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Old February 12th, 2019, 10:44 AM
jawillroy jawillroy is offline
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Default Jack of all blah blah blah again

I've been thinking in terms of JOT in CT lately; seeing discussions of its utility in multiple levels and so on.

I'm thinking of applying it in three layers, limited by time in some fashion.

1) PRE roll modifier.

OR

2) POST roll mulligan.

OR

3) Breaking the rules in some other way at a similar level.

By this I mean

1) JOT can be spent, separately or as a whole, in order to add to any given attempted task. This can be for a task the player doesn't have a skill in, or the burst of inspiration and ingenuity the skill represents can be applied to an area of expertise.

2) JOT can be spent, one point at a time, to re-roll an unfavorable roll: again, a burst of inspiration and ingenuity snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

3) JOT can be spent, one point at a time, to break some other rule or achieve some other end otherwise out of reach. Player, convince your Referee.

LIMITS:
The effects of JOT are limited by the level of the skill, per session (or, if significant time elapses in a session, per month? Maybe? Not sure here.) At the beginning of each new session (or month) expended JOT points are restored. (Or maybe a die roll to get one back? 8+? )

Thoughts? Trying to keep this simple, while making the skill meaningful and fun without making it too powerful. You know.
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Old February 12th, 2019, 01:44 PM
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I use the JoT skill as written, you can attempt anything that any other skill would allow.

The caveat is the JoT skill never grants a bonus DM of greater than +1 per skill level.

An engineer attempting to fix something drive related defaults to a bonus of +2 per level of engineering skill, a JoT attempt is limited to +1 per level of JoT skill.

Vacc suit skill can grant +4 per level of expertise, and once again a JoT character would only get +1 per level of expertise.
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Old February 12th, 2019, 02:41 PM
jawillroy jawillroy is offline
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Sigh.

I sometimes actually forget the literal text of those skill rules, mainly because I end up fudging them for the sake of consistency.

It's part of what made the UTP an attractive notion - but then the actual implementation of THAT seemed needlessly complex.

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Old February 12th, 2019, 04:20 PM
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Your idea is to effectively make JoT akin to a metagame currency...


it could be interesting to give it a spin and see what it plays like.
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Old February 12th, 2019, 04:25 PM
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I understand that this is a CT thread but for the sake of discussion of mechanics, I would point out how Mongose handles this:

1) if you are unskilled in a particular area, task attempts suffer a DM-3

2) each level of JoT provides a DM+1 on any unskilled task attempt

3) JoT is capped at 3 maximum, ie, a maximum unskilled DM+0

Since CT has a wide range of DMs/skill level adjustments for a wide range of skills, you could conceivably implement these rules or something similar for JoT and still be in the spirit of CT.
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Old February 13th, 2019, 10:21 AM
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I used to try and get complex with it, giving proper due to it's power and limits, but nowadays I just go with 'EverySkill-0, JOAT level is number of attempts that can be done with it on a particular task'.


Simplifies quite nicely, even the odd CT examples work out with that approach.


JOAT-1 DeadGyver- 'Er, this clothespin won't hold the reactor containment field in place like I thought, I got nothing' - BOOM.


JOAT-2 MaybeGyver- 'Clothespin didn't work out, but this engineer told me a story at a downport bar.... <tries again with reversing polarity on emergency scram port>.


One extra idea- you could require that the player describes what the attempt will be, and/or how they came by the odd bit of how-to.


A series of JOAT actions I recall in a scifi magazine short story series featured a MacGyver hero who knew how to do everything because he had written a bunch of how-to books. So, the player playing this character would have to tell what was being tried and what the book title was the idea was from.
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Old February 14th, 2019, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawillroy View Post
Thoughts? Trying to keep this simple, while making the skill meaningful and fun without making it too powerful. You know.
A while back, I just decided to remove it from play as such.

Nowadays, I only use the Unskilled -5 DM for NPCs and certain character types for whom it is appropriate (Medics and Gun Combat, for example, or Barbarians and anything involving TL2+). By default, "Adventurers" are assumed to be capable (more or less) larger-than-life heroes of the narrative, whose years of prior experience have prepared them to meet whatever challenges Travelling may throw at them. [Cue dramatic fanfare.]

This means most PCs are default Jot-1 IMTU. And they still fail ~40% of the time (trying to roll that 8+), but are seldom hesitant to at least try.

So what to do with the skill?

I use it in character creation, as follows: whenever it is rolled-up, I let the player select any skill or characteristic improvement that is normally available in that career, on any table in that career, even Advanced Education without the EDU prerequisite.

I figure it is some sort of cross-training, or temporary reassignment to address some exigency.

Furthermore, if the player can concoct an interesting-enough rationale to explain the backstory, I will let the character have any single skill or improvement available from any career for each JoT rolled.

This can produce wonderfully eccentric and highly personalized characters.

Then JoT itself never crops up during actual play, and everybody gets a chance to try something reckless every now and then, but nobody is constantly stealing the show.
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Old February 15th, 2019, 08:10 AM
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There is also an article in the JTAS that uses the skill as a DM on related skills only. You have Rifle-3, JOAT 1, so you could have related gun skills (and now I can't remember the relationship). So the skill just "fuzzes" your skills giving you a broader range (hmm, sort of like a heat map. now I want to map skills in some sort of Venn diagram, then apply JOAT...)

I brought the article into last weeks game as the 1 player with that skill does not know Traveller and prefers to think of it as a magic wand to let him do anything.
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Old April 21st, 2019, 03:00 PM
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As a noob to the rules, I see JoT as a coveted skill because unless you make it to "pension levels" you're just not going to have a well-rounded skill set. While you're not going to operate as efficiently as would would with the actual skills, you're far better off than being unskilled.
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Old April 22nd, 2019, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Shack View Post
As a noob to the rules, I see JoT as a coveted skill because unless you make it to "pension levels" you're just not going to have a well-rounded skill set. While you're not going to operate as efficiently as would would with the actual skills, you're far better off than being unskilled.
There are many approaches to using it...

as written in book 1, Jack at any level other than 1 is wasted.

Many GM's allowed it to apply as +1 per level to a maximum of 1 less than whatever the modifier for a rank 1 skill was. (note that some skills list tasks with +2 or more per level of skill...)

Those of us who adopted the DGP task system (later called the Traveller 2300 Task System, then the MegaTraveller Task system, with minor changes each), it was the number of retries before things got harder...
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