Author Topic: GM Intrusions E54 - Tactical Effort  (Read 24 times)

LexStarwalker

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GM Intrusions E54 - Tactical Effort
« on: October 07, 2014, 03:01:18 pm »

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AgentNiehl

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Re: GM Intrusions E54 - Tactical Effort
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2014, 07:59:29 pm »
I am still making my way through the podcast, but I had an idea in relation to the 2-point skill.  What if you made the 2pt spend a "down payment" on an eventual 4pt skill?  Consider this scenario:

A player wants to gain an advantage in identifying numenera in a specific location.  This would typically be a 2 pt buy.  As you noted, this is expensive for something that will only be useful for a session or two.  However, as a "downpayment" this could be the first part of their research into the general nature of the numenera.  When they later spend two more points, they upgrade the skill buy to a full training or specialization.  This could be described in story ("Work the numenera we recovered in the last caverns made me realize something about the strange symbols carved into numenera (microcircuit channels)...").  This makes the 2pt buys worth more and can open up some compelling story opportunities to make skill development less abrupt.

Alternatively, one could make the 2pt buys a little more general.  Instead of buying specialization in numenera in this one cavern, maybe you can buy specialization in a specific type of numenera (nanotech controls, datasphere interfaces, etc.).  If the skill covers a little less than half of the numenera they encounter, it may seem worthwhile -- also providing a nice narrative hook because the player has something specific to differentiate their expertise.

Just kicking around some ideas. 

LexStarwalker

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Re: GM Intrusions E54 - Tactical Effort
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2014, 09:52:56 am »
Yeah those ideas could definitely work. I'll have to give some more thought to the 2 xp skill buy as a down payment on a full skill. For some reason I'm not a huge fan of that idea, but I can't put my finger on why. I guess I'm just not sure if the 2 xp skills are worth putting work into saving. Maybe it should just go the way of the dodo. 4 xp really isn't that much in this game. My players usually get at least that much each session, so it's not that hard to get a full skill. The only real limiting factor it seems like is that you can only buy one skill per tier, so the 2 xp skills might be nice for people who want more skills to get past that restriction.

From my experience as a player, I've never felt I need more than a handful of skills (the few I get from the system as is). In the parties I've played in, PCs are fairly specialized. One PC makes the numenera rolls, one PC makes the perception rolls, one PC makes the social rolls, etc. With the Effort system, you really only need skills in rolls you make all the time, and with the characters I've played I've found that to be only two or three skills anyway.

After a year in the system, it's become obvious to me that every player I've encountered is resistant to spending xp for non-advancement. This is a real thing. If you want to entice players to spend it for other things, they have to be convinced it's worth it. Spending 1 xp for a reroll has proved to be worth it, and pretty much every player I've encountered eventually ends up using xp for that. The 2 xp uses just don't seem to be worth it, because I hardly ever see anyone using them. I guess that's fine. They're there for the fringe cases where it might be advantageous for a player to use. I just no longer feel it should be the GM's job or concern to try to get players to spend xp on non-advancement. This isn't D&D. In a game where you can have a tier 1 character and a tier 4 character in the same party and it doesn't matter, I really don't think it matters how quickly the PCs tier up.