Thursday, April 10, 2014

Interesting Notes on GURPS Skilll and then some.

What I've noticed is that some skills can be bundled as part of a broader skill - exam

  • Police Work is a Optional Specialty of Law. In fact this is true with some of the paralegal work for business. You can say Law (Law Enforcement) is a sub specialty of Law compared to the various other specialties. These days with Law outsourcing services for information analysis, they still need para legal or people with legal background, so it actually make sense that there are more Law Optional Specializations being used regularly. 
    •  Procedural processing of a criminal should be under Law, IMO. Usually a Optional Specialization  Law (Criminal, Law Enforcement) (IQ/A).
    • Example. Law (Business) can have Subspeciality Law (Business, government regulations) (A) instead of (H). 
  • Criminology and Psychology, basically you can say Criminology is a Optional Specialization of Psychology. The big deal is the defaults and the ability to "predict" a particular behavior. Depends how you're GM sees the field of Criminology vs Psychology, what is normal or more applicable to most people vs what is applicable only to deviants behavior.
  • Heraldry and History. History in low tech for characters of such an age would be specialized in  Dynasties and War (counting grudges). Dynasties can have an optional specialization: Heraldry... depending in what culture and if they have such or similar systems. thats how I see it, History: Dynasties should be broader and better in identifying High Status NPCs by their relationships. 
    • History and Current Events? The Question arises is how much of History is part of the skill, yesterdays news can be history. Given how heavy it is, and to prevent from having too many facets of the same skill in play or on the character sheet, Id recommend that Current Events should be part of History.
      • Example. TTC History of Economics has lectures about the earliest philosophies of merchantilism, through the birth of Lassie Faire, in many eras up to the present (tackled in bands of decades).  It is actually a pretty good look at Business History and how policies changed and how it affected everything as a whole. This would be an example of History (Business) TL8
      • admittedly I'm a history nerd, so knowing how things came about is what I find important although more academic.    
  • Administration being more. RAW Administration is a reaction roll in basic set, in Mass Combat its part of a logistics roll. Although its a really important skill in business and an expectation form many professional where I come from the organization skill is part of leadership skill.  In call centers its how big a team you can lead or manage given that you have enough sub ranked personnel. Now why is this an issue of Administration and not leadership is because of my anecdotal experience. In short it takes very good prioritization and organization to expand your leadership influence. 
    • Administration is pretty important because there are MANY standards that certify for levels of administration - ISO, Six Sigma, and various other certification bodies... even Agile is a kind of organization, and its applied for some other work. 
    • Math (Statistics) would be a requirement for higher levels of Administration. It means a character can use many of the Statistic based techniques and disciplines that have these in mind. It would be what is use when using powerful computing tools and attacking information barriers (like Intelligence Analysis). 
  • Merchant a requirement for Freelancers. A character who freelances must have merchant, or will be screwed. They can even use optional specialization, particularly their industry (example. freelancer computer programmer, IT, artist, etc...) That means haggling, pricing, learning industry practices, and knowing how to set up the business aka paper work. This reflects why many free lancers have a hard time, since they're dividing their time between work and the "running" of the business. It also accounts for how some freelancers have median ability but can get a lot of gigs and work.  
  • Leadership as an Influence skill. its strangely an organizational skill but when it gets everyone to work together. In my experience with it, its often when the leader talk to the group or individual discretely about the situation and gets them in the right motivation or alignment. Pep talks as Public Speaking can work, but the way good leaders work dont usually  for oration and handling press conferences or debates. When your in a closed door meeting with your elements, you tend to use leadership. Strange its in work I see these "skills" being used and as a Gamer I cannot help but really watch attentively and take notes. 
    • SUB- reaction roll.  Basically you are all friends, so you are all within the Friendly band of Reaction Table. In this Sub-Band, there is a reaction roll where the player can attempt to ignore or aggravates one of their many motives and disads. No need for the table, just translate the Raction Table roll into the Bands of how you react to a friends/team-mate's most negative or most positive reaction rolls, modified by the stuff they do (ex. betrayal can be a large penalty, and "watching their back" being the biggest bonus)
  • Leadership as an IMPORTANT skill. Democratic doesnt work in decision making, some one really has to take charge but that person still needs to consider the ideas and opinions of his group. Leadership is under-rated in the system and to fix that here are my notes:
    • Conflicting Information should be role-played, but a failed leadership roll means lack of Initiative. The group loses their initiative advantage from the leaders's combat reflex, or they all have 1 less initiative OR they baddies move up in the turn order. 
    • Characters with different Moral or Ethical lines and qualms are addressed by the leader in a period where there is Haste and Initiative can be taken. Roll and Role-play.
    • Morale and Various Social Engineering attacks on the Group can be applied to the Leader's Attribute Modifier (talent applies) with the average of the groups ability score (typically will). 
    • In my field of work, good leadership is defined broad generalizations but it can be boiled down to:
      • Getting everyone's motivations align to the goal of the group
      • preventing large and small problems from coming up with a number of rules of thumb along with an instinct for sniffing out mis-alignment. 
      • Being able to maintain cohesion and conflict at the same time by judicially tackling or coping interpersonal problems - either buying time, satisfying demands or needs, channeling the negativity somewhere else or giving a place for vent. 
      • Promoting a particular culture, this is a sign of a strong charismatic leader (leadership +15!), when there is a strong tangible team culture that is enforced and easily assimilated. The group adopts the leaders own motivations and goals, to a limited degree (particularly the Code of Honor), and a protocol is developed handling all the other distracting and divisive motivations or forces. 
      • A leader is able to shuffle his inconsistencies into the inconsistencies and flaws of his own team, it doesn't diminish his credibility but endears him to them. 
      • Leaderships is a Conditioned response and behavior. If you would try to use Psychology, Intimidation, and Acting to promote it impose a -5 penalty and use the lower of IQ or Will because of the duration and mental endurance needed. 
  • Interrogation vs Body Language or Detect lies. Interrogation is special because it should be noted that it can compel people to talk or answer IMO. People can just keep silent, and we assume everyone is not stupid enough to talk (roll will +5 for a perp to remember what all their betters tell them: Keep your trap shut). Note that an interrogator or interviewer wants people to keep talking, even the noise gives clues. 
  • Intelligence analysis Game Uses. The skill doesn't really have a lot of game applications. From my own studies, the skill would reflect for dealing with noise, filtering information, and looking for patterns. Think of it like Cryptography roll - breaking Information barriers. Usually its in hours and requires a lot of tools and other skills. 
  • Years of Experience. One year is equal to 2cp of practicing the job. This is common in many job requirements. So 10 years of experience is at least 20cp in the core skill (enough for a attribute +4 for a hard skill). Years of self study is 4cp each year, example a hobby which you can really find time to do (and you have a certificate or some way to verify the level of attainment). Dedicated Study or Guided Study is worth 8cp per year. This assumes typical modern labor paramters of 200 days a year, although most of the world experience ~240 or even countries that have 288-313 days a year still suffer off days because of health reasons.  Unlike GURPS, real life requires more attention and practice. 
  • Make Workaholic a DISADVANTAGE - Treat it as an Odious Personal Habit or a severe penalty (-3) in occasions where one has to take away from work. People at home will have a -3 reaction penalty to their workaholic family member in some way. In social occassions they bring up work to a fault for up to -1 to -3 disadvantage. When the socialize FOR work, they are Hard Sell and get a -3 penalty.  If they try to meditate or relax or sleep AT WORK they may have problems relaxing. ... definitely GMs who want to emphasize work life balance or who are haggard because of work will echo such sentiments about taking on such a disadvantages. Cultures with Workaholic as an Ideal or Accepted lifestyle will have its trade offs... the typical statistical markers of unhappiness still follows them despite it being "culturally acceptable". lolz - the heart wants what the heart wants.  

Workload Assessment

Being able to Asses workload or give benchmarks is a little peeve of mine when it comes to game systems. GURPS does this for a few skills, Traveller has this completely arbitrary (roll 1d6 hours or minutes or 10 minutes), DnD 3.0-3.5 was inconsistent, in some systems it doesnt matter or "skills" take a level of abstraction that uses no assumptions and has moving goal posts it amazing people are still able to communicate ideas in them!

Some GM skills I realized that is hard to get is multi-disciplinary exposure to Workloads. I'm in a strange circumstance since the family business is into construction, IT, logistics, and manufacturing. The wife and my parents are accounting and finance in training, and I was lucky to have a grandfather who was into science and I got to to study a bit about the industry (and learned a lot about the Pharma industry recently). Taken in all, Workload patterns is something that I got to particularly observe and see a pattern into. Basically how to analyze it or forensically look for it when I look at a system. So its a great thing as a GM to know what each tasks MAY entails when I ask people to Roll for their skill.

Again my 4 hour unit of work, finding it in other systems is kinda neat. Anyway, projects take time and not all projects are expected to be done at X amount of time. Given how arbitrary things can be in an industry, typically people are comfortable doing Tasks in x2 to x4 amount of time than it normally is possible. Engineering related industry people typically throw you time to completion of that much, while some give you optimistic times (only to fall short of expectation). It is a "grown up" or sign of maturity and reflection to be able to quickly make estimates about how much time it really takes to do a project.

Sales will always give optimistic values (short times), while the guys on the ground will give you longer than what you can afford to wait. its a puzzle and in the end the GM makes the call. I talk about these things when I can on the blog, but really who reads this shit lolz. I had to separate work-game writing another blog lolz.

you know that saying, if all you've got is a hammer everything is a nail? Its discussed in JDMS (judgement and decision making science), whats funny is what if your brain is a GAMER and everything is a Game Challenge to be "gamed". This is pretty much a fault of mine and why I am able to fill this blog with non-sense always lolz.


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