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Thread: Expertise for Interaction Skills

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    Keeper of Secrets Squirrelly-sama's Avatar
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    Expertise for Interaction Skills

    I was wondering if this was a balanced idea or not, but rather than using the normal interaction skills such as Deception, Intimidation, and Persuasion if a PC could just substitute their Expertise skill if it's relevant to give it more use. Expertise Crime letting you be better at bluffing or intimidating most thugs or Expertise Business being what you use to convince the Megacorp CEO that you're just a normal worker and not sneaking around for an investigation, or Expertise Gaming to make a good impression on the D.Va expy. Would this be balanced on it's own, should it need it's own advantage or can it simply be combined with Favored Foe? What are you're opinions?

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    Hierophant FuzzyBoots's Avatar
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    Re: Expertise for Interaction Skills

    I am a firm believer that Expertise can be substituted in for any skill related to one's area of expertise, although you always need to watch out for people who pick Expertise (superhero) and expect it to apply to all of their interactions.
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    Keeper of Secrets luketheduke86's Avatar
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    Re: Expertise for Interaction Skills

    Makes sense to me, maybe using your Presence score instead of Intelligence for the check. I'd say having the right Expertise skills should at minimum give a circumstance bonus to those other skills.

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    Re: Expertise for Interaction Skills

    I'd definitely think twice before allowing someone to substitute Int for the Presence in an interaction; its already undervalue as it is.

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    Keeper of Secrets Onion Bubs's Avatar
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    Re: Expertise for Interaction Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkdreamer View Post
    I'd definitely think twice before allowing someone to substitute Int for the Presence in an interaction; its already undervalue as it is.
    If that's a reply to luketheduke, I think he was suggesting the other way around: using Expertise in place of an interaction skill being Presence-based instead of the Expertise's usual Intellect-based.
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    Re: Expertise for Interaction Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by Onion Bubs View Post
    If that's a reply to luketheduke, I think he was suggesting the other way around: using Expertise in place of an interaction skill being Presence-based instead of the Expertise's usual Intellect-based.
    It was a general caveat; I'm not sure there's any great virtue in subbing in Expertise for one of the interactions, but letting it be done using the native attribute is definitely a bad idea.

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    Keeper of Secrets Squirrelly-sama's Avatar
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    Re: Expertise for Interaction Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkdreamer View Post
    It was a general caveat; I'm not sure there's any great virtue in subbing in Expertise for one of the interactions, but letting it be done using the native attribute is definitely a bad idea.
    But Intellect is generally as screwed over, if not more so, than presence. Presence is objectively over priced in what skills it affects but Intellect actually has no mechanical benefit unless you actually pay for the skills that it uses or have Jack of All Trades. Generally I often see people with higher Presence than intelligence except in the rare cases where the skill monkey pays out to actually make their smarts useful. You're already substituting an already almost useless skill that would under most circumstances be a waste of points to fill a specific niche I don't think it needs to be hammered down any more than that for those who like to consolidate their skills into abilities.

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    Re: Expertise for Interaction Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelly-sama View Post
    But Intellect is generally as screwed over, if not more so, than presence. Presence is objectively over priced in what skills it affects but Intellect actually has no mechanical benefit unless you actually pay for the skills that it uses or have Jack of All Trades. Generally I often see people with higher Presence than intelligence except in the rare cases where the skill monkey pays out to actually make their smarts useful. You're already substituting an already almost useless skill that would under most circumstances be a waste of points to fill a specific niche I don't think it needs to be hammered down any more than that for those who like to consolidate their skills into abilities.
    But see, I don't see that in the same class, because frankly, buying the base skill or the Advantage is cheap. Its easy to get value out of Intellect; its hard to get it out of Presence. Its not valuable for all characters, but that's probably true of every attribute but Stamina and Awareness.

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    Keeper of Secrets luketheduke86's Avatar
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    Re: Expertise for Interaction Skills

    Honestly, I'm all for using different abilities for each different function of a skill. Intellect for Technology when inventing something new, Dexterity Technology for disabling a device, etc.

    But yea, unfortunately Presence, Intellect, and Dexterity are only really worth their cost in a few cases.

  10. #10
    Keeper of Secrets Squirrelly-sama's Avatar
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    Re: Expertise for Interaction Skills

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkdreamer View Post
    But see, I don't see that in the same class, because frankly, buying the base skill or the Advantage is cheap. Its easy to get value out of Intellect; its hard to get it out of Presence. Its not valuable for all characters, but that's probably true of every attribute but Stamina and Awareness.
    Intellect has all 3 skills locked behind a paywall. Without any additional investment you basically don't get what you're buying ranks of abilities in. You need either Jack of All Trades plus Eidetic Memory or to spend points in each of the other skills to make use of them. Each of these skills are also radically different from each other with little thematic overlap for characters to take advantage of more than one unless their job trade is Skill Monkey from the start. In terms of investment you need to spend at least an additional 2 points (equivalent to the spending loss of 4 ranks of Presence) just to make Intellect give as much benefit as it's ability costs you. On top of that Treatment is mostly pointless in the face of Healing, Investigation requires some additional Advantage to be able to be used in a quick and timely manner, none of these skills has any combative ability. Likewise one of the Advantages, Well Informed, that helps out one of the Intellect skills can be used with Persuasion.

    Presence has no barrier for entry, it's various skills are generally useful for most characters and can all be used to achieve related but different effects. Hiding one's intentions, lowering enemies Moral and forcing compliance, and gathering allies or using diplomacy. If one used a presence based expertise, like Performance which is somewhat common when combined with Fascinate, there's no point in not investing in the Ability. Many houserule special benefits for buying presence and others use base presence to determine starting disposition while Intellect doesn't have such attempts to steer people into putting unused points into it's ability.

    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 or as a means of paying some sort of Concept Tax to show they aren't just optimizing their build. Switching the base ability only serves to penalize players who consolidated their abilities rather than spread out their skills or just wanted to show their character was naturally intelligent at a glance rather than having to read all the skills. Likewise it more often then not just increases the roll total since more people invest a few points in Presence than they do Intellect after buying their core set up.

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