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I've noticed that to be a doctor, what you really need is T/Medical. Similarly for a lawyer, you need K/Interstellar Law.

But it should be more than that, no doubt. A lot of what makes being a doctor and a lawyer worthwhile is interacting with clients and patients, and dealing with the bureaucracy. Thus, P/Admin would also be a skill both professions would require, because of the need to dot one's i's and cross one's t's. Doctors should also have K/Medicine as well, and the Surgery feat. Lawyers should also take Legal Eagle feat, and perhaps Connections as well.

Charisma related skills are also important. Bedside manner, talking to a client, talking to witnesses etc.

Journalists are in the same boat. P/Journalism is one thing, but really... there's more to it than that. Having the ability to bluff your way to a story, get individuals to talk to you, get sources of information, maybe even a bit of hacking and data mining on a network. Feats like Connections seem like a must-have.

Just throwing some ideas into the ether and see who catches them.
The way I see it is that the basic required skill is the qualification, and the other skills are things that are picked up with experience.

T/Medical equates to a Medical Doctorate (M.D)
K/Interstellar Law is a Bachelor of Law (LLB)
P/Journalism is a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Journalism

The other skills then represent the direction a doctor (for example) goes in his/her career.

The Surgery feat would be required by a Surgeon but not a General Practicioner.
K/Medicine would be required by most doctors (and pharmacists for that matter) but would represent the drugs the doctor knows of by heart, rather than having to look up the drug and dosage required for a patient.
P/Admin would be gained by beating ones head against the brick wall of hospital administration.
The game rules imply (or state somewhere) that 5+ ranks is a professional ranking, enough to hold a real job.

I'd also suggest that 5+ ranks of Profession skill be appropriate. It is the skill of the other details of the job you need to know.
Originally posted by tjoneslo:
The game rules imply (or state somewhere) that 5+ ranks is a professional ranking, enough to hold a real job.

I'd also suggest that 5+ ranks of Profession skill be appropriate. It is the skill of the other details of the job you need to know.
Yes that's how I play it. You are qualified with 5+ ranks in the specified skill, but it's what you have in addition that determines if you are a superstar or not. For a doctor T/Medical will get you a job at a clinic but to be really respected you should have some of the appropriate feats ( such as Surgery), K/Medical, K/Pharmacology and some Xenomedicine would not hurt either.

Actual skill levels are also important. If you look at the medical rolls it's obvious that with only 5 ranks you are going to fail a lot of rolls unless you can take a 20. To be really good at your job I usually expect to see a 10+ after all your bonuses for feats etc.

Here's an example. In my game the current chief engineer has most of the feats and has a final roll for T/Engineering of +18. Even at that high level, he can still fail when making repairs under fire etc. What he doesn't do is screw up routine engineering functions. (Since just one can kill everyone.
As for the debate between profession vs. knowledge/tech skills, knowledge skills apply a +2 synergy to related tech or professions skills in my games. So if you have P/Surgeon (5 ranks), T/Medical (5 ranks), K/Biology or K/Pharmeceudical or some other obviously related K skill, you would actually gain a +9 to your P/Surgeon. Note for this example you'd want the surgury feet, too.

Same with a lawyer. P/Admin, K/(relevant) law, etc.

Note that these synergies only apply when the related tech or k skills are relevent to the situation. K/Interstellar law won't help you with local laws, K/Pharmacology won't help with bandaging a wound w/o any medicines, T/Medical doesn't help with a basic chemistry task that isn't biologically related.
Not as a class feature or feat (ie not as a game effect), but there are licences. The imperium has many. In addition to the licences for lawyers and doctors, there are licences for being a pilot (both small ship and star ship), navigator, ship's engineer, broker, several levels of law enforcement (aka an imperial warrant), mercenary company, and a whole host I've now forgotten.
I would argue that to be an actual doctor or lawyer, one would require a post-graduate education (medical school or law school), in addition to the aforementioned skills. T20 does have a university system. My problem here with the T20 system is that anyone can just take levels of a skill when they level up, and suddenly become a doctor overnight. That doesn't make much sense, but you just have to deal with it yourself, because the rules don't get into that. I recently started a house rule for training, which also says you can't raise skills more than one point when leveling up. But that's starting to get off topic.

That's because Imperial law doesn't regulate professional certifications. The Imperium itself has some, but it also recognizes that each sector, subsector, or world might have its own bureaucratic structure.

Thus, one might become certified to be, say, an accountant on Mora/Mora/Spinward Marches through one of the megacorporations' business schools, or you might have gained your certification through some outfit in the Back of Beyond.

Furthermore, you might be certified at TL14, TL10, or even TL6 as an accountant. For an accountant, this might not seem particularly important, but it is - high-tech finance is probably vastly more complex than a purely cash- or specie-based system.

Consequently, in addition to having a piece of paper (or electronic file) that says you're a fully qualified ship's electrician and gunner second class, when you apply for a position aboard a starship, they'd better darn well test you.

Hence, the guy with T/Engineering, T/Electrician, and T/Mechanical each at 10+ ranks, but isn't an actual Engineer can still probably get work as one because he can demonstrate his talents in these areas. If he claims to be a Chartered Engineer (O4 in the Engineer Prior History) on his application, but he's really a former pirate ship's engineer, that might be the source of several different sorts of trouble (esp. if he's not a former pirate, exactly), but unless someone expends the effort to check out his past it won't be discovered.

The forgery is more likely to be noticed, especially if someone (or the expert system in the computer) has Forgery skill and looks over his papers.

The point is that since there must be millions of different certifying bodies throughout the Spinward Marches alone, proven talent in an area has to be the norm for figuring out if the ship's medic is qualified to be a medic.

The Earth equivalent is the doctor who graduated from some place in a third world country. Yes, he's actually a doctor. No, you don't want him operating on your daughter unless he can somehow PROVE that he's competent. The medical board exams that foreign doctors must take (as part of their incredibly long process to become certified in the U.S.) are supposed to catch this. As I understand it from several foreign friends who were in this situation, for doctors and dentists both, it's almost easier to go back to medical school and earn a new medical degree than it is to become certified.

A TL15 society will have put systems in place to judge a person's skill level, since without FTL communications it's impossible to check someone's credentials back to their homeworld. Certainly, if they catch a fraudulent certification, there may well be hell to pay, but at least the merchie captain knows that his medic can use the anabolic protoplaser without sealing someone's heart to their lungs....
The licence issue is one of the problems with D20. The perk you get from being a licenced doctor or lawyer isn't worth the "cost" of spending a feat (or class feature) on it. At least in basic D20.

If you had an additional set of rules which allowed for better definition of what you were allowed to do as (or bad things that happend when you weren't) a licenced doctor, this would help.

Licenced Professional (General Feat)
You are now licenced by a professional organizations to work in your given field.

Prerequisite: 5+ ranks in the appropiate skill, pass a DC20 entrance exam, pay an annual fee of Cr100 to Cr10,000 depending upon the organization.

Benefits: You get a glossy, full color magazine once a month full of useful advice for and about your profession. You may attend confrences held by the organization where you can meet other members of your profession to talk shop, and find out about all the latest tools of the trade from manufacturers. (i.e. find or renew contacts, hire NPCs, buy new or unusual toys, gain levels in some skills).

Normal: Skilled but unlicenced indiviuals may have difficulty finding a job (add +DC10 to +DC30). The organization may invoke legal action (or worse) if they discover an unlicenced individual performing the skills.

Special: You may take this feat more than once, but each time it applies to a different professional orgaization. Every organization has its own set of ethical and professinal standards and violating them may result in the revoking of your licence (canceling the benefits of the feat). You may or may not be allowed to re-apply for the licence (requiring another feat) depending upon the circumstances of your eviction.

Examples: Pilot (pilot skill), Navigator (navigate or astrogation skill), doctor (medical or treat injury skill), lawyer (profession (law) skill), Mercenary (leadership feat + Diplomacy skill).

Anything to add would be helpful...
Here are a few randon thoughts on the subject...

My first reaction to making a profession a feat was that is a pretty good idea, but upon reflection I don't think so. Feats are special things your character can accomplish. I don't think membership in a professional organization covers that, unless you want to look at it like the connections feat.

Like the good Princelian said there would be millions of certifying bodies, too many to count at the very least.

If you do require certifications in your game I would pick a few key ones and model them after current terrestial certifications. Players would have to have a combination of Skills and education and pass a test. All the medical knowledge in the world will not get you an MD license without a degree from a medical school, no matter how high you score on the test.

Although there is no formal merchant marine in T20. I could see a system for certifications set up at class A and B starports for the various crew positions, but again this is something you would have to house rule. In general I would say the farther you are from the planet that certified you the less value your cert would have.
Originally posted by Rover:

Although there is no formal merchant marine in T20. I could see a system for certifications set up at class A and B starports for the various crew positions, but again this is something you would have to house rule. In general I would say the farther you are from the planet that certified you the less value your cert would have.
That sounds workable. Class A and B starports would probably have some kind of ships registry. Crew licenses and certifications might be included in that data. Whenever a ship lands or docks, the berthing procedure would include some kind of owner/crew registration. That information would then be distributed out through the X-boat network. Of course, this would only really work within the Imperium and not in every Traveller time period.
The benefits of a license is that you can charge for your services. A medical student might know how to set a broken bone, but he can't charge for it. A law clerk might know how to write a legal brief, but he can't charge for it.
Some of this is covered in the skill descriptions, at least for T/Medical:

Paramedic has 1 rank or more, but no degree.

Nurse has 5 ranks or more, and a Bachelor's in medicine.

Physicians Assistant has 5 ranks or more, and a Master's in medicine.

Medical Doctor has 5 or more ranks and a Doctorate in medicine.

Surgeon is an MD with the Surgery feat.

You can easily set up similiar requirements for lawyers.