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Old 08-24-2010, 08:51 AM   #11
Gollum
 
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
As a professional driver, I may be somewhat biased but am pretty firmly of the belief that the vast majority of people use Driving at default. Modern roadways are designed to provide a large TDM, but if you throw most people any kind of curveball, especially in wet conditions that impose a penalty, things get really ugly really fast. We had beautiful weather tonight, on a non-holiday Monday, and I witnessed two good crashes and a number of near-misses, one of which involved a successful vehicular Dodge on my part that all of my passengers didn't know was happening until it was over and insisted they would've failed.
I fully do agree! For a simple reason...

In France, the driving license requires between 20 to 30 hours of training, with a teacher. But 20 to 30 hours doesn't correspond to 1 character point; 200 hours are required for that!

So, in my games, the default skill is made for those who have the driving license (any adult character) but who aren't really interested in learning how to drive well – people like me, actually.

Since “Utterly trivial tasks, such as … driving into town” don't require any roll (Basic Set, page 343), there is no problem with not having the Driving skill.

Those who have the Driving skill, to the contrary, are those who really learned to drive: professionals, or amateurs who enjoy taking part into a car rally from time to time, for instance.

Of course, GURPS rules also say that a character can improve his skills during ordinary mundane tasks (Learning on the job, Basic Set, page 293). Slowly, but surely... The ratio is 800 hours for 1 character point. So, because I'm driving for about 20 years now (and about half an hour a day), it would give me about 4 to 5 character points in the Driving skill (which means a skill level of DX+1 or 11).

Actually, I'm totally unable to make a controlled skid or to make a u-turn with the hand brake. So, I'm certainly far of this kind of basic level! I drive well, sure, and no matter the weather... But I wouldn't take part in a car chase without risking my life.

Having said that, the rules sounds quite realistic. They give me...
  • 25.9% chance of having a problem in a road rally competition (1.9% chance of having a major problem, like a crash) *
  • 37.5% chance of having a problem in a car chase (4.6% chance of having a crash)
  • 50% chance of having a problem in a high-speed car chase (9.3% chance of having a crash)
  • 62.5% chance of having a problem in a high speed car chase on a busy freeway, (16.2% chance of having a crash)
  • 83.8% chance of having a problem when trying to keep the car on the road while shooting a gun during a car chase (37.5% chance of having a crash)
  • 95.4% chance of having a problem in a high-speed chase during a blizzard (62.5% chance of having a crash)
  • 98.1% chance of having a problem while shooting a gun in a high-speed chase during a blizzard (74.1% chance of having a crash).

And this, for every roll! Car races or chases require several ones, don't they?

_____


* With a Stability Rating 4 car, like most TL 7-8 cars.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:06 AM   #12
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

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Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
As a professional driver, I may be somewhat biased but am pretty firmly of the belief that the vast majority of people use Driving at default. Modern roadways are designed to provide a large TDM, but if you throw most people any kind of curveball, especially in wet conditions that impose a penalty, things get really ugly really fast. We had beautiful weather tonight, on a non-holiday Monday, and I witnessed two good crashes and a number of near-misses, one of which involved a successful vehicular Dodge on my part that all of my passengers didn't know was happening until it was over and insisted they would've failed.
The problem with this is that if you say that most drivers are using Driving at default, how to you differentiate between Moloch, who is performing the functions of the skill, but very badly, and a normal driver, who is doing them without much of a thought and manages to avoid any incidents in the overwhelming majorities of his trips out the door?

I think that there is little logical reason to say that someone who practises a skill every day for years will have the skill, unless that skill is Driving. Normal drivers have Driving, even if they only have it at DX-1 or DX. Professional drivers have DX+2 or higher.

This means that the people with skill 2-3 levels less in the skill look really incompetent to them, but to the normal driver, the student driver who is still learning looks equally or even more incompetent (DX-5 at default, up to DX-2 with Dabbler).
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:17 AM   #13
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
This means that the people with skill 2-3 levels less in the skill look really incompetent to them, but to the normal driver, the student driver who is still learning looks equally or even more incompetent (DX-5 at default, up to DX-2 with Dabbler).
Wow. This is what I hardly tried to mean just above.

Default skill for a beginner. DX-1 to DX+1 for an ordinary driver with experience. And DX+2 and above for a professional.

You did it much more clearly than I did!
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:13 AM   #14
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

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Originally Posted by tbrock1031 View Post

Molokh, sounds like you were driving a stick-shift. I'll admit that there's a bit more to driving stick than there is to driving a car with automatic transmission; first and foremost, the clutch. When the car started moving when you pushed in the clutch, I'd guess that what you felt was gravity having its effect on the car, not the engine. The clutch eases the tension on the transmission shifter so that its easier to get the car into the appropriate gear; the car won't move if it is in any gear and the engine is off, because of that same tension.
Tension has nothing to do with it. The issue is friction. Literally, when you press the clutch pedal, the engine is disconnected from the drive shaft of the wheels. So the engine keeps running, but the wheels don't turn. Under these conditions, if you're on a hill and don't have your other foot on the brake, yes, the car will roll. However, I got the impression that what startled Molokh is the way the car lurches if you release the clutch pedal without pressing on the gas pedal.

For those not familiar with stick shifts: At the exact point where the clutch engages, if the car is on a slope facing uphill, the engine will actually hold the car in place until the gas is applied. If the car is not facing uphill, or you let the pedal up a little more, the car will lurch forward suddenly and then, if you don't give it some gas, the engine will sputter and die. That's what stalling is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbrock1031 View Post
There are probably more people nowadays who drive cars with automatic transmissions than those who drive manuals.
Actually, that depends on where you are, and the OP is in the Ukraine. My impression is that almost everyone drives an automatic in the US. That's not so much the case elsewhere, and where the OP is, an automatic transmission is probably an incredibly expensive luxury.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:19 AM   #15
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbrock1031 View Post
When the car started moving when you pushed in the clutch, I'd guess that what you felt was gravity having its effect on the car, not the engine. The clutch eases the tension on the transmission shifter so that its easier to get the car into the appropriate gear; the car won't move if it is in any gear and the engine is off, because of that same tension.
With the engine on, releasing the clutch, slowly, in first gear will start the car moving. The engine idles at 1500-2000rpm, usually, and thus always has a limited amount of 'go-forward' potential.

If you release the clutch quickly, you'll stall.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:59 AM   #16
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
The problem with this is that if you say that most drivers are using Driving at default, how to you differentiate between Moloch, who is performing the functions of the skill, but very badly, and a normal driver, who is doing them without much of a thought and manages to avoid any incidents in the overwhelming majorities of his trips out the door?

I think that there is little logical reason to say that someone who practises a skill every day for years will have the skill, unless that skill is Driving. Normal drivers have Driving, even if they only have it at DX-1 or DX. Professional drivers have DX+2 or higher.

This means that the people with skill 2-3 levels less in the skill look really incompetent to them, but to the normal driver, the student driver who is still learning looks equally or even more incompetent (DX-5 at default, up to DX-2 with Dabbler).
I find this persuasive.

(As a side note, I find the 800-hour figure for self-taught learning to be absurd.)
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:05 AM   #17
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
The IQ-based part of the skill, however, should have no default. There's just no way I would figure out that I need to hold the clutch pedal when breaking, or changing speeds. I was also pretty shocked when releasing the clutch pedal resulted in the car moving while I didn't touch the gas pedal. Counter-intuitive doesn't begin to describe it.
When learning to drive standard transmission people should go to an empty parking lot and get the hang of moving the car just with the clutch and brake, before adding in the accelerator and shifting gears.

I would add an additional -2 familiarity penalty for clutch systems in general on top of the other familiarity penalties, though this one, once learned, applies across the board to all manual transmissions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
The problem with this is that if you say that most drivers are using Driving at default, how to you differentiate between Moloch, who is performing the functions of the skill, but very badly, and a normal driver, who is doing them without much of a thought and manages to avoid any incidents in the overwhelming majorities of his trips out the door?
Two things basically, first Molokh is not only lacking in Driving skill but she's also lacking in familiarity with the vehicle, so she has compounded penalties.

Secondly, these days I model most people with the Dabbler Perk for a "life skill set" and Driving is often one of the skills included in that "life skill set" for modern commuters.

Dabbler and familiarity allows you to have a default range of:
-7 for default & unfamiliar
-6 for Dabbler Driving 1/8 & unfamiliar*
-5 for default & familiar
-4 for Dabbler Driving 1/8
-3 for Dabbler Driving 1/4
-2 for Dabbler Driving 1/2
-1 for Driving skill [1]
+0 for Driving skill [2]


*I didn't bother double listing unfamiliar with other variations, but you get the idea.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:17 AM   #18
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

I successfully taught my cousin to drive, and he in turn taught his mother. Do I qualify for some kind of Instructor skill?
* * *
Portland & its suburbs have above average public transit, but the particular arrangement of bus routes in my area means my 10 minute, 3.5 mile, one-road commute would take over a half hour.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:19 AM   #19
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
Two things basically, first Molokh is not only lacking in Driving skill but she's also lacking in familiarity with the vehicle, so she has compounded penalties.

Secondly, these days I model most people with the Dabbler Perk for a "life skill set" and Driving is often one of the skills included in that "life skill set" for modern commuters.

Dabbler and familiarity allows you to have a default range of:
-7 for default & unfamiliar
-6 for Dabbler Driving 1/8 & unfamiliar*
-5 for default & familiar
-4 for Dabbler Driving 1/8
-3 for Dabbler Driving 1/4
-2 for Dabbler Driving 1/2
-1 for Driving skill [1]
+0 for Driving skill [2]


*I didn't bother double listing unfamiliar with other variations, but you get the idea.
All true.

Nonetheless, normal commuters will continue to increase their skills through this progression until such a time that nothing that they encounter in their commuting challenges them anymore.

Given that a need to react quickly to prevent an accident does crop up from time to time, I have no problem with commuters developing the Driving skill once they've spent hundreds of hours commuting. And of them eventually raising it to DX or higher. This is especially likely if the driver is not always driving the same route, experiences a range of extreme conditions, etc.

To me, that describes a typical commuter. But then, we don't have freeways designed to automate the process of driving as much as possible and there is no culture of unskilled drivers who don't know what a clutch is for and consider white stuff falling from the sky the first sign of the impending apocalypse.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:36 AM   #20
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Default Re: Driving Default: Yesterday I reality-checked it . . .

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Originally Posted by Dorin Thorha View Post
^ When in drive, an automatic transmission drives forwards slowly even without pressing the gas. At least that is true of all 3 that I have driven.
Unless you're on a hill, in which case the engine mostly just keeps the car from immediately sliding backwards and smushing into the bumper of the SUV behind you...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inquisitive Raven View Post
Actually, that depends on where you are, and the OP is in the Ukraine. My impression is that almost everyone drives an automatic in the US. That's not so much the case elsewhere, and where the OP is, an automatic transmission is probably an incredibly expensive luxury.
I learned how to drive on a stick shift, but over the last 20ish years, it is my perception that stick-shift cars ("standard" transmission) have become very deprecated in the US. Probably because they're harder to drive, and while they're theoretically easier to repair/maintain, I believe... They're harder to drive.

Stick shifts *do* allow more control over the amount of power the engine is providing to the wheels, so a "power user" will still prefer a stick -- sports cars are the most common place to still find stick-shifts. Though Nissan's Z line of sporty cars is mostly automatics now, with a kind of "move the selection to this place and make it work like a stick with no clutch" hack. (My station wagon has that hack! I never use it, but I suppose it'd be good for things like driving up the Mount Washington road, where you're supposed to keep the car in first or second gear the whole way up.)

I could probably still drive a standard transmission, but they're pretty awful on hills. The first time we did "hill practice"... Well, the instructor had a brake on *his* side of the car, and it took three feet to get that car going and not stalled. O:p (mine on clutch and gas, his on brake).
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