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Abilities, Specialties, and Well-Skilled Craftsman

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  • Abilities, Specialties, and Well-Skilled Craftsman

    Hello everyone. I have recently purchased M20 and I’m loving it. However, I have some doubts regarding character creation. Although I understand and generally like the idea of “catch-all” Abilities and the possibility of buying several Specialties to reflect different expertises in a more general knowledge field, this presents some practical problems for me. The games makes emphasis on taking one Specialty in some general Abilities, representing your main focus, and then buying additional Specialties if you want to diversify.

    The question is: What does it mean, practically speaking? If I don’t have certain Specialty in one of these general Abilities, does it count as zero when performing tasks related to it? While I see it fit for some Abilities (such as Art, Craft, Academics and the like), I’m not sure about others… Particularly Athletics or Melee. If I have Athletics 3 with a Specialty in Running (as the game states Athletics as one of the Abilities you need to define), would my Athletics count as zero when climbing, jumping, swimming…? And, if I have Melee 2 (Bladed Weapons), would it be zero when swinging a club?

    Help, please. This may seem an unimportant thing for some people, but it bothers me. Maybe there is something I’m missing…?

    EDIT: Sorry, I should have posted it in Mage: The Ascension, not Awakening. My fault :S.
    Last edited by Belgeval; 05-19-2017, 09:44 AM.

  • #2
    Wrong forum.

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    • #3
      Topic moved.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Belgeval View Post
        Hello everyone. I have recently purchased M20 and I’m loving it. However, I have some doubts regarding character creation. Although I understand and generally like the idea of “catch-all” Abilities and the possibility of buying several Specialties to reflect different expertises in a more general knowledge field, this presents some practical problems for me. The games makes emphasis on taking one Specialty in some general Abilities, representing your main focus, and then buying additional Specialties if you want to diversify.

        The question is: What does it mean, practically speaking? If I don’t have certain Specialty in one of these general Abilities, does it count as zero when performing tasks related to it?

        EDIT: Sorry, I should have posted it in Mage: The Ascension, not Awakening. My fault :S.

        Well, NO. Your reasoning only apply to the general Abilities that DEMAND to grab a Speciality at the moment of purchasing them (Like Science or Esoterica). Athletics, on the other hand, not only doesn't demand to choose a Speciality at the moment of purchasing it, but , RAW, you CAN'T choose a speciality in Athletics until you have 4 dots in it. Since characters can have 3, 2 or 1 in Athletics (they can't choose a Speciality at these levels), then obiously it can be used without a Speciality. Those skills that explicitly demand to choose a Speciality when you buy the first point, on the other hand, do count as zero when used outside it, but they're not that common.

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        • #5
          Hum. I think I get it. The problema is, the book is not very clear when differentiating between the Abilities you *need* to pick a Specialty for, and the ones you *can*. Now that I re-read it, is seems more clear to me. Thanks

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          • #6
            Belgeval It was nothing. Of course, M20 isn't very clear about a lot of stuff.

            Previous editions didn't alowed to have more than one Specialty per Skill. Science (and, sometimes, Academics) was the only exeption, and even then some ST demanded you to buy each Science sepparatedly (as if they were different skills, which isn't entirely untrue).

            The new system it's an advance of these simpler systems we had before and, while I think it's better, I can see how it may need aditional explanation-marking the "special" Skills somehow so everyone sees which is which, clearly (Atletism could easily be divided among different physical feats) would be a good idea.

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