Author Topic: Potential vs skills  (Read 1904 times)

vaindil

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Potential vs skills
« on: October 01, 2017, 03:30:46 AM »
Hello! Red Markets is my first tabletop RPG. I'm pretty familiar with most of the concepts, but I'm struggling to understand potential vs skills. Potential is the max value that you can have for any given skill, but it's allocated separately from skill. This doesn't make sense to me.

If I've never done any programming before, my coding skill is 0. If I start to practice, my skill will increase from there. At some point I won't be able to learn any more, so potential makes sense. However, what doesn't make sense to me is that the potential can change. How is there a max value, but the max value can increase? I just can't wrap my mind around this.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

ericbright2002

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Re: Potential vs skills
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2017, 08:10:47 PM »
Think of Potential as general ability in a specific area while Skills are specific ability.  For example, you can teach Calculus all you want to a 5 year old and have them practice all day long, but they won't be able to increase their specific ability at Calculus until their general intelligence and cognition increase.  In fact modern brain development research shows that we can't fully understand fractions until age 26.  Your potential changes over time.

Another example, you may read lots of books about all sorts of topics to increase your logical and mental capacity (Potential) and then apply that to new found ability specifically to learn physics (Skill).  You may exercise generally to increase your strength (Potential) and then use that newly developed strength to more finely hone your melee fighting ability (Skill).

Hope that helps!

vaindil

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Re: Potential vs skills
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2017, 08:23:38 PM »
I see what you're saying, and that makes sense, but it's a bit different in my mind. Your example is purely because of age, which I think is an entirely different scenario. In Red Markets you can increase your potential by working at it. The manual describes potential like this: "natural aptitudes that can only be improved through rigorous, disciplined practice." Why would working at it increase the potential and not just the skill itself?

Owl

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Re: Potential vs skills
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2017, 08:50:20 PM »
That's a good question.

I think part of the answer lies in the mechanics of the game. (The cost of investment for hopefully greater return later as well as capping players from running amok with crazy high skill scores) and it helps maintain balance of the system.

I think it's easier for me to grasp the physical based potentials/skills when it comes to your question. Doing Latent P90x helps my whole body get stronger (Potential:Str), but doesn't help me swing my baseball bat more accurately. Once I practice accuracy with my swing (IE Raise Skill:Melee) I can start swinging the bat to my full strength Potential. Once my melee skill is topped out, I probably want to consider scoring some protein powder and doing more arm days, or heck, it's the loss, so I find some steroids that haven't been scavenged yet and get ripped out. Now my strength (Potenial:Str) is raised and I can think about finding some Pre-Crash training videos on how to be a better batter to raise my Skill.

That's how I visualize the potentials vs skills to work at least. The non-physical Potentials/Skills break down the illustration, but hopefully that shows at least one angle to look at it from.

PS - welcome to tabletop RPG's! It's a blast

Dadalos

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Re: Potential vs skills
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2017, 08:56:59 PM »
I have always broken it down into a hardware / software mentality. a software needs a specific level of hardware to run as a rule. and to run a better level of software the hardware has to be up to running it. and so by investing in the hardware you can finally improve the software. this might be in part due to my infatuation with Eclipse Phase but that is another story...

in RM if your body (hardware) not trained then no mater how much you know (software) your not able to apply it effectively. for instance shooting. its all relatively simple, point-click-bang and whatever in front probably isnt there anymore. but without the speed and coordination and in some cases a basic understanding of ballistic trajectories... you literally can not hit the broad side of a barn. granted if my players wanted to waste charges shooting as such a structure I would and wonder how I could use that later regardless of their skills at doing so...

as for improving the hardware think of it as a hard baseline that most people start with in most workout regimes a key word is the plateau effect. someone gets as good as they can from a specific level of exertion but to go beyond that you have to contentiously do something different to push yourself further. and upgrading a potential in RM is your taker taking the time and bounty to focus on pushing past that specific plateau that normally just doing the same old same would never develop on its own.

hope this might help.

Edit : owls Beaten me to my main points as I was typing them XD.
"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone, I will turn my inner eye to see its path. Where fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."