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Thread: Expertise for Interaction Skills

  1. #11
    Keeper of Secrets Bothrops's Avatar
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    Re: Expertise for Interaction Skills

    Agree with Darkdreamer here, I'd definitely think twice about allowing INT to invade PRE's domain as suggested.
    My own solution is simply granting circumstance bonuses to PRE-skills checks, based on the success-degrees of a matching Expertise check.
    For example, you try to intimidate some gang bangers: Make a DC 15 Expertise (streetwise or criminal) check. 1 degree of success grants a +2 circ bonus on the Intimidation check, 3 or more grant +5. Failure causes a penalty instead.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelly-sama
    Likewise people are vain, you very often see people with a couple ranks in Presence but just base intellect to show their character is cool
    While that's not untrue, it also counts somewhat for INT: People want their hero not only to be cool, but also smart... Further, I think this isn't just vanity: Superheroes & -villains alike tend to be strong, larger than life personalities, so above-average PRE is IMHO justified for the genre.
    And finally, about the utility of INT: Builds with high INT scores ARE typically skillmonkeys or super-geniuses, and these almost always possess Jack-of-all-Trades, Beginner's Luck or Eidetic Memory.

  2. #12
    Hierophant FuzzyBoots's Avatar
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    Re: Expertise for Interaction Skills

    Hmm... I was figuring largely on the idea of using that Expertise skill with other attributes. So someone with Expertise (Video Games) would us INT for trivia, DEX for playing something involving quick reflexes, PRE for bluffing their way past the door-guard at a convention by convincing them they know John Romero by citing details of his life, etc.
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  3. #13
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    Re: Expertise for Interaction Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelly-sama View Post
    Intellect has all 3 skills locked behind a paywall.
    Expertise categories are normally also Int based. And there can easily be multiples of those on one character, including whole classes that will want at least two of the others (Investigate and Technology). As such its quite easy for an Intellect based character to buy a couple ranks of as many as six skills and then make up the rest with Intellect.

    While some Presence based Expertise' exist, they tend to have far less game application than the Int ones (which are mostly what are called knowledges in other game systems and have all kinds of applications in any number of investigative actions).
    Last edited by Darkdreamer; Yesterday at 03:25 PM.

  4. #14
    Keeper of Secrets Squirrelly-sama's Avatar
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    Re: Expertise for Interaction Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by Bothrops View Post
    Agree with Darkdreamer here, I'd definitely think twice about allowing INT to invade PRE's domain as suggested.
    The thing is that Presence already steals from Intellect, Connected allows a character to call in a favor with the example being things like legal advice, using Persuasion as the skill check needed. Similarly Well Informed can also be passed with a Persuasion check.

    Also using separate abilities as the base means that you get lots of oddities coming from when there's large gaps between them. Like say Dr.Braino wants to convince the guard he works for Evil Labs Inc. when found wandering. Since Dr. Braino already has 12 ranks in Intelligence he only bothered with 2 ranks of Expertise: Robotics. He doesn't have any ranks in presence even though he has some ranks in Deception and/or persuasion if he ever needs to lie in most situations. In the end this means that the difference between using a bonus 14 or a bonus of 2 (even though his normal deception is +4) is the fact that he didn't purchase all his ranks of intelligence as just skills.

    For another example Disk Jockey, having no Int has taken 10 ranks in Expertise: Music to show he's knowledgeable in his career path. However because the he's also supposed to be a celebrity he was given 4 ranks of Presence, even if he wasn't really given presence based skills besides maybe Persuasion or Expertise Performance based on Presence. Now he's wanting to demoralize a music themed villain by proving he's the better at music trivia, now instead of his default 4 ranks of Intimidation or 10 ranks of knowledge about music in general he has a bonus of +14. Even worse if you get something like a Hero with something like 12 Agility, a lot of ranks of Expertise Dance based on Intellect who then has to compete in a dance competition and then argues using their Agility bonus instead because of what happened with Dr. Braino.

    You're purchasing Expertise based on how much you've bought into into the prerequisite stat it's based on rather than on every other ability in the off chance you need to use it with some ability you're bad at or much better at. If you're low in the prerequisite stat you're buying up more ranks of it because you want your expertise to be at a certain rank, not because you want this exact bonus on any roll variable roll. You got Expertise 8 in a subject, not +4 to any rolls with any number of abilities to anything regarding this subject.

    All the other skills that have crossover don't have you switching the ability it uses it. You don't use Awareness with your Sneak bonus to determine if someone is following you it's either normal insight or sneak. Likewise you don't use Presence on your insight bonus to figure out if someone is lying to you, you use either Deception or your regular insight check. I don't see why it should be different if you're using expertise instead, it just makes things more convoluted and unfair because it can really make using you're expertise either pointless because you already have more ranks in the the presence based skill (even if it's a lower total bonus) or having to say no because it now grants too much of a bonus despite being the exact same type of situation. Then there's the semantics of how it's described, like "I'm just rattling off trivia why do I need to use my presence for that?" or "I attempt to dazzle the judges and earn more points by doing a song and dance number about the 50 state capitals."or "can I put my answer in the form of a rap battle?" It just seems like if you're going to be using Presence, or any other ability, instead of the original stat for the bonus the player would just want to describe the situation in a way that gives them their best abilities instead of they one they originally bought the expertise for, so any time they make an expertise check with another person involved they'll say it's an interaction instead. "It doesn't matter if I'm correct, I just need to convince this guy I'm correct!"
    Last edited by Squirrelly-sama; Yesterday at 04:15 PM.

  5. #15
    Keeper of Secrets Bothrops's Avatar
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    Re: Expertise for Interaction Skills

    Think of that:
    Someone buys INT 10 and Jack-of-all-Trades. This means the char has a base rating of 10 in EVERY possible Expertise skill. So rating 10 in the matching skill for every possible social situation, rendering the actual social skills (& PRE) completely obsolete.
    I'm not contesting the idea that Expertise could influence social rolls; yet I'm just arguing against having the latter replaced by the former altogether.

  6. #16
    Keeper of Secrets Squirrelly-sama's Avatar
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    Re: Expertise for Interaction Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by Bothrops View Post
    Think of that:
    Someone buys INT 10 and Jack-of-all-Trades. This means the char has a base rating of 10 in EVERY possible Expertise skill. So rating 10 in the matching skill for every possible social situation, rendering the actual social skills (& PRE) completely obsolete.
    I'm not contesting the idea that Expertise could influence social rolls; yet I'm just arguing against having the latter replaced by the former altogether.
    The opposite could be true, with 10 Presence. Instead of even using an intellect expertise skill when interacting with someone you just lie to or charm them. "I don't have to get the question right I just need to convince him that I did." or "I don't need to investigate the crime scene I just need to question all the witnesses of the murder mystery so that one slips up because of my charm". Expertise isn't only intellect based you know, and by switching up the Abilities it relates to it's even less so. So that Thief now can perform open heart surgery because he has tons of dex and JoAT despite never having medical training, and your Detective is answering his questions not by knowing the answer but by reading micro-expressions on the guy asking him, or your fighter now has the ability to perform any martial art style ever despite only ever being trained in one because he has high fighting. Basically it doesn't mater if they don't know anything about the subject, have never heard of it, and never were trained in it because you're swapping abilities they can still perform any function besides listing facts to something you can't deceive the expertise skill would entail just because you have Jack of All Trades, which sounds way more broken than one already underused ability taking the place of another underused ability.

    It is also a very specific issue that can simply just be resolved with "You need ranks in the specific expertise skill to do this."

  7. #17
    Hierophant FuzzyBoots's Avatar
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    Re: Expertise for Interaction Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelly-sama View Post
    The opposite could be true, with 10 Presence. Instead of even using an intellect expertise skill when interacting with someone you just lie to or charm them. "I don't have to get the question right I just need to convince him that I did." or "I don't need to investigate the crime scene I just need to question all the witnesses of the murder mystery so that one slips up because of my charm". Expertise isn't only intellect based you know, and by switching up the Abilities it relates to it's even less so. So that Thief now can perform open heart surgery because he has tons of dex and JoAT despite never having medical training, and your Detective is answering his questions not by knowing the answer but by reading micro-expressions on the guy asking him, or your fighter now has the ability to perform any martial art style ever despite only ever being trained in one because he has high fighting. Basically it doesn't mater if they don't know anything about the subject, have never heard of it, and never were trained in it because you're swapping abilities they can still perform any function besides listing facts to something you can't deceive the expertise skill would entail just because you have Jack of All Trades, which sounds way more broken than one already underused ability taking the place of another underused ability.
    ^_^ Ah, the Fake Expert feat from Mecha and Manga...

    You may have no idea what youíre doing, but other people donít need to know that. Choose two skills upon gaining this feat. You can make a Bluff check instead of using the chosen skill to fool fate itself that you know what youíre doing. For a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier, the check seems to work as intended (if successful); you plug the leak in the cooling pipes, you get the malfunctioning spaceship moving again, or you activate the ancient relic that only descendants of Lord Badass can use. Even if you fail, if your check beat the Sense Motive check of any onlooker, they are convinced that you tried your best but the problem was out of your ability. You donít actually achieve anything useful related to the skill youíre faking; the information you gain is not true, you only buy time to hopefully get out of the situation or for a real expert to solve the problem. Once the duration ends, the real situation reasserts itself, sometimes with calamitous consequences. This is more useful when applied to specialty and interaction skills. You cannot make a second fake expertise roll for the same task, whether you succeed or failóreality is on to you. Each additional rank allows you to choose two other skills to affect.
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