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D&D General Heroes of Myth and Legend

Is intelligence including quick and predictive thinking it is in 4e (where for instance we get it as potential reflex fuel)?

Is wisdom getting perceptivity and general awareness?

Yeah, I think that is the general idea. I had no problem really with how 4e parsed that. It seemed pretty 'trad D&D' in that sense, and I've always been pretty comfortable with D&D's ability score handling (I mean, noting that HoML just gets rid of the scores and keeps the bonuses, not that this is very radical).

So, if you look at the 'knacks' (I just like the name better, I think its more accurate than 'skill' for how 4e uses them) they're basically the same as the 4e ones, I haven't really found much that I can significantly improve on, aside from trading the more limited 'dungeoneering' label for 'Engineering'. I consider everything to be pretty broad.

I left religion/religious tied to INT, which I believe 4e did partly for balance and partly the notion being that 'religion is not piety, it is knowledge of the doctrines, etc.' HOWEVER, it does seem to me that by explicitly calling them 'knacks' the "how I solve problems" aspect is stronger than the 'knowledge' aspect. So, maybe it really should shift to being "I'm good at using my piety to solve problems" in which case WIS seems like a better match. The problem then is WIS is getting a LOT of knacks!

Of course, we could parse things differently, or more finely, etc. I mean, I could see CON having both "solve things through Stamina" and "solve things through sheer ability to Endure/Survive" High CON helps both, and at the 4e level of parsing they are just all 'Endurance' and that is fine, but you could squeeze out a second aspect for CON that way. OTOH I'm not sure it would always be clear which is a better match to govern a situation.

I guess we could go the other way and just abolish knacks altogether. In some sense Abilities do some of the same work. I guess another option would be to break with the classic 6 scores and maybe have something like 9, that would maybe get you some added things. I mean, you could have 'MOXIE' that would handle 'Streetwise' type "I can handle this" situations, maybe Alertness to take perception and similar out of the realm of WIS (which is not the very best fit), and I suppose you could have an actual POWER Ability score too. That would certainly lead to some interesting optimization questions if it affected your power points!
 

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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Yeah, I think that is the general idea. I had no problem really with how 4e parsed that. It seemed pretty 'trad D&D' in that sense, and I've always been pretty comfortable with D&D's ability score handling (I mean, noting that HoML just gets rid of the scores and keeps the bonuses, not that this is very radical).

So, if you look at the 'knacks' (I just like the name better, I think its more accurate than 'skill' for how 4e uses them) they're basically the same as the 4e ones, I haven't really found much that I can significantly improve on, aside from trading the more limited 'dungeoneering' label for 'Engineering'. I consider everything to be pretty broad.

I left religion/religious tied to INT, which I believe 4e did partly for balance and partly the notion being that 'religion is not piety, it is knowledge of the doctrines, etc.' HOWEVER, it does seem to me that by explicitly calling them 'knacks' the "how I solve problems" aspect is stronger than the 'knowledge' aspect. So, maybe it really should shift to being "I'm good at using my piety to solve problems" in which case WIS seems like a better match. The problem then is WIS is getting a LOT of knacks!

Of course, we could parse things differently, or more finely, etc. I mean, I could see CON having both "solve things through Stamina" and "solve things through sheer ability to Endure/Survive" High CON helps both, and at the 4e level of parsing they are just all 'Endurance' and that is fine, but you could squeeze out a second aspect for CON that way. OTOH I'm not sure it would always be clear which is a better match to govern a situation.

I guess we could go the other way and just abolish knacks altogether. In some sense Abilities do some of the same work. I guess another option would be to break with the classic 6 scores and maybe have something like 9, that would maybe get you some added things. I mean, you could have 'MOXIE' that would handle 'Streetwise' type "I can handle this" situations, maybe Alertness to take perception and similar out of the realm of WIS (which is not the very best fit), and I suppose you could have an actual POWER Ability score too. That would certainly lead to some interesting optimization questions if it affected your power points!
I like how the Level UP guys totally separated Knacks (heh) from the attributes. Athletics (Int/Wis) might be used to predict the winner of a contest or analyze an enemies capability before having too many clues
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Yeah, I think that is the general idea. I had no problem really with how 4e parsed that. It seemed pretty 'trad D&D' in that sense, and I've always been pretty comfortable with D&D's ability score handling (I mean, noting that HoML just gets rid of the scores and keeps the bonuses, not that this is very radical).
4e followed through on it I felt a bit better in my opinion.. 3e gave the nads though so creds to it.
 

I like how the Level UP guys totally separated Knacks (heh) from the attributes. Athletics (Int/Wis) might be used to predict the winner of a contest or analyze an enemies capability before having too many clues
That's just basically a 5e-ism, not that 5e really invented that idea either... I am not really super opposed to it. OTOH it seems like an added complexity, particularly with the idea of a 'controlling knack' for each check, now you also need a controlling attribute. It is just one more 'step'. You could also argue that KNOWLEDGE of athletics is totally unrelated to Athletic PROWESS, which doesn't really happen with this system (yes, you can be a low STR athlete with a high INT who can answer questions better than leap a chasm, but you're still pretty good at the leaping part!). Anyway, you can, ala 5e again, have a 'knowledge specialization' in 'sports'. If you read the knack chapter it talks about that at the end, which is the other approach. Again, not exactly hard opposed to the 5e-ish way, just leery of the extra mental overhead, and the fact that you cannot write down a completely specified knack bonus anymore (because technically there are 6 possibilities, the list is just too long).

Of course, all this does bear on the question of why have knacks AND abilities as separate things at all.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
That's just basically a 5e-ism, not that 5e really invented that idea either.
In level up there is no default they seem to go all in on it.
.. I am not really super opposed to it. OTOH it seems like an added complexity, particularly with the idea of a 'controlling knack' for each check,
it just means you talk about the thing you are doing and decide which 2 things primarily apply.
now you also need a controlling attribute. It is just one more 'step'. You could also argue that KNOWLEDGE of athletics is totally unrelated to Athletic PROWESS
level typically is the simplifying thing right there, but you are already advancing a skill and an attribute separately.

, which doesn't really happen with this system (yes, you can be a low STR athlete with a high INT who can answer questions better than leap a chasm, but you're still pretty good at the leaping part!).
heroic versatility... it is in service of a trope. Assumptions abound that if you have high strength you can jump and lift too. Then 4e made skill powers and practices and level up made specializations. (note 4e enabled exertions of a form to do better and were tied in with resources)
Anyway, you can, ala 5e again, have a 'knowledge specialization' in 'sports'. If you read the knack chapter it talks about that at the end, which is the other approach. Again, not exactly hard opposed to the 5e-ish way, just leery of the extra mental overhead, and the fact that you cannot write down a completely specified knack bonus anymore (because technically there are 6 possibilities, the list is just too long).
it adds a decide and add step sure
Of course, all this does bear on the question of why have knacks AND abilities as separate things at all.
abilities are extremely broad? and knacks are somewhat broad?
 
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Gilladian

Adventurer
Yeah, I think that is the general idea. I had no problem really with how 4e parsed that. It seemed pretty 'trad D&D' in that sense, and I've always been pretty comfortable with D&D's ability score handling (I mean, noting that HoML just gets rid of the scores and keeps the bonuses, not that this is very radical).

So, if you look at the 'knacks' (I just like the name better, I think its more accurate than 'skill' for how 4e uses them) they're basically the same as the 4e ones, I haven't really found much that I can significantly improve on, aside from trading the more limited 'dungeoneering' label for 'Engineering'. I consider everything to be pretty broad.

I left religion/religious tied to INT, which I believe 4e did partly for balance and partly the notion being that 'religion is not piety, it is knowledge of the doctrines, etc.' HOWEVER, it does seem to me that by explicitly calling them 'knacks' the "how I solve problems" aspect is stronger than the 'knowledge' aspect. So, maybe it really should shift to being "I'm good at using my piety to solve problems" in which case WIS seems like a better match. The problem then is WIS is getting a LOT of knacks!

Of course, we could parse things differently, or more finely, etc. I mean, I could see CON having both "solve things through Stamina" and "solve things through sheer ability to Endure/Survive" High CON helps both, and at the 4e level of parsing they are just all 'Endurance' and that is fine, but you could squeeze out a second aspect for CON that way. OTOH I'm not sure it would always be clear which is a better match to govern a situation.

I guess we could go the other way and just abolish knacks altogether. In some sense Abilities do some of the same work. I guess another option would be to break with the classic 6 scores and maybe have something like 9, that would maybe get you some added things. I mean, you could have 'MOXIE' that would handle 'Streetwise' type "I can handle this" situations, maybe Alertness to take perception and similar out of the realm of WIS (which is not the very best fit), and I suppose you could have an actual POWER Ability score too. That would certainly lead to some interesting optimization questions if it affected your power points!
I HATE the term "knack". I don't think it suits at all the way I think of skills. Skills are training. Knacks are things you are instinctively good at; they may get BETTER if you have associated skill training, but I for example, have a knack for handicrafts. I'm just good at them, a combination of interest, patience in that particular way, and an ability to see how to do things. I don't count it as "skill", because I'm NOT skilled at a lot of crafts that I can pick up and figure out because of my knack. I would prefer that these be DIFFERENTLY handled in the ruleset. A knack for something is like a synergy bonus or a stat bonus. SKILLS are things you deliberately learn and study and practice, which you get better at. Does this make sense? If you continue to use Knack as "a thing you've learned to do" I will put up with it, but it will be a constant irritation to me.
 

Gilladian

Adventurer
I'm pretty lost by the current discussion. It all seems to esoteric and convoluted to me. I like 3.5. You have abilities. You have skills. They complement each other. Synergy shows where they overlap. I'd add a lot more synergy bonuses, or allow people to "buy" a synergy bonus with a feat/boon, or something. So if you had Knowledge Athletics, you could have a minor boon that let you apply that bonus (with some daily limit?) to an athletics attempt. You're using your understanding of "HOW" to polevault to the attempt to jump over that chasm, for example. But some jumps just won't be amenable to that sort of application of knowledge.
 

I HATE the term "knack". I don't think it suits at all the way I think of skills. Skills are training. Knacks are things you are instinctively good at; they may get BETTER if you have associated skill training, but I for example, have a knack for handicrafts. I'm just good at them, a combination of interest, patience in that particular way, and an ability to see how to do things. I don't count it as "skill", because I'm NOT skilled at a lot of crafts that I can pick up and figure out because of my knack. I would prefer that these be DIFFERENTLY handled in the ruleset. A knack for something is like a synergy bonus or a stat bonus. SKILLS are things you deliberately learn and study and practice, which you get better at. Does this make sense? If you continue to use Knack as "a thing you've learned to do" I will put up with it, but it will be a constant irritation to me.
I think the general idea is to portray them not so much as training and more as inclination. If I'm a sneaky lying sort of guy, then Bluff (could be renamed) is a knack I have. I will engage in problem-solving via the route of deception, rather than the route of say Diplomacy (negotiation and agreement). I mean, I am not really disagreeing with you, but is 'craft' really a single SKILL? I mean, I think there's a degree to which doing one craft hones your overall core skill set, but being good at Femo doesn't seem to me to translate much to, say, embroidery. I would think that the 'specific knowledges' or what 5e seems to prefer to call 'tool proficiency' (awkward if you ask me, as not everything involves tools). So, you might be noted on your character sheet as "Femo expert" and have a knack for crafts. Given some decent underlying ability bonuses, you would be quite good at Femo, and probably also good at embroidery, maybe to a lesser degree.

And, honestly, I don't see that an action adventure type of game needs to really dwell in the weeds of exactly what people get bonuses for. I think in a story game type of paradigm it is better to just say "well, if you tell THIS story, consistent with your character's concept, then you will see more successes on the dice." Anyway, I was just bothered by the 4e idea that things were 'skills' which seemed to be rather inaccurate, and begged the question of why there were only 17 entries on that list and no more.
 

I'm pretty lost by the current discussion. It all seems to esoteric and convoluted to me. I like 3.5. You have abilities. You have skills. They complement each other. Synergy shows where they overlap. I'd add a lot more synergy bonuses, or allow people to "buy" a synergy bonus with a feat/boon, or something. So if you had Knowledge Athletics, you could have a minor boon that let you apply that bonus (with some daily limit?) to an athletics attempt. You're using your understanding of "HOW" to polevault to the attempt to jump over that chasm, for example. But some jumps just won't be amenable to that sort of application of knowledge.
Right, so I think in HoML that is just some sort of Boon. Anyone might technically acquire it, but if you are not very strong and don't possess the 'Athletics' knack, then when you utilize it the results will be interesting perhaps, but not spectacular. OTOH Mongo the Mighty with +4 STR, and Athletics proficiency for another +5 could take that boon and be bouncing off the walls with it. That's one reason to have the idea of complete success, if you have high bonuses you will get that a lot. And if you then burn a power point and get enhanced success, something pretty amazing happens. Note you need attunement with a power source (probably martial in this case) to invoke that 'kicker'.

Anyway, I THINK the end result is pretty straightforward. Ability scores provide a basis, but not exclusively, for what you can do, and then knacks indicate the specific preferred types of solutions (IE Athletic activity), and a Boon that accesses a Feat (Mighty Leap) gives you a reason to expend a PP to get the kicker it provides. Likewise you might acquire practices/rituals that let you recast problems in terms of Athletics (IE the 'Iron Body' practice lets you meditate for a while and then break through stone walls and heavy doors/gates by making your body as tough as steel for 5 minutes). A wizard would use Knock, Mongo the Mighty uses Iron Body.

It SEEMS like a comprehensive system, but I want to understand how it feels in play. Maybe it isn't as easy to use as my imagination makes it. I like one thing about 5e, it is pretty obvious about what is what and why you want to take some character option, and once you take that option, the results are delivered and need not be revisited. That was a down side of 4e IMHO, you were always needing to 'garden' your character to keep up on his core stuff.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
We do talk esoteric do not let it get to you. I personally find it hard to resist. Flexible Attribution is a thing it is related to reflavoring ... ie where do or did I get this ability is just not nailed down. Did I learn it through discipline and training? Is this really a racial trait that manifests selectively? Did I suddenly remember the ability form a previous past life? Did it flow into me from my recently acquired magic item? I used this same idea in 4e even if it was not presented explicitly.

If I understand correctly HoML has more generic categorizations over all (skill sounds like it nails down where you got the talent ie it implies you learned it when the same mechanic could apply to you were born with it) and knack is a name which attempts to put that characterization more explicitly in your hands. (may not succeed because it kind of implies it is more a talent)
 

We do talk esoteric do not let it get to you. I personally find it hard to resist. Flexible Attribution is a thing it is related to reflavoring ... ie where do or did I get this ability is just not nailed down. Did I learn it through discipline and training? Is this really a racial trait that manifests selectively? Did I suddenly remember the ability form a previous past life? Did it flow into me from my recently acquired magic item? I used this same idea in 4e even if it was not presented explicitly.

If I understand correctly HoML has more generic categorizations over all (skill sounds like it nails down where you got the talent ie it implies you learned it when the same mechanic could apply to you were born with it) and knack is a name which attempts to put that characterization more explicitly in your hands. (may not succeed because it kind of implies it is more a talent)
Right, and frankly I am not wedded to any specific terminology. Its a bit of a pain to change stuff, but whatever. If it makes the thing easier to understand and gives the right idea, good. So, maybe 'proficiency' is not the best term either. It was a good term to use with skills, and traditional for D&D, but 'proficiency with a knack' is a pretty awkward formulation. 'knack' seems more appropriate as a replacement for the word proficiency, in at least some places. OTOH what do I call them?
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Right, and frankly I am not wedded to any specific terminology. Its a bit of a pain to change stuff, but whatever. If it makes the thing easier to understand and gives the right idea, good. So, maybe 'proficiency' is not the best term either. It was a good term to use with skills, and traditional for D&D, but 'proficiency with a knack' is a pretty awkward formulation. 'knack' seems more appropriate as a replacement for the word proficiency, in at least some places. OTOH what do I call them?
Well ability means either talent or skill.. and basically does not imply where it came from it might be the root word to rule them all. And an attribute is a quality of something which might imply ability or simply nature.



we can have basic ability or basics and advanced ability or advancement and focused ability or focus.
 
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Well ability means either talent or skill.. and basically does not imply where it came from it might be the root word to rule them all. And an attribute is a quality of something which might imply ability or simply nature.
So, I never spelled it out, and I might have been inconsistent here and there, but the terminology is that there are 'objects' and 'scenes', which can have 'attributes'. Technically everything is based on that (and I would say, though it isn't really stated, that a scene is a type of object, honestly I have not talked about scenes or developed any concept of how they work beyond the GM initiates them, in general). Anyway, 'creatures' are objects, so they have attributes. Abilities are the 6 specific traditional 'ability scores'. Their values are technically one of None, Poor, Average, Above Average, Strong, Exceptional, Mighty, or Godlike. Poor through Mighty have associated ability bonuses STR, CON, DEX, etc. In general an attribute is just a name<->value pair, but technically EVERYTHING is an attribute, each boon, your calling, species, etc. are all attributes. Whatever you write on your sheet is an attribute, they are just a 'grab bag' of properties of characters and other objects. PCs obviously have a lot of specific ones that other creatures (I have not really used a consistent term, NPC, monster, whatever) may not need.

I guess my point is, knack proficiencies are attributes. As of the existing terminology they aren't technically called 'abilities', but again I'm perfectly willing to entertain any ideas for terminology and organization of rules. I'm just more wrestling right now with the questions of tone and genre.
 

And in the vein of talking about tone and genre... Exactly what do we think? I mean, "Mythic Heroes" are an oddball category! First of all VERY few of them are actually human in the myths of this world. 99% of them are demigods or something like that, if not outright gods. It does shade a bit into "super powered humans who were fated to be extraordinary by nature" here and there, but basically the D&D 'adventurer model' isn't all that consonant with mythic characters.

OTOH, I've kind of wedded myself to the core D&D-esque model of a power progression over time for PCs, and that also is a bit off from myths to an extent. I mean, most mythic heroes seem to have innate talent, or talent that was developed offscreen and generally started with some kind of supernatural origin. Now, you could build on that and say that every PC in HOML is a 'nascent hero' and has the potential to be mythic, and they are all supernatural in origin. I'm not sure how to convey that. I mean, I could lean into it and make 'supernatural origin' a big part of a PC build.

OTOH LEGENDS are much more amenable to being portrayed in a classically D&D-esque way. Beowulf didn't start out as a super bad-ass, he was perhaps talented and maybe fated, but at some point in his youth he was just a fairly ordinary warrior of unusual talent. Heck, even at the end he's not a MYTH, he's just an exemplary human, the dragon still beats him!

I guess the question is, are we dealing with outright MYTHS, or something closer to LEGENDS? The later fits a lot more easily into a paradigm similar to D&D, which works well for a 4e-like game. It is certainly possible to go further and stick to the 4e paradigm of Epic play where you BECOME a mythic figure, transcending legends. The difference being you're not really addressing classical (say classical Greek) myths exactly. It is maybe closer to the RQ "hero questing" kind of design where you get to Mythic Tier and then you start running into gods, adventuring in 'heaven' or 'hell', etc. Again, we just go along with the 4e model here, pretty much.

I'm really not sure how you would even approach the classic myth sort of model. I guess it would be a bit like Exalted or something like that where the PCs were created de novo as supernatural beings of some sort and that was that. It sounds like an interesting concept, but I'm inclined to stick with the "you are a hero from the start, but not even a legend yet, and entering into Myth is something that some mortals do in this world" Maybe when you reach Mythic Tier one of the boons you can get is a revelation of a supernatural element to your nature that manifests at that time, sort of like an ED.
 

Well ability means either talent or skill.. and basically does not imply where it came from it might be the root word to rule them all. And an attribute is a quality of something which might imply ability or simply nature.



we can have basic ability or basics and advanced ability or advancement and focused ability or focus.
OK, so lets parse this out...

Currently: Knack represents an approach to doing something. You get to add a proficiency bonus to your check if the Aspect which governs the check matches up with a knack you have proficiency with, and the underlying ability score bonus that matches that knack is also added (regardless of proficiency or not). Kind of awkward formulation...

So, is 'Aspect' a good term? I'm not sure of another one, I think a few other games have used this term as well. The other question is what are a good set of aspects? I just generated a list one-for-one with the 17 knacks, but I am not wedded to it. There could be more or less of them, though if they don't match 1-to-1 then it will introduce a choice for the player or the GM of which knack is germane to the situation (I guess it would then just depend on the action the player proposes).

'Knack' feels more like a replacement for proficiency anyway, like "I have a knack for athletics", but then what term to use for Athletics? Is it a 'skill'? I wasn't too fond of that as it implies training vs more of a 'propensity'. Talent might not be a bad term, but then we have 2 terms that produce the same results, proficiency for weapons, implements, tools, etc. and Talent for problem-solving approaches (maybe Approach is better than Aspect).

Anyway, lets see.... You would have a Talent for Athletics, and if a task implied an Athletic approach (IE you are jumping over something) then you would add the ability bonus for STR and the proficiency bonus for the Talent. I guess the thing itself, Athletics would then still be known as a Knack? Or maybe we just call it an Approach, so you are Talented in the Athletic Approach and you get a proficiency bonus when you use it. I guess that's OK. Suggestions are welcome!
 

On another note, anyone who is hankering to fool around with playing some half-baked RPG, I do have a roll20 game that I created way back when. I was thinking of using Astral instead, but it really is not that much of an improvement on roll20 (if any) and they just announced they are closing up shop, so I won't spend any energy on THAT.

So, Roll20 is the share link for a game. There's not really much there currently, but we can play around and get something started.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
LOL. not exactly what you mean but.
When you say approach my brain drops back to a very general "Direct, Responsive, Deceptive, Analytically, Chaotic(Instinctively)" , think of them as being like rock paper scissors, spock, lizard.

Direct approach is defeated by a responsive, a responsive is defeated by deceptive etc. Approaches are to me a form of immediate tactics. They might be partially determined by pure inclination or the methods the individual is best at. But are dynamically selected.
 

LOL. not exactly what you mean but.
When you say approach my brain drops back to a very general "Direct, Responsive, Deceptive, Analytically, Chaotic(Instinctively)" , think of them as being like rock paper scissors, spock, lizard.

Direct approach is defeated by a responsive, a responsive is defeated by deceptive etc. Approaches are to me a form of immediate tactics. They might be partially determined by pure inclination or the methods the individual is best at. But are dynamically selected.
Yeah, some games have used that, but I always thought it was not all that informative of what is actually going on. I mean, 'Direct' doesn't really tell you all that much. What is 'analytical' in a knife fight? How does it differ from 'responsive'? I think there are niche domains where that kind of thing works fine, if you are always dealing with social situations or something.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Yeah, some games have used that, but I always thought it was not all that informative of what is actually going on. I mean, 'Direct' doesn't really tell you all that much. What is 'analytical' in a knife fight? How does it differ from 'responsive'? I think there are niche domains where that kind of thing works fine, if you are always dealing with social situations or something.
Analytical is overcoming a feint by recognizing it is a feint .. direct is just ignoring the fient.

There are generally only subtle differences between Responsive and Analytical (responsive is more immediate) or between Chaotic and Deceptive. Their might be differences in degree of domination.

Technically you can go with just 3, Direct, Responsive and Deceptive. (just as one can play 3 or 5 or more point roshambo)

A wild flurry of attacks might be characteristically Chaotic and if you respond you generally only stop one of them well but if you attack direct you interrupt them all. A wild flurry of attacks is not readable by Analysis and wont likely figure it out.

A given combatant only technically needs to use 2 of them to be roughly effective and characterize their fighting style. For instance. The Incredible hulk would almost always use Direct or Chaotic, but would you call anything he did deceptive?

Analytical might even be seen as using what you did a moment ago to predict what you are doing now.
 

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