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The Case for Advanced Skills
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
Of course, the question of the patient's recovery is another matter. The roll would determine whether the operation was a true (permanent) success or if a real doctor needed to provide follow up care to fix any issues left over by the sub-optimal circumstances.

True, perhaps as a Complication on a successful Medicine roll.

In the example I cited above, the patient was back on duty within a couple days. Here's the story.
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KageRyu
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
KageRyu wrote:
Again, it's not about losing knowledge, it's about not having the necessary tools or equipment to benefit from that knowledge.

And again, a doctor, with his extensive study of the anatomy of his patient, has his basic medical skills (First Aid) enhanced because of that knowledge, not restricted just because he isn't in an OR or medical suite.

And again, yes he most certainly would.
If you lack the tools or materials the skill requires you should not benefit from the skill or be able to use it. This is not unique to Advanced skills either, but all skills. Advanced medicine is not just about anatomy, and I feel you are trying to oversimplify what the skill entails to over apply it in conditions it probably shouldn't - just as you have repeatedly attempted to oversimplify my point by making it about forgetting knowledge. A characters first aide isn't just enhanced by Medicine because of the extra knowledge of anatomy, but to point to the advanced skill description you already posted, because of knowledge of advanced surgical and medical techniques, knowledge of various drugs and medicines, knowledge of cybernetics, operation of bacta tanks, and knowledge of complex medical procedures. If all the character has available is a basic medpack with broad antibiotics, synthflesh, and maybe pain relievers, and is in inclimate conditions such as on the move while being shot at (not even stable) non of that extra knowledge should come into play. If the character had a full trauma kit, with medical scanner, and lots of various drugs/medicines, or portable med/drug synthesizer, I would likely rule differently.

This is an issue that isn't even just unique to advanced skills, but all skills. If a character lacks the reasonable tools, materials, items, or conditions to use a given skill, the character should be disallowed from using or gaining any benefit from said skill.
Think about this... Say a group of characters were caught off guard in a cafe without their blasters by some bounty hunters-
GM - "As you are enjoying your appetizers, you become aware of a commotion over near the entrance. The Protocol Droid acting as the Matre D explodes in a burst of sparks from a blaster hit, two large figures, an Aqualesh with a sawed off blaster rifle, and a Gand with a Heavy Blaster force their way into the room. Patrons begin screaming and running as the pair begins surveying the room."
Player 1 - "I am quickly tipping over the table to use it as cover."
Player 2 - "What is the table made out of? Will it even give us protection?"
GM - "The table appear to be a lightweight durable polymer, it may offer protection for a while, but not long."
Player 3 - "I get the bad feeling they are here for us."
Player 2 - "I am stealing a glance around the overturned table to see what they are doing."
GM - They are still in the foyer, but as you peer around the Gand motions in your direction and begins raising his blaster. Declarations and initiative."
Player 1 - "I am looking around for a way out and hoping the table holds."
Player 2 - "I am going to try to run an evasive pattern across the room to jump behind the bar...maybe I can make some makeshift incendiaries."
GM - "So a dodge and move?"
Player 2 - "Yes, exactly."
Player 3 - "I am using my Blaster Skill at 6D to take out the Gand."
GM - "How? You left your blaster on the ship?"
Player 3 - "Just because I don't have my blaster doesn't mean I can't use my skill - that's unfair."
GM - "Are you going to point with your finger and make Pew Pew noises?"

The RAW essentially covers much of this in the skills section and the section on using skills and applying difficulty modifiers and penalties. Sometimes it is just not appropriate to allow a skill roll or use due to circumstances - advanced or regular.
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Whill
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Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KageRyu wrote:
Player 3 - "Just because I don't have my blaster doesn't mean I can't use my skill - that's unfair."
GM - "Are you going to point with your finger and make Pew Pew noises?"

I think we are getting off track here. Obviously skills often require the proper tools to use. For Medicine, it would normally be needed to perform surgery. In some cases, it may be possible to use makeshift tools at a penalty, like the emergency appendectomy example. Sometimes it may just simply be nope, your hand can't even be a blaster at a penalty.

Regarding Medicine, the authors of game felt the skill would be applicable to giving a bonus to First Aid. A lot of GMs agree with that. I know that if my son gets hurt in his doctor's office and needs first aid, I am going to feel better about having a doctor or a nurse using the first aid kit than me doing it. But we aren't even talking about real life. We are talking about the cinematic reality of Star Wars as simulated by this game. A lot of GMs are like, Medicine, "Yeah sure, I'll allow all that medical knowledge to apply here" and move on with the game.

If you don't feel Medicine would be applicable to First Aid, you don't have to allow it in your game. We don't have to convince each other.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes it's more about being certain that your audience fully understands your assertion and the justifications for it than about convincing outright.

At least for me, I "can live with" a difference of opinion as long as I know that the other person fully understands my logic, and isn't disagreeing due to improperly defined terms (and sometimes the terms which need defining aren't even specific to the argument, but are terms that are commonly used).
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
I think we are getting off track here. Obviously skills often require the proper tools to use. For Medicine, it would normally be needed to perform surgery. In some cases, it may be possible to use makeshift tools at a penalty, like the emergency appendectomy example.

Exactly. I think we can all agree that there is a degree of skill overlap in the game, where a specific task might fall under more than one skill. My position on Advanced Skills - particularly Medicine - is that they also have a overlap, except that it is (mostly) one-way, from Medicine down to First Aid, but almost no overlap the other direction (except for the Bacta Tank Operation, as you pointed out).

Medicine does not encompass just the knowledge of how to operate a bacta tank or prescribe drugs or perform surgeries; it also includes a great deal more detailed knowledge of a patient's anatomy, why certain drugs interact the way they do, and so on and so forth. This knowledge still has bearing on First Aid, only better. A person with Medical dice would know, hypothetically, the location of a major blood vessel to use when injecting pain killers, or know why it's important to put spray on the wound-seal aerosol in a diagonal pattern with multiple cross-hatched layers so that it will hold better against muscle movement.

An Advanced Skill doesn't just derive from the prerequisites; it represents an overarching field of knowledge that includes the prerequisite, and so much more. The prerequisite is "the first step into a larger world," so to speak, but "larger world" does not mean that the "smaller world" is somehow distinct or separated from it.
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

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KageRyu
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think part of the confusion may be the misunderstanding of I am not trying to allow or disallow it outright. I was merely trying to cite some examples of when I feel it shouldn't be allowed to be added that reason supports. As there are already differing types of medical gear in the various books to indicate higher levels of complex equipment (some even requiring a special first aide roll to use properly...which I would not require of someone with the Medicine skill mind you) I feel that disallowing if a character does not have access to at least a trauma kit level of medical pack is reasonable.

I have to clarify, as I do not have my books handy here to look, I do not know if the game books have a specific type of Med kit called a trauma kit - I am referring to some in-game equipment that would be considered comparable to a real life trauma kit. That is, multiple types of medicines and drugs, various types of synthflesh or bandages, a selection of medical instruments not only for measuring vitals but for cutting, extracting, clamping, stitching, etc... some devices or items to deal with more extreme issues like pressure build up or airway obstruction, etc... Given Star Wars advanced technology I could see reasonable devices fitting in a small carry case slightly larger than a typical handbag - or being built into a medical droid.

With any advanced skills, there are times where stacking might not be appropriate for similar reasons (lacking appropriate tools or opportunities). As a rule, I like advanced skills, and always felt there should have been more.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, yeah, that does clear it up. I was under the impression you were saying that it shouldn't stack with First Aid at all.
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

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KageRyu
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not opposed to it stacking with first aide, or any advanced skill potentially stacking with it's pre-requisite, as a rule. I just feel the circumstances should be one of the deciding factors.
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KageRyu
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
KageRyu wrote:
Player 3 - "Just because I don't have my blaster doesn't mean I can't use my skill - that's unfair."
GM - "Are you going to point with your finger and make Pew Pew noises?"

I think we are getting off track here. Obviously skills often require the proper tools to use. For Medicine, it would normally be needed to perform surgery. In some cases, it may be possible to use makeshift tools at a penalty, like the emergency appendectomy example. Sometimes it may just simply be nope, your hand can't even be a blaster at a penalty.

Sadly, I did not make this up completely on the fly...it is based on an actual series of events from one of my games...edited for content... The player was so insistent I was being unfair he stormed out of the game after much arguing trying to justify being able to shoot without a blaster or substituting his blaster skill for throwing dishes and tablewear at the bad guys to cause injury. Needless to say, he was never invited back.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KageRyu wrote:
Sadly, I did not make this up completely on the fly...it is based on an actual series of events from one of my games...edited for content... The player was so insistent I was being unfair he stormed out of the game after much arguing trying to justify being able to shoot without a blaster or substituting his blaster skill for throwing dishes and table wear at the bad guys to cause injury. Needless to say, he was never invited back.

Sounds like you made the right call. And I agree that a skill - regular or advanced - that requires a tool to be used can not be used without that skill. Medicine, for example, can not be used to provide the healing benefits of bacta if there is no bacta tank. However, there are plenty of examples in history of medical professionals performing emergency surgeries (such as appendectomies) using improvised tools. In game terms, I would allow a character to attempt his Medicine skill roll, but at greater Difficulty.

Blaster is defined narrowly enough that it's fair to require that the character using it must have a functioning blaster to do so. First Aid & Medicine, on the other hand, are sufficiently broad that allowed / not allowed would be greatly dependent on what the character wanted to do with it, and what tools were available.
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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

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KageRyu
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had actually introduced a new skill (a skill in other games I play really) for Jury Rig. I had placed it under Technical, and I allowed players who had it to attempt to use it to offset penalties for improvised or lacking tools often with a successful roll. The difficulty was based on a number of factors such as environment, available materials, tech level of available materials compared to what was needed, etc... I actually debuted this in one of my non-Star Wars D6 games.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KageRyu wrote:
I had actually introduced a new skill (a skill in other games I play really) for Jury Rig. I had placed it under Technical, and I allowed players who had it to attempt to use it to offset penalties for improvised or lacking tools often with a successful roll. The difficulty was based on a number of factors such as environment, available materials, tech level of available materials compared to what was needed, etc... I actually debuted this in one of my non-Star Wars D6 games.

D6 Space introduced the Perception skill Know-How, which was something of a catch-all for other skills, in that a character could attempt to perform a skill they didn't actually have based on their powers of observation (i.e. looking at a device to figure out how it worked). I could see that working here, with the Know-How skill used to search a character's immediate surroundings for objects that could be used as improvised tools.
_________________
"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.

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