Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-23-2015, 01:59 PM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default [Basic] Skill of the week: Hobby Skill and Professional Skill

Hobby Skill is a category of skills: anything that is studied as a hobby, and isn't already defined as a skill. Hobby Skills may be DX/E or IQ/E, and normally default to DX-4 or IQ-4.

Professional Skill is another category, created to cover the specialised skills of non-adventuring jobs. Professional Skills are DX/A or IQ/A, and usually default to DX-5 or IQ-5, if they have defaults. Some Professional Skills have prerequisites of standard skills needed to do the job, such as Electronics Operation (Sensors) for an air-traffic controller, or provide additional defaults for other skills, such as Journalism providing a default for Typing.

Hobby Skill and Professional Skill are also placeholders for "New skills that are Easy or Average", and you shouldn't read much into the names "Hobby" and "Professional". They were introduced at 4e, as part of cleaning up skill bloat.

Several 3e skills became Hobby Skills at 4e, including (Juggling), (Kite Flying) and (Origami). Action adds (Flower-Arranging). Boardroom and Curia points out that hobbyists might use Connoisseur rather than a Hobby skill. Basic has (Martian Orchids) on an iconic character. DF5 adds (Firestarting), which since it's on a salamander, is probably for arson; Dragons has (Needlework), Madness Dossier (Whistling) which might well be HT-based, and Locations: Metro of Madness has (Comic Books), (Metro) and (Pop Music). Martial Arts has (Feats of Strength) and FCCS has (Secret Inks). Mysteries has (Trivia). PU3 and PU7 treat all Hobby Skills as falling under the same Talent or Wildcard Skill, given their limited usefulness. Underground Adventures has (Rock Collecting), as a cut-down and easier version of Geology; many other scientific skills can be hobbies in this manner.

3e skills that became 4e Professional Skills include (Bartender), (Cooper), (Distiller), (Dyer), (Florist), (Glassblower), (Prostitute), (Tanner) and (Weaver). Action adds (Firefighter), which has a good mechanic: it can be used as a complementary skill to any other skill for firefighting tasks. Basic adds (Journalist), Crusades (Netmaker), DF7 (Mortician), DF12 (Brewer) and (Server), DF15 (Torturer), and Fantasy (Courtesan) and (Midwife). High-Tech supplies (Distiller) and (Typesetter). Horror adds (Nurse), and Hot Spots: Constantinople (Master of Ceremonies). Locations: Metro of Madness has (Banker) and LTC1 (Scribe). LTC3 has a lot of the professional skills needed to run an economy, many of which continue at higher TLs. We could use an HTC series to fill out details for TL5-8, such as (Bricklayer), (Plumber), (Gas-worker), (Glazier), (Painter), (Plasterer), etc., but I doubt it would sell well, and the Yellow Pages is a decent substitute. Magic has (Barber), Martial Arts (Modelling) and Gladiators (Stagehand). Mysteries has a more detailed version of (Firefighter) and adds (Law Enforcement). Unlike Hobby Skills, Professional Skills are counted individually for Talents, and it is rare for several to fall under the same adventure-orientated Talent. SEALs in Vietnam has (Plumber) and (Welder), Supers has (Curator), and Chinese Elemental Powers mentions (Healer). Thaumatology: Urban Magics has (Urban Planner) and (Contractor). THS: Changing Times has (Aquaculture) as an option, Ultra-Tech has (Massage), and Zombies positively emphasises (Mortician).

Soldier is an example of a well-developed Professional skill. It includes knowledge of basic tasks that would fall under quite a few other skills. For example, using a radio for routine tasks without learning Electronics Operation (Communications). Are all professional skills like that, or only some of them? If some, is there any way to decide other than GM's Opinion? There's a way to decide what capabilities fall under skills that are like this, but not which skills can do it.

I've created a couple of Professional Skills for a WWII campaign: (Factory (Munitions) worker), where a professional skill for working around explosives seems justified in addition to Machinist or another general factory skill, and (Visual Signaller), for naval signalling with lamps, flags and semaphore: most naval ratings would use Seamanship for this, but there were definitely specialists with much higher skill, who'd often make Per-based rolls, and weren't superior at everything covered by Seamanship.

What character hobbies or professions have appeared in your games?
johndallman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2015, 02:29 PM   #2
RogerBW
 
RogerBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: near London, UK
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Hobby Skill and Professional Skill

Hobbies: Yoga and Entomology (the "cut-down versions" like Rock Collecting), Whittling, Model Railways.

Professions: Policeman, Secretary, Journalist, Pathologist - all of which need other skills too, but cover the stuff other skills don't.

I think one could argue for "system administration" as a professional skill: it's not computer programming, it often goes with high levels of computer operation but not always, and it's certainly not Expert Skill (Computer Security).
RogerBW is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2015, 06:36 AM   #3
vicky_molokh
GURPS FAQ Keeper
 
vicky_molokh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyïv, Ukraine
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Hobby Skill and Professional Skill

I see Professional Skills as a failure to prevent skill bloat. E.g. we already have about a half-dozen monetary skills, but noooo, gotta say they're not good enough for a banker, and so we get PS (Banker). Compare to how different types of biologists can get away with getting new Familiarities of Biology.

As a result, I avoid Professional Skills in my campaigns, and try to make sure my character's profession is based on a normal skill if I'm a player.
__________________
Vicky 'Molokh', GURPS FAQ and uFAQ Keeper
Also, GURPS Discord is a nice place for (faster) Q&A and overall GURPS dicussion.
vicky_molokh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2015, 08:36 AM   #4
Not
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Hobby Skill and Professional Skill

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
I see Professional Skills as a failure to prevent skill bloat. E.g. we already have about a half-dozen monetary skills, but noooo, gotta say they're not good enough for a banker, and so we get PS (Banker). Compare to how different types of biologists can get away with getting new Familiarities of Biology.

As a result, I avoid Professional Skills in my campaigns, and try to make sure my character's profession is based on a normal skill if I'm a player.
Maybe. But Gurps is supposed to be tolerant of in-the-weeds gaming. We live in an era of breathtaking proliferation of expertise. You can get PHDs in social work and puppetry. BTW, where's puppetry? What do I put on Caroll Spinney's character sheet?
__________________
Leave this space blank.
Not is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2015, 10:53 AM   #5
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Hobby Skill and Professional Skill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not View Post
Maybe. But Gurps is supposed to be tolerant of in-the-weeds gaming. We live in an era of breathtaking proliferation of expertise. You can get PHDs in social work and puppetry. BTW, where's puppetry? What do I put on Caroll Spinney's character sheet?
I'd probably use a required specialization of Performance.

Most issues with "skill bloat" seem to come from a feeling you need a single complete skill list for some reason - much the same sort of thinking that generates GURPS' ridiculously overthought skill to skill default rules. There's no particular reason you can't roll against any number of different skills for exactly the same task.
__________________
--
MA Lloyd
malloyd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2015, 12:22 PM   #6
Kromm
GURPS Line Editor
 
Kromm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Hobby Skill and Professional Skill

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post

I see Professional Skills as a failure to prevent skill bloat. E.g. we already have about a half-dozen monetary skills, but noooo, gotta say they're not good enough for a banker, and so we get PS (Banker).
I'd never use PS (Banker) and I'm not sure where that comes from . . . I'd say that's covered. My rule as a designer is that I only ever slap down a Professional Skill if it's really, truly the case that existing skills don't cover the ground. You can be close to certain that skills in published works that violate this principle never crossed my desk for approval. In a system the size of GURPS, it's not only possible that the lead developer could be unaware of some elements, but extremely likely.
__________________
Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch <kromm@sjgames.com>
GURPS Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games
My LiveJournal [Just GURPS News][Just The Company]
Kromm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2015, 12:55 PM   #7
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Hobby Skill and Professional Skill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I'd never use PS (Banker) and I'm not sure where that comes from . . . I'd say that's covered. My rule as a designer is that I only ever slap down a Professional Skill if it's really, truly the case that existing skills don't cover the ground. You can be close to certain that skills in published works that violate this principle never crossed my desk for approval.
It's from Locations: Metro of Madness, on a character who is a bank teller. He should probably have Administration and/or Accounting instead. You didn't edit that book.
johndallman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2015, 01:07 PM   #8
Kromm
GURPS Line Editor
 
Kromm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Hobby Skill and Professional Skill

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post

It's from Locations: Metro of Madness, on a character who is a bank teller. He should probably have Administration and/or Accounting instead. You didn't edit that book.
I didn't even see that one . . . It was in production hell for over a year, almost got canceled, and changed both author and editor. It suffices to say that it was published under less-than-ideal circumstances.
__________________
Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch <kromm@sjgames.com>
GURPS Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games
My LiveJournal [Just GURPS News][Just The Company]
Kromm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2015, 01:40 PM   #9
vicky_molokh
GURPS FAQ Keeper
 
vicky_molokh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyïv, Ukraine
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Hobby Skill and Professional Skill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I'd never use PS (Banker) and I'm not sure where that comes from . . . I'd say that's covered. My rule as a designer is that I only ever slap down a Professional Skill if it's really, truly the case that existing skills don't cover the ground. You can be close to certain that skills in published works that violate this principle never crossed my desk for approval. In a system the size of GURPS, it's not only possible that the lead developer could be unaware of some elements, but extremely likely.
Yeah, that's about the way I feel about Professional Skills. I might be overly triggered by the Banker example and by the recent forum discussion about adding PS (Fishing), which annoyed me to a great extent back in the day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I didn't even see that one . . . It was in production hell for over a year, almost got canceled, and changed both author and editor. It suffices to say that it was published under less-than-ideal circumstances.
It still ended up a good read. I actually used it in my current campaign (with slight adjustment). Which is very very unusual, as I don't normally use adventure/location supplements at all.
__________________
Vicky 'Molokh', GURPS FAQ and uFAQ Keeper
Also, GURPS Discord is a nice place for (faster) Q&A and overall GURPS dicussion.
vicky_molokh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2015, 03:00 AM   #10
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Hobby Skill and Professional Skill

I would generally prefer to obliterate a lot of existing skills and class them as examples of professional skills.
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
basic, hobby skill, professional skill, skill of the week

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.