Skills specialistaion - what is the point?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
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ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Skills specialistaion - what is the point?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:22 pm

Specialization means less generic. That's my answer.
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locarno24
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Re: Skills specialistaion - what is the point?

Postby locarno24 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:38 am

That makes it seem optional, whereas you are all saying that it is mandatory. A "must" instead of a "can" would have helped a lot there.
Here we see the advantage of an RPG with a GM. GM says 'no, it is compulsory', and lo! it is so. :mrgreen:

As noted, you're reading a little too much into the 'can'. From examples, to character generation rules, to...well...any source ever, I'm not aware of any example of someone having Gun Combat/2 - it's always, always Gun Combat (Subtype)/2.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Skills specialistaion - what is the point?

Postby F33D » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:17 pm

locarno24 wrote:Here we see the advantage of an RPG with a GM. GM says 'no, it is compulsory', and lo! it is so. :mrgreen:

As noted, you're reading a little too much into the 'can'. From examples, to character generation rules, to...well...any source ever, I'm not aware of any example of someone having Gun Combat/2 - it's always, always Gun Combat (Subtype)/2.
Exactly. It is obvious that a person with Gun Combat/2 doesn't have a skill level of 2 with every "gun" that exists in Trav. Or, even a Gun Cbt. 0 level in every gun. There is a sanity test for ya. ;)
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Re: Skills specialistaion - what is the point?

Postby GypsyComet » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:52 pm

F33D wrote: It is obvious that a person with Gun Combat/2 doesn't have a skill level of 2 with every "gun" that exists in Trav. Or, even a Gun Cbt. 0 level in every gun. There is a sanity test for ya. ;)
And yet all of the weapons that fall under Gun Combat are more alike in operation than the melee weapons. The safety requirements of the Energy Weapons are higher, but if you are a skilled gun user these differences are a matter of minutes, not months.

I have, in extreme cases (a pistol user being handed a PGMP, for example) applied the non-skilled penalty then reduced it with each shot or two as the weapon's differences are learned. They'll still be a zero at the end of the fight, but the fight replaced the "gun shop familiarity review and test firing" that would normally allow the zero to kick in.
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ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Skills specialistaion - what is the point?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:55 pm

I always forget to mention to players the STR DM penality for some weapons.
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Re: Skills specialistaion - what is the point?

Postby F33D » Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:09 pm

GypsyComet wrote: And yet all of the weapons that fall under Gun Combat are more alike in operation than the melee weapons. The safety requirements of the Energy Weapons are higher, but if you are a skilled gun user these differences are a matter of minutes, not months.
Not EVEN close in the "minutes" comment. You're about 10 light years off course with that one. Also, IF you had any real exp with shooting you'd know that there is a WORLD of difference between a projectile weapon and something like a laser.
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Re: Skills specialistaion - what is the point?

Postby GypsyComet » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:56 am

F33D wrote:
GypsyComet wrote: And yet all of the weapons that fall under Gun Combat are more alike in operation than the melee weapons. The safety requirements of the Energy Weapons are higher, but if you are a skilled gun user these differences are a matter of minutes, not months.
Not EVEN close in the "minutes" comment. You're about 10 light years off course with that one. Also, IF you had any real exp with shooting you'd know that there is a WORLD of difference between a projectile weapon and something like a laser.
Thanks for the insult.

Recoil compensation (both physical and mental), wind, and time to target effects like leading are what makes your primary skill of 2 different from the zero you have in the new weapon. On the other hand, you do know which end to point at the target, standard hand steadying techniques, and are presumably, in no doubt that you want the target dead. Lack of those things makes that -3 non-proficiency penalty hurt every time. Remember, this is a 2d6 system looking for 8+, and you have to be exceptional to get a plus from DEX (9s don't grow on trees), so a zero is often going mean you only hit a third of the time. If you also impose the non-prof penalty, you are now hitting one time in twelve. Compared to hitting more than two-thirds of the time with your main weapon at +2.

Also keep in mind that this game is about the future. Unless your character grew up on a TL6 Red Zone and only recently escaped, he'll have seen laser weapons and possibly used them. He will almost certainly have used laser sights unless he's from an isolated TL5 world. This isn't Blank Slate stuff. If you *want* it to be, then the proficiency cascade rules *should* change. Weapons that "didn't exist" until you were handed one are going to be harder to get used to.

Lastly, unless that Gun Cbt skill was picked up during play, it represents retained skill, not the whole of your experience. Was it acquired in a military context? They probably taught you every hand weapon they could lay hands on and trust recruits with. Did you retain it all, especially after four years with only one or two of the dozen firearms you were exposed to? No. The service rifle and backup pistol are your good skills. The rest are "oh yeah, I haven't seen one of these since Boot!" Zero skills.
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Re: Skills specialistaion - what is the point?

Postby locarno24 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:41 pm

I always forget to mention to players the STR DM penality for some weapons.
Depends on the weapon, but yes, I can see different 'gun' weapons wanting to be 'aimed' with DEX (something precise like a sniper rifle), STR (something unsophisticated and massively recoil-heavy like an automatic shotgun or fired-from-the-hip machinegun) or even INT (indirect 'artillery' type weapons or 'smart' guided weapons where you're trying to counteract enemy jamming).

I agree that handguns and other firearms are simple enough to get your head round as a concept but I can agree that the 'bloody hell!' factor for some weapons is bigger than you think.
You'd pick up reasonably quickly but moving outside a 'comfort zone' - rifle to heavy pistol (no shoulder bracing), pistol to rifle (massively more powerful), you won't be shooting competently within the timescale of a single engagement.

My firearms experience is limited (results of living on the civilized side of the water :mrgreen: ) but I had a similar experience with archery. I am not bad. I tried using a proper 15th cent. war bow some years back. This essentially cost me the use of my wrist for a week.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Skills specialistaion - what is the point?

Postby Wil Mireu » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:52 pm

F33D wrote: IF you had any real exp with shooting you'd know that there is a WORLD of difference between a projectile weapon and something like a laser.
And you have had real world experience shooting real laser rifles, have you? ;)
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Re: Skills specialistaion - what is the point?

Postby hdan » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:37 pm

Wil Mireu wrote:
F33D wrote: IF you had any real exp with shooting you'd know that there is a WORLD of difference between a projectile weapon and something like a laser.
And you have had real world experience shooting real laser rifles, have you? ;)
LOL! Though I imagine you can extrapolate between how different the crossbow, arquebus and modern rifle are to use that a laser rifle would be something else yet again, with its own rules.

For one thing, I always imagined that laser weaponry includes its own "targeting dot", which you place on the target before activating the burn. There's no need to lead the target or account for range with a laser, and there's no recoil when the laser activates, (at least not in power pack based lasers), so there's no need to brace yourself. Likewise, the trigger is not (probably) mechanical in nature, but more of a contact switch of some sort, or even a variable resistor.

So shooting a laser weapon might be more like taking a picture with an autofocus camera than it is like firing a modern slug rifle. Or not. We of course can only guess.
/hdan
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Re: Skills specialistaion - what is the point?

Postby F33D » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:01 pm

Wil Mireu wrote:
F33D wrote: IF you had any real exp with shooting you'd know that there is a WORLD of difference between a projectile weapon and something like a laser.
And you have had real world experience shooting real laser rifles, have you? ;)
Aiming lasers for "painting" purposes, yes. But you know what I'm talking about vis-a-vis moving targets (laser vs. ballistic weapons). ;)
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Re: Skills specialistaion - what is the point?

Postby F33D » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:47 pm

GypsyComet wrote: Thanks for the insult.
What insult? If I said something like, "Breaking a horse is no different than training a puppy." A person could rightfully say that I had no real experience with those animals...
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Re: Skills specialistaion - what is the point?

Postby locarno24 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:53 am

But you know what I'm talking about vis-a-vis moving targets (laser vs. ballistic weapons).
Take, for example, this much vaunted test shot of a point defence laser by the US navy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5qKSKsfUPM
It takes some significant time with the laser held on target to cause a 'kill' result.

Granted, this is a low-tech (by traveller terms) laser, and a hard-to-kill target. But, the human body (being mostly water) actually has a higher heat capacity than metal, and we're talking man-portable weapons not ones run off a warship's power grid - meaning you may have to keep a shot on one part of a target for a non-trivial period of time relative to a slug weapon (think the second-or-so phaser shots in star trek - not exactly difficult but harder than it might be with a moving target in partial cover).
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.

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