Rules / House-rules for Removing Skills

sshinn

Mongoose
MgT2, Core rulebook, p16 top: "A skill may never be increased beyond level 4 during Traveller creation. Once a skill has reached level 4, any additional increases are lost. In addition, a Traveller may never have a total number of skill levels higher than three times his combined INT and EDU."

So while you can still add zero-level skills, I'm wondering, once you hit your cap of 3x INT and EDU number of skill levels, what have others done at this point?

I'm thinking of allowing players to remove 1 level of a prior skill of their choice (for a skill they aren't maintaining through practice) in order to free up a slot to improve another character's skill to level 1 or higher.

Thoughts?
 

Rikki Tikki Traveller

Cosmic Mongoose
I interpret it as Skill Levels - as stated. A Skill-0, is just that, zero.

So a character can have as many Zero-Level skills as they can gather. Also, at the end when reducing skill levels to get under the limit, you can reduce things down to Skill-0 and then stop.

"Gee, I used to know this, but haven't used it in a long time!" is the common statement.

Think College Calculus - I took LOTS of math in college, but can't do even basic integral now (20+ years later). I USED to have Math-3, but now am Math-1 or Math-0.

That's how I read it and it makes sense to me.
 

Arkathan

Cosmic Mongoose
This should be very limited, and the loss of skill should occur prior to beginning training for the new skill.
It should be reserved for skills they haven't ever used, and preferably taking an earlier skill over a later one if several have never been used.
It's hard to forget something you used at a proficient level during the time span of game play, and really hard to go below level Zero. I've forgotten a lot of what I did in the military, but if presented with materials, can still go through them with some level of familiarity more than thirty years removed. So an earlier career is also a good candidate for that pool.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
Riding a bicycle.

You could have a system where constant exercise and training for a skill gives it a temporary boost by one, which counts towards the total, but once you stop, the temporary skill point could be utilized towards some other skill, whether it's a permanent or temporary level.
 

CordwainerFish

Banded Mongoose
"Piloting a starship is no different from riding a bicycle. It's just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes."
 

Arkathan

Cosmic Mongoose
CordwainerFish said:
"Piloting a starship is no different from riding a bicycle. It's just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes."

You need a ladder, but the really hard part is having any bits of baseball cards left after you take a spin around the planet.
 

Geir

Cosmic Mongoose
My math is definitely skill level 0 these days, but:
On average 3 x (7 + 7) = 42.
On average, a character can expect ~ 3 skills per term, allowing for connections, skill packages, promotions, etc.
On average, that's 14 terms. Age 72. Not much of a problem unless anagathics are involved.
Now for the low INT and EDU Traveller, there's the Personal Development table, which can increase characteristics which are unaffected by this limit and include things like +1 INT or +1 EDU, which would then allow 3 more skills on some other table.
If a character actually had skill level 4 in something and rolled it again (and it wasn't a cascade skill where some other specialty was an option), then I'd probably just allow a reroll and suggest that it might be time to move on from character generation and go on an adventure.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
As I understand the concept of zero, is that it was created to bypass the hard cap of skill levels.

Essentially, Traveller skill levels were just depressed to accommodate the concept.
 

Faelderg

Mongoose
In my games I have allowed players to increase their EDU. It is a lot tougher than increasing a skill level but it can help with the overall problem.
 

kaladorn

Mongoose
Arkathan said:
This should be very limited, and the loss of skill should occur prior to beginning training for the new skill.
It should be reserved for skills they haven't ever used, and preferably taking an earlier skill over a later one if several have never been used.
It's hard to forget something you used at a proficient level during the time span of game play, and really hard to go below level Zero. I've forgotten a lot of what I did in the military, but if presented with materials, can still go through them with some level of familiarity more than thirty years removed. So an earlier career is also a good candidate for that pool.

Depends a lot on the type of learning. For instance, the kinesthetic memory you develop doing immediate action drills may have more traction than something you read in a university course and then didn't need other than for the exam.

I know when I came out of school, I probably had:

Math-2 (if you don't want to break it out to cover descriptive & inferential statistics, goodness of fit, basic calculus, basic integrals, differential equations, partial differential equations, laplace and fourier transforms, queue theory, ring theory, graph theory, NP-completeness problems, numerical methods, algebra, trigonometry, tensor calculus, network theory, matrices for fun and profit, n-dimensional math, and enough other kinds I forget - I trained in continuous math on the way towards an engineering degree and then in discrete math in computer science)
Rifle - 0 (reservist)
Computers - 3
Recon - 0
Stealth - 1
Communications - 0
Ground Vehicle - 1 (a bit of rally racing and a bit of special survival driving)
Geography - 1
Geology - 1
Chemistry - 1
Physics - 1
History - 1
Mechanics - 1
Electronics - 2
Steward - 0
Russian - 1 (or Linguistics - 1)
French - 1 (or maybe still Linguistics - 1)
Handgun - 0 (rec shooting)
Martial Arts - 2 (used to train 6-10 hours a week in Aikido and prior to that Karate with a bit of Aiki-Jutsu thrown in)
Medic - 0 (military and civilian first aid)
Sport -1 (raquetball, squash, hockey, softball)

Over time, I'd say now:
Medic - 1 (experience and more training)
Steward - 1 (training and lots of experience)
Russian - 0
French - 0 (or 1/2)
Physics - 0
Chemistry - 0
Geography - 2
Recon - 1
Stealth - 0 (due to debilitating injury)
Martial Arts - 0 (same)
Sport - 0 (knowledge still 1, ability to execute 0)
Mechanics - 1
History - 2
Geology - 1
Ground Vehicle - 0 (eyesight and injury prevents high speed manouvering)
Communications - 1
Computers - 3 (maybe 4... I've done a lot in many different domains and some quite complex and large scale)
Intimidation - 1
Political Science - 1
Admin - 1
Math - 1
Tactics - 1 (training, simulations, and knowing lots of vets and quite a few SF as close friends)
Electronics - 1
Instruction - 1 (taught college course, tutor kids)
Leader - 1 (led team, had training)
Carpentry/Construction - 1 (done a lot of work and worked with contractors)

By my count, that's 22 skills whose levels will have changed, comparing me getting out of school at 26 vs. me now at 52.

My list of skills has changed a lot. New ones added, other suffered significant downgrades due to (in Traveller sense) aging crises which made some physical skills MUCH less executable. Also, if you don't keep up the details of skills like Electronics or Martial Arts, you don't forget the basics, but there are minor subtleties which really magnify your impact and results and these tend to be what you forget and don't easily just reclaim. Meanwhile, I've read broadly in many areas and become very politically aware and educated.
 

kaladorn

Mongoose
Condottiere said:
Riding a bicycle.

You could have a system where constant exercise and training for a skill gives it a temporary boost by one, which counts towards the total, but once you stop, the temporary skill point could be utilized towards some other skill, whether it's a permanent or temporary level.

I've always wanted to add an app for the games I GM in Traveller and other games that would do the following:

If you use a skill in the game, or are expected to definitely have done so in down times, then you don't lose anything.
If you train or use skills a lot, you may slowly gain more skill (longer time to gain higher levels).
If you don't use a skill for a long while, there's a chance you'll drop a skill level *and the odds are higher if you have a very high skill level as you have to practice hard to keep those levels*.
However, regaining a 'rusty' skill should take 1/3rd or less of the time it took you to reach the higher level originally as you do still know what to do, you just need to retrain and and pick up the fine details again.
If you don't use a skill over years, it might fade eventually to a 0.... but you'd likely always have the zero to avoid any 'no skill' penalties.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
Compiling a realistic list for the factors involved in evaluating skill level at any point of someone's career, or life, is probably too complex, but either is boosted or capped by current physical and intellectual abilities.

But as Olympic athletes tend to demonstrate, it's something to hone, then you peak physically or mentally.
 
Top