Grandmaster Skills

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Developer - Staff (TL)
Developer - Staff (TL)
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Grandmaster Skills

Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:06 pm

Grandmaster Skills
The difference between Mastery and Legendary in the old skill system has been lackluster, and there has been some discrepancy as to why the single point ( or 5 points in a non-FT skill ) denotes such a massive change in a character's skill level. With Domain Revelations aside, most mundane skills do not benefit from a physical or physiological change, so why is the gap between Mastery and Legendary so narrow, yet still offers such a massive increase in skills?

In order to fix this, we are editing the system a bit, and doing away with the Legendary skill tier. Those who are Legendary in their chosen fields should earn that title informally through roleplay, not be granted the title based on how many skill points they've acquired. So we're releasing Grandmaster skills. By progressing to 100 in a skill, the PC then opens up the possibility to change the concept of their chosen skill, adding to it in ways that become so purposefully wonderful or terrible that it changes the fundamental understanding of the skill.

Master vs. Grandmaster:
In the current system, the 1 point ( 5 if not FT ) between Master and Legendary offers such a massive skill gap that it seems unrealistic to assume that one point should be able to do that. Instead, Masters and Grandmasters will be very similar in terms of raw skill, as 1 point would suggest. However, Grandmasters are known to push the very boundaries of their crafts, and are able to develop capstone abilities that differentiate them from others of the craft and allow them to permanently leave their marks on their fields. These capstone abilities would seem beyond the skill level currently set, almost supernatural...which would be the point. If someone were to witness something beyond their understanding, it might appear to be magic. That is what the Capstone abilities represent...a player's individual technique or practice so advanced that even others in their field might consider it magic.

To counter this, we are removing the 1 point tier level, and let Master go from 76-100. Then, the PC can elect to take 3 skills to Grandmaster (initially, but with the ability to earn more through storytelling and character development), not including Domain magics.

Capstone abilities would follow a similar path to Mortalborn abilities in that they would need to be approved in the PSF, and then acquired IRP. However, the capstone abilities would allow the practitioner to have the upper hand. So if a Master swordsman fights a Grandmaster, on a purely technical skill level, they would be very close. If they both used basic techniques, the fight could go on for ages. However, the Grandmaster has developed a special ability, which allows him the upper hand.

Examples of Capstone Abilities:
Please note that these are hypothetical, and not at all balanced. They are purely to serve as a rough example of the kind of things you can do with a Capstone ability.


Any Ingredient in a pinch: This capstone ability is developed by those who truly understand nutrition and the digestion limits of those they serve. Through careful portioning and experimentation, a Grandmaster chef can incorporate ingredients that would otherwise be fatal, mixing and adding them in such a way as to enhance flavor. Rotten ingredients, poisons, and other dangerous substances can be incorporated into a masterpiece no one would deny was culinary genius. This ability allows a cook to utilize otherwise inappropriate ingredients to nourish people, turning even the thinnest gruel into a nutritional banquet. Some have used such abilities to serve the poor, ensuring their health even without access to premium foods


Chorus: this Grandmaster skill is achieved by a true pinnacle of songcraft. Through exact breathing control and a mastery of ones own vocal chords, Chorus allows a singer to sing with up to three voices...produced from their own throat. While each voice is perfectly pitched, the enhanced music takes on an almost ethereal quality. Those who hear it will feel compelled to listen


Stone Crush: a Grandmaster of strength has trained their body to near physical perfection. They are at the pinnacle of the power their muscles can produce. Stone Crush is an ability a strength Grandmaster creates involving the thickening of muscles in ones own fingers and hands. While a Grandmaster's strength is monstrous, often punching through stone can cause injuries and even broken bones. A Strength Grandmaster with this ability has so finely trained the muscles in their hands that the muscle itself protects their bones from shattering. A Stone Crusher can effectively punch small craters in stone and even tear some apart with their hands alone.


Shut down Palm: Those rare grandmasters who triumph in mastering unarmed combat come to intimately know the points of pressure and nerves on the bodies of their opponents. While perhaps not by name, they know them by touch. A Grandmaster with this ability can deliver blows that steal the movement from limbs. When these blows land, their opponents will be temporarily overwhelmed by such targeted force and lose the use of the limb targeted for up to a bit afterwards.


Ricochet: A Grandmaster of the bow who specializes in their crossbow has become so intimately familiar with their craft that their skills begin to trascend. Having complete understanding of force and bounce when in regards to their crossbow, a Grandmaster with this ability can angle shots against surfaces that ricochet and plan the trajectory of their bolt accurately at up to two ricochets per shot.


Feather Steel: A Grandmaster Blacksmith cultivates a unique understanding of the metal they work with. This understanding translates into a remarkable ability. Through their own forge style, a Grandmaster Blacksmith can make any item they forge with steel 25% lighter than others if that type without sacrificing any of its durability.

Additional Information.

This change will come with collapsing Legendary into Mastery and making the Mastery tier a little more robust. Each skill will, when written up, have a bit more language explaining what a master should be capable of at the pinnacle of their craft. We won't, in effect, be losing Legendary entirely, just folding it into the existing Mastery description to make Mastery as impressive as it should be.

For those that already have Legendary skills, they will be awarded additional Grandmaster skills and Capstone abilities to compensate them for their work. Up to 3 additional Grandmaster skills will be awarded (not including the initial 3 allowed to all characters) or the player could choose to develop an additional capstone ability for their Grandmaster skill. Whichever the player prefers.

Capstone abilities are special to each player character. They can choose to teach their Capstone ability to another Grandmaster in the same skill. In addition, two players can design a technique that does the same thing, but may achieve the result in their own unique ways.

Acquiring New Capstone Abilities.

New Capstone abilities can be bought through additional skill points gained via Fame or Blessings, but can also be achieved through role play. If a player has reached their current maximum and wishes to either identify a new GM skill or add a new capstone ability to an existing GM skill without using Fame or Blessings, they should post in the PSF in order to discuss the type of plot needed and how it might be achieved them IRP. When using Fame or Blessings, 5 points over the usual 100 skill point capt will get you a new capstone ability

"Instead of assigning points to the height of a skill, the true height of a skill, it becomes a narrative construct. 100 would simply be demonstrated mastery at the limits of where this skill has evolved in the scope of Idalos, Grandmastering it would impart the possibility of a slight boost beyond that in the form of Capstone abilities. Special talents that stand outside the exact skill and allow one a true creative expression in their ability.

This proposal is a way to individualize characters outside the 1-100 skill point system we currently have. To fold Legendary into Mastery in order to strengthen the existing levels of the skill while simultaneously creating a unique reward of pushing past that...with the promise that at least 3 are achievable with prophet approval on the abilities chosen and the thread to coalesce it...and that more could and would be possible down the line if this kind of mastery was additionally pursued."
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