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Approaches to trained/untrained skills

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  • James Dempsey
    Hi, The concept of trained and untrained skills seems to be quite popular with game designers currently. Star Wars Saga Edition and Pathfinder have adopted
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 6, 2008
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      Hi,

      The concept of trained and untrained skills seems to be quite popular with
      game designers currently. Star Wars Saga Edition and Pathfinder have adopted
      this approach to skills, rather than the skill points based system in 3e and
      3.5e.

      The general idea being that you are trained in a number of skills, which
      gives you a significant bonus to those skills, however you don't progress
      any faster in those skills than anyone else. Thus all characters get better
      at all skills as they level up, but some are always just a bit better than
      others, being the ones they know.

      PCGen is written around the concept of skills having points, with a page
      dedicated to allocating those points. Obviously that level f complexity
      isn't needed in this system. The question then becomes how to integrate a
      trained/untrained skill system into PCGen?

      A couple of possibilities are:
      1. Use abilities to model the skills and run bonuses off them. So if your
      class gets 5 trained skills you get 5 choices for the 'class skill' ability
      and each of these will provide a bonus to a specific skill. The skills panel
      is then unused apart from viewing a breakdown of the skill benefit.

      2. Use the skills tab to select skills - the class/cross-class skill concept
      is the same, but you can put a maximum of one point into each skill. Your 5
      trained skills could be done as getting 5 skill points at first level and
      none thereafter. A bonus would need to be coded to provide the appropriate
      trained bonus if it was not just 1. Provision happens to be available for
      names for the skill ranks rather than numbers, so you could code 0 as
      untrained and 1 as trained if that was desired.

      Personally I prefer the second approach - as it puts skills where it would
      be expected, particularly by experienced users of PCGen, but probably even
      those who are new to the tool. The code can already cope with having a cap
      of 1 rank (and 0 for cross-class) no matter the level and the bonus system
      should be able to handle a trained bonus of say 5 for the 1 rank.

      What do others think? Please do chime in even if you don't do LST or code -
      end users are after all why we have the program!

      PS: This could be seen as the province of the experimental or list file help
      lists, but I was more looking for general input on what approach people
      would prefer and why. I think we are highly likely to support Pathfinder and
      there should be no reason why 4e or SWSE support could not be coded at least
      on an individual/personal use basis by those interested in it.

      --
      Cheers,
      James Dempsey
      PCGen Code SB


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Andrew Maitland
      I ve coded up SWSE for personal use. I found the ability object the preferred method to make that work for the program as is today. However, the one drawback
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 7, 2008
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        I've coded up SWSE for personal use. I found the ability object the
        preferred method to make that work for the program as is today. However,
        the one drawback is that pcgen insists on giving me 1 skill point per
        level... I think there is a bonus tag workaround but I've not been able
        to implement it properly.

        Though with that said, I think the option to put a point in a skill
        might be better for some. I see benefits to both methods. Though I'd
        mention from a lst monkey perspective, it's easier using PREABILITY to
        get certain things going then PRESKILL. But that's cause I finally got
        comfortable with PREABILITY and it's nuances. I see both options as
        equally viable.

        ~ Andrew Maitland (LegacyKing)
        ~ Admin Silverback, PCGen Board of Directors
        ~ Data Gibbon, Tracker Gibbon, Docs Lemur
        "Quick-Silverback Tracker Monkey"



        James Dempsey wrote:
        > Hi,
        >
        > The concept of trained and untrained skills seems to be quite popular with
        > game designers currently. Star Wars Saga Edition and Pathfinder have adopted
        > this approach to skills, rather than the skill points based system in 3e and
        > 3.5e.
        >
        > The general idea being that you are trained in a number of skills, which
        > gives you a significant bonus to those skills, however you don't progress
        > any faster in those skills than anyone else. Thus all characters get better
        > at all skills as they level up, but some are always just a bit better than
        > others, being the ones they know.
        >
        > PCGen is written around the concept of skills having points, with a page
        > dedicated to allocating those points. Obviously that level f complexity
        > isn't needed in this system. The question then becomes how to integrate a
        > trained/untrained skill system into PCGen?
        >
        > A couple of possibilities are:
        > 1. Use abilities to model the skills and run bonuses off them. So if your
        > class gets 5 trained skills you get 5 choices for the 'class skill' ability
        > and each of these will provide a bonus to a specific skill. The skills panel
        > is then unused apart from viewing a breakdown of the skill benefit.
        >
        > 2. Use the skills tab to select skills - the class/cross-class skill concept
        > is the same, but you can put a maximum of one point into each skill. Your 5
        > trained skills could be done as getting 5 skill points at first level and
        > none thereafter. A bonus would need to be coded to provide the appropriate
        > trained bonus if it was not just 1. Provision happens to be available for
        > names for the skill ranks rather than numbers, so you could code 0 as
        > untrained and 1 as trained if that was desired.
        >
        > Personally I prefer the second approach - as it puts skills where it would
        > be expected, particularly by experienced users of PCGen, but probably even
        > those who are new to the tool. The code can already cope with having a cap
        > of 1 rank (and 0 for cross-class) no matter the level and the bonus system
        > should be able to handle a trained bonus of say 5 for the 1 rank.
        >
        > What do others think? Please do chime in even if you don't do LST or code -
        > end users are after all why we have the program!
        >
        > PS: This could be seen as the province of the experimental or list file help
        > lists, but I was more looking for general input on what approach people
        > would prefer and why. I think we are highly likely to support Pathfinder and
        > there should be no reason why 4e or SWSE support could not be coded at least
        > on an individual/personal use basis by those interested in it.
        >
        >
      • Eddy
        ... Hi James Great to see someone on the code team thinking about this. My preference is to adapt the Skills tab to the new models. I ve thought about how this
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 7, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In pcgen@yahoogroups.com, "James Dempsey" <jdempsey@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi,
          >
          > The concept of trained and untrained skills seems to be quite popular with
          > game designers currently. Star Wars Saga Edition and Pathfinder have adopted
          > this approach to skills, rather than the skill points based system in 3e and
          > 3.5e.
          >
          > The general idea being that you are trained in a number of skills, which
          > gives you a significant bonus to those skills, however you don't progress
          > any faster in those skills than anyone else. Thus all characters get better
          > at all skills as they level up, but some are always just a bit better than
          > others, being the ones they know.
          >
          > PCGen is written around the concept of skills having points, with a page
          > dedicated to allocating those points. Obviously that level f complexity
          > isn't needed in this system. The question then becomes how to integrate a
          > trained/untrained skill system into PCGen?
          >
          > A couple of possibilities are:
          > 1. Use abilities to model the skills and run bonuses off them. So if your
          > class gets 5 trained skills you get 5 choices for the 'class skill' ability
          > and each of these will provide a bonus to a specific skill. The skills panel
          > is then unused apart from viewing a breakdown of the skill benefit.
          >
          > 2. Use the skills tab to select skills - the class/cross-class skill concept
          > is the same, but you can put a maximum of one point into each skill. Your 5
          > trained skills could be done as getting 5 skill points at first level and
          > none thereafter. A bonus would need to be coded to provide the appropriate
          > trained bonus if it was not just 1. Provision happens to be available for
          > names for the skill ranks rather than numbers, so you could code 0 as
          > untrained and 1 as trained if that was desired.
          >
          > Personally I prefer the second approach - as it puts skills where it would
          > be expected, particularly by experienced users of PCGen, but probably even
          > those who are new to the tool. The code can already cope with having a cap
          > of 1 rank (and 0 for cross-class) no matter the level and the bonus system
          > should be able to handle a trained bonus of say 5 for the 1 rank.
          >
          > What do others think? Please do chime in even if you don't do LST or code -
          > end users are after all why we have the program!
          >
          > PS: This could be seen as the province of the experimental or list file help
          > lists, but I was more looking for general input on what approach people
          > would prefer and why. I think we are highly likely to support Pathfinder and
          > there should be no reason why 4e or SWSE support could not be coded at least
          > on an individual/personal use basis by those interested in it.
          >
          > --
          > Cheers,
          > James Dempsey
          > PCGen Code SB

          Hi James

          Great to see someone on the code team thinking about this. My preference is to adapt the
          Skills tab to the new models. I've thought about how this could be modeled using ability
          objects and it can to an extent but there are limitations I can't think of how to get past.
          The main one is that Ability Objects would have no way to distinguish between class and
          cross-class skills.

          Something else to consider is that the models are not quite the same, in the SWSE game
          the class skill list is what the player chooses his trained skill from but in Pathfinder you
          can pick any skill to be trained in but you get a better bonus if it's a class skill.

          I think using skill points as a skill pool would work fine as long as the point put in was not
          used in the bonus calculation.
          --
          ~ Eddy Anthony (MoSaT)
          ~ Chair Second, PCGen Board of Directors
          ~ Data Content Second, Doc Chimp, OS Tamarin
        • Andrew Maitland
          We have PRECCSKILL and PRECSKILL that d I ve used. I was able to figure out a decent model for the SWSE, but thus far haven t attempted to tackle pathfinder
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 7, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            We have PRECCSKILL and PRECSKILL that'd I've used. I was able to figure
            out a decent model for the SWSE, but thus far haven't attempted to
            tackle pathfinder since we have several eager monkeys already on that
            bandwagon.

            Also, I think you can borrow the MODEL from MSRD, TYPE the skills with
            the Class that it's a Class skill. (TYPE is sooooo handy!!!)

            Eddy, if you send me a copy of the section you're trying to think up,
            I'll try and figure out a method. But I'm sure the above ideas have
            already gotten those wheels turning. :-)

            ~ Andrew Maitland (LegacyKing)
            ~ Admin Silverback, PCGen Board of Directors
            ~ Data Gibbon, Tracker Gibbon, Docs Lemur
            "Quick-Silverback Tracker Monkey"



            Eddy wrote:
            > --- In pcgen@yahoogroups.com, "James Dempsey" <jdempsey@...> wrote:
            >
            >> Hi,
            >>
            >> The concept of trained and untrained skills seems to be quite popular with
            >> game designers currently. Star Wars Saga Edition and Pathfinder have adopted
            >> this approach to skills, rather than the skill points based system in 3e and
            >> 3.5e.
            >>
            >> The general idea being that you are trained in a number of skills, which
            >> gives you a significant bonus to those skills, however you don't progress
            >> any faster in those skills than anyone else. Thus all characters get better
            >> at all skills as they level up, but some are always just a bit better than
            >> others, being the ones they know.
            >>
            >> PCGen is written around the concept of skills having points, with a page
            >> dedicated to allocating those points. Obviously that level f complexity
            >> isn't needed in this system. The question then becomes how to integrate a
            >> trained/untrained skill system into PCGen?
            >>
            >> A couple of possibilities are:
            >> 1. Use abilities to model the skills and run bonuses off them. So if your
            >> class gets 5 trained skills you get 5 choices for the 'class skill' ability
            >> and each of these will provide a bonus to a specific skill. The skills panel
            >> is then unused apart from viewing a breakdown of the skill benefit.
            >>
            >> 2. Use the skills tab to select skills - the class/cross-class skill concept
            >> is the same, but you can put a maximum of one point into each skill. Your 5
            >> trained skills could be done as getting 5 skill points at first level and
            >> none thereafter. A bonus would need to be coded to provide the appropriate
            >> trained bonus if it was not just 1. Provision happens to be available for
            >> names for the skill ranks rather than numbers, so you could code 0 as
            >> untrained and 1 as trained if that was desired.
            >>
            >> Personally I prefer the second approach - as it puts skills where it would
            >> be expected, particularly by experienced users of PCGen, but probably even
            >> those who are new to the tool. The code can already cope with having a cap
            >> of 1 rank (and 0 for cross-class) no matter the level and the bonus system
            >> should be able to handle a trained bonus of say 5 for the 1 rank.
            >>
            >> What do others think? Please do chime in even if you don't do LST or code -
            >> end users are after all why we have the program!
            >>
            >> PS: This could be seen as the province of the experimental or list file help
            >> lists, but I was more looking for general input on what approach people
            >> would prefer and why. I think we are highly likely to support Pathfinder and
            >> there should be no reason why 4e or SWSE support could not be coded at least
            >> on an individual/personal use basis by those interested in it.
            >>
            >> --
            >> Cheers,
            >> James Dempsey
            >> PCGen Code SB
            >>
            >
            > Hi James
            >
            > Great to see someone on the code team thinking about this. My preference is to adapt the
            > Skills tab to the new models. I've thought about how this could be modeled using ability
            > objects and it can to an extent but there are limitations I can't think of how to get past.
            > The main one is that Ability Objects would have no way to distinguish between class and
            > cross-class skills.
            >
            > Something else to consider is that the models are not quite the same, in the SWSE game
            > the class skill list is what the player chooses his trained skill from but in Pathfinder you
            > can pick any skill to be trained in but you get a better bonus if it's a class skill.
            >
            > I think using skill points as a skill pool would work fine as long as the point put in was not
            > used in the bonus calculation.
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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