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Old 07-12-2018, 08:42 AM   #41
Kromm
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Default Re: Minimum Skill Count

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Society judges women a LOT harder on physical appearance.
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That's not true.
I concur. There is ample evidence that men are judged on the grounds of height, that men and women alike are judged on body fat, and that pleasing facial features are beneficial irrespective of sex.

It seems likely that today's society is still guilty of objectifying women more often than it does men . . . but stating that every woman requires Sex Appeal contributes to that objectification in its own small way. It's part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Anyway, Sex Appeal isn't physical appearance, but a form of implicit bribery – just one where the implication is a service rather than goods. Sex Appeal is affected by Appearance, but that's a one-way street; Sex Appeal in no way helps raise effective Appearance. In fact, because it's generally inappropriate (see my comments upthread), it will often be at -1 to -10 and thus fail, resulting in a "Bad" reaction. That's the average reaction for someone with -6 in reaction penalties . . . like, say, Appearance (Horrific). In rules terms, then, going around using Sex Appeal is likely to have exactly the opposite effect of increased Appearance.
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:49 AM   #42
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Default Re: Minimum Skill Count

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If all that happens and you're tasked with finding the museum, the only way to succeed is to wander around until you happen to run into the museum. Your skill at Navigation isn't going to come into it.

Its useful if they give you an address for the museum. Conversely, if you're handed a map in the desert and told to find an arch not marked on it or given coordinates to you're just as lost. In both cases you can figure out where you are on the map, and in both cases you're the victim of a map maker or sadist who didn't give you the tools you needed.


And modern GPS tools cut right through both problems.
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:57 AM   #43
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Default Re: Minimum Skill Count

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Given comments by others in this thread they would definitely be a case for Urban Survival, what else do you call the dumpster diving college students have to do in the US?
I never saw any dumpster diving for food. Junk-level furniture as Bill suggests was about the closest I ever saw but that's Scrounging and not Urban Survival. Urban Survival is for homeless people and post-apocalypse types.

You've still got a lot of "If you do spoemthing that means you ahve a skill that covers it." going on and IMHO that greatly over-inflates the Skill list for ordinary people.

PCs may have many unusual Skills but you don't justify that by saying that many ordinary people have such Skills.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:01 AM   #44
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I concur. There is ample evidence that men are judged on the grounds of height, that men and women alike are judged on body fat, and that pleasing facial features are beneficial irrespective of sex.
One economist advanced the joking proposal that we pass a "height tax": There's a strong correlation between height and annual income, and it's really hard to evade a tax of so many dollars per year per inch of height. . . .
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:03 AM   #45
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While it does suck to be a college students (I have done it more than once), I never had to dumpster dive for food, and I have never known any of my friends who were that bad off. When my friends needed help, I would give them a place to stay (even if it was just a couch) and food until they got back on their feet, and they did the same for me when I needed help. Of course, not everyone has good friends, but I would say that dumpster diving is still an exception rather than the rule.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:07 AM   #46
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Default Re: Minimum Skill Count

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Junk-level furniture as Bill suggests was about the closest I ever saw but that's Scrounging and not Urban Survival. Urban Survival is for homeless people and post-apocalypse types.
Exactly. Urban Survival is for most purposes the professional skill of living as a homeless person in a city. If you have a fixed address (room, apartment, house) and do something other than "be homeless" with the majority of your day, you generally won't have Urban Survival. There are exceptions; urban explorers, traceurs, those who fight and/or engage in espionage in built-up areas, and the like sometimes have this skill for identifying physically safe and dangerous areas, and for "feeling out" new cities. If all you're doing is Dumpster diving, though, that's practically the defining use of Scrounging in a modern urban setting.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:17 AM   #47
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While it does suck to be a college students (I have done it more than once), I never had to dumpster dive for food, and I have never known any of my friends who were that bad off. When my friends needed help, I would give them a place to stay (even if it was just a couch) and food until they got back on their feet, and they did the same for me when I needed help. Of course, not everyone has good friends, but I would say that dumpster diving is still an exception rather than the rule.
I spent a total of 10 years as a student at two different universities in two different cities. Despite winning more than my fair share of bursaries, fellowships, scholarships, etc., I was often broke; with rare, prestigious exceptions, those awards exist to supplement other income, not to replace it. When I was broke, I relied on the charity of family and friends. I'd hesitate to say that's a skill at all . . . it's more the lack of crippling social disadvantages.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:17 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
While it does suck to be a college students (I have done it more than once), I never had to dumpster dive for food, and I have never known any of my friends who were that bad off. When my friends needed help, I would give them a place to stay (even if it was just a couch) and food until they got back on their feet, and they did the same for me when I needed help. Of course, not everyone has good friends, but I would say that dumpster diving is still an exception rather than the rule.
UC Riverside estimates room and board, personal expenses, and transportation of $13,000 per academic year. They claim that 86% of students get financial aid and 70% of those students qualify for full financial aid with all costs (that is, 60% of all students). There is also some kind of program to raise money to provide food for UC Riverside students who can't afford to eat.

Somehow this doesn't add up.

* Are students who haven't enough money for food not qualifying for full financial aid?

* Is the provision for room and board insufficient to pay anyone's actual costs of room and board? If so, why hasn't it been changed?

* Are there a lot of college students who have no idea how to manage their money? Are they perhaps buying expensive things that they think are essential, and then not having money for actual necessities?

Of course, UC Riverside's student loan program is going to result in a lot of graduates starting their careers with a nontrivial debt; in effect, it encourages students to buy a higher present standard of living at the expense of their future selves. That in itself isn't necessarily an optimal way to do things. On the other hand, given that it exists, those reports about literally starving students suggest that something's being managed poorly.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:29 AM   #49
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As a graduate student, I needed loans to pay for my living expenses, even with an assistantship and a tuition stipend (and I shared an apartment with two roommates, had a 10 year old Civic, and did not allow myself more than $100 a month for luxuries). In my experience, financial aid only seems to account for 60% of the expenses of attending college at a public university (when you include living expenses) and, even with assistantship, I think that it only gets up to 80%.

The problem is that public financing for the US college system has lagged behind inflation in the education system for forty years. Now, that would be fine if a college education actually gave what society claimed, but the majority of college graduates seem to only realize the economic benefits of their college degree after 10-30 years. It is why I often tell younger people now to develop a trade before going to college, so they can work part-time for a decent salary while going to school part-time after they get their licensing.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:37 AM   #50
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Default Re: Minimum Skill Count

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Is the provision for room and board insufficient to pay anyone's actual costs of room and board? If so, why hasn't it been changed?
My experience is that these estimates are frequently too low, and they aren't changed because the policymakers aren't relying on research to set the figures, but rather on one or more of adjusting the number to match the available funds (so that any accusations of irresponsibility fall not on them but on those they're aiding), a "gut feeling," or years- or decades-out-of-date personal experience.

Here in Montréal, for instance, you need $1,500/month or around $18,000/year to get by at a marginal level; that's our municipal poverty line. Only the most prestigious fellowships beat that (barely: $21,000); even the highest levels of student aid are at around just 50% of that amount (~$8,500). All of which ignores the fact that to live at a marginal level, you can't reside anywhere near the universities (all of which are in expensive areas), meaning significant time and money wasted getting to and from.

To bring it on topic: University students might well need One-Task Wonder (Accounting defaults to full IQ for my personal finances) or similar, though probably not a skill. Scrounging is common, though.
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