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Old 02-01-2014, 02:50 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2014
Default How to Build a Boy Scout

I am getting involved in a new game a friend is running. I would like to give my character a background in Scouting, but having not been a scout myself (outside of one year as a wolf cub) I am not certain what skills would be reasonable to represent this.

Do you have greater experience with scouting & GURPS? Any advice on how to accurately portray a background in scouting would be most appreciated.

Many thanks,
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Old 02-01-2014, 03:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to Build a Boy Scout

It really depends on the era and type of scout you want to portray. And on where they live.
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Old 02-01-2014, 03:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to Build a Boy Scout

I Typical use the Perk Background: Scouting which grants a +1 to defaults in skills for scouting related tasks and an excuse to spend points in skills as Merit badges opening the door to interests pursued further.

Those that take the Scout Oath and Law seriously would have a [-15] Code of Honor.

Also see the thread Boy Scout Skills
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Old 02-01-2014, 03:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to Build a Boy Scout

Classic scouting is superficially about teaching some skills - Survival, Hiking, Navigation and First Aid would be examples - and more deeply about indoctrinating people with "desirable" disadvantages, like Sense of Duty and trying to avoid them developing undesirable ones.

To the best of my knowledge, the skills curriculum is really variable, by place, time and the interests of the scouts and their leaders.
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Old 02-01-2014, 03:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to Build a Boy Scout

I made it to Webelos with arrow points on my uniform down to my wazoo, but that was at best gaining defaults, not skills or even dabblers. I learned more with my dad.

The normalizers will probably tell you that even Scouting gives dabblers, but player characters are usually exceptional, so let them have whatever will be fun to play. For examples, there are plenty of lists of merit badges online.

Being an Eagle Scout will give a positive reaction with some people.
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Old 02-01-2014, 03:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to Build a Boy Scout

I was an Eagle,and a Scoutmaster, worked at Scout camps (including Philmont), and helped train other Scoutmasters.

In the US, there is a core set of skills common to all Scouts, after which there are a wide variety of other skills that can be acquired if you so choose. Not all of these skills really map into GURPS skills, and none are going to be automatically acquired at the level of a full point, so I would really just use Scouting as justification for one or two Dabbler perks that include some levels of First Aid, Survival (usually but not always Woodland), Knot-Tying, Navigation (Land), and optionally Boating, Swimming, Cooking, Climbing, Hiking, etc.

Now you could also expand these skills beyond the Dabbler level, but I would not consider that any kind of requirement, and even the levels and number of skills obtained would depend on how long they remained in Scouts. I would also consider something like Social Regard, depending on the exact time and level of accomplishment. I would hesitate to require any kind of Code of Honor simply because (realistically) not that many actually adhere to one.
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Old 02-01-2014, 03:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to Build a Boy Scout

Thank you all very much, I feel this thread has given me everything I needed and it is very much appreciated!
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Old 02-01-2014, 04:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to Build a Boy Scout

I kind of like the idea of a variant of Soldier skill. Soldier skill has to be specialized by era, like Soldier (Cold-War Red Army) or Soldier (Viet-Cong) or whatever. Why not Soldier (Boy Scout)? This would clearly not cover use of an NBC suit, etc.

Either that or a Dabbler perk. Dabbler seems to be tailor-made for this.

Some sort of Dabbler (Boy Scout) could easily be made from the skills people have already listed- perhaps classically including Navigation (Land), Naturalist, Survival (Woodland), First Aid, Knot-Tying, Hiking, Boating, and... something else. Swimming?

Perhaps there would be another level called Dabbler (Eagle Scout) that adds Rifle Sport, Archery Sport, Climbing (Mountaineering), Navigation (Sea), etc.

On this subject, have any of you seen Moonrise Kingdom? Khaki Scouts would definitely have Scouting! (bang skill)

Last edited by acrosome; 02-01-2014 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: How to Build a Boy Scout

I'd second those saying Dabbler and maybe Code of Honor (or alternately Sense of Duty). Those who made it to the top levels might have Reputation (Small group) and a "real" skill or two. Maybe the Standard Operating Procedure (On Alert) perk for those that take "Be Prepared" to heart.

On the other hand, I was a Scout for a few years, and I doubt that time left any significant impact on my character sheet. I learned far less woodcraft there than I did with my family. I could tell you some facets of my personality that it contributed to (mostly by trying to teach me the opposite), but those don't even come up to the level of quirks.
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Old 02-01-2014, 08:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to Build a Boy Scout

Aside from Dabbler (I..uh..fourth this?), don't forget things like Honesty, Truthfulness and Code of Honor. Most Scouts are helpful to a fault.

Some common other disads (from Eagle scouts I know):

OPH or Quirk: Goody Two Shoes (-1 from less Honest folk)
OPH: Brags about being an Eagle Scout, Talks about Eagle Scouts becoming FBI agents
Obsession, become an FBI agent.
OPH or Quirk: Condescending

Those may not be universal, I only know like 4 Eagle Scouts.
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boy scouts, character creation, scouting

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