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Rarely used skills
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Chaosmeister
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:49 am    Post subject: Rarely used skills Reply with quote

Hey all, something that came up today while discussing characters. We have a Gambler in the group and the player was making the observation that having a need for a "Gambling" skill is basically a skill tax for that character archetype because realistically speaking how often will the character be able to actually use Gambling during a campaign in a way that has a meaningful impact on the game compared to say Blaster or Com-scan or even Command?

How do you handle this? Can you think of not obvious uses for a skills like gambling?
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Yora
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think with these things, it's primarily up to the players to make situations where these come into play. In contrast to many other RPGs, there seems to be more a consensus that the players are making the story instead of playing out the scenes the GM has mapped out for them.
Why exactly there is a gambler template in the rulebooks I don't know, but when a player decides to play a gambler as a character, that player should have a general idea how that will come into play.

The obvious use for gambling would be to make money to be able to afford something. Though that's of course risky, as high stake games usually mean highly skilled opponents. But if you have a really high gambling skill, that could be an option.

Something more interest to get through gambling than money would be to get access to information and favors by getting opponents into debts they can not pay.
It can also be a way to get close to important people. To be invited to games where moffs and crime bosses hang out, you'd have to be able to at least make your money last for a long while, so you'd need to be quite skilled at that. If you can't keep up with the skill level and amounts of money that are played for, you'll quickly get thrown out before you can learn anything useful.

Narratively speaking, gambling is also a nice way to get a character into debt or on the bad side of important and powerful people.
In a nonlinear game with no specific goal and where swashbuckling adventure with on the spot improvisation is a big part of the draw, getting your character into a not quite accidental mess can be the source of a lot of fun.

Other skills that I just don't see come up with a few rare exception are Lifting and Swimming. It's obvious how and when you use the Swimming skill, but it's not something that characters ever really need to do in common Star Wars stories.
Lifting seems like something that will only be interesting when you can get it really high to do superhuman things. Putting 6 CP into Lifting just because seems like it would be a waste.

More challenging skills to me are those that deal with the operation and repair of more obscure pieces of equipment that don't really have a presence in any Star Wars works, like ground vehicles, hover vehicles, aquatic vehicles, submersibles, and all types of gunpower weapons. I think these are really useless additions that shouldn't have been put on skill lists in the first place and remained as Blank Skills.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Rarely used skills Reply with quote

Chaosmeister wrote:
Hey all, something that came up today while discussing characters. We have a Gambler in the group and the player was making the observation that having a need for a "Gambling" skill is basically a skill tax for that character archetype because realistically speaking how often will the character be able to actually use Gambling during a campaign in a way that has a meaningful impact on the game compared to say Blaster or Com-scan or even Command?

How do you handle this? Can you think of not obvious uses for a skills like gambling?


Maybe that's on the DM then, for not putting in enough situations where the gambler can use that skill, AND somewhat on the player, for not having his gambler seeking out opportunities to use his talents..

Yora wrote:
and all types of gunpower weapons. I think these are really useless additions that shouldn't have been put on skill lists in the first place and remained as Blank Skills.


Not all planets need to be technologically advanced.. That's where those skills come in use..
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Yora
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, sand people come to mind.

But part of the Star Wars style and dynamics is to move on to another planet frequently, often multiple times in the same adventure.
In contrast, investing CP into skills is permanent, making this an extremely undesirable use of this limited resource that governs character advancement.
And it's just as unlikely to run into aliens used to shooting firearms who end up shooting blasters at the heroes for more than one or two encounters.

Same thing with ground vehicles and submersibles.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Rarely used skills Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Chaosmeister wrote:
Hey all, something that came up today while discussing characters. We have a Gambler in the group and the player was making the observation that having a need for a "Gambling" skill is basically a skill tax for that character archetype because realistically speaking how often will the character be able to actually use Gambling during a campaign in a way that has a meaningful impact on the game compared to say Blaster or Com-scan or even Command?

How do you handle this? Can you think of not obvious uses for a skills like gambling?

Maybe that's on the DM then, for not putting in enough situations where the gambler can use that skill, AND somewhat on the player, for not having his gambler seeking out opportunities to use his talents.

I agree with garhkal. It's up to the GM to make gambling, and any skill a PC has, important.

If the player doesn't think gambling will ever be useful, why did the player want to play a gambler? Did he just want to be the face character of the group and wanted a PC with high Perception? If the player doesn't want to gamble, one possibility is to alter the background and not make him a "gambler" per se. If the player wanted his character to have a high con, he could instead be a conman who just pretends to be a gambler and doesn't mind losing because it is part of the greater 'con job' going on. He's 'a prince of a planet and gambles away his last chance of taking the throne back from his evil uncle who killed his father,' something like that, and hopes to part some riches from unsuspecting rich woman who might fall for it. And now he's joining the rebellion so con would come in handy on missions, and he didn't need to be a high gambling skill for his background.

But if the PC was a real gambler in his background, then he should have the gambling skill and the GM should make important to the plot sometimes at some point. Above, Yora stated some good ideas for working gambling in.

Yora wrote:
...aquatic vehicles, submersibles...

Classic Star Wars aliens Mon Calamari and Quarren are amphibious species from water worlds with underwater civilizations. The EU has had aquatic vehicles and submersibles since its very foundation. Live action Star Wars films went underwater in 1999. With 71% water coverage, our planet classifies as a water world, just like Naboo. Your GMs and you as a GM may never have used aquatic vehicles and submersibles in the game, but I as a GM use them so the skill for operating them is not useless in my game (I did combine on- and under-water craft as using the same skill though). Like gambling, or any skill, it is up to the GM to make it important.

Here is a stock Mon Calamari starship that has an subaquatic mode. A modified MC-13v2 has been used in my game. But I admit I've never once used hover vehicles in my game. But I've also never had a player that wanted his PC to have it either.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:10 am    Post subject: Re: Rarely used skills Reply with quote

Whill wrote:

I agree with garhkal. It's up to the GM to make gambling, and any skill a PC has, important.

If the player doesn't think gambling will ever be useful, why did the player want to play a gambler? Did he just want to be the face character of the group and wanted a PC with high Perception? If the player doesn't want to gamble, one possibility is to alter the background and not make him a "gambler" per se. If the player wanted his character to have a high con, he could instead be a conman who just pretends to be a gambler and doesn't mind losing because it is part of the greater 'con job' going on. He's 'a prince of a planet and gambles away his last chance of taking the throne back from his evil uncle who killed his father,' something like that, and hopes to part some riches from unsuspecting rich woman who might fall for it. And now he's joining the rebellion so con would come in handy on missions, and he didn't need to be a high gambling skill for his background.


Exactly. One of my first characters, i built using the gambler template, but NEVER gambled.. He instead was a negotiation specialist, to acquire new material for the rebellion (high bargain, persuasion and con).. I used used the template, and ingored the gambling skill.

PITY he died after iirc, 8 game sessions (should have put something more into dodge, other than merely having it at 5d!)
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Chaosmeister
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all. He wasn't complaining and is usually very good at coming up with ways to use his skills creativity. In this instance I am the GM and we do not play a free campaign but the IAG one and there is no Gambling to be had. I may add some in though just to make it more fun. In general we prefer a more "loose" game style hence I prefer the IAG with a short skill list to the detailed ones from 2e and REUP. I would let someone use his blaster skill to fix a weapon jam for example or identify a specific weapon someone uses or to measure how accurate a sniper was or things like that for example.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A tangent on gambling: Would you allow someone to use Scholar:Mathematics to count cards, or otherwise influence a gabling roll?
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Chaosmeister
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
A tangent on gambling: Would you allow someone to use Scholar:Mathematics to count cards, or otherwise influence a gabling roll?


I would, yes.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
A tangent on gambling: Would you allow someone to use Scholar:Mathematics to count cards, or otherwise influence a gabling roll?


Yes. Just like if someone had Scholar - Numerology/cryptology/advance mathmatics, i'd allow that to influence a comms roll, to break an enemy encription.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Just like if someone had Scholar - Numerology/cryptology/advance mathmatics, i'd allow that to influence a comms roll, to break an enemy encription.

"Scholar: Numerology/cryptology/advance mathematics" is a very broad specialization and a very weird combination of elements. I'm also trying to think what numerology has to do with the other two. You normally see numerology associated with astrology and other divinatory arts. Paranormal, new age stuff.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Granted this is a bit tangental, but Whill's mention of the MC-13v2 reminded me:

Whill, I'm actually still kicking myself that I never finished those MC-13v2 I promised you. Embarassed

And now I'm editing an entire Freespace mod (a job that I actually volunteered for!), so maybe karma is paying me back...with interest. Shocked
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
Granted this is a bit tangental, but Whill's mention of the MC-13v2 reminded me:

Whill, I'm actually still kicking myself that I never finished those MC-13v2 I promised you. Embarassed

No worries. I got another good editor to help, and you looked that over and gave one final suggestion for a revision. So I'm really good with what's there.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
Sutehp wrote:
Granted this is a bit tangental, but Whill's mention of the MC-13v2 reminded me:

Whill, I'm actually still kicking myself that I never finished those MC-13v2 I promised you. Embarassed

No worries. I got another good editor to help, and you looked that over and gave one final suggestion for a revision. So I'm really good with what's there.


Glad to hear it all worked out. Smile
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
garhkal wrote:
Just like if someone had Scholar - Numerology/cryptology/advance mathmatics, i'd allow that to influence a comms roll, to break an enemy encription.

"Scholar: Numerology/cryptology/advance mathematics" is a very broad specialization and a very weird combination of elements. I'm also trying to think what numerology has to do with the other two. You normally see numerology associated with astrology and other divinatory arts. Paranormal, new age stuff.


Numerology- the study of numbers'
Cryptology - is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication

Both to me, would have ties in to using communications.
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