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  1. #1
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    I was wondering if someone could explain to me the reasoning behind using skill ranks rather than skill totals throughout the draft rules? More than one player has pointed out to me, rightly so, that this can lead to serious exploitation of rules.

    For example.

    Player 1:

    Diplomacy 4 (Charisma 16: +3 to skill, Bloodmark: +1 to skill)

    Skill total: 8, Rank total: 4

    Player 2:

    Diplomacy 4 (Charisma 3: -4 to skill)

    Skill total: 0, Rank total: 4

    Using regency collection as an example, both collect the same regency, despite the actual skill total difference of 8.

  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    The only time that all modifiers come into play is when a character is actually making a skill check. Synergy bonuses (for example handle animal and ride skills) are dependent on ranks in the related skill, prestige classes list ranks (not total modifiers) as prerequisites. The intent was to reflect how much "time" a character spent on learning to be a better regent, sacrificing other skills to work on this. Skill focus is the one case where argueably it could be interpreted as an equivalent rank increase, unfortuneatly the core rules don't recognize it as such - probably to prevent running into the max ranks allowed cap.

    This method of RP collectin will probably be modified based on the number of comments. At the very least how it relates to blood line score will be tweaked.:)
    Duane Eggert

  3. #3
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    > prestige classes list ranks (not total modifiers) as prerequisites
    Which is because ranks represent training, not aptitude - done the basic training, "congratulations cadet you are now a level 1 ubermage". Plus it means there is a concrete level minimum (required ranks - 3).

    >Synergy bonuses (for example handle animal and ride skills) are dependent on ranks in the related skill
    Again, because ranks represent training, synergy bonuses represent picking up a little something about X along the way.

    Regency collection is a use of a skill, even though it doesn't have a skill check and as such I'm seriously starting to agree with the "totallers" rather than the "rankers".

    CM.

  4. #4
    Site Moderator Ariadne's Avatar
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    Basing it on ranks makes sense in some manner. The problem is: Feats like "Master Diplomat" are useless for RP collection...

    10 ranks in the skill to get 100% is REALLY hard (7th level class skill, don't ask cross class). Maybe changing it to special other bony...
    May Khirdai always bless your sword and his lightning struck your enemies!

  5. #5
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    I guess my biggest question is still, why should a person gain the same regency with a total skill value of 0 against someone with a total skill value of 8? Just because they have 4 ranks does not make them both equally proficient in admin, diplomacy, warcraft, etc. If you do not factor in the entire skill (ranks, attributes, feats, blood) it doesn't make sense.

  6. #6
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by esmdev


    I guess my biggest question is still, why should a person gain the same regency with a total skill value of 0 against someone with a total skill value of 8? Just because they have 4 ranks does not make them both equally proficient in admin, diplomacy, warcraft, etc. If you do not factor in the entire skill (ranks, attributes, feats, blood) it doesn't make sense.
    Because the things you mention are what makes someone better when they do something. Bonuses from raw talent (what comes from ability modifiers, etc.) are not a reflection of how much time someone puts into getting better at it.

    The whole point of the skill based system was to reflect that a regent can't be good at everything. All characters must focus on certain things in order to be good at them - this is the core of any skill based system. Hence if a regent wants to be good at managing a trade-based domain then he focuses his energy (i.e., ranks) on learning the skills that apply to that. If he wants to be good at managing a source-based domain then he focuses his energy on the skills that applicable to that type of domain.

    If there was a skill check involved (I think Mark V. proposed an aggregate type skill for this purpose) then all bonuses applicable to that skill (or those skills) would apply. There purposefully were no skill checks incorporated in the playtest version in order to keep the collection system as streamlined as possible. Many DMs have complained over the years of how much time was spent in "book keeping".

    This is the reasoning of why the system in the BRCS playtest version was proposed. IMO due to the amount of discussin on this issue it definitely needs to be revised and I know that Mark_Aurel was working on a revised version to RP collection. So don't work under the assumption that what is in the playtest version is "the official" version and cannot (or won't) be changed. My comments are just reflecting why it was written the way it was and how that way should work - not that it is "the" way for the system to be.:)
    Duane Eggert

  7. #7
    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    On Wed, 2 Apr 2003, irdeggman wrote:

    > Because the things you mention are what makes someone better when they
    > do something. Bonuses from raw talent (what comes from ability
    > modifiers, etc.) are not a reflection of how much time someone puts
    > into getting better at it.

    Yes, exactly -- and ruling a realm is precisely "doing something".
    Therefore I think you have just made, in so many words, the primary
    argument for calculating from totals, not just ranks. Variable
    distribution of talent means some people are just inherently better at
    ruling a realm than others are. How good you are at doing something
    (e.g., ruling a realm) reflects not only how much time you`ve put into it,
    but what relevant natural talents you had from birth.

    > The whole point of the skill based system was to reflect that a regent
    > can`t be good at everything.

    Yes, exactly. And the whole point of ability scores is to reflect that
    even with identical amounts of practice at a given skill, some people are
    just naturally better at it than other people are.

    > All characters must focus on certain things in order to be good at
    > them - this is the core of any skill based system.

    But any skill-based systems must admit that some people are just
    inherently better at some skills than others, because of ability
    variations. Focus is not the only thing that makes you better.

    > Hence if a regent wants to be good at managing a trade-based domain
    > then he focuses his energy (i.e., ranks) on learning the skills that
    > apply to that. If he wants to be good at managing a source-based
    > domain then he focuses his energy on the skills that applicable to
    > that type of domain.

    This makes any regent better than he himself used to be; but whether he is
    better or worse than any other regent depends not only on how much effort
    each has put in, but also on the inherent aptitudes each had before either
    made any effort at all.

    > If there was a skill check involved (I think Mark V. proposed an
    > aggregate type skill for this purpose) then all bonuses applicable to
    > that skill (or those skills) would apply.

    How is ruling a realm not exactly a (huge number of) skill check(s)?

    > My comments are just reflecting why it was written the way it was and
    > how that way should work - not that it is "the" way for the system
    > to be.:)

    OK, then -- since the argument used for it is in fact against it, let`s
    change it! =)


    Ryan Caveney

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  8. #8
    Moo! Are you happy now? Arjan's Avatar
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    -----Original Message-----
    From: Birthright Roleplaying Game Discussion
    [mailto:BIRTHRIGHT-L@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM] On Behalf Of Ryan B. Caveney
    Sent: woensdag 2 april 2003 22:50
    To: BIRTHRIGHT-L@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM
    Subject: Re: [BIRTHRIGHT] Problem with ranks vs. skill totals [36#1516]

    On Wed, 2 Apr 2003, irdeggman wrote:

    > Because the things you mention are what makes someone better when they
    > do something. Bonuses from raw talent (what comes from ability
    > modifiers, etc.) are not a reflection of how much time someone puts
    > into getting better at it.

    Yes, exactly -- and ruling a realm is precisely "doing something".
    Therefore I think you have just made, in so many words, the primary
    argument for calculating from totals, not just ranks. Variable
    distribution of talent means some people are just inherently better at
    ruling a realm than others are. How good you are at doing something
    (e.g., ruling a realm) reflects not only how much time you`ve put into
    it,
    but what relevant natural talents you had from birth.

    > The whole point of the skill based system was to reflect that a regent
    > can`t be good at everything.

    Yes, exactly. And the whole point of ability scores is to reflect that
    even with identical amounts of practice at a given skill, some people
    are
    just naturally better at it than other people are.

    > All characters must focus on certain things in order to be good at
    > them - this is the core of any skill based system.

    But any skill-based systems must admit that some people are just
    inherently better at some skills than others, because of ability
    variations. Focus is not the only thing that makes you better.

    > Hence if a regent wants to be good at managing a trade-based domain
    > then he focuses his energy (i.e., ranks) on learning the skills that
    > apply to that. If he wants to be good at managing a source-based
    > domain then he focuses his energy on the skills that applicable to
    > that type of domain.

    This makes any regent better than he himself used to be; but whether he
    is
    better or worse than any other regent depends not only on how much
    effort
    each has put in, but also on the inherent aptitudes each had before
    either
    made any effort at all.

    > If there was a skill check involved (I think Mark V. proposed an
    > aggregate type skill for this purpose) then all bonuses applicable to
    > that skill (or those skills) would apply.

    How is ruling a realm not exactly a (huge number of) skill check(s)?

    > My comments are just reflecting why it was written the way it was and
    > how that way should work - not that it is "the" way for the system
    > to be.:)

    OK, then -- since the argument used for it is in fact against it, let`s
    change it! =)


    Ryan Caveney

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  9. #9
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Ryan B. Caveney" <ryanb@CYBERCOM.NET>
    Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 2:49 PM


    > > All characters must focus on certain things in order to be good at
    > > them - this is the core of any skill based system.
    >
    > But any skill-based systems must admit that some people are just
    > inherently better at some skills than others, because of ability
    > variations. Focus is not the only thing that makes you better.

    A specific example of this is the feat Skill Focus. If only ranks count, a
    character doesn`t get credit for his skill focus, even though by any
    reasonable estimation he has studied more intently than a character with
    equal ranks and no skill focus.

    Ranks are only one key measure of skill-ability.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  10. #10
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    Here is an example why rank is better than total. Rank represnets a min. amount of study needed to obtain the result.

    A genius at grade 1 doesnt not know more that a C- student that has graduated or even a child in grade 7. But the genius is getting A's when "skill checks" are called for. The grade 7 student gets only C-'s. What this translates into is that while the 0 skill total character is a poor character and fails or barely succeeds most of the time he has the training to do the job. While the +8 has both the traning and the talent. This is addressed in other was as well some skills are usable untrained some are not. It doesnt matter how much talent you have or how smart you are without a certain amount of training you cant make a skill check. The rank method is simply extending this concept beyond the 0 rank and 1 rank state of the trained and untrained sysytem.

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