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Imperial Interstellar Scout Service Details of the worlds of the Imperium (and beyond).

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  #1  
Old June 18th, 2015, 04:33 AM
kilemall kilemall is offline
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Default Scout Culture

I am always on the lookout to define differentiation in tech and locations and SPAAACE and orgs and people, as a way to get across something is different and unique.

And there are few RPG orgs more unique then Traveller's Scout Service. Deliberately no hierarchy and a 'one problem one scout' training and mentality, good stuff.

So I have come up with a couple Scout Culture items so far to hit my players up. I think they are generic enough for any version with Scouts to use, and hopefully it will spark discussion on other items I can use in return.
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Old June 18th, 2015, 04:46 AM
kilemall kilemall is offline
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Default Reaction Rolls

Using the personal reaction rolls for NPCs, normally you would get/give some clues as to which way an NPC is regarding you (most often a 'you are hired/get out of here' reaction to employment). Some will hide their reaction just as a way to 'get along', professionalism, rank deferment, or to avoid consequences and do harm/good later.

But it occurred to me that Scouts have to be able to assemble teams quickly of disparate personalities and skill sets, is working on a budget where there likely IS no one else but the hastily built team, and there is no time to build a rapport or smooth over things, and a lack of liaison as a priority skill set.

So, I decided Scouts have a culture of telling people EXACTLY how they feel about each other right then and then insist on working out how they were going to deal with each other's issues, which is very jarring to business people, military hierarchies, and 'polite' society in general.

This would translate to an immediate reveal of the reaction roll results on a roleplay basis, and a possible reroll based on player reaction during the 'how are we going to deal' part of the protocol.

This is so team gelling issues are dealt with ASAP, or at least will be open and dealt with one way or another.

Scouts will only reflexively do this in 'professional' situations, in personal situations the scout might act as they do on the job, or react with their offduty persona appropriate to the social venue.

This training and behavioral habit caused the saying 'as up front as a Scout' to enter the general lexicon. Others say 'rude as a Scout'.

There may also be people who prefer dealing with candor, or avoid dealing with Scouts in general due to the discomfort and sometimes problems this protocol generates.

Last edited by kilemall; June 19th, 2015 at 08:01 PM..
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Old June 18th, 2015, 04:52 AM
kilemall kilemall is offline
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Default Detached Duty Ships

The Scout Service does not in general award through rank, power, or great wealth, but it does have the detached duty Scout ship benefit, a cheap entree to interstellar freedom and adventure.

The trick is, not all surplus Type S are created equal.

Your scout might get a very shipshape latest model surplus item (greatly in demand due to comforts or latest tech capabilities of secondary systems), or may be handed the oldest 60 year old model.

With most campaigns with the full TL15 range, the higher tech ships would be rare and prized assignments, while the TL9 grungy economy version is more typical and to be avoided.

So, the continuing battle inherent in the main Scout force vs. the support bureaucracy can continue after retirement, with favor shown to Scouts that please the hierarchy by getting premium ships, while those out of favor get the backend of the lot no one wants.
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Old July 5th, 2015, 02:01 AM
Godi Godi is offline
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So, I decided Scouts have a culture of telling people EXACTLY how they feel about each other right then and then insist on working out how they were going to deal with each other's issues, which is very jarring to business people, military hierarchies, and 'polite' society in general.


I think that is a very apt description of a Scout's attitude. I see them like John McClane in the Die Hard movies. What ever the task at hand is they'll get it done. It might not be pretty but it'll definitely be spectacular.
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Old July 12th, 2015, 08:20 PM
Drakon Drakon is offline
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Default How I see it

Scouts are used to small crew. A typical scout starship has a 4 man crew and each member has a specific job. This would strongly color a scout's temprement. In an opposite way to someone who has always worked inside of large organizations.

Small group dynamics are different from large groups. Small groups can afford greater familiarity. This does not scale up to large groups simply due to limitations on human memory. Its tougher remembering everything you need to know about 100 people than it is for 10, or less.

Also, due to the tight quarters and limited resources, including air. Someone either "earns their air" or they are dead weight, "cargo". Useless people are looked down up. This is an attitude common to most space fairers, belters and freetraders.

Also, scouts are used to doing so much with so little, they have a reputation for doing the impossible with nothing. Many scouts are reluctant to openly contradict this stereotype.
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Old July 12th, 2015, 10:41 PM
BlackBat242 BlackBat242 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drakon View Post
Scouts are used to small crew. A typical scout starship has a 4 man crew and each member has a specific job.
Actually, in such small crews there is a requirement for everyone to have at least some ability to do the other crewmembers' jobs - at the least to function as an effective assistant.

Scout work is supposed to be a dangerous profession - having only one crewmember that can do a specific job would guarantee death for everyone if that person is killed. Thus there is always at least two that can pilot, or navigate, or operate/repair the computer/jump drive/etc.

That is why Scouts commonly have Jack of All Trades skill - so they can do more than just one job well.

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Originally Posted by Drakon View Post
In an opposite way to someone who has always worked inside of large organizations.
Yes - only in large ships can you afford to have rigid specialization and strong lines of "that is not your job, go away" - the crew size means that there are several people who can do that (and only that) job, and therefore the loss of a couple does not mean disaster for everyone else.
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Old July 12th, 2015, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by kilemall View Post
oldest 60 year old model
Only 60? That's just barely paid off, like an 8 year old car.

Double that age, convert it to a Seeker. Convert it *back*. Belly land it a time or two.

Now we're talking.
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Old July 12th, 2015, 11:50 PM
Drakon Drakon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBat242 View Post
Actually, in such small crews there is a requirement for everyone to have at least some ability to do the other crewmembers' jobs - at the least to function as an effective assistant.

Scout work is supposed to be a dangerous profession - having only one crewmember that can do a specific job would guarantee death for everyone if that person is killed. Thus there is always at least two that can pilot, or navigate, or operate/repair the computer/jump drive/etc.

That is why Scouts commonly have Jack of All Trades skill - so they can do more than just one job well.
True. There is a lot of cross training. Its not so much a matter of having a specific individual for a specific job, but that the crews are designed that everyone has to do their job. The crewman who is slacking off, not getting their work done, not "earning their air" will end up grounded. Scout services are dangerous, and there is no room for goldbrickers.

Quote:
Yes - only in large ships can you afford to have rigid specialization and strong lines of "that is not your job, go away" - the crew size means that there are several people who can do that (and only that) job, and therefore the loss of a couple does not mean disaster for everyone else.
More than that, there are more layers of command to go through, and more need for a hierarchal structure. Scanner techs and sensor techs may be two different divisions, who report to the navigation or gunnery departments. Techs and operators may be different divisions aboard a larger ship.

With a more hierarchal structure, the higher degree of stratification, the more importance rank becomes, the more an organization has to rely on formalities and customs.

Scouts salutes differ from Naval salutes.

You are correct that Scouts would be more "Jack of All Trades" than big ship Navy. Although cross training requirements would be more stringent for scouts, any space farer should have some training outside their specailties. Crew size will determine the culture and dynamics of the individual crewmembers with respect toward each other.
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------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Spin 2313 Echiste C53A313-A
MCG Final Victory @ Emerald----------------------------------------------------Corr 1806 Lemish A79568C-C
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Old July 13th, 2015, 06:58 AM
Condottiere Condottiere is offline
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A group of ex-Scouts might be like the Expendables.

I think that only two types survive in the Scouts, team players and those the team deem too valuable to frag yet.
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Old July 13th, 2015, 07:13 AM
kilemall kilemall is offline
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Well, what other scout culture idiosyncracies that translate into 'you are dealing with scouts' concrete behavior and attitudes?
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