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Old 11-08-2015, 05:07 PM   #41
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

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Originally Posted by Winged View Post
I can attest that it is very possible for a person to have an otherwise functional IQ sufficient to acquire a college degree and hold down a job, while still being hopeless about how to do basic household tasks. Things like clearing off dishes before they get to the sink, shutting lights off before you go to bed, locking the door behind you, knowing that putting a bag in the garbage can is important, and making meals that do not come with microwave instructions are all skills I have seen neglected.
I don't think those tasks are all on a level, though. Most of them are easy tasks, probably around Housekeeping+4 at the hardest (that is, defaulting to IQ or better). Cooking a meal from raw ingredients, on the other hand, looks to me to be a standard Housekeeping roll.

The person who just hasn't made those things habitual, and has to roll to think of them, is different from the person who totally has no clue. That version would be Incompetence, I think.
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:30 PM   #42
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

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Housekeeping has become a mainstay of fantasy campaigns in my group. Cooking says (if I remember correctly) that it's good for commercial kitchens. We decided that a steep penalty would be in order for using cooking on a campfire, but for Housekeeping in a TL 4- setting, we don't apply a penalty. Every group decides who is cooking, and when nobody has Housekeeping we get to eat half-burned half-raw rabbit-on-a-stick. No rolls, but it adds a lot of flavor (or subtracts flavor).

I'd also let it be used in place of merchant for haggling a wide variety of purchases.
Close but not quite, It's not a commercial kitchen that it for, it for commercial cooking. This means high cuisine means and presentation are the focus not special equipment. Though it might be needed to get the most out of some equipment but doesn't require it.

Cooking would be used on TL3 Banquet so it not equipment based.

But yes Housekeeping would be the more appropriate for campfire cooking than cooking though

Housekeeping = cook the family meal
Cooking = impress with cooking.
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:37 PM   #43
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

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But yes Housekeeping would be the more appropriate for campfire cooking than cooking.
Actually, for campfire cooking, I would allow Survival to substitute.
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:40 PM   #44
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

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Actually, for campfire cooking, I would allow Survival to substitute.
Or Solider for trail cooking.
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:26 PM   #45
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

At what stage do ingredients stop counting as raw and start counting as prepared? In modern Western society very few people start with 'and first you chop the chickens head off'
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Old 11-09-2015, 12:01 AM   #46
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

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At what stage do ingredients stop counting as raw and start counting as prepared? In modern Western society very few people start with 'and first you chop the chickens head off'
Well, obviously, there's a continuum. But what I take as the distinction is between taking single ingredients, physically modifying some of them (as by cutting or melting), mixing, seasoning, applying heat, and so on; and taking something prepackaged and heating it up. The one takes some actual knowledge and some skills, though they may not be very challenging—it's not hard to make oatmeal!—where the other takes reading the directions on the package.

Of course there are borderline cases.
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Old 11-09-2015, 01:51 AM   #47
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

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Housekeeping is the basic skill of taking care of yourself and your home. Rich people don't need it and often have no avenue for obtaining it. Middle class people either have it or make up for their lack of knowledge by eating out and hiring cleaners and repairmen. Poor people either have it or destroy themselves and their possession because they cannot afford to farm any of this out.
Reasonable, but with a couple of caveats. First, it assumes the possession of a home. Professional soldiers who spend most of their time in the field use Soldier to keep their kit and provisions in good order and heat up their rations; their close cousins, professional dungeon plunderers, naturally spend all their downtime in inns. Though funnily enough, modern peacetime armies, who spend a lot of time in barracks and like to keep them tidy, may force recruits to learn Housekeeping to fair levels who'd otherwise try to dodge the idea.

And second, there's division of labour. As Bill says, in pre-modern societies especially, marriage is very much the expected norm because it's a practical partnership in which the man goes out and grows crops or earns cash while the woman stays home and does Housekeeping for both of them. The pre-TL8 sitcom stereotype of the man who comes home at the end of a long day at work and then slobs out while his long-suffering wife cleans around him doubtless has a basis in truth for many, many families.
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Old 11-09-2015, 03:16 AM   #48
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

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Originally Posted by Winged View Post
I can attest that it is very possible for a person to have an otherwise functional IQ sufficient to acquire a college degree and hold down a job, while still being hopeless about how to do basic household tasks. Things like clearing off dishes before they get to the sink, shutting lights off before you go to bed, locking the door behind you, knowing that putting a bag in the garbage can is important, and making meals that do not come with microwave instructions are all skills I have seen neglected.
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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I don't think those tasks are all on a level, though. Most of them are easy tasks, probably around Housekeeping+4 at the hardest (that is, defaulting to IQ or better). Cooking a meal from raw ingredients, on the other hand, looks to me to be a standard Housekeeping roll.
I agree that these tasks aren't all of a level, but assessing them as +0 to +4 is astonishingly harsh. For the first four, not everyone chooses to do them* on a regular basis, but it's pretty harsh that normal adults who do not have Housekeeping have a 50% chance of somehow managing to fail if they decide to clear off dishes or put a bag in the garbage can.

Not to mention that the idea that a normal person with IQ+2 in Housekeeping, i.e. a professional housekeeper, would only have a 74% chance of successfully cooking a meal is pretty far-fetched. A TL5-7 professional housekeeper probably cooked at least 2-3 meals a day, excluding afternoon tea, and it would be pretty astonishing if every other day her Victorian 'gentlemen' boarders would have to go without breakfast, dinner or supper because she somehow failed at preparing them. That's not what professional skill level should represent. If you regularly fail at stuff you do every day, you have a much lower skill level than 12.

To me, everything on that list is easy enough so that a normal person ought to be able to perform it off a default without much of a chance for failure. Cooking a meal might require a Dabbler Perk or other improved default to bring the skill level from 5-6 to around 8 in order to succeed** pretty much all the time, but the rest is all TDM +10 stuff.

Now, having the ability to do something and actually doing it are two different things. With certain Status levels in many historical societies came memes that performing many Housekeeping tasks was menial and demeaning to anyone viewing themselves as above the social status of servants and related memes divided tasks according to gender lines. Residue from these memes still lingers and causes many modern people that aspire to middle-class lifestyles, i.e. most modern people, to neglect developing habits related to the regular use of Housekeeping skill.

That, however, is the realm of other GURPS traits than Skills, such as Disadvantages and Quirks. The individual Housekeeping tasks that many people are reluctant to perform are not made any more challenging in game terms by the fact that a lot of people don't want to have to bother with them if they can avoid it.

I'll buy that Housekeeping Job Rolls, modified, if necessary, with Quirks or Disadvantages related to gender and Status, can abstract a whole month of good or bad habits. But that doesn't make managing to turn off the lights without any sort of time pressure or stressors a check against unmodified IQ for a character without Housekeeping skill. That sort of thing makes characters with point values supposedly fit for real people unrealistically feeble, in that they'd probably kill themselves in weeks just trying to survive the 'challenges' of an average life.

*I shut off lights if they bother me, but electric costs are so low in Iceland that I have no pressing reason to worry about lights in other rooms that do not actually interfere with my sleeping.
**Succcess defined as 'meal is prepared so that it can be safely consumed'. There's a lot of difference between good cooks and uninspired and tired people who just want a warm meal with a mininum of hassle, but that difference is not expressed by having the latter fail to prepare dinner every week.
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Last edited by Icelander; 11-09-2015 at 03:21 AM.
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:05 AM   #49
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

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Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
And second, there's division of labour. As Bill says, in pre-modern societies especially, marriage is very much the expected norm because it's a practical partnership in which the man goes out and grows crops or earns cash while the woman stays home and does Housekeeping for both of them. The pre-TL8 sitcom stereotype of the man who comes home at the end of a long day at work and then slobs out while his long-suffering wife cleans around him doubtless has a basis in truth for many, many families.
Greg Laden of ScienceBlogs claims that he has seen that pattern (men avoiding the most laborious tasks in favour of work away from the home and preparation or 'preparation' for it) among hunters and gardeners in central Africa ... but he is an anthropologist and a late 20th century American with leftish politics, so he might be telling beautiful lies or just seeing what he expects to see.
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:40 AM   #50
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Housekeeping

I have to agree with Icelander that most of the basic housekeeping task such as cleaning a few dishes etc. are really really easy - in the +10 at least variety. All the examples of the unwashed dishes and un-emptied garbage cans seem to me not as a specific failed housekeeping roll but just not doing any rolls. So they don't actually show if people have or don't have point in housekeeping in themselves.
I am in the mind though that you could ask for a monthly job roll - success means monetary gains by managing your household well. Failures can mean no monetary gain or even monetary loss or even damage to yourself or your property depending on the severity. Disads lke lazyness can give steep penalties to the monthly job roll - if the dishes remain unwashed often and often due to disad then even having a moderately good skill won't help you at the end of it all.
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