Re: Specialist vs. General skills

From: Mikael Raaterova <ginijji_at_...>
Date: Sat, 3 Jun 2000 15:36:56 +0200

>Mikael Raaterova :
>> A specialized character (say, "Armwrestler" 18) armwrestles a
>> generalist (say, "Strong" 18). I don't penalize the Strong guy (i
>> don't care much for improv penalties), but i would give the
>> Armwrestler a BIG bonus because of two things: a) he is using a
>> narrow* trait as intended, and b) he has a 'skill-depth' advantage
>> over his opponent.
>It should be the same with Rituals.
>Knowing the 'Tree-Chopping Song' should give your Uz an
>advantage (when elf-slaying, later on in the evening) over the
>next guy who only knows his Mythology of Kaarg.

Yep. Though not because it's *narrow* but because of the depth advantage. Perhaps 'narrow' may not be the best word for what i mean. 'Marginal' might be better perhaps.

> > * I'd say a trait is Narrow if situations where it can be used
>> appropriately occur no more often than, say, every other or third
>> session.
>Not necessarily : for example, a Ritual that you used *every*
>session could still be Narrow IMO.

I'd distinguish between a) specialized abilities (giving a skill-depth advantage) and b) narrow/marginal/infrequent abilities (that give a bonus because of the infrequency with which it is used).

'Disarm' is a specialized ability that can be used in every weapon contest, hence not very infrequent.

'Armwrestling' is a specialized ability that can only be used sporadically (at least armwrestling contests are pretty infrequent in my games) so gives a bigger bonus than 'disarm'.

'Know everything about Kralorela' is very general, but is used very seldom (in my campaign, that is); it (probably) doesn't give skill-depth advantage but does give an infrequencey bonus.

Mikael Raaterova        [.sig omitted on legal advice]

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