Why Guts?

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Takeda
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#61 Postby Takeda » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:24 pm

I see your point Clint ... but not everyone can fight, not everyone can swim, etc. But everyone can see and hear (unless they're hearing or visually impaired). If the minor hindrance is -2 hearing, and another is -2 vision .... effectively not being able to see and hear (well) should be a Major Hindrance thus the d4-2 notice check.

Charging for just a basic Notice is like making someone buy a skill to allow them to walk around. We wouldn't do that ... but if they can't walk well they can have Lame as a hindrance.

Playing someone who is oblivious (Unobservant) should have a better payoff in character creation than simply freeing up the 1 pt for Notice Skill that everyone should have. That's my point ... everyone out of the box should have d4 Notice in my opinion.

So if I'm playing the Absent-Minded Professor

Agl: d6 Smt: d10 Spr: d6 Str: d6 Vgr: d6

Hindrances: Oblivious (Major) -2 on all Notice Checks, Bad Hearing (Minor) another -2 on hearing-based notice checks, Loyalty (Minor).

Edges: Rich.

Skills: Drive d6, Knowledge (Astronomy) d8, Know (Electronics) d8, Know (Mathematics) d10, Notice d4 (Everyman), Persuasion d6, Swim d4.

So he makes Notice checks at d4-2 and d4-4 if its hearing-based. Think of Jerry Lewis with his hyper-focus (oblivious) and his hearing being damaged from so many explosions in his Lab.
Dean: "Ya' know she could be faking."
Sam: "Yeah, what do you wanna do, poke her with a stick?"
[Dean nods]
Sam: "Dude, you're not gonna poke her with a stick?"
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#62 Postby 77IM » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:52 pm

I played in a one-shot where the GM tried to make Guts more attractive by letting you make a Guts check once per encounter to perform an extra action at no penalty. It wasn't used much and I don't think it really served the purpose but I see where he was going with it.

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#63 Postby Cutter XXIII » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:53 pm

Takeda wrote:But everyone can see and hear (unless they're hearing or visually impaired).


True, but the Notice skill is not indicative of having the basic five senses. It reflects "a hero's general alertness and ability to search for items or clues." (SW:EX, p. 10, emphasis mine).
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#64 Postby 77IM » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:58 pm

Takeda, I think I agree with you, but to play "devil's advocate," with that reasoning everyone should get Persuade d4 (we can all talk, right?) and Climb d4 (it's just vertical crawling, right?) and Fighting d4 (if you have arms you can slap, right?) etc.

One of the interesting thing about Attributes vs. Skills is that the Attributes have a higher guaranteed minimum (d4) but Skills have a higher potential maximum (since many professional Edges give +2, which stacks with Legendary Edges later).

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#65 Postby Cutter XXIII » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:07 pm

Lord Inar wrote:I do realize that this conversation has drifted from Guts, so I would like to ask (from a truly curious and not goading viewpoint,) is there a case when Guts would be used proactively?

Could you say "I want to make a Guts check to steel myself to what I'm about to see" and give essentially a +1 on the typical Guts/Fear check? This essentially amounts to a serial "self-assisting" roll.


With the caveat (as previously stated) that I think Guts is good for some settings and not so good for others...

Two characters could make opposed Guts checks to see who wins a game of "chicken," or other similar contest.

A character could make a Guts check to temporarily steel herself (thus ignoring the Yellow Hindrance for, say, 1 round per success and raise). This might also work with Phobias or other Hindrances. Subject to GM approval, of course.

As for making a Guts roll to gain a benefit on a subsequent Guts roll... I would never allow that. It isn't FFF to make the same roll twice, and while it doesn't contradict the letter of the rules, it surely runs counter to their spirit.
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#66 Postby Takeda » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:28 pm

77IM wrote:Takeda, I think I agree with you, but to play "devil's advocate," with that reasoning everyone should get Persuade d4 (we can all talk, right?) and Climb d4 (it's just vertical crawling, right?) and Fighting d4 (if you have arms you can slap, right?) etc.

One of the interesting thing about Attributes vs. Skills is that the Attributes have a higher guaranteed minimum (d4) but Skills have a higher potential maximum (since many professional Edges give +2, which stacks with Legendary Edges later).

-- 77IM


Talking isn't Persuading though. Paying points to be able to talk is akin to needing to spend points on Notice to perceive your environment ... in my opinion.

Being able to talk isn't being able to Sing, Persuade, etc.
Dean: "Ya' know she could be faking."

Sam: "Yeah, what do you wanna do, poke her with a stick?"

[Dean nods]

Sam: "Dude, you're not gonna poke her with a stick?"

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#67 Postby UmbraLux » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:45 pm

Takeda wrote:Talking isn't Persuading though. Paying points to be able to talk is akin to needing to spend points on Notice to perceive your environment ... in my opinion.
I agree with you. I think some games (usually in another system in my experience) have GMs who filter entirely too much of the campaign world through Notice or similar skills.

You shouldn't have to roll Notice to see the obvious anymore than you should have to explicitly state you're opening a door as you "walk outside". Yet both crop up from time to time. I think it's more a matter of poor GMing than anything else.

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#68 Postby shadd4d » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:50 pm

Lord Inar wrote:Yeah, any character I ever have in creating starts with 13 skill points and a d4 in Fighting and Notice or else the player must give me a really good (i.e., strongly thematic) reason for not having it. The few times someone hasn't had it (usually by oversight instead of specific design) it ALWAYS comes back to haunt them.


In my group, that character without a Notice Skill also doesn't have the Fighting skill. In Rippers. But, he's a noble, has high Persuasion, decent guts, decent Healing and Spellcasting. He's got money, minions and magic to help him out.

I think some games (usually in another system in my experience) have GMs who filter entirely too much of the campaign world through Notice or similar skills.

You shouldn't have to roll Notice to see the obvious anymore than you should have to explicitly state you're opening a door as you "walk outside". Yet both crop up from time to time. I think it's more a matter of poor GMing than anything else.


I've gotten that criticism from a friend of mine, and as a GM I've tried to make it a more pro-active use of skill than the only means to percieve in your environment. I'm not so sure of poor GM as maybe one of those rote things we pick up in certain games.

That said, I usually try and tell people how and what skills are important, but hey, not buying Notice (or Fighting or Shooting or Guts) is still a player decision.
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Fear is when you worry about what might be.
Horror is when you are certain." Dannyboy01

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#69 Postby Lord Inar » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:57 pm

shadd4d wrote:In my group, that character without a Notice Skill also doesn't have the Fighting skill. In Rippers. But, he's a noble, has high Persuasion, decent guts, decent Healing and Spellcasting. He's got money, minions and magic to help him out.

Reading that, I immediately thought of this classic:
Oooh, what a lucky man, he was...

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#70 Postby Clint » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:03 pm

Takeda wrote:I see your point Clint ... but not everyone can fight, not everyone can swim, etc. But everyone can see and hear (unless they're hearing or visually impaired). If the minor hindrance is -2 hearing, and another is -2 vision .... effectively not being able to see and hear (well) should be a Major Hindrance thus the d4-2 notice check.

Charging for just a basic Notice is like making someone buy a skill to allow them to walk around. We wouldn't do that ... but if they can't walk well they can have Lame as a hindrance.


I think this last is a prime example of the disconnect I think we have.

Walking around isn't analogous to a Notice roll; the closest would be a Running roll. It's going beyond what is normally done.

By the above analogy, a character walks into a room and the GM asks for a Notice roll before telling them there are two other doors and a table with a coffee mug on it sitting in the middle of it under a single light. That's not how it works. A Notice roll would tell the character that there is steam coming off the mug and a raise notes spilled coffee heading towards one of the doors.

It's not general seeing and hearing; it's alertness and ability to catch detailed clues.

Its like the Fighting and Swimming examples above; yes, everyone can do those even if they have to roll untrained. Not having the skill does not mean they are completely incapable of picking up a club and trying to hit someone with it or flail about with their arms and legs in an attempt to stay above water.

And I think it's important to keep in mind that rolling untrained in SW is nowhere near "effectively blind and deaf." For a PC, it's still a 32% chance of succeeding at noticing some detail or a 54% chance if spending a single benny.

Again though, I think the disconnect is between defining Notice as the existence of senses as opposed to the skilled use of them.
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#71 Postby Takeda » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:27 pm

I suppose, but you can not know how to swim and having a roll at d4-2 is generous at best. Not having 'skill' in Notice shouldn't be so difficult. Having swimming and Notice both at d4-2 if used untrained seems wacky in my opinion.

In all my years of gaming, 30+, I've never seen a game where an 'untrained' Perception roll was penalized. You might not get any bonuses for higher stats and such in some games, but penalized for untrained, never.

I'd prefer to just Agree to Disagree then keeping the debate going though.

I love every other thing about SW so that's a big plus for me!
Dean: "Ya' know she could be faking."

Sam: "Yeah, what do you wanna do, poke her with a stick?"

[Dean nods]

Sam: "Dude, you're not gonna poke her with a stick?"

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#72 Postby Cutter XXIII » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:44 pm

Takeda wrote:I suppose, but you can not know how to swim and having a roll at d4-2 is generous at best.


Not really. Swimming skill determines Pace in water. A character without Swimming can't go anywhere at all, and just gets that d4-2 to flop around and not drown.

A character in that situation deserves some generosity. :)
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#73 Postby Takeda » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:46 pm

Lol! True!
Dean: "Ya' know she could be faking."

Sam: "Yeah, what do you wanna do, poke her with a stick?"

[Dean nods]

Sam: "Dude, you're not gonna poke her with a stick?"

Supernatural Quotes

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#74 Postby jonrog1 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:49 pm

Wow, I wandered off to run a TV show and I missed ALL THE GOOD STUFF.

Ironically, after some playing and reading, I personally am leaning back on the "Guts when necessary in the setting" train. SW takes some getting used to as a rules-set. It's much more flexible than other systems, and so making the mental transition to "some of this 'Core' system is optional. Flavor to taste" takes a while.

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#75 Postby wanderingmystic » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:41 pm

Takeda wrote:In all my years of gaming, 30+, I've never seen a game where an 'untrained' Perception roll was penalized. You might not get any bonuses for higher stats and such in some games, but penalized for untrained, never.


Really, classic Deadlands, World of Darkness, Shadowrun, Exalted, WarHammer, D&D all of those games have a perception or alertness skill without buying those skills you will doubtfully be able to perceive anything, to be honest getting a wild dice + a d4 even with the -2 penalty giver you a better chance of noticing than any other game i have played in.

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#76 Postby steelbrok » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:05 am

I think Clint is on the right lines in defining Notice as a more specialised skill (perhaps thinking about Tracking might be useful).

Tracking allows someone to see track and where they lead, recognise clues like broken off twigs and splashed puddles for example.
Notice then becomes more of a forensic skill perhaps?

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#77 Postby JarJarMessiah » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:52 am

Also, remember, Notice is used to detect when a person is trying to decieve you.

As for Guts, it's a setting thing.
In a horror setting, it would be an important skill, plus it forces the players to burn up advances on guts as oppossed to combat oriented skills, thus making any supernatural a foe an inherently greater threat.
I don't use guts in my fantasy or pulp campaigns. I have an edge called Lion-Heart that grants +2 spirit roll vs fear.
Most savage settings seem use guts so I keep it in there.
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#78 Postby Aramus Daimorgul » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:29 pm

In my setting rules for my fantasy setting I use an "Awareness" derived stat (Notice/2+2).

I use this for when the players are searching around or when they want to sneak by someone. Generally when player knowledge is important I roll against their Awareness to see if the clue remains hidden etc.

As for Guts I decided to set the skill equal to their spirit at character creation. Then they can buy it higher if they want or whatever. I also do this for knowledge (common knowledge) and Athletics (climbing, jumping rolls and balancing and other physical endeavors). It makes sense in the setting rules for the game I think.

An interesting twist for discussion purposes is getting rid of the other derived stats too and have them rolled always. Toughness as a Vigor roll and Parry as Fighting roll could make sense in certain settings.
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Could you say "I want to make a Guts check to steel mys

#79 Postby manifold » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:20 pm

Lord Inar:

to this:

Could you say "I want to make a Guts check to steel myself to what I'm about to see" and give essentially a +1 on the typical Guts/Fear check?

I'd say "No, but you can spend a bennie if you blow it."

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#80 Postby Lord Inar » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:30 pm

Cutter XXIII wrote:As for making a Guts roll to gain a benefit on a subsequent Guts roll... I would never allow that. It isn't FFF to make the same roll twice, and while it doesn't contradict the letter of the rules, it surely runs counter to their spirit.


I guess I only mention it as there is precedent in Tests of Will, where you can Taunt one round, then Taunt again at +2 to hopefully get the raise.

Of course you could only steel yourself if you knew it was there by way of someone else being exposed to it and either coming out and saying there was something horrible or running out screaming.

But, since no one seems to think it's a good idea, it's easy to drop (since Deadlnds is the only SW game that I play that has Guts anyway)


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