Streetwise skill = find the path

Just got your book, can't find a copy, have a cool adventure idea or story? Chat about it here.

Moderators: PEG Jodi, The Moderators

Message
Author
Aramus Daimorgul
Seasoned
Posts: 129
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:31 pm
Location: Shifting to a new reality

Streetwise skill = find the path

#1 Postby Aramus Daimorgul » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:00 pm

Streeetwise has been one of the most useful skills in our Sundered Skies game. Is this common with most settings or is it more tied to the nature of sundered skies. We get on an island and if we want to find out any information we need to get to rolling our streewise skill. If we want to find a buyer we need to roll streetwise. If we want to find a seller we need to roll streetwise.

There could be some rules that we should be following but are not. Can we all go out in the bazaar and individually search for a tidbit of information and each get a separate roll or should we be making a single roll and using the cooperative roll rules? Regardless we are and would be rolling a lot of streetwise.

Are there any house rules that can diffuse the power of this skill? The skill seems to be ruling the game so much that we are all probably going to be increasing our skill.

There is a random element to adventure design (card flipping) and every situation cannot be thought out in advance on how the characters can find more information. So the Streetwise and to a lesser extent Investigation skill is powerful and easy way to let the players get the info they need to continue adventuring - but is it too easy... This may or may not be an issue, I am just putting out my impression.
Some men see things as they are and say, "Why?" I dream of things that never were and say, "Why not?"
- Bernard Shaw

Seeker Jon
Heroic
Posts: 1089
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:30 pm
Location: Valhalla, NY

#2 Postby Seeker Jon » Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:01 pm

How you're allowed to use the Streetwise and investigation skills is really up to the GM. The way I run it, is I allow a single roll for a particular locale (for Streetwise) or a for researching a particular topic/using a particular source (for Investigation). I let the players describe what they're doing, and based on that i determine if its a group roll or not; usually it is, unless the specifically say they won't be helping each other (ex: I'm gonna go run down info on the weird sign carved into the dead guy's forehead, you ask about the broad the witness saw leaving the scene).

The biggest limitation is time; remember, talking to people, looking in books is not a simple procedure. I usually rule that a single roll of one of these skills takes a least a couple of hours. If they got a really good roll, I let the player choose if they got really good info or got ok info really fast.

And honestly, I can't really imagine a setting where the Streetwise skill at least isn't INCREDIBLY useful, as useful as a combat skill or Notice. You always need information, and will almost always need to talk to people to get it. As for using it so much you need to increase it, its not like that's a bad thing. That's what happens with any useful skill.

User avatar
Noshrok Grimskull
Legendary
Posts: 3835
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 5:18 pm
Location: I'm out of my mind, but I'll be back later

#3 Postby Noshrok Grimskull » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:34 pm

I agree.
While you can get incredible amounts of use out of Streetwise and Investigation, the actual info and the amount thereof are still in the hands of the GM. And if something cannot be found out because the GM decreed so for himself, then no amount of good rolls will find you this info. Same thing if it can only be found in one place (there's only one book with the info or one person who knows the secret) and you're looking in the wrong place.

Also, keep in mind that certain info should carry a penalty to the roll. The more obscure, the harder it is to find.

And - as Seeker already pointed out - each attempt cost you time. Depending on what you're looking for this can be minutes, but it can also be days...

Seeker of Truth wrote:And honestly, I can't really imagine a setting where the Streetwise skill at least isn't INCREDIBLY useful, as useful as a combat skill or Notice. You always need information, and will almost always need to talk to people to get it.

Necropolis?
Weird War 2?
Tour of Darkness?
Zombie Run?
;)

(I can see both skills being applied, but not that much...)
"If you think I'm crazy, you should see the people I'm locked up with." - Steamdriven

"This is my timey-wimey detector. Goes 'ding' when there's stuff." - The Doctor (Doctor Who)

Seeker Jon
Heroic
Posts: 1089
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:30 pm
Location: Valhalla, NY

#4 Postby Seeker Jon » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:46 pm

Noshrok Grimskull wrote:
Seeker of Truth wrote:And honestly, I can't really imagine a setting where the Streetwise skill at least isn't INCREDIBLY useful, as useful as a combat skill or Notice. You always need information, and will almost always need to talk to people to get it.

Necropolis?
Weird War 2?
Tour of Darkness?
Zombie Run?
;)

(I can see both skills being applied, but not that much...)


Ok you caught me there Noshrok. I'm just not much of one for the war/survivalist style games in general. But yeah thanks for hitting the points I forgot to (penalties, using GM decree, etc).

User avatar
shadd4d
Legendary
Posts: 4000
Age: 35
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2003 10:29 am
Location: Valparaiso, IN...I miss Deutschland, Chicago, Charlottesville.

#5 Postby shadd4d » Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:45 am

In ToD, it's really just for the scrounger. Although, streetwise in those other settings could be the same as the old Etiquette skill group from Shadowrun.

But in those settings, they aren't going to be the power skills that they are in Sundered Skies or Deadlands.

Don
Don

"But there is a difference between fear and horror. An important difference.
Fear is when you worry about what might be.
Horror is when you are certain." Dannyboy01

User avatar
Adam Baulderstone
Seasoned
Posts: 315
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:36 pm
Location: Waretown, NJ

Re: Streetwise skill = find the path

#6 Postby Adam Baulderstone » Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:15 pm

Aramus Daimorgul wrote:
Are there any house rules that can diffuse the power of this skill? The skill seems to be ruling the game so much that we are all probably going to be increasing our skill.



I'm just curious, is there a reason you all need to increase the skill? I do agree it is a powerful skill in the right setting, but I've often found it to be an easy skill for one player to make their niche.

But getting back to your original question, if it really seem to powerful you can always make a separate merchant skill. You could also split into different skills for different social levels; Streetwise for asking around by the docks and making criminal connectiion, and Ettiquette for making enquiries of the upper classes and getting invited to the right parties.

I personally don't worry to much about it. Do you really want finding a buyer or asking dozens of random strangers questions to be a time-consuming part of the session? And the GM really controls what it can do. If the players want to buy something that isn't available in the town, no roll will help.

Aramus Daimorgul
Seasoned
Posts: 129
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:31 pm
Location: Shifting to a new reality

#7 Postby Aramus Daimorgul » Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:04 am

I don't think our group will be changing a thing but...

Here is a rule that might make sense for certain settings.

Split these skills.

Streetwise becomes:
Streetwise: info for lower class
Etiquette: info for upper class
Bargain: anything dealing with money

Investigate becomes:
Library use: find info in a library
Computer use: google fu
Bureaucracy: find info in a bureaucracy
Some men see things as they are and say, "Why?" I dream of things that never were and say, "Why not?"

- Bernard Shaw

joshuaslater
Seasoned
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:48 pm

#8 Postby joshuaslater » Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:08 am

Sounds workable, if you want that added detail.

User avatar
Jordan Peacock
Legendary
Posts: 2481
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:15 pm
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

#9 Postby Jordan Peacock » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:31 pm

Streetwise has been very useful in my games, but not to the point where it's a "no-brainer." It's certainly not going to make people give up on investing in, say, Fighting or Notice or Persuasion, etc.

One point I've deviated on regarding Streetwise has been to use it even in non-urban settings as the "you get a feeling the other guy might be lying" or "you get the feeling the other guy is being honest" skill, when a PC has had enough time to chat with someone for a prolonged period. I guess a d20 parallel would be "Sense Motive." I've been using this instead of Notice, since "Notice" is probably one of the overused skills in my campaigns.

Plus, it just seemed to make more sense that someone who actually has "people skills" is going to be better trained to pick up on subtle cues - not merely body language, but suspicious omissions in the course of conversation, bad acting, etc. The guy with the Notice check might pick up that someone's sweating profusely, but the guy with the Streetwise has a chance of picking up on less obvious and more nuanced cues, I figure. At least, that's how I handle it in my games.
Image


Return to “SW General Chat & Game Stories”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Feedfetcher and 0 guests