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Referee's Lounge Discussion of how to (and not to) Referee Traveller and Cepheus Engine games. No edition warring allowed.

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  #31  
Old June 26th, 2019, 04:28 PM
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Default Merchant Captian Alexander L. Jamison

I suppose I will give this a try. Please bear with me.

As I do this, you might need to see the character's backstory from the book. I don't want to change that. I just want to illustrate how these characteristic and skill points are used to generate a character. Again, Jamison will not have the same statistics using the system suggested above, and the one as written in the book.

He begins with 80 characteristic points. To keep the math simple, I will generate a character with the following statistics, 6,6,7,7,8,8. I will try to keep at least the priorities of the characteristics as they are listed in the book.

Str: 6 (cost: 6 points)
Dex: 7 (cost: 6+7 points)
End: 7 (cost 6+7 points)
Int: 8 (cost 6+7+8 points)
Edu: 6 (cost 6 points)
SS: 8 (cost 6+7+8) points

(total characteristic points spent: 80 points)

He gets four background skills: Ground Craft-1, Equestrian-1, Computer-1, Perception-1.

In his backstory, he is forced to enlist in the Merchants, and serves for five terms. Therefore, he spends (4x5=) 20 years in the service, and receives 20 points for skills.

In the book he chooses 14 skills other than the 4 listed above. To have these same 14 skills at a skill level-1 each, it costs him 14 skill points. He has (20-14=) 6 points left over.

He may spend the rest of these 6 points to raise three skills to level-2, and does so.

In the story in the book, he suffers aging. Dex-1. His Dexterity drops from Dex-7 to Dex-6. He gets 7 points "refunded" for this. He spends these "extra" points on skills. He spends 3 of these 7 points to raise one skill level from level-2 to level-3. The other 4 points he uses to raise two level-1 skills to level-2 skills.


Final character:

Merchant Captian Alexander L. Jamison:

UPP: 667868

Acting-1, Brawling-1, Carousing-1, Electronics-2, First-Aid-1, Ground Craft-1, Long Blade-1, Pilot-3, Trader-2, Administration-2, Broker-1, Computer-1, Equestrian-1, Forgery-1, Law-1, Perception-1, Pistol-2, Vacc Suit-1

I believe this is a very well balanced character. I believe it will allow a player to interact with T4's task system in such a way it will be both challenging and fun.

For example:
His best skill is Pilot-3. He has a Dexterity of 6. This gives him a target number for Pilot of 9.
An Average skill roll would be 2d6. He would be successful on a 9 or less, much better than a 50/50 chance. A Difficult skill roll would be 2.5d6. He would be successful on a 9 or less, or right at a 50/50 chance.

His best characteristic is Intelligence-8. Coupled with (one of) his best Intelligence-based skill of Electronics-2, gives him a target number for Electronics of 10.
An Average skill roll would be 2d6. He would be successful on a 10 or less, which is very probable. A Difficult skill roll would be 2.5d6. He would be successful on a 10 or less, or just over a 50/50 chance.

I did suggest the difficulty factor for the range bands be increased by one difficulty level.
With a Pistol-2, and a Dexterity-6, he would have a target number of 8. To shoot, (a snap attack,) someone at Contact range: 8 or less on 2d6, at Very Short range: 8 or less on 2.5d6, and at Short range: 8 or less on 3d6.
If he were wearing Flex armor, he would suffer a -2 penalty. This would make his snap attack chances at Contact range: 6 or less on 2d6, at Very Short range: 6 or less on 2.5d6, and at Short range: 6 or less on 3d6.

Last edited by ManOfGrey; June 26th, 2019 at 05:26 PM..
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  #32  
Old June 26th, 2019, 04:50 PM
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Assign 567789 to stats in the order you want.
Determine number of terms served.
Receive 4 points per term to spend (with optional bonus points for commission and promotion, career automatic skills or a bonus point if the career has no commission/promotion) - no characteristic can be raised by more than one per term served. A skill can be raised by two per term once, thereafter it can only increase by one per term.
So a term 1 character could have 1,1,1,1 or 2,1,1 or 2,2 in skills. Skill cap is thus terms served plus 1 - no skill will have a value higher than this, so a three term scout ace pilot can have no more than pilot 4 etc.

Failed aging rolls refund nothing - you lose the characteristic point(s).
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  #33  
Old June 26th, 2019, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManOfGrey View Post
You're right, his UPP would go up a bit, because of college and medical school. However, what I have failed to communicate is that in your example above, his Education does not go up by (+4+1+6) = 11. In the character generation system I am suggesting, these are characteristic points, and are also spent on a geometrically increasing scale. In the system I describe, his Education begins at 5. He has spent no more points on Education, (in fact you advised against it earlier.) It costs 6 points to bring up his Education to a value of 6. And he has 5 character points left over he can apply later to Education if he so chooses. After completing medical school, his UPP is 555D65.

Skills are also bought on the same geometrically increasing scale. Assuming he studied medicine all four years in college, he would graduate with 4 skill points in Medical. Assuming he then goes on to Medical School, and spends all four years continuing his study in Medicine, he has accumulated a total of 8 skill points in Medical. He spends the first on Medical-1, two more to bring his skill to Medical-2, and three more to bring his skill to Medical-3. This takes 6 skill points, he has 2 left over to use later. In the examples I talked about above, this qualifies him as a Physicians' Assistant. (Granted, with his Intelligence of 13, he's a damn good one! He would have a target number of 13+3 = 16.) However, it will take two more years of training, (i.e. two more skill points,) with his two left over from medical school to raise his skill to Medical-4, at which point he would qualify as a licenced medical doctor, for a total of 10 years of study. (And given his 13 Intelligence, he's got to be one of the best in the galaxy!)
Ok, then I missunderstood you, probably from your example in post #12, where you talk about how to achieve flight school, and I assumed this was mainly for stats, being the main asset in T4, wanting to balance hem among the players.

As for full point based CharGen, I've never been a big fan of them, asthey use to give clones if a player found the character he likes and it dies (or is to be used in another campaign).

I also like to have some random in CharGen because it forces players to accept weaknesses or strong points he has not chosen, something I find more challenging (and so more interesting). After all, no one of us haschosen his "stats" in real life.

OF course, that's again about my own tastes, and YMMV...

Just another point, the main stat for medical skill in T4 is EDU, not INT, so the INT 13 character you tell above will not be among the best doctors in the world (maybe the best medical investigator, as when dealing with unfamiliar situations, INT is used.
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  #34  
Old June 26th, 2019, 09:13 PM
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out-of-this-world stats
just to get some perspective on what the stats mean, suppose some 17 year old kid is the son of the local millionaire and captain of the high schooll football team and a straight A student - what would his stats be?
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Old June 26th, 2019, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by flykiller View Post
just to get some perspective on what the stats mean, suppose some 17 year old kid is the son of the local millionaire and captain of the high schooll football team and a straight A student - what would his stats be?
You still can't have everything. But... I might go with UPP of 875858. Of course he's the quarterback, and probably the Homecoming King as well. So, 8 Strength to pitch the ball, and 7 Dexterity when the offensive line doesn't quite do its job. But he only has an Endurance of 5, so he's no linebacker. He can't be roughed up too much. (He gets hit too many times, he'll be out of the game.) I would translate good grades into a good Intelligence. And good family is a good Social Standing... but hardly royalty.

Strength: 8 (6+7+8=21 points)
Dexterity: 7 (6+7=13 points)
Endurance: 5
Intelligence: 8 (6+7+8=21 points)
Education: 5
Social Standing: 8 (6+7+8=21 points)

Total = 76 points, with 4 left over.

Background skills:
Is he from a "high tech world?" If so, he gets Grav Craft-1, and Computer-1. And he has 4 more points to choose background skills. Oooo! He's on the football team! How about Throwing-1, Athletics-1, Perception-1, (he's the quarterback,) and Brawling-1? (It's been known to happen on the football field.)

So, I'm curious... what's his story now? He graduates high school. What does he do next? College?

You have only so many points. You have to budget. Should I have bought his Social Standing up at the sacrifice of Strength, so he has a better chance to get into Notre Dame? I don't know. We'll try it as is.

College: Prerequisite Education 4+
Admission: 5 or less, +1 if Int 8+, +1 if Soc 9+, +2 if Edu 9+. For this character his roll is 6 or less.

HA! I rolled a 5! Football scholarship!

Perseverance: 7 or less, +1 if End 8+, DM +2 if Int 8+. For this character his roll is 9 or less. Rolled an 8. He graduates!

Honors? 7 or less. (Interestingly, no DMs of any sort.) Rolled a 7 exactly.

College gives him 4 points for Education because he graduated, +1 point for Honors. He'll add 1 of the points he had left over from his characteristics, which brings his Education characteristic to 6.

He ages four years, and gets 4 points to spend on the skills list provided. Too bad that list doesn't include characteristics, otherwise I'd bring up his Endurance. But he still has 3 points left over from his characteristics. That's 7 total he has to spend.

Is he going to follow in Daddy's (or Mommy's) footsteps? (Whose the millionaire in the family?) He'll use 7 points to buy Law-3, and Instruction-1.

So far, he has a UPP of 875868, and his skills include Grav Craft-1, Computer-1, Throwing-1, Athletics-1, Perception-1, Brawling-1, Law-3, Instruction-1. He's just graduated college, and the future looks bright! Where does his career take him from here?


Regardless, the point is... he hasn't made the task system in T4 hiccup too badly. His Law roll is Edu+skill = 9. His Throwing roll is Dex+skill = 8. His Brawling roll is Str+skill = 9. These are not bad rolls. For an Average task, he has make those numbers or less on 2d6, and has a pretty good chance. For a Difficult task, he has to make those numbers or less on 2.5d6, and is running right at a 50/50 chance for each.

But with "only" a Law-3, don't hire him to get OJ Simpson or Jodi Arias off some murder rap. Would that be Staggering (3.5d6)? Or Impossible, (4d6)?

Last edited by ManOfGrey; June 27th, 2019 at 07:45 AM..
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Old June 27th, 2019, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flykiller View Post
just to get some perspective on what the stats mean, suppose some 17 year old kid is the son of the local millionaire and captain of the high schooll football team and a straight A student - what would his stats be?
Under the ManOfGrey point buy alternative system, he would not be a PC adventurer.

Just some rough statistics for 2D6 (attribute order is not critical) at age 18:

777777 = Joe Average ... top 50% of population.
C77777 = 1 person in 36 or about top 3% of 18 year old population.
CC7777 = about 1 person in 1,000.
CCC777 = about 1 person in 50,000.
CCCC77 = about 1 person in 2 million.
CCCCC7 = about 1 person in 60 million.
CCCCCC = about 1 person in 2 billion.

Remember that these numbers are the number of 18 year old people and not the total population.
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Old June 27th, 2019, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
I might go with UPP of 875858.
ok, so, athlete with endurance of 5, quarterback with a dexterity of 7, and straight A student with education of 5. got it. it's all about where you set the break points - in my system a 5 is just above a penalty of -1.

Quote:
777777 = joe average
well clearly that's not the case in the t4 system.

Quote:
CCCCCC
no problem, just run a CCCCCC adventure. I posted a thread proposing a game like that, didn't get much response.
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Old June 28th, 2019, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by flykiller View Post
ok, so, athlete with endurance of 5, quarterback with a dexterity of 7, and straight A student with education of 5. got it. it's all about where you set the break points - in my system a 5 is just above a penalty of -1.



well clearly that's not the case in the t4 system.



no problem, just run a CCCCCC adventure. I posted a thread proposing a game like that, didn't get much response.

I have no problem with there being either uber people as modeled or an uberperson campaign/milieu, can't do Doc Savage or a lot of Heinlein without those sort of stats. Just yes threat level commensurate with capability.


That's different then a min/max munchkin.


I go ahead and do a raw STAT-7 DM, no curve, because my view is that there ARE naturally talented people, and people that shouldn't pick up a gun or perform surgery. A CCCCCC is going to wreck most tasks, but that is where no skill hits combined with difficulty kicks in under most Traveller versions.
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  #39  
Old July 6th, 2019, 11:54 AM
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If high stats are such a problem in T4*, isn't it simpler to just limit the rolls the the Personal Development Table to one per term?

*Haven't noticed it in T5.
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