the cost of his specialization (and vice versa), so I came up with an optional addon system that splits the two (though not 100% at this point). From the looks of it, there are a number of people who like it as well, but I'm not pushing for it to be included in the official system or anything. It's just an option at this point.

I also feel compelled to point out that I'm not championing either versatility or specialization at the cost of the other. Both are good, even necessary parts of development in my mind. A focus solely on specialization leads to impressive abilities in one or two narrowly-defined areas, and an inability to function outside of them. Focusing only on versatility leads to a character who can do many things, but not particularly shine at any of them. I would love for people to be able to develop both; become able to do more things, while also getting better at the things they already can do, a pattern that as I've said I believe mimics natural growth and development.

In fact, if you don't like the term "specialization", you can think of it as "development", the gradual improvement of existing abilities through focused study or practice, while simultaneously learning new ones. I mainly disliked the fact that the majority of talents are exactly as powerful at level 10 as they are at level 1. To me, it seems that someone with an ability is likely to try and improve that ability, a fact that isn't reflected in the current design for most talents (with a few exceptions of course).

With my system, a person can gradually improve their (for instance) Teleport ability over the levels, getting more uses per day or a longer range, while at the same time becoming more versatile with the extra utility talents they get as they level up. A character with Freaky Knowledge in the history of a particular town might read more about it and become even more knowledgeable. A character with Ponykinesis might work to develop its strength over time so that they can consistently lift a higher weight or manipulate a greater number of objects. Compare Twilight in The Cutie Mark Chronicles, struggling to turn a single page, with her abilities later on where she can hold multiple heavier objects at once with no effort. At the same time, she learns new abilities like the ability to confer wings or find gems. It's that kind of multi-faceted growth that I'd like the level-up system to reflect.
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Philadelphus on Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:40 am

Changelog:
– Cost of additional training from I've Read A Lot About It decreased to keep step with its new improved effectiveness.
– Added a new Unique option to Create Crazy Contraption to increase the side length restriction based on character level.
– The Rainbow Dash added.
– Flight talents added, though there isn't much for them. Flying Ace now mimics Longrunner.
– Can't Hide From Me's!'s Unique option reduced in price slightly.
– Two of Haste's costs that were mistakenly too low by one point have been corrected.
– Jinx! reworded so as not to be quite so potentially game-breaking as it was formerly written: before, it would allow the jinxing player's party complete immunity to its effects, which could be wildly, crazy useful in the right situations. Now, although party members still no longer automatically crit-fail, they take a -10 penalty to all rolls attempted while jinxed.
– Amphibious Travel changed from Stackable to Unique with a fixed bonus.
– Clarified Arcane Lock and Eternal Flame slightly.
– MacGyver's Unique changed from exploitable "no cost" to "one-tenth cost" instead of the basic one-fifth.
– True Sight was mistakenly missing an option for additional uses per day. This has been remedied.
– Nearly all the options for adding 1d4 to your roll have had their prices reduced by a third, after further consideration of how much they cost compared to the expected outcome. This way, you'll have a 25% chance of getting less than an equivalent cost's worth of bonus (1), 25% chance of getting what you paid for (2), and 50% of getting more than you paid for (3 & 4). If you don't follow all that, don't worry – the important thing is that you're getting more bang for you buck, on average.
– Fixed a few cases of deviant formatting.

_________________
Links to all the official sourcebooks in one place.
Optional Talent Specialization for your characters.
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:02 am

Good to know you've been noticed flaws as well as adding new stuff.
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Re: Talent Specialization

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:11 pm

Wonder how the new changes will effect this.
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Re: Talent Specialization

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