New Mechanic? Narrow Affinity

Gang, does this mechnaic seems right to you?

Currently you can take a Minor Virtue and it adds
+1 to any sphere larger than an Ability (Light Touch for example)
+3 for any sphere that coterminates with an Ability (like Keen Vision, for example)

Is there space in the system for a bonus for even narrower specialisations, or does it break the Ease Factor system?

Say I want to do Oliver Twist. I want a character who is a good pickpocket, but he's not actually all that good at other things which use the fingers (writing letters, for example). Is there space for a Virtue type, let's call it a Narrow Knack for now, which gives +6 in small divisions of Abilities? Does it make it too easy, given that a Master is 5, and its the work of a life to get an Ability that high?

Raw score is not everything, you must account for Dexterity in your comparison. Someone with no ability will take a lifetime to get there, whereas someone with good Dexterity will exceeds it in a few years. But it's hard to make a big difference with a single Virtue.

There are ways to get a +3 with 2 Virtues:

  • Puissant Legerdemain and Mythic Dexterity (nimble fingers) in HoH:TL p107 also gives reduced botches.
  • Improved Characteristics twice to up the characteristic from 0 to 3 is more general than you want.

I think Keen Vision and Sharp Ears give a +3 because it is useful for detection only and has no direct impact on actions. Allowing a single Virtue to give a +3 to an action is close to the limit IMO. Which might not be an issue if you don't min/max your Dexterity.

I would try to wrap this up as a Lesser Benediction and build it as a ReTe10-ish effect using Lesser Power. If the purse jumps right into your hand, it might explain why you're this good.

First of all, I'd say that "Legendary Pickpocket" in my opinion is not narrow enough: I think it's as broad in relation to Ledgerdemain as Keen Vision is in relation to Awareness. This does not invalidate the general question, however.

Frankly, I would not like Narrow Knacks in my sagas. I think that a +6 bonus to tasks regulated by Abilities tends to break the Ease Factor system. The narrowness of Narrow Knacks combined with such a large bonus would also push characters towards hyperspecialization -- which is not necessarily a bad thing (think Godlike) but it does tend to change the flavour of the whole game.

Personally, if I wanted to "restrict" Inspirational, and make a character who's really good at inspiring laughter (but not tears, bravery etc.), I'd keep it the standard Inspirational Virtue with its +3 bonus, and add a minor Flaw that restricts the scope of Inspirational to laughter alone.

Specialization possibilities are too strong even with the current rules.

Light touch is larger than an ability? Really? We have never considered it to apply to anything except pickpocketing.

If you can get "smaller than ability" bonuses you can say that you get a +6 at "attack with swords" or +6 to detect invisible spirits with second sight, or +6 to Hex someone at moon duration. It is quite powerful, so I would be somewhat wary to apply it.

+6 is likely too much. +4 or +5 should work out without breaking too much though.
My HRs include being able to get +5 to an ability but by using a Major Virtue to get it.
Such a large bonus for a Minor, no matter how narrowly it counts, it probably becomes too much.

The existing "get a +3 bonus" Virtues seem to do what you want? If the existing ones don't work just make up a new one that gives a +3 bonus in some particular set of circumstances.

I wouldn't make a "+6 bonus" unless it was very narrow and was purely reactive. Perfect Balance, for example, gives "+6 to avoid falling or tripping", but that can only be used in a reactive way to prevent something bad (i.e. falling) happening to your character. A +6 bonus is too big a bonus if it can be used in a positive way to make something happen.

I think that this particular example would be much better represented by a character who has a high Ability Score in Legerdemain and a low (or no) Ability Score in other "things which use the fingers" like Profession: Scribe. Whether you get that high Legerdemain Ability Score by Puissant Legerdemain or Affinity with Legerdemain Virtues, or merely by spending a lot of XP in it, will depend on what else you are spending Virtue slots and XP on.

Light Touch applies to playing musical instruments. It says to expliciately in the description of the virtue. I could also see it appling to painting, scribing (a neat and precise hand for writing), embriodery, engraving and all manner of other skills and crafts which involve fine motor function.

Absolutely. However, depending of course on your saga (and character), there might not be much opportunity for meaningful rolls based on Craft: Embroidery. Even with scribing, there aren't actually many opportunities for dice rolls based on Profession:Scribe.

Picking pockets and that sort of thing are in most sagas likely the main use of Light Touch.

Essential virtues, if your character is touched by the Magic Realm, do just what you want. A Major Essential Trait (Pickpocket) would give +6 to all pickpocketing rolls. Note that you are an exemplar of pick-pocketing, and it must dominate how you portray and play the character.

Yes and no, you'ld roll like if your Dex was +6, so with the Major Essential Trait Virtue you get more that with one very high Dextrety, if you want a great Thief, you can get taht Essential trrait and you get it in the Pickpocking and others similar works like you are really good in that.

There's always Faerie Sympathy. Frankly there are already a ton of ways to to specialize a character I'm not sure there is room for a tighter bonus.

What about making it an Heroic Virtue? Seems pretty heroic to me, a +6 in a particular skill check.. and i wouldn´t make it Minor, because if the player wants this, he will like to use it a lot (for example, a +6 pickpocket would imply a player pickpocketing many things :stuck_out_tongue:).