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Old 04-07-2024, 08:17 PM   #1
Donny Brook
 
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Default What Skill(s) for a land surveyor?

Pretty much like the title. What GURPS Skill or Skills should a land surveyor have?
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Old 04-07-2024, 08:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: What Skill(s) for a land surveyor?

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Pretty much like the title. What GURPS Skill or Skills should a land surveyor have?
Gurps says (bizarrely IMHO) that surveying is a Mandatory Specialization of Mathematics so that's where you start. After that there' s ProfesionalSkill:Surveying for handling the chains and the theodilite or whatever he uses at his TL. Quite possibly cartography and maybe a specilization of geography.

At very high TLs it might be Electronic Operations (Sensors) an Computer Use and at TLs after that computer Use only. .
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Old 04-07-2024, 08:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: What Skill(s) for a land surveyor?

That is why geometry is the measurement (metria) of earth (ge)
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Old 04-07-2024, 08:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: What Skill(s) for a land surveyor?

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That is why Geometry is measurement (metria) of earth (ge)
Yes, but that's basic stuff for applied Math. Why is it a _separate_ Specialization from Applied or Theoretica) and presumably just as difficult? I mean even I did well in Geometry in high school. 10th grade I think.
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Old 04-07-2024, 09:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: What Skill(s) for a land surveyor?

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Yes, but that's basic stuff for applied Math. Why is it a _separate_ Specialization from Applied or Theoretica) and presumably just as difficult? I mean even I did well in Geometry in high school. 10th grade I think.
To do surveying you need specific instruments (varying with TL) that are not used to do Euclidean geometry, whether pure or applied.
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Old 04-07-2024, 09:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: What Skill(s) for a land surveyor?

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Yes, but that's basic stuff for applied Math. Why is it a _separate_ Specialization from Applied or Theoretica) and presumably just as difficult? I mean even I did well in Geometry in high school. 10th grade I think.
One of several less than ideal decisions on how to trim the skill list on updating to 4th edition. Personally I ignore Mathematics (Surveying) and use straight up Cartography/TL - the only thing PCs are likely to be doing with it is making maps anyway.

I mean yeah I'm sure there have been academic theoreticians who use their "surveying" skill to try to develop new algorithms or something who maybe would have a more mathematical focus, but any adventuring relevant uses are pretty much limited to making or following maps - that's Cartography and Navigation, not Mathematics.
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Old 04-09-2024, 05:32 AM   #7
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Default Re: What Skill(s) for a land surveyor?

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One of several less than ideal decisions on how to trim the skill list on updating to 4th edition. Personally I ignore Mathematics (Surveying) and use straight up Cartography/TL - the only thing PCs are likely to be doing with it is making maps anyway.
A schematic to help you find your way out of a dungeon, or the general layout of an area can be done without much math.

But doing an accurate map means measuring relative distances by sighting between points from different locations and comparing angles then doing geometry/trigonometry. Think Eratosthenes.
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Old 04-07-2024, 10:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: What Skill(s) for a land surveyor?

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Pretty much like the title. What GURPS Skill or Skills should a land surveyor have?
Modern: Computer Operations/TL (E) IQ [1]; Driving/TL (Automobile) (E) DX [1]; Law (Title, etc.) (H) IQ-2 [1]; Mathematics/TL (Surveying) (H) IQ [4].

Possibly: Administration (A); Cartography/TL (A); Electronics Operations/TL (Communications or Sensors); Geography/TL (Physical) (H); Hiking (A); Merchant (A); Meteorology (Weather Sense) (A); Naturalist (H); Navigation/TL (Land) (A); Survival (A) or Writing (A).

Historical (e.g., The guys who mapped most of the United States, back when getting scalped was an occupational hazard or the guys who mapped India, back when getting eaten by tigers was an occupational hazard.): One of Riding (A) DX [2] or Hiking (A) HT [2]. Artist (Drawing) (H) IQ-2 [1]; Cartography/TL4 or 5 (A) IQ [2]; Guns/TL4 or 5 (E) DX [1]; Law (Title, etc.) (H) IQ-2 [1]; Mathematics/TL4 or 5 (Surveying) (H) IQ [4]; Navigation/TL4 or 5 (Land) (A) IQ [2]; Survival (A) Per [2]

Optionally: Administration (A); Animal Handling (Horses, etc.) (H); Anthropology (Local Natives) (A); Area Knowledge (E); Astronomy/TL4 or 5 (H); Camouflage (E); Geography/TL4 or 5 (Physical) (H); Gesture (E); Leadership (A); Meteorology (Weather Sense) (A); Naturalist (H); Observation (A); Signaling/TL4 or 5 (E); Stealth (A); Teamster (A); Tracking (A) or Writing (A).

Further Options: Cultural Familiarity [1 or 2]; Languages [Varies].

Note: Average or Hard skills bought up to IQ level should be adjusted to get a minimum skill of 12 if you're building a competent surveyor. Historically, that wasn't always the case, particularly for the men surveying the American West in the late 19th century. In some cases, survey maps turned out to be inaccurate by miles.

Early maps of North and South America were even worse, to the point that after the U.S. became independent, one of the first tasks the new government faced was sorting out state boundaries, both to determine where new states like Kentucky began and because the royal land grants on which the states were based on grossly inaccurate maps and made by European officials who had no clue just how big the Americas really were. (E.g., the weird little bit of Pennsylvania that pokes up to touch Lake Erie is a compromise between New York and Pennsylvania, since Penn's original land grant included land touching Lake Erie.)

Last edited by Pursuivant; 04-10-2024 at 01:53 PM. Reason: Added more skills
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