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I am trying to comeup with an exhaustive authoritative skill list for my Master of Orion settings.

One thing to consider is that it has 21 tech level (the first 4 are antiquity, middle-ages, renaissance, modern time - same as in the BGB, the next 17 ones are scifi level from Master of Orion research tree) and more than hundred of discovery... There is also little use for INT, which is mostly used for magic in BRP and I would like to use it. Also I am trying to align somewhat with Master of Orion science category.

Here is what I came up, curious how does it look to you guys!

 

First, instead of zillion (well, hundreds) of technical skills I would like to came up with a limited number (still in fluctuation, in the 10 to 20) so that no skill is too niche.

And then I would like the user to learn specialisation. Specialisation are just tag that unlock a skill. a character could have up to INT specialisation (here INT comes back as useful for all sorts of people). Also the same specialisation slot can sometimes work on multiple skill (like science and repair skill can share the same MoO discovery)
Two examples:
- Medicine. Without specialisation is useless, need [Race Physiology], with Human Physiology and Psilon Physiology a doctor could heal Human and Psilon using medicine. But not, say, Bulrathi
- with the "repair" skill (I am thinking to get rid of it and have "Device" skill instead, but same thing). You can't repair much, you need to have whatever science unlock the device in the tech tree or electronic/electrical/mechanical tag for contemporary and antique devices to be able to both manufacture, tinker and repair them.

 

with that in mind I want to replace or change the existing BGB skills that follow to work with specialisation:
Fine Manipulation, Repair (various), Medicine, Science (various), Technical Skill (various)

When I "ported" the MoO science list http://www.moo3.at/moo2/technologies.php I grouped every invention into those few categories (Device & Equipment, Spaceship, Infrastructure, Planetary Infrastructure, Space Infrastructure). Also the MoO science list is Contruction, Power, Chemistry, Sociology, Computers, Biology, Physics, Force Fields.

With that in mind here what I think could be a good exhaustive and final list of skill, with type of specialisation below,

Psionic power:
   => not technological know how but each additional power (n top of racial power that is) requires a specialisation slot
Science (Contruction, Power, Chemistry, Sociology, Computers, Biology, Physics, Force Fields: i.e. 7 skills) 
  => any MoO discovery
  => also geology, astronomy, meteorology
Space Infrastructure: used to maintain, build, repair knows structure
  => any MoO discovery with such structure as application
Planetary Infrastructure: used to maintain, build, repair knows structure
  => any MoO discovery with such structure as application
Vehicle Infrastructure: used to maintain, build, repair knows structure
  => any MoO discovery with such structure as application (spaceship devices)
Infrastructure: used to maintain, build, repair knows structure (hose sized..)
  => any MoO discovery with such structure as application
  => electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, plumbing
Device & Equipment: used to maintain, build, repair those
  => any MoO discovery with such item
  => electrical, electronic, mechanical, sensor, traps
Programming
  => any MoO discovery, can program all devices associated with the discovery
Medicine
  => [Race] Physiology (can then heal them)
  => bioahacking and implant tech (can then apply them)
Biochemistry
  => each drug tech, to create classes of drug
Fine Manipulation
  => clockwork, locksmith, trap

 

I feel like this might work. but some things are still unclear in my mind..... like unsure the procedure to hack a closed door.. is that possible? Do I just just Device or Infrastructure + electronic?

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It's fine to try to make a consistent list of skills, but beware to not make it so that a character has to invest too many points in skills that will never be used in play if he wants to play a "scientist".

It may seem very unrealistic and unsatisfying to have only one "Science" skill, like in White Wolf games, but the result is it only "costs" a few points at character creation to make a competent scientist, and won't make him useless outside a laboratory.

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Posted (edited)

I totally agree! I though t was clear that my skill list is relatively narrow (specialisation add easy to change specialisation! 😜 )

As for the 7 MoO skill, it's because of the 7 science branch in MoO, heaps with heaps of tech!

the science skills are not very useful anyway... i was wondering when to use them.. and I can only think it's useful (in way yet to be decided) when trying to reverse engineer some unknown tech...

And, I simply follow MoO science category, with each heaps of tech!

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I am trying to comeup with an exhaustive authoritative skill list for my Master of Orion settings.

One thing to consider is that it has 21 tech level (the first 4 are antiquity, middle-ages, renaissance, modern time - same as in the BGB, the next 17 ones are scifi level from Master of Orion research tree) and more than hundred of discovery... There is also little use for INT, which is mostly used for magic in BRP and I would like to use it. Also I am trying to align somewhat with Master of Orion science category.

Here is what I came up, curious how does it look to you guys!

 

First, instead of zillion (well, hundreds) of technical skills I would like to came up with a limited number (still in fluctuation, in the 10 to 20) so that no skill is too niche.

And then I would like the user to learn specialisation. Specialisation are just tag that unlock a skill. a character could have up to INT specialisation (here INT comes back as useful for all sorts of people). Also the same specialisation slot can sometimes work on multiple skill (like science and repair skill can share the same MoO discovery)
Two examples:
- Medicine. Without specialisation is useless, need [Race Physiology], with Human Physiology and Psilon Physiology a doctor could heal Human and Psilon using medicine. But not, say, Bulrathi
- with the "repair" skill (I am thinking to get rid of it and have "Device" skill instead, but same thing). You can't repair much, you need to have whatever science unlock the device in the tech tree or electronic/electrical/mechanical tag for contemporary and antique devices to be able to both manufacture, tinker and repair them.

 

3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

with that in mind I want to replace or change the existing BGB skills that follow to work with specialisation:
Fine Manipulation, Repair (various), Medicine, Science (various), Technical Skill (various)

When I "ported" the MoO science list http://www.moo3.at/moo2/technologies.php I grouped every invention into those few categories (Device & Equipment, Spaceship, Infrastructure, Planetary Infrastructure, Space Infrastructure). Also the MoO science list is Contruction, Power, Chemistry, Sociology, Computers, Biology, Physics, Force Fields.

I would call some of these "research fields" rather than "sciences". Especially Force Fields - how are those different from physics?

 

3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

With that in mind here what I think could be a good exhaustive and final list of skill, with type of specialisation below,

Psionic power:
   => not technological know how but each additional power (n top of racial power that is) requires a specialisation slot

 

3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Science (Contruction, Power, Chemistry, Sociology, Computers, Biology, Physics, Force Fields: i.e. 7 skills) 
  => any MoO discovery
  => also geology, astronomy, meteorology

Sounds mostly like applied science, and might deserve experience checks.

From my professional experience as a chemist, different tech levels make skills hard to transfer. While I was taught methods that Justus von Liebig used in his lab, working entirely with what was available in his lab would seriously hamper my abilities. Modern applications are designed to be very easy to operate and only moderately hard to troubleshoot, but almost impossible to repair. Reading raw output of spectra or chomatograms may be about as applicable to current edge lab work as calligraphy is to desktop publishing.

And who would you rather trust with a public defibrillator - a top notch 19th century surgeon or a tech literate average person from the early 21st century?

Anything like this may have broad and focussed abilities. Traveller has a few rules about tech levels which apply to the performance of technology, but your training with such technology may be important, too.

Characters would usually acquire abilities inside a branch of a technology tree at a range of tech levels - if they are lucky, at the top range of the native level, often a few steps down the level with varying knowledge of lower level technology - especially when they have smart instruments at their beckon.

When applying a skill to a comparable process from a different tech branch - say one culture/species uses orcanic, grown structural elements while another uses prefabs for construction - there will be a strong disconnect for the practitioner.

3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Space Infrastructure: used to maintain, build, repair knows structure
  => any MoO discovery with such structure as application

Does this include zero g maneuvering and EVA ability?

3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Planetary Infrastructure: used to maintain, build, repair knows structure
  => any MoO discovery with such structure as application
Vehicle Infrastructure: used to maintain, build, repair knows structure
  => any MoO discovery with such structure as application (spaceship devices)

I don't think that space vehicles and space stations require different skill sets. You might be better of separating into statics/structural analytics for frames and bulkheads of any kind, plumbing and wiring (including management and re-direction of flows, locks, safeties, filters), and finally energy transformation (reactors, drives, radiators).

The rest is architecture, usually not something you do on the fly.

3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Infrastructure: used to maintain, build, repair knows structure (hose sized..)
  => any MoO discovery with such structure as application
  => electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, plumbing
Device & Equipment: used to maintain, build, repair those
  => any MoO discovery with such item
  => electrical, electronic, mechanical, sensor, traps

Do these abilities include jury-rigging such devices?

Also: is maintenance not rather a ritual skill than something done in the adventure?

 

3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Programming
  => any MoO discovery, can program all devices associated with the discovery

How much programming would be done by people at higher tech levels? How much of it will remain people-readable?

 

3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Medicine
  => [Race] Physiology (can then heal them)

Macroscopic repair like sharp or blunt trauma with bandages, splints, and sutures, available at all tech levels and pretty much across species differences? Cellular attrition like burns, radiation, or organ failure, and symptomatic cures using metabolically active drugs helping or hindering natural regeneration? Just pouring in omnipotent stem cells, possibly blank ones copying the genetic codes from adjacent cells? Psionic or sympathetic redirection of (vitalist) energy flows?

Nutrition, respirational demands and knowledge about irritants would have to be learned on the patient.

3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

  => bioahacking and implant tech (can then apply them)

Any sufficiently advanced implant technology won't require specialists to install (beyond injecting or fumigating the recipient with the starter mechanisms). There may be low tech-level prototyping skills doing this, but that's almost more of an art form than practical in the presence of more advanced technology.

Depending on how much your setting leans into vitalism or mysticism, avoiding the "Cold Iron" effect on your magic generating abilities...

3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Biochemistry
  => each drug tech, to create classes of drug

It's a kind of magic. Seriously... On the one hand, you have ages old empirical or sympathetic methods based on observation bias and a more or less limited array of materials to use, on the other hand you have understanding of cellular membranes and entry channels and delivery mechanisms that you might print or gengineer, or nanorobots (perhaps drones operated by an outside operator or autmated navigation, perhaps a distributed intelligence riding on those apparatuses). And that's presuming that your organisms use osmosis as their (inefficient) means of generating potentials across phospholipid membranes. The one advantage our biochemistry has is that it could evolve from biofilms which may be the result of random chemistry.

Or you go down the Roddenberry vitalism or chi mysticism and assume that life creates something like an energy signature or a "quantum field" (into which psionics might tie) and start violating thermodynamics inside spacetime. Thus you might extract or instill properties like youth or life.

 

3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Fine Manipulation
  => clockwork, locksmith, trap

wiring, plumbing, neurosurgery... unless you want to make this an archaic skill set, I would subsume it in other maintenance skills (including medicine).

3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I feel like this might work. but some things are still unclear in my mind..... like unsure the procedure to hack a closed door.. is that possible? Do I just just Device or Infrastructure + electronic?

Totally depends on the door you're facing. An emoting door with a pseudo-personality like on Zaphod Beeblebrox's stolen ship might be fast-talked or threatened, a lock integrated with dozens of sensors would have to be separated from the supervising system without triggering alarm, and hooked up on an isolated system or independent subsystem controlled by the hacker. If it reacts to proof of identity, that needs to be subverted. "Mr. K'Zorn, your body mass has changed a lot since your last visit. Please allow a biopsy for further identification!"

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Posted (edited)

I fear I might not have been very clear... 😕 From your comment I am pretty sure there is some misunderstanding... (and if it's not clear, maybe it's not good?! 😕 ) but hopefully my comment below will clarify what I was trying to say...

As a quick preamble.. the idea is that there are "only" a few technical/scientific skills (7 sciences, exactly the MoO sciences, and 9 others, like space infrastructure or equipment or medicine) but they do nothing on their own, you need some specialisation.
Like if there was only 1 magic skill but it does nothing, unless you know some spells. Then you cast each spell you know with that magic skill. In that system Magic would be the skill and the spells would be specialisations.

 

1 hour ago, Joerg said:

I would call some of these "research fields" rather than "sciences". Especially Force Fields - how are those different from physics?

As per Master of Orion tech tree: http://www.moo3.at/moo2/technologies.php
Eyeballing if I'd say each of those fields (physics vs force field) has about 12 science discovery and 30 applications....

Though I understand, starting from a blank canvas I would have lumped those 2 together as well, but MoO doesn't

1 hour ago, Joerg said:
Quote

Space Infrastructure: used to maintain, build, repair knows structure
  => any MoO discovery with such structure as application

Does this include zero g maneuvering and EVA ability?

What I mean by this notation: there is one skill in the character sheet "Space Infrastructure", it's about building, moding, repairing. Not sure what is "EVA Ability" but it probably ain't it!
But what can you build and repair? Nothing by default! You need specialisation!

For example, if you refer to MoO tech tree and and click on a construction item (say: http://www.moo3.at/moo2/technologies/construction.php ) You can see that if you take the specialisation "Astro Engineering (400RP)", it unlock Space Port. So you can maintain and be the architect of a space port if you take that specialisation. And your architect skill will be the "Space Infrastructure" skill.. If you don't have that specialisation though you can't design or oversee a space port construction, regardless of your Space Infrastructure skill.

 

1 hour ago, Joerg said:
Quote

Planetary Infrastructure: used to maintain, build, repair knows structure
  => any MoO discovery with such structure as application
Vehicle Infrastructure: used to maintain, build, repair knows structure
  => any MoO discovery with such structure as application (spaceship devices)

I don't think that space vehicles and space stations require different skill sets. You might be better of separating into statics/structural analytics for frames and bulkheads of any kind, plumbing and wiring (including management and re-direction of flows, locks, safeties, filters), and finally energy transformation (reactors, drives, radiators).

I would suggest that building and maintaining a nuclear drive and building and maintaining an automated factory can reasonably be 2 different skills. Planetary Infrastruture and Vehicle Infrastructure in that case, with the appropriate specialisations.
And I also suggest that the same skill "Vehicle Infrastructure" can build and maintain a Nuclear Drive or a Class I Shield, as long as you get the specialisation for each.

I did thought of having just one Fabricate skill to repair, build, mod everything like you are suggesting (I think, possible misunderstanding here) but the game doesn't work that well with very few skill...
It was hard enough coming with 10 skills for each profession!

If I want to go that route of very few skill I would play Revolution D100, which, incidentally, has specialisation slots!

 

1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Any sufficiently advanced implant technology won't require specialists to install (beyond injecting or fumigating the recipient with the starter mechanisms). There may be low tech-level prototyping skills doing this, but that's almost more of an art form than practical in the presence of more advanced technology.

I was think fabrication and modding.
.... and also installing.

But arguably maybe installing would be easier, this didn't cross my mind...

 

1 hour ago, Joerg said:

How much programming would be done by people at higher tech levels? How much of it will remain people-readable?

who else would do the programming? even if it's machine who programs machine, who programs machines which program the other machines? eventually an human describe what want to be done somewhere.

In the computer you find, for example, Holo Simulator with the Positronic discovery.
With the Positronic specialisation and Device skill one can build the hardware.
with Programming skill and Positronic specialisation one can add new virtual environment or story that can be run.

Although this topic is a bit vague, MoO doesnt go into the detail of other than spaceship and population happiness. So I am not really sure how creative and aware and understanding is the Holo Simulator AI, and now that you bring that up.. it's a good question......
But, anyway, I sure know how to change it, with Programming skill + Positronic specialisation.

 

1 hour ago, Joerg said:
Quote

Biochemistry
  => each drug tech, to create classes of drug

It's a kind of magic. Seriously...

Tssk, tssk, tssk... what if the player character want to be a chemist creating and designing drug? what mechanic allow or disallow it?
It's not ancient and forbidden and lost knowledge! On the contrary, people in MoO are even better at it than us! And I allow for the player to do it too! it's not just only in the hand of NPCs!
How does it work though? it's just a RPG we roll some dice and it work, doesn't matter how the player really does it.

But what is the game mechanic that allow or disallow it?
The player need a lab, and need the appropriate specialisation (MoO only has like 4 biological agent, I have yet to create a few more specialisations) and then one can roll the biochemistry skill. 
Without lab, no roll, without specialisation, it's just research, with low biochemistry, lots of failure.

 

1 hour ago, Joerg said:
Quote

I feel like this might work. but some things are still unclear in my mind..... like unsure the procedure to hack a closed door.. is that possible? Do I just just Device or Infrastructure + electronic?

Totally depends on the door you're facing.An emoting door with a pseudo-personality like on Zaphod Beeblebrox's stolen ship might be fast-talked or threatened

The game doesn't go that way at all, it's more like science fantasy like star trek at TL12 or guardian of the galaxy at TL17.

I was wondering whether to use electronic or not to hack the door, or might need other specialisation... I am edging toward keeping electronic for simple houses, or maybe the appropriate computer technology.. or maybe go with what the player want if it's not too important and sound reasonable....

 

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Joerg said:

From my professional experience as a chemist, different tech levels make skills hard to transfer. While I was taught methods that Justus von Liebig used in his lab, working entirely with what was available in his lab would seriously hamper my abilities. Modern applications are designed to be very easy to operate and only moderately hard to troubleshoot, but almost impossible to repair. Reading raw output of spectra or chomatograms may be about as applicable to current edge lab work as calligraphy is to desktop publishing.

And who would you rather trust with a public defibrillator - a top notch 19th century surgeon or a tech literate average person from the early 21st century?

Anything like this may have broad and focussed abilities. Traveller has a few rules about tech levels which apply to the performance of technology, but your training with such technology may be important, too.

Characters would usually acquire abilities inside a branch of a technology tree at a range of tech levels - if they are lucky, at the top range of the native level, often a few steps down the level with varying knowledge of lower level technology - especially when they have smart instruments at their beckon.

When applying a skill to a comparable process from a different tech branch - say one culture/species uses orcanic, grown structural elements while another uses prefabs for construction - there will be a strong disconnect for the practitioner.

I kind of skip that part initially.. so what you suggest is device repair is automatic and construction is impossible? 
mm.. most device works fine automatically, the skill roll is mostly for repair and construction... I might make construction harder (skill% / 2) but probably not give any bonus to repair... you can try again later.. just use time and material... (it might be a problem when you are in a hurry or low on spare parts.. but hey, that's exactly why we use the skill in the first place!)

but .. what you suggest here, perhaps, is to give bonus to medicine.... I don't thing it would be necessary, medicine would be mostly use to heal faster, and a fail roll simply mean somewhat less fast. But I should remember to give a large bonus to first aid with advanced tool.

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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10 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

 

 

First, instead of zillion (well, hundreds) of technical skills I would like to came up with a limited number (still in fluctuation, in the 10 to 20) so that no skill is too niche.

And then I would like the user to learn specialisation. Specialisation are just tag that unlock a skill. a character could have up to INT specialisation (here INT comes back as useful for all sorts of people). Also the same specialisation slot can sometimes work on multiple skill (like science and repair skill can share the same MoO discovery)
Two examples:
- Medicine. Without specialisation is useless, need [Race Physiology], with Human Physiology and Psilon Physiology a doctor could heal Human and Psilon using medicine. But not, say, Bulrathi

Medicine without specilization shouldn't be useless, as there are a lot of common factors between living organisms. For instance, a licensed M.D. is going to have a good idea or what certina medicines would do to a horse, or how to treat the wounds on an injured dog. 

 

I suggest that for each "Step" away from what the character is specialized in, they take a penalty. Something like a M.D. working on humans at full ability, primates with a minor penalty, other mammals with a greater penalty, non-mammals with an even greater penalty, and non-cababon based life forms at an even greater penalty.

 

 

10 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

- with the "repair" skill (I am thinking to get rid of it and have "Device" skill instead, but same thing). You can't repair much, you need to have whatever science unlock the device in the tech tree or electronic/electrical/mechanical tag for contemporary and antique devices to be able to both manufacture, tinker and repair them.

 

Again, I'll raise the same argument I did with medicine. A modern auto mechanic could probably get an old automobile to work- even something like a Stanley Steamer. Enough of the underlying fundametals are the same. It would be more difficult.

I think one way you might want to address this is with fumbles.

What if someone with a specialty got a LUCK roll to avoid a fumble, while someone without the specialty didn't?  Thus a mechanic working on a Stanley Steamer who lacks the specialty is going to have a much greater risk of the boiler blowing up. 

 

 

10 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I feel like this might work. but some things are still unclear in my mind..... like unsure the procedure to hack a closed door.. is that possible? Do I just just Device or Infrastructure + electronic?

I'd suggest allowing either skill to work. That way you don't get too bogged down into what you cannot do. In the real world there is a lot or crossover between skills. For instance, I have a degree in Electronics and used to do electrical repairs on various things including CnC Lathes, house wiring, and automotive wiring. I did most of that while working for an Electrical Engineer, who had a somewhat different (and more extensive) skill set. But I was able to work on all that stuff because fundamentally it all works the same. In fact, some things I did better than my boss, because I was trained to work with small connectors and circuit boards, which go with low voltage electronics,  he was more versed with high voltage electrical systems. 

 

So I think you'd be better off with skill descriptions being a bit more "fuzzy". Rather than assuming a character must have X to work on X, just assume that there is enough commonality to be able to work on X, but that it will be more difficult and probably riskier. 

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Posted (edited)

First, to clarify an additional point, a specialisation is like a tag. Either you have it or you dont. And it make skills useful. Without them skill are worthless. Also you can have up to INT of them.

 

53 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Medicine without specilization shouldn't be useless, as there are a lot of common factors between living organisms. For instance, a licensed M.D. is going to have a good idea or what certina medicines would do to a horse, or how to treat the wounds on an injured dog. 

That is exactly the intent. same with repair. I am sorry this was not more obvious.
The closest analogy to my system that is familiar is a magic skill and magic spells. The skill without spell is useless. And the spell need be cast with the skill at skill percentage.

Similarly a skill without specialisation is worthless but would be sort of research. 

For example with Medicine, worthless by itself, when one got a [creature] specialisation, (such as Elerian, Psilon, Dog, Horse, human) then Medecine can be used on the creature.

I was also thinking to get rid of "repair (various)" and "technical (various)" and replace them with "Equipment", "Vehicles", "Infrastructure", "Space Infrastructure" skills. all useless by themselves, and also not very good names 😕 

But then one acquire specialisation from the MoO tech tree (the more general discovery, such as "Advanced Engineering") and can then use the skill on all application unlocked by the tech

 

53 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

I suggest that for each "Step" away from what the character is specialized in, they take a penalty. Something like a M.D. working on humans at full ability, primates with a minor penalty, other mammals with a greater penalty, non-mammals with an even greater penalty, and non-cababon based life forms at an even greater penalty.

It was going to be an all or nothing. either one get the specialisation and can do it or they do not and they cannot...

 

53 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:
Quote

I feel like this might work. but some things are still unclear in my mind..... like unsure the procedure to hack a closed door.. is that possible? Do I just just Device or Infrastructure + electronic?

I'd suggest allowing either skill to work. That way you don't get too bogged down into what you cannot do. In the real world there is a lot or crossover between skills. For instance, I have a degree in Electronics and used to do electrical repairs on various things including CnC Lathes, house wiring, and automotive wiring. I did most of that while working for an Electrical Engineer, who had a somewhat different (and more extensive) skill set. But I was able to work on all that stuff because fundamentally it all works the same. In fact, some things I did better than my boss, because I was trained to work with small connectors and circuit boards, which go with low voltage electronics,  he was more versed with high voltage electrical systems. 

for unlocking a door only 2 kill might be relevant: "fine manipulation" and "equipment" (or maybe "Infrastructure"?)
The question that bug me which specialisation could help.. "locksmith" for all pretech doors... electronic for contemporary one... what about future doors from TL5 to 21?

Since there are o explicit door technology, I guess it's electronic all the way...
Although, come to think about it, I should use the latest computer tech (from the tech tree) and one could argue that electronic is computer TL4 specialisation.
Of course one also need some tools.. 

In that case I would say perhaps you use the "Equipment" skill (one can stretch it a bit to useon house too hey, which is Infrastructure normal) or maybe "Fine Manipulation", and you got electrical and electronic specialisation, that let you fix both. Does that make sense?

 

Mm... those 4 skill have a lot of overlap... but otherwise I am loather to coalece them all in 1 skill. I'd like to use different skill to build a space station (Space Infrastructure), a bridge (Infrastructure), a car (Vehicles), a machine gun or clothing (Equipment). And also requires appropriate specialisation.

 

After all those comment I am afraid though that.. either my explanation skills are bad, or the system is confusing... 😕 

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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1 hour ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

First, to clarify an additional point, a specialization is like a tag. Either you have it or you dont. And it make skills useful. Without them skill are worthless. Also you can have up to INT of them.

I get your intention, I just think it's a bad idea.

1 hour ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

 

That is exactly the intent. same with repair. I am sorry this was not more obvious.

Oh, I get your intent, I just disagree with it. In real life there is a lot of crossover. A medical doctor's knowledge and skill does apply somewhat when working on an animal. 

That's why I don't like your all or nothing approach. In the real world medicine isn't worthless without specializations. A human doctor is going to be much better at treating a sick or inured horse than someone with no medical knowledge at all. 

1 hour ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

It was going to be an all or nothing. either one get the specialisation and can do it or they do not and they cannot...

I just don't think that's a good idea. You are going to win up with lots of odd situations where someone's related knowledge will prove worthless.

1 hour ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

 

for unlocking a door only 2 kill might be relevant: "fine manipulation" and "equipment" (or maybe "Infrastructure"?)
The question that bug me which specialisation could help.. "locksmith" for all pretech doors... electronic for contemporary one... what about future doors from TL5 to 21?

That's why I think you should allow either to work. Again, in real life someone with either electronics skill or mechanical locksmith skill could open the door. The difference is in how they do it. 

For example, some places use key cards that employees need to scan to access certian areas. THe way they work is by encoding the proper access codes onto a magnetic strip on the card. Now if someone wanted to bypass that type of lock they could:

  • Manipulate the lock mechanically as a locksmith
  • Trip the lock eletrically with electronics
  • Copy the acess code witha computer and put in on another key card with Computer skill
  • Reprogram the access codes for that lock with Computer skill

There are multiple ways to get the desired result, and which one you lean towards depends on your skill set and what equipment you have. I think just limiting it to one applicable skill or specialty is not a great approach. 

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5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I fear I might not have been very clear... 😕 From your comment I am pretty sure there is some misunderstanding... (and if it's not clear, maybe it's not good?! 😕 ) but hopefully my comment below will clarify what I was trying to say...

Ok, disclaimer time - I never played MoO, and have only a very shallow idea about the main cultures/species involved in the setting.

I have however wasted enough months of my life on games with similar tech trees etc.

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

As a quick preamble.. the idea is that there are "only" a few technical/scientific skills (7 sciences, exactly the MoO sciences, and 9 others, like space infrastructure or equipment or medicine) but they do nothing on their own, you need some specialisation.

Yes, although I am arguing about your specializations.

 

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Like if there was only 1 magic skill but it does nothing, unless you know some spells. Then you cast each spell you know with that magic skill. In that system Magic would be the skill and the spells would be specialisations.

In that case, how does the skill (or the tech level) in the specialisation affect the target number for whichever task is attempted? Is Tech Level part of the specialisation?

 

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

As per Master of Orion tech tree: http://www.moo3.at/moo2/technologies.php
Eyeballing if I'd say each of those fields (physics vs force field) has about 12 science discovery and 30 applications....

Though I understand, starting from a blank canvas I would have lumped those 2 together as well, but MoO doesn't

I suppose that MoO models an imperial tech tree rather than the actual engineer's specialisation. I can see that there are engineering challenges in force field manipulation which go beyond what you can do with standard physics, and having a force field technician or a force field architect/designer might be a thing.

I doubt that many player characters will be involved in ivory tower or top secret government research. They may be involved with reverse engineering captured or found or bought alien technology, though, but (at least in my roleplaying experience) extracting a blueprint from machinery will be much rarer than trying to get alien technology to run and to integrate with whatever technology your players have at hand.

 

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

What I mean by this notation: there is one skill in the character sheet "Space Infrastructure", it's about building, moding, repairing.

Does this mean the white-collar architect creating a blue-print and sending work crews to the various tasks, or does this mean hands-on tackling of specific tasks?

 

I can see why the demands different research for space vessel chassis and space station backbones, but in the end a bulkhead will be a bulkhead, and working on hull material will require the same technology for space installations or for space vessels, even where space stations can use way more mass and volume compared to ships that need to fit into drive fields.

 

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Not sure what is "EVA Ability" but it probably ain't it!

Extra-Vehicular Activity, which means working in space wearing more or less armored space suits, hauling heavy equipment in zero gravity or on the edges of artificial gravity. (If there are discreet force fields, there will be artificial gravity, inertial dampers and other such clarketech).

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

But what can you build and repair? Nothing by default! You need specialisation!

I can see the point when it comes to channeling energies from outside of this universe or out of the quantum vacuum, but when it comes to applying something resembling science rather than mystical knowledge, I posit that cross-segment understanding of technology will create a basic chance significantly different from 00%.

If you look at our technology, some proficiency with systems running on unix/android/IOS or more hardware-adjacent operating systems will enable a food processing engineer to manage a sewer system or flight control with only a penalty and not complete ignorance. Specifics like legal and safety obligations specific to a task are usually taught to engineers and practitioners from adjacent fields in a matter of weeks rather than months or years. That will start out as rather narrow book learning, but will soon enough widen out (or otherwise result in a dead end career path).

 

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

For example, if you refer to MoO tech tree and and click on a construction item (say: http://www.moo3.at/moo2/technologies/construction.php ) You can see that if you take the specialisation "Astro Engineering (400RP)", it unlock Space Port. So you can maintain and be the architect of a space port if you take that specialisation. And your architect skill will be the "Space Infrastructure" skill.. If you don't have that specialisation though you can't design or oversee a space port construction, regardless of your Space Infrastructure skill.

If you have a tested blueprint or have practice in putting blue prints into material reality, you don't really need to be a creative designer. While this is not my own professional specialisation, a friend of mine is an engineer coordinating (seagoing) ship construction distributed among shipyards in different parts of the world, managing the design and construction process as much as the material construction. It is a vastly distributed team effort which takes specialities far outside of the actual design branch - stuff like process modeling which really is the same basic international standards e.g. referenced in quality management and process management. Whether design or production, there are standardized work-flows which get at best augmented by specialisations.

Of course that doesn't mean that your average baker who is a genius at designing wedding cakes will be able to cross over into designing space stations or vehicles. But if your players include anybody involved in current business practice, they might wonder where all that cross platform uniformity has gone.

 

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I would suggest that building and maintaining a nuclear drive and building and maintaining an automated factory can reasonably be 2 different skills. 

Building is a different skill than maintaining/repairing one, as building them requires production gear the engineer running the device (whether automated factory or energy plant with specialized output) won't have.

 

 

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Planetary Infrastruture and Vehicle Infrastructure in that case, with the appropriate specialisations.

A sufficiently large space vehicle  or something like a planetary mobile extraction and basic refining vehicle will have automated factories or prototype constructors (3D-printers if not replicators) as well as energy generators or internal energy distribution systems if working on energy beamed or piped in.

Specialised knowledge will be valuable in troubleshooting or modding, but ordinary operation will usually be done by conscripted men and petty officers from technical branches (or their civilian equivalent). Truck drivers will be able to exchange tyres and maybe apply duct tape to a leaking coolant pipe, but won't usually be able to work on valves inside the motor block. That's when you call in the towing service and subject the vehicle and the defective parts to specialized tools.

Your vehicular engineers are supposed to keep the systems running in normal conditions, to manage limited red-lining in situations of stress, to contain damage from operation mishaps as much as from enemy fire, and to bring redundant systems into play as long as such are still available.

On space stations and space vehicles, all crew would be drilled in emergency measures and damage control. Same for many civilian inhabitants in places inside hostile environments (like vacuum, toxic atmospheres, radiation hazards, etc). 

 

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:


And I also suggest that the same skill "Vehicle Infrastructure" can build and maintain a Nuclear Drive or a Class I Shield, as long as you get the specialisation for each.

Build one? Only if you have a prototype printer/replicator for hull parts as well as micro-circuits on board, or if you have access to an industrial complex churning out these, and an assembly platform and scaffold to hold up the hull structure.

Structural stress on bearing elements is the same for space stations or space vessels, and to some extent to planetary construction as well (tectonic stress, wind stress, vibration from traffic or processing inside). Climate or at least heat control will be a specialization you need in all of these, as a sub-topic of plumbing and wiring. And while you will need a coordinator to get all these specialist tasks pulled together into a project, these specialists will use the same knowledge whether they apply it to a crew shuttle, a space station habitat or a planetary arcology.

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I did thought of having just one Fabricate skill to repair, build, mod everything like you are suggesting (I think, possible misunderstanding here) but the game doesn't work that well with very few skill...
It was hard enough coming with 10 skills for each profession!

Why is that a design goal?

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

If I want to go that route of very few skill I would play Revolution D100, which, incidentally, has specialisation slots!

I think that approach of broad basic skills and narrower specialisation break-outs (QuestWorlds lives off these) works better than arbitrary mandatory specialisations which are way too narrow in some respects and way too broad in others. A car mechanic in a repair shop would usually know zilch about programming and maintaining an automatted welding robot in a car production line. The ability to service those is derived from a general maintenance skill and some specific instruction where what parts sit and how to service those. (That knowledge might be treated similar to a spell scroll in game mechanics, but if you can service a crane and know how to weld, you would have quite a bit of starting knowledge that you might be able to service a jammed robot arm in such a welding bot.)

 

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I was think fabrication and modding.

Quite different skills, really. Assembling prefab parts in a production line doesn't need specialisation, all it requires is some basic skill in metalworking, cell phone operation to select the operation mode, and a rather short instruction how to do your specific job.

Assembling your Ford Mustang yourself in a garage from prefab may be closer to the skill set for modding a car. But then, what is going to stop a space ship modder from re-building his space station with the same set of skills, and vice versa?

 

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

who else would do the programming? even if it's machine who programs machine, who programs machines which program the other machines? eventually an human describe what want to be done somewhere.

Yes. Getting something programmed may be a process similar to getting a modified wrap at Subway talking to Siri, your friendly automatted custom service platform. Getting e.g. image recognition processes automatted still takes some specialized skill, but once the heuristics have a sufficiently big backlog of data and decision trees, 2020ies "AI" will then iteratively modify decision trees and distil criteria the human specialist would never think of.

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

In the computer you find, for example, Holo Simulator with the Positronic discovery.

While I can see that these dependencies may be hard-wired into the MoO tech tree in the computer game, what I am seeing here is that you need a sufficiently fast and powerful calculator and (more importantly) some weird unobtainium force field technology violating thermodynamics to get that built.

(Thermodynamics and soft SF aren't friends. If Picard would place a glass in the replicator when ordering his Earl Grey at convenient temperature, the Enterprise could probably cross the distance between Earth and Moon in a matter of minutes on how much that saves on the energy budget, accelerating from and decelerating to stable orbit.)

 

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

With the Positronic specialisation and Device skill one can build the hardware.

At the very least, I would think that you need fabbers, material, and specialized tools to do so. And if it is standard hardware, Alexa probably has a blueprint she can send over to the fabber.

The real hardware challenge would be the projectors creating the holographic experience, not the calculator running the simulation.

 

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

with Programming skill and Positronic specialisation one can add new virtual environment or story that can be run.

I posit that creating a new story takes about as much technical knowledge as creating a new quest in a game like MoO or say one of the X3 games. With future technology assisting systems, it will be like preparing a scenario on a VTT, using prefab modules or possibly tweaking a new one. Not exactly trivial, but neither something you need to spend two years at the naval academy for.

 

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Although this topic is a bit vague, MoO doesnt go into the detail of other than spaceship and population happiness. So I am not really sure how creative and aware and understanding is the Holo Simulator AI, and now that you bring that up.. it's a good question......

Basically, this is an empire's decision on how much it invests into this form of morale boosting. Serving some rum did that job on 18th century British navy ships...

Virtual reality gigs would do the same, really, if tactile and kinetic simulation is somewhat advanced. (With artificial gravity, any kind of acceleration can be simulated on the player's body without the body ever leaving its flotation tank, I suppose. No need for laser-tag environments created by unobtainium force fields doing stuff like that face to face.)

 

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Tssk, tssk, tssk... what if the player character want to be a chemist creating and designing drug? what mechanic allow or disallow it?

Are you talking medical or recreational drugs, here?

For recreational purposes, I would design nanobots with docking molecules for neurons, possibly with a swarm intelligence that can communicate with an interior or exterior programming interface. You don't even need the substances if you can alter the electrochemical potential in the neurons directly by pumping in the desired electrolytes creating that signal potential, bypassing or enhancing neural pathways without tapping into the physiology much.

One could design mitochondria-analogues that would harvest radiation and turn that into ATP molecules, making food and oxygen intake optional for at least a while keeping the cells operational.

I would demand there to be a fabber - a machine synthesizing molecules. The wannabe drug lord could take an existing biochemical molecule known to have one of the desired effects, do a 3D-analysis of that molecule and then get a 3D construction set to create molecules with a similar sensor geometry with the dipol moments in the right locations, maybe tweak them a bit by changing some functional group. Run a heuristic for long enough, and you can have your new upper-fixer if you know your target's biochemistry to enough detail.

Or you could simply stimulate neurons in the pleasure center directly by altering the sodium and potassium levels in the neurons, or by inserting an electrode adding an electrical potential to the electrochemical one (used by the wireheads in David Niven's Ringworld universe).

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

It's not ancient and forbidden and lost knowledge! On the contrary, people in MoO are even better at it than us! And I allow for the player to do it too! it's not just only in the hand of NPCs!

Do you have a task format for doing original research, then? One that is fun to play with the entire party, or one that is easily handled in between adventuring sessions?

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

How does it work though? it's just a RPG we roll some dice and it work, doesn't matter how the player really does it.

Yes. My question to you is: Does it enhance player fun by demanding a specialisation that needs abstract effort and takes away other character development opportunities?

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

But what is the game mechanic that allow or disallow it?
The player need a lab, and need the appropriate specialisation (MoO only has like 4 biological agent, I have yet to create a few more specialisations) and then one can roll the biochemistry skill. 

The Tech Level 2020 Terra plus 3 (which probably maps to well developed sublight space travel and maybe an experimental FTL drive) would have such a lab inside a box maybe the size of a gallon, with an interface either to neural coupling, or parsing spoken commands perfectly. It is a magical or technological item you own, possibly one you needed to jailbreak to neutralize government- or insurance-mandated limiters on what you can produce. And there would be the future equivalent of youtube videos to show you how to jailbreak such a device.

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Without lab, no roll, without specialisation, it's just research, with low biochemistry, lots of failure.

Without a lab, it is just chemistry. It becomes biochemistry when you apply CRISPR or some advanced form of that on yeast or e coli processing some mix of nutrients.

Cooking Meth isn't done (exclusively) by chemistry majors. Many cooks are their own best customers and have deteriorated their rationality significantly.

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

The game doesn't go that way at all, it's more like science fantasy like star trek at TL12 or guardian of the galaxy at TL17.

We have shopping applications pretending to be human in our present time. Using the same kind of teleoperated interface for a door or letting Alexa open the doors for you when you are drunk as a skunk and your vocal commands are slurred like hell isn't the technology of next decade, it is possible right now. Still in the prototype phase, nowhere near mass production, but technology like that doesn't take much genius. Securing the technology against external tampering may mean that you run a lesser heuristic on site while doing some of the heavier calculations on dedicated servers, et voilà, a door or a car ignition you can talk to and argue with.

 

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I was wondering whether to use electronic or not to hack the door, or might need other specialisation... I am edging toward keeping electronic for simple houses, or maybe the appropriate computer technology.. or maybe go with what the player want if it's not too important and sound reasonable....

IMO the main problem is to prevent the door from logging the opening event, or to prevent its sensors from registering that it opened. The old tricks like the security cam loop... Watch the Clooney Oceans 11 series for how Hollywood thinks it might be done (and avoid  Swordfish). Heck, find a service streaming the old Max Headroom TV series for inspiration.

 

If you want to turn a video game where you send fleets of battleships into space combat into a role playing game, you need to think about what aspects of shipboard life you want your players to experience. Are they part of the military, or hired by the military, or taken captive by the military? Check some Expanse, read some Honor Harrington, re-run Starship Troopers and read the Dorsay! novels for inspiration how the military experience on space ships might feel. Then create character designs based on what the protagonists or antagonists in those series go through for the various forms of miltiary spacers. You can still decide whether you want your player characters in active duty or after leaving the service (Traveller-style).

Apart from its yesterday technology tree, Traveller does a good job modeling former military going on adventure in a feudal society. Add the spaceship technology from MoO, and think about what the non-military backgrounds for the various cultures would be, or whether they even have non-military individuals - I imagine that every Bulrathi has to undergo some mandatory defense service, even if they have a civilian occupation. If not the Bulrathi, than one or two other cultures in the setting. And the Terrans may be thoroughly militarized in response, too. But will they have a military caste, or will they have mandatory draft (no bone spurs nonsense, but possibly flashy and useless officers patents to be bought)? In that case, every player character will have undergone at least basic military training, and have basic combat skills.

Design your amount of utopia and dystopia for the various cultures, and assign cultural skills accordingly. Take a look at how RQG does it, then twist it to MoO after you have decided on typical characters for each culture. I probably wouldn't bother designing more than two or three archetypical careers for each species, and then sit down with the player wanting to deviate from that to cobble together something that both you and the player think might work.

 

How even will the distribution of technology be? Looking at our planet, mobile phones can be found in the hands of probably 80% of the world population by now, with maybe 10 years difference when it comes to how current the OS on the device will be. When it comes to cars with combustion energies, those are found pretty much everywhere, with less automation and more DIY potential in some areas and over-engineering and throw-away black box components in the decadent consumer population of the Western World. Now extrapolate to star empires with colonies on the fringes with different locally available manufacturing technology. How many countries in the world actually produce solar cells, microchips, or pure silicon? How many countries can build up such an infrastructure inside a decade, if supply is cut off for some (probably political) reason (excepting cataclysms)?

Take Norway - one of the richest countries in the world, about 5 million inhabitants, provider of plenty highly sought after raw materials or at best pre-processed materials, rich in energy, customer for all manner of finished technology, exporter of fish and importer of other foods. There probably is no facility for building their own TV sets, and hardly any local textile mass production other than craft and quite specialized export products. Getting a local gunsmithing industry going might take a few months, getting a local solar cell industry running without just buying the plants would require decades of building up industry to build the tools to build the tools. The knowledge is available, the industry isn't.

Now imagine you are stranding Norway on a distant planet, with maybe a few visits of interstellar haulers bringing in stuff, and carrying off stuff. Interrupt a few of those haulers by interstellar war. How will that affect local tech level? And to bring this back to the topic of skills: how will having received a character's previous experience in this environment affect the skill set?

The result could be a mix and match of tech levels and practical experiences, and possibly stints of service or contract work on other worlds. Much like the steam-powered robots in Stainless Steel Rat, or the mismatched frontier technology in Firefly.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Sorry... I was busy with EA Job interview! 😮😄 And preparing Sunday game session....

@Atgxtg , mmm.... my first problem with your comment is while you say my skill system is too restrictive, the default BRP system is even more restrictive so I am not sure what you are even aiming at?
Unless you would be suggesting, for a contemporary BRP game, unlike what ther say page 73,  ditch Repair (various), make it just Repair - 1 skill?

Though it did give me an idea... the Device (repair) skill can probably be used without any (knowledge) specification as long as you got someone on site with the specialisation (i.e. directing all the other guys)

 

@Joerg, mmm.. yes technology is become more automatic and easier everyday, and probably, in some other games, all that is needed is on the character sheet is the omnitool tech level.. but I'd like to keep playing with BRP. I think that sums it up.

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21 minutes ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

@Joerg, mmm.. yes technology is become more automatic and easier everyday, and probably, in some other games, all that is needed is on the character sheet is the omnitool tech level.. but I'd like to keep playing with BRP. I think that sums it up.

Specializations as spells would make sense in a system where you download or install them in a way similar to RQG runes in sorcery. But then, even in RQG sorcery there are inferred runes derived from others.

If you introduce lore-like skills, acquiring those will basically retire a character for a period of game time.

Depending on the time spent in FTL, travel times might be the time to acquire or improve knowledge skills, though. (C.J. Cherryh's Union/Alliance space used "tapes" of recorded memories implanting into the dreaming brains on the week-long jumps spent unconscious, by the ordinary spacer, at least).

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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I must confess that I did not read everything, it is a bit too much, but my point of view is that making skills which simulate the reality (or one reality) is not the point, but instead to make skills relevant to the game, that is, which are actually used in play and bring something to it. So I think you can details those which may have a chance to be used and remain vague for th others. May be think "are there situations in my game where the player can come himself to the idea to use this skill to pass an obstacle or to gain any advantage ?" (and not used only when the GM decided that that skill was compulsory for an obstacle) ?

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Wind on the Steppes, role playing among the steppe Nomads. The  running campaign and the blog

 

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Why not convert over to a Mythras style Skill system if your worried about INT not mattering?  In Mythras, you add the two most important characteristics together to get a base skill level.  You could also average the two (or more) characteristics to get a base skill.  This is much easier than BRP's approach. 

 

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6 hours ago, Zit said:

I must confess that I did not read everything, it is a bit too much, but my point of view is that making skills which simulate the reality (or one reality) is not the point, but instead to make skills relevant to the game, that is, which are actually used in play and bring something to it

indeed... and each knowing how to repair each Spaceship device is utterly important! (for space battle, you see...) and maybe repair normal device on the battlefield too...
and also, I created mods for lots of stuff and thought that they are non standard and some sort of levelling up rewards but if they also requires some skill roll instead of being automatic that makes it less common, more real reward...

10 minutes ago, olskool said:

Why not convert over to a Mythras style Skill system if your worried about INT not mattering? 

mmm.. doing my "own skill system" from this optic.. where each skill is... but it really is a minor thing... it's about making the system much less crunchy...

FYI, like Mythras I have standard and professional skill. All skills start at 20%, all skill have 1 leading characteristic (just one) which is only used for XP roll. D100 + Characteristic -10. (instead of INT for all improvement rolls like in BRP rules, so, mm... INT is less useful that in default rules, oops 😮)

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Posted (edited)

@Atgxtg to sum my current problem up... if I follow what BRP has been doing, i.e:
 - looking at Repair(various) (page 73)
 - Technical Skill (various) (page 82)

and my MoO tech tree... I should add about a bit more than 100 skills for all tech.

I don't want to do that. I also want to use INT, and though that instead of spell slot I could have knowledge slot. And does it matter? An when?
So far mostly to repair your gear or spaceship, typically after (or even during) combat, I reckon. And to get a normal civilian job.
And perhaps to install mods, and make mods a sort of levelling up material rewards.

So instead of 300 skills, I think I could have only 2 (repair device, repair spaceship) and use the tech knowledge as a "repair spells" - I called it character specialisation.

So now that I give you the short version. Please feel free to come up with your short version too!

I need to make a definitive list of skill to complete the character sheet. And I need to have enough skill to make characters different.

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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Reupholstering the captain's chair is a whole different skill set from rewiring the communication system to bypass a fried console.

I don't know what BRP does other than the short mentions in this thread. RQ:RiG (and precursors) tended to incorporate INT as a modifier to some skill categories, so using it a second time for some skills seems hokey.

As for "repair device"/"repair spaceship" -- are those really what the rules have, or just your ideas. At the very least I'd consider something for mechanical engineering (wrench monkey/welder, capable of running a milling machine to make replacement parts, knowledgeable of stress factors), and a separate electrical engineering (soldering iron, and fine detail stuff, knowledgeable of electronic theory, Maxwell's equations, Ohm's law, etc.). Your electrical engineer, while maybe able to disassemble something like a carburetor, is unlikely to have the knowledge of adjusting idle and main jets, etc.; the mechanical engineer might...

 

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Posted (edited)

To answer your question, I discuessed my idea to update the character sheet so it's adapted to the MoO setting. It was all my ideas, because the character sheet as it is wont do... and I am trying to come up with the definite skill list for the MoO universe.

my skill idea work like magic (the power), with a few magic skill and spell slot to use them

Which, in this case, is a limited number of skill (i.e. percentages) and a long list of "specialisation slot" for each devices.. coming from MoO tech list. Many of them irrelevant for adventurer, a few of them important, for repair, modding and even manufacturing...

In fact I don't know why I even ask about it, there isn't much alternative...

Discussion hasn't been productive 😕 my fault I was unclear and too verbose, very confusing... 😕 

Anyway possible alternatives:
- each tech is a skill, 300 skill to learn... (obviously you only write down the one you use) (doesn't put INT to use, let people know everything without limit)
- Joerg suggestion; get rid of all skill. Just use Omnitool TL on the reistance table (I am not interested by this approach, just mention it for completness)
- my approach, a few skills (overall 4 engineering skill, medicine, biochemistry, 7 sciences) and a long list of specialisation slot (like spell, you know them or not), I think the argument with Atgxtg was more along the line, the BGB list of skill (which I simply converted in slot for each: electrical, electroni, hydraulic, mechanical, plumbing) is too long. I dont  think it is though, just take all those slots, no biggie! ^_^

Feel free to come up with an alternative.... Looking to build the definitive list of relevant skill so I can finish the character sheet....

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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One idea which struck while trying to fall asleep... 😞 

I could use the BRP skill list as is! (instead of the one I came up with)

i.e. repair (various) for example, where various is: electrical, electronic, hydraulic, mechanical, plumbing.
Because it is easy to make sense of it.

But I also use tech slot. And you still use Electronic to rewire a computer. But you can only do it if you got some appropiate Technology Level computer specialisation known...

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On 5/30/2021 at 10:55 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

Sorry... I was busy with EA Job interview! 😮😄 And preparing Sunday game session....

@Atgxtg , mmm.... my first problem with your comment is while you say my skill system is too restrictive, the default BRP system is even more restrictive so I am not sure what you are even aiming at?

Yes, the default BRP system is more restrictive, but not all BRP systems as that restrictive. RQ had/has a rule for related weapons starting off at half the skill of a weapon that you know, and I could see something like that applying to other related skills. Someone whith Medicine skill should know something about biology and biochemsitry. 

On 5/30/2021 at 10:55 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

Unless you would be suggesting, for a contemporary BRP game, unlike what ther say page 73,  ditch Repair (various), make it just Repair - 1 skill?

No, for BRP I'd go with a related skill rule, and then handle the overlaps on a case by case. For instance, someone with Aircraft repair probably could get a car engine to start, but probably wouldn't know how to refine gasoline. 

For your system, I'd just allow a broader use of specialties.

On 5/30/2021 at 10:55 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

Though it did give me an idea... the Device (repair) skill can probably be used without any (knowledge) specification as long as you got someone on site with the specialisation (i.e. directing all the other guys)

I think is had a lot to do with just what is wrong, rather than what you are working on. For example...

Let's say a medieval peddler who drives a small cart from village to village has to change a tire on a car. Now he obviously doesn't have any automotive skill, but the concent of repalcing a wheel isn't foreign to him, and, if he knows what a screw is, he might figure out how to loosen the nuts and take a wheel off.

Or let's say that a radar technican is having car troubles so he opens up the hood of his car to check the battery connections. 

My point is, skills and tasks aren't as ridigly defined as most game rules would like. 

 

 

On 5/30/2021 at 10:55 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

 

@Joerg, mmm.. yes technology is become more automatic and easier everyday, and probably, in some other games, all that is needed is on the character sheet is the omnitool tech level.. but I'd like to keep playing with BRP. I think that sums it up.

The LUG/DecipherStar Trek RPGs come to mind here. They have some skills that cover several things, such as shipboard systems. The idea being that if you can read a control panel you can operate most controls and systems on the ship. It works too. Those games also have specialties. Thus a character could have Shipboard Systems (Helm) 2 (5), making them great a piloting the ship, but only okay with everything else. 

That's really not too far off from what you are doing by trimming down the skill list too.

 

Oh, and bringing up another game with a short skill list, Bond, it handles science skills with one science skill, but allows fro specialties. A character with the appropriate specialty gets a bonus, while one lacking a specialty gets a penalty. It allows  for just the sort of overlap I think we need for a good RPG. Ultimately, we all want the PCs to have a chance of success. It really can kill a campaign if the PCs can't repair something at all and end up stuck on some planet with no chance of escape or even contacting someone for rescue. 

 

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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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18 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

- Joerg suggestion; get rid of all skill. Just use Omnitool TL on the reistance table (I am not interested by this approach, just mention it for completness)

Not what I suggested.

I am rather suggesting an approach similar to languages in RQ, where each field gives you some insight in adjacent fields. The actual blue-collar work (those skills with a check-box) are for practical solutions, while the white-collar skills are for planning and administration. Foreman work is a bit of communication, a bit of technical literacy.

I bet that a force field generator will involve some wiring and plumbing, some maintenance, some calibration - the latter using the specialty knowledge, the rest using blueprints and basic safety measures for high pressure, high temperature, high voltage and high radiation/field strength environments. Redlining systems will require speciality knowledge as well as an idea how the power leads will survive this and whether you could kill the main generators with your overdrawing of energies.

A spaceship engineering head will have to be fluent in all different technological specialisations used on the ship to keep the ship from failing when redlining systems...

You might have system familiarity - possibly as a negative modifier if it is lacking, possibly as a bonus percentile. Different tech levels than what you're familiar with or vastly different ways of manufacturing will be negative modifiers.

 

Having AI assisting systems may get you through unfamiliar tasks.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Not what I suggested.

I am rather suggesting an approach similar to languages in RQ, where each field gives you some insight in adjacent fields. The actual blue-collar work (those skills with a check-box) are for practical solutions, while the white-collar skills are for planning and administration. Foreman work is a bit of communication, a bit of technical literacy.

I bet that a force field generator will involve some wiring and plumbing, some maintenance, some calibration - the latter using the specialty knowledge, the rest using blueprints and basic safety measures for high pressure, high temperature, high voltage and high radiation/field strength environments. Redlining systems will require speciality knowledge as well as an idea how the power leads will survive this and whether you could kill the main generators with your overdrawing of energies.

A spaceship engineering head will have to be fluent in all different technological specialisations used on the ship to keep the ship from failing when redlining systems...

You might have system familiarity - possibly as a negative modifier if it is lacking, possibly as a bonus percentile. Different tech levels than what you're familiar with or vastly different ways of manufacturing will be negative modifiers.

It's not the impression I had at all... 😛 

 

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Having AI assisting systems may get you through unfamiliar tasks.

I am still wondering how robotic I should put in, and how competent they are.. they do make people somewhat redundant! ^_^ 

 

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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14 hours ago, SDLeary said:

Sounds like a variation of Root/Branch skills is needed.

Probably, if you use a shortened skill list in SciFi.  Either that or a specialty system where the specialtiy gives a bonus to skill. 

The thing that worries me about making everything exclusive is that the players will never be able to cover all the bases, and eventually lack a vital skill at the wrong time. I mean,  who thinks to specialize in "Life Support Systems" during chargen? 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Just now, Atgxtg said:

Probably, if you use a shortened skill list in SciFi.  Either that or a specialty system where the specialty gives a bonus to skill. 

The thing that worries me about making everything exclusive is that the players will never be able to cover all the bases, and eventually lack a vital skill at the wrong time. I mean,  who thinks to specialize in "Life Support Systems" during chargen? 

 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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