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Old 04-15-2016, 01:59 PM   #1
johndallman
 
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Default [Basic] Skill of the week: Meterology (and Weather Sense)

Meteorology is the IQ/Average TL skill of predicting the weather. The only default is IQ-5, and Geography (Physical) is the only skill that defaults to it, although a few others, like Crewman, Expert Skill (Hydrology) and Naturalist, include some practical Meteorology. The GM usually rolls this skill, and answers randomly or lies on failures. On a success, you can predict a day's worth of weather, but you have to predict days in order: an unmodified roll for the first day, at -1 for the next, -2 for the third, -4 for the fourth and an extra -2 for each following day. Once you fail, it appears that you fail automatically for each following day, which makes sense. Separately from predicting weather, you can roll to get a general idea of what the climate will be like in a new area, and when flying, you can roll to locate thermals.

At TL4 or less, the skill is called Weather Sense, and you get +2 in your home area. At TL4 onwards, you can get equipment bonuses for barometers and the like, if you actually know the skill, and at TL5 the skill becomes scientific, and you need to specialise in a general type of planet, if the campaign will deal with more than one. Meteorology appeared at GURPS 1e.

Meteorology (and Weather Sense) are quite common on templates for outdoors-based characters. After the End uses Weather Sense exclusively: nobody runs weather stations. DF also uses Weather Sense, while Fantasy uses Meteorology and expects you to switch to Weather Sense when applicable. Low-Tech requires the Anachronistic Skill perk to learn Meteorology, rather than Weather Sense, at TL4. PU3 and PU7 have a lot of examples for this skill, and Powers, Enhanced Senses and Psionic Powers have abilities to boost it. Spaceships 5 covers studying a planet's weather. Thaumatology has some weather magics, as do Chinese Elemental Powers and Magical Styles. Ultra-Tech uses this skill to operate weather control satellites (don't get it wrong).

Meteorology doesn't seem to be used to solve big problems frequently. It's more a skill for avoiding problems. What have you done with it in a game?

Last edited by johndallman; 04-18-2016 at 03:05 AM. Reason: Markup
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Old 04-15-2016, 02:11 PM   #2
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Meterology (and Weather Sense)

It can be used to organize the planting of crops. It can be used to organize travel on the micro or macro level. An example on the Macro level comes from Braudel where he points out that the winter was the season for diplomacy because other seasons are the seasons for campaigning(similarly the monsoon ruins overland travel in East Asia but aids sea travel. It is impossible to run a large military campaign during the monsoon.).

Predicting what will happen helps predict when and where to set out, what goods will be in demand at what time of the year and all sorts of things.

In Patrician III I usually recycle from the Low Countries to get wine and Eurasia to get skins and back again. If the weather is timed right I can come in when the goods are at the right price.
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Old 04-15-2016, 02:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Meterology (and Weather Sense)

I would be distinctly inclined to allow +2 for home area even above TL4, for people who still pay attention to the weather in their home area. I work from home, out of doors if it's warm enough, and after several years here I've got to the point that I can look out of the window when I get up and have a fair idea of what the weather will be like for the rest of that day.

I really ought to use weather more in my games.
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Meterology (and Weather Sense)

One problem with the skill I have is that it's based on IQ not Perception. Since it's the skill to find thermals for Soaring creatures, it makes albatrosses need to spend huge numbers of points to do what they evolved for.
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Meterology (and Weather Sense)

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
One problem with the skill I have is that it's based on IQ not Perception. Since it's the skill to find thermals for Soaring creatures, it makes albatrosses need to spend huge numbers of points to do what they evolved for.
Frankly for aircraft I'd be inclined to call that a Per-based Piloting (Glider) roll. If Piloting includes "basic map-reading or practical meteorology, [...] aviation laws and regulations", which it does, it seems excessive to require a separate skill for that. For endogenous flight it's a little trickier, as Flight skill only increases endurance, though for a glider that's exactly what finding a thermal does.
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Meterology (and Weather Sense)

I think switching it to Perception makes the most sense for gliding animals. I just think it's odd that the skill's mentioned for such characters but kept at IQ making it kind of silly for birds.
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Meterology (and Weather Sense)

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
I think switching it to Perception makes the most sense for gliding animals. I just think it's odd that the skill's mentioned for such characters but kept at IQ making it kind of silly for birds.
Is there anything that stops you from buying it as an IQ skill but floating it to Per for that particular use, and thus gaining maybe +8 to effective skill?
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:17 PM   #8
Flyndaran
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Meterology (and Weather Sense)

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Is there anything that stops you from buying it as an IQ skill but floating it to Per for that particular use, and thus gaining maybe +8 to effective skill?
Nothing's stopping me from any House rule. I just think it's an odd ommission to mention gliders needing the skill but forgetting how virtually all real world gliders ever don't have human level IQs.
It's not enough to get me upset, just a momentary quizzical face scrunching.
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Meterology (and Weather Sense)

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Nothing's stopping me from any House rule. I just think it's an odd ommission to mention gliders needing the skill but forgetting how virtually all real world gliders ever don't have human level IQs.
House rule? Floating skills to other stats is RAW. And the RAW quite clearly leave it to the GM's discretion when to do so; trying to spell out every possible case would be insanely complex.
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:38 PM   #10
Flyndaran
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Meterology (and Weather Sense)

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
House rule? Floating skills to other stats is RAW. And the RAW quite clearly leave it to the GM's discretion when to do so; trying to spell out every possible case would be insanely complex.
Weather Sense itself should be Perception based rather than a niche use for finding Thermals only. It's not like even modern Meterologists can predict weather more than three days ahead of time. It seems like something migratory animals like certain birds should be able to do as well as humans.
Sorry if my vagueness messed up my point.
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