Citizens of the Imperium

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-   -   Aspects of Jack-O-Trades skill use (

Sifu Blackirish January 10th, 2020 09:05 PM

Aspects of Jack-O-Trades skill use
Jack of all Trades is a nebulous skill, and deserves further analysis. I have decided that any character who takes JOT skill must declare a specialization upon receipt. This is presented as an aid in role play, not necessarily the only interpretation.

= boost levels in skill you have lev 3 = SKILL MASTERY
We have all met that person who seems to be the specialist. Whatever system he controls, he is aware of the obscure details. Shortcuts, vulnerabilities, advantages.
JOT skill level = research/educ bonus

= free retry after task fail lev 3 = RESOURCEFUL
He can look at the pieces left over after a failed project and suggest alternatives. His insight can restore a critical project to active status by providing valuable forensic evidence.
JOT skill level = interrogation/educ bonus

= eliminate no expertise penalty lev 3 = RENAISSANCE MAN
Certainly not an expert, but seems to know the basics of a wide variety of tasks. He is a utility infielder, ready to provide emergency support or a stable long term backup worker.
JOT skill level = brownie point

ShawnDriscoll January 11th, 2020 03:46 AM

Mongoose Traveller's take on JoaT works the best for me.

mike wightman January 11th, 2020 05:11 AM

I find the original version in CT 77 to be the best.

kilemall January 13th, 2020 11:22 AM

No negative DM, skill level equals number of retries.

boomslang January 14th, 2020 03:32 AM

An alternative I have been allowing recently is to remove J-O-T from the game as a skill, and make it solely a customizable part of character generation.

If a player rolls J-O-T during CharGen, I take it as an opportunity to let the player deliberately pick a skill (or UPP improvement) from those available in the character's career service template.

And if the player can come up with an interesting-enough backstory, I am willing to let the character use J-O-T to (instead) take a level in any one particular skill available in the game, regardless of career path; player's choice.

This really opens up possibilities for NPCs, too.

"Why yes, I do indeed have Bribery-2; how else do you think a Navy Fighter Pilot avoids hazard duty and lives long enough to not only make Admiral, but do so at the tender age of 42?" And so on...

I think this option can give players more ownership of their otherwise largely-random characters, while keeping J-O-T (as an ersatz "skill") from unbalancing game play between the superstar characters that might have it and the ordinary Joes that unfortunately do not.

HanleyTucks January 23rd, 2020 02:50 AM

That's an interesting take, Boomslang, I like it.

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