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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Traveller Tuesday: Skill Clarifications

Mongoose's second edition of Traveller changed the organization of skills. I approve of some changes, disapprove others, and feel that in some cases 2e didn't follow through to the logical conclusion.

Herein are the changes I have made to skills in my heretical version of Mongoose Traveller, including previous posts on skill expansion.
My use of Traveller setting and dress falls under
fair use guidelines for both Mongoose and Far Future Enterprises.
This skill still exists in my game. 2e subsumbed it into Athletics, but I still operate on the notion that there's no unskilled penalty for not having the Athletics skill, and if I did it the 2e way that would mean everyone could move around in freefall unskilled. No thank you, I don't think so...

This is what 2e calls the Electronics skill. I approve of how 2e has turned the high-tech skills of Comms, Computer, Remote Ops and Sensors into a single skill -- not only does it make it easier for a PC to be appropriately tech-savvy early on, it also mirrors how Gun Combat is a single skill but with different specialties depending on the weapon.

I've renamed it to prevent confusion with the Electronics specialty, below. 

I'm sticking with the 1e version of this, as I don't like the notion that being a biologist automatically gives you an understanding of planetology or economics.

2e did away with the Electronics specialty of Engineer, and folded it into Mechanic. Since mechanical repair and electrical repair are quite different, I've made Electronics and Mechanic distinct specialties of the Repair skill. 

Folded into Survival. 

Continuing to harp upon "If slug pistol and slug rifle are two separate specialties, then completely alien biologies ought not to be lumped into the same skill," I have made each alien species its own specialty as explained in this post

As explained in greater detail in this post, Languages are now separate skills. Related dialects (such as all Vargr languages being offshoots of Arrghoun) are specialties of the same root. 

Heavy Weapons
I'm taking the best of all the versions here:
  • Artillery - indirect fire weapons
  • Man Portable Energy - PGMP/FGMP
  • Man Portable Kinetic - launchers and direct-fire large-bore weapons like machine guns
  • Vehicle Mounted - tank guns, rocket pods. miniguns, etc 
Gun Combat
This is one of the simplifications of 2e that I don't like. After years of having skills broken up by both projectile and size -- and from my own knowledge that shooting a rifle uses different techniques than shooting a pistol -- I'm keeping the differentiation and adding a few. 
  • Archaic (by name, like Bow or Blowpipe)
  • Energy Carbine 
  • Energy Pistol
  • Energy Rifle
  • Shotgun
  • Slug Carbine
  • Slug Pistol
  • Slug Rifle
  • Zero-G Weapons
Air/Rafts still require Flyer in 2e, but fortunately Flyer is now a skill that anyone can choose as a background skill and is more easily acquired in character generation. That's great for people who are making new characters, but what about those PCs who were generated in 1e? Well, there are two options:
Still a skill in my game. While I am comfortable with the very military skill of Battledress working as the Vacc Suit skill, I am not at all comfortable with the very civilian skill of Vacc Suit being used to operate the most advanced power armor in the Imperium. Again, no thank you. 

Much like with Medic, I broke down what it means to have the Advocate skill and at which point it makes a character into an actual lawyer. There are also differences between military law, Imperial law, and planetary laws, and they are all specialties. Read my blog post on legal certification for further information.

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