The subject says it quite clearly. Could the rules handle characters with several specializations for their abilities? If so, how? Any suggestions?
From the top of my head, adding another specialization costs xp equal to the current level of the ability x5. In my campaign, we have a house rule that allows a character to change his specialization for an ability every time he increases the level of that ability. But adding another specialization is something we want to include.
Considering current level x5 is only 5 short of going up to the next level, an extra specialization wouldn't be worth it since a specialy is a limited circumstatnces. I would always hold out for the 5 more xp to just get +1 over all.
I think current level *3 or 4 might be more reasonable (or 5 (current level -1)).
That, and the fact that most players would keep their levels at 1 and keep buying new specializations until they have everything they want, THEN raise their skills. In the long run, it's more cost effective.
Yeah....I'd keep to just a single specialization per skill. It doesn't make sense to be able to be a specialist in everything.
Well, for the sake of realism, I think a character should be able to have multiple specializations, especially since some skills are quite broad. How about this:
First specialization is free, as per the rules.
Second costs 5 experience points.
Third costs 10 experience points.
Fourth costs 15 experience points.
...and you can't have more specializations than your current level in the ability.
Your opinion, of course, and you're entitled to it. It's also your game, and you can make whatever house rules you want.
A possible argument against it is that it's a convenient excuse to squeeze in extra bonuses.
How many doctors do you know that are multiple specialists? Even a doctor who specializes in TWO fields is rare.
As for your house rule about changing specializations....how can you justify that? How do you suddenly switch out what you're talented in? Do you magically forget what you've learned over the years and become an instant adept at something else?
Well, I'm thinking of not using the option of changing specialization if I'm going to allow multiple specializations. The reason for having the house rule that allows the changing of the specializations when the character reaches a new level in the ability is take away that situation where a player is stuck with the choice he made in character creation.
In my campaign, I like to say that most things are possible, but some things are just hard to get done. A Storyguide, in my opinion, shouldn't just say plainly no when a players wants his character to do something unusual.
That being said, realistically having several specializations is hard, but not impossible. And we're playing a game about truly extraordinary people, aren't we?
Take for example a medieval knight. He's pretty good at fighting with single weapons and shields, but he's much better at using long swords, maces and flails than clubs and axes.
Some groups, like mine, for example, enjoy adding detail to their campaigns.
I'm not sure it's a matter of "detail," however. My own campaigns are VERY VERY detailed, and I expect each magus to have a full history for me to read, and take advantage of as a storyguide.
Multiple specializations isn't a matter of detail. It's "power-gaming." It's just a matter of making your characters not just versatile...but mutable.
I can see allowing new players to switch out their specializations...I even let one of my players switch houses after a game session. I did have a point where they did have to finally decide on what they chose.
The switching out of specializations when you raise the stat seems far too "video gamish" for my taste (I love video games, especially RPGs, but mixing mechanics is bad mojo).
Think about the long term, when your characters are rocking a Magic Theory of 10, and they have 10 specializations...which is nearly every Magic Theory subject one could think of. They're not a "specialist" anymore. They may as well have a Magic Theory of 11.
I can think of a dozen better things to burn my experience points on than picking up a new specialization for the purpose of adding that little +1 to another aspect of a single ability.
Actually, that I can see an asy justification for that one. And a real-life example too. ::grins::
A specialisation represents an area you know more of and are better at over and above, but not in competition with, the rest of the field. To pick an example not at all at random - Several years ago, I had Chemistry 3 (Organic). Since then, I've done a lot more chemistry, and expanded into physical inorganic chemistry, and probably have Chemistry 5 (Inorganic). I haven't lost any of the organic chemistry knowledge, but the new knowledge and specialised skills I have are in a different area so my general level of knowledge on organic chemistry has increased but not as much as on inorganic.
I cab easily see someone with an Artes Liberales specialised in Ceremonial Casting spending a few seasons reading Flavourful Ex Jerbiton's On the Influence of Stars on Mundane Politics and ending up with a specialisation in Horoscopes. What I would expect, however, is an in-character and in-game justification - changing specialities is a big thing, but not to my mind a particularly rare one. Every apprentice starts off making chopping boards and is doubtless damned good at them before they move on to Chairs and finally wardrobes.
I can see rationale for changing specialization every time skill is raised too using the Chemistry example.
Let's give example.
You have charm at 2 with the specialization counting for 3. You get 15 xp and spend it. Your charm moves to 3 (save as what the specialization was giving to show that all your charm has increased). At this point you pick the area where your skill increased more (your first impressions ability stayed stable but you have practiced your wit so being witty is now the effective 4).
There is no loss of skill since when you roll for first impression, you are still +3 for the skill.
Second specializations though are a little more powerful. I would say 15-20 xp or 5x (current level -1) which ever is higher. For some skills it is more powerful than others. Take single weapon where there are a long list of single weapons or brawl with many options. A second specialty is not as impressive there as compared to Bows where there are only two weapons so that two specialties is same as just having the skill 1 level higher.
I'm not decided yet if I'm staying with the rule for changing specializations when the ability increases, or having it cost xp to get several specializations. Hmm.. in any case, a players shouldn't be told that his character can't do something, only how hard it is to do.
Well, I like the example from ladyphoenix here, so I think I'll stick with that.
It hasn't come up often, but the way we do this in my saga is that when the character increases his Ability Score he can switch his specialisation to something related to the Source of the XP for most of the XP required for the increase.
So, say I increase my character's Artes Liberales Score from 1 to 2. This required 10 XP, 2 XP came from exposure + 8 XP from reading a tractatus about Artes Liberales(astronomy). So, I could chose to swap my specialisation for astronomy, when the Score increases.
Similarly, if most of the XP for an increase in Single Weapon came from practising with a short sword, then the specialisation could change to short sword.
This doesn't seem to cause any problems, is easy to administer, and means that the characters have a bit of motivation to prefer some books and sources of XP over others.
We don't allow multiple specialisations.
But if I was going to allow mulitple specialisations, then something like seems like an elegant solution. I think I'd go for an extra specialisation every 10 levels.
Level X+1: you lose your specialization: you have increased your overall knowledge of the field
Level X+2: you can decide on a new specialization.
In fact it makes people think twice before selecting a certain specialization since it is hard to change it once you are settled, even if does not forbid the change. Multiple specializations to me simply reads as "higher level in the general ability, not a specialization at all"