Designer Diary: The Nile Empire Part 2

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Thratchen
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Re: Designer Diary: The Nile Empire Part 2

Postby Thratchen » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:18 pm

Spatula wrote:What overlap between science (hard sciences) and scholar (liberal arts) is there?

I expect there are a number of fields that overlap fairly significantly, but since the description says to make a ‘Scholar test’ I assumed characters would be limited to using the Scholar skill specifically. However, the word Scholar itself is somewhat vague (I would consider a theoretical physicist to be very much a scholar) so I can see the argument come up that “my character has five points in Science and three doctorates in physics and bioengineering, how am I not a scholar?” So trying to restrict that character to using Scholar skill untrained may cause hard feelings. As a GM I’d allow them to substitute. But a more specific description may help avoid the discussion entirely.
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Re: Designer Diary: The Nile Empire Part 2

Postby Spatula » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:30 pm

Thratchen wrote:I expect there are a number of fields that overlap fairly significantly, but since the description says to make a ‘Scholar test’ I assumed characters would be limited to using the Scholar skill specifically. However, the word Scholar itself is somewhat vague (I would consider a theoretical physicist to be very much a scholar) so I can see the argument come up that “my character has five points in Science and three doctorates in physics and bioengineering, how am I not a scholar?” So trying to restrict that character to using Scholar skill untrained may cause hard feelings. As a GM I’d allow them to substitute. But a more specific description may help avoid the discussion entirely.

"Scholar" isn't italicized as it usually is for skill names in the example, but I imagine that's an oversight as "a scholar test" has a very specific meaning in the game. Namely, that you roll a test of your scholar skill.

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Re: Designer Diary: The Nile Empire Part 2

Postby utsukushi » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:31 am

I think the Scholar skill seems perfectly appropriate. It's not like they're actually scientifically researching the question - they're meditating over a magic hip bone. If you have five adds in Science but scoff at those silly liberal arts, this might not be the method for you.

So for me, anybody can do it because we are indeed all scholars in our own ways, but the kind of generalized knowledge represented by the Scholar Skill is what the Shard resonates with.

...but, like Deanna said, this seems totally like the kind of thing GMs should decide. If they took the space to clarify that beyond any doubt, there are groups it wouldn't make sense to for exactly the reasons people have said here, and then they'd just be annoyed.

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Re: Designer Diary: The Nile Empire Part 2

Postby Thratchen » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:43 pm

utsukushi wrote:I think the Scholar skill seems perfectly appropriate. It's not like they're actually scientifically researching the question - they're meditating over a magic hip bone. If you have five adds in Science but scoff at those silly liberal arts, this might not be the method for you.

So for me, anybody can do it because we are indeed all scholars in our own ways, but the kind of generalized knowledge represented by the Scholar Skill is what the Shard resonates with.


Seems a reasonable explanation, and I would certainly accept that as a player. There are a few disciplines (like, say, paleontology) that could arguably be either, but it's easy enough to make individual judgement calls. I don't necessarily have an issue with the specific skill they decided to use, I just think it could be better detailed and explained.

utsukushi wrote:...but, like Deanna said, this seems totally like the kind of thing GMs should decide. If they took the space to clarify that beyond any doubt, there are groups it wouldn't make sense to for exactly the reasons people have said here, and then they'd just be annoyed.


Maybe, but ignoring and changing published descriptions is much easier for a GM to do than try to interpret and argue the intent behind an item description when that description leaves a lot of room for ambitious players to twist it to their own ends. It's not a huge deal, I just figure that it'd be better for them to have a little more detail for those who need it rather than something with a lot of holes and an advisement to 'make it up'.
Terminally ill peasants try to lay hands on him.
When he turns undead they refuse to leave... without his autograph.
The gods won't take him into the afterlife, because he would make them look bad.
He is... the Most Interesting Cleric In The World.


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