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  #11  
Old October 28th, 2008, 08:34 AM
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The skill limitation rule does exist in The Traveller Book, Page 28, "Maximum Skills" under the Other Skills heading. It is also found on page 16 of the Starter Traveller Rules Booklet.

It is not in the printing of Book 1 found in the Books 0-8 Classic Reprint series.

It seems apparent to me that the rule was added around the time that the K'Kree alien module came out but was intended for general use. Since I KNOW we were using it before that, as I had a few characters get stiffed out of skills by it, I am wondering if it was mentioned at some point in the Journal.

In any event, I think it was a bad idea. One way to portray humans as being more adaptable than other races, which would help explain why they are the dominant species, would be to allow them more skills. We never felt that CT characters had enough skills.

I'm glad this rule doesn't exist in MGT as I feel it is unneccesarily restrictive.

Allen
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  #12  
Old October 28th, 2008, 05:26 PM
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I like the Experience cap. Used to be, I was like some of you, and I rejected it. But, that was years ago. Now, I understand why it is needed (it's more of a mechanical thing).

And, it definitely should be used in a Classic Traveller game (and in MGT) for mechanical reasons.
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  #13  
Old October 28th, 2008, 07:53 PM
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I have to disagree.

If you roll and keep characteristics it isn't unusual to end up with a low Int+Edu score. This should not stop someone from being able to pick up skills - the low stat should be enough of a handicap in play.

Do you allow characters to swap new skills for old if they go above their cap during generation?

Or downgrade a skill to a lower level so a new skill can be earned (this may actually work as a way to give level 0 skills "I was trained in it but it's so long since I used it...."

Hmm...
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Old October 28th, 2008, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
...the low stat should be enough of a handicap in play.
Ah, but how is a low Int or Edu a handicap in CT? It really isn't without the skill limit. Perhaps it is a small handicap in other rules but even in those I'll bet physical stats are much more important and any handicap from having low mental stats in much less important.

While a low physical stat is a serious handicap Int and Edu without the skill total limit factor are not much of a penalty (just the Advanced Edu 8+ table).

For example, if rolling stats randomly (not applying rolls as desired) a character with low physical stats and good mental stats might have the advantage of more skills to offset the lower combat survival which balances well with a character with good physical stats and low mental stats who will have fewer skills but better combat survival.

And the same thing works (even better) if you allow players to apply rolls as desired. Without the skill limit I bet most players will put their high scores in physical stats first.

I'm not arguing for one or the other, that'll depend on the individual game. I will say the reason for it seems sound and that it came out of the Advanced Char Gen (and I will argue that it does produce more skills than Basic Char Gen, though that is balanced some by the wider range of skills).
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  #15  
Old October 28th, 2008, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by far-trader View Post
I'm not arguing for one or the other, that'll depend on the individual game. I will say the reason for it seems sound and that it came out of the Advanced Char Gen (and I will argue that it does produce more skills than Basic Char Gen, though that is balanced some by the wider range of skills).
But it didn't. As Gruffty's research shows, it's first appearance was in a alien module. It's first appearance as a core rule was in The Traveller Book, neither of which had anything to do with the advanced character generation rules.

Allen
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  #16  
Old October 28th, 2008, 10:11 PM
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Playing a game with Book 1 characters with e.g. three skills at 1 or 2, or playing one with Book 4-6 characters with six to ten skills at 1 to 5, is almost like playing with two different skill systems.

In the first instance, as IIRC atpollard once put it, a skill is almost like a whole profession. It comes with a number of unstated attached competences. E.g., VaccSuit-1 can be taken to mean you know something about zero-G cargo handling. Use of the skill (some of them, anyway) is a matter of communication and/or RPing. You make a case to the GM for why your VaccSuit skill should matter here.

You meet an alien species. There's no skill for that in Book 1 -> roleplay it.

In the second case, the greater the total number of skills available and the higher their typical levels, the more glaring the absence of those skills which the PCs *don't* have, and sometimes, the more limited their leeway to make up for it by RPing.

Books 5/6 introduce Carousing and Liaison, hence govern areas by skill rolls that used to be undefined, and therefore used to be a matter of RPing. And given there are now four different socializing skills (Streetwise, Admin, Carousing, Liaison), PCs won't necessarily get better at socializing.

All of which is to say... I think... that whether you want a skillcap or not is a function of what you think a skill system is or should be: a few broad skills, or a larger number of finely grained ones? More RPing or more die rolling? More objective, rules-defined PC competences, or more to-and-fro with the GM?

Personally, I'm fine with either method, but both GM and players should be aware which one they're using.
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  #17  
Old October 28th, 2008, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by far-trader View Post
I'm not arguing for one or the other, that'll depend on the individual game. I will say the reason for it seems sound and that it came out of the Advanced Char Gen (and I will argue that it does produce more skills than Basic Char Gen, though that is balanced some by the wider range of skills).
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Originally Posted by Allensh View Post
But it didn't. As Gruffty's research shows, it's first appearance was in a alien module. It's first appearance as a core rule was in The Traveller Book, neither of which had anything to do with the advanced character generation rules.

Allen
You misunderstand, I think. Yes Gruffty showed when it appeared in print. Though that may have little to do with when it was introduced. I beleive the idea may have been talked about in response to feedback on the rise in skills in advanced char gen. That's what I meant above.

That it was not applied logically or equally is probably the result of (notorious imo) sloppy editing and/or consistency. Not some purposeful application designed to make only certain career gen adhere to it and not others.

As far as applying it equally to basic and advanced char gen, it's a moot point. I don't think I've ever had it an issue in basic char gen (well maybe once with some really low mental stats). But it has been an issue with more than a few advanced char gen characters even with average stats (and at least one with above average).

And I will reiterate that the idea seems sound from a game rule point. It brings some balance to the stats...

...all except the classic dump stat of Soc of course

The rule is probably less necessary for MGT as it does use stat bonuses, as long as it treats the stats fairly* (not equally mind you, which is the way I suspect they went). I am curious if Soc is still a dump stat in MGT

* as in how many skills use each stat compared to the others? And how much do the physical stats count for beyond skills? And do the non-physical stats count for anything beyond skills. Fairly would see a balancing factor where a stat with few applicable skills would count for more, while a stat that counts for more than just skills would count less. Equally would just say "stat bonus = x for y" no matter which stat. But that's all probably less here than there.
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  #18  
Old October 28th, 2008, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allensh View Post
The skill limitation rule does exist in The Traveller Book, Page 28, "Maximum Skills" under the Other Skills heading. It is also found on page 16 of the Starter Traveller Rules Booklet.
The Traveller Book is originally from 1982, so this was on their minds two years before the K'kree book.
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  #19  
Old October 29th, 2008, 03:52 AM
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Int and Edu are used during game play.

Int acts as the cap to the Edu you can train through correspondance courses, and for a better reason than that look at the introduction to The Traveller Adventure where the idea of characteristic rolls to determine "task resolution" gets its first outing.

Int and Edu become quite important for such tasks in such a technological setting.

Int appears to govern reasoning, logic and perception - while Edu governs general knowledge, basic schooling etc.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 04:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by far-trader View Post
Ah, but how is a low Int or Edu a handicap in CT? It really isn't without the skill limit. Perhaps it is a small handicap in other rules but even in those I'll bet physical stats are much more important and any handicap from having low mental stats in much less important.

While a low physical stat is a serious handicap Int and Edu without the skill total limit factor are not much of a penalty (just the Advanced Edu 8+ table).
See previous post - I really should read through stuff before starting to type lol

Quote:
For example, if rolling stats randomly (not applying rolls as desired) a character with low physical stats and good mental stats might have the advantage of more skills to offset the lower combat survival which balances well with a character with good physical stats and low mental stats who will have fewer skills but better combat survival.

And the same thing works (even better) if you allow players to apply rolls as desired. Without the skill limit I bet most players will put their high scores in physical stats first.
I like this argument for it, and it is reasonable, I just find the combat system in Traveller to be so deadly that physical stats don't make that much difference - if you are in a firefight it is skill and luck that aids your survival (and not getting hit).
Even melee combat is quite unforgiving in CT, but at least you get to try and defend yourself

Quote:
I'm not arguing for one or the other, that'll depend on the individual game. I will say the reason for it seems sound and that it came out of the Advanced Char Gen (and I will argue that it does produce more skills than Basic Char Gen, though that is balanced some by the wider range of skills).
Can't argue with that

Still don't like the skill cap though, and I like to give players a few more skills in my house rules (using MT add ons) - it averages to 4 per term but is front loaded (they also get lots of lvl 0 skills).

I may try the skill cap again and allow players to downgrade skill lvls or select lvl 0 skills if they reach their skill cap - just to see how it plays out.
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