Characteristics of Zero?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Garnfellow
Weasel
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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:55 am

Characteristics of Zero?

Postby Garnfellow » Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:32 am

You can have physical characteristics or INT drop to zero due to combat damage, aging, and other effects.

But could you have EDU or SOC scores of zero? In T5, synthetics (think replicants) have these characteristics set at zero.
Moppy
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
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Re: Characteristics of Zero?

Postby Moppy » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:20 pm

Is this a T5 question or a generic question?

If it's a generic question the answer is kind of obvious:

SOC and EDU must relate to a specific society, or set of knowledges. Outside of that society (or even within it for fringe groups), the score is meaningless and could well be zero or negative. What is the SOC of a refugee in today's society? What is the SOC of the uncontacted tribes in New Guinea or the Amazon?

SOC can certainly change within your own society: Marry the royal family, or pick up a criminal record. Somewhat topical for today is the British woman that went to Syria to join the snackbars and can't come back to Britain as they revoked her citizenship.

EDU changes are harder to justify but brain injuries, skill wafer side-effects and spending 4 years at a school may change it. EDU also assumes that the TL progression, and the knowledge that society values, and the traditions taught or learned in schools, is the same for every polity. A society-wide SOC change is much easier to arrange (revolution!) than a large-scale EDU change (industrial revolution and the enlightnment, when education changed from religious to scientific).

If it's a T5 question:

Honestly who knows? That whole thing is a giant mess of poorly edited contractions. Its "rules" don't actually make any sense at all and you're better off ignoring them and making your own. The best thing MWM could do is hire a project manager and listen to them when they say where to devote playtesting time. They also need someone who understands how to operate a website, which is crazy for a sci-fi game.

edit: For contractions read contradictions. Is Traveller contagious?
Last edited by Moppy on Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Garnfellow
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Re: Characteristics of Zero?

Postby Garnfellow » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:38 pm

This is a MgT specific question.
Moppy
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Re: Characteristics of Zero?

Postby Moppy » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:13 pm

So you want Mongoose rules for losing SOC or EDU as part of player activities?

Maybe you could copy from the games with moral scales like Vampire and have a table that shows what actions are required to produce a SOC loss at each SOC level within one specific society? Example: https://whitewolf.fandom.com/wiki/Humanity_(VTM)

EDU loss as a result of head injury can be added to the an injury side effects table, but I don't think the idea of injury side effects fits well within the game's theme. Traveller, by and large, isn't big on "Peg-Leg Pete the One-Eyed Pirate" - but it's your game and your rules apply. However, Traveller IS big on "One-Engine Ernie the Dodgy Free Trader"
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Characteristics of Zero?

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:22 pm

The rules are the same for both physical and mental characteristics:
Core, p47 wrote:Ageing Crisis: If any characteristic is reduced to 0, then the Traveller suffers an ageing crisis. The Traveller dies unless they pay 1D x Cr10000 for medical care, which will bring any characteristics back up to 1.

Technically this is only for ageing. The Characteristic Modifiers table on p8 hints that characteristics can be 0.


EDU 0 would mean severely compromised mental faculties, like a stroke? I would consider that a medical crisis that could kill a character.


I would not let low SOC kill a character, but require the character to take ageing to other characteristics before lowering SOC to 0.
phavoc
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Re: Characteristics of Zero?

Postby phavoc » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:46 pm

Garnfellow wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:32 am
You can have physical characteristics or INT drop to zero due to combat damage, aging, and other effects.

But could you have EDU or SOC scores of zero? In T5, synthetics (think replicants) have these characteristics set at zero.
To have EDU drop to zero that would, or should at least, require some sort of disease. How does one forget basic mathematics and language skills other than through disease? Even when you are old you still have your mind (unless it's ravaged by a disease like alzheimers).

For SOC, criminal activities can cause it to drop, or other activities that society deems to be bad/horrible/repellent. However SOC is also going to be somewhat location and wealth based. Change planets and your SOC could reset. Move 100 parsecs away and it's nearly anything you want it to be if you have the money to make it. Plus with wealth you can always change your SOC upwards. Depending on how you are running things, your player may have an overall SOC of say 3, but be such a big stud in the underworld that they have a 5, or 9 when dealing with certain population segments.

I've never really paid much attention to SOC except when it came to nobility levels because SOC is so flexible in reality.
baithammer
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Re: Characteristics of Zero?

Postby baithammer » Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:21 pm

Trauma to the brain can lead to losing even the knowledge of how to speak and breath, but as long as the person isn't in a vegetative state they can slowly relearn those skills. ( Basically so long as Int isn't 0.)
TrippyHippy
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Re: Characteristics of Zero?

Postby TrippyHippy » Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:22 am

Education on zero means you know nothing.
Social Standing of Zero means you have no bearing in any social interaction based on status.

Or -3 on rolls at least.
Outtasight!
ShawnDriscoll
Cosmic Mongoose
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Re: Characteristics of Zero?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:23 am

Garnfellow wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:32 am
You can have physical characteristics or INT drop to zero due to combat damage, aging, and other effects.

But could you have EDU or SOC scores of zero? In T5, synthetics (think replicants) have these characteristics set at zero.
Before you start a game, find out from your players how they want to handle the SOC characteristic. Most likely, your game setting will have some say about it as well.
Condottiere
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Re: Characteristics of Zero?

Postby Condottiere » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:00 pm

Social Standing Zero would place you outside of society and it's protections, which would be wolfshead, rather than pariah.

Pariah would be Social Standing One.

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