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Old 07-23-2017, 04:10 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Skills that can be "comparative" in a multi-world setting

SF settings with lots of colonised worlds, and Infinite Worlds, with lots of parallel worlds, share the aspect of having lots of slightly variant societies. GURPS already has comparative versions of Philosophy and Theology.

Parallel worlds usually aren't aware of each other. They allow almost any social science to be comparative, if you can observe many worlds, such as Economics, History, Psychology or even Strategy.

Colonised worlds can influence each other, and don't normally have multiple instances of the same people. They make things like comparative Sociology possible.

What else can characters do along these lines?
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Old 07-23-2017, 04:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: Skills that can be "comparative" in a multi-world setting

Literature I think would be a comparative skill, as would Hobby/Professional/Expert Skill (Mythology) (not sure which it'd actually fall under, as a case could be made for all three). These could complement Theology and Philosophy in many ways.
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Old 07-23-2017, 07:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: Skills that can be "comparative" in a multi-world setting

As you said, you can do it for just about any scientific skill. In IW, comparative physics is a thing. The question is how do you make it useful to a character. Most of the time such people end up looking like "payloads" the PC's need to deliver, or a permission to be in the story at all.
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Old 07-23-2017, 12:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Skills that can be "comparative" in a multi-world setting

I think it's logical for there to be Law (Comparative). See for example Roman ideas about the jus gentium, the law of nations, meaning the common legal ideas found in a variety of different societies.

Aside from academic interest, this could be useful in negotiations between people from different cultures. And I think it fact it's the skill one would use to write a constitution. The American constitution, after all, was influenced by English common law, Roman law, perhaps by pre-monarchic Israel, and some people think by the Iroquois Confederay, plus Montesquieu's discussions of comparative legal traditions.
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infinite worlds, sociology, space, strategy

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