Double Specialisations?

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Aurell1an Aurell1an's picture
Double Specialisations?

Hi guys,

I'm a relentless homebrewer, always tweaking whatever system has my fancy, and for the last couple of years it's been EP. Over the next few weeks I'll hopefully be airing a couple of my least terrible ones, starting small and working up. This one's extremely simple, but I wanted some feedback before including it in the "what you need to know" pack I'll be providing to my new players when we kick off a campaign in February.

Double Specialisations: During character creation you may take a Double Specialisation in a skill for 5CP, granting you a +20. The downside is that you have to take a -10 in one other specialisation field of the same skill. GM's decision on what qualifies as an equivalent disadvantage is final. For example you might be a rentacop with a ++ in Pistols and a - in Rifles; or you might be a Hardware: Aerospace monkey with a ++ in Martian Planes but a - in Spacefaring Vehicles.

I'm also considering the following addenda:

  • Increase price to 10CP
  • Instead of being a -10 to one area, make it a -10 to all non-Double-Specialised fields
  • May not be taken to increase a skill over 70
  • Requires a base attribute of at least 15
  • Requires a base skill level of at least 30 (as per standard specialisations), or possibly 40

Thoughts?

Discontinuity is a lifestyle choice

Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
If you are going to do

If you are going to do multiple "specialization levels", I would look to Exalted 2e, and specifically EarthScorpion's "Style" system, for inspiration.

My personal adaptation of those to Eclipse Phase would be to limit any given skill to a maximum of 60 and let multiple specializations boost it higher, but limit how many specializations you can have per skill. That would better show that you are specialized in something. You can be good at Programming (60) and on the bleeding edge of human capability in AI Coding (+30), for example.

(Links will be given once I'm not on my phone)
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ToKUcfzH-kkpfEqo2y5X5Iz72HESOioN1OrLgjvdaqc/pub

In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Persuasion 30 [++(Internet), -(Real Life)].

I'd hesitate with the OP version. Flat skill bonuses, as well as specific skill penalties, are very easy to min-max. How often would the rentacop ever use rifles, even if he had the option?
Maybe consider allowing extra specializations to reduce penalties instead increasing base value, or have them not stack with other bonuses.

A variant of Bursting Eagern...'s idea would be to cap skills at 60, and use complementary Knowledge skills as specializations, instead of applying them directly to an active skill.
So a programmer specialized in AI would have Programming (60) and Profession:AI Programmer (60) for a total of 90. This would also provide cross-skill specializations - the rentacop has Knowledge: Pistols (40), and could apply the +20 to both kinetic and beam pistols.

Complete aside: I almost never homebrew or houserule anything in other games. There's just something about EP which overstimulates the creative centers of my brain. And I like it.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:I'd

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
I'd hesitate with the OP version. Flat skill bonuses, as well as specific skill penalties, are very easy to min-max. How often would the rentacop ever use rifles, even if he had the option?
Maybe consider allowing extra specializations to reduce penalties instead increasing base value, or have them not stack with other bonuses.

A variant of Bursting Eagern...'s idea would be to cap skills at 60, and use complementary Knowledge skills as specializations, instead of applying them directly to an active skill.
So a programmer specialized in AI would have Programming (60) and Profession:AI Programmer (60) for a total of 90. This would also provide cross-skill specializations - the rentacop has Knowledge: Pistols (40), and could apply the +20 to both kinetic and beam pistols.

Complete aside: I almost never homebrew or houserule anything in other games. There's just something about EP which overstimulates the creative centers of my brain. And I like it.


I like that idea. It would definitely keep things simpler than adding on an entirely new system for specializations. The main question that I would have would be this: can multiple supporting skill stack? Could you, to use your example, also get a bonus from Academics: Artificial Intelligence (50)?

Also, would Expert let you push things beyond 60?

Also, it's "Bursting Eagerness Soul". The forum cuts it off though.

In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Humm....

Bursting Eagerness Soul wrote:
I like that idea. It would definitely keep things simpler than adding on an entirely new system for specializations. The main question that I would have would be this: can multiple supporting skill stack? Could you, to use your example, also get a bonus from Academics: Artificial Intelligence (50)?

My first instinct is to say no. On a rules level, this is similar to my problem with the OP - it becomes too easy, even if you apply a cap. Thematically, there's probably going to be significant overlap on what benefits the skills would actually grant, so multiple applicable skills would be subject to diminishing returns.

On the other hand, he could apply his Profession: AI Programmer bonus to his Academics: Artificial Intelligence rolls, and vice versa.

Bursting Eagerness Soul wrote:
Also, would Expert let you push things beyond 60?

I'd re-rule it to allow characters to train the applicable skill up to 70.
I'd probably also remove the cost increase for skills over 60, and allow Expert to be purchased multiple times - the reduced skill cap combined with Expert being a trait (counts against the trait-cap at creation, availability subject to GM Fiat afterwards) mitigates the need for additional costs/restrictions.

Bursting Eagerness Soul wrote:
Also, it's "Bursting Eagerness Soul". The forum cuts it off though.
Duly Noted :P

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:My

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
My first instinct is to say no. On a rules level, this is similar to my problem with the OP - it becomes too easy, even if you apply a cap. Thematically, there's probably going to be significant overlap on what benefits the skills would actually grant, so multiple applicable skills would be subject to diminishing returns.

On the other hand, he could apply his Profession: AI Programmer bonus to his Academics: Artificial Intelligence rolls, and vice versa.


I was actually hoping that you would say something like that.

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
Bursting Eagerness Soul wrote:
Also, would Expert let you push things beyond 60?

I'd re-rule it to allow characters to train the applicable skill up to 70.
I'd probably also remove the cost increase for skills over 60, and allow Expert to be purchased multiple times - the reduced skill cap combined with Expert being a trait (counts against the trait-cap at creation, availability subject to GM Fiat afterwards) mitigates the need for additional costs/restrictions.

Would you let Expert stack? Or maybe split it into Expert I (+10 skillcap, 10 CP) and Expert II (+20 skillcap, [20-30?] CP)?

One problem that I would see with this whole thing would be that Cognition would become the one stat to rule them all. It would become optimal to purchase COG 30 and a few points in as many Knowledge Skills as possible, to provide a minimum of +10 to basically any situation you can make an argument for from your massive spread of Knowledge skills. Of course, a good GM would shut that down, but having it be an exploitable flaw in the first place would not speak well of how it was put together.

In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Urg. Getting too complicated.

I wouldn't let expert stack, I meant that you could buy it for multiple skills.
To to otherwise would negate the point: You could just say that skills above 60 are subject to GM approval, and be done with the whole thing.

You're right that COG would become even more OP than it is already though, but I can't really think of a way around this without creating more rules than it's worth.

The best I can come up with basically removes them as skills at all, which negates the "no completely new rules" side of things:
At Chargen you get X +10 specialisations bonuses, which can be distributed in up to Y Specializations/Fields, with a cap of +30. When you would make a roll on a Knowledge Skill, you instead roll the appropriate attribute x2, and add the bonus.

For Example: Lets assume that X=6 and Y=3. Our AI programmer could then have Specialisations [AI Programming +30, Professional Software Development +20, and Academics +10].
When rolling for programming AIs related software, he would roll Programming +30. When discussing things with his boss, Persuasion/Deception +20. When on campus, he would roll SAVx2+10 to talk with his colleages, and COGx2+30 to give a lecture on how to stop AIs spending all their time watching mesh-videos of SwarmCats .

(For the record: Started with removing attributes from knoweldge skills, but rolls on those skills would get the attribute as a bonus, and extrapolated.)

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:I

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
I wouldn't let expert stack, I meant that you could buy it for multiple skills.
To to otherwise would negate the point: You could just say that skills above 60 are subject to GM approval, and be done with the whole thing.

You're right that COG would become even more OP than it is already though, but I can't really think of a way around this without creating more rules than it's worth.

The best I can come up with basically removes them as skills at all, which negates the "no completely new rules" side of things:
At Chargen you get X +10 specialisations bonuses, which can be distributed in up to Y Specializations/Fields, with a cap of +30. When you would make a roll on a Knowledge Skill, you instead roll the appropriate attribute x2, and add the bonus.

For Example: Lets assume that X=6 and Y=3. Our AI programmer could then have Specialisations [AI Programming +30, Professional Software Development +20, and Academics +10].
When rolling for programming AIs related software, he would roll Programming +30. When discussing things with his boss, Persuasion/Deception +20. When on campus, he would roll SAVx2+10 to talk with his colleages, and COGx2+30 to give a lecture on how to stop AIs spending all their time watching mesh-videos of SwarmCats .

(For the record: Started with removing attributes from knoweldge skills, but rolls on those skills would get the attribute as a bonus, and extrapolated.)


I like this idea. Mind if we start up a new thread to work on it?

In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Okay (?)

I don't see why not. Do you want to make the new thread, or shall I?

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
Go ahead.

Go ahead.

In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685

Aurell1an Aurell1an's picture
So apparently I spawned another idea...

Well done me! Get to work, guys!

Discontinuity is a lifestyle choice

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Inspiration: Successful!

Sorry we sort of hijacked your thread there, but you definately get credit/rep :P

Thread Generation Begun! ETA 22 Hours and counting...

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?