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 11-21-2013, 06:19 PM   #1
TheOneRonin
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Default CIA Special Activities Division PMO Skill Set

Per Wikipedia:

Quote:
In addition to the eighteen months of training in the Clandestine Service Trainee (CST) Program required to become a clandestine intelligence officer, Paramilitary Operations Officers are trained to a high level of proficiency in the use and tactical employment of an unusually wide degree of modern weaponry, explosive devices and firearms (foreign and domestic), hand to hand combat, high performance/tactical driving (on and off road), apprehension avoidance (including picking handcuffs and escaping from confinement), improvised explosive devices, cyberwarfare, covert channels, Military Free Fall parachuting, combat and commercial SCUBA and closed circuit diving, proficiency in foreign languages, surreptitious entry operations (picking or otherwise bypassing locks), vehicle hot-wiring, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE), extreme survival and wilderness training, combat EMS medical training, tactical communications, and tracking.
So my first question is this...how would you represent those skillsets in GURPS?

My second question is, what point value do you think these guys would clock in as?
TheOneRonin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2013, 09:04 PM   #2
cosmicfish
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Default Re: CIA Special Activities Division PMO Skill Set

Well, the easy way to represent them is to take the template for a Tier 1 unit (DEVGRU, Delta, etc) and the template for a CIA Case Officer and then combine them. That will pretty well cover them all, but I would be surprised if the individual is then less than 500-600 points. Bear in mind that a typical entry-level guy has probably 5+ years in a "regular" special operations unit, followed by 3+ years in that Tier 1 unit, followed by the better part of 2 years in additional training... AT A MINIMUM. They are supposed to be the most highly-trained operators on the planet.
cosmicfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2013, 02:48 PM   #3
TheOneRonin
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Default Re: CIA Special Activities Division PMO Skill Set

Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post
Well, the easy way to represent them is to take the template for a Tier 1 unit (DEVGRU, Delta, etc) and the template for a CIA Case Officer and then combine them. That will pretty well cover them all, but I would be surprised if the individual is then less than 500-600 points. Bear in mind that a typical entry-level guy has probably 5+ years in a "regular" special operations unit, followed by 3+ years in that Tier 1 unit, followed by the better part of 2 years in additional training... AT A MINIMUM. They are supposed to be the most highly-trained operators on the planet.
Thanks for the feedback, fish.

While I'd be willing to bet that a significant % of SAD PMOs come from Tier 1 SMUs, I wouldn't use that as the standard.

Heck, Mike Span didn't even have any special operations experience to begin with.

I guess what I'm getting at is what would be the minimum skill ranks you would find amongst a freshly trained batch of SAD SOG guys?

Yeah...someone coming off of 10+ years in CAG/ACE is going to have a Guns (Rifle) skill somewhere around 20...but that's probably not the normal skill level. Heck, most of the recruits from Army SF, white SEAL teams, CCT/PJ, and other backgrounds won't have near that level of shooting proficiency, even after 18 months of SAD training.

I also think that, while there are undoubtedly some 500 - 600 point guys in SAD, I wouldn't think that is the norm, especially for new members.

Granted, your 45 year old SAD SOG Team Leader who spent 8 years as a Ranger, 12 in CAG, and 7 years as a PMO might be at that level. But the 28 and 32 year old guys under him probably won't be.

What I'm working on is basically a SAD SOG PMO template that sets the base level of skills, attributes, and advantages/disadvantages. Then I'll have some background packages that will round out the agents abilities.

So I just need help in pinning down where those base skills clock in it.
TheOneRonin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2013, 06:43 AM   #4
johndallman
Night Watchman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: CIA Special Activities Division PMO Skill Set

You could probably make good use of GURPS: Special Ops, which has templates for many special operations organisations. It's for Third Edition, but skill levels mean basically the same thing.
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2013, 05:21 AM   #5
Ewan
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Hamilton, UK
Default Re: CIA Special Activities Division PMO Skill Set

The designer notes for the 3rd edition Special Ops contains a template for a CIA SAD character which you could use for inspiration.

http://sjgames.com/pyramid/sample.html?id=3027
Ewan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2013, 08:09 AM   #6
TheOneRonin
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Default Re: CIA Special Activities Division PMO Skill Set

Thanks for the feedback, Johndallman/Ewan.

I didn't have GURPS Spec Ops, so I bought it from E23 today.

It's a great resource, and looks like it's going to be very helpful for what I'm working on.

The SAD template in the Pyramid article is a great starting point and helps me understand how the GURPS developers view skillsets and skill levels for these types of operators.

The templates in the Spec Ops book do raise some questions, though.

How on God's Green Earth do vanilla SEALs come out with more points than Delta/CAG guys?

WTF?

Smells like author bias to me.
TheOneRonin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2013, 10:18 AM   #7
johndallman
Night Watchman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: CIA Special Activities Division PMO Skill Set

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOneRonin View Post
How on God's Green Earth do vanilla SEALs come out with more points than Delta/CAG guys?
They do have a bunch more things that they have to do well: swimming, SCUBA, boating, etc. I don't know how much of the difference that would account for, and I don't have detailed knowledge of US Special Ops forces, but that could be part of it. Also, basic attribute costs are different in 3e, which might be distorting things.
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2013, 11:59 AM   #8
TheOneRonin
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Default Re: CIA Special Activities Division PMO Skill Set

Quote:
Originally Posted by DISCLAIMER
I want to be clear about the fact that I am not, nor have I ever served in, any special operations unit. Having been stationed at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Ft. Polk, I DID get an opportunity to interact with US Army Rangers and US Army Special Forces personnel. My understanding of these warriors and their capabilities comes from a combination of those interactions and the extensive non-fiction reading I have done on Special Operations.

-TheOneRonin

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
They do have a bunch more things that they have to do well: swimming, SCUBA, boating, etc...
I disagree. The CAG/ACE guys have a much more broad skillset than vanilla SEALs (note: I'm excluding DEVGRU).

CIA Core Collector tradecraft skills, as well as Executive Protection and other such skills are part of every CAG/ACE Operator's toolbox. Vanilla SEALs don't get that.

Plus, most of your CAG/ACE operators come from US Army SF or Ranger units. They walk into the program as NCOs with 5+ years of active duty experience, almost exclusively in combat arms roles.

On the other hand, a Navy recruit can easily get BUD/S in his contract. That means he does Navy Basic Training, A-School, BUD/S, and then another 18+ months of training with his unit. So your fresh SEALs are 20 - 21 years old, with training but zero experience, and often lacking the maturity of their Army counterparts...at least until they have some experience under their belt.

You also have to acknowledge the depth of training with a unit like CAG/ACE. The 3 operational squadrons alone burn through roughly the same amount of ammunition each year as the entire USMC. That's a lot of shooting...WAY more than vanilla SEALs (but similar to DEVGRU).

Quote:
Also, basic attribute costs are different in 3e, which might be distorting things.
Upon further examination, it looks like both SEALs and CAG/ACE templates are based on 200-point builds (3rd Ed), but the CAG template leaves more room for optional picks, while the SEAL template uses up all 200 points.

I'm still not sure I agree 100% with that assessment, but at least it makes more sense than the way I was originally thinking about it.
TheOneRonin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2013, 10:36 AM   #9
Kromm
GURPS Line Editor
 
Kromm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: CIA Special Activities Division PMO Skill Set

Special-ops units and highly trained field elements of intelligence services are remarkably capable. Nobody would doubt that! However, it's important to bear in mind that the "official word" about such a unit – its mission statement, the decree that authorizes its creation, what former members are allowed to talk about, etc. – always portrays a best-case scenario. If the world hears about a bunch of armed men who arrive and depart in the dark, accomplishing a mission that requires skills A, B, and C, and technical means X, Y, and Z, are you going to say (1) that teams have individual specialists in A, B, and C, and that there are some teams with X, others with Y, and a few with Z, or (2) that every man-jack can do A, B, and C, and that every team has X, Y, and Z on-deck 24/7? Since nobody can prove you wrong thanks to the inevitable secrecy surrounding such people and their operations, you're going to say (2) every time, because that conceals actual capabilities and intimidates would-be enemies of the state.

This kind of best-case-scenario skill set is propaganda, however. It isn't good for a single, realistic template. I have a lot of experience with template creation, and I would say that a template that offers a choice of packages that collectively give the whole team the officially claimed capabilities is a more realistic approach. Rather than create a 500-point template which consists of a 250-point core with 250 points of special skills, create a 200-point template with a range of six to eight 50-point skill sets, and require the players to pick one or two of those sets per character. If every PC will be a member of such a team, insist that they collectively cover the entire range . . . and perhaps even restrict some selections to just one person per team.
__________________
Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch <kromm@sjgames.com>
GURPS Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games
My DreamWidth [Just GURPS News]
Kromm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2013, 11:38 AM   #10
johndallman
Night Watchman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: CIA Special Activities Division PMO Skill Set

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
If every PC will be a member of such a team, insist that they collectively cover the entire range . . . and perhaps even restrict some selections to just one person per team.
This is utterly reasonable within the setting: the organisations running high-end special ops teams have a good idea what sets of skills they need to have, and usually plenty of volunteers. Picking the ones who have, or are inclined to learn, the skills that are needed is simply sensible management.

In my weekly gaming group, the players' desire to create an effective team is an important factor in character design when we start a new campaign. It often ends up with one or two people who have an idea they're keen on going for those characters and the rest building round them.
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
federal agencies, special ops

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 05:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.