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Old 05-25-2014, 04:05 PM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default [Basic] Skill of the week: Administration

Yawn? Maybe. Basic has it as "the skill of running a large organization" but it often seems to be vital for working inside a large organisation.

That seems to have started with the 1989 first edition of GURPS Special Ops where a half-point of Administration was required in just about all of the proto-templates in in that book. It was also the way to get hold of money from the service, which was sometime necessary, but never easy. GURPS WWII had it as a required skill for all NCOs and officers.

So it gets used as a kind of gateway skill. PC "OK, we need to get the office to do X, Y and Z by tomorrow." GM "Roll Administration ..."

Has anyone done anything more exciting with it?
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:40 PM   #2
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Administration

You basically can't live without it if you want to have high Rank in a city, a corporation, or an army (as the quartermaster, not commander/intelligence, of course). Stuff ranging from making your empire run smoothly to making sure you can perform a Forced March of your army without serious problems.
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Old 05-25-2014, 07:51 PM   #3
malloyd
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Administration

Other than the saving throw vs. bureaucracy, I tend to use it as an analog to Leadership. If you are leading people to do something risky, you roll against Leadership, but if it is something totally safe, use Administration. That makes it not very exciting but sometimes fairly useful.
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:33 AM   #4
johndallman
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Administration

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
If you are leading people to do something risky, you roll against Leadership, but if it is something totally safe, use Administration.
As in "organising them to get something they're willing to do done right?" Agreed, but motivating them still seems to be Leadership.

And I forgot the importance of Administration in Mass Combat, although that is really part of its relevance to the military.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:18 AM   #5
Figleaf23
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Administration

I thought it was necessarily boring too, until I saw someone put it on a stat up of Jim Rockford who used it to mislead bureaucracies or to misrepresent himself as a representative of bureaucracies when undercover.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Administration

I've found it indispensable in the sorts of games I often run. In games with any kind of domain management, Administration is pretty much a must-have skill. In a game with Mass-Combat, it covers your skill with logistics. In a conspiracy game, it lets you understand and map out the organization you are infiltrating, as well as run conspiracies and organizations of your own. I'm too lazy to look it up, but I believe it even helps you in the "Pulling Rank" rolls from GURPS Action.

GURPS is chock full of useless skills, vital skills and the dangerous ones in between, who masquerade as the former and turn out to be the latter. Administration is definitely one of those. In any game where there are organizations, this skill turn out to be very handy.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Administration

Social Engineering has quite a few uses for Administration. It seems to take the place of Savoir-faire as an influence skill in corporate and government bureaucracies, as well as providing a bonus to reaction rolls in such environments. It can also be used as a complementary skill. After doing a quick search through SE, it was mentioned quite a few times as the necessary skill in certain situations.
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:03 AM   #8
Kromm
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Administration

In my current campaign, I've allowed these uses:
  • As the "appropriate Influence skill" in an organizational environment (corporate, governmental, etc.). Other skills work but are at "-1 to -10 for using an inappropriate Influence skill" (p. B359).

  • As the skill of running an organization efficiently. I let it act as a complementary skill for one specific organizational mission; e.g., success gives +1 to the effective skill of all staff working toward that objective directly.

  • As the skill for navigating an organization's reports and paperwork when the PCs want something from said organization. Failure means not getting what they want, while degree of success determines the quality of what they get.

  • As the skill of quickly finding the important information upon opening a folder or a cabinet (physical or virtual) full of documents. Speed-Reading is the brute-force approach: read it all, hope for the best. Administration allows an informed guess at where to look.

  • As the detection skill for spotting disinformation and inconsistencies when examining complex forms and schedules.
It's a fairly critical skill to a group of modern spies. It simply doesn't exist when I run fantasy campaigns, though!
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:23 AM   #9
whswhs
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Administration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
It's a fairly critical skill to a group of modern spies. It simply doesn't exist when I run fantasy campaigns, though!
In my upcoming fantasy campaign, when the PCs recruit sailors for their ship, I plan to offer them an Administration roll as one of the options. Of course, if they go that way, they'll get assigned a crew by the seafarers' guild, rather than getting to pick—probably meaning that I'll roll randomly on the list of possible crew and give them the first half dozen.

But the people who do administration are usually fairly invisible in fantasy campaigns. The steward who manages a castle while the knight is out slaying dragons or liberating the Holy Land, or the chancellor who manages the royal correspondence, is there to enable the people they work for to do the interesting and dramatic stuff. And in a lot of fairy stories magic substitutes for administration—if the wizard can conjure up feasts and pavilions you don't need much logistics.

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Old 05-26-2014, 03:35 PM   #10
Kilmore
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Administration

Some other uses: Detecting whether this person encountered out in the street (or within the enemy gang) actually has Administration.

Railroading public servants.

Obfuscating laundering operations from the authorities.
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