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Old 11-28-2022, 04:20 AM   #11
Prince Charon
 
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Default Re: Skills for Underground Construction

I have a hypothetical Digging skill ready, though I didn't recheck the Digging rules in the Campaigns book yet:

Digging, HT/Average
Default: HT-5.

This is the skill of spending long periods shifting earth and stone with manual tools or bare hands, without wasting energy or hurting yourself. Make the roll when you start digging, and on a success, increase the amount of material you move that day by 20%. A normal failure just means that you don't get as much done, but a critical failure can injure you as if the tool you are using was a weapon, or cause the tool to break if the quality in insufficient; if you're digging without tools, your hands may be injured. Note that if you're digging a tunnel, a critical failure could cause the roof to collapse, unless it has been shored up already (using Professional Skill: Miner, or an appropriate Engineer skill). Other effects (like the results of a critical success) are up to the GM.


Thoughts?
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Old 11-28-2022, 04:48 AM   #12
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Default Re: Skills for Underground Construction

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
I have a hypothetical Digging skill ready, though I didn't recheck the Digging rules in the Campaigns book yet:
I'd certainly let a player define such a skill if he wanted to do so -- although it's simple and narrow-focused enough to be an Easy skill -- but it seems to me that a Mining or Engineering skill would work at least as well and be far more functional into the bargain.
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Old 11-28-2022, 05:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: Skills for Underground Construction

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I am pretty sure that I don't have it (I just checked), and being unemployed, am not likely to get it soon. I do have Low-Tech Companion 3, though.
I can hardly recommend that you should spend money on it in those circumstances.

In terms of the standard design/repair/operate triad, the design skill for underground construction is clearly Engineer (Civil, Combat, or Mining, depending on the purpose). The repair skill is often going to be Carpentry or Masonry. I'm not sure there IS an operate skill; what you're designing is essentially a building or a street, and you don't normally make skill roles to operate either of those. In some situations, you might roll against Driving, or Housekeeping, or Urban Survival—or Soldier, if the tunnel is being built to get into a fortified city, say.

What I used Forced Entry for in GURPS Underground Adventures was to do the physical labor part of mining or tunnelling; bonuses to ST from Forced Entry applied to the calculation of how fast you could break up rock or dense soil. Having a specialized Digging skill seemed excessive. Alternatively, Driving (Construction Equipment) will let you operate a tunnel boring machine. Bossing a gang of diggers would likely be Leadership rather than Administration.
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Old 11-28-2022, 06:19 AM   #14
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Default Re: Skills for Underground Construction

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I'd certainly let a player define such a skill if he wanted to do so -- although it's simple and narrow-focused enough to be an Easy skill
Maybe. I called it Average purely because both Running and Hiking are.

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-- but it seems to me that a Mining or Engineering skill would work at least as well and be far more functional into the bargain.
Sure, but if for whatever reason a GM needs to stat up a 'generic ditch-digger,' this (or the Easy version, or Forced Entry) is a more believable skill for him to have than either of those.


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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
What I used Forced Entry for in GURPS Underground Adventures was to do the physical labor part of mining or tunnelling; bonuses to ST from Forced Entry applied to the calculation of how fast you could break up rock or dense soil. Having a specialized Digging skill seemed excessive. Alternatively, Driving (Construction Equipment) will let you operate a tunnel boring machine. Bossing a gang of diggers would likely be Leadership rather than Administration.
I was mostly thinking in terms of TL4-or-earlier characters, for whom construction equipment is mostly not operated with a Driving skill (along with the RL shovel-carrying ditch-diggers that we still have, who work where the powered equipment isn't). The reason I thought of a new, HT-based skill instead of Forced Entry is because the sort of digging I was thinking of is continuous action over a long period, in which stamina is very important, whereas Forced Entry is usually over in seconds if done right. Forced Entry could certainly be used for digging, especially with a pickaxe, but it still feels like a skill based on HT fits the situation better.

Maybe floating the skill over to the other attribute, something like 'Forced Entry (Digging), HT/E?'
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Old 11-28-2022, 08:14 AM   #15
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The reason I thought of a new, HT-based skill instead of Forced Entry is because the sort of digging I was thinking of is continuous action over a long period, in which stamina is very important, whereas Forced Entry is usually over in seconds if done right. Forced Entry could certainly be used for digging, especially with a pickaxe, but it still feels like a skill based on HT fits the situation better.

Maybe floating the skill over to the other attribute, something like 'Forced Entry (Digging), HT/E?'
I don't see anything wrong with that. And floating skills to different attributes is certainly an option that GURPS 4/e encourages. Better that, I think, than inventing an entirely new skill for this one specialized task.
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Old 11-28-2022, 04:43 PM   #16
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Default Re: Skills for Underground Construction

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Sure, but if for whatever reason a GM needs to stat up a 'generic ditch-digger,' this (or the Easy version, or Forced Entry) is a more believable skill for him to have than either of those ...

Maybe floating the skill over to the other attribute, something like 'Forced Entry (Digging), HT/E?'
I don't disagree with the former. What I've done to cover the latter is that -- having had a lot of contact with the profession, so to speak -- I've defined a Professional (Laborer) skill at P/E. It covers the varied scutwork tasks attached to the construction and industrial trades.
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Old 11-28-2022, 09:46 PM   #17
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Default Re: Skills for Underground Construction

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... having had a lot of contact with the profession, so to speak -- I've defined a Professional (Laborer) skill at P/E. It covers the varied scutwork tasks attached to the construction and industrial trades.
Alternatively, one could define it as a specialization of Crewman. This stretches the concept of a "vehicle," but (a) a minimally skilled laborer is part of a crew (more or less by definition), (b) it is an Easy skill natively (Professional Skills are supposed to be Average), (c) it focuses on safety, procedures, and operations rather than "a body of knowledge," and (d) it allows the laborer to "drive" the building under construction -- operate personnel lifts, hoists, motorized buckets, heaters, pumps, spider boxes, etc. (I would still require specialists such as the crane operator, dump truck drivers, and the like to have the associated skill for their vehicle or device.)
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Old 11-28-2022, 10:39 PM   #18
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Default Re: Skills for Underground Construction

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There does not appear to be a 'Digging' skill in GURPS
It probably doesn't appear to limit skill bloat, just like useful skills like PS (Construction, Firefighter, Lumberjack, Miner, or Plumbing) aren't present.

Based on experience, I've found that you do get more efficient at digging with practice. It's not just muscle development but also setting a proper pace and learning to use tools more efficiently.

Since PS (Miner) is an Average skill, Digging has to be a HT/Easy skill. It's possessed by burrowing animals and workmen who just dig canals and ditches using hand tools. It was a very common skill at TL5 and below (e.g., the Erie Canal and hundreds of less famous canals throughout the world were all dug by hand).

It should also cover basic similar tasks such as breaking rocks, levering stumps and boulders out of the ground, and "tiling" fields to drain them.

Defaults might be PS (Miner)-0; Farming-2, Soldier-2, Gardening-3, Masonry-3, Prospecting-5.

PS (Miner) is a stripped down practical version of Engineer (Mining) which applies as soon as you break rock to extract valuable minerals or dig deep or enclosed tunnels or underground galleries. It is to Engineering (Mining) as Mechanic is to Engineering (Automotive, Mechanical, etc.).

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The trench lines of late-WWI were quite elaborate, with shelves and bed-nooks dug into the sides of trenches, and even large subsurface rooms for storage, meetings, kitchens, and officers' quarters.
Those elaborate trench lines didn't just spontaneously emerge. There were engineering officers who wrote manuals and supervised construction. In GURPS terms, it's Engineering/TL (Military). Soldiers who dug deep galleries were either professional miners in civilian life or were supervised by engineers or military sappers.

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Designing underground dwellings probably involves something like Architecture (Underground)
Architecture would cover aesthetics, general design, and "human (or whatever) factors." RL architects consult with engineers to make sure that their pretty designs conform to the laws of physics and can actually be constructed using available materials.

Architecture (Underground) with Engineering (Mining) and Geology as complementary skills makes sense if you're building underground habitats. PS (Mining) would be the skill required to turn the plans into reality. Use Prospecting to find areas of rocks which lend themselves to underground construction. Carpentry or Smith skills might be needed to build and maintain bracing and other supports. Add Explosives (Demolitions) skill if you plan to blast rock or earth out of the way.

Engineering (Mining) + Geology is needed to determine if it's possible to dig in a given area, plan out the all-important drainage and ventilation systems, and determine what sort of supports the tunnels and galleries need, and determine what effects explosions or digging will have on the surrounding rock.
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Old 11-29-2022, 01:34 AM   #19
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Default Re: Skills for Underground Construction

A Physical Work(HT) skill with a required specialty to cover any kind of physically demanding job and learning how to minimize the effort, train the right muscles. Like the scrawny old farmer that can toss more bails of hay than the football star teen.
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Old 11-29-2022, 03:14 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
In terms of the standard design/repair/operate triad, the design skill for underground construction is clearly Engineer (Civil, Combat, or Mining, depending on the purpose). The repair skill is often going to be Carpentry or Masonry. I'm not sure there IS an operate skill
In some cases, Repair and Operate skills for mines, fortifications, etc. are going to the the same as the Construction skill. E.g., PS (Miner) can be used to do repairs on mines, detect potential safety problems, run mining machinery, and also extract commercially valuable products from it.

Maybe roll vs. Engineering (Mining) to detect subtle problems or plan complex repairs or maintenance.

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Bossing a gang of diggers would likely be Leadership rather than Administration.
Administration is for the above-ground mine bosses to figure out work and production schedules. Leadership happens in any potentially dangerous situation, like below ground.
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