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Playing With / Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training

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Basic Trope: A character can do something awesome, but in order to learn that, had to give up the ability to do something mundane.

  • Straight: Bob is the world's most proficient martial artist, but in order to train himself, he had to forgo the ability to read.
  • Exaggerated: Bob is the world's best martial artist, who is so good that he can use telepathy as part of his martial arts, but he never learnt to talk, read, or write, precluding all interaction with other people.
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  • Downplayed: Bob is a skilled martial artist, and his socialization suffered a bit, but not fatally.
  • Justified:
    • All that time to train in martial arts had to come from somewhere. Bob viewed the ability to read as unnecessary.
    • Bob never had anyone willing to teach him normal life skills, and with nothing better to do with his time, he focused on martial arts.
  • Inverted:
    • Bob is a jack of all trades, but a master of none.
    • Bob is an awesome speed-reader, but has no other useful skills.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob claims he never learned to read during his training, and said training was intense and remote enough that people buy it. He's bluffing so they don't hide things they should from him.
    • Bob's martial art skills aren't a result of a sacrifice but a disability. He had extremely severe dyslexia that made learning to read very unlikely, instead he focused on other things.
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  • Double Subverted: While he can read, his claim to illiteracy is helped by the fact that he's not very good at it; slow enough that he doesn't instantly react to written warnings in a way that might give him away.
  • Parodied: In order to learn how to do anything, people have to forget something they already know. At least one person dies because they forget how to breathe.
  • Zig Zagged: In order to understand advanced hyperspatial mathematics, you have to give up the ability to understand basic arithmetic. You can derive basic arithmetic from hypermath but then you lose the ability to tell time. You can manually relearn how to tell time but then you forget how to move your eyes and have to turn your head to look around.
  • Averted: Bob's well-rounded.
  • Enforced: Bob's exceptional skill makes him seem unlikeable so the author decides that he can't read, so he doesn't seem like a can-do-everything Mary Sue.
  • Lampshaded:
    • The brochure for a martial arts dojo lists alongside each class what basic subject you'll have to forgo all knowledge of to join the class.
    • "Sure, it's great that I can tell you about every single French monarch back through the Merovingians, but sometimes I wish I spent that time learning to ride a bike."
  • Invoked: Bob's mother notices that her son can't read at all, so she signs him up for martial arts classes early on, knowing the extra mental capacity will lead to him getting exceptionally good at karate.
  • Exploited: Wanting a skilled martial artist they can easily control, Bob's teachers make sure that he doesn't learn how to read.
  • Defied:
    • Bob makes sure to learn to read behind his teachers' backs.
    • Bob's teachers make sure he learns how to read between sparring sessions.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: "You ever noticed how these really skilled people are clueless at some normal thing?"
  • Implied: Bob keeps a friend around at almost all times, and tends to let them deal with certain tasks such as talking to other people or reading important information.
  • Played For Laughs: Serial Escalation causes Bob to replace more and more of his basic functions with over-the-top techniques that defeat enemies in increasingly absurd ways. This continues until he one-shots the final enemy with a technique that is more powerful the more basic skills the target has.
  • Played For Drama: Bob was homeschooled by his parents in order to be the world's greatest math prodigy. He succeeds by spending his entire life studying towards this goal, but he never learnt to walk or eat solids. He has no social skills due to time spent studying preventing him from meeting other people, being lonely at the top because no matter what he achieves, he's a smart ASS. After years of living like this, Bob's parents are old and in poor health, and without them, he has nobody to keep him company, take care of him, or even appreciate what he has achieved, making all his sacrifices for naught.

Back to Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training. Sorry - in order to be able to write trope pages, I gave up the ability to write witty captions.

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