Question about core system

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    • Question about core system

      Hey, I got this game last year and finally got around to trying it out. Its an interesting take at a somewhat underrated system (d6 pools)

      However I have a few questions. I posted them on the Reddit, but forgot about these forums.

      Firstly, I had a question about skill ranks and if the skill technically starts at 0, or if you just get attribute + skill - 1 for total dice. So then, if I have 12 in the skill is that attribute + 12, or attribute + 11?

      Second, is there a default skill to lie to someone? Is there also a default skill to see if someone is lying to you?

      Thanks, :thumbsup:
    • Hey there and thanks for the questions! Sorry it took me a bit to answer this, but we've had our heads down and to the grind-stone as we're desperately trying to finish our next publication of the World Guide...

      We, ourselves actually didn't create a Shard RPG Reddit, so now I'm REALLY curious as to where you initially posted the questions, and what's there...

      As to your questions (which I have hopefully understood correctly...^_^)...:

      * For Skills, there are several methods that determine the one's Skill's Rank, depending on how you want to spend your Character Points during character creation BEFORE one's campaign begins, how you spend your Story Points awarded during the campaign AFTER game-play begins, and how you spend points on raising your Characteristics (upon which a Skill's Ranking is based) at any time.

      In general, if one pays the full cost for a Skill, the Skill's Rank will be equal to its Characteristic Link plus however much you want to "buy up" that Skill's Rank above the value of the Characteristic it is linked to, and according to the costs as seen on the Skill List (Basic Compendium page 149).

      For Example: Imagine you are buying the skill Evade for your character. As listed at the end of its entry, as well as to the far right of its listing in the Skill List, Evade has a cost of 5/3... The number to the left of the slash symbol indicates its full cost to buy, and the number to the right of the slash is the cost to raise that Skill one point at a time above its current Rank.

      BEFORE THE CAMPAIGN - During character creation is when GMs generally allow players to pay full price for their Skills and start the game with Ranks in their Skills appropriate to the general Power Level assigned to the campaign by their GM. This indicates the character starting the game with a history of past experiences that allows Skills to have high Rankings to begin with, and thus a large number of dice to roll. If I pay full price (5 points) during character creation for Evade (linked to Agility), and my Agility is a 6, then that means the linked Skill of Evade I've purchased will have a starting Rank of 6 dice (equal to my Agility Rank) which I would roll to perform it. I could then, if I desired, BUY UP my Evade Rank to be higher than its linked Agility by paying 3 points for every point of Rank I wanted to increase (up to the Rank Limit allowed by the GM's chosen starting Power Level for the campaign being run). If my GM were running a Heroic Power Level campaign the maximum Ranking I could start with for any Skill would be an 8. Therefore, I could raise my purchased Evade Skill from a 6 to an 8 by spending 3 points to bring the Ranking to a 7, and then 3 more points to bring it up from a 7 to an 8 (giving me 8 dice to roll) at a total cost of 6 more points (which is in addition to the 5 points I already spent to initially purchase it).

      DURING THE CAMPAIGN - Once game-play has begun, some GMs may want to indicate that players gaining new Skills must slowly learn to master them. This type of "learning a new skill" is supported by a second method of purchasing Skills during a campaign in which a player spends 1 Story Point to initially buy a Skill at "novice level". Spending only 1 point for a Skill gives that Character a Rank (dice-pool) equal to half (rounded up) of the Skill's linked Characteristic. Then after that, potentially as soon as the next game session, a player could indicate that their character is doing things during the course of the game to "get better" at that Skill, asking the GM if they could spend another point to buy the Skill's rank up, one point at a time, until they eventually have paid the total full cost of the Skill... One the player has paid full price, then they can raise the Skill normally as they would have before the campaign began (using that second number to the right of the "slash" as the number spent to raise the Skill's Rank by 1. During the campaign, there are no longer any Power Level limits imposed, but many GMs choose to limit increases in Skill Rank to 1 point per game session, for the sake of realism.

      RAISING SKILL RANKS BY BUYING UP CHARACTERISTICS - Any time you raise a Characteristic by a point during game-play, ALL Skills linked to that Characteristic should have their Rank increased by one point as well. Thus, if I were to raise my Agility's Rank by one point (by paying a cost in points equal to the Characteristic's current Rank) then I should raise the Rank of all linked Skills by 1 as well (which would include the Ranking of my Evade Skill)... If you remember by from the example above, my Agility is currently 6, so if I spend 6 points to buy my Agility Rank up to 7, then my Evade (currently at a Rank of 8 would get changed to a 9 at no additional point cost.
      PLEASE NOTE: the same logic would apply during Character Creation before the campaign begins, but remember that it is actually less expensive to buy Characteristics up before game-play than it is once game-play has commenced...

      * Though there is no Tell Lie Skill or Detect Lie Skill, per-se (as in real life), when it comes to purveying lies and deception, the Persuasion Skill is a good candidate. With that Skill a Character is attempting to convince another Character or NPC to either do a thing or believe a thing... Likewise, the Oratory Skill could be used to convince people of a falsehood as well...

      When it comes to detecting lies, if the Skill of Interrogation is used with the express purpose of uncovering falsehoods, then it should be assumed that the Interrogator needs to roll higher (get more successes) than the results of whatever roll the person being interrogates is using to answer questions falsely. Likewise, Skills like Observation might be used to carefully observe the nervous behaviors of someone suspected of telling a lie to see if they give of the right "tells" to indicate falsehood...

      The addition of dice from Talents like Empathy could be used to either help tell OR detect falsehoods since subtle changes in emotion could also give away the presence of deception, or could even help a liar get a sense of what their audience desperately wants to hear to be convinced of something...

      Just remember the old (yet disgusting) adage that "there are several ways to skin a cat"... In the Shard RPG it's all about becoming familiar enough with your Character's Skills to use them in creative and innovative ways while role-playing... Players and GMs should become comfortable with the fact that many of the Skills and Talents in the Shard RPG can overlap purposes to add to an attempted dice-pool either as a Complementary Skill (Basic Compendium page 40) or as a Talent Ranking modifier (see Basic Compendium page 111),...or both! At the end of the day, a player's success against another being is determined by who rolls the most Successes in a contested roll... The dice you get to use to do that is purely based on a creative use of the Skills you may have... Reading and understanding the nuances of effects all the Skills and Talents may offer required really reading their descriptions while considering innovative ways for them to get results.

      Hopefully this helps! Most, if not all, of what I've paraphrased above can be found spread throughout various sections in the Basic Compendium. Read through it thoroughly, and feel free to ask if you have any further questions!

      Scottie ^^
    • Thanks for getting back to me about this!

      I think I understand at this point, however I would like to make sure I understand in full.

      1: as you mentioned, once play starts [post character creation] there is no skill cap? Ie: with enough time, and exp, I can have a skill of 1000?

      2: so, aside from how to purchase my skills, which I understand, I am trying too figure out my pools. Looking at what you wrote, it would seem that all skills have a 0 level that is purchased. Ie if I have agility of 3 and have bought evade at full price my pool is AGI+Evade, or 3+0 for 3d6. Whereas if I spend more to raise it to some other number, say 6, then it's AGI+Evade, 3+6 for 9d6.

      I suppose some of this question is how does the community track their skills on the character sheets?

      As for the skills question, thanks. I had figured that there was some interpretation for which skills to use, but was curious if there was a "default" skill for some common actions, like lies.

      Thanks again for the help.