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  #31  
Old July 17th, 2017, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Chaos View Post
There is such a thing as "diminishing returns".

It doesnīt take Joe Average a long time to realize that itīs a bad idea to stick a lit match into the gas tank to see if thereīs still fuel in there. Or to learn not to try and shake someone with cervical spine injuries awake. Or not to deposit his important files in the paper bin thingy on the desktop.

How long do you think it should take to learn the basics - checking and refilling oil and coolant, checking and replacing the battery, checking tire pressure and changing tires? Thatīs the sort of thing that makes up Mechanic-0, and for the vast majority of situations, it makes it a lot easier to deal with what might arise. Unless your car is very old, you skimp on regular maintenance (by someone with Mechanic-1 or better) or have an accident, Mechanic-0 will see you through most of what happens with your car.

Likewise with Computer. Computer-0 is all a computer user who isnīt in IT is going to need most of the time.
Or with Medic. Medic-0 makes one HELL of a difference in keeping accident victims stable until the ambulance arrives.
Itīs like that with most skills. It doesnīt really take that much learning to make that first big difference.
Aww heck.
I swore I was just going to walk away, but people keep posting and kicking it back up on today's posts ... sticking it in my face.

This is not how skills actually work in CT (or MgT1ed, or I assume CE).

(A negotiation goes sideways and the bad guys place a SMG burst into the grill of your car.) Those percentages are the chances of a character with each of the levels of skill from non-proficient (8%) to skill-2 (72%) of performing the exact same task and getting the vehicle running so you can drive back to town.

Computer skill works the same ... it is the chance of the same security hack to get the data or repair to the starship computer during battle.

Medic likewise, non-prof to skill-2 are all attempting to treat a GSW with different odds of success ... almost 42% with just skill-0 and 58% with skill-1.

The task attempted is not generally limited by the level of the skill. It is a feature that I like in the game. The player/character can attempt anything.

I honestly couldn't care less about gaining or not gaining the extra skill-0, I just thought that the OP made an interesting observation and everyone was being too quick to dismiss it as ridiculous. It actually has statistical merit.

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[Ha! IMTU it wouldn't matter because I grant ALL the service skills from your branch at skill-0 just from exposure during your term of service.]
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  #32  
Old July 17th, 2017, 04:32 PM
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The task attempted is not generally limited by the level of the skill. It is a feature that I like in the game. The player/character can attempt anything.
YES! I agree 100%!

Apart from tasks requiring highly specialized technical knowledge (such as surgery or fixing a burned-out M-Drive), characters should be able to do anything: negotiate, deceive, sneak, search, climb, run, figure out alien contraptions, distract guards, and so on. Most of these you can do with your characteristics without skills, and the skills add a bonus to rolls if present.

Never underestimate the usefulness of EDU which is essentially a "general skill" which covers all sorts of knowledge-related capabilities.

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Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
[Ha! IMTU it wouldn't matter because I grant ALL the service skills from your branch at skill-0 just from exposure during your term of service.]
As in MGT1 and CE chargen :-) Which I use.
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  #33  
Old July 17th, 2017, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Leitz View Post
Most learning is self-learning. An instructor can accelerate sometimes and at higher levels you find other feedback loops. Requiring an Instructor for everything seems to not meet logic.

Really it seems to be a question of game balance and there really isn't any such beast.
Hope you didn't think I was 'requiring' an Instructor, just that it was an avenue for skill improvement that is as 'canon' as the original LBB improvement section.

Been looking at this whole question closely as the skill chargen counts in CT can be wildly different depending on whether one goes with original, S4 and/or LBB4+.

The non-ranked careers in S4 can particularly generate some weakly skilled characters.

Also, been looking at that whole mechanic about some skills being over-generalized/powerful and others very specific. The rate and nature of skill acquisition is a central question to answer to settle approaches.

One could argue this is CE, but it's based near as I can tell on a bit of a throwback to CT. I haven't looked that closely at CE, does it create relatively balanced characters? It certainly cuts out a lot of 'free starship'.

The instructor mechanic fits very well into CT in time cost without the LBB4+ chargen IMO, explains the promotion skill as extra training/duties the rank requires for new duties.

But it should be tough to do, for example the difficulty of getting skills in general and particularly that 70k skill-2 sabbatical. Costly in time and expense to choose a skillset rather then the 'random' demands/opportunities of the generating career.
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  #34  
Old July 17th, 2017, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by kilemall View Post
Hope you didn't think I was 'requiring' an Instructor, just that it was an avenue for skill improvement that is as 'canon' as the original LBB improvement section.

Been looking at this whole question closely as the skill chargen counts in CT can be wildly different depending on whether one goes with original, S4 and/or LBB4+.

The non-ranked careers in S4 can particularly generate some weakly skilled characters.

Also, been looking at that whole mechanic about some skills being over-generalized/powerful and others very specific. The rate and nature of skill acquisition is a central question to answer to settle approaches.

One could argue this is CE, but it's based near as I can tell on a bit of a throwback to CT. I haven't looked that closely at CE, does it create relatively balanced characters? It certainly cuts out a lot of 'free starship'.

The instructor mechanic fits very well into CT in time cost without the LBB4+ chargen IMO, explains the promotion skill as extra training/duties the rank requires for new duties.

But it should be tough to do, for example the difficulty of getting skills in general and particularly that 70k skill-2 sabbatical. Costly in time and expense to choose a skillset rather then the 'random' demands/opportunities of the generating career.

If people actually read CE, rather than go on about how things are done in CT, they would know that there are a number of differences between CT & CE wrt character generation.

CE character generation is more or less a clunkier version of the MT basic character generation. The major difference is the replacement of the Special Duty Roll with adding skill rolls with rank advancement.

In my version of CE, I've stripped that out and added a Professional Training Roll. It should give roughly 1.35 skills per term (vs. 1.4 per term using the Annual Generation System from CT/MT/MgT/HG SRD).

On pg 57, there is a paragraph labeled:

Gaining New Skill Levels during Game Play.

It is poorly thought out, in my opinion (which is why I chucked it from "Call of MegaCepheus Engine" and replaced it with a better one), but it does exist.
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  #35  
Old July 18th, 2017, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by sfchbryan View Post
If people actually read CE, rather than go on about how things are done in CT, they would know that there are a number of differences between CT & CE wrt character generation.

...

On pg 57, there is a paragraph labeled:

Gaining New Skill Levels during Game Play.

It is poorly thought out, in my opinion (which is why I chucked it from "Call of MegaCepheus Engine" and replaced it with a better one), but it does exist.
I've read the Character stuff in CE, and that specific paragraph, before. Like you, I already chucked it. However, I'm not sure we're on the same page about the relevance of CT.

The editable version of CE lets you edit. I do. The "to what" is based on what I am looking for and CT fills that model in some ways. There are some MgT 1e things I like and they will probably make it into the draft. As far as I'm concerned the CT/MgT/CE stuff I have is all draft for the games I want to play in and run.
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  #36  
Old July 18th, 2017, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by kilemall View Post
Hope you didn't think I was 'requiring' an Instructor, just that it was an avenue for skill improvement that is as 'canon' as the original LBB improvement section.
I may have made that error as storms were coming in and I rushed more than necessary yesterday. You're right, an instructor really does help and is an avenue of improvement.

In the game I'm running there's a character who is former Army/Pirate and becoming a businessman. There are often references to a classic "intro to business" text in the game.

[Wardn 208.043.2245L] Trevile District

Ben was point, Grishom was tail, Angelo was in the middle. The car was a block and a half away with the engine running and Ben's ear bud kept him listening to Jones and Pace in the air.

At one point half a dozen groufers started to block their way but something in Ben's walk made them back off quickly. They were easily up the stairs and smelling Trelaine's small fire.

There was a reek of alcohol and body odor. Angelo stepped through followed by Ben and Grishom. A mostly dressed teen girl was in the corner and a heaving blubberous man with stringy gray hair was filling the rickety couch. Ben could see the resemblance to Trelaine in the girl's face, and the pain on the gangster's face.

"I'm Mister Aragon." The older man said. "The lad here said you might have an interest in information? Or do your tastes run otherwise?" He snapped his fingers and the girl moved forward. "Perhaps I can offer you a bit of pleasure before we do business?"

Angelo smiled as the girl came to him. She stumbled but caught herself and her loose clothing failed to hide much.

"A very delightful offer, Mister Aragon." Angelo nuzzled the girl's ear for a moment. As she reached for the clasp on her top he gently stroked her thin arm.

Ben saw a tear run down Trelaine's cheek.

"What do you want from Trevile District?" Aragon said. His chest exploded through the back of the couch. A second round caught his throat and severed almost the entire fat neck.

Ben and Grishom had their guns out and ready. Trelaine pulled his old warhorse and stood up. The muzzle was less than a meter from Angelo's head.

Ben saw Angelo holster his weapon, still holding the girl close. "All of it." Angelo said quietly.

Angelo turned to face Trelaine. The big bore was steady on Angelo's forehead. He lifted the girl's arm. "I have few scruples, Mister Trelaine. Five, actually. Number three on the list is chemical enslavement. I don't like it."

"Who are you!" Trelaine shouted. "Who is he?" He implored Ben.

"I'm Angelo Domici, Mister Trelaine. I teach intro to business at a small college. You should check it out some time. We use Zonervan's text, you might find chapter thirty four particularly enlightening. It deals with hostile takeovers."
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Old July 18th, 2017, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Leitz View Post
I've read the Character stuff in CE, and that specific paragraph, before. Like you, I already chucked it. However, I'm not sure we're on the same page about the relevance of CT.

The editable version of CE lets you edit. I do. The "to what" is based on what I am looking for and CT fills that model in some ways. There are some MgT 1e things I like and they will probably make it into the draft. As far as I'm concerned the CT/MgT/CE stuff I have is all draft for the games I want to play in and run.
I guess it is a matter of perspective - I see people trying to saddle CE with the same shortcomings of CT. If you look at the retro-clones of D&D, the developers are fixing things that either were broken, or weren't emphasized enough, in their view. Nor were they limiting themselves to just the 0e version.

When I look at (MgT/CE) Character Generation - I see MT, not CT. The same can be said for the task system (albeit both of the Mgt/CE versions are clunkier than what was in MT).

My goal for "Call of MegaCepheus Engine" (I agree with my playtest group, it needs a better name.) is a Player's Manual, a Referee's Manual and a Setting source book. That followed by adventures facing off against the Eldritch horrors that await the characters.

I am culling OGL content from both Mongoose and 3rd party Traveller OGL content as well as OGL content from other SRDs that I feel adds to the game.
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Old July 19th, 2017, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by sfchbryan View Post
I guess it is a matter of perspective - I see people trying to saddle CE with the same shortcomings of CT. If you look at the retro-clones of D&D, the developers are fixing things that either were broken, or weren't emphasized enough, in their view. Nor were they limiting themselves to just the 0e version.
I started to get involved in a retro-clone OSR thing. Interesting ideas but I'm less concerned with the level system than I used to be. I'm also, and this may be why we look at things a little differently, not too far along the path of re-doing CE into whatever I need it to be. Part of the difference may be that I'm speaking from ideas, not months of practice. Most of my focus is on what I need for the next bit of the game. That means there are lots of things I have given no thought to. Soon I may need to look at ship construction because that seems to be where the game is heading.

I may ask for a copy of your rules down the way.
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Old July 19th, 2017, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by sfchbryan View Post
I guess it is a matter of perspective - I see people trying to saddle CE with the same shortcomings of CT. If you look at the retro-clones of D&D, the developers are fixing things that either were broken, or weren't emphasized enough, in their view. Nor were they limiting themselves to just the 0e version.

When I look at (MgT/CE) Character Generation - I see MT, not CT. The same can be said for the task system (albeit both of the Mgt/CE versions are clunkier than what was in MT).

My goal for "Call of MegaCepheus Engine" (I agree with my playtest group, it needs a better name.) is a Player's Manual, a Referee's Manual and a Setting source book. That followed by adventures facing off against the Eldritch horrors that await the characters.

I am culling OGL content from both Mongoose and 3rd party Traveller OGL content as well as OGL content from other SRDs that I feel adds to the game.
What you perceive as shortcomings others may perceive as not so, and what I perceive as shortcomings others obviously do not: e.g., 0-level skills. They don't really exist in CT*, and I like it that way. Others want 0-level skills, and they like it that way. The beauty of CE is that it exists in an editable format for all of us to legally twist into the shape we want.

*What does exist in CT (CT77, CT81, ST, TTB), as far as I have read, is the following, under "Default Skills" (emphasis mine):
"In such cases, the referee may indicate that all individuals not otherwise skilled have vacc suit-0. A level of 0 for a skill indicates that the individual can undertake ordinary activities, but is not experienced enough to try dangerous activities or fancy actions. Level-0 indicates an orientation to the skill by an experienced person; it should not be taken as a stepping stone to level-1
The CT passage above is superior, IMO, since it basically forgoes enumerating the innumerable (i.e., skills) and places the role of "yes, you can operate a radium rifle on Old Mars" into the hands of the Ref. But that's just my preference, and one reflected in that section of CE I've rewritten.
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