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Old September 3rd, 2016, 08:18 PM
kilemall kilemall is offline
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Default Skill Certification- A 68A Game Option

Hiring personnel can be expensive and troublesome. Hiring the unskilled claiming to be what they are not can be lethal for the Traveller.

Fortunately most sophont races and polities recognize the need to ensure skill and pay match for a variety of reasons, and issue certifications based on tested knowledge and ability.

The following is a 5 level certification regimen, using the 68A rolling system, to gain certification. It roughly follows the skill levels, but certification at a higher level then a character actually has is possible- and a bad showing for certification can mean the character is underpaid below their potential.

Each level of certification is more difficult, with failure more likely. A failed license can be retaken, but the certification fees are non-refundable and will have to be paid again for another attempt.

It has some eye-popping changes to the way pay is usually calculated, but should open up at least several 'working passage' opportunities.

Also, certification itself is some big play opportunity, and could be a mini-adventure of itself, the presented die rolls can be played out instead. This is particularly good material for the higher levels with so much at stake. Failing certification can also be used as a reason why a character was let go from their primary service, with some adventure/backstory possibilites there too.

The pay scales assume there is market pressure, polity rules, professional guild/union power, or some combination thereof, to tie pay to certification level. This is on the same level as the traditional starship fees for tons, passengers, etc., up to the referee as to if, how and why the mechanism is in place.

The rough rule of thumb is regular pay assumes a certification analogous to skill level 2, halves for each step lower, and doubles for each step higher. So pay can be .25 to 4x base pay as noted in whatever Traveller version.

Certifications last for years x3 their level, so a Level I certification is 3 years, up to Level 4 at 12 years. 0-level, effectively Apprentice, is only good for one year.

Certification testing requires paying a fee for costs equal to 2 months of pay at the level the character is attempting to get paid at.

Example Gunner, base pay 1000 Cr per month.

Level-0 Apprentice, pay/certiffication Cr250
Level-1 500 Cr
Level-2 1000 Cr
Level-3 2000 Cr
Level-4 4000 Cr

Pilot, base pay 5000 Cr per month.

Level-0 1250 Cr
Level-1 2500 Cr
Level-2 5000 Cr
Level-3 10000 Cr
Level-4 20000 Cr

Certification rolls get pluses to make at the skill level the character possesses. If the character does not possess the skill and at least have a 0 rating, a -4/-5 modifer applies for not having the skill, depending on the version or modifier desired. Jack of all Trades works as a 0 rating to avoid the negative modifiers.

Robot/Expert System Certification and Pay

Robot and Expert System Certification comes in two types, Product Certification and Individual System Certification.

Robot/Expert system models must be type certified in order to be allowed to drive ships, vehicles, operate on people, etc.

The cost is 100x the normal certification fee, and also requires 5 prototypes including 3 randomly chosen from an assembly line.

Each robot/system must be certified/recertified just as per a human, as manufacturing, hardware or software glitches might have cropped up since the day the unit left the factory.

Robot leasing/pay is at the same rates as humans with circumstances possibly increasing or decreasing pay.

Robot leasing or ownership in lieu of hiring humans can be profitable especially at the higher skill levels, but is mitigated by the requirement that robot action liabilities devolve upon their owners, and they are required to have human supervision in their specialty.

There is a form of itinerant Traveller that buys robots, often used and/or uncertified, to earn money and/or passage with skills the owner does not have.


End of Career Certification State

When a character ends their career, their certification expiration state should be determined.


The character would normally have a certification for every skill-1 and above at the level of their skill during their career.


The state of their certification depends on how they left.


If they retired voluntarily their certifications are half expired- 12 year certifications would have 6 years left, 6 year certifications would have 3 years left, etc.


If they attempted to reenlist and failed, roll 1d6 and subtract that in years from the expiration date.



If that results in a certificate expiring, the character will have the next lower certification available with half the years expired as above.

Last edited by kilemall; April 8th, 2021 at 06:28 PM..
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Old September 3rd, 2016, 08:34 PM
kilemall kilemall is offline
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Level 0 Certification- Apprentice

Monthly Pay/Certification Fee- Base x .25

Certification Expiration
1 Year

Time required
1 day for the test

Rolls
Written Test 6+

Common job titles- Apprentice, Trainee, Student, Cadet, Recruit, Various Unofficial Derogatory Terms
Example- Ship's Boat Cadet, Steward Trainee, Drive Worm


Failure/Test Reschedule- 1 week

Level 1 Certification- Certified

Monthly Pay/Certification Fee- Base x .50

Certification Expiration
3 Years

Time required
1 days for each test, 2 days total

Rolls
Written Test 6+
Simulation Test 6+

Failure/Test Reschedule- 3 weeks

Common job titles- Certified, Mate, Assistant, Junior, Regular, Accredited, Associate
Example- Mechanics's Mate, Certified Medic

Last edited by kilemall; April 8th, 2021 at 03:38 PM..
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Old September 3rd, 2016, 08:59 PM
kilemall kilemall is offline
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Level 2 Certification- Licensed

Monthly Pay/Certification Fee- Base x 1

Certification Expiration
6 Years

Time required
3 days for each test, 1 day board, 1 week total

Rolls
Written Test 6+
Simulation Test 6+
Oral Examination Board 6+

Failure/Test Reschedule- 6 weeks

Common job titles- Licensed, <no title but job>, Technician, Veteran, Skilled, Registered
Example- Navigator, Licensed Electronics Technician, Veteran Gunner

Level 3 Certification- Senior

Monthly Pay/Certification Fee- Base x 2


Certification Expiration
9 Years

Time required
2 days for each test and board, 3 months intern- 13 weeks total
Intern only applies for initial recertification.

Rolls
Written Test 6+
Simulation Test 6+
Oral Examination Board 8+
Intern 8+

Failure/Test Reschedule- 9 months

Common job titles- Senior, Chief, Lead
Example- Senior Pilot, Lead Steward
Special note- this is the level at which Medics are titled Doctors- Dex 8+ are Surgeons, with an additional doubling of pay.

Last edited by kilemall; April 8th, 2021 at 03:36 PM..
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Old September 3rd, 2016, 09:25 PM
kilemall kilemall is offline
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Level 4 Certification- Master

Monthly Pay/Certification Fee- Base x 4

Certification Expiration
12 Years


Prerequisite- Senior License.



Time required
1 week for the test, 1 week board, 1 month examiner/mentor- 6 weeks total

Rolls
Simulation Test 8+
Oral Examination Board 10+
Mentor/Examiner10+



Failure/Test Reschedule-12 months


Common job titles- Master, Ace, Superior, Expert
Example- Master Navigator, Expert Mechanic, Ace Air/Raft Driver

Note: seeking and succeeding at attaining Master Certification incurs an additional obligation- sometime during the 12 years the character is licensed, the character must set aside three months to a year for the purposes of running Senior and Master Intern tests.

In the case of the Master Mentor/Examiner check, the testing Master is encouraged to create new, unique testing regimens, and is personally held responsible if a demonstrable incompetent gets master certification on their watch. Therefore Master is often surprising and particularly hard to pass.

Last edited by kilemall; April 8th, 2021 at 03:27 PM..
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Old September 3rd, 2016, 10:33 PM
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Beyond Level 4 Certification

There are no certification programs beyond level 4, but there are individuals who have skill levels 5, 6 or possibly above.

They can do very difficult tasks with the ease that most licensed do at routine difficulty, and impossible tasks just take a little longer.

They are likely legends in their profession, possibly outside if they have done something dramatic to gain interstellar attention.

Companies curry their favor to get endorsements and brand line products named after the legend, governments and megacorps seek to have them on tap for when they are needed, and expert programmers seek to capture their heuristics for robots and expert systems to emulate for centuries after they are gone.

Obviously they would be highly desirable hires, assuming their abilities match their hype.

The previous rules would still potentially apply-so level 5 would be 8x base salary, 6 16x salary etc. etc. That would be a starter- they can probably name their price, including a hefty percentage if there is a payoff.

However, the referee is encouraged to think of such individuals as a rare item and to make it much more involved then offering mere money to procure their services.

They would be divas, stars, and could demand the conditions under which they work.

That might be the sort of irrational demands rock stars make about X food, wine, room condition, recreational opportunities etc.

Might be the legend does not want to work with anyone below Senior level, as they waste the legend's time and make their ears hurt.

The legend may not be interested in working for anything or anybody except their pet causes.

Or, they may just have to like you, indifferent or negative reaction rolls generates a rejection.

Just finding or catching up to them may be an adventure.

And they may make difficult demands of having to perform a separate quest to get a particular item, find a person or go to a forbidden place.

Or, they just may be ordinary good people that is modest and reasonable about their talent, but they enjoy helping people and it might be difficult to engage their attention to your mission.

But once they are signed on, they should help you do impossible things.

Don't miss the opportunity to make an encounter with a legend memorable, difficult and exhilarating.
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Old September 3rd, 2016, 11:10 PM
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You'd need to add in a cottage industry of "Skill certification for less..." These are places that guarantee you'll pass the test with minimal knowledge, skills, and training. That is they teach you the test.

There are lots of contractor licensing places like this for example. The SAT and ACT are prime targets as well. I can't see any difference here.

You could add in a work component. Most trades and such do that on licensing. That is you have to have so many years of "verifiable" experience to qualify for testing to begin with. So, you get your licensed drinking buddy to vouch for you...

Then there's unions...

Oh, there is no way in Hell that any system would force the applicants to set months aside for testing. Nor would or could the government afford that. They'll give you the test over a few days and that's that. With a system so demanding I'd bet tenure would result simply due to the cost of the tests. That means the "master" level guys soon turn into overpaid coffee drinking prima donnas that do little or nothing on the job, but are required by law or union rules to be "present" when the work is done.
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Old September 4th, 2016, 12:36 AM
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I think this is a good idea (especially when hiring working passage) and makes the truly skilled more valuable, as opposed to the +10% additional pay per level noted in Book 2.

I like to keep my rules simple however and would suggest that anyone acquiring their skills in a military service, academia, the nobility and the like would automatically have certification for that skill. A character with a rogue, pirate, adventurer, or other "undocumented" education might seek out certification to make them more hirable.

Now a captain just needs to determine if the applicant he is considering actually has Engineering-3 or Forgery-3. Good stuff here. Thanks for sharing.
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Old September 4th, 2016, 03:13 AM
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To respond to both of you, I have the opportunity built into this system for bribery or scamming, which is why I don't a hard requirement for skills built in per se, except for the difficulty levels of the rolls themselves.

That could work for the characters as they give themselves an unearned promotion, but also work against them as they hire someone that isn't what they paid for.

But countering that, most professions want to uphold their rates and professional standing and value. So I would expect in most cases the tests are randomized and changed to defeat test cheating.

It would also be a better use of resources if the character just buckled down and sought training to get the next skill level in their chosen specialty.

The apprentice level is very expensive to try and make a living at given that 25% of the yearly salary is going to certification. So most people are going to move on from that one way or another.

I also neglected to note that of course not having the skill in question rates a -4 or -5 for the roll, whatever is normal for the version of Traveller one is running.

It would not be unreasonable to have certification left over from the character's careers, but I wouldn't miss the possibility for a failed certification being the cause of career termination.

Maybe X years left on certification from the point they achieved their last improvement on that skill.

I had originally considered 3-month interning for the Master level. I may go back to that, I just was thinking that it would be a nice 'character goes away and comes back either triumphant or a mess', and also based on US doctor practice-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medica...tes#Internship

I set most of the rest as time doable especially during the ship maintenance period- most years the crew would vacation during that time period, some years part or all is taken up with recertification.

The government is not subsidizing the certification- the applicant is, which is paying for the costs, at quite the rate for the more advanced ones. The program pays for itself mostly, which seems very much the pay as you go universe Traveller inhabits. Of course, desperate planets or orgs may pay the certification fee, but likely with contractural obligations.

And that fee can use up that termination money really quickly, or have a short term goal to save up for the next level in their career.

If one is paying 20000 Cr a month for a Master Pilot, likely one is in a business where one needs that skill. The Master may not do scut work on milk runs, but he is there for when things get hairy, and may earn his pay with an hour's worth of survival that saves millions in ship damage and reputation.

Almost criminal NOT to pay a mere 2000 Cr for say a Senior Gunner, given what a +3 can give you when it counts.

This is also meant for those one and two term characters, to at least get them a working passage level and really appreciating every credit that comes their way.
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Old September 4th, 2016, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilemall View Post
Hiring personnel can be expensive and troublesome. Hiring the unskilled claiming to be what they are not can be lethal for the Traveller.

Fortunately most sophont races and polities recognize the need to ensure skill and pay match for a variety of reasons, and issue certifications based on tested knowledge and ability.

The following is a 5 level certification regimen, using the 68A rolling system, to gain certification. It roughly follows the skill levels, but certification at a higher level then a character actually has is possible- and a bad showing for certification can mean the character is underpaid below their potential.

Each level of certification is more difficult, with failure more likely. A failed license cannot be retaken for a year, and the certification fees are non-refundable.

It has some eye-popping changes to the way pay is usually calculated, but should open up at least several 'working passage' opportunities.

Also, certification itself is some big play opportunity, and could be a mini-adventure of itself, the presented die rolls can be played out instead. This is particularly good material for the higher levels with so much at stake. Failing certification can also be used as a reason why a character was let go from their primary service, with some adventure/backstory possibilites there too.

The pay scales assume there is market pressure, polity rules, professional guild/union power, or some combination thereof, to tie pay to certification level. This is on the same level as the traditional starship fees for tons, passengers, etc., up to the referee as to if, how and why the mechanism is in place.

The rough rule of thumb is regular pay assumes a certification analogous to skill level 2, halves for each step lower, and doubles for each step higher. So pay can be .25 to 4x base pay as noted in whatever Traveller version.

Certifications last for years x3 their level, so a Level I certification is 3 years, up to Level 4 at 12 years. 0-level, effectively Apprentice, is only good for one year.

Certification testing requires paying a fee for costs equal to 3 months of pay at the level the character is attempting to get paid at.

Example Gunner, base pay 1000 Cr per month.

Level-0 Apprentice, pay 250 Cr/750 Cr certification cost
Level-1 500/1500 Cr
Level-2 1000/3000 Cr
Level-3 2000/6000 Cr
Level-4 4000/12000 Cr

Pilot, base pay 5000 Cr per month.

Level-0 1250/3750 Cr
Level-1 2500/7500 Cr
Level-2 5000/15000 Cr
Level-3 10000/30000 Cr
Level-4 20000/60000 Cr

Certification rolls get pluses to make at the skill level the character possesses. If the character does not possess the skill and at least have a 0 rating, a -4/-5 modifer applies for not having the skill, depending on the version or modifier desired. Jack of all Trades works as a 0 rating to avoid the negative modifiers.
I guess my question is, why do you wish to make a game that already requires a large amount of die-rolling require even more?

Secondly, if the Game Master wants to put in NPC with fraudulent credentials, that is already an option in the game. In some of the Casual Encounters in the JTAS, there are NPC which, while technically competent in a given area, also come with booby traps and major baggage in that area. Or you could have a person who is great at taking tests, but is terrified at actually using or touching the equipment they are tested on. Then there is the case of someone who has no papers, but has been using explosives all of their life in the course of prospecting, and should have a demolition skill of 2 or 3.
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Old September 4th, 2016, 04:02 PM
kilemall kilemall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timerover51 View Post
I guess my question is, why do you wish to make a game that already requires a large amount of die-rolling require even more?
In my group die rolling doesn't faze them, they created their own games where part of the design goal was to roll as many dice as possible as often as possible.

So, t'ain't a problem in my neck of the woods.

The other part of my reaction to the question is, just 2-4 rolls per doubling of salary? Arguably too FEW rolls for the benefits.

Also, this creates big tension as players laying down that fee are going to be about as serious about this as Making the Big Deal or Taking The Critical Shot.


Quote:
Secondly, if the Game Master wants to put in NPC with fraudulent credentials, that is already an option in the game. In some of the Casual Encounters in the JTAS, there are NPC which, while technically competent in a given area, also come with booby traps and major baggage in that area. Or you could have a person who is great at taking tests, but is terrified at actually using or touching the equipment they are tested on. Then there is the case of someone who has no papers, but has been using explosives all of their life in the course of prospecting, and should have a demolition skill of 2 or 3.
Sure, a ref doesn't HAVE to use this system, or any system, to create that situation. It does give a framework to where players have a means to defraud on their own, or suspicion of expectations vs. results when that certified Elite Gunner isn't hitting the broadside of a space barn.

Last edited by kilemall; September 4th, 2016 at 04:12 PM..
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