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-   -   Should there be a 'parenting' skill? (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=60535)

pawsplay 07-14-2009 07:24 PM

Re: Should there be a 'parenting' skill?
 
I like the idea of a Parenting skill along the lines of Soldier for much the similar reasons: it does not involve any terrible expertise in one area, but it does respresent a substantial amount of general knowledge can add up to a useful sum. Most people learn "good enough" skills in a wide variety of areas ranging from First Aid to nutrition for children to Psychology (Child). Similarly to Soldier, it usually consists of some basic training followed by tons of intense learning in field conditions.

A few tasks Parenting might relate to:
- Plan a week's worth of lunches.
- Prepare a child for a field trip.
- Deal with a tantrum.
- Deal with your child striking another child.
- Change a diaper.
- Determine who poured a pound of sugar into your kitchen floor.
- Operate a baby monitor, TV parental settings, or an electronic thermometer.
- Get a child into a bathbub.
- Get a child out of a bathtub.
- Try to horse-sense whether your child might have an emotional disturbance or learning disorder.

Supernanny would have something more like the Nanny! skill.

robkelk 07-14-2009 07:34 PM

Re: Should there be a 'parenting' skill?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mgellis (Post 819432)
I'm going to try to "reverse engineer" from the fact that there isn't a Child Care skill in the 4th edition rules...

This suggests that child care is treated as part of IQ (and Will and Perception and...).

...

Consider that there also isn't a "fighting" skill or a "make music" skill in GURPS; in each case, there's a collection of related-but-different skills, and a trained fighter or music-maker needs to know a little bit of many members of the skill family.

I believe it's the same with child-rearing - there isn't a "child care" skill because there's a lot of skills that a child-care specialist needs to know. Many of them have already been mentioned, some haven't.

The list includes (but isn't limited to) Teaching, First Aid, Bard (to keep the youngster's attention), Expert Skill: Nutrition, Expert Skill: Hazardous Materials Handling (the skill used when "childproofing" the home), Observation ("where did the little... darling put the car keys this time?"), and Detect Lies...

Ulzgoroth 07-14-2009 07:48 PM

Re: Should there be a 'parenting' skill?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by trooper6 (Post 819539)
By basing it on good social skills, then James Bond makes the best parent ever...but an average frumpy person...not so much.

Well, maybe. James Bond is pretty good at socially manipulating adults, and probably would be able to somewhat apply that ability to children.

But I'm fairly sure parenting is not just about being able to talk children into doing what you want. Bond isn't noted for his ability to understand or care for others, is he?

robkelk 07-14-2009 07:55 PM

Re: Should there be a 'parenting' skill?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth (Post 819719)
Well, maybe. James Bond is pretty good at socially manipulating adults, and probably would be able to somewhat apply that ability to children.

But I'm fairly sure parenting is not just about being able to talk children into doing what you want. Bond isn't noted for his ability to understand or care for others, is he?

Bond has Callous, he just hides it well with his social skills.

And, yes, I'd hate to see him act as a babysitter.

cptbutton 07-14-2009 08:43 PM

Re: Should there be a 'parenting' skill?
 
Back in the 3e world, there is "Mythic Babysitting" in GURPS All-star Jam 2004. I did a quick skim and didn't see a parenting skill, but it does mention Professional Skill (Babysitting; M/A).

Still available in both dead tree and enslaved electron models.

The Colonel 07-15-2009 07:07 AM

Re: Should there be a 'parenting' skill?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by roguebfl (Post 819673)
If you take that approach I would give you a TDM that would off set or be worse than the bonus you would get for familiarity. While Children are individual people they are not mini adults

Plus, for a good few years the child doesn't have what we think of as social skills. I know a couple of HR professionals with scads of training in reading and manipulating adults who came completely unstuck when faced with small children.

OneSeventeen 07-15-2009 10:57 AM

Re: Should there be a 'parenting' skill?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by robkelk (Post 819711)
....Bard (to keep the youngster's attention)....

Several people have mentioned this and, besides social skills, I think this is a good example of a skill that would be way different for an audience of kids than an audience of adults. I can enthrall a group of three-year-olds pretty well... I'm not certain you want me reading a book to you. It wouldn't be offensive, but probably uninspiring.

I think I like the Soldiering-style "Parenting" skill for a couple of reasons:
1) It's simple (unlike specialties or new, separate skills)
2) It's specific (unlike Bard or Psychology as generalizations)
3) It's general (This isn't a contradiction, I mean in the sense that if you didn't take Hazardous Materials Handling, you can still child-proof some Clorox).
4) It fits easily into the background of a non-parenting-focused campaign.

If your campaign is all about being a parent complete with modeling the fatigue from missed sleep because of your new born and such, then maybe you should, indeed, look into inventing a suite of separate related skills to handle all the different tasks a parent is often required to do. However, if your campaign is about anything besides that, I'd think a Parenting skill will give you something to roll against without getting terribly in the way and let the role play get on.


Ben

whswhs 07-15-2009 11:10 AM

Re: Should there be a 'parenting' skill?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by OneSeventeen (Post 820010)
If your campaign is all about being a parent complete with modeling the fatigue from missed sleep because of your new born and such, then maybe you should, indeed, look into inventing a suite of separate related skills to handle all the different tasks a parent is often required to do. However, if your campaign is about anything besides that, I'd think a Parenting skill will give you something to roll against without getting terribly in the way and let the role play get on.

Pretty much, yes. In my Transhuman Space campaign, I used Parenting rolls to represent spotting what was going on with the kid and influencing her actions, more than for anything else. This meant that a character who wasn't all that brilliant at social behavior generally and didn't have a big repertoire of skills could learn to do this one thing through experience.

Bill Stoddard

Fish 07-15-2009 12:38 PM

Re: Should there be a 'parenting' skill?
 
I agree with OneSeventeen's logic. Parenting is a tiny toe-dip in the shallow end of a vast number of skills, just as is Soldier.

A parent knows how to child-proof a home, moving dangerous toxic agents out of reach (eg, bleach, antifreeze, lye, etc) without needing to know the actual chemical nature of those agents and without necessarily knowing how to identify, store, or dispose of other toxic substances (eg, spent nuclear fuel rods, nerve gas). A parent learns how to teach a small child (to speak, to ride a bicycle, to tie his shoes, to dress himself, to be polite, and so forth) but isn't necessarily qualified to be a teacher in a public-school setting (eg, History, Music, Calculus, Biology, Chemistry, etc).

The trouble with Parenting as a skill is trying to determine its precise effects. How often do you roll? What happens if you fail, what happens if you fail critically? What modifiers apply? On what stat do you base it?

As for that last, there are a few possibilities. An IQ-based skill seems to cover the broad strokes of parental knowledge and strength of character, but it leaves out non-human races who teach (and learn) through instinct and perception. A Will-based skill seems appropriate for discipline. A Per-based skill might be more appropriate for animals.

trooper6 07-15-2009 01:36 PM

Re: Should there be a 'parenting' skill?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fish (Post 820059)
I agree with OneSeventeen's logic. Parenting is a tiny toe-dip in the shallow end of a vast number of skills, just as is Soldier.

A parent knows how to child-proof a home, moving dangerous toxic agents out of reach (eg, bleach, antifreeze, lye, etc) without needing to know the actual chemical nature of those agents and without necessarily knowing how to identify, store, or dispose of other toxic substances (eg, spent nuclear fuel rods, nerve gas). A parent learns how to teach a small child (to speak, to ride a bicycle, to tie his shoes, to dress himself, to be polite, and so forth) but isn't necessarily qualified to be a teacher in a public-school setting (eg, History, Music, Calculus, Biology, Chemistry, etc).

The trouble with Parenting as a skill is trying to determine its precise effects. How often do you roll? What happens if you fail, what happens if you fail critically? What modifiers apply? On what stat do you base it?

As for that last, there are a few possibilities. An IQ-based skill seems to cover the broad strokes of parental knowledge and strength of character, but it leaves out non-human races who teach (and learn) through instinct and perception. A Will-based skill seems appropriate for discipline. A Per-based skill might be more appropriate for animals.

Like other professional skills, it is IQ based, and like other GURPS skills in general you can always float to other bases if the situation calls for it.

And determining the precise effects for Professional Skill: Parenting is the same as Professional Skill: Soldier, or any other number of broader GURPS skills. A lot of that has to do with GM style. Some GM's make players roll all the time for things...other GM's rarely. Some GMs use TDMs extensively...other GMs not so often. Failure and Crit Fails depend on the situation and what you are doing.

I think a number of GURPS skills are a bit loose and should be so. It allows for different play styles and for flexibility in situations.


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