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Osvir

Scholar Skill: How much can fit it? & Multi-Tool Skills

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I've been thinking about a sort of "Search" skill which is both a "Narrative" joy for players and developers but also some sort of mechanical "Hub" for other skills, making it cumulatively better. What can you fit into a "Scholar" reference in my opinion?

 

* Lore/Codex

* Cartography

* Search

 

Are there any more?

 

Basically I am thinking about ways to make it even more fun to explore not just the outer workings of the game, but the inner as well. Perhaps "Scholar" could be a skill that upgrades per how much you explore? (In another thread I speak about another "Experience" table for Non-Combat Skills, but could there be one for a type of [scholar] Skill as well?).

 

Lore

Basically, I found that book now I've got +1 Lore/Codex and can learn more Lore from items that I have.

 

Cartography

Exploring the world itself makes the character better at seeing (FOV grows per exploring?) as well as natural phenomena, getting to and exploring the Wyvern Nest gives us insight in a cave further down the game that we are about to encounter Wyverns (closely related to "Search").

 

Search

Is defined by [Lore]+[Cartography] which determines "Search" level. Search is then in turn used to find Loot or exploring a dungeon level.

 

Basically, what I wish to address with this topic is some sort of "Can a Skill have a simplistic function, at the same time as it has more than 1 function?", "Can you avoid complications for developer/player with a Multi-Purpose Skill?".

 

Thoughts?

Edited by Osvir
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I would enjoy it if your lore skill was build up by learning about things during the game. so someone who reads through every book has a higher lore skill. And it would only give you extra information, or call back information that you already have seen when it is relevant.

 

I'd like my search to be separate. I'm tossing every barrel, looking at every inch of the wall, pressing loose rocks to see if there might be any way to budge them. I don't see how cartography would enter into that.


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Cartography is part of noticing detail, and articulating it in drawings of a map. So it would or could imply a "sense of detail", noticing the little bits. Reading more about the detail of the world in a book could extend the skill to notice cultural environments, be good at orientating through the thick of forests and be able to decipher maps.

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Tricky part with any Lore-type skill is how you apply it and use it in a CRPG. P&P RPGs are a little easier since you've got a GM who can answer the questions you've posed, but the only way I've seen it applied in a CRPG is in the Neverwinter Nights series. Lore (a compressed version of the Knowledge skills from D&D 3.x) allowed you to identify the functions of magic items and sometimes to perform skill checks in conversation. For instance, NWN2 allowed you to make a conversational Lore check during your trial in Act II to note that Luskan stood to gain a great deal by (if you joined the Watch) smearing a hero of the realm. The latter needs to be figured out case-by-case by the devs, which I imagine can be a bit of a hassle.

 

So, how would you go about applying these and not make them Useless Useful Non-Combat Abilities?


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Maybe spot/search skills get added value when paired with high INT, or lore with WIS. Someone can notice stuff, but a detective that connects the dots gets added value.


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A more detailed spread of scholarly skills would require that the party is going to spend a lot of time performing research or investigation. I'm not sure whether that will be the case in PE. Having multiple scholar skills may be counter-productive if they have little use in the game. Players won't be happy spending a bunch of points on a skill that has a low value.

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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^Not multiple Scholar skills, but having 1 Scholar Skill that has multiple functions.

 

Likewise (what I'm thinking about) "Thievery" fits into this category as well. Thievery is only 1 Skill, but it has "Lockpicking", "Pickpocket" and "Disarm Traps" functions as well.

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