Scholar - A New Book

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
ShawnDriscoll
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2935
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:45 am

Professional student falls in the citizen category.
alex_greene
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3787
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:29 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby alex_greene » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:27 pm

Careers can also receive some tweaks unique to Scholars.

Optional advanced skill tables for Edu 13+ and Int 13+, heavy on the sciences and/or Engineering specialities, and even a few new skills such as Mathematics.

Specialised Scholar careers such as Forensics (subcareers of Field Agent, Lab Rat and Legal); Archaeologist (again, one fieldwork subcareer, one in curation and collections, and one linguistic subcareer specialising in chasing down the ancient data trapped in libraries, repositories etc); R&E (subcareers in various technological developments: med tech / bioware / genetics; advanced FTL and propulsion technologies; advanced computing tech; advanced wartech), Psionicist (subcareers in Psionology, Psi-technology development, Psionics Institute); and so on.
Board moderator. Product List [DriveThruRPG]: Blood Path [Legend]; Cosmopolite [Traveller]; Castrobancla [Traveller]
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 7472
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:46 pm

Image
Lord High Munchkin
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1292
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:12 am
Location: Vancouver, where the rainbow ends/Oxford, occasionally, in an ivory tower

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby Lord High Munchkin » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:34 pm

Nanotechnology, its application and social implications (in medicine, in manufacturing, food sciences, in communications, in policing and warfare... all spring to mind off the top), with examples of such technology.

Computing and AI. What's it like to be in a society were every job that doesn't actually 100% wave to have a "live" person is done by a robot or AI? How does this work in game terms? Electronic characters and VR life.

There are thousands of novels out there (literarily) that give ideas on sciences and knowledges that could be included in a 'Scholar' book... is one book actually enough?
The desire for a "definitive, ultimate answer" is, in fact, classified by modern psychiatric medicine as a mental illness.
alex_greene
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3787
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:29 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby alex_greene » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:58 pm

You could also have a section on how Scholars can apply what they know, either Science or Engineering, to scrutinise, analyse and develop an understanding of the principles behind technologies that they are exposed to, that are beyond not only their current TL but also beyond their peers' understanding.

If anyone can understand what that TL 19 device is supposed to do, and how it does it, it has to be the team boffin.
Board moderator. Product List [DriveThruRPG]: Blood Path [Legend]; Cosmopolite [Traveller]; Castrobancla [Traveller]
Wil Mireu
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:43 am

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby Wil Mireu » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:21 pm

It should be pointed out that Spica Publishing's Career Book 3 already has the Scientist career (broken down into Inventor, Professor, and Researcher) and Field Researcher career (broken down into Archaeologist, Planetologist and Terraformer) for scholarly characters.
msprange
Site Admin
Posts: 14804
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 4:25 pm

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby msprange » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:50 am

Just a quickie - we would fully support a Citizen and/or Scholar book, if someone fancies writing them...
Matthew Sprange

Mongoose Publishing
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
Tay
Stoat
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 11:34 am

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby Tay » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:34 pm

Spica Publishing cover Scientist in their 3rd Career book and Corporate Citizen in their 1st Career book. Would that not cover what you need?
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 7472
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:50 am

Could be a chance to create some tongue-in-cheek characters and the breaking of the fourth wall.
alex_greene
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3787
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:29 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby alex_greene » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:46 pm

Condottiere wrote:Could be a chance to create some tongue-in-cheek characters and the breaking of the fourth wall.
Such as an immortal, eccentric time traveller with two hearts? :D
Board moderator. Product List [DriveThruRPG]: Blood Path [Legend]; Cosmopolite [Traveller]; Castrobancla [Traveller]
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 7472
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:04 pm

According to the Ultimate Guide, the discrepancy between internal volume and external hull is just a matter of perspective.
alex_greene
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3787
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:29 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby alex_greene » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:39 pm

If such a book was promised, would you like to see a small section on authentic technobabble?

"Captain, I believe I can induce a cataclysmic cascade overload in their Jump capacitors by impacting their defense screens with a proton beam at the exact polarisation required to set up a disruptive heterodyning standing wave in the defense field. But I'm going to need to cannibalise the deckplates on Deck Four to create a collimator for the beam or it'll lose cohesion before it gets within eleven thousand kilometres of the enemy ship."
Board moderator. Product List [DriveThruRPG]: Blood Path [Legend]; Cosmopolite [Traveller]; Castrobancla [Traveller]
Wil Mireu
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:43 am

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby Wil Mireu » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:14 am

alex_greene wrote:If such a book was promised, would you like to see a small section on authentic technobabble?

"Captain, I believe I can induce a cataclysmic cascade overload in their Jump capacitors by impacting their defense screens with a proton beam at the exact polarisation required to set up a disruptive heterodyning standing wave in the defense field. But I'm going to need to cannibalise the deckplates on Deck Four to create a collimator for the beam or it'll lose cohesion before it gets within eleven thousand kilometres of the enemy ship."
...and by the time the engineer got to the second line, the enemy ship had blown them out of the sky. Or the Captain interrupts at 'capacitors' and just tells him to shut up and do it if he thinks it'll save the ship.

Seriously, nobody would ever talk like that to someone who doesn't know exactly what they're talking about in a combat situation. Technobabble is to "explain" to the TV audience why the plot is going to be resolved, not to explain to fellow crewmembers what they're going to do.
alex_greene
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3787
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:29 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby alex_greene » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:12 am

Wil Mireu wrote:
alex_greene wrote:If such a book was promised, would you like to see a small section on authentic technobabble?

"Captain, I believe I can induce a cataclysmic cascade overload in their Jump capacitors by impacting their defense screens with a proton beam at the exact polarisation required to set up a disruptive heterodyning standing wave in the defense field. But I'm going to need to cannibalise the deckplates on Deck Four to create a collimator for the beam or it'll lose cohesion before it gets within eleven thousand kilometres of the enemy ship."
...and by the time the engineer got to the second line, the enemy ship had blown them out of the sky. Or the Captain interrupts at 'capacitors' and just tells him to shut up and do it if he thinks it'll save the ship.

Seriously, nobody would ever talk like that to someone who doesn't know exactly what they're talking about in a combat situation. Technobabble is to "explain" to the TV audience why the plot is going to be resolved, not to explain to fellow crewmembers what they're going to do.
Space combat rounds are ten minutes long. Plenty of time.

And it gives commanding officers the excuse to deliver the exasperated line "In English, please, Doctor?"

Besides, the ability to talk technobabble is probably part and parcel of the whole being a genius experience. Sherlock Holmes doesn't just point to someone and say "He murdered the Prime Minister" - he has to show the workings ("noticeable gunshot residue smell, bulge of gun holster under clothes, unresponsive because ears still ringing - indicating the man is unused to firing a gun and just got lucky because he was close enough that he couldn't miss ...")

Likewise, Charlie Epps in Numb3rs couldn't let anything go without doing his virtual "Imagine if you will three astronomical bodies in close orbit ..." thing and letting the numbers swirl around him, even though that obviously never happened to me when it was my turn to come up to the blackboard in maths class.

Boffins and engineers are meant to be a whole different class of people altogether. Most guys are probably used to playing some flavour of grunt or other, vowing to die before they'll talk and being all badass behind a gun like The Punisher.

I'm more used to playing Rodney McKays and Sherlock Holmeses, and MacGyvers. And if there is one thing that is practically a tradition among those kind of geek characters, it's infodump - a deep-seated need to show off.
Board moderator. Product List [DriveThruRPG]: Blood Path [Legend]; Cosmopolite [Traveller]; Castrobancla [Traveller]
alex_greene
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3787
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:29 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby alex_greene » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:14 am

Also, imagine the science team standing in front of the Captain like eager puppies.

"We need to strip the grav plates from Deck Four to put around our cannon toy thing so we can fire the green beam at the enemy ship with the force fields until the ship blows up."

"Er, the enemy ship, Captain. Not ours."

"Though that could still happen, too."

"Yes, it could."

Good luck with that.
Board moderator. Product List [DriveThruRPG]: Blood Path [Legend]; Cosmopolite [Traveller]; Castrobancla [Traveller]
Wil Mireu
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:43 am

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby Wil Mireu » Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:01 am

Meh. I don't play RPGs like TV shows.

Plus, maybe you should meet a real 'boffin' sometime. They're not like the ones in TV shows at all.
alex_greene
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3787
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:29 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby alex_greene » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:46 am

Wil Mireu wrote:Meh. I don't play RPGs like TV shows.

Plus, maybe you should meet a real 'boffin' sometime. They're not like the ones in TV shows at all.
Sadly, yes.

But if Scholar presented only real world boffins, Traveller would be excruciatingly dull - most of their research would be effectively downtime.

Traveller's Scholars and Citizens are the characters you expect to find in science fiction. 20th Century Science Fiction, at that - where every phenomenon had to have an explanation, and where the monster really was just some crook in a rubber mask.

Scholar has to be about the Indiana Joneses of this world, rather than the patient, staid archaeologists who do the real work of archaeology - on their knees in dirt brushing away soil from a dinosaur bone for four hours using a toothbrush.

Though boffins in the past have come under fire in their quest to prove their theories - botanists facing accusations of espionage because they wandered too far into restricted military areas searching for a rare orchid; archaeologists having to pack up their samples and run from angry natives screaming something about taboo-breaking and defilement of sacred ground, or something about grave robbing.

Scholar is about those characters who have a bone to pick with the universe. The weird stuff is out there - but these guys are not content to look at a planet's spectroscopic analysis fifty parsecs away to confirm that it has oceans of pure ethyl alcohol, or that a star's spectrum inexplicably shows a promethium signature. They want to go out there and see it for themselves.

And the adventure starts when they drag the rest of the characters along with them.
Board moderator. Product List [DriveThruRPG]: Blood Path [Legend]; Cosmopolite [Traveller]; Castrobancla [Traveller]
Wil Mireu
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:43 am

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby Wil Mireu » Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:45 pm

alex_greene wrote:
Wil Mireu wrote:Meh. I don't play RPGs like TV shows.

Plus, maybe you should meet a real 'boffin' sometime. They're not like the ones in TV shows at all.
Sadly, yes.

But if Scholar presented only real world boffins, Traveller would be excruciatingly dull - most of their research would be effectively downtime.
Which is the whole point. Scholars are not "exciting". If you want a book about "exciting scholars" then that's about something entirely fictional.

Honestly, sometimes I think people think TV shows and the movies are actually reality. Traveller isn't a game about propagating naff TV/movie memes. It's about "gritty scifi in space".
GypsyComet
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2169
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:09 am

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby GypsyComet » Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:11 pm

I'm going to guess that you don't know any Geologists. Even the ones who aren't out in remote locations with heavy equipment and high explosives prefer time as far from civilization as possible to lab time. A subset of them run *toward* erupting volcanos, too.

Paleontologists and Archeologists aren't quite that crazy, but still would rather be out in the field. This whole group will have the Sciences, but also vehicle skills, weapon skills, and sometimes a raft of languages. The Volcanologists are going to have Battledress, and the Astronomers will have Vacc Suit and Zero G (no point in working on the ground if orbit is so easy to reach and build in).

The truly boring types are the pure lab rats. Every field has them, but the largely theoretical fields have more of them. A bit part of this is because they have to spend a lot of time writing proposals for funding, or convincing management of the same. To many of them, and particularly the high energy physicists, experimentation is hideously expensive, requires vast infrastructure, and often years of planning. They'll be all Science skills, Admin, and whatever they do at parties on their days off.
CTMTTNET4GTT20THMGTT5
It's all Traveller, so it's all Good.
CosmicGamer
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1181
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:45 am
Location: Central DE

Re: Scholar - A New Book

Postby CosmicGamer » Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:14 pm

Wil Mireu wrote:Which is the whole point. Scholars are not "exciting". If you want a book about "exciting scholars" then that's about something entirely fictional.
Isn't pretty much any "exciting" Traveller character fictional?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 12 guests