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Cross-Race skill buying

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:03 pm
by Jay Belarpin

This already exists in the game as an RP/faction reward. There will not be a change. However, please see Skill Caps.

Re: Cross-Race skill buying

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:11 am
by jazzman831
By my count, here are the exclusive racial skills available to base classes:
  1. Resist Magic (Dwarf): 4/buy, max 5
  2. Elven Dodge (Elf): 3/buy, max 4
  3. Gnomish Repair (Gnome): 6/buy, max 1
  4. Treebond (Leshy): 5/buy, max 3
  5. Leshy Tracking (Leshy): 1/buy, max 5
  6. Beserk (Orc): 4/buy, max 2
  7. Dermal Armor (Troll): 10/buy, max 2
My proposal is to allow a way to purchase these skills when you aren't playing a character of the appropriate race. I don't have the idea fully fleshed out, but I think the following should be true for whatever we choose:
  1. Since racial skills are supposed to be special and unique, it should cost more karma to buy across races. I would think a minimum of 2x, but as high as 5x or 10x. This might need to be adjusted per skill, since 2x for Leshy Tracking is still insanely cheap (cost for Tracking is 2 for Agents up to 5 for Fixer/Magician), but 10x for Dermal Armor is insanely expensive (that's 11 Dodge/Bullet Dodges for an Adept)
  2. The ability to mimic traits from another race should only come after a lot of experience and interaction with those races. As such, there should be a minimum Rad level to be able to buy cross-race skills, and possibly there should be a Rad cost (1:1 ratio with the karma cost?)
Lastly, given that Gnomish Repair is the exact same thing as Repair, but cheaper, it should probably be excluded from the list of skills available.



Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:10 am
by Jefferson Hendrix
Change Gnomish Repair to provides a 50% discount to the repair skill.

Re: Cross-Race skill buying

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:31 am
by jazzman831
Actually I thought about that as writing, but I figured it was out of scope. Making Gnomish Repair a feature instead of a skill really would make the most sense, though. Either 50% or keep it as "gnomes can buy Repair for 6 karma instead of the normal cost for their class." Then there's no practical rule change.

Re: Cross-Race skill buying

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:40 am
by Ander
I think this is a great idea! I love character ideas that go against the "usual" (you probably hadn't noticed) and this would be a perfect example. That being said, I absolutely think something like this should be difficult to obtain, and possibly limited to one per character. Perhaps a Rad purchasable/unlockable skill called "Mixed Heritage" or "Crossed Bloodlines" or "The Milkman was a Leshy" or something which allows picking one secondary core race from which you can purchase racial skills at an increased cost.

EDIT: I also think it should have a costuming component, requiring that you physrep your secondary racial characteristics (perhaps less prominently than that of a full character of that race).

Re: Cross-Race skill buying

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 9:31 am
by AnnalyseTaenarys
I was thinking it should be plot related also. For instance, Jeb could learn treebond or leaha tracking because he spends a great deal of time with Annalyse. However, he is not likely to spend time with Jeph to learn Gnomish Repair. Just my two cents, however feasible or not it may be.


Re: Cross-Race skill buying

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 9:47 am
by Jay Belarpin
PCs have plotted hard enough in the past to have cross race skills. We had a gnome with Bezerk, for example.

I like the idea of learning the talent from another or picking up a LeshTD and gaining treebond. However, I feel that it does make more sense from a story perspective to have it be an intrinsic trait and require costuming to match.

Re: Cross-Race skill buying

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:41 pm
by Swordguy
I actually feel it's unnecessary, mainly because, as you said, " racial skills are supposed to be special and unique". If everyone can buy them, then they aren't.

I will say I have an extremely low tolerance for "snowflake" characters who have to be unique and special, though (see also: D&D characters with six different "half-X" templates).

There's a bunch of specific fluff issues (Treebond is an outright magical racial ability, and IMO the ability of a completely unmagical and totally mundane Troll to shove into a tree because the player had extra karma bothers the hell out of me), but fluff can always be re-written and re-justified if you're determined enough.

With that said, paying Rads to "retcon" a "half-X" ancestry into your backstory is totally reasonable, as long as it's limited to ONE per character. 30-50 rads to unlock the ability to buy a single racial at, "8 karma+base ability cost" sounds about right (so no buying 6 Elven Dodges on your Troll Adept; you can buy ONE and be happy with it).

Re: Cross-Race skill buying

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:54 am
by jazzman831
So my original thought was to allow any number of cross-race skills, but I like the idea of limiting to just one. I think limiting it to one buy, though, is going too far. I agree that the 6-dodge troll is overpowered, but even an elf only gets 4. I think you should limit it to the same limit as the base race -- if that's too much, maybe limit it to half the max of the base race.

Secondly, for costuming, I don't think it's a good idea, for two main reasons. The first is fluff: if you only gain one character trait from that race and have no way to access any others, it doesn't make sense to think of, say, an elf with a Resist Magic buy (*cough* don't know where I came up with that one) as a half-elf/half-dwarf. He's more like an elf who has a very, very distant dwarf ancestor, or one who happened to have gained the same mutation that dwarves mutated with. (After all, all meta-humans started as humans and mutated into the different races over time).

The second reason is practicality. The racial costuming requirements are so minimal that it's hard to represent "minor" aspects of the race. Like, should you wear really small-pointed elf ears? Or one pointed orc tooth? I think if you have costuming requirements everyone will start to look like mutants instead of whatever race they are. Additionally, as I said before, we aren't talking about full-on half bloods here. If I'm going to have flowers coming out of my head I would want more than just access to Leshy Tracking.

All that being said, if I may be so bold, I would like to propose the following text as a rad reward:

125 - THE MILKMAN WAS A LESHY (New Special Ability): Maybe it's constant exposure to mutagenic radiation, maybe there was some interracial hubba-bubba in your ancestry; whatever the reason, you can do something that most members of your race can't.

GAME EFFECT: Pick one race other than your own. You may choose one racial skill and purchase it as if you were a member of that race. The cost for this skill is 8 karma higher than normal, and subject to the normal maximum number of buys.

(Note: I picked 125 rads because that's the first place where there seems to be a hole in the rad reward shcedule. I feel like it should probably be greater than 50, which can be easily reached with one game and some donations, but I don't really have strong feelings either way).

Re: Cross-Race skill buying

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:50 am
by Olive Wilson
I like the idea.

Since it is a trait that you've either learned or have heratige to, why not have access to half the buys that the full race has (ecluding the ones that have normally 1 buy)?

What if you have to have the researcher skill or a racial researcher skill (something that would have to be created) to be able to "study" the other race to learn the skill or find out you have a secondary heratage or something. Just like you have to have a researcher skill to learn new recipes on your own.

As Rob said, things like Leshy tree bonding would be physically impossible for some to be able to do. Would even someone with a lil leshy physically be able to do it? Sounds painful :P
What if for this skill, you have to be an adept or mage to be able to use it? To learn the skill if it is to be learned/discovered or whatever we choose. It makes more sense to me for someone with magic to be able to figure it out or even be able to physically do it over a human soldier.

Costuming, meh.