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Cepheus General General discussion of Cepheus Engine products.

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  #1  
Old June 2nd, 2017, 04:22 AM
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Default Retclone skill list

My first stab at trimming the skill list down to something more CT like:

admin
computer - include programming robots/cybernetics
electronics - includes fixing the electronic bits of robots/cybernetics
engineering
forward obs/recon - this is the one skill I want to rename
gunnery
jot
mechanical - includes fixing the mechanical bits of robots/cybernetics
medic
navigation
pilot
steward
streetwise
tactics
vac suit
vehicle - cascade that also includes ship's boat and battledress/mecha
weapon - brawling, 1h-melee, 2h-melee, bow, handgun, rifle

The idea is that each skill be made as broad as possible, and thus may be applied in situations where other skills may have been in the past.
Streetwise, for example, now also applies in bribery situations.
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Last edited by mike wightman; June 2nd, 2017 at 05:05 AM..
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Old June 2nd, 2017, 10:26 AM
Adam Dray Adam Dray is offline
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Just roll recon and forward observer into tactics.
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Old June 2nd, 2017, 10:30 AM
Adam Dray Adam Dray is offline
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I'm not sure there's a meaningful distinction between mechanics and electronics and engineering here. I'd roll them all into engineering.

Rename navigation as astrogation and let it include knowledge of worlds.

Does CT not have a broker skill? Is trade handled entirely with stats and no skills? Or is it rolled into admin?
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Old June 2nd, 2017, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
I'm not sure there's a meaningful distinction between mechanics and electronics and engineering here. I'd roll them all into engineering.

Rename navigation as astrogation and let it include knowledge of worlds.

Does CT not have a broker skill? Is trade handled entirely with stats and no skills? Or is it rolled into admin?
Agreed on Navigation, disagreed on Eng rolling in elec/mech. Those skills involve operating as well as repairing, so to me it's the primary Commo/Sensor Ops/break through electronics lock skill. Engineering subsuming ship drive, fission and fusion power plants, AND gravitics, makes for THE wide scope skill, I don't think it's good to make it the repair and operate EVERYTHING skill.

LBB7 has Trader Broker and Legal, I boiled it down to Trader I think.

I have that Cascade Collapse thread which is about the same thing mostly, with adding some of the LBB4+ skills AND CE skills on the same principle of broad stroke skills.

Here is a quick list of most of my replacement skills.

An initial pass at skill merge/subsume-

Skills Retained Skills Merged/Subsumed
Vacc Suit Battle Dress ZeroGCbt

Electronics Commo

Gunnery FA Gunnery Heavy Weapons

Recon Fwd Obs Hunting

Persuade Bribery Liaison Recruiting

Streetwise Broker Trader

Investigation Interrogation

Cbt Engineering Demolitions

Vehicle Ships Boat Air/Raft Air Cascade Wheeled Cascade Tracked Cascade Watercraft Cascade Equestrian + all other vehicle permutations

Engineering Gravitics

Computer Robotics

Tactics Ship Tactics Fleet Tactics

Gun/Blade/Bow Cbt All weapon permutations subsumed by familiarization mechanic
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Last edited by kilemall; June 2nd, 2017 at 01:19 PM..
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 02:42 AM
Adam Dray Adam Dray is offline
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I get you.

I disagree with some of the uses of the skills though. Caveat emptor: I'm a computer science guy.

I think of Electronics as a hardware and science skill. You understand computer hardware, firmware. You understand signal science, electromagnetism, and physics to some extent. It should include Robotics and even (physical/electronic) Security. You can use Electronics to fix computers and other electrical components. Half the M-drive and J-drive problems are electronic.

I think of Computer as a software skill. You understand how to operate computers, how they work, how to program them. You understand applications, and learn new ones quickly. It should include Communications (at least the tech side of it, if not the people side of it). Computer skills help you do other things, especially other science and engineering things. It's a JOT-like helper for Electronics and Engineering in special circumstances.

I think of Engineering as a design, manufacture, optimize, and maintain skill. It's a bit of a catch-all, since electronics and computers are actually specialties of engineering (I started out as a BS Computer Engineering candidate at CASE, actually). But we need a place to lump the "Scotty" role skills, so Engineering folks know about power plants, drives, purifiers, life support systems, and everything other than computer electronics and computer software. For reasons (computers are the Future, man!), Electronics and Computers get their own skills. I'd put Demolitions here, too. I'm conflicted about giving Engineers the Gunnery skill, so I wouldn't put up much of a fight about it.

There's an interesting divide in the skill system between understanding and experience. It's the Intelligence/Wisdom split, maybe. An Engineer understands Demolitions, but doesn't actually have the experience, I guess. But combining the two skills makes Engineers useful in combat.

Summing up my preferences:

Electronics: Robotics (and electrical repair, and electrical engineering, and physical security)

Computers: Commo (and programming, and applications, and database search)

Engineering: Gravitics, Demolitions (and drives, power, life support, and other essential systems engineering)
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 03:01 AM
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There seem to be modes here for skill use:

Use - The skill allows you to use some particular thing. It's a gateway.
Theory - You know intellectually how something works. You read about it.
Combat - You use the skill to attack others or defend yourself from others.
Learning - You can use the skill to gather additional information.
Optimization - You can use the skill to make things work better (or fix them).
Adaptation - You use the skill to perform better (or survive) in an unusual environment or situation.

Vacc Suit - Use, Adaptation
Battle Dress - Use, Adaptation, Combat
Zero-G Combat - Use, Adaptation, Combat
Electronics - Theory, Optimization
Commo - Use, Learning
Gunnery, FA Gunnery, Heavy Weapons - Use, Combat
Recon - Learning (Adaptation?)
Fwd Observer - Learning
Hunting - Adaptation
Persuade - Optimization
Bribery - Optimization
Liaison - Combat
Recruiting - Learning
Streetwise - Adaptation, Learning, Combat
Broker - Optimization, Learning
Trader - Theory
Investigation - Learning
Interrogation - Learning
Demolitions - Use, Combat, Theory
Vehicles - Use, Optimization
Engineering - Theory, Optimization
Gravitics - Theory, Optimization
Computer - Theory, Optimization, Learning (Use?)
Robotics - Theory, Optimization
Tactics, Ship Tactics, Fleet Tactics - Optimization (Learning?)
Weapons - Use, Combat

It's interesting that Streetwise has three modes and is very useful as a result, where Computer also has three modes but gets less love in the games I've played in and run. Streetwise is the only skill with Learning+Combat modes, but I think of it as a defensive social combat skill and not an offensive one.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 03:38 AM
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I really like that analysis Adam, it does a good job of highlighting what I mean by broad skills.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 01:09 PM
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This does remind me a little of a simplification exercise I did at one point. From memory, the skills I went with were something like:

Combat
  • Brawling (could be a martial art)
  • Blade combat (categories - knife, sword etc, could also be a martial art).
  • Gun combat - broad categories: handgun, rifle etc, with some flex about what could be used with what skill. Military services could also take heavy weapon skills.

Technical
  • Mechanical
  • Electronic
  • Computer
  • Engineering (also subsumed gravitics)
  • Forgery
  • Intrusion - pick locks etc.
  • Combat Engineer

Interpersonal
  • Carousing - gain people's trust, find rumours, fit in.
  • Gambling
  • Leader - can give party-wide bonuses in combat
  • Admin
  • Streetwise
  • Bribery
  • Broker - bonus on speculation per book 2.
  • Liaison - because I've read some Keith Laumer still kept Diplomat

Tactical
  • Recon
  • Tactics
  • Survival
  • Vehicle - driving, grav, water craft etc. Could also be riding. Could also be Battle Dress as appropriate.
  • Vacc Suit

Other
  • Jack-o-T
  • Academic - various scientific or academic disciplines. Use for scientist or 'talented amateur' characters.
  • Admin
  • Hunting - for barbarian or hunter characters.
  • Interrogation - for police characters.

Now, we notice that there are still no skills for stealth, perception, deception, persuasion, searching or various other mundane activities.
  • For stealth or perception, depending on the environment, you could use recon, streetwise, survival, intrusion, hunting or tactics.
  • For deception or persuasion, you could use carousing, liaison, leader, admin, academic or streetwise. Modify the roll by the quality of the player's schtick.
  • For searching, I'm with the Gumshoe SRD on this one. There's almost no merit in having the players not find a clue - it just obstructs the flow of the game. If the clue is present and the players search for it they will find it.

I've also done various hybrid approaches to character generation where the characters get to choose some of their skills. Plus, added in a couple of background skills and various other options. YMMV.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 04:51 PM
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CT social skills are organized by context rather than activity. Admin covers persuading, deceiving, and intimidating in a formal context. Streetwise covers persuading, deceiving, and intimidating in an informal/underworld context. Carousing covers persuading, deceiving, and intimidating in a semi-formal civil social context (e.g. mingling with high society). Bribery covers persuasion involving bribes. Leader covers persuasion and intimidation of underlings.
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Old June 3rd, 2017, 05:57 PM
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CT social skills are organized by context rather than activity. Admin covers persuading, deceiving, and intimidating in a formal context. Streetwise covers persuading, deceiving, and intimidating in an informal/underworld context. Carousing covers persuading, deceiving, and intimidating in a semi-formal civil social context (e.g. mingling with high society). Bribery covers persuasion involving bribes. Leader covers persuasion and intimidation of underlings.
Don't forget Liaison.
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