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Opiyel

Missing Professional Skills

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So I've started up a new M-Space game since the last one sadly was a failure to launch. Since many of the people are new to the game (or RPGs in general), we had a sort of 'session zero' to run over the game and how to play it. Once thing we noticed is that someone of the Professional skills do not have corresponding Cultures and Careers and therefore, can't be learned at the beginning. Seamanship was one, but that won't really play a big part of the campaign. However, Acrobatics and Seduction are two others that have no Culture or Career and thus cannot have any points put into them at character creation. Is this an error or intended for the game?

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It's not intentional in the way 'no one can have these skills to start with'. They just didn't fit any of the cultures or careers. 

That being said, I'm quite generous regarding what the bonus skill points can be used for. If players have a good reason for adding another professional skill I will often let them do that. 

And you can of course add new careers including any missing skills or skill combinations if you want to. 

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9 minutes ago, clarence said:

And you can of course add new careers including any missing skills or skill combinations if you want to. 

This, I think, is one of the items that wants a bit more exploration/explanation for the Mythras family of games.  Maybe it's well-covered over at TDM forums, but I think the line would be well-served by creating new Careers, Cultures, Combat styles, and individual skills, as exemplars of how/when/why to (and not to) do such things.

 

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Entertainers could enjoy access to Acrobatics and Seduction. They're the most natural fit.

As for Boating and Seafaring, I'm guessing that you'd have to have some sort of a Wet Navy / Coast Guard career type.

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I am wondering about the kind of career which would make Seduction a Professional skill, though, and while there is a glaringly obvious career, I was also thinking of Companions as in Firefly.

Edited by Alex Greene

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The base Mythras rules may be more interesting here, in terms of additional careers that include those Professional skills.  RAW is made for fantasy gaming, though, so you may still have some work to do in adapting those careers to your M-SPACE game.

For example, Mythras has "Courtesan" for Seduction.

 

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1 hour ago, Alex Greene said:

As for Boating and Seafaring, I'm guessing that you'd have to have some sort of a Wet Navy / Coast Guard career type.

And/Or a Cultural skill from an "ocean world" setting, a la Poseidon of "Blue Planet".

Off the top of my head, I don't recall who it is, but I think someone on these boards .sig's a water-world setting on their website

 

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59 minutes ago, g33k said:

Off the top of my head, I don't recall who it is, but I think someone on these boards .sig's a water-world setting on their website

 

That would be Rust I believe. He did a thorough presentation of a waterworld setting some time ago. I can't remember if any careers were included though. 

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27 minutes ago, clarence said:

That would be Rust I believe. He did a thorough presentation of a waterworld setting some time ago. I can't remember if any careers were included though. 

I think you're right.

In any case:  it's the kind of setting where most characters could be presumed to have boating/seafaring/etc available as Cultural Skills.

 

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@Opiyel sorry i only browsed through the posts above but if you omit the  "any standard skill or those professional skills gained as part of culture or career" and change it to "assign a final 150 skill points"  than it works. thats what we did in my game i started i dont know how it affects the the game long term but it made my players happy and i prefer to think of M-Space as a toolbook kind of like the BGB you use what you want to out of it to make the game what you want.  as matt said above you can pick some careers from the mythras core book. i also used courtesan as one of my players wanted to play a companion ala firefly.

just my 2 cents :)

 

"Assign a final 150 points between any Standard skill or those Professional skills gained as part of Culture or Career"

Edited by heathd666
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23 hours ago, Opiyel said:

So I've started up a new M-Space game since the last one sadly was a failure to launch. Since many of the people are new to the game (or RPGs in general), we had a sort of 'session zero' to run over the game and how to play it. Once thing we noticed is that someone of the Professional skills do not have corresponding Cultures and Careers and therefore, can't be learned at the beginning. Seamanship was one, but that won't really play a big part of the campaign. However, Acrobatics and Seduction are two others that have no Culture or Career and thus cannot have any points put into them at character creation. Is this an error or intended for the game?

Don't forget that the Cultures and Professions are only guidelines. There is no reason why you can't have a planet that is a Water World that has Seamanship as a core skill for the Culture.

Skills for Cultures reflect what a normal person of that Culture would be expected to know. For most Cultures, Acrobatics and Seduction would not be normal, everyday skills. However, if you had an Assassin Culture then Acrobatics would be a reasonable skill to have. Seduction might be better as a Profession skill, as this might be focussed on certain people rather than the whole Culture.

Edited by soltakss

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21 hours ago, Alex Greene said:

I am wondering about the kind of career which would make Seduction a Professional skill, though, and while there is a glaringly obvious career, I was also thinking of Companions as in Firefly.

Spy

Secret Agent

Courtesan

Rogue

Conman

 

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I would allow additions to the careers based on specific background. Planetary skills are obviously tied to professions that involve planetary activities (though not necessarily planetary origin).

 

Wet navy is a poor choice for boating/sailing skills, really – most wet navy personnel in space-faring tech levels will be techies just like those in the space navies, operating terminals when not engaged in damage Control.

Fishing will put you on boats and give you skin to sea experience. Low tech survival or cultural anthropology will put you in boats, too. Then there are numerous sports that put people in boats or on other water vehicles.

Specific cultural traditions will put people on boats, e.g. sailing ships as training vessels for space navy cadets – both as low-tech survival and as team-building exercise.

Sailing skill might be applicable for space craft using solar sails.

 

Water worlds: Our home planet is one. This doesn‘t mean that each and every inhabitant will see the sea at least once a month.

Get over those single biome planets, folk. You can have a wet navy culture on a planet with less than 20% open water surface, and you can have huge inland areas far from any sea or lakes on a water world.

If you want to present a planet as a single biome, simply state that the planet-side spaceport is situated in so-and-so biome.

 

Seduction as a professional skill could be argued for entertainers (musicians, actors) and celebrities (nobles, media stars) too. Not every "professional" skill involves something the person in this profession is actually paid for performing.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Wet navy is a poor choice for boating/sailing skills, really – most wet navy personnel in space-faring tech levels will be techies just like those in the space navies, operating terminals when not engaged in damage Control.

Fishing will put you on boats and give you skin to sea experience. Low tech survival or cultural anthropology will put you in boats, too. Then there are numerous sports that put people in boats or on other water vehicles.

Specific cultural traditions will put people on boats, e.g. sailing ships as training vessels for space navy cadets – both as low-tech survival and as team-building exercise.

Sailing skill might be applicable for space craft using solar sails.

I may be mistaken, but I had understood that even someone becoming a radar-operator in the Navy got trained in elementary boating skills, as part of Naval "basic training".  But in any case, I agree that a fishing-boat and many pleasure-boats will give much more hands-on skills in "boating."

OTOH, you're quite right to call out the likely difference between what you and I think of as "boating" and what an M-Space PC thinks of as "boating."

Despite the romantic similes (so popular in sci-fi) between wet & space navies, I doubt a wind-sailor and a solar/space sailor will have any crossover skills (other than radio/comms, radar ops, and other modern / techno / not-specific-to-sailing skills).

1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Water worlds: Our home planet is one. This doesn‘t mean that each and every inhabitant will see the sea at least once a month.

Get over those single biome planets, folk. You can have a wet navy culture on a planet with less than 20% open water surface, and you can have huge inland areas far from any sea or lakes on a water world.

If you want to present a planet as a single biome, simply state that the planet-side spaceport is situated in so-and-so biome.

100% agreed.  I live about a 20-minute drive from the Pacific ocean.  I love to swim, but have only the most basic of boating skills, and just a few months ago I met someone who has NEVER SEEN THE OCEAN in-person!!!

That said, a really REALLY watery water-world -- say 95% or more water, with just a few scattered small islands (or none at all) -- will probably teach everyone to swim, basic water-safety, and basic / emergency boating.  Much the same as all kids get taught to look both ways before crossing the street, and to memorize their home phone and address in case they get lost, etc...

 

 

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It seems that the swimming skills develop better in places with year-round survivable water temperatures. While the Scandinavians tell about great swimming feats e.g. in Beowulf, many of the coastal fishermen probably were mediocre swimmers at best.

If your water world is some Polynesian or Maledives resort island paradise, swimming and diving will be common abilities, provided the crocs and sharks or their analogues aren't ubiquitious. If your water world resembles Inuit Greenland, even with thermal insulation suits there won't be that many swimmers. Adding some unpleasant chemicals or organisms to the composition of the sea water will reduce the time humans are willing to spend in that liquid, too, even if they do harvest the sea life.

Solar sailing, the use of spinakers. and kite sailing aren't that different, and kite sailing has become more and more popular both with shipping lines and as sports. Solar panels for energy collection may very well be brought out as rigging similar to modern mechanized schooner rigging.

 

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On 5/5/2017 at 1:02 PM, Alex Greene said:

I am wondering about the kind of career which would make Seduction a Professional skill, though, and while there is a glaringly obvious career, I was also thinking of Companions as in Firefly.

Confidence men/women.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Solar sailing, the use of spinakers. and kite sailing aren't that different, and kite sailing has become more and more popular both with shipping lines and as sports. Solar panels for energy collection may very well be brought out as rigging similar to modern mechanized schooner rigging.

Space has no water, though -- nothing for the keel of the boat or the fin of a board to use.

 

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11 hours ago, g33k said:

Space has no water, though -- nothing for the keel of the boat or the fin of a board to use.

You still have the solar wind, allowing at least the equivalent of an aeroplane's tail fin with a sufficiently sized piece of rigging, possibly lateen sail style.

Planetary sailing may very well use hydrofoil or glider methods to reduce draft and kites rather than rigging for propulsion. Such experience won't transfer very well to boating in dugout canoes, although dugout catamarans would be a good compromise.

Motor-driven boating would probably include submarine traffic. Assisted and autonomous systems are likely in space ports, even for sailing vessels, although you may have less sophisticated vessels from traders living far from the space port, with less technology bleed, especially in case of space ports on lower tech worlds or in technophobic or luddite reservates.

Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat has lots of examples of highly mismatched combinations of technology on less affluent planets. I imagine that it is these planets that are most likely to use classical boating and still contribute modestly technologically educated citizens of a spacefaring civilisation. High tech water world dwellers would be more at home in gliders using some repellant force hovering above the surface most of the time, at least when moving.

Driving an assisted system or one with direct translation of force into direction change are quite different skills and will provide a negative skill modifier at least initially, while familiarity with the new system is gained. OTOH, familiarity with a system might grant a specific bonus for this system rather than a general skill increase, with a multiplicator. Possibly as an optional outcome of a successful training or experience gain.

I suspect that a majority of SF NPCs are people who don't have high skills but big familiarity bonus for specific systems - e.g. standard military equipment use and maintenance even for sophisticated equipment, but not transferable to non-standard equipment.

 

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Here's a link to Rust's waterworld careers - several with Boating and at least one with Seamanship:

 

Edited by clarence

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39 minutes ago, Matt_E said:

How?

The point is, there is no instability.

When you're sailing, the wind (solar or atmospheric) is the thrust.  Water provides some drag, that lets you sail in other directions than straight downwind.

I might wonder if a flywheel/gyro might be used to decenter the ship from the sail, producing some degree of side motion.  Offhand, I'm inclined to suspect this would be more-efficiently-done via larger solar-sails rigged so the sides could be furled/unfurled to "decenter" the ship by modifying the sails' position relative to the ship, rather than the ship's position relative to the sails.

Clarke wrote a rather touching story about a solar regatta, "Sunjammer" aka "The Wind from the Sun."  I'm inclined to trust his science!

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I think I misread the word "stabilization".  If I had read it as "feedback control", it might have made more sense.  The only way a gyroscope helps you here, AFAICS, is to tell the thrusters or other mechanisms that adjust your course when to stop adjusting, because your actual heading matches what your captain selected, which is what the gyroscope's disposition reflects.

I don't know what you mean by "decenter", but, I admit, at this point my interest wanes.

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