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Traveller (Mongoose 2nd edition) has a pretty good system for skills with umbrellas and specialties.  A character gains skill levels in a specific skill, such as Engineering: Life Support, but also gains a broad understanding of other topics within the umbrella skill category. You advance those specialties separately. So your engineer might have Engineering: Life Support-2 but would also have Engineering-0.  If the jump drives need repair, they would be able to use Engineering-0 to repair them. Similarly, a scientist might have Science: biology-3, but be able to address physics questions with science-0. (As an aside, the mechanic is to roll 2D6 where 8+ is a success. Skill level and attributes affect the roll). 

In BRP terms, that might mean something like Science 50% being the max generic skill base, after which you would specialize in a specific science. Perhaps the base would increase/decrease based on some controlling attribute (say Int for science).

NT

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9 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

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

Robbie from Forbidden Planet or

(the) Robot from Lost in Space (original series)

 

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4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

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? 

I just stumbled (again) on @soltakss RQ_Scifi document, going to check that out...

Anyway
- those knowledge/specialty (planning to keeping them) are just easy to acquire tags, you can even argue during the game you should have *THAT* one, I'll grant them that! 🙂
- probably gonna give half skill if you have a knowledge somewhat related and close or lesser TL
- I still have to tune my 4 selected engineering skill (which do little on their own), the difference between Device Engineering and Structure Engineering, and Space Engineering are debatable... and Hydraulic/Plumbing/Electronic/... (as suggested in the BRP) might be .. inadequate as well.. 😕 

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8 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

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? 

True, but with Root/Branch, at least everything would default to the Root%. An Engineer or Science character could have a chance.

SDLeary

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On 6/1/2021 at 7:53 AM, SDLeary said:

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

SDLeary

As for myself, I can't imagine skill lists that aren't based on Root/Branch.

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11 hours ago, Mugen said:

As for myself, I can't imagine skill lists that aren't based on Root/Branch.

In this case, as pioneered by Ringworld. Rather than a skill category modifier, as in Runequest, you have a value (based on characteristics) that becomes the maximum for the root portion of the skill before a branch is required. 

The Root is always the default for the tree. Thus, you can have a Root along the line of Ships Systems 33, with a Branchs of Life Support Systems at 60, Deflectors at 40, and so on. This character would be better at the two specialization, but other systems that are not specialized would default to the root %.

Sadly, it’s very fiddly in actual practice.

SDLeary

Edited by SDLeary
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what I think most likely for now..

1. I still have to work out the list of technical skills I will use.. ideally around 5 to 10... not quite sure yet
2. will use knowledge slot (new name of my formerly introduced specialization) (up to INT of them, relatively easy to acquire)
3. with a device knowledge slot one can use appropriate skill at full value, or with a "close enough" slot (which is mostly a fuzzy not well defined criteria yet, perhaps same branch same TL or +1 or anything below) one can use skill at half value. Of course one need the tool for the skill, insufficient tool also have or make the skill impossible to use
4. for contemporary device: electronic, hydraulic, electrical and mechanical are the knowledge slot

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You could also use an idea like the skill web of Shadowrun (1 & 2, I don't know for later versions). Each dot crossed between 2 skills or stat adds 2 to difficulty. This is roughly equivalent to a BRP malus of 30% per dot. They also had concentration and specialization on general skills.

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Posted (edited)

going to google about that thanks! 🙂

as for the knowledge slot... it will be mostly MoO knowledge slot which identify mostly spaceship device (important for repairs) (no life support system in that list ^_^), but also a few space marines device (power armor, stealth suit, a range of guns) and many structure type (mostly use to get a job, unlikely to be useful for an adventurer) and.. very little if nothing in term everyday devices like, plumbing or lock technology, so gotta fudge those somewhat...

so.. no techtree... root/branch.. knowledge are just tag and MoO "tech tree" is not really a tree ^_^ , it's more like 7 lines 🙂

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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On 6/2/2021 at 12:27 AM, SDLeary said:

True, but with Root/Branch, at least everything would default to the Root%. An Engineer or Science character could have a chance.

SDLeary

Yes, and that is my concern as well. It's kinda like the problem with Superheroes. It all works fine until an NPC shows up with a power that the PCs have no defense against and trashes the group. It's not the PCs fault either, because there is no way they can cover everything. I had most armor could as half value against other forms of attack sor just that reason. Plus I figured six inches of hardened plate steel is probably going to stop some laser, heat, etc. 

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On 6/1/2021 at 9:08 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:

I just stumbled (again) on @soltakss RQ_Scifi document, going to check that out...

Anyway
- those knowledge/specialty (planning to keeping them) are just easy to acquire tags, you can even argue during the game you should have *THAT* one, I'll grant them that! 🙂
- probably gonna give half skill if you have a knowledge somewhat related and close or lesser TL
- I still have to tune my 4 selected engineering skill (which do little on their own), the difference between Device Engineering and Structure Engineering, and Space Engineering are debatable... and Hydraulic/Plumbing/Electronic/... (as suggested in the BRP) might be .. inadequate as well.. 😕 

 

JUst two things I'll stress again:

  1. There should be some way for a character to do something without the proper specialization, otherwise the PCs will eventually wind up not being able to do something vital-as there is really no way for them to cover all skills. Even something like a LUCK roll to fake it, or spending Hero Points is fine. Just as long as they have some chance. It's not all that fun when the one character who can fly or repair the ship is dead on incapacitated, leading to a TPK.
  2. Be a little fuzzy with science and technical skills. There is a lot of cross pollination and overlapping going on. For instance nearly every science and tech skill relies on Mathematics to some degree. Most rely on physics to some extend as well. So some sort of default or crossover makes sense. 
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There's an Isaac Asimov story (a pretty good one) called "Profession" about a future society where people get 'taped' -- skills are instantly implanted in their brains. The Matrix and Cyberpunk's 'skill chips' use a similar idea. In a high-tech society the huge amount of technical knowledge might be widely available and stored in various galactic databases. Rather than worrying about your base skill in this and your specialised skill in that, imagine you are an engineer on a particular starship. You download a specific set of ship systems skills into your brain by chip/psychic power/alien technology and immediately you have 100% skill in each relevant system. Go to another ship though, and your knowledge is not so great. The "Profession" story examines a society where people don't learn skills from first principles at all. @Lloyd Dupont you could use these 'chipped' skills as your Knowledge slots.

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Posted (edited)

So, about the technical skills....

I think I'll have only a single Engineering skill. It's always it's always unclear which skill to use otherwise.

It will use Knowledge slot (since I have MoO technology tree and cross referenced all scifi devices with a single tech on that tree)
When one has the knowledge slot about a device or structure they can use the skill at full percentage to repair or even build the device (if they have appropriate tools)

When one has a related knowledge (up the the GM & player arguing about it) which is TL higher (or 1 below) of the target device  TL they can use the skill at half.

for other things not on the MoO tree like:
- drugs: gotta put them in a new tech on the tree, gotta use the skill Biochemistry
- medicine: need [Race physiology], can operate other life form from the same planet at half. impossible for alien race
- first aid: need [Race physiology], can operate other life form from the same planet at half. 1/5 for alien races


- fine manipulation: hacking door and device: still undecided, have to think about it.. and also check rq scifi ^_^ ....

For armor and weapon MOD, I wanted them to be some sort of rewards, but @Joerg has a point, they are probably easy to install. So, mm..  me think they are just uncommon but players can craft them using their skills.

So, says @Atgxtg, what say you to that?

 

mm.. I just realized MoO doesn't have a single life support tech, just not use in the game, not even for ship damage, mmm...
and also.. a ship has up to 17 different device/weapon so.. it's possible to know them all perfectly, so here you have your super engineer! 😉 
but no life support! ha! 😮 

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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On 6/5/2021 at 6:16 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

So, says @Atgxtg, what say you to that?

I think it will help. Just to claify, my big concern is that it's easy to create a [problem that the PCs lack the skills required to solve. 

I might be a bit over sensitive to this though, as it is a big limiting factor to some of my starting campaigns. For instance, in the James Bond RPG, rookie PCs tend to start off with a half dozen skills or so, and it's easy to see them fail because no one knows how to fly an airplane or defuse a nuclear device. This despite the game only having a skill list of around 25 skills. 

So I'm careful with what I throw at them during a mission at first.  After a few missions, when the PCs make it to agent rank, this isn't a problem anymore and if the group lacks a skill it's their own fault, but early on they just cannot cover all the bases. The same holds true in modern and high tech settings where there are so many more skills (and specialties). BTW, in the Bond RPG, there are Fields of Experience, which cover things that aren't considered to be skills. A character who has the proer field either can avoid certain rolls, or get a bonus to taks involving that field of experience. For instance, anyone would get a roll to try and identify the rank of a character in uniform, while someone with the MIlitary Science Field of experience would be able to tell without making a skill roll. That kind of approach might help. For instance, a character could make an enginnering roll to fix a defective FTL drive, while someone with the FTL Field of experience could do so without a roll. 

While it make make total sense in real life for someone to fail at some task due to lack of knowledge, it doesn't make for a good RPG experience. I would kinda suck if the Enterprise blew up because Kirk didn't know how to stop a warp core from going up, and no one else was in the Engine Room. It's much better if that soret of thing doesn't happen, and that usually means either given Kirk some chance to save the ship. IN RPG terms it's much better if Kirk saves the ship, maybe by ejecting the warp nacelles, and then has to deal with the problems caused by his actions (i.e. how do they get back home without warp engines?). 

On 6/5/2021 at 6:16 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

 

mm.. I just realized MoO doesn't have a single life support tech, just not use in the game, not even for ship damage, mmm...
and also.. a ship has up to 17 different device/weapon so.. it's possible to know them all perfectly, so here you have your super engineer! 😉 
but no life support! ha! 😮 

LOL!. Keep in Mind that MoO is a 4x game for a computer, not an RPG. So a lot of stuff that works in MoO won't necessarily make sense in a fleshed out RPG. It's why you have to be careful when adapting MoO to BRP. 

 

Hmm, in a similar vein, in Civilization VI you can build the Pyramids without knowledge of Mathematics! It's really just the nature of the skill tree. Plus in a game like Civ or Orion there is more of a "big picture" view of things, and and All of nothing approach to technology. In real life things aren't so clearly defined, and a lot of skills are semi-known by a civilization. So take some of MoO with a grain of salt.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

I think it will help. Just to claify, my big concern is that it's easy to create a [problem that the PCs lack the skills required to solve. 

it's ok, it's a good point which is detrimental to fun player experience! 🙂
I  think being able to fudge it with only 20% chance is good.... stressful occasion to use luck point, or maybe the repair during the battle ain't so good...

17 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

(i.e. how do they get back home without warp engines?

Sucks when it happen... time to shift to the empty planet survival theme! 😮 

17 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

LOL!. Keep in Mind that MoO is a 4x game for a computer, not an RPG. So a lot of stuff that works in MoO won't necessarily make sense in a fleshed out RPG. It's why you have to be careful when adapting MoO to BRP. 

Definitely something make only a modicum amount of sense...

Anyway, on that topic, make my second version of an Excel spreadsheet Spaceship designer. 
My excel improved a lot and it's much better (code).

Anyhow I realized I haven't implemented fighters jet. And, unlike MoO rule, perhaps I could individualize each fighter jet.
It's a pain in the ass to add that to the excel sheet for something relatively weak against any full fledged spaceship...
However this way I can give them one relatively minor asset with advanced tech (first adventure will acquire it) and.. it might be cool! . 🙂

 

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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15 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I think it will help. Just to claify, my big concern is that it's easy to create a [problem that the PCs lack the skills required to solve. 

That is easily solved by having a Profession skill, for example Profession (Accountant) or Profession (Zeebug Handler) and then using that to be able to do the sort of things that people in the Profession can do. Sure, you might have extra skills that overlap, for example Knowledge (Maths) or Science (Alien Biology), but they can be used to enhance the Profession skill, as they are then some kind of specialist skills.

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On 6/9/2021 at 3:41 AM, soltakss said:

That is easily solved by having a Profession skill, for example Profession (Accountant) or Profession (Zeebug Handler) and then using that to be able to do the sort of things that people in the Profession can do. Sure, you might have extra skills that overlap, for example Knowledge (Maths) or Science (Alien Biology), but they can be used to enhance the Profession skill, as they are then some kind of specialist skills.

Yes. just as long as the player characters can get those skills before they need them. 

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On 6/8/2021 at 12:51 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:

it's ok, it's a good point which is detrimental to fun player experience! 🙂
I  think being able to fudge it with only 20% chance is good.... stressful occasion to use luck point, or maybe the repair during the battle ain't so good...

Yeah, that works. Just as long as they have some chance.

On 6/8/2021 at 12:51 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:

Sucks when it happen... time to shift to the empty planet survival theme! 😮 

 

Assuming the PCs have the abilties to do so. See what I mean? If the skills are very narrow then it becomes impossible to cover all the bases and it becomes very easy for the group to get taken down by something they lack. Large ships full of NPCs can help with this too. If you got a space cruiser with a thousand crewmen aboard, then the GM can easily throw in an "Astrobiologist" or "Temporal Mechanics Engineer" into the game if the PCs find themselves in sudden desperate need of one. 

On 6/8/2021 at 12:51 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:

Definitely something make only a modicum amount of sense...

But probably works fine for the game. Same with Civ. Relasitically, most technologies would probably require several other technologies to learn, and most techs aren't all or nothing, but tend to have layers of knowledge to impart. Plus most new technolgies grow out of older tech. It's not like lightbulb technology was created in a vacuum (😉) but that it came out of existing knowledge of electricity and material science. Same with laser technology. It's all additive. For instance, Blu-Rays came about because of knowledge of light wavelengths. Blue light has a shorter wavelength that red light, thus a blue laser makes a smaller mark than a red one. That was pretty much academic until someone decided to use lasers to write as much information as possible onto a defined area (the disc). I suspect the same idea will have merit in the medical field one day, if it hasn't already.

On 6/8/2021 at 12:51 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:

Anyway, on that topic, make my second version of an Excel spreadsheet Spaceship designer. 
My excel improved a lot and it's much better (code).

I'd like to see that. Are you using your own ship design system or some preexisting system. 

On 6/8/2021 at 12:51 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:

Anyhow I realized I haven't implemented fighters jet. And, unlike MoO rule, perhaps I could individualize each fighter jet.

I'd have to see how you do up ships and aircraft to see. On a possibly related note, I recently bought a Naval Wargame and was midly disappoin ted that it used generic stats for aircraft, so maybe indiviualized stats might be useful after all. 

On 6/8/2021 at 12:51 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:


It's a pain in the ass to add that to the excel sheet for something relatively weak against any full fledged spaceship...

Possibly, I kinda depends on how you do it. 

 

On 6/8/2021 at 12:51 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:

However this way I can give them one relatively minor asset with advanced tech (first adventure will acquire it) and.. it might be cool! . 🙂

 

Reminds me of Blake's 7. The main characters were a bunch of convicted criminals/freedom fighters in a oppressive empire , who somehow got control of an advanced alien spaceship. It's a great set up for a RPG.

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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

Reminds me of Blake's 7. The main characters were a bunch of convicted criminals/freedom fighters in a oppressive empire , who somehow got control of an advanced alien spaceship. It's a great set up for a RPG.

As I recall, they were picked to explore it after "oppressive empire" guards entering the ship failed to report back. Somehow they managed to avoid triggering ship's self-defense systems.

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2 hours ago, Baron Wulfraed said:

As I recall, they were picked to explore it after "oppressive empire" guards entering the ship failed to report back. Somehow they managed to avoid triggering ship's self-defense systems.

 

They did trigger it -- it was some kind of psychological sentry. But Blake snapped out of it because the Federation had been messing with his brain so much that he didn't have any scary memories to freeze him.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Atgxtg said:
Quote

Anyway, on that topic, make my second version of an Excel spreadsheet Spaceship designer. 
My excel improved a lot and it's much better (code).

I'd like to see that. Are you using your own ship design system or some preexisting system. 

Here you go @Atgxtg ...

What made this Excel cell calculation almost human friendly was referencing tables by name and using the LET function to create variables I think.
The only editable part are the green cells in the Ship sheet (with lots of drop down)

What's missing is better description of special weapons...

And, mm... this is all based on Master of Orion ship design with some simplification to make it, mmmm, simpler.... but still relatively similar to original MoO ship design I wager.
The Excel ship was created from scratch, if it was your question. But the equipment and various value are close approximation to MoO value (I painfully checked all gear in the game, thanks cheat code to make it easier!)

 

BRP-Spaceship.xlsx

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

And, mm... this is all based on Master of Orion ship design with some simplification to make it, mmmm, simpler.... but still relatively similar to original MoO ship design I wager.

The Excel ship was created from scratch, if it was your question. But the equipment and various value are close approximation to MoO value (I painfully checked all gear in the game, thanks cheat code to make it easier!)

Hmmm... Back in the early 80s I had a Multiplan spreadsheet using Traveller ship design rules (can't recall if original black books, or MegaTraveller). Someday I should see if the old TRS-80 model III/4 (chassis/power-supply of the III, but circuit board upgrade to the 4) will boot without snapping the heads off the floppies. Though with no serial port, I'd have to hand-copy the SYLK file (or photo-grab the screen pages) to get something that might import into Excel.

Lots of table look-ups -- airframe type, tech level, weapons, etc. And I'm sure I missed a few modifiers in the rules.

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