Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  kajisora on Wed May 22, 2013 5:55 pm

Wouldn't it be easier to add a small skill bonus sayy... once every 2 or 3 levels?
Much like gaining more utilities and traits as you level up, you could give players 2 attribute points every few levels, to be spent freely.

If something slightly more complicated is called for, give them a choice at those levels: upgrade a trained attribute by 3, or get 2 points and spend them however you like.

I kinda like the points system as it is now, but I prefer to think of my characters' skills in terms of their utility talents anyway....
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Hayatecooper on Wed May 22, 2013 6:21 pm

And this is why I think that adding in The Talent Spec document, or something akin to it would be easier then messing around with upgrading peoples stats. As Kaji, and I'm sure a lot of others do Utility powers end up as being the bases for the characters strength more then the stats(I mean if you have 20 stealth that's great the person with 15 stealth and Stealth mode is going to own you every time.

As for the increases to skills and attributes? Eh... it's going to be finicky to balance, and it's going to encourage people to character create a certain way(No matter if it's done Z2s way or Ramus's way or whoevers). I feel going down the route of "Here have more numbers lol" is going to lead more people on focusing on that then the cool creative things they are focusing on now.

"But Hayate!" I hear you cry. "You've made characters based purely on numerical numbers right? Like your air mage which uses Freaky Knowledge more then it should and is kinda creative."

And your right, I do. But notice something in there? Freaky Knowledge. I'm having to sit down and work out exactly:
A. What I want to give my bonus's too, it's not just a blunt here have some power don't you feel like a special snowflake?

B. What I'm having to give up in exchange.

For example, with my air mage I wanted him to be a Pegasus but I needed It's Witchcraft(Yes I'm still calling it that) and Magical tricks so I had to drop almost all flying talents. This is massively going to change the type of character I'm making, who he is what he does and what not, this is going to be reinforced by my decision on what UT's or combat traits I take on later levels. Giving him a flat +2 bonus on level 2? It's not growing my character, it's not really doing anything apart from giving me another number which is boring.

TL:Dr Flat bonus are boring, (And even the developers have admitted they are essentially pointless and not much more then window decoration.)

"I was just about to point this out. The purpose is less about making the players stronger, but rather make them feel stronger..." - Paper Shadow(Who I respect a lot)

Utilities are exciting. I vote for a more interesting path then flat bonuses if we're going to make players feel stronger.



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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Z2 on Wed May 22, 2013 6:26 pm

I acknowledge that making them feel stronger is the point of this. Shallow as it might be, I approve of that factor; hence why I'm stressing making them stronger in the ways they are already strong, thereby NOT changing the actual skillsets.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Wed May 22, 2013 6:33 pm

Presentation is indeed important. So basically, before we consider additional changes, we want to figure out whether it feels better to present the skill improvements as it currently is (the DM invisibly lowering DCs behind the screen) or to make it more visible by having players include it in their character sheets and DMs raising DCs to match.

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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Hayatecooper on Wed May 22, 2013 6:39 pm

Dms lowering it has my votes. It's easy to do, it should be done in a way that will make a visible impact on the players, and it requires less messing around, keep with what we have when it comes to skills, we know it works.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Z2 on Wed May 22, 2013 6:44 pm

As a general rule, 'invisible' or other things usually used to minimize presence are not very good presentation... And I'm all for putting more in the hands of the players, over the DMs.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Ramsus on Wed May 22, 2013 6:54 pm

Z2 wrote:Also, you may have covered this before, but I apparently didn't see it: WHY is specialization where one character heals, one lifts, one stealths, one plays lookout, etc. BAD for a game where the entire levelling up system is based upon teamwork? I'd think jack-of-trades would be DIScouraged (not that I want that.)
Ok. Basically it's because this system isn't designed to function that way. It's build so that characters should grow horizontally, not vertically.

The stats and skills are linked so that you don't have the freedom to just choose whichever skills you're good at that you like. This means the larger the skill gaps are, the harder it is to functionally play certain concepts as you just can't be even decent at things your concept should in theory be good at. Additionally, the number ranges are also already very extreme with the minimum of 3 to maximum of 20 (at level 1, without even counting Utilities). The farther the gap widens, the less the d20 you're rolling matters and the more and more impossible it is for non-specialists to be able to do anything at all. Which is a problem when you need to make a Persuasion check (for example) and nobody in the party specialized in it, which would result in the DC being so high nobody would have a decent chance to pass it, even if they were good at that stat. Which means you're actually punishing people for choosing to have smaller party size games.

There's nothing to actually gain by allowing the DCs for "hard" (not very hard, extremely hard, or nigh impossible, just regular hard) tasks to reach things like 50. You're just making bigger numbers to do so. And this most certainly completely invalidates the choice for a character to be a generalist (which shouldn't be invalidated because the system isn't about "I'm good at this one thing" it's "these are the things I can do").

As it stands, the system currently allows characters to be good at multiple things and not terrible at others. Your suggestion would eliminate that (or rather force everyone who wants to be good at more than just a couple things to spend utilities to get training to simply stay at having an average chance of succeeding, which actually works out worse than just telling people they can't try to do so because they end up having fewer utilities which are generally the more interesting things a character can do and we already get too few of those for my tastes).

There are plenty of systems out there that are built upon the principle of specializing being the thing to do, and most of those involve getting diminishing returns for pushing yourself farther into specialization. However, this system isn't one of them. It's very well build to support horizontal growth rather than vertical growth, and that's kind of a rare thing. Things that focus on specialization (such as the 4+ utility talent skill trees or things that give flat bonuses to skills or common skill uses) actually undermine the system's strength, and in doing so result in a system that has less reason to be used over one that's actually designed to support vertical growth.

This is why I favor things like Talent Specialization over creating more Utilities to specialize in something (though I still dislike the options in TS that just add flat +X bonuses to skill checks). It's a side thing that lets you specialize without damaging the value of generalizing or requiring you to sacrificing your ability to do grow in other directions as well. Just look at the concept of Utilities (also Boons and Destinies). Most of them grant some new thing you can do. Since you only get a limited amount of them, the more you spend on doing just one thing, the less interesting your character is. Yes, having the character who is really good at one thing is fine and having the character who is generally good at all tasks is a good option to have too. But, more than anything, being able to do more things is what is special about this system. If you want a system for having larger numbers in only a few things being what's important, you'd be a lot better off playing a White Wolf system or Shadowrun. Or heck, Dungeons & Dragons.

Additionally, the less the actual d20 you roll matters, the more and more absurd it is that you always have a 5% chance to auto-fail and a 5% chance to auto-succeed. With a +50 bonus a master shipbuilder would still end up with 1 in 20 ships they build being a completely salvageable wreck and on the other side of the coin a 5 year old rock farmer would 1 in every 20 times they tried manage to cast a time travel spell. While this is still silly no matter what the numbers are, it's a lot worse when there's no chance for failure/success outside that 1 in 20 chance. As you'll note, a lot of systems that focus on specialization don't have auto-fail and auto-successes for this very reason.
Edit: While I realize that technically a d20 is not an "auto-success" in this system, it is treated as one and is only not done so in cases where auto-success would involve doing things that are impossible for anyone to do, not so much things that should be impossible for you to do.

Edit 2: Also, for another point for why the increase should stay invisible, this means you'd have to change the explanation for the suggested DCs. Because instead of "X is a hard task" you have "X is a hard task at level 1 and Y is a hard task at level 4 and Z is a hard task at level 7, etc."
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Z2 on Wed May 22, 2013 7:33 pm

I find it somehow deeply puzzling that being better at a specific skill can somehow make your character 'less interesting.' Aside from this game's declaration of "FLAVOR EVERYTHING" theoretically invalidating the competence/characterization connections; I can't think of anything LESS interesting than a character who is just 'kind of good at everything' rather than being passionate enough to commit.

I don't see how the DC explanation would need significant changing either, instead of "randomly say your thing is DC 40 if you want it to be 'hard'", it becomes more a matter of "DC 40 ~is~ hard, but at level 10, even hard things are easily in reach of your characters' competence."

Personally, I don't think specialization cuts down on the options for your actions in any significant way: I value it a lot more for a player to come up with some clever way for their streetwise to get them out of a dangerous situation, rather than just going for the obvious athletics because "they have that, too."

Ignoring the 'because that isn't how THIS game is supposed to go' aspect of your argument for why the specialization is a bad thing, a fair chunk of your post seems more effective at advocating FOR getting rid of critical failures far more than AGAINST anything I've said.

And ignoring, once again, ALL the nonsense where we argue our respective positions:
Proportional, and possibly even percentage based if you're feeling really boring, raw skill increases on level up provide no specialization that does not already exist: It merely maintains the characters build as it scales up. If you just want to object to ANY sort of skill increase as suggested by this thread based upon just not liking improvement, go ahead... But scaling so that specialists aren't PUNISHED should not be seen as such anathema. Nobody is trying to keep you from your 'grab bag of utility talents' method of "horizontal" character levelling.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  ZamuelNow on Thu May 23, 2013 4:43 pm

Perspective and preferences probably account for a lot. There's valid argument of trying to support both generalist and specialist styles of play. I personally would rather have level up bonuses handled on the player side than the GM side since it feels like you have more control, even if the result winds up the same. It struck me as odd when first reading the player's guide that there's no form of stat boosts over time.

One idea I like that was presented in the thread was a stacking X/day +2 boost that's based on level since it shows progress as you level and allows flexibility while still preserving your original build concept. Seems a fair bit more interesting than the passive flat boost idea.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Hayatecooper on Thu May 23, 2013 6:56 pm

To be honest I see it working best for a well rounded jack of all trades type, if your getting +2 to EVERYTHING EVER you may as well build a character that is going to mass benefit from upgrades to all of it's skills not just the one.

The Biggest problem I have with this though is, it's really just another thing we have to pay attention to, flat bonuses are always dull and kinda uncreative(No offense, but you've done better works I point you to the new boons and combat traits doc). I mean, look at the system we have. We have Destinies, Boons, Utility talents, combat traits mostly cool new stuff(Or cool re-flavours of old stuff) that are interesting and enjoyable to mess around with.

It makes the system fun to play, unique, easy to flavour which leads me to the plus 2.

Is it easy to flavor? I guess.
Does it allow players to take control of there characters strength a little bit more? Not really... (I mean come on, DM's don't care if you have a skill bonus of +40 or +10 if they really desperately want you to succeed on a task, except in the case of crit-failing, you will, if they don't, you won't it's that simple)

Giving the players +2 to skills as a way of "Giving more control" to players is a silly notion all it's going to mean is that DMs spend more time Adjusting and working out new DCs every level instead of being able to set down a patten at level 1.

I get why people want it, I get players want to be able to SEE the DCs as of them getting stronger. But honestly they should be able to do that anyway, especially in an area of repetitive tasks. For example, in The Shadow Walkers game I have a teleporter that can make a pony sick if they go through it(So endurance check) the players noticed they were getting better as they needed to roll 20 to not be sick the first time, and only 15 a second time meaning more of them got through with lower results.

Again, I'd much prefer a more interesting and exciting way of dealing with allowing players to feel like they got stronger. Again I point to Talent Spec doc, or I guess if you really feel the need for number boosts the X/day +2 thing that was being brandied about.

EDIT 1: Actually you know what would be cool? 1 extra FK on level up. That way you can still pick if you want a specific or broader playstyle, you can flavor your extra points more easily and your using pre-existing object so you have to design less, plus people are so used to seeing FK running around that they are barely going to notice the change.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  AProcrastinatingWriter on Thu May 23, 2013 9:15 pm

I would like it if (presuming we keep the current affairs regarding making stuff easier behind the scenes as your party levels up because, hey, they've gotten better) if some notation could be made as to how much each DC should be lessened by per level above one.

Like, 5? 2? 8? 17? What are we doing here?

I mean, that's the best contribution I can offer here, sorry. I'm not great with math and I don't know game design theory. I just know that as a DM it's more vague than necessary what we should be doing currently, and I'm uncertain if I'm doing the right thing in my game(potential s on the end of that word in the future).
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  kajisora on Fri May 24, 2013 12:37 pm

Hayatecooper wrote:
EDIT 1: Actually you know what would be cool? 1 extra FK on level up. That way you can still pick if you want a specific or broader playstyle, you can flavor your extra points more easily and your using pre-existing object so you have to design less, plus people are so used to seeing FK running around that they are barely going to notice the change.
I like FK, but one per level seems like a bit much to me....

As for plain stat increases... I think it would be nice to have some points to allocate towards different skills, for character growth if nothing else.
I would assume that at the moment, the DC decreases are more or less the same for each stat on every character.
Let's say I make a character with high physical attributes, but low knowledge, we'll call him Dust.
Dust wants to be an explorer, Daring Do style, and spent his whole life training for that (explaining the high physical stats). Thing is, Dust doesn't know the first thing about history, having focused so much on the survival aspect of exploring that he forgot all about learning history... this is reflected in his low knowledge.
As he explores more tombs, reads a few books, etc, I would expect Dust to gain more of the knowledge he's been lacking. Or to be an idiot and just keep powering through priceless murals, getting better at that. At the same time, since Dust is going to spend a lot of time alone or with a small party, digging through catacombs and whatnot, I would expect his... rather unimpressive social skills to remain at about the same level.

It would be kind of nice to reflect that in his stats. Sure, I could do that with FK or other utilities, giving him knowledge in "tomb robbing"/"artifact destruction" (or "history", if I feel like being cheap), but that means that I have to take a utility every time I want to have a character decide to wise up to his or her faults. Or to specialise even futher, depends on the character and the situation.
You don't need huge bonuses like 10 points per level to achieve this though: there is a big difference between having 5, 7 or 9 in an attribute, and something like another 8 points across 10 levels is more than enough for that.

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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  ZamuelNow on Sat May 25, 2013 1:35 am

...and I pretty much agree with kajisora's reasoning of some sort of progression making sense with the examples given.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  thematthew on Sat May 25, 2013 2:05 am

I don't see why we need skills to go up during leveling at all. The reason for this is that neither option really is appealing.

Look at it this way: if your skills all go up over the levels, it's just playing the "bigger numbers mean you're having more fun" game, whereas if your skills don't all go up (or if the skills don't all go up at the same rate) you could easily end up with people being on the opposite ends of the RNG at higher levels and end up with a situation where one character can't succeed on a skill check that another character in the same party can't really fail. This wouldn't be a problem if it weren't possible to have this on a skill like endurance, where you failing could get you injured or killed, and thus take away other skills that the party needs.

All in all, it just seems to be needless extra rules that detract from the game, rather than add to it.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  sunbeam on Sun May 26, 2013 3:46 pm

Another problem with small uniform scaling skill bonuses: It requires ANOTHER complete overhaul of magecraft, since now every would get an extra +10/+20 to arcana checks by level 10.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Philadelphus on Mon May 27, 2013 5:52 am

Well, seeing as I'm the one who originally requested this thread I should probably say something in it, no?

My thoughts: if it's a choice between simply adding +X to each Attribute or the current system, I would vote for the system as it stands now.

As to why I feel that way I can only say that simply adding a fixed amount to every attribute upon leveling feels, frankly, boring. There's no thought that goes into the process. It basically comes down to upping the numbers on the players' side, or decreasing the DCs on the GM side, and the second option seems easier to implement and less prone to scribal errors (fewer people making changes and fewer numbers to change).

When I first heard the idea of "attribute increases with leveling" I thought it meant something involving choice: getting an Attribute point each level, or a couple of Skill points. I would find that interesting, because it forces you to prioritize what you want to improve.

Of course, such a scheme would probably be open to min-maxing. While some degree of specialization is unavoidable (and good, in my opinion), you don't really want a character with 20+ in one atribute and 5 or 3 in another. Looking over the ideas in this thread, I found Xel's idea of gaining daily boosts to skill checks interesting. It's almost the same as one of the uses of Talent Points in my talent specialization system, and one which has turned out to be incredibly useful. The ability to add some amount to an arbitrary skill check without having to use a Magic Point (potentially several times a day) is really quite handy, and it lets players play either specialized or generally as the need arises or the mood takes them.

Of course, multiple ideas could always be combined. Since there are nine level-ups on the way to level 10, you could perhaps interweave three sets of three different improvements, much the way that utility talents, boons, and destinies work now. So just as a hypothetical example:

Level 2: +1 to all Attributes
Level 3: Daily +5 to a single skill check
Level 4: 1 Attribute Point
Level 5: +2 to all Attributes
Level 6: Additional daily use of +5 to skill check
Level 7: 2 Attribute Points
Level 8: +3 to all Attributes
Level 9: Additional use of +5 to skill check (or possibly +10)
Level 10: 3 Attribute Points

This is just a rough idea off the top of my head, is nowhere near balanced, and could be quite different – perhaps an additional training instead of Attribute Points, or a number of Skill Points. I know this system tries to keep things simple, and in principle this is no more complicated than the level up process as it stands (which I don't think is complicated to begin with). And it'd be a lot more interesting. I enjoy leveling up for the number of new options that it provides, and would love to have even more.

Anyway, just my 2¢.

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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Ramsus on Mon May 27, 2013 6:27 am

Well that's a neat custom level up chart. I think that's a thing we need to keep in mind. What we're looking for is what works best for the most amount of people in the fairest way. It's very easy right now for people to modify the current level up process. It's harder to modify a more complicated leveling scheme and retain the intended balance point. (Of the GM I mean, not the system.)

The extra training idea isn't bad (because unlike other suggestions doesn't broaden the min/max skill gap) , though that begs the question of what we give people who already have training in every skill. I'm sure that question could have a few hundred different answers and honestly basically leads us straight back to "ok, we should just use Talent Specialization then because it provides everything we can all agree we want for this".

So, really, my suggestion would be for people to try to feel they should be more open to customizing their games, rather than modify the base system. My own game on the forum uses a heavily modified leveling chart (that even customizes the TS system). And I've certainly seen a few other games with their own custom stuff. That said, people should keep in mind that the base system is usually set up in a certain way for a reason. (Imo adding stat/skill points is a lot more problematic than suggestions like giving bonus FK or such.)

One thing I'd like to point out is that the largest downfall of the ideas people suggested here is their lack of moderation. Granting stat or skill points every level is pretty much always going to be changing the end result so far from the start that it will create problems. Adding a small bonus every three or so levels won't make a huge major change but, will feel like growth. It's pretty easy to implement and actually better left off as a GMs personal decision than the system's decision.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon May 27, 2013 6:34 am

Absolutely. The core system exists to give an elegant and accessible core experience for players. It balances things very carefully with as little complexity as possible for maximum depth. However, in my own games too I constantly open up new options for the players that swing things around entirely. My own campaigns have managed to earn level 10 gold when they were level 4, find unique traits boons they can activate a limited number of times each day, have their attributes modified, uncovered artifacts of ridiculous power and a whole lot more.

The core system is meant to be as accessible as possible. Independent GMs can do whatever they like with it, so long as they feel comfortable molding adventures and challenges to their home creations.


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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Xel Unknown on Mon May 27, 2013 8:04 am

Philadelphus wrote:Level 2: +1 to all Attributes
Level 3: Daily +5 to a single skill check
Level 4: 1 Attribute Point
Level 5: +2 to all Attributes
Level 6: Additional daily use of +5 to skill check
Level 7: 2 Attribute Points
Level 8: +3 to all Attributes
Level 9: Additional use of +5 to skill check (or possibly +10)
Level 10: 3 Attribute Points
Oh boy... At first glace I really liked this... But then I realized it eventually gave at level ten gave you +6 to all stats, +6 Attribute Points, and gives you an extra 3/day +5 to skill checks (or 2/day +5 and 1/day +10, this second one sounds kinda cooler) to a any skill check... Kinda still crazy... And doesn't work for anybody who wants to work with being a Jack of all Trades type of build.

Maybe it'd be better as the following:

Level 2: +1 to all Attributes
Level 3: Daily +5 to a single skill check
Level 4: 1 Attribute Point
Level 5: +1 to all Attributes
Level 6: Additional daily use of +5 to skill check
Level 7: 1 Attribute Points
Level 8: +2 to all Attributes
Level 9: Daily +10 to a single skill check
Level 10: 2 Attribute Points

While not as fancy as your suggestion, this type of level up system allows anyone with like training in all stats at level one to to still be able to have all stats be the same at level ten. Again not perfect for such builds, cause inbetween such levels, they will have some stats be not the same, but at least it'll be better off for the non-specialists type builds I think... Maybe... Just to put it out there.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Z2 on Mon May 27, 2013 8:16 am

Philadelphus wrote:Level 2: +1 to all Attributes
Level 3: Daily +5 to a single skill check
Level 4: 1 Attribute Point
Level 5: +2 to all Attributes
Level 6: Additional daily use of +5 to skill check
Level 7: 2 Attribute Points
Level 8: +3 to all Attributes
Level 9: Additional use of +5 to skill check (or possibly +10)
Level 10: 3 Attribute Points

Okay, I think we're getting close here, but I think there's ooooone more option we need:

Level 2: +1 to all Attributes
Level 3: Daily +5 to a single skill check
Level 4: 1 Attribute Point
Level 5: +2 to all Attributes
Level 6: Gain an additional +3 in all trained skills, and an additional +1 to untrained skills if you have Applejack of all Trades.
Level 7: 2 Attribute Points
Level 8: +3 to all Attributes
Level 9: Additional use of +5 to skill check (or possibly +10)
Level 10: 3 Attribute Points

Level 6 being the midpoint of this particular chart, it seems appropriate to give it the more unique effect... and importantly: training and AJoaT do not find themselves rendered completely pointless by basic attribute increase (I'd consider also having a cutie mark's +5 double, but I think the access to super-critical successes makes the downgrade to the CM's secondary +5 giving purpose less important)...
Allowing the Attribute points to be spent increasing stats beyond their usual level (as I assume is the intent) this allows for improvement for all build styles.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Xel Unknown on Mon May 27, 2013 8:28 am

Another major factoid is how these bonus Attribute Points work with the Attribute Point limit of 10 or 12 with overachiever?

While I'm fine with them maybe braking this limit, but um yeah... It'd need a note staying that they can or something if we officatie such a level up table. Or make special build-able level up tables...

In fact, yes, I totally think an optional buildable level up table might be the smartest idea for everyone. Where those who can work with the DC lowering thing just stay with that.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon May 27, 2013 8:36 am

Yeah, DMs can use whatever homebrew tweaks they like.

I do find it interesting that there's two running reactions in this thread.


1) No, we don't want a flat skill bonus to everything as a way of making the current system more visible to players - because that would indeed be added complexity and people might make leveling-up mistakes. Let's keep things smooth.

2) A flat bonus? No, but let's toss on tons of extra stuff to keep track of as well. +2 to all skills here, extra training there, increase your stuff if you have jack of all trades here...


Since it's always easier to add some extra goodies to a core system than it is to strip them away for simplicity, we're probably going to stick with the current system.

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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Z2 on Mon May 27, 2013 9:34 am

Nopony wants the flat bonus because the skills and there progression isn't normalized to begin with: players specialize, and don't really benefit from having one of their skills very high if EVERY attribute is going to gain an amount in ALL skills equal to or surpassing the best of what they could do with their preferred skill... I don't think "adding two to a set group of numbers is too hard for me" is an issue for any of us.

Also, I know you have trouble with anything complex in general; but the versions suggested by Phil, Xel, and myself really aren't very complex: Just say something in the handbook like; "Level 2, one utility talent, one trait, and a +1 to all attributes..." It is a terribly minor thing to keep up with...
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  kajisora on Mon May 27, 2013 12:08 pm

Honestly, I'd still prefer the "get x points at levels y-z and spend as you wish".
Flat bonuses across the board don't have much appeal to me above the current system, as there's no option there for developing the character. I wouldn't mind having them, but I'd prefer some points to spend as well.
So, pretty much what Phil said xd

As for complexity... as long as we keep the attribute point gains stable (i.e. no walls of text/formulae like "add 1.2xyour brawn to your endurance, assuming you don't have training in Persuasion, in which case, blargh"), I don't think we have to worry much. Complex and complicated are not synonyms. Sure, if we have too many things to do on levelup, stuff will become messy, but I don't think we've reached that point by any stretch.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon May 27, 2013 3:08 pm

Adding specialization bonuses to the level-up process already has a lot of issues that Ramsus outlined in some previous posts. It also doesn't do much for characters mechanically or flavor-wise when a few numbers just go up. The reason we considered adding the flat bonus that already happens onto the character sheet side was to see if we could make a strictly-better presentation of the mechanics we already have. Adding more power to the characters is a completely different topic.

Naturally, players will always like getting one more toy to buff their character at level up. If we add in some specialization skill buff and then talk about another thing that could be added which would give players more power - that's going to feel attractive too. I remember in D&D 4e that I always wanted to play with Backgrounds and Themes in character creation - despite the fact that I never even read the flavor... It was just for the tiny bit of extra increase in power I'd get as a result. And those were mechanics *designed* for flavor. Having a specialized skill bonus on level up would definitely be a player buff, but it wouldn't actually *provide* much for players. If we want to give the idea that players are getting stronger overall, flat bonuses or the current system can accomplish that. But adding in a specialized bonus creates all the problems Ramsus mentions and particularly makes DC-setting for DMs a lot more difficult.

In short, while buffs to anything are almost always popular, this one is pretty unnecessary to begin with *and* it comes with a whole host of other problems.

So if you want to implement something like that for your home games - cool. The system is designed to be easy to tweak and add stuff to, so have fun! But for the *core* system, there doesn't seem to be much need for the added stuff to keep track of. If we absolutely wanted to open more skill-bonus specialization options, it'd be a lot easier to work it into new utility talents or destinies. Stuff already in the system that doesn't require players to keep track of extra things.

Oh, and happy memorial day everyone! sunny

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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

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