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Old 07-03-2007, 11:30 PM   #7
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyv, Ukraine
Default (u)FAQ: SKILLS

What are the reasons to have a Shortsword instead of a big knife? Their thr damage is the same!
A shortsword is still plenty superior to a large knife for your money:
It has +2 cutting damage.
It can stab at reach 1. (Long reach is many times the advantage of close-combat utility, in part because it lets you avoid close combat!)
It isn't at -1 on all parries.
It risks breakage on a parry vs. a 6-lb. weapon instead of vs. a 3-lb. one.

Body Sense says a successful roll allows one to act normally on the next turn after Warp... What about instant Warp (at -10)?
From Body Sense's PoV, the 'next' turn is the one that occurs after Warp. Since an instant Warp doesn't take an Action, your 'next' turn is the one you're entitled to take after the (free-action, at -10) Warp. Thus, you can instant-Warp and do whatever you want immediately after that, provided you make your Warp roll and your Body Sense roll. Full post here.
(Duplicated in Powers and Advantages.)

Where are the lines between various ship skills (Crewman, Shiphandling, Piloting)?
Originally Posted by Kromm
FWIW, when we were designing the rules, our thinking was this:

Crewman is the most basic skill for shipboard activities: "It includes familiarity with 'shipboard life,' knowledge of safety measures, and training in damage control." In space, the relevant Crewman skill is Spacer, "The skill of working with airlocks, docking clamps, hull patches, pressure doors, etc." In peaceful times, when you don't need your crack helmsman, anybody with Spacer can steer the vessel. As the book says, "This skill also lets you steer the vessel . . . it only includes knowledge of how to steer. Specialists handle such activities as plotting courses and operating sensors. These experts report to the captain, who in turn tells you how to maneuver . . . effective skill cannot exceed your captain’s Shiphandling skill."

Piloting is for maneuvering in situations where precise vehicle attitude and/or split-second response matter: "Roll against Piloting for takeoffs and landings, and in any hazardous situation." It's a DX-based skill for a reason! For fighters and other small, tactical vessel, this would be the only vehicle-control skill necessary. For large craft with a bridge, multiple crew, etc., this would be the skill that the helmsman uses in battle, for dodging rocks in a cinematic asteroid field, when entering or leaving spacedock, and to make reentry.

Shiphandling is the skill of being "the master of a large vessel." It comes down to the skill of coordinating other peoples' Electronics Operation, Gunner, Mechanic, Navigation, and Piloting skills so that they can act like a single person with all of those skills rather than as uncoordinated mice. At any time, Spacer can't exceed Shiphandling when a non-pilot takes the helm. Also at any time, Shiphandling is the go-to skill when the GM checks whether the logs are up to date or the ship's permits are in order, or when the CO is looking for mutineers or choosing the best crew for a job. In hazardous situations, roll when encountering hazards in order to coordinate Electronics Operation (Sensors), Navigation, and Piloting so that those crewmen can coordinate efforts without the -2 for doing two things at once. In combat, it's much the same deal, but the roll is probably to ensure that the guy using Piloting gives the lads with Gunner a shot.

The simple version is that all crew need Spacer, systems operators need Electronics Operation, gunners need Gunner, engineers need Mechanic, navigators need Navigation, and helmsmen need Piloting. The commander needs Shiphandling, and all of the above skills will at best work at -2 without somebody with Shiphandling on duty. Many uses of those skills will be capped at Shiphandling, though. A veteran crew with technical skills at 18 might be better off working at 16 without a CO with Shiphandling at 12-14 limiting them to 12-14 . . . but a typical crew with technical skills in the 12-14 range would be better off working at 12-14 with a commander who has 12-14 than at 10-12 without.
The Other Game System has the Gather Information skill, GURPS doesn't. How do I gather info by GURPS rules?
Originally Posted by Kromm
In GURPS, as in real life, there are dozens of ways to get info using one's skills. It's up to the player to propose and the GM to dispose. A few examples:
  • Administration to glean info from a bureaucrat, either through discussion or by filling out the right forms to request it.
  • Area Knowledge to know where people with useful information hang out so that you can bribe, trick, spy on, or otherwise interact with them.
  • Carousing to buy a few rounds and get information at a pub or a tavern.
  • Current Affairs -- a simple roll will often suffice once you've spent some time catching up on the latest news.
  • Fast-Talk to pry information from somebody who knows what you need to know and who shouldn't talk . . . but who is easily bamboozled.
  • Intelligence Analysis to discover useful info in the reports of people who use these other skills.
  • Interrogation to squeeze information out of somebody you corner or capture.
  • Lip Reading, Observation, Shadowing, Stealth, etc., to spy out information the hard way.
  • Merchant to buy information legally.
  • Politics to glean info from a politician, perhaps by promising cash support or by convincing him that something untoward is going on under his nose and that you can help if he fills you in on a few facts.
  • Research to find information in records of some kind.
  • Savoir-Faire to glean info from somebody in the relevant social group by convincing him that you're a peer who "needs to know."
  • Sex Appeal to get information from a horndog.
  • Streetwise, either to find people to bribe, interrogate, and spy on, or simply to walk the streets, make contacts, and hear rumors.
"Information gatherer" is an entire PC profession -- every group needs one. Somebody who's good at that task will have most of the above skills, plus advantages that boost them and/or give reaction bonuses, and probably a decent bankroll.
What skill do I use to find Secret Doors? Search?

What's the default for Brawling?
Heeey, No Brawling Default?

Yes, Brawling has no default. Nonetheless, a character can punch, kick, bite, and perform some other attacks based on DX (with modifiers where appropriate). This is not a default! It's just that 'natural weapons' can be used at DX (DX-2 for a kick etc.). Also, see below.

The first point in Brawling is useless! Or is it?
Originally Posted by Kromm
Brawling gives a parry with either hand. A DX 10 man with Brawling 10 gets two parries at 8. Granted, he also gets a dodge at 8, and has 11 if he opts to retreat . . . but he can only retreat from one foe per turn. He'll find the parries useful if he has more than one foe. And a more likely DX 14 action-hero type with Brawling 14 gets two parries at 10, and a dodge at perhaps 9. Against multiple foes, retreating on the dodge for 12 and then parrying twice at 10 could even be reliable.

Brawling lets you use Elbow Strike and Knee Strike, both of which have little benefits built in. Elbow Strike lets you get at somebody behind you at only -2, instead of at -5 with a skill cap, as with Wild Swing. Knee Strike removes the penalty for targeting the groin when grappling, and delivers kick damage without the danger of falling down on a miss. Neither has a DX default.

And with Martial Arts, that second item up there will be an even bigger deal.

The executive summary is that even a point in Brawling is worth it if the character ever plans to get into a melee with multiple foes, people coming from behind, people grappling from in front, etc. That is, if he ever plans to be in a brawl. It's only a bad deal if all his battles are frontal, one-on-one fist-fights.
Is there a point in having Observation above default but below Per?
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
There are effectively two distinct uses of Observation:

1. Roll against the higher of Observation or Perception in any Contest against a stealth or concealment skill such as Camouflage, Shadowing, or Stealth, and to notice Filch, Pickpocket, or Sleight of Hand attempts. This is the "tactical" use of Observation.

2. Roll against Observation (default: Per-5) to gather intelligence for later analysis with Intelligence Analysis, typically to avoid penalties for unprepared breaking and entering, military action with Strategy or Tactics, etc. This is the "strategic" use of Observation.
Vicky 'Molokh', GURPS FAQ and uFAQ Keeper

Last edited by vicky_molokh; 12-24-2019 at 02:37 AM.
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