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Skills and Non-Proficiencies
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shootingwomprats
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:30 pm    Post subject: Skills and Non-Proficiencies Reply with quote

One of the core mechanics of Star Wars d6 is that anyone can perform a non-advanced skill without training without penalty. I know that sometimes I wish were a penalty, something to add a bit more crunch or consequence for min/maxing players.

Option 1: Pick-Up Skills:
At character creation, the player may choose 4 Pick-up Skills to represent general knowledge they have picked up through life experience. These skills are listed on the character sheet but they have no dice in them. When using these skills the character is not assessed a Non-Proficiency Penalty (+5 modifier to the Task Difficulty).

Option 2: Everyman Skills
The galaxy is a big place, but some skills seem nearly universal. All characters start with the listed skills as Pick-Up Skills. They do not get a modifier of any type when using the skill, but they are not assessed a Non-Proficiency Penalty.

Defense Skills: Brawling Parry (DEX), Dodge (DEX), Melee Parry (DEX).
Offensive Skills: Blaster (DEX), Brawling (STR).
Transportation Skills (choose one): Aquatic Vehicle Operation, Beast Riding, Ground Vehicle Operation, Hover Vehicle Operation, Repulsorlift Operation, Submersible Vehicle Operation, Swoop Operation, or Walker Operation.
Standard Skills: Climbing/Jumping (STR), Computer Ops (TEC), Running (DEX), Search (PER), Swimming (STR).

This skill package is meant to be generic. The GM is encouraged to create new packages based on the planet, culture, region, of his games.

What about combat skills? Are they assessed a Non-Proficiency Penalty too? This is up to the GM. Depends on how much crunch you want and the feel you want for your game. My thoughts, if your going to work with a Non-Proficiency mechanic it should apply to all skills. Though the argument can be made that is Star Wars and that defense skills are important for heroes, so Defense Skills (Brawling Parry, Dodge, and Melee Parry) do not suffer from a Non-Proficiency Penalty.

I am open to suggestions.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps a simpler solution would be to "start" skills at +1D over the attribute when they are "learned."

Consider: basic human average is 2D, and a "trained" person is 3D.

Why not just charge the character with 2D in an attribute 2CP, and he acquires the skill at 3D as a "trained skill" (this circumvents the initial 4 CP required to bring the skill to 2D+1 and then 2D+2, but... seems inconsequential to me, YMMV). In terms of cost, it would be just as if he had raised the skill from 2D+2 to 3D.

Then, any "untrained" skills would be rolled at the attribute, and the "penalty" is built in since they haven't taken advantage of the initial training discount to raise the skill beyond the novice level.

I also feel that there are some hints in the rules that can maybe be expanded upon: The lightsaber, the Bowcaster and perhaps some other items are "unique" in that they require their own skill, as opposed to being a specialization of a standard skill. Certain items could be considered rare or exotic enough that they require their own skill to use, and the GM could even rule that without actual training (spending those initial CPs), the skill is too unfamiliar to even use (or, just add a ridiculous penalty, like +20 difficulty... or whatever suits your fancy).
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We use the "normal" character creation as of now. But I like this and this is something we tried out.

We decided that sice you have the attribute D in every skill by default, we allowed a total of 12 skills to be trained, these you can only raise with 2D from creation like normal, but when creation is finished you are given extra 3D to place on the "listed on template" skills, to indicate your training.
However we could not pace more than max +2 to any one skill using the last 3D.

Jedi charcters recieved 1D to force skills, and 2D to skills.
the 1D going to the force skills had to be split into pips.
or it could be traded for a total of 3 force powers.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm the 1E guy. Star Wars is Space Opera. Zip. Boom. Bam.

I'm generally opposed to adding crunch to this game.

If it were me, and I had to add crunch, then I think I would just make it simple and designate more skills to be Advanced skills.

But, I like the game the way it is. To me, it represents the color and attitude of the original trilogy.

Now, if we were playing another game, I might side with the idea. But, Star Wars is supposed to be easy. I don't want to run into things like, "Oh my! Your character is a farm boy from Tatooine! He's never swung across a chasm before, with a princess on his arm--especially not with stormtroopers firing at him!"

I just want to be able to say, when the player says that he's grabbing the princess by the waist and swinging across the pit, "OK! Since you don't have an appropriate skill, then just use your DEX attribute. Roll! Let's go!"
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:17 am    Post subject: Re: Skills and Non-Proficiencies Reply with quote

shootingwomprats wrote:
One of the core mechanics of Star Wars d6 is that anyone can perform a non-advanced skill without training without penalty. I know that sometimes I wish were a penalty, something to add a bit more crunch or consequence for min/maxing players.


We've talked about this before, in the thread Skill use without the skill
You already know my views that there SHOULD be some skills, not just advanced ones that someone SHOULDN'T just be able to default to their attribute with. BUT others should still allow it.
We also touched on it somewhat in the various threads on cha creation and how many skills someone starts with..

So for ME, there should be 3 classes of skills that you don't have on the cha sheet.
1) a skill you don't have, but is general enough, anyone should be able to try it with no penalty by defaulting.
2) a skill you don't have but is NOT general enough, trying it will incur a penalty.
3) a skill you don't have, and can't attempt..
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you list some skills that are impossible to "attempt"? I can "attempt" brain surgery with a hammer and a pick.

I can wrap duct tape around a leaky pipe even if I'm not a plumber. I can drop stop-leak in my power steering reservoir even if I'm not a mechanic. I can put a band-aid on even if I'm not a medic.

I may get it wrong (that is, fail the roll), but to deny even an attempt destroys my suspension of disbelief.

I once had a GM drown my character who happened to fall into some water and because the "swimming" skill wasn't written on my sheet (just written, even if it hadn't been raised), I wasn't allowed to roll STR to "attempt" to not drown.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
Can you list some skills that are impossible to "attempt"? I can "attempt" brain surgery with a hammer and a pick.


Sure, you could attempt it, but more than likely you'd kill the guy.
To me, certain skills shouldn't be allowed without the skill. Medicine is different than first aid. Computer programming for someone coming from a backwater planet (like the laconic scout template), is another..

Naaman wrote:
I may get it wrong (that is, fail the roll), but to deny even an attempt destroys my suspension of disbelief.


But it is equally suspending my disbelief, that say someone who spent all his time on a pre-space planet, would all of a sudden be able to astrogate, or repair a space ship, if he was taken off that planet. Or someone who's been say an office worker, suddenly could mingle with the underworld (Streetwise skill), without ever having been exposed to it (he picks up the skill)..

Naaman wrote:
I once had a GM drown my character who happened to fall into some water and because the "swimming" skill wasn't written on my sheet (just written, even if it hadn't been raised), I wasn't allowed to roll STR to "attempt" to not drown.


That DM was dumb. Unless you had been born on a desert world and only recently got taken off, you could easily say you would have been taught swimming as a kid...
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, seriously: if you see that there is a hole in the hull of your speeder, you can nail a board over it to "repair" it. There is always SOMETHING you can TRY.

Even in today's cell phone age, each of my kids (around 1 year old) instantly knew what to do when they first saw a regular telephone with a receiver (you know, the kind that is plugged into the wall, and you actually have to "hang up" when you are done with), even though they had never seen one used before.

Now, not knowing what a nav computer is would be a different story. But, that can be easily dealt with via role playing:

Player: I go through the door.

GM: You enter a room with some chairs and a what looks like a counter top with a bunch of lights and levers on it surrounding the front half of the room. (This is the cock pit, which the PC, who doesn't know what a starship is is seeing for the first time).

Player: Are there any words or labels on anything?

GM: Yeah. On one monitor, you see what looks like a logo on the inset with the word "NavStar."

Player (not wanting to meta-game): Does my character know anything about space travel? Like, even legends or fairy tales?

GM: I'm thinking no.

Player: Is there a skill I can roll to see if my character understands what this is?

GM: Sure. Roll Technology; it's a Knowledge skill.

Player: I don't have that skill. Basic Knowledge check?

GM: Sure.

Player (rolls 2D+2): I rolled 8.

GM (taking the backwater background into account): The monitor with the word "NavStar" on it appears to be some kind of technological device.

Player: Great. Okay, well, I pull a random lever. What happens?
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Naaman wrote:
Can you list some skills that are impossible to "attempt"? I can "attempt" brain surgery with a hammer and a pick.


Sure, you could attempt it, but more than likely you'd kill the guy.
To me, certain skills shouldn't be allowed without the skill. Medicine is different than first aid. Computer programming for someone coming from a backwater planet (like the laconic scout template), is another..

Naaman wrote:
I may get it wrong (that is, fail the roll), but to deny even an attempt destroys my suspension of disbelief.


But it is equally suspending my disbelief, that say someone who spent all his time on a pre-space planet, would all of a sudden be able to astrogate, or repair a space ship, if he was taken off that planet. Or someone who's been say an office worker, suddenly could mingle with the underworld (Streetwise skill), without ever having been exposed to it (he picks up the skill)..

Naaman wrote:
I once had a GM drown my character who happened to fall into some water and because the "swimming" skill wasn't written on my sheet (just written, even if it hadn't been raised), I wasn't allowed to roll STR to "attempt" to not drown.


That DM was dumb. Unless you had been born on a desert world and only recently got taken off, you could easily say you would have been taught swimming as a kid...



The backwater argument here is a very good one.

There are species considered very pirimite, the datari I think, where the story factors say that they are at -1D to everything tech above stone age until the GM allows then to assimilate.

Could this be something to implement.

A quick thought is to limit the progression on certain skills, double their cost or something.

Lets take someone from a backwater planet.

the planet is considered below space tech level, and blasters and repulsors are at best extremely rare.

Now the non tech skills are advanced normally, technological skills, like blaster nd astrogation or computer, are then advanced at x2 cost, or x5 until the player is assimilated and familiar with the general tech.

there is no reason to assume that someone from a primitive culture will forever be at a disadvantage.
Look at earth, tribes that are very or totally isolated, let them live in the technological world of the rest of us and we see they quickly learn to use cellphones and drive cars, even use computers.

So could some form of temporary restriction be placed on certain "type" of skills?

x3 cost unitl the skills are at +1D above the attribute, then the skill advances normally, to try and emulate they had to go learn this.

then some skills that should simply be unavailable but maybe advanced once made avaliable at normal cost.

the character can learn by him self to use a repulsor ( seems this what the ewok did in rotj) this then activates the skill, and it can now be advanced.
Advancemnet unless further tech exposure is at higher cost, and the skill can not be advanced to more than+1D

something like that maybe?
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say we already have examples of characters who DON'T have basic knowledge of the galactic tech base... Ewoks in R&E, and no doubt others. How is it handled? They have far lower Technical attribute maximums, and a Skill Limit that prevents them from putting dice in skills they wouldn't have access to. In theory, your Fresh Off the Moon Ewok can use Astrogation to plot a course out of his backwater system... which means something for the Galactic Tech base.

My view of the galactic tech base is that it's designed to be idiot-proof. A lot of things are designed to be as user-friendly as possible, with a fair amount of AI to overcome problems. If you want to plot a course with your 3D+2 Mechanical skill, then you can do that... you'll average about a 12, which is enough for most Astrogation checks. You'll do OK if it's not too crowded and, if you're allowed to concentrate on JUST flying, you'll even do ok in a restricted flying space if you're not being shot at or trying to break speed records.

Want to plot a course from Endor to Sullust? You go to the NavComputer, and point to the places you want to go, and it suggests a route, and does most of the calculation for you. If you've stolen an Imperial shuttle and they don't KNOW about the Hyperspace Corridor the rebel alliance opened between Endor and Sullust, it will suggest a route that will take you a long way out of the way (maybe going to Corellia first, then to Sullust)... reducing your difficulty a lot by taking an extra 17 hours on the trip.

In short, I don't see a need to place additional restrictions on the use of Mechanical and Technical skills. The system already handles it pretty well.
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It refers to a different system, but usually in a fantasy setting the riding skill sort of fall in under the description of skill use that MrNexx wrote above here.

I am not sure if it is the raw in any system, but I think from day one I have always heard that the ride skill was used in the following way, or extremely close to this.

Rolling checks only when doing anything than sitting in the saddle "riding" in normal speed from a to b.
once you had to jump, gallop or something that actually made you an active rider, then the roll came.

so I can see how it is much the same in mr Nexx ewok example, he would know that that button is on or off, or figure it out by reasoning.

If at a basic tech level, not listed as stone age, then a normal repulsorlift vehicle is common enough, sitting on one, steering it in normal speed from to be, from home to work and back IMO requires no check and are by default instant success, but once he have to swirl to avoid a collision he now have to roll and here will the tech difference come in, the low thechie may have to actually learn the craft.

I like the riding skill analogy where riding is routine and require no check, doing anything, or riding in any particular non base speed way require a skill check/roll
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griff
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always played (since 2ed) that the skills printed on the character sheet were skills that the character could use without penalty. If the player could argue that the character would have had exposure to the skill there would only be a -1D penalty. If there had been no exposure to the skill the penalty would be to cut the attribute dice in half.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

griff wrote:
I have always played (since 2ed) that the skills printed on the character sheet were skills that the character could use without penalty. If the player could argue that the character would have had exposure to the skill there would only be a -1D penalty. If there had been no exposure to the skill the penalty would be to cut the attribute dice in half.


I just adjust the difficulty. If an average galactic citizen finds driving their speeder to work on a highway a very easy (3) task, he needn't roll, even without raising the skill. because they are familliar with what is required, they may "prepare" and thus gain an extra die. 3D vs. difficulty 3 is a win obviously.. compare this to an ewok in the same situation. Skill code is still 2D, but it's not a familliar task, so no bonus die. Additionally, this is not an easy task for an ewok. the seat is not designed for them, and the controls are not convenient. Also, he only vaguely understands the flow of traffic by observation. Chances are this will be a difficult (~16) roll, impossible on 2D.

I think of it like using streetwise skill to find the black market. The Old Senatorial might have 4D from base knowledge and need to roll a 16 due to lack of familiarity, while the Smuggler only has 2D+1 but due to a life of crime has the right look and attitude, making it easy (6). I pretty much always use this kind of situational viewpoint when setting difficulties that aren't resisted rolls.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mamatried wrote:

Could this be something to implement.

A quick thought is to limit the progression on certain skills, double their cost or something.


IIRC from the alien complete book, there's a few races just like that. That have a mention of "cost for ABC is double, till it hits 6d due to XYZ"..

Mamatried wrote:

So could some form of temporary restriction be placed on certain "type" of skills?

x3 cost unitl the skills are at +1D above the attribute, then the skill advances normally, to try and emulate they had to go learn this.


I'd do it as a flat 2x cost to learn and raise it, till it hits at least 2d above attribute (or 6d which ever happens last)..

griff wrote:
I have always played (since 2ed) that the skills printed on the character sheet were skills that the character could use without penalty. If the player could argue that the character would have had exposure to the skill there would only be a -1D penalty. If there had been no exposure to the skill the penalty would be to cut the attribute dice in half.


I like this idea.. "What is on you skill is what you are able to use without penalty. Anything not there, has to get defaulted at a -1d penalty to your attribute.. Except for these specific skills, which are at -2d.. If that reduces you to 0d (pips don't count), then you can't try it..
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