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Old August 20th, 2007, 06:21 PM
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Default How many skills should Traveller use?

The last Traveller (T4) had precisely 100 skills listed in it's book. There were probably more than that in T:TNE and MegaTraveller. T20, of course used the D20 template, and consequently had less, while GURPS:Traveller possibly had in excess of 200 skills overall to choose from.

Personally, I think this is too much. Many current systems manage to cope have as little as 20 (or less) skills outlined on the sheet. On the other hand, these systems are not necessarily skill-driven like Traveller is.

What is the right balance, and why?
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Old August 20th, 2007, 06:30 PM
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A lot of the feel will come from how skills are assigned, rather than how many there are.

But...

I think basic CT has too few skills to represent a full range of characters, though I liked the implied breadth of the skills themselves.

And, 100 skills may be okay, but much beyond that and I find myself lost.

So my lowerbound would be a bit over 35, and my upperbound would be perhaps a bit under 100.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 07:37 PM
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Just counted. Mega has 95 discrete skills, the vast majority of which appear somewhere in CT (but not the sciences, etc), most of which appear in one or more cascades. Note that, with individual weapons skills, ala CT, there's another 15+ alone.


I think the 100 limit is pretty decent, and that a range of 2-8 skills per term makes this work pretty well for CG. I also use a Skill Limit of Int+Edu, per late CT and MT... YMMV

In "Stock MT" there are 94, as I am including the errattaed in (in TD 15) Drop Capsule Operations. There are also 6 attribute reciepts.

(I'm tweaking away on my house rules, which add Charisma, Decorations, and a few odds and ends.)
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Old August 20th, 2007, 09:02 PM
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there is no particular limit to the game's skills list. if the ref or a player thinks a skill needs to be included then there's no reason why it can't be added.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 09:31 PM
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I think that an issue more important than the exact number, is that every skill should have an actual function. I was constantly annoyed by the CT skill "Navigator". No navigator skill, Nav-1 or Nav-6 made no difference in the official rules.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 01:14 AM
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MT Cured that... and a number of other oversights in CT.

Actually, CT's Navigation skill was used in a couple of adventures... dirtside. It was also required to write the Generate program.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 06:57 AM
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My homebrew rules (which are still in work) have 54 skills, which blossoms to 100 when you include all the cascades. And, the largest numbers of cascades are found in Ranged Combat, Melee Combat, Vehicles, and Academics.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 07:01 AM
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T4's 100 is my upper limit. I'd prefer to see that trimmed to about 80.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 07:53 AM
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My major beef with many systems out there is the way they mix up very broad skills, with very narrow skills.

For example, I have never understood how 'dodge' can ever be described as a skill. It's an instinct, not a skill! The skill is knowing how to avoid getting those situations where you need to dodge in the first place!

When I see skills like Astrophysics, Piloting or Surgery - I don't want them to be matched up against Cutlass, Pistol or Jump!

So, I guess my preference would be for fewer skills - but more accurately:

1) Have skill entrees for the types of thing that you could concievably obtain as skills in the real world: Academic skills (including languages, maths, science and humanities), professional skills (including driving, buying/selling or operating heavy machinery), and hobby skills (painting, sailing, whatever).

2) Present combat skills in the same context as other skills, not narrower. I'd be perfectly happy to just see just 'Personal Combat' (with Martial Art specialisation), and 'Firearms' as the sole combat skills in the whole game. I suppose you could then add things like explosives and heavy weaponry beyond that too. But looking at, say the Bourne movies for example, it's clear that real combat it much less defined in action than it is represented in many rpgs.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo View Post
...I don't want them to be matched up against Cutlass, Pistol or Jump!
I'm not sure what you mean by "Jump"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo View Post
2) Present combat skills in the same context as other skills, not narrower. I'd be perfectly happy to just see just 'Personal Combat' (with Martial Art specialisation), and 'Firearms' as the sole combat skills in the whole game. I suppose you could then add things like explosives and heavy weaponry beyond that too. But looking at, say the Bourne movies for example, it's clear that real combat it much less defined in action than it is represented in many rpgs.
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!

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.
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