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Old November 14th, 2010, 11:51 AM
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Default Improving skills or characteristics

As mentioned in the errata posting here is a discussion post about Improving Skills.

In the core rulebook on page 59 learning skills it says sum level skills levels and it takes that long in weeks plus total skill new skill level desired to improve a skill level.

But most player characters have at least 15-20 skill points not just 2 or 3 which would mean they would have to train at least 16-21 months per skill point which is a heck of a long time when you consider the only training time you will get is probably time spent in weekly jumps.

So I was wondering whether you may be better changing it to perhaps days x 1d6 with the characters Intelligence Mod as a DM reduction on this? Would make more sense I think as it would range, for a 20 skill level character which would be around the norm for player characters, from around 21 days up to max of perhaps 161 days (just over 5 months) depending on your dice throw and Int DM?

Also there is presently no way to improve charcters physical and metal characteristics - anyone have any house rules they use for this at all? I would guess it should be more difficult than improving skills.
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Old November 14th, 2010, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by nats View Post
So I was wondering whether you may be better changing it to perhaps days x 1d6 with the characters Intelligence Mod as a DM reduction on this? Would make more sense I think as it would range, for a 20 skill level character which would be around the norm for player characters, from around 21 days up to max of perhaps 161 days (just over 5 months) depending on your dice throw and Int DM?
Could you learn to be an airline pilot (Pilot-1) in 21-161 days with no prior training? Or, a nuc power plant engineer (Engineering 1 (Power Plants)) ?

Consider you aren't in full time college type environment.
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Old November 14th, 2010, 01:32 PM
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Interesting. I'd not got to that bit yet in slowly, with many interruptions, reading the rules.

I again find something to applaud Mongoose for. That method is simple genius! I'd advise not messing with it one iota.

It matches well with prior history skill progression which makes it more consistent.

Taking your option instead you have to invent a reason why people in careers dedicated to working a skill (prior history) progress significantly slower at it than people post career engaged in other pursuits at least part time (adventuring).

It permits young characters who somehow didn't pursue a long career to catch up with the older characters by gaining skills more quickly once adventuring.

Using your option that difference is negligible and in effect further penalizes short termers and favours long termers. Which goes against the old wisdom of you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

In short, I don't see this as errata. It appears well considered in the completeness of the game. You can of course house-rule it if your group wants more skills more quickly gained. Nothing wrong with that. I'm simply arguing some points and considerations before you choose that. Often, house-rules fail to consider consequences and end up biting one later on.

As for characteristic improvement, they should follow a similar model. Months or years to improve, just like in prior career, and any characteristic that can be improved in prior career gen should be optioned for improvement post career gen. I also think there should be some mechanic here that favours younger characters for Str, Dex, End, Int, Edu, and Psi but not Soc. So it can't work quite the same as the excellent skill improvement method. Maybe (off the cuff) something like...

Characteristic Improvement:

Individuals may improve their characteristics in game play. The time and method varies by the following:

Hard Characteristics: (new Non-Soc characteristic level) + (age in years) = weeks to reach goal

Costs vary but average Cr100/week. Note that this cost may have to be paid in full in advance for materials. Any downtime may be used in pursuit of improvement but an interruption of more than a week results in loss of a week of progress. Time in lowberths does not count as an interruption. If the interruption exceeds the total time to reach the goal all progress is lost and the whole training/study must be started from scratch. For example:

a) During jump the character trains/studies for a week, then has a week of work while in port. They would not loose the week of training/study and be able to continue through the next jump and add another week of training/study. Total time = 3 weeks. Total training/study time = 2 weeks. Total cost = Cr200. Total time towards improvement = 2 weeks.

b) During jump the character trains/studies for a week, then has a week of work while in port. Then during the next jump the ship is hijacked and the character can't train/study while they are held captive and plot to retake the ship. The character manages to escape and retake the ship. They quickly fuel and jump again. Resuming training/study in jump (week 4 of the scenario) after the 2 week interruption they are penalized 1 week of progress. It takes the week in jump (week 4) to get back to where they were before the hijacking (back at the end of week 1). Total time = 4 weeks. Total training/study time = 2 weeks. Total cost = Cr200. Total time towards improvement = 1 week (lost 1 week for interruption).

Social Standing: (new Soc characteristic level) - (terms of service) = weeks to reach goal

Cost varies but averages (new Soc squared)x(Cr1000) over the improvement time. This improvement is limited to a maximum of Soc 10. The cost is spent on contacts, social events, and property/investments that must remain untouched and immobile to retain the new Soc. Such property/investments may be sold for half the value at any time, resulting in loss of Soc associated with them. No more than 25% of the costs may be property. It must be non-rental property (not rented by the character or rented to others for revenue) but may be used as a base of operations or home by the character and family.

Time spent must be on a world and only full weeks count. There is no penalty for interruption and actual time to reach goal may exceed the minimum required.

Social maintenance costs must be born at the new Soc level throughout the improvement or all benefits are lost. Social maintenance costs are (Soc)x(Cr100) per month. This cost is spent and non-recoverable. Failing to maintain this cost results in loss of 1/2 Soc (round down) until maintenance is restored and a penalty is paid equal to 1 month of maintenance per Soc (Soc 7 would drop to Soc 3, and would require Cr700 x 7 = Cr4900 to restore). Money may be banked to automatically debit this maintenance cost as needed to avoid being caught short and suffering the embarrassment of not maintaining ones Soc.

Synergy:

Training related characteristics together speeds things up. There are two groups that may benefit from this synergistic training: Physical (Str, Dex, and End) and Mental (Int and Edu). Soc and Psi are not eligible for synergistic bonuses.

When training synergistic characteristics subtract one week from each characteristic for each additional synergistic characteristic for total training time and costs. For example:

a) Raising Int to 8 would normally take a 30 year old 38 weeks and cost Cr3800. Raising Edu to 6 would take the same 30 year old another 36 weeks and cost an additional Cr3600. For a total of 74 weeks and Cr7400. By combining the training it would take the same 30 year old (8-1) + (6-1) + 30 = 42 weeks and Cr4200. A savings of 32 weeks and Cr3200.

b) Raising Str, Dex, and End all from 5 to 6 simultaneously (though one could do just any two for a lower synergistic bonus) would take a 30 year old (6-2) + (6-2) + (6-2) +30 = 42 weeks and Cr4200.
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Old November 14th, 2010, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HG_B View Post
Could you learn to be an airline pilot (Pilot-1) in 21-161 days with no prior training? Or, a nuc power plant engineer (Engineering 1 (Power Plants)) ?

Consider you aren't in full time college type environment.
Well you would have to get to zero first then 1 I would presume. Days seem a bit too short possibly and but weeks seem far too long if you have lots of skills already. I am sure I could learn to fly a plane/glider in 21 days if solid training, as I could learn to drive an ATV or learn the basics of engineering in 21 days if solid training. Of course it would take longer to get up to level 1 but then thats what level 0 is for. A fully qualified airline pilot would surely be classed as being around level 2 at least.
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Old November 14th, 2010, 02:41 PM
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I am sure I could learn to fly a plane/glider in 21 days if solid training, ... A fully qualified airline pilot would surely be classed as being around level 2 at least.
Qualified to carry passengers on a starship is Pilot-1 Takes ~2 years.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 03:24 AM
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For raising characteristics, I just used the same Total_Skill_Levels + Level_Being_Purchased...... It more than adequately made it hyper-expensive.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 07:46 AM
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It's basically the same as RuneQuest 3 training translated into the 2d6 MGT system.

Which means it's brilliant.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
For raising characteristics, I just used the same Total_Skill_Levels + Level_Being_Purchased...... It more than adequately made it hyper-expensive.
Hyper expensive is right - if you only trained during jumps (reasonable expectation) and you had a character with 20 skill levels and wanted to train from a level zero to a level 1 skill it would take you 21 weeks or 21 jumps worth. I suppose thats not unreasonable considering it takes you a year or two during the chargen per skill level.

Its a real shame though there isnt a levelling up facility in Traveller where you can get experience points for using skills/weapons/characteristics/solving puzzles etc in actual games - I have always liked that part of D&D really makes you feel you are developing your character rather than having a relatively fixed one. I think its something that is missing that would really improve the whole Traveller experience - especially long campaigns. At least MGT have tried to deal with it.

I suppose there is always the Instruction skill...but that of course is even worse allowing characters to pass on increased and new skills after only 1-6 days. There seems to be some sort of inbalance there to me...!
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Old November 15th, 2010, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nats View Post
Its a real shame though there isnt a levelling up facility in Traveller where you can get experience points for using skills/weapons/characteristics/solving puzzles etc in actual games - I have always liked that part of D&D really makes you feel you are developing your character rather than having a relatively fixed one. I think its something that is missing that would really improve the whole Traveller experience - especially long campaigns. At least MGT have tried to deal with it.
It is not something I would like to see integrated at a core level with the rules - but as a campaign option? Not a bad idea. I'll get the guys to look into it!
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Old November 16th, 2010, 01:51 AM
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I houseruled levelling up. I figured any spectacular success counted as a week's training.
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