Saturday, April 4, 2009

Professional Skills

GURPS. In gurps I've always wondered how these skills reflected real life. I've taken to account several things, and particular one of them was: Expectation. One expectation I've focused on is the expectation of society: particulary the paying customer.

Professional (Skill-15, or 96% success).. Professionals aren't expected to Fail in the Regular Tasks. Failure has really bad consequences in any job. Hard skills like that of a Doctor will have many skill that should be at this level, A soldier will be expected to have his fundamentals at this level (soldier skill and weapon skill).
Trained (Skill-12, or 75% success). Students and Fresh Graduates are expected to at lease have this level of competency. Typically this is done with Easy tasks and Extra Time to allow for certain success.
Basic (Skill-10, 50% success). This is to be expected by with someone who is in the middle of training.
Mastery (Skill-16 to 20). this is meant for specialists who are paid to take care of uncommon but very important circumstances.

Problems with this Point of View. Factors that effect these stats and the balance in the game is the working amount of character points.

NPCs. This is usefull when working with NPCs.
  1. Resist All Urges to write down NPC stats. Just focus on few key elements. 1 element depending on the importance (none for mooks), with the most important one for a game being run broken down to just 3 key features. I won't go into specifics what they are but if you can sum an aspect up easily then thats one.
  2. Count the number of NPCs you have! this is often overlooked. During the course of a Game the GM's mind should be agile and you maintain this by not leting NPCs clutter up short term memory. He should limit the NPCs to the amount of "air-time" available. A few tricks to consider is that, you can make a group of individuals One NPC if they fall under a stereo type, can be described as a group, and have easy access to each other's information. You can diffuse them in a location in order to create the "illusion" of many NPCs but essetially that their extra numbers don't provide a key advantage the PCs will need to move forward and that they are forgettable.
  3. If there will be more detail needed about an NPC begin by determining what is that NPC's role in his world. NPCs should look like the exist for the world and not for the PCs. If he's a farmer, what is his role in his community? Is he the most prodcutive farmer? Is he the village elder? Is he the village head? If he is, what is his relationship with the miller (key monopoly of the village services) or the village bailif (the manager of the village for the landholder)? Do not write any stats, just bullet point roles, and keep working out questions about roles and relationships the stats naturaly develop from these. The farmer must be intelligent or charismatic in order to have the miller and the bailif bobbing their heads after him. The village would natural seek his approval in many things, etc. etc.
  4. In any basic organizational effort, like when making NPCs, put the horse before the cart. Establish your object in the game and work from there backwards with what the PCs will need to move towards that objective, then provide the NPCs. Try to be efficient and cut down on complexities, unless you have a way to execute the complexity effectively during the game.

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