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Old 05-08-2022, 08:24 PM   #41
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Boston area
Default Re: Environmental Talents

A boat without a sail isn't a real boat, Bill. Better to sit and listen to an old salt like me.

Honestly, my experience is quite limited, but I've thought a bit about sailing on rivers. In some areas I sail, the tidal current can reach close to two knots. That doesn't sound like a lot, but you have to think a lot more in those conditions. A river has a steady current. The Mississippi flows at about a knot at the headwaters and more than 2.5 knots at New Orleans. I guess that 1 to 1.5 knots is pretty typical for a calm river.

Going upstream must require efficiency and planning. Knowing the behavior of the current and being able to read it from the landscape in unfamiliar areas must be a skill.

But, as I said, I don't know much and I didn't grow up on boats. I'm a very casual daysailer.
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Old 05-08-2022, 09:31 PM   #42
Bill_in_IN
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Location: Indiana
Default Re: Environmental Talents

Quote:
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
A boat without a sail isn't a real boat, Bill. Better to sit and listen to an old salt like me.

Honestly, my experience is quite limited, but I've thought a bit about sailing on rivers. In some areas I sail, the tidal current can reach close to two knots. That doesn't sound like a lot, but you have to think a lot more in those conditions. A river has a steady current. The Mississippi flows at about a knot at the headwaters and more than 2.5 knots at New Orleans. I guess that 1 to 1.5 knots is pretty typical for a calm river.

Going upstream must require efficiency and planning. Knowing the behavior of the current and being able to read it from the landscape in unfamiliar areas must be a skill.

But, as I said, I don't know much and I didn't grow up on boats. I'm a very casual daysailer.
I didn't claim to be all that experienced with boats but even I could tell that being on a boat in a very large lake is different than being on a river. Therefore, I was compelled to concur with your assertion.

I'll let you argue with my stepfather about the definition of a boat. He grew up with the Ohio River literally in his back yard. The river bank was their backyard. He now lives along a smaller river in the area, The Where the Wabash and White Rivers fork together along the Indiana-Illinois border.

Last edited by Bill_in_IN; 05-09-2022 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 05-10-2022, 10:39 PM   #43
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: Environmental Talents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill_in_IN View Post
being on a boat in a very large lake is different than being on a river.
So we have multiple environments: small streams, medium-sized rivers, gigantic rivers like the Mississippi/Volga/Rhine, small lakes, huge lakes like the North American great lakes, harbours, enclosed waters like the Mediterranean, open ocean, maybe others. The question is how they should be bundled. Should Lake Superior be considered Sea, on the grounds the problems faced (big storms, etc., but not mud banks or getting tangled up in submerged trees) are similar? Or is this an example of an overlap of Seamanship with River?
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Old 05-30-2022, 03:07 AM   #44
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: Environmental Talents

New draft of this idea. I cut the aquatic environments since they seemed to be more trouble than they were worth and had such a wide variety of narrow applications that they didn't make a natural group. I think I'll change the name of the proposal to Wilderness Talents.

The wilderness environments and their talents include
  • Cavern (IQ 10, cost 1) Natural underground caves (perhaps still containing fantasy cave fauna) not artificially excavated dungeons.
  • Desert (IQ 9, cost 1) Hot, dry and barren, covered in rock, pebbles or sand.
  • Forest (IQ 11, cost 2) Enough trees to limit how far you can see.
  • Ice (IQ 9, cost 1) Cold and covered in ice and snow.
  • Marsh (IQ 9, cost 1) Soggy underfoot, like a marsh or swamp.
  • Mountain (IQ 9, cost 1, usually requires Ice) Broken terrain (lots of ups and downs) and high. In a Europe-inspired campaign (e.g. Elyntia) mountains in winter will be icy, hence the Ice requirement. But in a campaign where this isn't true the Ice requirement is waived (and perhaps some other requirement is applied instead).
  • Tropical (IQ 8, cost 1) Hot and humid.
Specific campaigns may have environments not included here, for instance environments not found on our Earth, including magical ones.

Some environments will partake of two or more of these categories. To be fully comfortable in that environment the character must have all relevant talents. For instance:
  • A swamp requires Forest and Marsh. (A marsh is a wetland without trees, a swamp is a wetland with trees.)
  • A mountain in a desert might require Mountain and Desert, but the GM might allow the character to buy Mountain and Ice if these are the mountains she knows.
  • A jungle might require Forest and Tropical, if Tropical exists.
If a character has one of the talents needed but not both then the GM might give them some benefit, depending on circumstances.

When in an environment for which they have the relevant talent(s) a character receives the following benefits:
  • The abilities of Woodsman and Tracking.
  • When trying to notice something, including a trap that uses the local environment for function or concealment, roll one fewer die.
  • Those attempting to notice the character roll one more die.
  • If a feature of the environment inflicts a penalty then it is halved, and if appropriate rounded down. e.g. fatigue loss because of cold or altitude sickness, an MA penalty due to the soggy footing of a marsh, a DX penalty for using long weapons in tangled undergrowth.
  • If a feature of the environment requires a save then the character rolls one less die. e.g. falling down a mountainside. Note: If the save is required by some feature which just happens to be in the environment then the character receives no benefit: e.g. a character with Forest gains no benefit in an IQ roll vs madness of an alien creature which just happens to be in a forest.

When encountering something common in that environment (regardless of whether presently in that environment or not):
  • The abilities of Naturalist and Recognize Value.

If there is no relevant talent in your campaign for a reasonably common skill associated with a wilderness environment then that skill may be given to any character possessing the relevant wilderness talent. e.g.:
  • If there is no talent for snowshoes in your campaign then any character with the Ice talent will be familiar with snowshoes.

If there is a stress associated with the environment then the character may have a limited resistance to it, e.g.:
  • A character with Desert may tolerate thirst better than other characters.
  • A character with Tropical may have a resistance to tropical diseases.

Sometimes these abilities will stack with another talent. If each talent provides a -1 die modifier then in total they provide -1 die and +2 to the relevant attribute. e.g. a 4/IQ roll to notice something in a forest becomes 3/IQ with Alertness, 3/IQ with Forest, and 3/IQ+2 with both.

For all abilities the relevant question is not just whether the character is in the environment but whether the problem is characteristic of the environment. e.g.
  • A character with desert finds a desert fox in a cage in the city. They can use Naturalist abilities to see the animal is sick, even though they aren't in a desert. Returning to the desert the character finds an orchid but is unable to say anything about it, since the orchid is not native to deserts. Fortunately a character with Forest and Tropical tells him that the orchid is valuable.
  • In the ice cavern stands a temple of evil. The icy footing reduces MA by 2 and requires 3/DX rolls not to fall over when using more than half MA. A sickening discordance emitted by the temple makes all who come near it suffer -2 DX. The GM judges the footing is ice-related but the discordance isn't, and that just because it's called a "cavern" doesn't mean it's anything like a rocky cavern. So a character with Ice suffers -2 DX and -1 MA but rolls only 2/DX not to fall over, and Cavern doesn't help.
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