Knacks as skills

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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Bonhumm
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Knacks as skills

Post by Bonhumm » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:32 pm

Finally decided to sit down and figure out how knacks works in 4ED and I'm a bit confused how the (few) Knacks that can be taken as Skill actually works.

First, is the following correct?

1a- If (only if) a Knack says 'Skill Use: Yes' can the Knack be learned as a Skill.
2a- The Requirements (minimum Talent levels and others) and Restrictions do not apply (although I could not find any 'Skillable' Knacks with actual Restrictions).
3a- Contrary to 'real' Talent Knacks, a Knack learned as a Skill do not 'level up' alongside the Talent itself and thus Legend Points need to be spent to improve it just like any other skill.


Secondly; since there is no Requirements to learn (some) Knacks as skills, would this mean that those Knacks are available at character creation, using the usual 8 free skill points we get?

Thirdly; What about the Legend Points cost to purchase a Knack as Skill? The Companion do not address that at all so I would assume it would be the same cost as the 'real' Talent Knacks (i.e. the same as a Novice talent of the required Rank) but I'd like confirmation since, well, there IS no 'required Rank' to learn it as Skill.

Finally; what about the cost in Legend Points for PROGRESSION? Is see two possibilities:

1b- Although purchasing the Knack at Rank 1 is a lot more expensive that purchasing a 'usual' skill at Rank 1, the next Ranks cost the usual cost of advancing a skill (i.e Rank2 would cost 300 LP for a Novice Knack)

2b- The Legend Point cost 'continues' from the where the cost of purchasing it at Rank 1 began. In other words; if it cost the equivalent of a Novice Talent at Rank 8 to purchase the Knack at Rank 1, improving the Skill at Rank two would cost the equivalent of a Rank 9.

Option '2' seems very mean but then again, getting a Knack as skill without any of the Requirements is kinda OP too.

Your thoughts?

gortatrien
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Re: Knacks as skills

Post by gortatrien » Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:11 pm

1a - I think is answered under the Skill: entry on page 77.
This notes if the knack can be learned as a skill. If yes, only the effects of the knack are learned as a skill of the same name. The skill cannot be used in the same round as other skills derived from knacks of the same governing talent; i.e. no using skills to get around restrictions knacks face.
2a - The Knacks as Skills entry on page 76 answers most of this. I think restrictions would have to be on a case by case basis. Discipline restriction doesn't really make sense, race or racial ability would usually make sense, membership in an organization maybe, minimum attribute value would still make sense.
Some knacks can be learned as skills (these are noted in the knack description). These knacks do not require the character learning them to
know the associated talent (or skill, if appropriate), and only provide the effect described in the knack. They have ranks and are learned and advanced
like other skills (Player’s Guide, p. 450). The skill rank is used to determine the Step as indicated in the knack description.
3a - is also answered by the Knacks as skill entry
They have ranks and are learned and advanced like other skills (Player’s Guide, p. 450).
Secondly, in terms of learning them at character creation, I would assume they would follow the same rules (novice yes, journeyman no, warden no), but that is probably a GM call.

Thirdly, based on the Knacks as Skills entry, I would assume you would initially purchase rank 1 like any other skill (novice 200 lp, journeyman 300 lp, warden 500 lp). You don't have to spend additional lp to learn the skill, you are simply learning a new skill.

Finally, also based on the Knacks as Skills entry, I would assume you purchase additional ranks using the normal progression.

I don't really think it is overpowered to just treat the knack exactly like a skill in terms of learning it and improving it. Buying a knack as a knack means you immediately get it at the rank of the associated talent and it goes up with that talent. Buying at as a skill means you initially get it at rank 1 and you have to spend time, money and lp for every increase in rank.

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Mataxes
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Re: Knacks as skills

Post by Mataxes » Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:38 pm

For all intents and purposes, learning a knack as a skill works just like learning a normal skill and is otherwise treated as a skill.

A "Novice-tier" knack-as-skill can be obtained with your starting allotment of skill points. It would cost 200 Legend to buy Rank 1, 300 to advance to Rank 2 (along with the additional silver-and-training-time costs).

A Journeyman-tier knack-as-skill cannot be learned at character creation, costs 300 Legend for Rank 1, and so on.

Much like talents-as-skills, they operate mechanically like the talent (mostly), but follow the skill rules for learning and advancement.
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Bonhumm
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Re: Knacks as skills

Post by Bonhumm » Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:24 pm

Mataxes wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:38 pm
For all intents and purposes, learning a knack as a skill works just like learning a normal skill and is otherwise treated as a skill.
Yay! Canon rules. Thank you very much.

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Knacks as skills

Post by ChrisDDickey » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:06 pm

I am going to agree with everybody else, but think that an example might make it very plain.

Let us take the "Swinging Move" knack of the "Climbing" talent.
Let us assume that the GM rules that the "Swinging Move" skill is a default-able skill, and anybody may attempt a swinging move test using only their Dex. Any character may attempt a Dex (8) test to swing on a rope (or similar) for a distance up to their movement rate. Failure to roll an 8 on their Dex test means they fall off the rope. They may attempt to travel double their movement rate by spending a strain and raising the target number to 12.

A character who has 10 ranks in the climbing talent, but does not have the swinging move knack would make straight Dex (8) test, because he does not have the knack.
A character who has 10 ranks in the climbing talent, and does have the swinging move knack would make a Dex + Climbing Rank (TN 8) test. Obtaining the Knack would have cost 300 LP.
A character who does not have the climbing talent, can purchase the climbing skill for the normal costs of a Novice skill. It will in no way help them in making swinging moves.
A character who does not have the climbing talent, but wishes to be better at swinging around on ropes, could purchase the "swinging move" skill as a Novice skill. The first rank will cost 200 lp. The 2nd and 3rd ranks will cost 300 and 500 lp as normal. It will help you make swinging moves. It will in no ways help you to climb, but attempts to swing on a rope will use Dex + Swinging Moves Rank.

Telarus
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Re: Knacks as skills

Post by Telarus » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:14 pm

Good breakdown, thanks!

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