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Old 01-13-2018, 11:09 AM   #11
malloyd
 
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Default Re: Dabbler Perk

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
It's not just Gurps v. English here but in Gurps, Engineer is a design Skill. Fixing the ship is Mechanic and Mechanic (Starships) is a valid choice.

<shrug> The guy in the engine room is very reasonably called an "engineer" but the "Mr Fix-it" aspect is Mechanic in Gurps (and several other games). I first started grappling with this semantic issue back in FGU's Space Opera.
It's a problem than the profession had too. Notice that the early schools established for this sort of training in the US are "Agricultural and Mechanical" and not "Engineering" colleges, and that one of the first disciplines to be formalized is still called "Naval Architecture". It's not until the 20th century that "Engineering" suggests a formalized design skill.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:20 PM   #12
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Default Re: Dabbler Perk

Thank you everybody, I agree. I just saw it and thought that it was so overpowered that it could break my game.
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:15 PM   #13
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Default Re: Dabbler Perk

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A third way to do it is to have enough IQ and Talent that you don't need to put many points into each skill.
Pretty necessary, yes. For the main game I had in mind (GURPS Traveller), I wound up with 39 skills* on the design/repair/use chart I made to show which ones of them were used together on what sorts of equipment. Even at 1 CP per skill, that's a pretty hefty investment, turning the engineer into a one-trick pony (at least at the usual 150-ish CP budget). Going heavy on the IQ runs the usual risk of turning the engineering into the all-IQ-skills character (Spock rather than Scotty!). An Engineer Talent winds up being not terribly different from an Engineer! wildcard. (Needing that kind of Talent also comes pretty close to turning the builds into a class-based system, so I'm a little leery of them being too focused and stacked too high.)

* I did wind up even adding one skill, for Power Plant Operation, just to complete the design/repair/use triad with Engineer (Power) / Electrician, Mechanic (Fusion) / ?. I couldn't find a skill in RAW for running a power plant. And a few of those 39 are "use" skills that are a little more generic, that most of the characters would have, or even other specialties where the "engineer" may not be particularly good at all (Spacer, Guns, Pilot). So that's not an exact count, but gives you an idea of the size of the job. It's much wider than most GURPS archetypes seem to call for.
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:31 PM   #14
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Default Re: Dabbler Perk

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
* I did wind up even adding one skill, for Power Plant Operation, just to complete the design/repair/use triad with Engineer (Power) / Electrician, Mechanic (Fusion) / ?. I couldn't find a skill in RAW for running a power plant. And a few of those 39 are "use" skills that are a little more generic, that most of the characters would have, or even other specialties where the "engineer" may not be particularly good at all (Spacer, Guns, Pilot). So that's not an exact count, but gives you an idea of the size of the job. It's much wider than most GURPS archetypes seem to call for.
Power and propulsion are the core systems of a crewed vehicle, so Spacer seems to be the correct skill for operating them.
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Old 01-13-2018, 06:20 PM   #15
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Default Re: Dabbler Perk

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Pretty necessary, yes. For the main game I had in mind (GURPS Traveller), I wound up with 39 skills* on the design/repair/use chart I made to show which ones of them were used together on what sorts of equipment. Even at 1 CP per skill, that's a pretty hefty investment, turning the engineer into a one-trick pony (at least at the usual 150-ish CP budget). Going heavy on the IQ runs the usual risk of turning the engineering into the all-IQ-skills character (Spock rather than Scotty!). An Engineer Talent winds up being not terribly different from an Engineer! wildcard. .
Just a note but Mathematical Aptitude already covers all Engineering Skills. Math and Physics too which you'll probably think and engineer should have just because.

Then as I stated above Mechanic (Starships) will let you fix _anything_ on a starship including the small appliances in the galley (as long as they're built-in rather than freestanding). One supposes this was why the USAF in the 70s ordered coffeemakers from Boeing instead of Sears.

Finally I'll agree about Spacer. Professional Skill (Nuclear Plant Operator) is what you use on a TL7-8 nuclear power plant and Spacer covers built-ins. I'm pretty sure the plant mostly operates itself. that sort of thing explains how the Scouts get away with so many fewer watchstanders than the Navy.
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Old 01-13-2018, 07:00 PM   #16
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Then as I stated above Mechanic (Starships) will let you fix _anything_ on a starship
Sounds like a workable house rule in the "ruthlessly combining" category.

By RAW, Mechanic has a long list of required specialties. Power plants (of various types, separate skills for each) are one of those. ISW specifically calls out Mechanic (Jump Drive), Mechanic (High Performance Spacecraft) (used for life support), and Mechanic (Gravitics) in addition to the categories in Basic. They seem to be largely paralleling the Engineering specialities, though occasionally there are some separate skills with distinct names ("Electrican" instead of "Mechanic (Power)" or "Electronics Repair" instead of "Mechanic (Electronics)" to match up to some of the Engineering specialties.

Trying to build a matrix of comparable skills mentioned in RAW, I wound up effectively with specialties of Starship, Jump Drive, Gravitics, Power, Electronics, Computers, Heavy Weapons, Armor, and Small Arms. Design/repair/use means three of each. Existing skills means some of them branch more finely in some columns. For example, Armory has Body Armor, Battlesuits, and Vehicular Armor in RAW, while Pilot has existing categories for High Perf Spacecraft, Aerospace, Contragrav (all of which are usually "gravitic" engineering in Traveller), and Electronics Operation already has specialties of Comms, Sensors, Security, Medical, and Scientific (I lumped those last two together with others into "Application") along with Computer Operation all lining up as "use" for the broader "Electronics" specialty for Engineering and Repair.

If you're willing to declare the entire "use" column to be Spacer (along with sir_pudding), and the entire "Repair" column to be one Mechanic skill (along with Fred), then you might well just declare the entire "design" column to be Engineer (Starship) -- or perhaps call it "Naval Architecture". Then you're down to three skills, one of which everyone on the crew will have, so the engineer really just needs two broad skills -- Engineer (Starships) and Mechanic (Starships).

You can then go back and introduce familiarities if you want a security guy to be good at maintaining personal weapons (only) while the ship engineer doesn't bother with them. But once you start down the dark path of splitting skills, forever will it control your destiny, until you wind up back at something RAW-like. There's a reason they made all those distinctions in the first place. The right place to stop splitting is one of those things that's going to depend on the focus of the game and personal taste.

The problem here is just that some roles by RAW default have that splitting much further down the detailed and fine-grained path than others. You can equalize them either by lessening detail in some places, or adding it in others, but the main point, I think, is just equalizing the burden across your game roles. If the hotshot pilot can navigate and fly anything with six skills, and the brilliant leader can inspire his people and outsmart the enemy with six skills, and the badass Proud Warrior Race member can trounce anybody in unarmed, high-tech ranged, and obligatory ethnic melee weapon combat with six skills, then you probably shouldn't require the engineer to buy 20 to 30 skills to fix and repair anything -- but rather about six.
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Old 01-13-2018, 07:14 PM   #17
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You can then go back and introduce familiarities if you want a security guy to be good at maintaining personal weapons (only) while the ship engineer doesn't bother with them. .
Maintaining personal weapons is either Soldier/TL or Armory/TL (personal weapons).

Your post seemed to imply that Mechanic (Vehicle Type) was not RAW when it absolutely is. It's one of the four main sub-types of the Skill on p.207. It's disallowing Mechanic (Vehicle Type) that's the House Rule.

Maybe someone wants a high level of complexity but Gurps doesn't demand it.
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:35 PM   #18
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Default Re: Dabbler Perk

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
By RAW, Mechanic has a long list of required specialties.
One of which is Vehicle Type.
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Mechanic (High Performance Spacecraft) (used for life support),
Sure and everything else on the craft. Do you suppose Mechanic (Automobiles) is only for fixing the A/C? What if a vehicle doesn't even have any life support or climate control? What does Mechanic (Bicycles) fix?

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I wound up effectively with specialties of Starship
Yes this is a specific example of Mechanic (Vehicle Type) you can use it fix Starships. B207 says "the controls, hull, motive system, power plant, transmission and even the paint job" and I am certain that isn't meant to be exhaustive, but rather it saying that it covers all the big things (power plant) and trivial things (paint job) and everything in between.

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If you're willing to declare the entire "use" column to be Spacer (along with sir_pudding),
No, that's not what I am saying. Weapons use Gunner. Sensors use Electronics Operation. However, among the core systems of a vehicle are a motive system and a power plant. Just as the specific skill of Seamanship includes the ability to raise sails and adjust trim, all Crewman skills include the ability to operate the core systems of the vehicle. Otherwise what systems could the skill possibly include to be necessary?
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and the entire "Repair" column to be one Mechanic skill (along with Fred), then you might well just declare the entire "design" column to be Engineer (Starship) -- or perhaps call it "Naval Architecture". Then you're down to three skills, one of which everyone on the crew will have, so the engineer really just needs two broad skills -- Engineer (Starships) and Mechanic (Starships).
Yes, Engineer (Starships) as an example of Engineer (Vehicle Type) is a speciality listed on p. B191.

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You can then go back and introduce familiarities if you want a security guy to be good at maintaining personal weapons (only) while the ship engineer doesn't bother with them.
I think it is pretty obvious that Mechanic (Starships) doesn't overlap with Armoury (Small Arms) very much at all.
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But once you start down the dark path of splitting skills, forever will it control your destiny, until you wind up back at something RAW-like. There's a reason they made all those distinctions in the first place. The right place to stop splitting is one of those things that's going to depend on the focus of the game and personal taste.
Mechanic (Starship) and Spacer are totally in the rules.

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If the hotshot pilot can navigate and fly anything with six skills ... then you probably shouldn't require the engineer to buy 20 to 30 skills to fix and repair anything -- but rather about six.
Pilot has the exact same Vehicle Type specialities as Engineer and Mechanic. If you think Mechanic (Spaceships) can only fix the life support, then Pilot (Spaceships) can only operate the life support, and you would need the same 20 or 30 skills to fly anything.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:10 AM   #19
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Dabbler Perk

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
One of which is Vehicle Type... B207 says "the controls, hull, motive system, power plant, transmission and even the paint job" and I am certain that isn't meant to be exhaustive
Presumably the meaning of the paint job phrase, yes. Perhaps that's an attempt to address the proliferation of specialties, and a game could certainly use that as justification if they wanted one skill for everything.

That literal reading does leave a mechanic oddly unable to understand or deal with the same system once you move it outside of the hull, but that's the way it goes. GMs can deal with that if need be. Or just call it a bang skill.

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I think it is pretty obvious that Mechanic (Starships) doesn't overlap with Armoury (Small Arms) very much at all.
But it is something that the Scotties of fiction can do, and it is a "repair" task that falls under a "design" skill which is used for starships. Should you want the design / repair / use triad to be parallel and single-skilled, you'd wind up lumping them together. In RAW, those specialties aren't remotely parallel, nothing like the same breadth from skill to skill.

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If you think Mechanic (Spaceships) can only fix the life support
That was an example that ISW specifically calls out, to illustrate the "Starship" specialty is still useful and needed, even though that book is also calling out other Mechanic specialties also needed on starships -- so that setting, at least, is not using a single Mechanic (Starship) specialty to fix everything on board. Basic RAW allows it; ISW RAW doesn't use it, so global-vehicle uberskill is evidently not a universal intent for Mechanic. As with many things in GURPS and especially Basic, there are options from which GMs need to choose.

Suggesting that Pilot must also apply only to life support because they both use the word "Starship" for a speciality is just silly, and beneath you.

At any rate, this horse seems thorough beaten, plasma-roasted, and disintegrated. The various options seem well covered from various angles, (thanks, Fred and pudding!), so the OP or other prospective GMs can anticipate when deciding how they want their game and setting to work.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:55 AM   #20
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Default Re: Dabbler Perk

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Presumably the meaning of the paint job phrase, yes. Perhaps that's an attempt to address the proliferation of specialties, and a game could certainly use that as justification if they wanted one skill for everything.
It isn't "one skill for everything", it is "the skill that fixes one kind of thing", starships and bicycles are two kinds of things.
Quote:
That literal reading does leave a mechanic oddly unable to understand or deal with the same system once you move it outside of the hull, but that's the way it goes. GMs can deal with that if need be. Or just call it a bang skill.
That isn't correct: "Mechanic specialities default to each other at - 4 although the GM may modify this for particularly close or distant systems."
Quote:
But it is something that the Scotties of fiction can do,
If Star Trek isn't an example of wildcard skills in fiction, I don't know what is.
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and it is a "repair" task that falls under a "design" skill which is used for starships.
Engineer (Small Arms) and Engineer (Starships) are two different skills.
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Should you want the design / repair / use triad to be parallel and single-skilled, you'd wind up lumping them together. In RAW, those specialties aren't remotely parallel, nothing like the same breadth from skill to skill.
In the rules, Engineer (Small Arms), Armoury (Small Arms) and Beam Weapons (Pistol) aren't lumped with Engineer (Starships), Mechanic (Starships) and Pilot (Starships). These are two seperate sets of design/repair/use skills, all listed as available mandatory specialities in the Basic Set.

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That was an example that ISW specifically calls out, to illustrate the "Starship" specialty is still useful and needed, even though that book is also calling out other Mechanic specialties also needed on starships -- so that setting, at leasleast, is not using a single Mechanic (Starship) specialty to fix everything on board. Basic RAW allows it; ISW RAW doesn't use it, so global-vehicle uberskill is evidently not a universal intent for Mechanic. As with many things in GURPS and especially Basic, there are options from which GMs need to choose.
I don't have that book, so I can't comment on it directly but I think that either is a misinterpretation or genuine errata. Mechanic (Starships) simply can't just be the skill of fixing the life support on starships because a) B207 is pretty clear that it includes the whole vehicle, b) why not take Mechanic (Life Support Systems) and be able to fix life support systems on submarines and habitats too and c) not all vehicles even have life support, so what does Mechanic (Bicycle) actually fix?

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Suggesting that Pilot must also apply only to life support because they both use the word "Starship" for a speciality is just silly, and beneath you.
Mechanic literally says this, "one specific type of vehicle listed under a vehicle operation skill".

The "triad" is Engineer (Vehicle Type), Mechanic (Vehicle Type), and Bicycling/Boating/Driving/Piloting/Submersibles (Vehicle Type). That results in the same number of skills for everyone.

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