Improving Characteristics

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby GypsyComet » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:08 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote: I used to play GURPS Traveller a lot. But it didn't have the CharGen I was used to. And it didn't have a Traveller feel to it. It just seemed like I was playing GURPS Space with some Traveller setting thrown in.
It is all rather circular, as a lot of the GURPS vehicle tools from Space and Vehicles were heavily inspired by TNE's Fire, Fusion, and Steel.

GURPS Traveller certainly strikes me as Traveller adapted to GURPS, while T20 is more the other way around. This doesn't make it less playable for those used to D20, happily, but character generation requires more page flipping and process switching than I like. On the flip side it encourages younger characters since there *is* advancement.
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby Jame Rowe » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:15 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Jame Rowe wrote:It's sort of how I would want to make my Int 15 Pathfinder character - a cleric/wizard/mystic theurge - have an Int of 16 or 17: in order to make spells better. It works for Traveller too.
There's a T20 for that.
Yes, and there's a reason I do NOT play T20. Thanks for insulting the point I was trying to make - IN THE SAME FASHION AS d20 system games, Mongoose Traveller ALSO needs a method of improving charateristics, since I prefer MGT.

So before you rudely dismiss the point I am trying to make, go back and read what I wrote. Since I'm trying to say something completely different from what you quoted.

Now! I will try again. I will bash you over the head with the parts you need to pay attention to.

Mongoose Traveller needs a method of characteristic improvement, similar to the fact that Pathfinder possesses a method of characteristic improvement, even though the method that Mongoose Traveller should have will be different FROM the system found WITHIN any d20 system, since even though Mongoose Traveller needs a characteristic improvement system of its own, the system that should be put into Mongoose Traveller should be different from d20, with reference to how I like the method that d20 has. Where My Reference To LIKING d20's system IS COMPLETELY SEPARATE FROM mydesire TO have A system FOR Mongoose Traveller.

Now, seeing as I have been quite specific IN what my point IS, either respond to my point where my point about how MgT SHOULD HAVE a characteristic improvement system is completely separate from my usage of a reference to d20 having such a system, or leave my post alone.
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ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:34 pm

I think Mongoose Traveller does not need such an improvement made to its system.
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby CosmicGamer » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:42 pm

Jame Rowe wrote:Now, seeing as I have been quite specific IN what my point IS, either respond to my point where my point about how MgT SHOULD HAVE a characteristic improvement system
Just because people discuss the SHOULD HAVE point, but don't blindly agree with it and suggest alternatives does not mean they are "off point" in my opinion.
ShawnDriscoll wrote:I think Mongoose Traveller does not need such an improvement made to its system.
I also feel no need for there to be a characteristic improvement system defined for my games, think it would be counter productive to role playing, and think the rules as is cover this adequate to my needs.
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby Boneguard » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:43 pm

Jame Rowe wrote:Now, seeing as I have been quite specific IN what my point IS, either respond to my point where my point about how MgT SHOULD HAVE a characteristic improvement system
ShawnDriscoll wrote:I think Mongoose Traveller does not need such an improvement made to its system.
CosmicGamer wrote: I also feel no need for there to be a characteristic improvement system defined for my games, think it would be counter productive to role playing, and think the rules as is cover this adequate to my needs.
I'm with ShawnDriscoll and CosmicGamer here, I like the game like it is. Fix Characteristics and all.

If I want a Sci-Fi game with characteristics improvement I'll play something else (WEG Star Wars or Babylon 5 for exemple).
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby Nerhesi » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:47 pm

As much as I love Mongoose, I do believe the option to increase characteristics is warranted. This has nothing to do with other system we've played or what other system does it. It is simple logic for me in this case.

The system allow for character improvement and progression. Whether in terms of acquired items, or personal capabilities. The system should therefore allow for personal capabilities in the fullest (Characteristics). I can already improve my piloting, broker, gunnery, Life Science (X), Psionic Powers etc... but I can't pick up some weights? Do some eye-hand coordination training? or do some puzzles/mental training in the year 5400+?? I'm living testament to increasing my reflexes from 22 to 26, increasing my IQ after 28, and my strength AFTER the age of 32, permanently. Beyond a doubt, permanent increase.

The rock solid argument as well is actually presented in the system. I can finish a character at any age. During character creation - my stats can increase. However, as I play, they cannot? Despite the fact playing is merely an UN-compressed character generation? So I can gain +3 int when in chargen as a fighter pilot from 22 to 26 years of age. But If I play as a 22 year old fighter pilot, in game, I dont get the same increase?

So to me, from a both a game and a realism issue - increasing Characteristics is a no-brainer.

Is it a significant change? No.
Does it affect balance? Is it easier than skills? No.
Does it somehow diminish the quality of Mongoose Traveller? Hell no.

I see no problem to allowing it, and creating a framework for it, and still loving Mongoose. I think it is incredibly silly, to go play another game JUST because character progression is not available. Ridiculous infact, that if I like 99% of traveler, I would go play another game because of that 1%; for any reason; let alone something as mechanical as Stat progression.
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby CosmicGamer » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:18 am

Nerhesi wrote:my strength AFTER the age of 32, permanently. Beyond a doubt, permanent increase.
Do you think if you stop doing whatever it was that led to the strength increase and had a desk job and become a couch potato the strength increase will remain?

Do you think you can keep improving your STR? How much for how long? This is important to think about if one is going to create a mechanic for it.

As far as other realism aspects,
I think it not realistic for a person with say a 5 STR at age 26 to improve it by 1 every 4 years and be a 9 at 42, a 12 at 54....
Older Pro football players typically only improve their skill level and have to work very hard at maintaining their physique. Perhaps some of this should be attributed and dealt with via aging rolls? The point though is that there are limits to what the body is capable of and not all bodies are the same.

This point obviously is more about the physical characteristics and not the other 3.
Nerhesi wrote:The rock solid argument as well is actually presented in the system. I can finish a character at any age.
Nerhesi wrote:During character creation - my stats can increase. However, as I play, they cannot?
Off the top of my head I'm not aware of anything that says this can't be done. Nor do I believe it impossible for them to go down during role play.

For me, if one wishes to continue increasing skills and characteristics instead of adventuring then they should not finish the character. Personally, I wish the learning new skills mechanic was not in the book. Not because I don't think people can improve over time. I have other issues.
Nerhesi wrote:But If I play as a 22 year old fighter pilot
While role playing is usually not started until after chagen is finished, in one game I role played some of the characters events.

So, one option is to start role playing before finishing chargen. Your still a Navy pilot or whatever. You role play "a year in the life" and then roll out the remainder of the term.
Nerhesi wrote:Despite the fact playing is merely an UN-compressed character generation?
There are no promotion rules for post chargen - you role play and GM it. The events are role played and GMed. Mishaps too. Why not characteristic changes? A average citizen in chargen can only improve EDU and INT - where is the improvement of other characteristics? Not sure what kind of comparison you are trying to make and use as a point here?
Nerhesi wrote:Does it somehow diminish the quality of Mongoose Traveller? $%^& no.
As I said before, one of my main issues is that I see it as a mechanic that promotes sitting on the sidelines improving the character instead of adventuring and role playing. For me, a poor game mechanic design choice for a adventure role playing game - has nothing to do with the realism of it. Lot's of design aspects in the game are designed around making a fun game and not being real.
Nerhesi wrote:I see no problem to allowing it, and creating a framework for it, and still loving Mongoose.
It's not for me to decide for others if it's good for their games. I'd play in their games. I would help someone work on such a game mechanic.

But that said, I'll still debate the need for it as I see problems and I haven't found a need for it in my games. If it were role played in a game, I'd deal with it as GM and don't need a short 7 sentence set of restrictive robotic mechanics that probably won't work in all situations telling me what to do. (jab at what I think are very poor learning new skills mechanics)
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby Nerhesi » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:41 am

I dont really disagree with anything youve said Cosmic, as like my arguments, they are mostly personal opinion and game design critique.

The only thing I can say is that, at 32, I worked out quite a bit for a good 3 months. Then I did sporadic work outs over the next 9 months or so (maybe twice a week).

I am now almost 36 and I have worked out, perhaps 7 or 8 times in the past two years. Have I slipped? sure. Have I slipped to back where I was at age 32 - most definitely not, and not even close or half way. Is this empirical evidence? Heck no!

My biggest pet peeve with some responses was not that some people prefer not to have Characteristic advancement; but was how some people stated that because that tiny mechanic was not in Traveler, they would change to a completely different game system if they wanted it. Mind boggling!!!

I dont like the lack of variety in spaceship weaponry! Im not switching to Aerospace/Battletech!
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby GypsyComet » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:07 am

Nerhesi wrote:
My biggest pet peeve with some responses was not that some people prefer not to have Characteristic advancement; but was how some people stated that because that tiny mechanic was not in Traveler, they would change to a completely different game system if they wanted it. Mind boggling!!!
Edition Purists have their uses, but as an avowed Meta-mechanic I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum and couldn't explain the Purist mindset if I tried. If I need a solution I *borrow* one.
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ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:17 am

Nerhesi wrote:My biggest pet peeve with some responses was not that some people prefer not to have Characteristic advancement; but was how some people stated that because that tiny mechanic was not in Traveler, they would change to a completely different game system if they wanted it. Mind boggling!!!

I dont like the lack of variety in spaceship weaponry! Im not switching to Aerospace/Battletech!
My biggest pet peeve is with people getting upset when others disagree with them.

Start a blog and post your ideas there if you don't want disagreements. Forums are different.
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby Jame Rowe » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:26 pm

Disagree with the point I'm trying to make. Don't just bluntly tell me to play a third game in response to my referencing a second when I'm trying to make a point about a first.

I acknowledge that you don't want a method of in-play characteristic improvement for MgT. I can accept that if you say that, instead of just telling me "go play T20" - by telling me that, you're dismissing me out of hand. And that is what got me upset.

Shawn, I think you and I are going to disagree on a lot of MgT, which is fine if you remember that the way to disagree is not to tell me that the mods I would make prevent me from playing MgT. :wink:
Nerhesi wrote:My biggest pet peeve with some responses was not that some people prefer not to have Characteristic advancement; but was how some people stated that because that tiny mechanic was not in Traveler, they would change to a completely different game system if they wanted it. Mind boggling!!!

I dont like the lack of variety in spaceship weaponry! Im not switching to Aerospace/Battletech!
I would like to point out thta what I said was, "I would like to reference the existence of a characteristic improvement mechanic in Pathfinder as my rationale for wanting one in MgT." To which I was told, "You like Pathfinder? You should go play T20 instead of MgT."

There IS a difference - I play PF as much because of duress from my fiancée as much as being the main game I can find (well, aside from Warmachine). Doesn't mean I want to use the d20 mechanic for Traveller. I just use it as reference for the stat improvement. Sort of like how if I want Aerotech equipment in Traveller, I'm going to try to figure out a conversion to Traveller. Just like with ShawnD - if you're going to respond to what I said, make sure you know what I said.
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby jed » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:59 pm

This thread is hilarious. Classic Traveller had characteristic increases in play. Ergo, characteristic increases are, in fact, part of the Traveller tradition from which Mongoose Traveller is derived. Likewise, if you want a fix for lack of characteristic increases in Mongoose, I recommend going and picking up Classic Traveller Book 3 on rpgnow for $5 (I'm pretty sure it was book 3...). The system therein isn't a sure thing, requring dedication rolls and plenty of time spent training, but it is available and can be easily grafted back onto MgT without changing anything else.
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:01 pm

Jame Rowe wrote:Just like with ShawnD - if you're going to respond to what I said, make sure you know what I said.
I disagree with how you disagreed with my post. Just so you know.

Seriously though, do what you want. I don't have to agree with it if you start saying how things should be though.
jed wrote:Classic Traveller had characteristic increases in play. Ergo, characteristic increases are, in fact, part of the Traveller tradition from which Mongoose Traveller is derived.
First I've heard of this.
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby Jame Rowe » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:50 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Jame Rowe wrote:Just like with ShawnD - if you're going to respond to what I said, make sure you know what I said.
I disagree with how you disagreed with my post. Just so you know.
I disagree with how you disagreed with me, but I'd say this is best dropped.

So I shall say this - I think that there should be a way, in MGT, for a PC to increase attributes. Perhaps similar to the way skills are improved, but takes more experience and longer time frame - months instead of weeks. Fair?
jed wrote:Classic Traveller had characteristic increases in play. Ergo, characteristic increases are, in fact, part of the Traveller tradition from which Mongoose Traveller is derived.
First I've heard of this.
There is a way - if I recall correctly, it involves taking the increase immediately and then making a couple of checks for the appropriate attribute within a few months - I believe you had to roll under the original attribute to retain the increase. Someone explained it on CotI; let me see if I can find it.
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby Condottiere » Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:24 pm

On the technical stuff, you should be very consistent.

However, for the RPG/character aspect, you should have some leeway.

Traveller character creation always seemed aimed at creating an experienced but fairly normal avatar that wasn't either min/maxed nor optimized to the point of unbalancing the game.

As regards retaining physical conditioning in your sunset years, or even increasing characteristics, there would be a number of options:

1. You have a gym membership, regularly rearrange your limbs into a pretzel, or every morning practice Tai Chi. This could not only maintain your conditioning, it could also improve it to a ceiling, even if only temporarily.

2. Some form of therapy that regenerates local muscle tissue and nerves.

3. Cybernetic replacement: organic and/or inorganic.

The point being, you spend time and some money keeping your body in shape.
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:25 pm

Jame Rowe wrote:I think that there should be a way, in MGT, for a PC to increase attributes.
There's that word "should" again.

Just say, "In my games, I use this rule: Blah blah"

I like the idea posted above about the 777777 character needing to increase something to 8. Mongoose Traveller does have Athletic skills also.

Someone mentioned the bit about how characteristics are improved during CharGen, so why not be able to improve them after CharGen? Do what you want. Traveller was not designed for campaigning with the same character all the way through. It was designed for campaigning with various characters along the way. I'm talking about campaigns that exceed one year in game time. Usually, a character will die during a campaign and you make a new one. Most players that come from a D20 universe don't want their character to die. They're playing to win. The game is all about the DMs they can add to their character sheet. They rarely ever attempt a skill they have no training in.

When my character dies, these same players will try every excuse for why my character isn't really dead and can still be in the game somehow. I have no problem making a new character. The universe doesn't stop just because a character died. And it shouldn't wait while a new character is rolled up.
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby Nerhesi » Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:18 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote: My biggest pet peeve is with people getting upset when others disagree with them.

Start a blog and post your ideas there if you don't want disagreements. Forums are different.
No one is getting upset at a difference of opinion or disagreement. The issue is when one side thinks their opinion or position is intrinsically correct, an axiom, or some sort of absolute truth.

That was the stance adopted here - like it was obvious that if you liked Characteristic increases, you should go play an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT GAME - and not just modify your current game to allow for that. A position that we now seem to all agree is a laughable one.
Last edited by Nerhesi on Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby Nerhesi » Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:19 pm

jed wrote:This thread is hilarious. Classic Traveller had characteristic increases in play. Ergo, characteristic increases are, in fact, part of the Traveller tradition from which Mongoose Traveller is derived. Likewise, if you want a fix for lack of characteristic increases in Mongoose, I recommend going and picking up Classic Traveller Book 3 on rpgnow for $5 (I'm pretty sure it was book 3...). The system therein isn't a sure thing, requring dedication rolls and plenty of time spent training, but it is available and can be easily grafted back onto MgT without changing anything else.
Awesome input Jed - Ill look this up. Thanks.
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby Gypsy Knights Games » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:28 pm

Our newest product for our Clement Sector alternate Traveller setting, Career Companion, features an optional character improvement system. The system covers improvement of both skills and attributes. You could easily use the system for any flavor of Traveller.

This link will take you to the product.
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Re: Improving Characteristics

Postby jed » Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:10 am

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
jed wrote:Classic Traveller had characteristic increases in play. Ergo, characteristic increases are, in fact, part of the Traveller tradition from which Mongoose Traveller is derived.
First I've heard of this.
Yessir, pages 42-43 of Book 2, heading Experience. Summary: All training programs require a dedication throw of 8+; if failed, another training program cannot be attempted for a year. Education is relatively easy to raise, gaining permanent increases at a rate of about one point per year up to a maximum of one's Int, though such programs require a tutor and entail fees. Skills can be raised temporarily via training, but it takes a long time (eight years if I'm reading this correctly) to increase them permanently, though you can train two skills at once and thereby achieve an average of a point of skill increase every four years. Weapon skills are easier to raise permanently. A regimen of calisthenics temporarily increases all three physical stats by one point for the duration of the training, but can never yield a permanent increase. There are no mechanics for raising Int or Soc, though a note is made that this whole system covers old-fashioned training, and other methods like implants, gene therapy, and mercenary boot camp may generate faster gains at the Ref's discretion.

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