Talk:Master Rank Points

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Accumulation Rank

You state people can begin to accumulate after rank 7. Could a character gain some MRP's through good use of the skill earlier than 7 and just not get to use them until they are looking to get a Master rank? --Mandos 13:10, 15 Sep 2008 (NZST)

Master Work vs Work for Mastery

I think of a Master Work in the classic Journeyman's Work or Master Work to become a Journeyman or Master of your guild. Generally more easily applied to Smithing, Painting, or Weaving than say Warrior.

The MRP seems to be more like pay your dues and you get to advance.

Not sure if I have explained myself clearly but the two have a different flavour and feel to me.

No argument that Dean's system would be more fair and even-handed. But I think it has less flavour to it. It feels more mechanical.

Is being fair more important than the extra book-keeping and loss of flavour?

Do we need something this formalised or would we be better served with an 'agreement of principal' that GMs can give out parts of a master rank and that rank 9/10 should be harder than 8.

-- Stephen 14:52, 15 Sep 2008 (NZST)

I'm not clear on the "feel" issue either, Stephen. I gather it's not just the distinction between the gradual attainment and the "one shining moment" of achievement?

I don't think it is mandatory that the process results in a total flavour drain, the chits for EP are often pretty dull and that does not drag down the adventures they record.

Similarly I think that most GMs "agree in principle" that each Rank should be successively more difficult and take it into account if a character has been actively pursuing a MasterWork over a period of time. However, this would make it portable between GMs, which I think is a plus.

--Ben Taberner 10:49, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)

Six Months off for Good Behaviour

It seems reasonably standard currently to allow a masterwork (at lest for Rank 8) to be done in the form "I spend six months doing (tell good story)". Perhaps this should be allowed in this MRP proposal, but not so that it is suffiicent for higher ranks. Perhaps a maximum of ?10pts? can be earned by spending time (and telling a story revelant to the character's background - e.g. (introducing three-crop rotation in my barony") for each rank? Or maybe once (ever) per skill? Or is the idea of spending time investing in your backstory not appropriate for masterworks? Some skills just don't get used much on adventure at all. 25 adventures of "a little philosophy" sounds like a long time for Rank 9. Andreww 17:20, 15 Sep 2008 (NZST)

I prefer to actively discourage the "I spent 6 months" behaviour. I believe the rules already state a master rank requires "significant use in game", and this should be enforced. There are specific cases out there where a character has a master rank but the character had never used the skill in any game, and in fact has no idea how to use the skill. They should never have it. But that could just come down to some GMs being more lenient than others (just as per items & EP are) --Neil 10:09, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)

To quote the 2006 Rules, page 22, Section 6, bullet point 4(?)

Skill ranks 8, 9, and 10 must be ratified by a GM and in general required significant use of the skill.

Seeing this has been left wide open to the interpretation of individual GMs and that some skills really don't work well into a normal adventure without treading on the enjoyment/surviving the input of other players (anything that takes a "significant" amount of time and anything with a solo aspect; Thief, Spy, Assassin, Ranger, mass Healer applications) I'd discourage discouraging this option. However I am in favour of limiting it so it's not the default "brainless" option.

As a GM I'd personally expect that sort of effort to be accompanied by a contribution to the wider game, maybe in the form of research on the wiki. This would at least have a tangible result and lasting enhancement to the game.

--Ben Taberner 10:26, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)

I've seen good cases of this sort of thing where a character has sat down and done the whole backstory, writeup, and if someone is prepared to go to the trouble of writing a novel on something, they should get something in return. That said, a one line description isn't going to satisfy me. Overall, I'd be for the 6 month work thing being left as an option for a Rk 8 Masterwork only. That lets people get started on their ranking if they have some inspiration and a GM agrees but the idea doesn't suit an adventure. --Bernard 11:22, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)

I'm with Ben on this one. Without the "6 months intensive work" one of the hardest skills to get a master rank with is Healer. This is one of the more popular skills but there just aren't that many games where you need to do something funky and difficult with healer and it's not easy to make an entertaining adventure to base a game around it. --Rosemary

One of the things I really like about this option is that the player can do the "6 months intensive work" option and be given almost a Master Rank. So then they can do some achievement on game that is enough for a point and allows them the Master-rank. Instead of '6 months and you get the rank' or 'Performing miraculous task' that doesn't turn up very often for the rank there is a nice middle ground. --Mandos 14:03, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)

I hadn't realised that the 'six month' option was unpopular (if that is the right word) with some. Perhaps this is partially because I wasn't aware of the cases mentioned by Neil, and the skills I personally think most about getting master rank in are ones that are often distruptive-to-others to do in-game (Spy and Philosopher). In general out-of-game-time 'feats' that I am aware of are linked with or are a consequence of on-adventure activity. Are people more accepting when this is the case? --Errol 15:14, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)

I agree with Errol. The 'six months' represents additional engagement with an adventure area. For example, if a party visited a plaque invested kingdom and after dealing with the adventure a PC stayed behind to heal those still suffering that counts. As does sticking arround in a political environment that makes the court of Justinian I look like the Rotary Club. William

Smaller numbers could be simpler

Dean wrote: Once they have accumulated 10 such points they can advance to Rank 8, and need 15 further points to advance to Rank 9.

So, the 25 for Rank 9 is really 15 (+ Rank 8)? If so it would be simpler to reset the points once each Master rank is achieved, and make the numbers 10, 15, and 25 respectively.

Personally, I'd rather reduce all the numbers / increase the chunk size / granularity to something like 1, 3, and 5. I think then that Six Months off for Good Behaviour can count as 1 point, and cannot be used more than once per master rank (i.e. Six months and a good story is good enough for rank 8 but only as 1/3rd of rank 9 -- and you can't repeat so that 18 months + a story = 3 points). The flip side of granularity is GMs not wanting to grant a point at all, but I think 1, 3, 5 could work -- GMs will feel less worried about giving out 1/3rd of a rank 9 or 2/5ths of a rank 10 than it being binary, but won't be faced with deciding if that rank 10 work was worth 6, 7, 8, etc.

-- Martin Dickson 09:09, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)

I like the finer granularity on the basis that a single point might consist of a particularly enlightening conversation about a new/foreign idea or technique, and that can be built on. That's just an example, and if I hear of someone just having conversations towards their Masterwork, I'd call BS on that.

However, I'm a smooth > chunky man in this particular instance, and I don't think the numbers are out of ken. Clarity on the steps vs accumulated points thing would be good though.

--Ben Taberner 10:32, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)

I agree with Dean, if it's earned like EP, then spend it like xp and it goes away once spent. Nice, simple, and uses the same method already in place for EP. Chunk size, I'd be happy with either way but having it at this scale does let a GM give an award if they feel the skill was used in some significant way, but was a small use in the grand scheme of things, rather than points only being huge things. --Bernard 11:27, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)

  • I'd like to reset the points to zero once used
  • My preference on degree of "chunky" is half way between Dean & Martin: anyone for 3, 5 and 7? Mostly because it gives more options to GM's. This gives GM's the decision making of 'a little bit', 'some', 'more than half' and 'thats enough for 'rank x'

Over all I think this is a great idea! Thanks Dean --Rosemary 11:43, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)

The 1/3/5 idea alleviates some of my flavour concern. It means that you can point to 1-5 significant things you did to achieve your mastery.

If we went with 10/15/25, I would consider 1 point for a warrior for every 'real' fight they have on adventure to be a reasonable interpretation. And I don't like the feel of that.

"For my rank 9 mastery I was in 15 fights" doesn't have the same ring as "I slew the champion of Eidolon in single combat, I held the Seagate bridge against barbarian hordes for an hour, and faced Sabrina for ten whole seconds!"

-- Stephen 12:03, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)

I'm not sure how the point values relate directly to quality of the description of the events, so I'll go with my other guess. Is your concern that smaller values make it possible, or encourage by inference, for some to attain a Masterwork doing relatively mundane things worth 1/10th etc of a singular act that would accomplish the same thing?

Basically a minimum bar of epicness for what contributes to a MasterRank? That's fair point, but not necessarily one I'd share. --Ben Taberner 13:11, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)

Maybe that's hasty, since I'd also "Meh" the notion that "a fight" would be worth anything on the more granular version. Without an espicially challenging foe, interesting tactics, and general points of interest, like those in your examples, it would be simply "using" the skill rather than refining and focussing the skill. I might be being hard on Warriors, but something like refining a technique or style, or founding a dojo would be more apt to my mind.

--Ben Taberner 13:21, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)

I think people need to get away from the points aspect of this and focus on the really good core idea. A GM can tell a player that they didn't do enough for a Master-rank but they did play their skill well and so can have something worth a portion of a rank. It encourages people to play their skills and make them part of the character. I have seen players on a game play to their skills and do so well, but nothing was amazing about it, so I cannot give them a Master-rank. This allows me to reward a player for what they do and that's great.

"For my rank 9 mastery I was in 15 fights" doesn't have the same ring as "I slew the champion of Eidolon in single combat, I held the Seagate bridge against barbarian hordes for an hour, and faced Sabrina for ten whole seconds!"

So you get 5 point for slaying the champion of Eidolon, 3 points for holding the bridge and 2 points for holding off Sabrina. - Master Rank.

Rather than, Champion of Eidolon, not quite good enough for rank 9. Holding the Bridge, not quite good enough for Rank 9. Facing Sabrina, good but not worth a Master rank.

If a GM hands out a points for simple fights then there is no more of an issue than a GM giving them a Master-rank for the same thing, in fact the impact may be less because they may not achieve the Master rank just from that GM allowing another GM to make the player work a little.

I love the idea and I like the number range.

--Mandos 13:37, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)

Trying to reiterate my nebulous concern a little more clearly...

If the smallest amount of MRP I can give out is one, then my decision making process is: Is this act/event worth 1 or more points, if yes then how many.

I'm not too concerned about the things worth more than 1 point, that's my call as GM as to how much more significant than the minimum your act/event is. I am concerned about where we draw the line over what's worth 1 point.

The number of MRPs needed for mastery effectively sets the size of the smallest thing you can do to count towards mastery.

Ex. Assuming that actively being MilSci and using MilSci abilities in a high level fight is worth 1/10th of Rk 9 Mastery.
  1. If 1 MRP is required to go from Rk8 to Rk9 (current situation) then this is not enough, you get 0.
  2. If 5 MRP are required to go from Rk8 to Rk9 then you have achieved 50% of a MRP and I decide that's all you've done with Mil Sci on the adventure so you get 0.
  3. If 10 MRP are required to go from Rk8 to Rk9 then you get 1 MRP.

In the first two cases you need to do something bigger to make progress towards mastery. In the 3rd case we have now defined the minimum, another 9 of those and you're a master.

I think that mastery in one of the main skills is a significant event for a character, every player should be able to succinctly tell you what they did to achieve mastery for their character. If they have to look up the list of 20 or 30 things they did then they should not have the mastery.

-- Stephen 15:28, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)

I had another comment here but it didn't really answer your point well.

I do not believe that it is likely that 1pt would be handed out for something. I believe most actions will fit into a simple judgement as to how many points something is worth which you indicated you are OK with.

The current state of play is we have effectively the same system but only 1MRP to get to the next Rank. Some GM's believe a single fight is enough, others require more. So we already have an arbitrary system determining what 1 pt is worth and there is no definition for it.

So by changing the number of points required and allowing GM's a bit more leeway in how a character progresses to a master-work I think we make things better.

If someone does achieve a Master-work by 1 pt at a time and not really doing anything important the only negative aspect is that the player has a character with less depth which is exactly what we have now when characters gain Master-ranks without doing anything really cool. --Mandos 17:50, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)

Master Ranks in Warrior vs Beekeeping

Some skills are more often use in adventure. The obvious one being Warrior. If you're fighting, aren't you using your warrior skill? Or should the "significant use" / "Points gained" be related to how warrior-specifc part of fighting? That would be tricky, since Warrior is a pretty simple skill and mostly just changes combat numbers.

On the other hand, being a Master beekeeper would pretty much only be an out-of-game ability. OK, it is an Artisan skill and they probably don't count. So what about Philosopher then. What would be considered worthy of a master rank (or MR point)? Do we just leave all this up to the GM?

--Neil 10:09, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)

We leave it up to the GM, as we do now. If a GM wants to hand out a Master-rank they still can just by handing out the appropriate number of points.

What the Player has to do to earn those points should not be defined as trying to do so will just complicate a simple issue. --Mandos 13:42, 16 Sep 2008 (NZST)