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  #11  
Old August 21st, 2007, 07:37 PM
far-trader far-trader is offline
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You're all wrong. Traveller only needs one skill...

Jack-of-all-Trades

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  #12  
Old August 21st, 2007, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Fritz_Brown View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by "Jump"?
I'm just using it as an example of a ridiculously narrow skill - yet it is present in many game systems.

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First, you're not really saying that you're basing your concepts on a movie, are you? That's just fiction, and should have no basis as the foundation for such a realistic game as Traveller! Next thing you know, you'll want to base things on science fiction novels or something!
I was using the Bourne films as a specific example, because they very much attempt to present violent situations in documentary-style, realistic fashion. the director, Paul Greengrass, who was nominated for an Oscar this year for Flight 93 (the 9/11 movie), was schooled in making documentaries before he began making movies, and it's very much his style.

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Actually, though, many firearms are very similar. I tried to draw distinctions (in my homebrew) based on operation (revolver v semiautomatic pistol), sighting concepts (a grenade launcher is different from a machine gun), major differences (plasma rifle v Marlin .22), etc.
For me, the skill in firearms is actually knowing all these differences between different guns, and how they can be selected for particular uses effectively, as well as their maintenance and so on. The act of actually just pointing a gun at a target is a minimal part of the firearms skills, I would argue.
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  #13  
Old August 21st, 2007, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Echo View Post
I was using the Bourne films as a specific example, because they very much attempt to present violent situations in documentary-style, realistic fashion.
So (just looking for an answer, not picking a fight) the Bourne films have nobody getting shot and the bullet kicking them off their feet? That'd be a refreshing change and realistic, but just from some of the car stunts I've seen in the previews, I don't see a lot of bowing at the altar of realism, just the usual Hollywood flash.
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  #14  
Old August 21st, 2007, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo View Post
For me, the skill in firearms is actually knowing all these differences between different guns, and how they can be selected for particular uses effectively, as well as their maintenance and so on. The act of actually just pointing a gun at a target is a minimal part of the firearms skills, I would argue.
I think anyone who shoots will tell you it's exactly the opposite. There's not much skill involved in figuring out which end to point and where the trigger is. The skill comes in spending long hours shooting, and the skill can go flat real fast without time on the firing range. Certainly there are differences in firing a handgun and a rifle, and some great shots with one are lousy with the other, even with ample target shooting. If you're looking for realism. Though of course that could just be personal experience and observation. Maybe for some it is as you say.

p.s. I think Traveller has usually applied Mechanical skill to the maintenance (and repair) of firearms. It is quite a separate skill from firing a weapon (which is I think what Traveller applies the weapon skill towards).
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  #15  
Old August 21st, 2007, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by far-trader View Post
So (just looking for an answer, not picking a fight) the Bourne films have nobody getting shot and the bullet kicking them off their feet? That'd be a refreshing change and realistic, but just from some of the car stunts I've seen in the previews, I don't see a lot of bowing at the altar of realism, just the usual Hollywood flash.
Seriously, ignore the trailers, and watch the movies.

I think you'll be in for a big surprise if you're just used to typical Hollywood action fare. This ain't your typical James Bond type thing - excepting, of course that the latest James Bond tried to imitate the same style, due to the success of the Bourne movies. The reason for the Bourne movies success was the 'realism' of it's style (suiting a post 9/11 audience).

In the case of Bourne being shot, one example in the second movie is where he takes it, moves on to a shop and has to get some alcohol to prevent the wound from getting infected. And the car chases were shot in realtime, btw, with cameras inside them. I ask you, when was the last time you saw an action hero only being able to kill someone through strangulation techniques, rather than a 'knockout blow', and making use of household items like pens and rolled up magazines (to create distance from the attacker)?
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Old August 21st, 2007, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by far-trader View Post
I think anyone who shoots will tell you it's exactly the opposite. There's not much skill involved in figuring out which end to point and where the trigger is. The skill comes in spending long hours shooting, and the skill can go flat real fast without time on the firing range. Certainly there are differences in firing a handgun and a rifle, and some great shots with one are lousy with the other, even with ample target shooting. If you're looking for realism. Though of course that could just be personal experience and observation. Maybe for some it is as you say.

p.s. I think Traveller has usually applied Mechanical skill to the maintenance (and repair) of firearms. It is quite a separate skill from firing a weapon (which is I think what Traveller applies the weapon skill towards).
Well, if I am trained in 'Physics' then what does that entail? It involves a broad range of knowledge and laboratory techiques that also need to be maintained (and updated) frequently to stay in good practice. It involves a circle of social contacts, and library use, that give you access to such things.

Stacking up against all of that, the idea of seperating Firearms into specific "aiming" skills for single types of gun, seems to be ridiculous. I'd like a 'Firearms' skill that broadly encompasses everything we've talked about (selection knowledge, access and contacts, use, maintenance and practice) all represented as '1 point per year of training'.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 09:40 PM
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It depends a bit on how many skills there are and how quickly they are gained of course. CT (basic) I allow more leeway with skills than later editions. The players have less to choose from and gain fewer overall so it's fair that each skill is interpreted more broadly imo.

For what it's worth, I've always allowed* routine maintenance of firearms to be covered by the shooting skill, just not advanced tinkering.

* but I don't presume to imagine the player is doing it unless they say so, just a heads up for a certain bunch here-abouts

Personally I've always liked skill-trees, with the one from Shadowrun being not too bad an example of "feeling" right.
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  #18  
Old August 22nd, 2007, 06:34 AM
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Well, Echo, some aiming techniques are totally different: grenade launchers (like Mk19s) require an ability to lob at certain distances (and a realization that there's a minimum range) which you would never get with a rifle or handgun.
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  #19  
Old August 22nd, 2007, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fritz_Brown View Post
Well, Echo, some aiming techniques are totally different: grenade launchers (like Mk19s) require an ability to lob at certain distances (and a realization that there's a minimum range) which you would never get with a rifle or handgun.
In support of Echo’s opinion, repairing firearms, repairing helicopters and repairing hydraulic mining equipment shares nothing in common except the a character with the “mechanic-1” skill can do all three.

As you are probably aware, real life soldiers train in a variety of weapons including assault rifles with grenade launchers. It does not take 2 years of training to teach a soldier to operate an assault rifle followed by another two years to teach him to use the grenade launcher. Even CT eventually recognized that someone could easily be trained in a broad variety of weapons and introduced the “combat rifleman” skill.

Echo apparently feels that many “skills” cover a broad range of experiences, while “weapon skills” seem to be disproportionately narrow in their scope. I find merit in that opinion (although I would probably not go so far as to combine all firearms into a single skill.

IN MY OPINION, to balance a skill like “rifle” with skills like “mechanical” or “pilot”, would require that the character knows everything that there is about that weapon, including repair of the weapon and reloading ammo. If “rifle” is to represent only the ability to aim and fire the weapon, then the skill needs to be broadened to include all related weapons – like “combat rifleman”.

I could see a case for three gun/laser/gauss weapon skills:
“one handed guns” (pistols, revolvers, gauss pistols, laser pistols, and any other pistol-like weapon);
“two handed guns” (shotgun, rifle ACR, auto rifle, laser rifle, carbine and any other rifle-like weapon);
“full auto guns” (SMG, MG, VRF Gauss guns, and any other weapon designed to “spray” an area).
While each of the weapons “aims and fires” a little different, a case could be made for basic familiarity with all of the weapons in the group and some overlap in how the weapon is used. Is shooting a rifle SO different from shooting a carbine that a Carbine marksman and a first time shooter would fire a Rifle with equal skill? That’s what CT Book 1 says.
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  #20  
Old August 22nd, 2007, 11:23 AM
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Well, if I am trained in 'Physics' then what does that entail?
Good point. I would suggest that a reasonable approach would be to give some vague guidelines about how to generalize what a 'skill' means. Some one with Physics clearly would know Mathematics as well, but not as well as a true math guy. The person would also have some skill in research, writing, etc. Said person probably also took chemistry and biology in school as part of his/her science degree. I don't necessarily want to have to list out every little skill my character has.

A low tech example would be Sailing (water craft). I don't want to have to learn sailing, AND knot tying (unless I want to indicate some form of specialty in that field--ie bing a rigger).

The T4 approach to fire arms is reasonable, I think. Really you only need to develop one type (effectively your specialty). And the rest just come along.

If I remember, MT had a lot of skills that functioned as others at some negative modifier. Eg. Recon could function as sensor opps -1. I think that was a good approach to allowing a large range of skills, but not requiring everyone to be purchased...
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