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Old 11-07-2015, 08:37 AM   #21
Otaku
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

The main reason I have never run a PC with this skill is because I was unaware of it in 3e (if it was even around back then) and that means I got used to taking certain skills as a combination of "More useful than it looks, plus it adds some background flavor." I actually should revise some of my characters on stand by (that is, built but not yet used in any games) because this is probably a more appropriate fit for them than actually having them be a more skilled cook, tailor, etc.

I think the main reason for players to skip it is that their game isn't going for a different kind of "harsh realism": most of what this covers doesn't interest the players so until they (as the book example mentions) needs it for one of its less common uses like cleaning up a crime scene, it just becomes background material. If you're doing a campaign where you want a little more "mundane" bookkeeping in your adventure, several previous posts have highlighted problems that plague someone with poor housekeeping skills, like increased risk of infestation, which in an adventuring setting can mean increased risk of plague. ;)

I would say the hypothetical "average" person lacks the skill, but that it is still common; it is just that the ones without it drag down the average to where it is less than a full CPs worth (possibly less than even a Dabbler's worth). Again if the group wants this level of detail and as an alternate means of challenging the characters, the GM might want to start throwing in actual challenges where Housekeeping may not be the only the solution, but it is the one that makes sense for most characters.

For example... budget. An adventurers "household" budget might be a bit more flexible in what it includes, but if you've got a player that wants to calculate his expenses down to the penny and and encumbrance down to the ounce, Housekeeping is one of the potential skills to explain how the character is also doing it.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:51 AM   #22
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

Will be useful if someone ever decides to make a GURPS conversion for Maid RPG.
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Old 11-07-2015, 11:06 AM   #23
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

One of the PCs whom I GM for is a cat burglar who regularly uses this skill to dispose of evidence. The same player runs a genetic genius in a Supers campaign and I'm just waiting for her to start using Housekeeping to collect useful skin and hair samples for experimentation ...
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Old 11-07-2015, 11:35 AM   #24
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
A lot of job skills have much the same problem, you only roll against them for monthly job rolls.
I'm not sure that I'd regard this as a huge problem. If a skill is never actually rolled against, but it (a) answers the question "Who's looking after X?" while (b) adding a bit of characterisation detail, then spending a point or two on it seems fine to me. Compare a Hyper-Specialisation or Shtick perk.
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Old 11-07-2015, 01:35 PM   #25
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

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A lot of job skills have much the same problem, you only roll against them for monthly job rolls. Requiring a monthly Housekeeping for pretty much everybody and inflicting some minor injury, illness or substantial repair expense on a critical failure wouldn't actually be unreasonable. Hm, maybe a model based on freelance jobs with margins of success reducing your monthly cost of living instead of generating "real" income.
That actually seems to me to be a completely sound method of doing it. If you look at a man getting married in a traditional domestic economy, he's getting cooked meals without having to eat at a restaurant, mended clothes without going to a tailor, laundry done without having to hire a laundress, cleaning without hiring a housemaid, and a whole bunch of other valuable services—which he probably hasn't enough time to do for himself and possibly doesn't know how to do. That's worth a significant amount of money. In return, of course, he has to support his wife. But, in effect, her labor is paying for a large share of her cost of living, by the outlays it saves him. I'm not sure precisely what the computation ought to be, but it's the kind of thing a job roll could represent.

A datum: I recently looked at a column by Megan McArdle that estimated that women a century ago spent 30 hours a week in the kitchen; now it's 5.5 hours. Back then it was nearly a full time job.
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Old 11-07-2015, 05:35 PM   #26
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
The main reason I have never run a PC with this skill is because I was unaware of it in 3e (if it was even around back then)
It wasn't. It's one of the many improvements in the skills list of 4e.
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Old 11-07-2015, 05:46 PM   #27
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

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It wasn't. It's one of the many improvements in the skills list of 4e.
When I ran my first Transhuman Space campaign, one of the PCs was raising an 11-year-old daughter. So I let him have Professional Skill: Parenting, and buy it up after resolving issues with her in play.
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Old 11-07-2015, 06:00 PM   #28
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

More of a hobby.
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Old 11-08-2015, 03:32 AM   #29
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

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Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
One of the PCs whom I GM for is a cat burglar who regularly uses this skill to dispose of evidence. The same player runs a genetic genius in a Supers campaign and I'm just waiting for her to start using Housekeeping to collect useful skin and hair samples for experimentation ...
Yes, starting at TL7 Housekeeping is crucial for any group of serial criminals who keep finding themselves in adventures not just "ok, we are robbing our tenth house this year after our contacts at the travel agency told us the owners are away; this one has the safe in the attic, two big dogs, and the Ferrari has one of those fancy electronic security systems."
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Old 11-08-2015, 03:38 AM   #30
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

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I actually know someone who has a more pathological version: "I can't hire a cleaner because I can't get things clean enough to have them come in."
Yes, another effect of the social changes in the early 20th century in the Anglosphere as "everyone (or every couple) should be able to keep their house clean and tidy" replaced "you need money to keep things clean, and if you have a lot of money than tidying is what servants are for."

Although of course, in many aristocratic cultures men would spend their late childhood and early adulthood as servants serving food and drink, tending horses, helping their master dress, etc. so they would likely have at least a default in Housekeeping for the rest of their life.
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