General skill vs. Specialty skill

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Egil Skallagrimsson
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:12 am

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
DickTurpin wrote:Wow, that demonstrates a huge misunderstanding of both the Trade skill and what I have been saying in this thread. There is no such thing as a Trade skill that helps you find bargains when shopping neighborhood stores. The Trade skills are all specialized, as you said, but they deal with earning a living. The only reason it was mentioned was to show that learning a skill with specializations gives access to all that skill's specializations at level 0. It seems that we have agreed on that point all along.

I never said it would even give you anything higher than a level 0 in other specializations, so you disagreeing with me made it seem like you disagreed that all specializations are learned when you first learn a skill. It's good to know we are actually in agreement on that issue.
I'm looking at Trade again in the book... hang on... (I been posting in so many forums about this topic lately, maybe I cross connected wires somewhere). Ok, Trade 0 is not the same skill type as Trade(specialty). It's not even a lower skill version of Trade(specialty).

So Trade 0 does not auto-get you Trade(All) 0. Trade 0 means you are able to clean toilets, flip burgers. You've had a part-time job here and there. Trade 1 means you can live on your own. Trade 2 means you're a self-employed handyman. You do your own buying/selling (for parts/labor). Not investing/loaning, which is for Broker. Trade is not wallstreet. But Broker is. Trade is not swap meets either. It's not retail work. Broker is. Trade is not a merchant thing.

Trade(Any) 0 means you work in a specific trade, guild, union, etc. You're like a contractor. Higher-up Trade skill levels get you more control of the everyday workings of your factory. You may be a ship armor supplier or a jump drive manufacturer at level 4+.
Wil Mireu wrote:That actually seems to contradict the "Basic Training" section that follows it - I think what it should do is list all the Basic Training skills in the tables specifically as "0", then say "on subsequent careers you can pick one skill from there at level 0". That makes it clearer that you can never get a Basic Training skill at a level above 0 - you can only do that with skills in the other tables.
First career: Grab all the Service Skills at Level 0 for Basic Training
Next Career: Grab only one of the Service Skills at Level 0 for Basic Training

When rolling for skills during a career (not Basic Training), you can pick the Service Skills Table for your roll and grab up that skill at Level 1 if you don't have it already. Otherwise, it's gained at Level 2 or whatever.

Getting a Gun Combat(Any) during Boot Camp is not the same as getting Gun Combat 0. It would be listed as simply Gun Combat if that were the case. No one gets -3 DM removed from all their guns because they went to Boot Camp. That's the Min/Max brain talking.

ADDED:
I'm looking at character sheets I've made in the past. I mostly see Trade 0. I'll take it as meaning the character is a newbie when it comes to working at any job. I don't have any Trade 1 characters. Only the specialties have a Level of 1 or higher.

This morning I started getting rid of the random generic skills from Traveller. Just the specialty skills are acquired. I'm swapping out the background skills with specialty ones.

How do people treat Pilot 0? I'm getting rid of it. These generic Level 0 skills are just legacy code from Classic Traveller anyway (Min/Max players will try to grab up any and all of such skills, in addition to specialty skills). It just sounds dumb if a character says that they went to Space Camp for the summer and gained Pilot 0. So they can now pilot a capital ship without suffering a -3 DM. Mongoose Traveller is a great game for playing with just generic skills or with just specialty skills. But not both.
Quite a lot here! In regard to "Trade 0" skill, this is of fairly limited use, but is really there to allow (largely NPC) citizens to build on it to acquire useful skill like joinery of plumbing. Of course, for many PCs these skills are of little value (even Super Mario seems to use his athletics skills a lot more than his plumbing!), but they do provide a useful baseline. In regard to gun combat, I can't see any problem with "Gun combat 0" being transferrable to all gun combat specialisms, "Pilot 0" is a bit more tricky, but if we accept it as basic skill in handling a space craft, it is not unreasonable to extend that to capital ships or small craft, the principles should be the same. The good thing about the speciality skills is it allows some characters to be very effective as certain things, while still allowing a basic competence in useful skills. To think about something which came up in a game yesterday, character A, an ex-military type with gun combat, slug rifle, 2, found himself having to use a laser rifle instead of his beloved ACR, he was less accurate than usual, firing at gun combat 0, however, to go to the other extreme and declare him unskilled, and applying a -3 penalty seems rather unrealistic. Sometimes this can lead to over confidence, a few months ago character B, with pilot (spacecraft) 2, had to try to land a ships boat (i.e. a small craft, so skill at 0) in less than ideal circumstances, and pranged it. If he had been trying to land the Fat Trader, he would have got away with the landing.

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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:19 am

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Egil Skallagrimsson wrote:
ShawnDriscoll wrote:Sure enough, I see in the Mongoose Core Rulebook that a colonist can get Gun Combat 1 which would mean they would have a level of 1 in all gun skills. Army doesn't have that good of training. So I'll change it to Gun Combat(Any) 1.
No, this indicates a choice of gun combat specialism, the colonist picks one gun combat at 1, say "Gun combat, shotgun, 1", and by default picks up all the rest of the gun combats at 0.

Egil
If you say so. I'm removing the ambiguities (aka old legacy skills that have ties with Classic Traveller which were updated by Mongoose specialty skills) from the skill list. They don't show up very often in the Mongoose Core Rulebook for the careers anyway.

Your reasoning would be that a Level 1 in science gets you Level 0 in all the rest. That is an obvious exploit in the game.

If a character gets Gun Combat 1, the player will want that character to have any gun they can steal, buy, or make and not suffer any -3 DM to use it.
In MgT there isn't such a skill as "science", there is physical science, life science, social science and space science, where "science" is listed on a career table, you have choose which type of science you want. Looking at p57 in the CRB, the organisation of the various sciences makes a lot of sense, e.g. "Physical Science 0" allows a basic understanding of physics, chemistry and electronics, all related disciplines, but not of philosophy or biology. If you become more specialised in, say physics 3, you still have a basic understanding of chemistry and electronics.

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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:42 am

Egil Skallagrimsson wrote:I can't see any problem with "Gun combat 0" being transferrable to all gun combat specialisms.
Funny how players will error on the side that benefits them.
Egil Skallagrimsson wrote:"Pilot 0" is a bit more tricky, but if we accept it as basic skill in handling a space craft, it is not unreasonable to extend that to capital ships or small craft, the principles should be the same.
I wouldn't let a Pilot 0 near my capital ship. I think you are playing Traveller as a video game.
Egil Skallagrimsson wrote:The good thing about the speciality skills is it allows some characters to be very effective as certain things
I hope you're not assigning 4s and 5s to all your specialty skills.
Egil Skallagrimsson wrote:In MgT there isn't such a skill as "science"
See Vargr book.
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby F33D » Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:26 pm

Egil Skallagrimsson wrote: I can't see any problem with "Gun combat 0" being transferrable to all gun combat specialisms,

Egil
Not remotely possible. Other than the fact that both a revolver and a laser rifle cause damage, there is little commonality in mechanics. Someone who is used to something (laser) where the shot is not affect by gravity, wind, target motion (you won't be leading a target with a laser rifle*), etc., is going to be using a slug thrower at a penalty.







*deflection
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby CosmicGamer » Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:45 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Egil Skallagrimsson wrote:I can't see any problem with "Gun combat 0" being transferrable to all gun combat specialisms.
Funny how players will error on the side that benefits them.
Funny how players will error on the side of masochism.
F33D wrote:Not remotely possible. Other than the fact that both a revolver and a laser rifle cause damage, there is little commonality in mechanics.
Very possible.

Its a game where Computer skill lets one use, instal and repair a mainframe running unix, Windows desktop, Android tablet or apple whatever equally. Art Dance means you can break dance and perform a waltz equally well. Animals(Farming) means you know about every type of crop and not just the corn fields were raised on. Drive(wheeled) gives the ability to drive a car, tractor trailer, and motorcycle. Flyer(wing) can fly a biplane or a jet fighter. Gambler knows equaly well high stakes poker games, craps, horse racing, and sports betting. And so on.

If someone with Gun(slug rifle) can apply their knowledge, at any skill level, equally to a black powder rifle, a bolt action rifle, or clip fed fully automatic assault rifle, is Gun(slug rifle) and Gun(laser rifle) at only level 0 such a stretch?

Besides the skill is Gun Combat. I've always taken this to be just as much a combat skill as a Gun (target shooting) skill. To me, the combat portion would be applicable to the other weapons under gun combat.
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby Boneguard » Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:04 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote: Your reasoning would be that a Level 1 in science gets you Level 0 in all the rest. That is an obvious exploit in the game.
Yes and no.
Mongoose Traveller Core book p.6 wrote: Some skills have specialities – specialised forms of that skill. A character picks a speciality when he gains level 1 in a skill with specialities. For example, a character might have Engineer 0, allowing him to make any Engineer skill checks without an unskilled penalty. He might then gain a level in Engineer, giving him Engineer (Jump drives) 1. He would make all Engineer checks involving Jump drives at a +1 DM, but would make all other Engineer checks at a +0 DM. A character can have multiple specialities in a skill – an engineer might have Engineer (Jump drives) 1 and Engineer (power plant) 2. He would make checks related to Jump drives with a +1 DM, checks related to power plants with a +2 DM and all other Engineer checks with a +0 DM.
It's not an exploit of the game as it is clear that once specialised in a field you get the other at +0.

However if you have Science (1), you must specialise in one of it's Branches, giving you +0 in the other branches of that Grouping (Either physic, social, life or space).

So if you choose for your Science (1) Physic 1, you'll get Chemistry and Electronic at +0 as they are all part of the Physic science group.
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby CosmicGamer » Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:28 pm

Boneguard wrote:It's not an exploit of the game as it is clear that once specialised in a field you get the other at +0.
I do agree with your interpretation of the game mechanics however I was scouring the rules and could not find it explicitly stated so I'll have to disagree on it being "clear".
Mongoose Traveller Core book p.6 wrote:Some skills have specialities – specialised forms of that skill. A character picks a speciality when he gains level 1 in a skill with specialities. For example, a character might have Engineer 0, allowing him to make any Engineer skill checks without an unskilled penalty. He might then gain a level in Engineer, giving him Engineer (Jump drives) 1. He would make all Engineer checks involving Jump drives at a +1 DM, but would make all other Engineer checks at a +0 DM.
The example is not a character with no skill in Engineering at all who gains a level for Engineer(Jump) 1 and then now has level zero in all other skills. With this example, the character starts with Engineer 0.

So I can see how there would be different interpretations. I welcome anyone who can find other details in the book to quote for clarification.
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby Boneguard » Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:10 pm

CosmicGamer wrote:
Boneguard wrote:It's not an exploit of the game as it is clear that once specialised in a field you get the other at +0.
I do agree with your interpretation of the game mechanics however I was scouring the rules and could not find it explicitly stated so I'll have to disagree on it being "clear".
Well for me it's 'clear' since Science like Engineer requires to specialised once you go beyong Engineer(0) or Science (0)

So if a career gives Science (1), implicitely, the Character had Science (0) at the start of (or early in) his career...since you cannot get a skill at +1 without getting +0 first.

And since Science requires a specialisation to be taken, then Science (1) means that the player/character can choose either:
Physic Science (any) 1
Life Science (any) 1
Social Science (any) 1
Space Science (any) 1

That's why I see this as being clear. It's just a way to allow a player to start with the scientific career of his choice rather then imposing a specific Discipline/sub-disicipline.
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby F33D » Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:36 pm

CosmicGamer wrote:
If someone with Gun(slug rifle) can apply their knowledge, at any skill level, equally to a black powder rifle, a bolt action rifle, or clip fed fully automatic assault rifle, is Gun(slug rifle) and Gun(laser rifle) at only level 0 such a stretch?
Yes, because all of the slug throwers operate on the SAME basic principles. Unlike Lasers vs. ALL of the slug throwers you mentioned.
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby CosmicGamer » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:51 am

Boneguard wrote:you cannot get a skill at +1 without getting +0 first.
Can you provide a rule that states this? Because my understanding is that rolled incremental skill progression (skills that don't have a number after it) is not no skill, level 0, level 1, level 2. It is no skill, level 1, level 2.
CRB page 8 wrote:Skills can be listed with or without an associated level. If no rank is listed, then you gain that skill at Level 1
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby F33D » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:23 am

CosmicGamer wrote:
Boneguard wrote:you cannot get a skill at +1 without getting +0 first.
Can you provide a rule that states this? Because my understanding is that rolled incremental skill progression (skills that don't have a number after it) is not no skill, level 0, level 1, level 2. It is no skill, level 1, level 2.
CRB page 8 wrote:Skills can be listed with or without an associated level. If no rank is listed, then you gain that skill at Level 1
That's my reading of it too. You usually go from nothing to <skill> level - 1
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby Boneguard » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:28 am

CosmicGamer wrote:Can you provide a rule that states this? Because my understanding is that rolled incremental skill progression (skills that don't have a number after it) is not no skill, level 0, level 1, level 2. It is no skill, level 1, level 2.
CRB page 8 wrote:Skills can be listed with or without an associated level. If no rank is listed, then you gain that skill at Level 1
Not really, The sample character creation on p.38 seem to support the skills starts must start at 0 then increase from there (Term 1).

Incremental skill seems to represent intensive training over the course of the 5 years, thus why they start at 1 rather then 0.
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby hdan » Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:36 am

F33D wrote:
CosmicGamer wrote:
Boneguard wrote:you cannot get a skill at +1 without getting +0 first.
Can you provide a rule that states this? Because my understanding is that rolled incremental skill progression (skills that don't have a number after it) is not no skill, level 0, level 1, level 2. It is no skill, level 1, level 2.
CRB page 8 wrote:Skills can be listed with or without an associated level. If no rank is listed, then you gain that skill at Level 1
That's my reading of it too. You usually go from nothing to <skill> level - 1
Agreed. The only exception is your basic training and homeworld skills, which you get at level 0. But if you roll a skill, it's exactly as folks are describing.
/hdan
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby F33D » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:05 pm

hdan wrote:
Agreed. The only exception is your basic training and homeworld skills, which you get at level 0. But if you roll a skill, it's exactly as folks are describing.
I'm away from home and thus no books with me. Do you know what it says about training, post char gen? As far as sequence goes.
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby CosmicGamer » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:26 pm

Boneguard wrote:
CosmicGamer wrote:Can you provide a rule that states this? Because my understanding is that rolled incremental skill progression (skills that don't have a number after it) is not no skill, level 0, level 1, level 2. It is no skill, level 1, level 2.
CRB page 8 wrote:Skills can be listed with or without an associated level. If no rank is listed, then you gain that skill at Level 1
Not really, The sample character creation on p.38 seem to support the skills starts must start at 0 then increase from there (Term 1).

Incremental skill seems to represent intensive training over the course of the 5 years, thus why they start at 1 rather then 0.
I know it can be confusing. But why say Not really to a actual rule in the book because a sample character seem to support something different? I also don't know where the 5 years comes from.

The example uses some fuzzy language for gaining skills that does not specify the skill level. Like: "learns to pilot the ship", "gives him a Social Science", "improving his Mechanic skill".

There are some gems in the ruff, like the gunner skill which is not acquired at any point prior at level 0 and in term 2 he gets "Gunner (any) 1". A clear example of going from no skill to level 1 skill just like the rules state. Dig further and you'll see that vague "learns to pilot the ship" is at level 1 because later in term 4, the next time the character has an opportunity to gain piloting skill, it says "Jamison already has Pilot (spacecraft) 1".

But then again, the example has multiple errors. That Pilot (spacecraft) 1 skill is never improved until a connection is made then somehow it skips over Pilot (spacecraft) 2 and goes to Pilot (spacecraft) 3! A social science in gained in the first term but it does not show up on the skills summery at the end. We could have a contest to see how many error people can find, I'm sure there are more.

Shrug

I'd say don't use the character example to imply any rules, use the actual rules.
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby CosmicGamer » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:33 pm

F33D wrote:
hdan wrote:
Agreed. The only exception is your basic training and homeworld skills, which you get at level 0. But if you roll a skill, it's exactly as folks are describing.
I'm away from home and thus no books with me. Do you know what it says about training, post char gen? As far as sequence goes.
We all know the book is riddled with errors. A good one is in The Connections Rule sidebar on page 8. In the first paragraph it says "you both get one extra skill. This can be any skill you like," in the next it says "When finalising characters, both will gain an extra skill roll.". So is it select a skill or roll for a skill?

The other thing we all know is that the book is full of unclear rules that are open to multiple interpretations. The Learning New Skills post chargen section is yet another place. It simply says "To increase a skill, a character must train for a number of weeks equal to his current Skill Total plus the desired level of the skill."

So I desire level 8!!!

If one decides the section "Skills and Training" includes training new skills post chargen, then perhaps
CRB page 8 wrote:If no rank is listed, then you gain that skill at Level 1 if you do not have it already, or increases its level by one if you are already trained in that field.
is applicable.

That is how I do it but YMMV.
Last edited by CosmicGamer on Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby Zens » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:38 pm

Boneguard wrote: Well for me it's 'clear' since Science like Engineer requires to specialised once you go beyong Engineer(0) or Science (0)

So if a career gives Science (1), implicitely, the Character had Science (0) at the start of (or early in) his career...since you cannot get a skill at +1 without getting +0 first.

And since Science requires a specialisation to be taken, then Science (1) means that the player/character can choose either:
Physic Science (any) 1
Life Science (any) 1
Social Science (any) 1
Space Science (any) 1

That's why I see this as being clear. It's just a way to allow a player to start with the scientific career of his choice rather then imposing a specific Discipline/sub-disicipline.
Pretty close, but there is no 'Science' skill. It's pretty clear this is being used as a grouping method and to allow, as you say, the player a degree of choice rather than be shoehorned. As the book says, "There are four separate Science skills.... Each science skill has a number of specialisations." Not sub-skills; and 'separate' is there for a reason.

So when a player 'gets' Science 0, what this really means is he gets any one of the four Science skills at 0; he must *immediately* choose which of the actual Science skills he wants to pick up. He gets basic proficiency in all the specialisations of the Science skill he chooses, but not of the three other separate Science skills.

That's my reading of it, anyway.
Last edited by Zens on Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby F33D » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:41 pm

CosmicGamer wrote:
F33D wrote:
I'm away from home and thus no books with me. Do you know what it says about training, post char gen? As far as sequence goes.
Yet another place the rules are unclear and open to interpretation. It simply says "To increase a skill, a character must train for a number of weeks equal to his current Skill Total plus the desired level of the skill." So I desire level 8!!!
So, if I am 18 (only 0 level skills) and want to be an M.D. (medical-2 or 3) I just need 2-3 weeks of training! :lol:
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby DickTurpin » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:48 pm

F33D wrote:
CosmicGamer wrote:
F33D wrote:
I'm away from home and thus no books with me. Do you know what it says about training, post char gen? As far as sequence goes.
Yet another place the rules are unclear and open to interpretation. It simply says "To increase a skill, a character must train for a number of weeks equal to his current Skill Total plus the desired level of the skill." So I desire level 8!!!
So, if I am 18 (only 0 level skills) and want to be an M.D. (medical-2 or 3) I just need 2-3 weeks of training! :lol:
Well, every GM I have ever played under has ruled that you can only increase skills one level at a time, so you would need 4-9 weeks. But other than that, yes sir, that is a correct (if extreme) interpretation of the Traveller training rules. I think that was the premise for the TV show, Doogie Howser, M.D. :lol:
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Re: General skill vs. Specialty skill

Postby F33D » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:54 pm

DickTurpin wrote: Well, every GM I have ever played under has ruled that you can only increase skills one level at a time, so you would need 4-9 weeks. But other than that, yes sir, that is a correct (if extreme) interpretation of the Traveller training rules. I think that was the premise for the TV show, Doogie Howser, M.D. :lol:
Okay, one at time seems to be a correct interpretation. Wow! Direct neural learning.

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