Research skill

The enemy lurks in shadows
Post Reply
User avatar
Yepesnopes
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:29 am

Ho do you feel about the inclusion of this skill in this edition?

Myself, I think its use is really marginal. It is a great skill in Call of Cthulhu, but in this setting... I have been GM in this setting since the 1st edition and the few times my players have had the need to research a library, or a source of documents, we have done it by the use of the Perception or Search skill by PC with the capacity to Read (which in the 4th ed is also a requisite for any PC who wants to use it).
User avatar
Orin J.
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:39 pm

The way it's written renders it useless, since it requires a properly indexed library. if you are in a rush it's more likely to ask a librarian on hand to get your results, and if you aren't in a rush there's an endeavor that renders it useless. 4th has a lot of little things like that, answers looking for a problem to solve.
Hell Hound
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:40 am

The amount of minutiae in 4e is constraining rather than liberating.
NorseEngineer
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:59 pm

I tend to reward this kind of stuff in my games, and my players tend to take interest in it at times. In a game ages ago, one player was an explorer/astronomer that researched navigation over 15 sessions or so. One old artefact they discovered he could identify as a sextant.

Anyway, in The Enemy Within, there are plenty of books. Quite a large amount. Another player, who is a apothecary turned wizard's apprentice, is actively researching these books he has stored on purpose-built bookshelves in their river barge. Use research to track his progress isn't far-fetched.

If you don't have players like this, then yes, it seems useless. However, finding information you're looking for in the Warhammer setting (or 16th century Europe) was surely not easy, and there are plenty of ways you could make this interesting if you have the inclination.
User avatar
Orin J.
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:39 pm

NorseEngineer wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:08 pm
Anyway, in The Enemy Within, there are plenty of books. Quite a large amount. Another player, who is a apothecary turned wizard's apprentice, is actively researching these books he has stored on purpose-built bookshelves in their river barge. Use research to track his progress isn't far-fetched.
This would require the player in question to record, index and properly file them for the skill to apply, and honestly that's a serious edge-case example (it's also probably enough encumberence on the barge to render it useless for much of anything else, but this isn't an issue to me). it's just kind of a janky skill they put in much better ways to get around for no clear purpose.
NorseEngineer
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:59 pm

The only referent to "record, index and properly file" in the text about Research is that if the library IS in a great state, merely having the skill is enough and no test is necessary.

Is this forum only for people who read small tidbits of text of the rulebook and interpret them in the least useful way? The rule description of Research is that it's about finding information from books, yes. I'm aslo capable of interpreting that in a meaningful way to my players.
User avatar
Orin J.
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:39 pm

NorseEngineer wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:59 pm
The only referent to "record, index and properly file" in the text about Research is that if the library IS in a great state, merely having the skill is enough and no test is necessary.

Is this forum only for people who read small tidbits of text of the rulebook and interpret them in the least useful way? The rule description of Research is that it's about finding information from books, yes. I'm aslo capable of interpreting that in a meaningful way to my players.
you have misread, i believe. the skill says it requires a proper library to function. it only says you need no test for "straightforward" information.
User avatar
totsuzenheni
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:38 pm

"Simply possessing the Research Skill indicates you can find straightforward information from a clearly indexed library without a Test given enough time. If you are seeking specific, less well-known information, or you are in a rush, you will be required to make an Extended Research Test, with the difficulty modified by the library size, and the target SL depending on the obscurity of the topic." ( Warhammer Fantasy Role Play Rulebook pp. 128-9. )
To summarise:

Research Skill + straightforward information + clearly indexed library + enough time = automatic success.
Research Skill + less well known information and/or + specific information and/or + not enough time = test.

I can see why it might be construed that it was required that a library be indexed for all uses of the Research Skill due to 'clearly indexed' being on a spectrum with 'specific information', but a spectrum that starts on one end with 'clear' indexing by implication also includes no indexing, and in any case indexing is not mentioned and directly related to an Extended Research Test. There is then no requirement of clear indexing for an Extended Research Test that i can find. There is no mention of needing to 'record, index, and properly file' anything, nor of the library needing to be proper in some way.

It would have been good if Cubicle 7 could have made the axes by which the difficulty of this test was judged clearer and more explicit. But there we are.
Post Reply